In addition to being the least-expensive type of direct mail marketing, postcards can be a highly targeted form of engagement specific to your desired audience. As with any marketing tool, content is important. If the message being delivered is muddled, unclear, or confusing, a postcard isn’t going to have much of an impact. This essentially amounts to a wasted marketing opportunity. A perfect example of mistakes to avoid when preparing a postcard is what jet.com did.
7 Reasons Jet.com’s Postcard Sucks
What’s the offer?
I’ve looked at this postcard several times — and I’m still not sure if I’m supposed to be thrilled about the 15 percent off, the free shipping over $35 or the 2-day delivery on essentials, whatever those are. It shouldn’t be a guessing game to figure out what the offer is… that’s the damn point of the card. The average consumer has an attention span of just 8 seconds. If you can’t explain your offer that quickly, your postcard is going in the trash.
Too many messages!
You only get one chance to make your message click with a busy person, and it’s just not happening here. If the main message is, save 15 percent, that should be huge and in the center. If Jet.com really wanted to present three different offers, they should have sent three different postcards.
What should I do right now?
I’m going to assume I should go to Jet.com and apply the code given to get my 15 percent off, but who knows? Any call-to-action used on a postcard should be clear and easy to spot so there’s no doubt about what you want the recipient to do after they get your postcard. Something like “SAVE 20% NOW” with an expiration date grabs eyeballs.
A muddled message
Am I going to save that 15 percent on everything from Jet.com? Does the savings apply to regular-priced items only or does it work with sale or discounted items too? Questions abound! Everyone loves saving money, but no one likes to feel like they’ve been cheated of an offer. Make it clear and I will act.
Did you notice that, even without any coupons, Jet.com claimed that the average consumer saves 16 percent more by shopping on Jet.com. But, I bet you missed that small point in the wall of text. If everyday shopping is 16% off and I get an extra 15%… that’s 30%+ of savings. That message should have been separated from the rest of the content, and made obvious. “It’s always a good day to save 16%.”
I get the offer now.. and it’s STILL COMPLICATED
Confusion goes beyond messaging here and extends to a lack of clarity. I love the fact that I can save 15 percent on next three orders, but hold up; there’s a maximum discount of $25 per order, so the three things I get from Jet.com can only add up to $25? Oh, wait, there’s a $35 minimum! My head is spinning. This postcard is already as good as ditched since it’s totally unclear.
Where’s the urgency?
The purpose of an expiration date is to create a sense of urgency to take action. On this postcard, I had to go on a scavenger hunt to find it — and that hardly makes me want to act quickly.
What actually works:
When putting together a direct mail campaign with postcards, you need a great offer that appeals to your target audience. On the Jet.com postcard, the offer is competing with different offers. Instead, pick a single purpose for your postcard and use the rest of your content to play that up.
The overall design of a postcard should be clean and clear with the right mix of text and images. Branding is also a big part of the formula. Your logo should be featured prominently since most people tend to pay more attention to offers from a familiar name. Postcards can also become more effective with:
- Motivating headlines
- A clear call-to-action
- An obvious message
- Relevant images
- Clearly stated details
This postcard fails to achieve its goal because the message is lost and there’s no clear offer to catch the eye of the recipient. The purpose of direct mail isn’t so much to advertise as it is to compel someone to take a specific action with some kind of enticement. Think of it more like CASH that expires. With careful planning and attention to detail, you can avoid mistakes like the ones pointed out here and produce a postcard likely to get results.