Yes. Let’s get the answer right out in front. Yes to direct mail postcards, and yes to brochures. Although many people today look to social media and other digital services for information and communication, they still rely on printed ads. In fact, many find print materials to be more trustworthy than what they see online. Sure, everyone is inundated with all sorts of junk mail these days. But direct mail still works. Print advertising represents a valuable set of tools in your marketing mix, and both postcards and brochures can be used to great effect to get your message across.
On the other hand, you would not use a single tool for every aspect of a remodelling project. Though many have likely tried, a screwdriver does not make an effective hammer, and a hammer is useless for turning a screw. Likewise, you should not rely on one advertising strategy to suit all of your marketing needs. No, your DIY toolbox is filled with tape measures and pliers, screwdrivers and hammers, each designed for a unique purpose. The same holds true for your print advertising tool kit. Along with real estate flyers, business cards, and other print products, postcards and brochures each offer a different opportunity to get the job done.
The key to using the right tool for the right job is knowing what job you need to do. What do you want to accomplish? Once you have a clearly defined goal, it becomes easier to choose which tool to use.
Postcard vs. Brochure
Batman vs. Superman. Godzilla vs. Kong. Foreman vs. Ali. Each rivalry features opponents with different skill sets. And, while debates rage on as to who had the stronger skills or greater abilities, still, they were all unique. The same goes for your print advertisement materials.
For instance, no item in the mailbox makes more of an impact than a postcard. That is why you should use postcard for direct mail marketing. A brochure might let you express more ideas, but if you want to pack a George Foreman sized punch, you will send a lead generating postcard. Postcards have that, “Hey! Look what I just got!” appeal like no other direct mail product.
On the other hand, a real estate brochure tells a fuller story. Superman might be the Man of Steel, but Batman’s backstory paints a picture that reveals a complex and cunning character with a rich set of sleuthing skills. Your brochure is able to reveal more detail surrounding your message than can fit on any postcard.
But precisely because a brochure offers so much more detail, it is not as effective for getting to the point. A postcard necessarily makes its point apparent in short order. It grabs the attention of your audience and engages them immediately. And it holds their attention longer. Try tacking an eight page brochure to a refrigerator with a magnet.
A brochure, however, is better for showcasing a wider and deeper treatment of your subject. A postcard might feature an image or two, a headline, and a few bullet points, but a brochure lets you get into specifics and present more breathtaking professional photographs. It also works beyond the mailbox – displayed in the office or at an open house.
For that reason, a brochure is better for single subjects that you want to expand or develop more fully. A postcard shines when you have a specific action you want to elicit from your audience.
Postcards are also faster and easier to produce. They cost less to make and less to mail. But no matter how elegantly you fashion your postcard, a beautifully designed brochure still has a rich, upscale quality to it, unrivaled by any other print material.
Essential Elements of Both a Postcard and a Brochure
Despite their differences, Batman and Superman are both superheros. They have many qualities in common. Same goes for boxers and famous movie monsters. Print advertisements are no different. Whether you use a postcard or a brochure, each should follow a few guiding principles. Consider the following elements for both.
- Keep your message simple. Sure, a brochure holds more information, but that should not be license to stray in several directions at the same time. Focus on one key message for maximum impact, both in visual and descriptive terms.
- Keep it short. A postcard should be uncluttered and to the point. Use a compelling headline and a few bullet points. A brochure should be succinct as well. Include more detail, but do not try to write a short story. Your audience is accustomed to scanning, not reading.
- Target your audience. Know who you want to speak to and what you want to say to them. Are you introducing yourself to a new neighborhood? Are you hoping to attract high-end buyers? Or first-timers? Focus your message for your audience.
- The aim of any of your print ads should be to elicit a response from your audience. Therefore, do not forget a clear and easy call-to-action. Your CTA is the goal of your postcard or brochure (although brochures often omit this important step). Stick with one CTA for each communication. Send prospects to your website. Direct them to view a Matterport 3D Virtual Showcase. Take them to a survey linked from a QR code. Whatever the response you want from your readers, make it count and funnel their interaction with your ad toward it.
- Provide professional print quality and photography. Nothing says “Ignore my message” quite like quick-and-dirty cell phone pics and budget printing. Opt instead for top-notch professional photography and print materials.
- Feature your real estate business brand – a consistent theme that runs throughout your print and digital marketing efforts. Include your name, contact information, and social media links in a recognizable format with the same graphics, color scheme, font selection, and layout.
Which form of print advertising you choose – whether a postcard, brochure, or any other marketing tool – will depend on your goal for communication. Set your sights on a simple and single objective. Then decide which one to select from your tool box. Want to wow your audience with a quick impact? Pick a postcard. Want to wine and dine them with elegance and additional information? Spotlight your subject with a brochure. Either way, keep it simple, make it memorable, and increase your impact.