POSTCARDS A GREAT BOOST TO FRANCHISE MARKETING These days it’s easy to get caught up in the variety of digital options available to promote your brand and local franchises. But when developing either a global or local marketing plan, don’t forget the proven reliability of direct mail and tried-and-true postcards. Additionally, the study found that consumers report they may respond, or intend to respond, to 26 percent of advertising mail sent first-class. They may respond, or intend to respond, to 28 percent of advertising mail sent by standard mail (previously known as bulk mail). Now more than ever, postcards should be part of your teams’ marketing arsenals for several reasons: They’re cost-effective, easy to produce, promote brand recognition, and get measurable results. The USPS reported direct mail volumes have declined an average of 2 percent year-over-year since 2005, while population and household formations have increased by an average of about 1 percent per year. GETTING IT DONE SINCE THE LATE 1800S This ultimately means there are fewer messages in the average mailbox competing for your audience’s attention. In fact, in 2015, U.S. households received an average of 12 advertising pieces each week — less than half the number received in 2008. What was true for our grandparents, and their grandparents, is still true today. If you have a street address, you get mail, and that mail needs to be glanced at and sorted. According to the USPS® 2016 Mail Moment Survey, most consumers retrieve and sort their mail at their first available opportunity (usually same day) regardless of their age. Additionally, overall mail engagement has increased since 2012. Their comfort with digital communications aside, Millennials particularly enjoy receiving “snail mail” more so than other generations. The USPS’ FY 2015 Household Diary Study broke down how U.S. consumers process their mail and found: 75 % According to a recent Direct Marketing Association study, direct mail generates an average of $7 IN SALES FOR EVERY $1 SPENT ON THE MARKETING MEDIUM. MAIL THIS, NOT THAT No one wants to spend any part of their marketing budget unwisely. You can maximize your return on investment by carefully planning your postcard strategy around the following tactics: OF HOUSEHOLDS EITHER READS OR SCANS ADVERTISING MAIL THAT COMES TO THE HOME. • Due to their limited content space and the public nature of the medium — meaning they have no envelopes — postcards make the best use of a less formal (but not unprofessional) message. 50 • Rather than sending a one-time piece, regularly schedule mailings with consistent messaging to build your franchise’s recognition and credibility. OVERALL “READ RATES” HAVE AVERAGED ABOUT % IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE CLICK-THROUGH RATE ON INTERNET ADVERTISING IS LESS THAN 3 % • Since each piece might get only one or two seconds to communicate a whole message, attention-grabbing headlines, compelling calls to action, and bright images that are comprehended at a glance are essential.