Case Study: Successful Die Cut Postcard Campaign

We often talk about the importance of both getting noticed and repetition in direct marketing. Over the past several years, we have had the opportunity to work on a successful, ongoing campaign that exemplifies both of these concepts. Our role in this project was two-fold. First, we helped introduce the customer to the potential of die-cut mailers. Second, we helped prepare each mail drop.

Getting Noticed

We’ve always believed that one of our primary roles as a service provider is not to tell our clients what to do, but to help introduce them to different options that they might want to consider. In this case, the client attended one of the informative seminars that we hold on a periodic basis. They were intrigued by the idea of using a die cut mailer. When it came time to prepare a direct mail campaign, they chose to go that route.

The client elected to produce a 5.25″ x 10″ postcard, die cut to match the shape of the house that was printed on the front of the card (an image which was related to their product offerings). A unique message and call to action was included on the back.

They also experimented with a smaller, car-shaped alternate card, which was used in some of the earlier mailings.

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One of the keys to the tremendous success of this campaign was the client’s very deliberate and intentional use of repetition. The initial cards were dropped in the same areas three times, at intervals of one month. This was important because, while the unique shape of the card would help it stand out from other, more generic pieces, the repeated exposure worked to compound this effect, increasing the chances of the piece being read, while providing the recipient with multiple opportunities to respond.

In addition to this three-drop strategy–which was utilized on each campaign–the client also continued to run subsequent campaigns on a semi-annual basis, usually in the fall and the spring. In many instances, these subsequent campaigns would see increased volume as new areas were targeted. However, for those areas that were retained from previous campaigns, these next waves of cards would only serve to further increase exposure.

Owning a Shape

As a side effect of the client’s dedication to repetition, they have also come to own their shape–in both a literal and figurative sense. The client has already paid for the die that is used to cut the cards, so in a very real sense, they do own the shape.

Perhaps more importantly, they also own the shape in the sense that it has become associated with their brand. Because of the multiple drops, recipients of the card begin to recognize it over time, eventually making a mental connection between the shape of the house and our client’s brand. In fact, since launching these campaigns, we’ve spoken with several people who live in the targeted areas and remember receiving the piece, simply because of its unique shape.

Achieving this type of recognition can be extremely valuable for building brand awareness and achieving top-of-mind recognition, especially for businesses with a highly localized market.

Campaign Growth

This project has been running since the beginning of 2010. Since then, we have seen a steady growth in the volume of each campaign. Here are the numbers that we have mailed:

While the largest jumps in volume occurred during the early stages of the project, with growth slowing in the more recent campaigns, these increases still suggest that the client was achieving positive results. They would not have continued to increase quantities in this manner if the program was not being tremendously successful.


For us, this project has been–and continues to be–a wonderful experience. It has been incredibly rewarding to watch it grow from a small pilot project into a successful, ongoing marketing initiative.

But we’re hardly surprised by how well it has done. After all, it has all the ingredients for a successful program. Not only does it use an interesting shape to get itself noticed, it also relies on planned and intentional repetition to continually put that shape–and the customer’s message–in front of the same targeted market.