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MARKETING ON A SHOESTRING8


a small amount of space to deliver your message. So here are four instances when it’s a good idea to use a postcard.


1 When mailing to your customers – your customers know you and so you don’t need a lot of space to introduce who you are and why the recipient should believe you.


2 As part of an ongoing marketing programme – because postcards are so inexpensive to post, you can send them over and over again cost effectively.


3 When your message is short – sometimes you just want to tell your customers or clients something, such as announcing a new product or asking them to visit a website. Postcards are perfect for these marketing jobs.


4 When you have a lot of potential prospects – postcards are great when you want to send your message to a lot of people, such as large neigh- bourhoods. They allow you to deliver your message to the most people at the lowest possible cost.


5 When it’s hard to find the right audience – sometimes you may be wanting to market to people you can’t target very easily. For example, if you’re trying to sell services to people who are frustrated with their marriages, there are no lists of those individuals so you need to resort to mass marketing with postcards.


Designing a killer postcard


The key to getting a great response from your postcard marketing efforts is to deliver a compelling and relevant message to the right person. There are six steps that I take each time I sit down to design a winning postcard.


● Step 1: Determine your campaign objectives. Ask yourself what you want your postcard to accomplish. Is it to generate a telephone call? Is it to get a prospect to visit your website? Is it to drive customers back to your shop? Always start with the end in mind, and your postcard design will be much simpler.


● Step 2: Understand what really motivates your market. In order to get anyone to do anything, you need to know their ‘hot buttons’. Once you know what motivates them, it’s easy to create a message and an offer that will move them to action.


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● Step 3: Create a compelling offer and a reason why they should take advantage of it. The heart of your postcard message should be your offer. Once you know what you’re offering, you can create the copy that supports that offer. You’ll also want to create a reason for your prospect to take action right now, rather than waiting.


● Step 4: Decide on the size of the postcard. Today, savvy businesses use many different shapes and sizes of card. The larger the postcard, the more it will stand out and get noticed. Sometimes it’s better to spend the extra money to send an oversized postcard, depending on what you’re selling and how impor- tant it is to get your message noticed.


● Step 5: Design your postcard layout. There are myriad ways to structure your postcard. I usually start by taking a white sheet of paper the size of the postcard and drawing squares and rectangles to define the blocks of space where the design elements will be placed.


● Step 6:Write your postcard copy. I’m not a big believer in using postcards that are purely photos. Yes, a picture does tell a thousands words, but often only a small percentage of people will understand the idea you’re trying to get across in the photo. So I use a good amount of copy in my postcard designs (especially big bold headlines and strong calls to action).


The mailing list


If you’re using postcards to get leads for your product or service, you need to send them to a list of prospects that have a high propensity to become customers. In other words, when it comes to lead generation using postcards, you can have a killer postcard with an irresistible offer, but if you don’t send it to the right people it will be a certain flop.


David Frey is president of


Marketing Best Practices and author of The Small Business Marketing Bible. www.ukmarketingbible.com


You can acquire mailing lists through a number of methods, but I would strongly suggest that you use the help of a qualified list broker. A list broker will help you find the right mailing list for your business. That’s what they do for a living. The best part about using a list broker is that they won’t cost you a penny. List brokers get a traditional 15%


‘advertising agency’ discount, which is how they get paid. In other words, they are paid by the list owner, not you. It’s in their best interest to find you a mailing list that works with your offer so that you’ll come back to use them again. There’s really no reason not to use a list broker.


Conclusion


As you can see, postcard marketing can be a simple way to keep in touch with your customers and create compelling, yet cost-effective marketing campaigns to sell your products and services. If you’re generating leads, make sure


you use the services of a qualified list broker to help you select the right mailing list for your needs. If you’re just sending cards to your customers or known prospects, don’t feel shy about jumping on the web and using an online postcard mailing service. The humble postcard can be a powerful tool that can put your marketing efforts into overdrive and produce big results on a small budget.❖


www.better-business.co.uk


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