Use These Tips for Postcard Marketing Success

grand centralMarketing with postcards isn’t flashy, but it does work (and unlike email there’s no spam filter).

In fact, Marketing Sherpa reported (5/7/09) that one IT company used postcards to increase Web site visits 125%, boosted average time on site by 106%, and raised monthly email newsletter signups by 117%.

Here are some tips for successful postcard marketing that you can use in your own campaigns.

A great headline and an appealing image

You only have a few seconds, so focus on a clear benefit and use a memorable image.

In this case, the picture on the front showed a man clutching a fistful of money, with the headline, “Get a Grip On Your IT Expenses.”

Be specific

The postcard offered several benefits (fixed costs, purchasing “chunks” of IT service time, and on-call support. It would be even better with testimonials or numbers showing exactly how much customers save by using managed IT services: “Now, you can cut your IT costs by up to 37%.”

Connect with your audience

Use emotional triggers that encourage curiosity, a sense of security, or urgency. People want to save money, gain respect, and avoid discomfort. Paint a clear picture of what they will gain by using your product. Make their eyes open wider, pulse race, and mouth water.

Make a clear offer

Now, that you’ve got their attention, make an offer. Keep it something simple and low cost.  This is a postcard, so there’s not enough space to sell a complicated or expensive service.

The IT company offered a free evaluation of their prospects’ computer systems to see whether a managed (fixed-fee) solution would reduce costs. Give them a good reason to contact you.

Balance commitment and appeal

An offer that’s very appealing (free flat screen TV) will get a lot of responses, but the people who do so may be more interested in the TV than your product.

On the other hand, an offer with low appeal (free ads sent to your cell phone while you shop) or filling out long forms will reduce the number of people that reply.

Use a call to action

Don’t forget to ask for the response! If you don’t ask for the call or the sign up you won’t get it. Use large or bold type and offer several ways to respond. Include a phone number, an email address, and a Web address and (send your landing page to school).

Track your responses

Use a unique code, telephone number, or URL on each mailing. If you track your responses, you’ll know which lists (or offers, if you have more than one) are generating the most leads.


Make an Offer They Won’t Refuse

godfather pose

Last week, I asked are your ads in the right place? But before you do place an ad, you need to know what you’re going to offer the people who see it.

Is an offer a discount?

Nope, not necessarily.  It just means whatever people get when they respond. It could be 2 for 1, or it could be an extra gift, or it could be your regular price. For instance, 5 lemons for $1 is one offer, 20c per lemon is a different offer.

A good offer

A continuity Hispanic music club was advertising its CDs on a popular Spanish language variety show. They had the right “list” for their ads (Spanish-speaking people who enjoyed popular music). The offer was appealing: buy 10 for $1, then get 5 more at regular price for the next year. Viewers got a good deal on the CDs, and had a large selection to choose from.

A bad offer

The same company decided to change the offer. They switched to offering only 5 specific CDs for $5. Still a good deal, but it didn’t work. Why? Because the choices were now drastically limited. If you already had one of the CDs why buy it again? Or, why buy a Celia Cruz album when you really wanted Tito Puente?

Bonus tip:

$5 off a $25 purchase seems like a better deal than $10 off a $50 purchase (even though it isn’t).


Four Simple Steps to Great Marketing with AIDA


Marketing your products and services can sometimes seem pretty hard. There are so many things to do and worry about – the quality of the product, reaching the right people, having the right message.

But, there are four simple steps that can make creating your marketing materials a whole lot easier. It’s based on using a direct marketing concept called AIDA. It sounds like an opera, but using AiDA in your marketing can make a big difference in the results you get. Here’s how it works (in four easy steps).

Step one – Attention

First, get your prospects’ attention. Your promotion won’t work unless your target audience stops and reads (or listens to) your message.
For instance, let’s say you’re selling a solar-powered furnace. Trumpet the savings that your customers enjoy by purchasing your product. For example, “Cut Your Heating Bills by 75%!”

Step two – Interest

Address their interests and outline the problem. In this case, the homeowner’s interest in saving money, and frustration with high heating bills. Then, you can tell them about your solution.

Step three – Desire

Discuss the benefits customers get by using your product. In this case, a solar-powered furnace cuts costs, eliminates reliance on foreign energy sources, and frees you from the whims of large oil companies.
“You’ll stay comfortable and warm all winter long, for only pennies a day. And, there’s a backup system in case of too many cloudy days.”

Step four – Action

Now that your prospects want to learn more about your product, tell them what to do. Ask them to call now, mail a form, etc.

Putting it all together

Imagine you’re standing in front of a room full of women and you put up a big sign that says:

Free Manhalo Blahnik shoes!

Since this is an imaginary room full of mostly women, I bet that would get their attention.

Now why?

One,  you said FREE – everyone likes free stuff

Two, you said shoes to a room full of women and women love shoes.

Three, you said the free shoes were famous designer shoes – and they were FREE

Four, you told them where to go to get the shoes (go that way).

Now, you try it. Share your ideas here.

Photo: extra noise

Why Paper is Better Than E-mail


Chris Brogan recently pointed out a marketing tool that will make your customers smile. He bought a book and inside was a card thanking him for his purchase, telling him what other kinds of books the publisher produced, and inviting him to get updates on future titles as they are published.

As Chris pointed out, it’s a thank you, gives helpful information about the publisher, and includes a call to action.

Since it’s in your new book, you’re likely to look at it and read it. Asking for his email address might have seemed intrusive (a way to send more marketing material). However, a card (or better yet, a bookmark) is an extra gift. People delete unwanted emails without thinking twice. Paper seems more important and personal, and people tend to save it. You can only see email, but you can see, touch, and sometimes (if it’s fresh from the printer) smell paper and ink.

Old cataloger’s trick: make your catalog slightly smaller than your competitors’. People tend to keep them, and stack them. Guess which goes on top?