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Learn how Direct Mail is used to connect with clients at every stage of the customer journey, whether you're building awareness or encouraging long-term loyalty.

Power of the Portable Offer – Increase your ROI

tags Retail Loyalty Programs Direct Mail

Everyone has seen them: the little credit card shaped coupon glued to the inside of a direct mail piece with an offer to purchase and save money. It has the customer ID barcode on it so the retailer knows when you transact and what you bought. These little guys are expensive to produce relative to even the largest of postcards. So why do retailers mail hundreds of millions of these? Because they work.

Let’s step back a second. Why do some retailers send a tiny little postcard and some send a 4-panel brochure with a card attached? Well, it depends. As most of you know, 90% of the response you get comes from just sending something with an offer on it. The last 10% really is where the difference is made based on what the marketer is trying to accomplish. Truth be told, it is very hard to beat the ROI of a 4.25 x 6 postcard. They are cheap to print and get the job done of delivering your offer to the mailbox. And, it fits conveniently in even a small purse. The big 4-panel brochure had better have some serious pizazz to beat the ROI of the postcard. The only reason it can compete at all is that little card glued to it. If my wife is any guide, here is what many people do. They open the fancy mailer, rip off the card, put it in their purse or wallet and throw away the mailer without reading it. Expensive way to deliver a wallet card!

Direct marketing is not always about ROI right now. Sometimes it’s about ROI later. There are other things marketers are trying to accomplish like branding, showing entire outfits, creating emotion, etc. That’s hard to do on a little postcard. The key is knowing when to use which tool. We are asked all the time which format pulls best and the answer is always, “It depends on what you are trying to accomplish.”

Here is the best of all worlds for ROI now and in the future: the price of a postcard, a portable offer card with customer ID barcode that fits in your wallet, large enough for fashion photography and…unlike those tiny postcards that can be lost inside catalog pages, it will also stand out in the mailbox. It’s our old friend the 6 x 11 postcard, but with a twist. It has one or more portable offer cards perforated within the card to allow easy removal encouraging repeat shopping. With the right offer and the right list, this format will kill it for redemption and ROI. It is also great for extending your brand on a tight budget. They are a little tricky to produce correctly so call us before you do one. Done incorrectly and the post office can reject it, or worse, it explodes in the mail and your offer cards are lost. Your customer gets a postcard that looks like someone took a bite out of it. We have a ton of experience with these and we are here to help. Give us a call or email us at

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