The Anatomy of a Winning Postcard

You probably get a lot of postcards as I do. Being an astute marketer, I always take time to look through all of my mail and I pick out stuff that catches my eye.

I put that stuff in my swipe file to refer to later. But I often shake my head in disbelief sometimes at the mail that I receive. Some of it is downright rotten. At times, I can't believe someone is actually spending money to send this stuff out.

Case in Point...

Yesterday, I got a postcard from a guy named Mike Czarowitz who is a local real estate agent. Apparently, he just joined Remax and recently moved his real estate practice to Friendswood.

Well, he sent out an announcement to let people know about his new affiliation with Remax. I would imagine that he paid a good amount of money to send this card out to everyone in my neighborhood. Here's the postcard I received:

Front Side ->

Back Side ->

(copy and paste the links into your browser)

If you even have half a marketing brain you can see why this is a losing postcard. But let's take a look at what it's lacking...

Problem # 1 No compelling headline (he uses his name as the headline...don't do this!)

Problem # 2 The bulk of the postcard is taken up with the Remax logo (No one cares about Remax, they care about their own problems, and how you're going to solve them!)

Problem # 3 He gives absolutely no reason to respond.

Problem # 4 His call to action is "Please stop in and say hello, the coffee pot is always on." Pleeeeaaase!

Problem # 5 - He completely wastes the address side of this postcard. There is no information on it whatsoever.

I Decided to Take This Postcard and Give It a Complete Design Makeover and Turn It Into a Lead Generating Machine - - Here It Is...

As a favor to Mike Czarowitz (the realtor who sent out the loser postcard) I took some time to completely redesign his postcard so that it would generate leads rather than just "get the word out there."

Here it is... Front Side ->

Here's a Few Things to Take Note of When Reviewing the Redesigned Version of Mike's Postcard

Change # 1 - The Headline

The billboard side of the postcard starts out with a big bold headline. I'll admit, it's not the most powerful headline but it does evoke curiosity and makes you want to read the subheadline (which is the primary job of the headline).

Change # 2 - The Subheadline

The subheadline gives a very bold promise (although 30 days would be better). One important element of the subhead is that it includes the phrase "or Someone You Know," which forces the reader to think of their friends and not only themselves.

Change # 3 - The Photo

People like to know who is communicating with them. Putting a photo of yourself brings a warmth and closeness and lowers the distrust barrier that we all feel with someone we don't know.

Change # 4 - The Caption

Below every photo you should always include a caption because when the eye looks at the photo it will always, 100% of the time, look at the caption as well.

I not only introduced Mike's name but I used a boxed caption that highlights his expert status and further lowers the distrust barrier.

Change # 5 - The Copy

The copy on this postcard starts out by filtering out prospects simply by asking whether they're thinking of selling their home.

It also introduces the "60 Day Home Selling System" and attempts to create some curiosity so that the reader will turn the postcard over and read the offer.

You'll also notice that I used a "handwriting" font. This is a special font that looks like it's been handwritten. It's just one more element that serves to personalize my postcard.

Change # 6 - The Call-to-Action

The objective of the billboard side's call-to-action is simply to turn the postcard over. Although that sounds unnecessary, it leads the reader one step further down your sales path.

Now Let's Take a Look at the Address Side and See What Makes It So Powerful

The address side of the newly redesigned postcard is what gets the phone to ring. Here's what the address side looks like:

Address Side ->

(copy and paste the links into your browser)

Here are a few changes I made on the address side that make it powerful.

Change # 7 - The Headline

Notice that I started out the address side of this postcard with a compelling headline. The headline tells people exactly what I want them to do.

NOTE: By the way, ALWAYS start out your marketing material with compelling headlines.

Change # 8 - The Arrow

You'll see that I've included an arrow on the right hand side of the headline. I did that to pull the readers eye to the special report that I want them to order.

Change # 9 - The Copy

I start out my copy calling the reader "Dear Friendswood Neighbor." The word "Friendswood" will capture readers attention because they live in Friendswood.

All I want to do in my first paragraph is to get the reader to read my second paragraph so I stir up curiosity to keep the reader going.

I then promise the reader that my system will sell their home in 60 days and to find out how I do that they'll need to order my free report.

Change # 10 - The Graphic

As you can see, I've included a graphic of my special report to show readers what it looks like. This brings a realism to my offer and it helps people to visualize what they'll be receiving.

Change # 11 - The Call-to-Action

The caption to the graphic includes my call to action. This line WILL get read 100% of the time. It gives SPECIFIC instructions on what I want the caller to do.

Change # 12 - The Phone Number

Notice that I put the hotline phone number in reverse type. This makes the number clearly stand out.

I've also included the words, "24 Hr. Recorded Msg.," which lets the reader know that they aren't going to get someone on the other side of the phone call trying to give them a hard sell.

I've personally found this one line of text to increase my response rate by about 12% - 20%.

Change # 13 - The Address

Look at what a small space I've allocated to the address. Now look at how much space I've used for my message. Don't make the mistake of using the whole side of the postcard just for your address (or even half the side for that matter).

Now Which Postcard Would You Rather Mail?

If you've hung in with me this long then you've got a real lesson in writing compelling copy and postcard marketing.

I hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot from it.

Just imagine, for the exact same cost that Mike incurred sending the original postcard, he could have sent the redesigned postcard.

Same cost - - 10 times the response.

Which postcard would you rather mail?

This Is Only a Fraction of What You'll Learn... my new "Killer Postcards" marketing course that will be released shortly.

In the next month I'll be releasing the most comprehensive and in depth postcard marketing course ever developed (I should know, I have all the postcard marketing courses on the market).

I've been working on this home-study course for over 6 months so you won't be disappointed.

Keep an eye out for it. Get a small taste of what's to come at


David Frey is the author of the best-selling manual, "The Small Business Marketing Bible" and the Senior Editor of the "Small Business Marketing Best Practices Newsletter

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