Postcards Are Still Effective
Here are 5 reasons why you should consider using postcards to generate new clients for your business
Postcards are probably the fastest and least inexpensive form of marketing. Firstly, with the numerous online sites that provide print services it is amazing how low postcards truly cost. Secondly, postcards are quick in the sense that most postcard providers include an addressing and handling service. This means that you can place your postcard order and have it addressed and mailed at the same time.
Postcards are truly inexpensive. In fact it is cheaper to allow your postcard provider to address and mail your postcards than it is for you to do it yourself. Listed in the table below are the costs obtained from BizSenze.
Quantity = 500
The actual postcard Color Front / B&W Back
List to Rent
The addresses of the list being mailed.
Address & Handling
Placing the addresses on the postcard.
The cost of the postage. @.42 ea
The total cost of a postcard campaign
Have you noticed your mailbox lately? Seems a little light doesn't it? Given that a majority of advertising content has moved to the web, advertising by mail has dropped off significantly. Now is a great time to embark on a postcard campaign. Instead of being lost in a bundle of junk mail, NOW is a perfect time to attract new business by mail.
Your greatest response from postcards will come in the first two weeks. Weeks 3 - 4 will also result in some good responses however, after a month responses will be weak and sporadic. It is not uncommon for people to keep your marketing material for quite awhile, however. Especially, homeowners that are anticipating future needs. Some homeowners know they will need a certain repair done, but don't have the money currently, but will have later in the year.
A good postcard listing your services will catch the eye of homeowner and prompt them to think of repairs that need to be done.
Ideally, your postcard references your website that has a comprehensive list of the services your business provides. Your website also gives potential customers to check you out and develop a sense of comfortableness with you.
Another advantage of postcards is that they are trackable. You know exactly how many postcards were sent. You know exactly how many responses you received. And you know exactly how many projects / sales you made. This makes postcards very accountable. Either you made enough money to justify continuing the marketing or you did not.
Broadcast marketing such as Radio / TV / Newspaper can only approximate how many people heard or saw your ad.
Mechanics of a Postcard
The picture or image you use is probably the most important. The purpose of the image is to catch the attention of the recipient. All you want is for them to look at it.
The greatest advantage of an image is curiosity. Who doesn't look at a picture. Once they look, you have their attention.
The picture or image doesn't have to be something special (i.e. Statue of Liberty, Seattle Space Needle, etc.). The picture could be the street signs of a commonly known intersection. You want the recipient to say "Hey I know that place, what happened there?"
Brevity Rules. When it comes to your message it must be short and very clear of what you do. Upon glancing at your postcard you have seconds to get your message across to the recipient. You simply want to leave two ideas in their mind.
- Who you are
- What you do
Specific vs General. Ideally, your message is very specific. For example if your area has recently experienced a wind storm you might want to run a postcard campaign with a tree crashing down on a fence. Your message would be along the lines of "Need a new fence?". If you do seasonal work like setting up Holiday Lights you might run a postcard with seasonal lights with a caption of "Tired of hanging holiday lights?"
Generality: If you must be general consider first what is the type of work that is most prevalent amongst your clientele and mention that service. For example you are a handyman and can do just about any home repair, but you get a lot of calls for exterior painting, mention it.
Lists are the addresses you are going to mail to. You can purchase a list from a broker and it is yours. Owning a list gives you the advantage of mailing to it as many times as you desire.
Renting a list is a one time event and usually done when you purchase postcards from your printer and they provide the additional service of addressing and mailing your finished postcards. You give the printer the zip code that you believe will generate the greatest result.
- Purchasing a list cost about $700 for 5,000.
- Renting a list is about .06 per address.
The choice is a matter of arithmetic. How often are you going to use the list. If you want to bounce around trying different zip codes to find a winner then it would be better to rent.
You purchase a list when you have a long term plan to solicit a specific area. The more you send to a specific area the greater the chance that you will start receiving more and more calls.
Addressing & Handling
Addressing & handling is the service of placing the name and address on the postcards. This service is a must. The amount you pay will be a lot less than the hours it would take you to place labels on all the postcards.
This service also includes the printing on the back of the card of your address and a few lines of text. Make sure to include all means of contacting you.
- Website Info - Your website is where they can research you even further and see your before and after pictures. Your website leads them to go deeper into your business and build a connection with you. Make sure to include a contact form that allows visitors to send you questions for your response.
- See "5 Reasons Why You Need a Website"
- See "4 Webpages Your Site Needs"
Postage or Mailing
This is the cost of postage for mailing the postcards. This service is also a must. Even if this service costs a few cents more than the actual postage (what the post office would charge) it is well worth it for them to print the postage verse you placing stamps on every postcard.
Postcards are still very effective in today's business climate. It is the fastest and least expensive way to generate new business. Ideally, it would be used as the first leg of your bootstrap marketing campaign.
Bootstrap Marketing is the concept of using funds generated from one marketing campaign to fuel the continual growth of marketing within your business. The goal being to grow your marketing budget from X to 10X per month.