1. Keep It Simple
The image on the front of the postcard should be simple, but attractive. Bright colors are better than dark. You should also use an image that’s easily understood, like your web site. And always include your web site address under the Web Site image because you usually only have a few seconds to impress the recipient.
2. You Need a Good Mailing List
Print-Services.com can help you find a targeted mailing list. Or you can contact our mailing list partner, AccuData directly. Renting a mailing list is actually pretty inexpensive. List can be rented for single use or multiple use. Print-Services.com recommends multiple use lists. Marketing Solutions They usually cost only a little more than the single use list and they allow you to manage a year-long campaign to a targeted list. (see tip #3) If you are still worried about the cost and don’t need a lot of names to get started, you can always create your own list. You can find names by flipping through organization and association directories or check your Rolodex. Before you put any name on the list, ask yourself if this person would be interested in hearing from you on an ongoing basis. If not, don’t send a postcard to them.
3. Frequency is Important
Most Americans get dozens of catalogs and direct mail pieces every month. The Lands End catalog and CitiBank Credit Card offers come to mind right away, why?, because they come every month, sometimes every two weeks. In other words, a business that clients and prospects hear from is one that they’ll keep in mind. That’s why it is good policy to send nine or ten postcards each year.
4. Follow up with your campaign
Congratulations, you put a lot of time in effort into getting your beautiful, full-color postcard into the hands of the right people, but your work is not done. You probably have a big list and if you are a small business you may not have the resource to contact everyone, but at least follow up with your key clients and prospects. Phone, e-mail or visit with them within a week of any postcard mailing.
5. Colorful Picture, Concise Copy
The image gets their attention, the copy gets the sale. You want your copy to get your audience to do something. What should your postcard copy inspire your audience to do? Well, that’s up to you, but mostly likely, you will want to give the customer a special offer that will convince them to use your services or buy your product.
This, in essence is what sets direct marketing apart from conventional advertising. Most conventional advertising is aimed at building an image of a company. This requires a lot of repetition of an advertising message, and as you would expect, the process can take a long time and cost a lot of money. On the other hand, direct marketing isn’t so much concerned with building an image as it is with getting people do something NOW. This is a much more cost-effective approach for small business.
6. Follow Your Printer’s Instructions Carefully
Print-Services.com has had plenty of experience with customers who have never before printed services; have waited to the last minute and forget to include files or text; or who are just not sure what to do. Our instructions are pretty straight forward. The simple solution to avoid printing problems is to ask questions. Print-Services.com is happy to help, especially if you contact us before you actually send us the stuff you want printed. For on-line answers to printing questions, check out our FAQs.
7. Proofread Outloud!
Proofreading is never easy, especially if you have been looking at and editing your copy for days or weeks. Unless you are a professional proofreader then read every word out loud. Slowly and carefully, just as if you where trying to teach a child to read. You’ll be amazed at how well it works and how much you missed.
8. Who are you? Where are you?
Unless you have some fancy marketing idea, we recommend including the following contact information:
Company Name or Your Name
City, State Zip
If you are mailing these cards, you definitely want a return address so the post office can get the card back to you if a recipient’s address is no longer valid.
9. Maintain Your List
When you mail first class, you are bound to get returns. People move, companies go out-of-business. When you get these returns, don’t throw them out until you have removed them from your mailing list. Simple keep your list in an MS Excel spreadsheet, then you can delete the appropriate record from the spreadsheet. It is quick, easy, and organized. Also, if someone calls or emails to be removed make sure you oblige.
Keep at it. Like other marketing efforts, postcard mailings must be done over and over again to have a positive effect on your bottom line. Although postcard marketing can cost less than, say, a campaign of magazine advertising or promoting your business in the Yellow Pages, it is not cost-free. If you want to budget a direct mail campaign, use the Print-Services.com price list to determine the cost of the cards. A rented mailing list will typically cost about $50-100 per thousand, depending on the list. Print-Services.com charges $.08 per piece to print addresses on the postcards. Postage is the biggest investment, but if you are mailing at least 500 cards, you can mail at the per-sorted first class rate. This rate is typically $.21 for a 4×6 and $.34 for a 5×8. Definite pricing depends on your actually mailing list.