By: Robert Boduch
Postcards can be valuable marketing tools for any business. Here are a few ideas that will help you get the most from your own postcard marketing campaign.
The magic of these eye-catchers is that they deliver short, concise messages in the minimum amount of time - perfect for the "time-poor" society we live in today. They get the important information across rapidly, with a quick and easy flip of the wrist.
You can take your idea from concept to distribution within just days. Since they can be produced in any quantity to suit any budget, postcards are great for businesses of all sizes. You could save a bundle on your marketing expenses by utilizing these simple two-sided pieces, instead of other more costly tools.
Currently - at least in the U.S. - postage costs are considerably lower for postcards vs. first-class mail. Unfortunately, this advantage is not available to marketers in other countries such as Canada. Full rates apply. Even still... these attention grabbers offer tremendous marketing opportunities to entrepreneurs and small business owners - at any rate.
Postcards are most effective and profitable when used to:
• generate new leads
• follow-up with prospects as part of a campaign
• make an announcement to your existing mailing list
• thank customers for their patronage and invite them back with a special offer
• draw traffic to your web site
The key to success is to deliver instant impact. You've got to make your piece command immediate attention in your prospect's crowded mailbox. Catch the eye... pique curiosity... and unload your magnetic marketing message as quickly as possible.
Every card has two sides - a front and back. Use the front side as leverage with maximum appeal to compel your prospect to flip the card over and get the full impact of your complete message.
Use the back of the card to unveil all the key benefits of your product or service... provide an strong offer to trigger action... and list prominently your contact information. You've got to make it lightening quick and unquestionably easy to respond. Eliminate any obstacles that might be in the way to getting the results you want.
As with any type of advertising, be sure to include a powerful headline. Your headline is key. It's the most important part of your postcard and should be featured prominently on the front side.
When you're sure you've got a headline that works, try enhancing it visually to make it figuratively jump off the card. One method is to use reverse-type (white text on a dark-colored background). Always use a larger font size, preferably in a bold typeface. Make it clear and unmistakable... so prospects are sure to understand the message.
Consider employing graphic options such as cartoons only if they assist you in getting your message across. Use topnotch color photographs (like popular tourist postcards) when you can clearly tie the visual to the message in your headline.
The text of your postcard should be benefit-laden. Communicate to your prospect in clear, vivid detail all the advantages that s/he will enjoy by taking advantage of your offer TODAY. Stress the unique benefits unavailable elsewhere.
Include a few testimonials - even if you have to shoehorn them in. Actually, this can be extremely effective as the eye is naturally drawn to anything on the page that is a little out of the ordinary.
Testimonials act as proof of your claims and help build your credibility as a reliable supplier. They also help overcome the fear many people have in trusting a vendor they haven't done business with before.
One absolutely essential ingredient of successful postcards is the offer. It must be promising and compelling. Give the reader an incentive to act now. Be clear and specific. Make responding a simple, one-step process.
If your postcard is sent as a "thank-you" to new customers after their first purchase, entice them back with a 17% discount on the next. This approach transforms your postcard into a valuable coupon that's worth something in terms of redeemable value. Since recipients have already bought from you, most would be happy to do it again at a substantial discount.
The mission of your postcard is to inspire a positive response. Always keep that objective clear in your mind as you plan your strategy.
To maximize results, craft a targeted message and make it easy for recipients to take action. This means providing clearly legible contact information - whether it's a telephone number, fax, mailing address, or web site. Keep in mind that everyone has a preferred method - people like to respond in different ways.
Providing various response options eliminates another cause of inaction. The more of these objections you address, the more likely it is your postcard campaign will be a rousing success!
Robert Boduch is an author of dozens of best-selling books, reports and articles on the art and science of selling. A free newsletter targeted at anyone interested in selling more of anything is available at www.makeyoursalessoar.com
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