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____________________________ _____featured article
10 Steps to a Successful
It doesnt take a lot of time, money or
effort to create, print and mail a postcard. But when done right, a
postcard can be enormously effective. The most effective postcard
marketing campaign has these 10 traits:
1. Identify your best customers or target market
Look for the people who bought from you most recently, most often, and
who spent the most money. In trade lingo, this is called RFM: Recency,
Frequency and Monetary Value. Target markets or industries who you can
offer great incentives and prices.
2. One thing dominates the page
When you look at a well-designed page, there is usually one dominant
feature to catch your eye. It could be the headline or the picture, but
not both. Something has to dominate. And while it might be tempting to
throw in a little starburst that says One Week Only, be careful how
you use it. When you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing.
3. Make an offer
You have to give people on
that list a reason to do business with you. Or better yet, a reason to
do business with you now. Discounts and sales are among the most common
offers because they steer business your way that might otherwise go to
competitors. But anyone can have a sale. Make it a private sale only for
people on your mailing list and you gain loyalty and sales. If your
business thrives on repeat customers, a well-timed reminder is as much
customer service as it is a traffic builder.
4. Highlight the offer
To professional mailers its the oldest trick in the envelope: a
discount, free gift or rebate. So powerful is a good offer that very
often it appears in the headline of the letter. Also, make sure the
offer has an expiration date. Time and again, its been proven that more
people respond to an offer when theres a limit on the amount of time
they have to do so.
5. Clear and visible call-to-action and contact information
You got the readers attention and guided them through enough
information. You aroused their interest and desire. Now you have to let
your readers know whom to buy it from and how. Make it easy on the eye, but hard to ignore. Tell people
what you want them to do. Dont say On Sale This Week. Say Come in
for These Specials - This Week Only. And then give them your contact
information so they can get it.
6. Make the postcards measurable
A postcard can also be a coupon, a gift certificate, or a ticket to an
event. Ask people to present the coupon to take advantage of an offer or
promotion. Counting coupons helps you measure the effectiveness of your
promotions. That way you can better understand what worked.
7. Give printers time
The old saying, speed-quality-price, pick any two, is equally true in
the printing business. If youre working with a printing company, give
the finished piece to your printer well before you plan to mail it. This
will give the printer time to do the job right and may save you money on
8. Change the size and shape
So youve always sent the same 4" x 6" postcard and its always gotten
respectable results. Test a 6" x 9," and see if it catches people off
guard and sticks out from the bunch. You can also try custom shapes. A real estate
agent might try a postcard in the shape of a house. A moving company
could try a postcard in the shape of a truck. The USPS is now allowing
this new form of postcard marketing.
9. Print the postcards on
Your postcard has two sides. Use them. That doesnt mean fill every
inch. You can put an ad on one side and a personal message on the other.
10. Proofread before printing
When you have everything together and are ready to print, proofread the
piece. Then ask someone else
to proofread it. Dont forget to proofread those things you see all the
time, like your name, address and phone number. After all, you dont
want to go to the expense of printing something that you cant use
because of a mistake.