One thing to remember   

The 6 truths you need to know about Postcard Mailing

“Postcards are the simplest, most cost-effective format available. They’re an excellent choice for making an announcement or driving customers to a store, website, or event.”

So you want to grow your business?

You have a shiny new website you’ve taken care of SEO’s; you’re starting to blog and you’ve started down the tortuous road to social media nirvana? You then realize that while all these great things work, they take time to take effect. You’re open for business and you need to get people coming to you straight away. You can try pay-per-click but that can be really expensive and a little like a crap-shoot with uncertain results. So, what’s left? How about our tried and trusted friend – the postcard? Postcards work if you follow the rules. There are 6 that you need to know that will significantly raise your chances of success. So here goes.

#Truth 1 – The formula for success. There are three components that go into a successful postcard mailing.

  • The mailing list
  • The value of the offer (Call to Action)
  • The Design & Writing

In terms of importance, they’re all about the same. Fail in one and there’s a possibility your mailing project will fail.

The Mailing List
Why is the importance of the mailing list so high?  Look at it like this – you can give the farm away with a great offer (CTA) and you can have a design winning postcard but if it’s going to the wrong people you’re going nowhere.

Your mailing list will influence your campaign’s success.

It demands attention and if you ignore it, you’ll suffer. It’s an absolute certainty! A mailing list is not just names thrown in a hat. Think of it as a war plan – strategic, targeted and like a laser beam aimed at the people you want to reach. So, here are the guidelines: Let’s start with one of my favorite words – demographics. The dictionary defines demographics as “relating to the structure of populations. Or a particular sector of a population.”   Probably not helping just yet – stay with me.
Here’s some examples of demographics:
Homeowners – location, age, race, ethnicity, gender, marital status, income, education, and employment
Businesses – location, number of employees, annual sales, SIC Industry codes (we’ll revisit this in another blog).

In other words, you must know who your targeted audience is
and developing a list that exactly matches that is absolutely key (remember the laser-beam).

Now here’s the really neat thing – over and above the demographics there can be an immensely powerful overlay.  It’s called a propensity. Hands up those who know what a propensity is? Again, let me reach for the dictionary. A propensity is “an inclination or natural tendency to behave in a particular way.” So wouldn’t it be nice if you knew how someone is going to behave? Well guess what? We can!   We’re able to include in your list, people with a propensity to behave in a certain way say. An example would be a list for realtors. We have lots of them as clients and they love the idea of reaching out to people who are actually interested in buying or selling their home. Fancy that!   Wouldn’t you be interested in finding out how this works?   Thought you would… I mean who wouldn’t? One thing to remember – Propensities are only available for consumers not businesses.

How does this work? Have you ever talked about or looked up something on the internet and lo and behold your phone starts regurgitating ads for that very thing?   Coincidence?   Not a chance. I don’t think I’ve spoken to anyone over the last few years who hasn’t experience this.   Ever heard of Big Data? Or that Big Data is listening? Well every piece of equipment that you own that is connected to the internet is listening to you. Hard to believe? Google it and be prepared for the descent into paranoia.   There are companies that take all the trillions bits of data from sources like:

  • demographic information
  • buying activity
  • media behavior
  • purchase intent
  • attitudinal indicators

And compile it into a profile of you. And guess what comes out at the end? You got it – a propensity. So BIG DATA IS LISTENING and so should you! To summarize – you can develop a targeted list of consumers who have declared an interest in what you’re selling. Research shows that using propensities can ramp up your response rate by up to two-and-a-half times! I should mention at this point that propensities are only available for consumers not businesses. For businesses, we use other demographics so we can zero in on our targets. These are called ‘selects’. What are selects? Basically, a select is a list of demographics like the ones I highlighted a little earlier. I have developed a list of seventeen selects some of which you might want to use, some not. It all depends on how you see your potential customers. So, as an example, you might decide that you’re looking for privately owned roofing contractors in the 85750 and 85718 area codes that employ up to 50 people with annual sales of $1 million. Your selects would be:

  • SIC Code 176109 – Roofing Contractors
  • Zip Codes
  • Corporate structure (privately or publicly owned)
  • Number of employees
  • Annual Sales

Remember we’ll be coming back to SIC codes. They’re too important to skim over (here’s the laser beam again).

Call to Action (CTA)!
Without an effective CTA people will not provide you with contact information. So 3 simple rules:

  • keep it simple
  • offer something of value
  • be creative!

