Getting the Maximum Investment from Postcard Mailings
On a recent call with a prospect, the company owner informed me that “direct mail does not work.” Speaking further we got to the heart of the matter; return on investment. His small business spent over $13,000 on a postcard mailing that drew a miniscule response and tainted his viewpoint toward direct mail.
Upon closer review of the overall program, several glaring issues surfaced. First, the purchased mailing list “blanketed” the entire community, even though the product line was inherently male-oriented. To sell the product requires prospects with discretionary income and a given propensity to buy the item. A brief discussion with a list broker or marketing professional and purchase of demographic / psychographic “overlays” (variables that indicate life station and interest in a given product or service) would have isolated the most likely buyers.
The actual mail offer a 10% discount for bringing in the postcard was buried within the confines of a layout that was not much more than a 6″ x 9″ business card jammed with pictures of the inventory, store exterior and address/phone number.
In order to get the maximum return on your marketing investment, there are several time-tested principles to keep in mind as you work through the marketing strategy and creative processes.
The offer – nothing diminishes a mailing like the lack of a compelling offer. It must be competitive and relevant to the client or prospect’s life. Market research and competitive data will help you create a win/win proposition.
Mailing list – by carefully segmenting the market, the offer can be directed to the most likely prospects delivering a response and ROI rate certain to positively impact the bottom line.
Creative – capturing reader attention with a bold headline, relevant photograph or illustration, reader friendly typography and succinct copy are essential. Your words drive prospect action. You only have a few moments to convey the offer, secure engagement and direct clients toward your business.
Limits – attempting to force dozens of messages in one postcard will diminish your focal offer; so instead of cramming hundreds of words on one card it is advisable to set limits- maintain your focus and stick to the task at hand.
As marketers work to further integrate communication strategies, adding keyword search, banner ads, blogging and e-mail to their mix; many companies continue to use “old reliable” the traditional postcard. In today’s do more with less economy, postcards are certainly an affordable and versatile tactic. If produced “by the book” you can have them in the mail quickly and realize a solid return on your marketing investment.