Postcard Design Fundamentals | ABA banking journal

By Megan Hausman

AAs a marketer, you’ve seen different shapes and sizes of mail aimed at tricking you into opening and reading what’s inside. Beautifully designed dimensional mailers, pop-ups, die-cuts, iron cross multi-ply mailers and even packaging certainly grab your attention as a target audience to motivate and take action.

While these more expensive design examples have proven results, many banks need a more cost-effective approach. How do you grab your prospect’s attention and motivate them to take action? You have up to eight seconds to grab your prospects’ attention, so let’s take a look at the best practices for effective postcard design.

1. Personalization

Just adding a person’s name to a color postcard can increase your response rate by 135%. Recipients appreciate mail tailored to their interests. Pulling data relevant to the postcard adds a personal touch to the recipient. For example, adding the recipient’s branch, including their branch manager’s name, contact information, and a small photo, is very helpful.

2. Graphics

The creative should be important to the prospect because it should relate to your postcard. It must captivate your audience. Consider this example of Liberty Bank attracting new movers to open deposits.

Prospects were located in neighborhoods outside of Chicago, two miles from each branch. A big challenge was to make millennials understand that a small bank like theirs could do as much and more than the big name banks. On the back of the postcard are printed the locations of ATMs near the resident’s home. In four months, Liberty created dozens of new accounts, and in five years, the New Movers’ campaign revenue is estimated at $90,000. The colors he chose and the nostalgic design gave recipients a local feel. This type of design differs from the buildings of the city bank by a clean and contemporary design.

New Movers campaigns have great potential, and according to V12, movers are five times more likely to be attracted to your bank if you connect with them first. Our recommended strategy for attracting new movers is a three-part campaign.

3. Font

The choice of font is directly linked to the transmission of a message. How do you want the reader to feel when looking at your postcard? Let’s look at two bank logo examples. The “Capital” in Capital One is based on the Frutiger Black sans serif font. The Chase Bank logo is also a sans serif version. Each speaks of confidence, elegance, respect and tradition. It is also a neutral font. When designing your postcard, what type of message do you want to convey? Ninety-five percent of graphic design is typography. So it’s important.

4. Keep it simple

If there’s a maximum of eight seconds for your prospect to look at the postcard, read it, and decide to take action, then a clear and simple message with a call to action is the main driver of the design. Don’t clutter the postcard with verbiage.

Instead, use a clear, bold title that communicates exactly what the service or product is. It is equally important to guide the reader with an action to take after reading the title. If possible, adding a due date to the postcard will help motivate the audience to take action.

Here are some examples of calls to action:

  • To qualify, make five purchases between July 1 and August 1.
  • Download our mobile app for more details.
  • Visit our website at to apply online.
  • By August 1, bring this postcard to your nearest branch for a chance to win $500.

5. Measure results

Postcards generate response and ROI if you communicate well. Drive your prospect online by providing a specific landing page, QR code, or (if your budget allows) a custom URL. The mobile app is also useful for tracking the results of specific sales campaigns.

You don’t need a solid budget to grab the attention of your target audience. Following these best practices with any direct mail will motivate your prospects to take action from your campaign and get you the results you need.

Megan Hausmann is an account executive for marketing services at BankBound, a results-driven agency that works exclusively with local banks.

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