Case Study
Direct Mail Marketing Prospecting

Catalogs vs Postcards: The Value in Diversifying your Direct Mail Marketing Mix

3 Min Read

In the fast-paced world of marketing, brands are constantly seeking innovative ways to connect with their target audience. This case study explores the transformation of a brand that historically relied on catalogs for their direct mail marketing strategy. Faced with the need for a more cost-effective, attention-grabbing, and higher performing approach, the brand embraced a shift towards postcards. With the help of Postie, the brand was able to unlock new opportunities and enhance their overall marketing effectiveness.

The Challenge

While catalogs are comprehensive, informative, and visually appealing, they are resource-intensive in terms of production and distribution costs. Additionally, the lengthy nature of catalogs sometimes leads to lower engagement rates, as recipients are overwhelmed with information. It became clear to the brand that catalogs are too expensive for what is mostly just a brand awareness strategy. The challenge was clear: find a more cost-efficient and impactful way to reach their target audience, with better attribution and higher conversions, without compromising the quality of their marketing message.

The Solution

To address the challenge, the brand reached out to Postie and decided to explore the potential benefits of diversifying their print marketing strategy with the addition of postcards. It became clear that working with Postie offered a streamlined, time-saving and cost-effective alternative, allowing the brand to convey key messages concisely while maintaining the same visual appeal of a catalog. 

Creative Freedom

The shorter format of postcards encouraged recipients to quickly absorb the information, increasing the likelihood of engagement, ultimately leading to a higher conversion number and better return on ad spend (ROAS). The brand also leveraged the versatility of postcards to experiment with vibrant visuals, compelling copy, and targeted promotions. With the help of the Postie platform, tracking, testing, and optimizing creatives was a fun and informative process. 

Data Science as the Star

For this brand, testing didn’t stop at the creative level. With the help of Postie’s PhD-backed data science team, the brand was able to create prospecting campaigns around lookalike audiences. By finding non-customers similar to the brand’s best customers, the postcards were an easy way to increase revenue and average order value (AOV) when compared to their catalogs previous performance. 

Postie Print Cloud

The shift to postcards allowed for quicker production turnaround times and more frequent mailings, enhancing the overall agility of the brand’s direct mail strategy. Not only that, but the brand also found value in the broad distribution of the Postie Print Cloud. As a nationwide brand, utilizing the Postie Print Cloud allowed the brand to reach their target audience within days of campaign approval. This was a huge improvement compared to the weeks of turnaround time for catalog creation and distribution. 

Improved Attribution

Given the brand awareness strategy of mailing catalogs, it’s often difficult to claim attribution. With postcards, however, the brand was able to include visually-prominent unique promotional codes to better track attribution. Not only that, the brand could easily make a correlation between when postcards hit homes and attribute it to an overall spike in website traffic and purchases.

The Results

The transition from catalogs to postcards yielded remarkable results for the brand. Firstly, there was a noticeable reduction in production and distribution costs, contributing to significant cost savings. The streamlined format of postcards resulted in higher engagement rates, as recipients were more likely to read and respond to the concise and visually appealing content. During one campaign, the brand saw a ROAS of 741.31%. The brand also experienced an increase in response rates and conversion rates, indicating that the new approach was resonating with their target audience. One campaign saw a conversion rate of 4.94%. Furthermore, the ability to send more frequent mailings allowed the brand to stay top-of-mind with customers, resulting in improved brand awareness and customer loyalty. Overall, the shift to postcards not only addressed the initial challenge but also paved the way for a more dynamic and successful direct mail marketing strategy.

Postcards Win


Return on Ad Spend


Conversion Rate

Postie Features Used
Create Lookalike Audiences
Use industry leading data sets to build lookalike audiences from your best-performing customer segments.
Select Attributes from Your CRM
Convert your 1st party CRM data into a working data source to easily build and mail custom audiences from your CRM attributes.
Identify New Customer Segments
Leverage machine learning to analyze 1st party CRM data and identify undetected customer segments. Mail these segments and use them to model new lookalike audiences.
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