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10 Tips for Postcard Marketing Success

With all the emphasis on digital marketing these days, a few tried-and-true methods get forgotten. Postcards are one of them, but they are experiencing a revival as business owners re-discover their powerful charms to deliver results.

Postcards are a simple, low-cost sales tool that’s easier to use than ever thanks to websites that offer turnkey postcard marketing services. These princely printed pieces pack a powerful punch for millions of small and local businesses. Even big companies and major universities are using colorful and often over-sized postcards to push their products, services, offers and brands.

The lowly postcard has taken on new prominence as a kind of “anti-digital” agent.  People are paying more attention than ever to postcards they receive in the mail, and are responding to offers at high rates.  Postcards have a higher “read rate” than other direct mail because they are easier to read at a glance and there’s no envelope to open.

You can quickly create a postcard campaign without a big investment in time or money. And getting your postcards printed and mailed to either your own mailing list or one you buy is a snap with one of the web-based services.  Many companies compete for your business, so rates are highly competitive and you can get your cards printed and mailed in a few days.

10 ways to get the most from a postcard marketing effort:

1.    Plan ahead and create a specific purpose for your postcard campaign – as big an idea as possible to grab people’s attention. Build value into your message and don’t be boring.

2.    Postcards should be eye-catching, so be sure to include high-quality photos or other striking images, graphics and colors.

3.    Postcards can say a lot – especially the over-sized variety — but try to keep your message simple. It’s still a postcard, after all, not a novel. Pretend that every word you write is costing you an extra $100.

4.    Short, bold headlines work best. Avoid jumbled information. Postcards work best for short messages and for generating leads (not closing sales). Don’t try to explain everything, and be sure to include multiple ways to contact you.

5.    Postcards are great for carrying timely messages, so think in timely terms. For example, postcards can convey messages or offers with a deadline, or customer reminders (your service contract expires in 30 days!).

6.    There are two sides to every postcard, so make the most of them both. The non-address side should have the biggest, boldest photos and colors. Think of it as a poster. The other side should carry your offer, contact information and other details.

7.    Think multi-faceted.  Postcards can be used for many purposes, including reminders, gift certificates, coupons, new product announcements, openings, discounts and even as tickets.

8.    Go for high-quality, full-color, glossy printing. These have the most impact.  All postcard marketing services offer this, and improve technology has brought down costs.

9.    Oversized cards – often 6×11 – stand out in the mail and are a great choice. They also give you more ways to include photos, coupons and even a map to your location.

10. Encourage quick action. Give customers a good reason to act now, perhaps a fast action bonus with a deadline.

Templates make do-it-yourself postcards possible, but taping the postcard pros online is quick and easy.

Some services to consider:

Zairmail is a popular service that lets you easily create and send marketing postcards (and other direct mail) right from your computer. Zairmail offers mailing lists as well as postcard templates for specific businesses such as real estate, insurance and others.

VistaPrint, the all-purpose online print ship, offers a wide range of postcards and postcard marketing services. Other good services to consider include PostcardMania, ModernPostcard and PostcardServices.

Copyright © 2000-2012 BizBest® Media Corp.  All Rights Reserved.

A Two Dollar Local Marketing Solution

In the small town where I grew up, my father was known as “King of the $2 Bill.” He ran the local savings & loan, located on (yes, this is for real) Main Street, and loved to hand out $2 bills as gifts.  Sometimes he’d even pay spot bonuses to employees in bunches of $2 bills. He did it just to be different; and also to get noticed.

Pre-Internet Viral Marketing

The promotional value was subtle, but significant.  It was like a pre-Internet version of “viral marketing”. He always had a stack at the ready, and spent them around town whenever he could. As the $2 bills circulated through other local businesses, merchants and customers alike took notice and usually knew where they came from (or if they didn’t, someone would tell them).

But it worked, and that $2 bill “viral marketing” strategy is now being re-discovered by local business groups in other parts of the U.S. seeking ways to promote buy-local campaigns and stimulate sales and growth on Main Street. Business owners in a few cities have started handing out $2 bills to employees as bonuses, asking them to spend the money at local merchants as a way to illustrate the power of supporting local business.

A Refreshing Change from Digital

Try the $2 bill solution yourself.  Consider it a refreshing change from doing everything digital. You can probably get some from your bank. And they are guaranteed to get noticed.

If you can link the $2 bill concept to another promotional campaign for your business (a special $2 price for some items for example; or maybe $2 off), so much the better.

The $2 bill itself remains a novelty for most people who’ve never seen one.  Some customers won’t be sure it’s even real (but of course it is).

$2 Trivia

The front-side design of the $2 bill depicting Thomas Jefferson is unchanged since 1929, making it the oldest design of any U.S. currency in circulation. The back side, redesigned in 1976, depicts the signing of the Declaration of Independence.

Take it from my father, one of the original viral marketers:  Even the humble little $2 bill houses hidden power that can help promote you and your business far beyond its face value.

Copyright © 2000-2011 BizBest Media Corp.  All Rights Reserved.