Have you priced display advertising or Yellow Pages listings? They can add up to big money in a hurry, can’t they? What’s worse: if you decide to spend your hard-earned cash on them, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get any response.
Think of it: You could spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on a nice newspaper ad and not hear from a soul. Or maybe you’ll just hear from people trying to sell advertising in their publications.
These salespeople will tell you that it pays to advertise—that you must spend money to make money—but you’ve just spent a big chunk of your money on that newspaper ad and have nothing to show for it. Since you’re not eager to sink even more money into advertising, and since promotion is vital, even for the smallest of businesses, what can you do?
I’ve found a way around this dilemma by using color postcards. They have been an essential part of my marketing toolkit for eight years, and they’ve brought thousands of dollars worth of business to my Web and graphic design studio here in Tucson, Arizona.
A Little History
Eight years ago, when my studio was stuck in the Starving Startup phase, I sent a postcard to announce the grand opening of a website I had created. That mailing was phenomenally successful.
Back in those days, success of any sort was hard to come by. So I sent out another card mailing a few months later. Alas, that mailing didn’t do as well as the first one, but since I’d tasted success before…
…I kept on sending the postcards. I still do. Why? Because those cards bring in business, and because postcarding is fun! And when was the last time you had fun with your marketing?
Seriously, experts say that if a marketing effort is to be successful, it must be repeated. So, if you’re enjoying your postcarding, you can’t help but keep it up. Now that’s fun that you can take to the bank!
The Top 10 Advantages of Using Postcards
Now, you may be asking, “Why should I be using postcards as opposed to some other marketing tool, such as advertising in my local newspaper?”
Please don’t stop advertising in the paper, if that has worked for you in the past. But if you’re like that business owner described at the beginning of this article, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on advertising experiments. With this thought in mind, let’s look at the Top 10 Advantages of Using Postcards:
1. Postcard marketing is affordable, even for the smallest of businesses.
2. When you’re marketing with postcards, your competition doesn’t know it. But they’ll sure know it if you’re advertising in the newspaper!
3. It’s easy to track your results. Your card can tell recipients to bring the card into your store for a special discount. Or it can ask them to use a special ordering code when purchasing from your website.
4. Postcards are versatile. In a single mailing, you can seek business from prospective customers, and solicit repeat business from existing customers. Better yet, a postcard isn’t just something to send through the mail. You can use postcards as oversized business cards, hang tags for your products and mini-information sheets.
5. Your postcards can “brand” you and your business in ways that most marketing materials cannot. If you start and stick to a regular postcard mailing program, you and your business will gain quite a reputation, perhaps even a little notoriety.
6. Testing an offer with postcards is easy. Just send your card to a small group of people and see how many of them respond. If you’re satisfied with the results, then roll out a bigger mailing!
7. Postcards don’t waste people’s time—they don’t even have to open an envelope to read your message.
8. Postcards don’t take up a lot of space. Your customers can carry them in their pockets, or carry them in their pocketbooks, for that matter. Hey, some of them might even create a postcard display on their refrigerator door!
9. Postcards are inexpensive to print.
10. Postcards are easy to redeem. If you’re asking your customers to bring your postcard into your store for a special discount, all they have to do is show up with the card.
Or you could include a special tracking code with each card mailing. Just ask recipients to enter that code into the order form on your website, or give it to the operator when they place a telephone order.
The idea behind “Bring this card for a discount!” or “Use this code and get an additional 10% off on your order!” is to give people an incentive to do business with you.
Two Keys to Postcard Marketing Success
I’ve found that there are two keys to postcard marketing success:
1. Being persistent. I send 10-12 postcards to my mailing list each year. I’m also pretty diligent when it comes to staying in touch with key clients and prospects between postcard mailings. Over the long run, this effort does pay off.
2. Planning the mailing before doing it.
Martha Retallick, “The Passionate Postcarder,” hails from Tucson, Arizona, USA. She is the author of Postcard Marketing Secrets, a downloadable PDF manual will show you how to put postcards to work for your business—profitably.