The power of the postcard
You know what I’d like to see more people in the career education business utilize – postcards. Yeah, I said postcards and I mean it too. It’s one of those advertising avenues that I believe can be very successful, but only if used in the right situations.
If you’re trying to generate an immediate response from a perspective student, either through a BRC, phone call or e-mail, then the standard letter package should be your first choice. In that situation, I’d recommend the standard letter package every time because a postcard just doesn’t elicit a quick response.
So what is the right situation to use a postcard? I recommend sending out a postcard to promote any special event that your school might be having. Whether it be an open house, an information session or a carnival, people will look at your postcard in the mail. According to the Direct Marketing Association 2006 Statistical Fact Book, 41% of respondents said they read postcards that they receive – the highest percentage among any other piece of mail (the next highest was Catalog Not in an Envelope at 35%).
Think about it, how hard is it to look at a postcard? You thumb through your mail, you see a postcard, you look at the front, you turn it over, you look at the back and then you’re done. With a letter, you have to open it. Let’s face it, we’re lazy and the two seconds it takes to open a letter is asking a lot. With a postcard, you’re able to catch the reader’s attention and get your message across without the reader having to exert much energy. It’s a win/win. We get our message across, and they don’t have to break a sweat.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying to only use postcards for special events. Feel free to use them at any time, just don’t expect much, if any, of an immediate response. Leave the lead generating to the standard letter package. But if you’re looking at driving people to any type of event at your school, always remember the power of the postcard.