Direct Mail Tips: Should I send postcards or letters? 

If you follow our blog, you’ve likely learned about how powerful direct mail is at reaching consumers and developing brand recognition. Two of the most popular forms of direct mail are postcards and letters. Each offers unique advantages. Our team at Pel Hughes can help you determine which direct mail method is right for your needs.  

Benefits of Postcards 

Postcards make for compelling pieces of direct mail. This popular option is great for reaching customers when you have a grand opening, are running a promotional sale, or when you’d like to incentivize potential customers with a discount code to make a purchase.  


Postcards are more affordable than letters. Each piece will cost a few cents less to mail than a letter. This is because envelopes aren’t necessary so postcards weigh less than letters. When you’re running a direct mail campaign with thousands of recipients, a few cents of savings on each piece does add up.  


Postcards can be heavily customized to your brand. You can add graphics, print embellishments like spot UV and raised varnish as well as pictures of products. Copy is limited on a postcard so maximizing the space you do have with great design is important for producing compelling direct mail.  

Open Rate is Higher than Pieces in Envelopes 

Since postcards are delivered without an envelope, the chances of your recipient taking a glance at your piece is much higher. It helps, too that postcards are brief and to the point. Well-designed postcards with a wow factor can help draw attention to your brand with little effort from the consumer.  

Tips for Great Postcards 

  • Great Design: Postcards have limited space. Poor use of graphics and bad font choices can turn away potential customers. Soliciting the help of an experienced graphic designer can ensure that your postcard commands the attention it deserves.  


  • A Strong Call to Action (CTA): Every postcard should have a strong call to action. A CTA should entice customers to your store with a generous sale or direct them to your website. Your recipients should understand exactly what it is you want them to do.  


  • Your Contact Information: Your contact information, website, and social media handles (if applicable) should be easy to find on your postcard. An effective postcard makes it easy for your customers to find you when they’re ready to do business with your brand.  

 Benefits of Letters 

Letters are a little different from postcard. They are sent in envelopes and make for great tools for non-profits and community organizations.   

More Room for Copy 

Letters provide a lot more space for copy than a postcard. Great storytelling can help you signal boost a fundraising need, announce a political initiative, or invite people to a community event. Letters are also beneficial to companies in the financial planning and insurance industries. A letter gives an organization or company more room to provide specific information or captivate readers with great storytelling.  

Personalized Messaging 

Letters are easy to personalize. Variable data printing, for example, can personalize the addressee’s name and/or thank addressees for their patronage or donations in the past. As our life becomes increasingly digital, personalized mail can resonate with consumers of all demographics.  

Great for Fundraising Efforts 

Non-profits, political action committees, and charitable organizations can benefit from mailing letters. The space provided makes it possible to convey important messages and details to solicit action from your recipients. A personalized letter, for example, could detail exactly how fundraising will be spent or even tell the story of a person in need. 

Tips for Effective Letters 

  • Compelling Copy: Great letters must have well-written copy. Grammatical errors and spelling mistakes will send an unprofessional message. Engaging copy is a must, too. Boring prose—even if it polished—won’t spurn action from your recipients. Soliciting the help of a marketing firm or a copywriter can help ensure that your letter resonates with your audience.  


  • Personalized Touches: Personalizing your letter with your recipients’ names can go a long way. Using variable data printing to close your letter with a real signature helps, too.  

Pel Hughes is one of the nation’s leading printing companies. We help non-profits and businesses develop beautiful direct mail that resonates with consumers. Our family-owned enterprise offers in-house graphic designers in addition to utilizing the latest printing techniques and technology. Call us today at (504) 486-8646 to speak with a helpful member of our team.