When to ABSOLUTELY NOT Use Postcards… Seriously.

postcardmania postcard marketing roi vs profitThis may not come as a galloping shock to any of you, but… I am a proponent of postcard marketing. Gasp! I know! But if something helped you take your business from from $0 to $20 million dollars annually, you’d champion it, too.

But that doesn’t mean it’s right for everybody. I repeat: NOT RIGHT FOR EVERYBODY.

Possibly, maybe I’m guilty of making it seem like a cure-all because it is right for SO MANY who DON’T use it, but the point remains. There are certain situations in which postcard marketing is simply not worth it.

How do you know if this applies to you? Read on…


ROI (Return on Investment) is the key to deciding what marketing to use. In other words, you want to choose marketing strategies that generate many times more revenue than they cost. You want to recoup your investment plus a bunch more.

An Example:
• Bill runs a promotion that generates $17,000 in revenue
• Bill’s promotion cost $2,000 to run
• Bill’s ROI is $15,000
Worth it!

Another Example:
• Sally runs a promotion that generates $40,000 in revenue
• Sally’s promotion cost $45,000 to run
• Sally’s ROI: minus $5,000
Not worth it!

When you hit on a marketing strategy that produces a good ROI, stick with it! My experience is that postcard marketing produces a great ROI for MANY, MANY businesses, but I have also noted situations in which it has not worked well.

NOTE: When calculating your ROI, be sure to use the lifetime value of the customer, not just the value from their initial purchase. There are situations where you may lose money on the first order, but make A TON MORE MONEY over the life of the relationship with the client. If you don’t use lifetime value, you’ll sell yourself short. (Link above is a lifetime value calculator – USE IT!)


Before you fire off an email telling me to get to the point already, here’s the deal. Do NOT use postcards if you:

• Sell a product that can and will only be purchased that one time


• Charge less than $200 for it!

From what I’ve seen, there is simply not a high enough profit margin to make postcards worth it in that case. For instance we’ve had authors inquire. I would not recommend postcards for selling a book. You just can’t sell enough of them with a postcard and you won’t make back your money.

NOW, with that said, if you don’t fit that profile, postcards should most definitely work for you! Talk it over with one of my consultants to be sure, but I am quite comfortable making that claim.

Let me know if I can help in anyway. Drop me a line at Joy.Gendusa@PostcardMania.com! Anybody out there fit the profile above AND still had good results with postcards? I’d love to hear your story!




  • Great article. It would be great if you could do another one on how long it takes for direct marketing to bite.

    And how long it takes for sales to drop off – once one stops doing it.

    I read somewhere 6 weeks either way. Also not sure how long it takes for paid ads sales to drop – but I can imagine it must be similar to print advertising.

  • Hi Joy,

    I am a seasoned, high end hair stylist that just moved to Rural West Sonoma County.
    I think it may be wise to do a mailer to let the area know that I am here.
    If I retain any new clients it could in the long run pay off.

    Please share your thoughts.

    Rebecca Reedy


    • Rebecca, absolutely! We’ve worked with a ton of hairstylists who have gotten great results with direct mail! Give us a call at 800-628-1804 for a FREE consultation to hear which marketing strategies work best for your industry!

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