Direct Mail: Alive, Well and Delivering for Private Schools [Podcast]

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa

In this episode of the Sparkcast, I find out that despite what so many people think, direct mail is far from dead. In fact, it's surprisingly effective with both Millennials and GenXers, the likely parents of most school-age children.

Joy Gendusa is the Founder and CEO of PostcardMania, a marketing company specializing in lead generation for businesses of all sizes. Starting with only a phone, a computer and postcard marketing, Joy has grown PostcardMania into an industry leader generating more than $49 million in annual revenue and employing more than 200 people in the Tampa Bay, FL area.

Joy has been awarded the Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Entrepreneur Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay, and twice been an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist. Her company, PostcardMania, has been featured on the Inc. 500 and the Inc. 5000 lists.

Joy’s marketing strategies and accomplishments have been featured in magazines such as Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and Inc. Magazine. Her company has worked with just under 3,000 schools nationwide.

Joy is also a Board Member of The Community Learning Center, a small non-profit school that specializes in tutoring in Clearwater, Florida.

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Joy Quoted

"With any marketing you’re trying to increase the trust and likeability of your brand and your business. When you send an email to someone as a first form of contact, they go from being neutral to being annoyed. They don’t even like you anymore. But email is an amazing follow up tool that we highly recommend."

"With direct mail, you as a consumer go out to your mailbox, bring the mail into your home and look at it when you want to look at it. It’s the least distasteful form of marketing."

"Never sacrifice clarity to be witty."

"With a direct mail post card, you’re not going for the close, your trying to generate a lead. For instance, drive them to a landing page where you can continue the communication you started with the post card and have them fill out an online form so you can collect their contact information. We recommend ask for email only...not their name."

"What you really want to look at when you’re looking at the economics of direct mail is the lifetime value of a new student. How much are you willing to spend to get one new student who will probably stay for 5 or more years?"

"Especially for a private school, the return on investment (for direct mail) is fantastic because you get that yearly tuition."

"If you look at parents of school age children today, 93% of Millennials (ages 25-34) have responded to direct mail, and 88% within the last six months. For GenXers (ages 35-49) 94% have responded to direct mail."  (Source: InfoTrends 2016 study on direct marketing)

"92% of Millennials have made purchasing decisions based on direct mail they have received, compared to 78% for email. (From a Neilson report.)

"90% of Millennials said they prefer postal delivery for promotional communications over email." (From a Neilson report.)

"Marketing on social media is a great adjunct to your direct mail, but it’s honestly not going to get you the results that a direct mail piece will."

"We’ve done the research on this. Direct mail trumps pay-per-click advertising. My company uses pay-per-click but I spend most of my money on direct mail. I wouldn’t do it that way if it wasn’t successful."

What you’ll learn

  • How to get your direct mail to work with your website and social media channels.
  • How the economics of direct mail work for a school that would probably be mailing small quantities, and what the return on investment can be.
  • How to develop or buy a list that will help ensure the success of your direct mail campaign.
  • Direct mail is very effective with Millennials and GenXers, the groups most likely to be the parents of school-age children.
  • How direct mail compares to online advertising such as pay-per-click.
  • All about Direct Mail 2.0—adding to any direct mail effort a tracking code, a call tracking phone number, and integrated online display ads that look like your post card in order to best track the effectiveness of a direct mail effort.
  • How to make landing pages on your website most effective.
  • How to plan for a direct mail post card campaign, including a free report on how to design a post card at
  • There are many other free resources on the PostcardMania website including case studies of schools who have used direct mail, and Joy’s book “Post Card Marketing in an Online World—Success Simplified” which is free at

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