I was thinking today about how simple good email post card design is.There is a simple brilliance to great email marketing post card design, actually. That old adage, “don’t over do it”, it applies here. Keep It Simple Sweetheart. Here’s why:

Email, like most web mediums is scanned – more read then others, but still scanned. Of course in boxes are deluged these days, including mine, and ever changing email addresses and spam filters are a factor. List maintenance is another post, but don’t ignore it, it’s crucial. Email that stands out is simple, focused, well designed and brings relevant and useful content to it’s recipient.

There are two major types of email marketing, (being very general here but hang in there with me). There is email you mail to an existing customer (my favorite) and email you mail to prospective customers. This post is about the former, the ones who love you already. Existing customers are a hotbed of opportunity for email marketing done right. Now for the “doin it right” part. There are (in general) 2 major formats for email, post card blast and email newsletters, this post is about the former.

Great email postcards with good response go something like this:

1. Use one maybe 2 messages, a strong tag and maybe a sub point. Don’t over do the copy. Remember, they are scannnning….and they are in a hurrrrry.

2. Use colors that are the appropriate contrast or style for your audience. Older folks like high contrast, younger folks the more hip colors – check a fashion magazine or their favorite web sites and design within the realm of their ability to read and their liking.

3. Choose imagery carefully. Don’t pick images that will limit the design appeal unless you plan to design several versions of the piece. For example if you are targeting men, age 40 and up that play sports, be sure to provide a general enough image to keep both the soccer players and the out doors men engaged. Be sure to vary your photos to include all the beautiful people in the world, within your targeted demographic. This is something you can schedule in over time, certainly not something to worry about in each piece.

On a budget or without a photographer, try these sites for reasonable and beautiful work:

www.corbis.com, www.dreamstime.com, www.gettyimages.com, www.istock.com.

4. Lastly, give your deep divers, or those that want to read more or better yet buy from you, a place to go. Give them content that is relevant to them and will tie your brand to things they value. Include links to your web site with relevant content to that postcard’s message. Specifically designed landing pages are not required, but definitely test landing pages vs deep dives on your web site. And do more of what works. (remember, simply brilliant.) Making this work takes segmenting strategy not covered in this post!

So, strong, strategic messaging, simple but relevant content, stand out imagery that your audience can relate to and links for deep diving.

Have fun, and send along samples if you want to brag on how great your post cards are. Cheers!
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