If your small business is looking for an effective yet affordable way to reach and stay in touch with your customers, drop them a postcard.
Postcards are great tools to develop and enhance your relationships with your customers. Often overlooked by marketers, postcards have become a fast, easy and reliable way to increase your sales and profits without spending too much on advertising or promotion. It is a marketing tool that through content and design could break through the noise and clutter.
Postcards can be used in a number of ways. You can use it to generate leads, attract more website traffic, get new customers, and increase sales from your own customer base. It is also a great tool for announcing major changes in your business or events in your company.
Here are 5 great advantages of using postcards to market your products and services.
1. Easy to prepare.
Hands down, postcards win in the efficiency game. It is easier to prepare than direct mail or letter. You only need to write a short copy, no slaving for a 3-5-page direct mail material. Plus, you need not spend time folding and stuffing the postcards in an envelope.
2. Unlimited creativity potential.
Your goal in sending a postcard is not only to get the customer to read your message, but to keep your message! And you can achieve this goal by designing a creative postcard that could elicit the response you need.
One advantage of postcards is it allows you to experiment with size, shape, and artistic design, without cost getting too much in the way. You are not constrained by the letter size and the formal rules of etiquette. It is a medium designed for creativity and fun!
Some postcards are so creatively designed or have funny sentiment or useful information that customers pin them in their boards or in their refrigerators. Imagine a customer seeing your card (and reading your message) every day! Even better, a postcard’s staying power may mean that it can have the opportunity to be seen by the receiver’s business colleagues, family and friends.
3. Savings, savings and savings.
Postcards are more economical than a direct mail campaign. By using postcards, you can send up to four times (in full-colour) for about the same price as just one traditional direct mail package. You can realise savings in printing costs, paper, and labour costs. Plus, no envelopes!
Rising postal rates have also made direct mail expensive. A first class stamp, at the time of writing, costs 65 pence; postcards on the other hand are significantly cheaper. You can also reach a wider customer base with postcards compared to direct mail.
4. Bite-sized information.
Postcards are quick and to the point. There are only a few words to read and you need to ensure that you get your marketing message across to the prospect reading the material. With the influx of marketing materials faced by consumers, it is important to shape your message briefly yet catchy enough to gain your prospect’s attention.
However, therein lies the challenge you will face when using postcards. You must have a unique selling proposition (USP) that you can craft in your message that will distinguish your business favourably apart from every other competitor. Why should the customer use your product or service? What is the unique benefit that you could offer? Customers want a company that offers them the best selection, the best prices and the best guarantee. In a few words, you must be able to write that message in a postcard.
5. Can make a big impression.
One advantage of doing postcards is its novelty relative to other marketing tools. While an increasing number of marketers are discovering postcards, postcards have not become too commonplace that it has turned to be an irritant. Many consumers already consider direct mail a scourge, and many direct mailings go to the wastebasket without even being read. Customers are also becoming inundated with emails as a result of spam that even legitimate emails are dumped into the virtual bin.
One advantage of postcards is its “openness.” Unlike direct marketing letters, you need not worry about customers simply throwing your mailing without even opening the envelope. With postcards, there is no envelope to open! The customer immediately reads your message. The more eyeballs, the more prospects, and the more customers you will have.
The key to finding success in marketing with postcards is to create the right postcard, mail it to the right audience and craft it with the right offer. The humble postcard can be a great tool to enhance your relationship with your customers. Best of all, postcards may be within your budget reach.
When planning a postcard marketing campaign (especially if it’s your first), it’s easy to get carried away with all the things you want in the design. After all, you’re sending an ad to hundreds, possibly thousands of potential customers, so you want to show off every aspect of your business. So, what do you do? You give your postcard marketing company 15 images, and you tell them they all must go in.
It’s a good thought. But unfortunately, it won’t leave a very good first impression on your customers. Most likely, it won’t leave any impression at all. Nine times out of 10, postcards that are too cluttered simply don’t get noticed. With too many images in your postcard, your headline, offer and call-to-action will get lost.
Tips on Using Images in Your Postcards
To improve the success of your campaign, here are some simple tips to keep in mind:
1. Keep images to a minimum.
On most size postcards, you’ll want a primary image on the front, your logo, some simple design elements on the back, along with a small image of someone on your staff (when appropriate).
2. You don’t need a picture of your office or building.
While it’s tempting to add one for credibility, it’s not necessary on a postcard. Save it for a brochure or your website. Otherwise, it will simply get in the way of your postcard’s primary messaging.
3. Let the experts help you decide.
Your postcard marketing company likely has years of experience in designing postcards for maximum response. Let them recommend the best possible use for your images.
Keep in mind that the primary goal of most direct mail postcards is to get a quick response. It doesn’t need to (and probably shouldn’t) tell the history of your company. You have only a few seconds to grab their attention and give them a reason to respond. Having 8-10 different images on your postcard won’t achieve that goal.