By Jeffrey Dobkin, marketing consultant, author, and professional speaker
Here’s why I like postcard marketing campaigns: Short, crisp, and to the point, direct mail postcards are one of the fastest and lowest cost ways to make your phone ring.
Postcards are not necessarily a good marketing campaign for the straight-up, out-and-out closing of a sale, but if created correctly, direct mail postcards can be great for pre-selling products and services, building brand awareness, and creating customer loyalty. And, of course, I saved the best for last: Postcards are the most efficient and excellent direct mail advertising vehicles for generating phone calls.
A postcard direct mail campaign can make your phone ring off the hook with compelling headlines, smooth transitions, charming copywriting, lively graphics, an irresistible offer, and a solid call to action. Even further: A series of direct mail post cards can receive an explosive response, build customer loyalty, and stimulate brand awareness. Yet, postcards remain one the easiest to manage direct mail marketing campaigns.
Even though postcards aren’t the best for closing sales because of their short format and open architecture (no one can enclose a check to pay for an order or write a credit card number), response can still be quite high. Here are several important goals of using postcards in any direct mail marketing campaign.
1. Generate phone calls.
The number one objective of most postcard marketing campaigns is to generate a phone call. Ninety percent of the postcards I create for clients are written to fulfill this single objective: Make the phone ring.
The way to make the phone ring is very straightforward in this short postcard format: Offer something for FREE and ask for the phone call several times on the card. “Call for FREE information!” or “Call for FREE review! Call for free analysis. Call for our FREE booklet. Call for FREE quote. Call for…” well, you get the idea. Ask readers to call you enough and they will. Every time a reader calls, you have the opportunity to provide better service and increase client loyalty and longevity. And, oh, yeah…did I mention increase sales and revenue? Yeah, you can do that, too. Did you notice I said YOU do that? Your postcard doesn’t do that, YOU do that. The postcard generates the call, but YOU make the sale.
2. Build brand awareness.
The other 10 percent of the postcards I create build brand. By mailing postcards frequently, you can stay in the top of your client’s and prospect’s minds. So, when your clients need anything that relates to your business–whatever you’re selling–they immediately think of you, and call you first.
3. Create instant success.
Postcards can generate immediate response if your offer touches a timely trigger point. Figure out what your prospect’s immediate need is and address that in your card. Then, ask for the call–what else?
4. Build relationships.
Sure, you can–it’s easy! But, not with a single postcard. You need to create this direct mail marketing campaign over time, with a series of postcards. Mailing postcards every two weeks is ideal. Even if you did this for an entire year, the total cost would be only ($.50 x 26 =) $13 dollars for the whole year. The key to success? Your list, relevancy, and your offer.
5. Don’t sell your product.
The final objective is to realize that you don’t need to sell your product from the post card. That’s right–don’t sell your product–but, you do generate phone calls and inquiries. Then, when the person calls, YOU sell your product or service. Now, you see how it’s much easier to achieve your goal (generating a phone call) with your direct mail postcard, than getting an order: To actually make someone put money into an envelope and wave goodbye to it.
And, since postcards are easy to handle, postcards are so much less work than other direct mail marketing campaigns which consist of letters, brochures, or anything that needs to be placed in an envelope–folded or stapled. So, much less fuss and muss–just address and mail. Postcards are easy. These are the “goals” and objectives of your postcard marketing campaign.
Stay tuned for future postcard articles by Jeffery Dobkin!