Sometimes a good call to action is difficult especially with heavily regulated industries like real estate, mortgages etc. It just means you have to work harder – don’t give up. Great  CTA’s are out there for every industry.

Design & Writing.

Here’s some simple rules:

  • Promote only one thing at a time on the front of your postcard
  • Keep the message clear and simple on both sides
    • The front is for an aesthetically pleasing great headline
    • The back is for the message
    • Clarity is key
    • Always keep in mind WIIFM – ‘What’s In It For Me’ ( ‘Me’ being your potential Customer/Client)

I know I keep saying it but we will come back to design.

Truth #2 – A postcard is better than something in an envelope.

Most people receive advertising mail in two ways – postcards and something in an envelope. If it’s in an envelope most people throw it straight in the garbage – they know what it is and it never gets seen. As far as a postcard is concerned it’s always seen – no matter how briefly. And when the next mailing is delivered – guess what? The envelope goes in the garbage – message unseen, the postcard is seen again briefly and recognized.

  • And again, in the next mailer?
    • Envelope – message not seen
    • Postcard seen!
  • And again!
  • And again!
  • And again!

The postcard is like an old friend. And when they’re ready?   Statistically a prospective customer will buy somewhere between five and eight times after they’ve been contacted.  Think of it this way – every time they see the postcard, or you reach out to them it’s one step closer to them becoming a customer.

Truth #3 – The best price is not often the best postcard
If ever the saying “You get what you pay for” is true it’s with postcard production.. So much must go on behind the scenes

  • Developing a quality mailing list
  • Developing a great Call to Action
  • Developing a truly eye-catching design
  • Using Quality materials
  • Setting and adhering to deadlines

There is a tremendous amount of work involved and nothing can be ignored or left to chance. So be sure the company you choose is up-to-the-task.

Truth #4 – Repeat mailings ramp up response

It cannot be said often enough – repeat…repeat…repeat

A one shot in the dark postcard is unlikely to be successful There are exceptions such as special events but, if possible, these should be integrated into the program, so they become more powerful!

Truth #5 – Your landing page is key Landing page? What the heck is a landing page? We flying planes now?

Here’s a quick overview. So exactly what is a landing page? In digital marketing terms, a landing page is a stand-alone web page, created specifically for a marketing or advertising campaign. It’s where a visitor goes to or “lands”. How does your prospective customer/client get to a landing page?

  • Entering the URL address directly from a postcard
  • After clicking on a link in an:
    • Email
    • In a pop-up on your homepage
  • Ads from:
    • Google
    • Bing
    • YouTube
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Twitter
    • or similar places on the web.

You might be familiar with the term lead capture pages. This is non-industry speak and is much more descriptive. It is key because they provide information directly related to the advertisement selected by the recipient and shows you that you have a lead that you can do several great things with:

  • Grow your email database
  • Stay in touch with follow up emails
  • Convert Web visitors into sales
  • Build Credibility with your online presence
  • Track your postcard marketing response
  • Save you time

Look at it this way – Leads are GOLDEN and should be treated as such. They are the building blocks to developing your business. In another blog we’ll look at just how exciting this can be as you watch your business grow. And the best part? Done correctly there is little or no effort involved! Sounds too good to be true? Follow me on this journey down the Yellow Brick Road (and my bricks are gold!)
Let’s summarize – as this is really key. Your Homepage’s main purpose is to provide plenty of information and resources to potential customers. It has lots of information, sources and links. A Landing Page has a specific message, relevant content and is tightly focused. A landing page is a great way to build your business, to drive traffic, improve your SEO and build your brand. Approximately 70% of businesses use landing pages to generate leads for future conversion. … Landing pages lead customers to a specific product, service or offer and encourage them to act.

So Don’t use your website for a landing page – it can be confusing and counter-productive

Truth #6 – Coming full circle You can grow a company with no other marketing media

It’s the only thing that will work on its own. In other words, you can grow a company with no other marketing media.

  • Mail postcards every month. The more postcards you mail out, the more you will grow.
  • Postcards are a staple that works no matter what.
  • These six points are proven techniques to make your postcards wow your prospective customers while at the same time being faithful to the time-honored methods that are proven to get more bang for your buck.
  • They will put your postcards in a class by itself.

There you have it. Understanding these truths will ensure that your postcard project goes well. So happy mailing!!