With money tight these days, many direct-mail advertisers are turning to inexpensive media like postcards – especially for new business lead generation. A great advantage of using a postcard is that 87% of mail recipients claim to at least scan postcards that they receive.
Here are 10 pointers from Portland marketer Wilson Zehr on making postcards work:
Use postcards appropriately.
Nobody – despite what some postcard companies claim – expects postcard mailings to close many sales. They are much better at time-sensitive announcements, like address or phone number changes, and at gleaning sales leads.
Target your audience carefully.
“The world’s best offer will produce zero results when directed to the wrong recipient,” Zehr observes. Create an accurately detailed profile of your likeliest prospects, and then apply it to your list. Ruthlessly purge the names of individuals who do not match your template.
Create a compelling headline.
You have only milliseconds to grab your prospect’s attention. When your headline dramatically expresses the benefits you offer, it will stop him in his tracks and induce him to read on. Personalization using the prospects first name in extremely large decorative type has proven to be very successful for Castle Press mailings.
Pack your card with useful information.
For example, if you are a computer-repair service, include a list of 10 glitch-avoiding computer maintenance tips. Once a year Castle Press mails a postcard of current postal rates. People who have been removed from our mailing list call us to find out where their postcard is.
Tell your prospect exactly what to do.
If you want to schedule a face-to-face meeting, for instance, say so – and tell him to contact you right away. Don’t make the mistake of trying to get the prospect to do too many things. A good rule is one postcard, one call to action.
Offer your prospect a reward for his reply.
Everybody craves information that might help him turn a profit, win a promotion, or qualify for a special price. Offer a booklet chock-full of alluring information – not about you and your company, but about his future.
List many ways to communicate with you.
On your card, print your postal address ... phone number and extension ... fax number ... e-mail address ... Web site URL. Let your prospects reach you in the way that feels most comfortable to them.
Follow up on your postcard.
Phone calls just after your mailing is delivered can double the responses it generates. Can’t make that many phone calls send an email follow up using the same graphics used on your postcard.
Avoid a card design that looks “addy.”
Your card should look and read businesslike, but not like a sales pitch. Veto designs that attempt to tickle the funny bone, or that feature graphics of the Grand Canyon, unless you are selling trips to it.
Sign your message.
The most effective direct mail, in any format, appears to be a person-to-person communication. Use a second color – preferably blue – for your name in script.
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