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About once a week we have a client who asks about postcard mailings. There’s little doubt that they work in the States but you see so few of them in the UK.
Mail a postcard and your print costs are cut, there’s no envelope or enclosing costs either. However, your list and postage costs are the same and you get only to present 20% or so of your sales copy for the small savings. In the States, they get great postage rates for postcards and list rental rates are lower, so they can make it work.
At the end of last year, however, I had occasion to help a mailer send out 10,000 postcards. It was done for speed and we expected a weak response. To our surprise, it hit break even on day three and turned in a healthy profit. Could we have been wrong about postcards all this time? The second test included a four-page sales letter and, not surprisingly, did even better – pound for pound, long copy won yet again.
“Surely no one has time to read all the copy” newcomers ask. They’re right, but I think if the prospects have a question, after scanning the copy, they assume the answer must be in the copy somewhere and go ahead with the order. With shorter copy it’s apparent that specific objection has not been addressed.
So, it’s long copy for me every time. One word of caution, however, you can repeat your main message three or four times in various ways but your long copy must never be boring.