Despite the Internet, email, twitter and all the other electronic marvels we have for marketing, the lowly postcard is still one of the most cost-effective marketing tools available. Post card mailing should be a regular program in any video business.
Here are some of the reasons:
1. High Readership. Unlike most direct mail and emails, postcards do not have to be opened. Your message gets delivered. Think about how many emails and letters you discard without opening.
2. Cheap. Printing and postage are a good deal. Search for post card printers and you will find offers to will design, print and mail 1000 oversized postcards for $375 including postage. First class postcard postage is, strangely enough, cheaper than bulk rate. This includes free forwarding/return of your mail if the mailing address is outdated. Why lose a customer because she moved?
3. Perfect compliment to your web site. You may need to offer something valuable for free or something you know they would like.
4. Fast. First Class postcards in your area get there in a day or two.
While it’s hard to make direct sales from any one-time marketing action, cards excel at low cost customer prospecting. What is the value of one of your customers? Much more than just one sale. Even if you lose money on the first sale, subsequent sales to the same customer can be very profitable.
A post card can be perfect for contacting customers who haven’t bought in a while. They may just need reminding. Give them a reason to buy again. Try a special offer like “Save 25% 1 week only.”
One disadvantage is their size which limits how much you can write or show. This is where your web site is the perfect compliment. Give them a link like: Go to http://VideoUniversity.com/greatcourse where you can tell the whole story. I’ve tried reducing the type size a lot so I can write more on the card and this seems to work.
Printing and Mailing
Print a few thousand – 5000 is a good number. This will cost about $500 printed four colors on both sides, but shop around and look for discounts. You’ll find some amazing prices like $150 for 5000 full color on both sides. I’d be wary of this, but might try it once. I find it’s better to mail all at once, but even sending a few hundred cards a week will do good things as long as you do it every week. Many places that print postcards will do the whole thing for you – help you rent a mailing list, address the cards and mail them. That makes you a lot more efficient than trying to do some of the work yourself.
Here are a few companies that specialize in postcard printing and mailing:
The list is vital. Here’s a white paper on how to rent a profitable list of businesses. This company, like its competitors, has a number of articles about postcard mailing you will find helpful.
Before you start designing, make sure you understand exactly what your printer and post office require. Each has strict requirements your designer must follow.
Yes, it’s smart to hire a designer. You probably could design it yourself, but ask yourself if you could have produced some of the powerful designs you see from Modern Postcard and others. Direct mail is very competitive. Why risk losing the game before you even start by using a so-so design? When you find a design that does better than the others, you’ll want to re-use it at some point.
The First Glance Test
Your card must pass the glance test. Your headline, image or combination must grab the reader right away. They’ve got to see what you’re offering at a glance. Study other postcards. Visit the web sites that offer postcard mailings. You will see some very clever postcards. You may also see some that are beautiful, but did not make a dime. Study as many as you can find, but never assume any one postcard made a direct profit.
Here’s an article by from Jeffrey Dobkin that will get you started in your copyrighting. See “The 23 Best Lines In Marketing”
Print “Save This Card” somewhere on the card. Interestingly, it works. People will save your card when you ask them to.
Mailing House or Do It Yourself
Postage is often the largest expense. Preparing your cards to take advance of postal discounts is best left to your mailing house. They will charge for this preparation, but their fees are usually completely offset by postage savings. Since they mail many thousands every month, they can bundle the zip codes, do bar-coding and carrier-route labeling to get substantial postal discounts. It rarely makes sense to do it yourself unless you are only mailing a couple hundred.
A Successful Mailing Campaign
Meticulously track the results of your mailing. Keep growing your mailing list. Remove the bad addresses from the list and keep mailing. A successful mailing campaign is not a single mailing. This is a numbers game so mail to as many prospects and customers as you can.
It’s OK to mail the same card more than once. It’s funny, but mailing the exact same card to the exact same list will often give the same response rate! Most people won’t be receptive to your first mailing. Some may take 5 contacts before they buy. If you’re serious, consider a multi-card campaign with a message that builds from one card to the next.
Keep some extra cards on hand in your office so you can send them out with every correspondence you mail. A standard size postcard will fit into a #10 business envelope so there’s no additional postage.
Use a post card mailing to promote the video businesses below.
Corporate or Business Video Business
Special Interest Video Business
Wedding Video Business
For more video businesses, see our store.
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David Pogue produces videos and writes articles about personal tech issues. His work appears in the NY Times, PBS “Nova,” Yahoo Tech, Scientific American and more. His new article “Digitize Those Memory-Filled Cassettes before They Disintegrate subtitled Bite the bullet and have them digitized—I wish I’d done it sooner. appears in the September 1, 2016 […]Read More