While some may think print marketing is a thing of the past thanks to the internet, direct mail is still delivering results that get noticed. If you are thinking of taking the direct mailing route it’s important to design your postcards well to avoid seeing your investment tossed in the trash. A great way to learn what works and what doesn’t is to analyze the direct mail in your own mailbox. We came across this basic mailer from Braum’s Fresh Market and thought it was a great chance to share some insight.
What worked for this postcard
This company did a good job of covering the basics. What is the first thing a person usually looks at on a piece of mail? The headline. Braum’s did a good job of clearly presenting their offer with few distractions – the only thing to read on the front of the mailer is the logo & the offer – $14 in coupons. The background dollar signs aren’t attractive to look at, but they don’t distract from the call to action – Save $14 by using our coupons.
On the reverse, the company does a great job of making the postcard valuable for the recipient to hang on to. They provide coupons for customers to use on multiple visits, providing an incentive to get customers to post the mailer to their refrigerator for the month or add it to their coupon basket. They also take the opportunity to use the remaining space to promote one of their own branded products – their milk. They focus on the hot button issues that people are thinking about when making milk buying decisions and successfully position their brand as a premium product. They use a bulleted (checkmarked) list with headers to present this information making it easy to see the key points.
Where this postcard misses the mark
This postcard definitely has room for improvement. The design lacks any brand distinction. There doesn’t appear to be any design strategy employed and there are no design elements included to make this postcard really stand out to recipients in the mailbox. A crisp, delicious product shot could have been a great way to make this postcard more appealing – an ice cold glass of milk with a plate of cookies to promote the milk or a shot of gorgeous fresh produce could have more successfully connected the offer with the audience’s needs.
The back of the postcard doesn’t include enough whitespace to allow recipients to easily read the information and the multitude of colors make the information jumbled and hard to focus on. These problems could be avoided with a few simple steps:
- Make sure that there is space between your graphics, text, headings and coupons.
- Choose a color scheme with no more than three colors. This postcard would have been better if they stuck to the green, red and yellow they first presented on the front of the card.
- Less is more. Put no more than three items on each side of your card. On the back of this postcard this company used a graphic, a set of coupons, a clip and save graphic, a call to action and a bulleted list.
The next time you receive a postcard or other marketing item, learn from it. Identify what what worked and what didn’t and use those lessons to your advantage in your own marketing.
In today’s world it sometimes feels like everything is digital. While the Internet continue to evolve, more traditional routes of communication are still viable. Despite the convenience and low cost of email marketing and content marketing, direct mail is still an effective form of lead generation. For many small and large businesses, using the postal service to deliver printed materials is a great advertising strategy.
Variety of Formats
Companies that use direct mail have several formats to choose from for delivering messages. While postcards are useful for introducing your company to prospects, you can also use brochures, self-mailers, flyers or catalogs. For more in-depth information, you can send out a sales letter, direct mail package or booklet. The type of format you choose depends on the purpose of the mailing. With good writing and graphic design, you can create memorable advertising.
A Targeted Audience
Another benefit of direct mail is that you can carefully target your message. You will get the highest return on investment if you understand your target market and the problems they encounter. In deciding what printed material to send, you need a clear picture of your ideal customers. These customers are more likely to respond to information that addresses their problems or concerns. You can find potential customers for your product or service by creating or buying a list of names.
Many companies are moving away from direct mail, mistakenly thinking it’s obsolete in a digital age. However, most people still look forward to getting mail. While everyone is inundated with emails throughout the day, mail delivery comes only once per day. Reviewing physical mail is an opportunity for people to step away from their computer, which can be a welcome relief. Also, it’s tangible, so people hold it in their hands as they read, and can easily put it aside for later review if something catches their attention. They’re less likely to forget about a big postcard on their desk versus another e-mail in their flooded inbox. You can also make a great impression with direct mail by adding coupons and/or samples. Direct mail is more noticeable now because there is less of it, giving you a chance to really stand out.
With direct mail, you can measure the success of any marketing campaign. You can keep track of the number of orders or the number of phone inquiries you get. If a direct mail piece is successful, you can send it again and again to get similar results. If a direct mail campaign is s dud, you know to make changes until you get better results. With direct mail, you can test different mailings to find the ones that yield the best response.
Small business marketing takes many forms. When used correctly, direct mail is still a powerful marketing method.
15 years ago, customers were begging to get off mailing lists. Mailboxes were so full of direct business marketing materials that people dreaded their daily trip to the mailbox. Now, in a careful-what-you-wish-for scenario, consumers are begging for a reason to go to the mailbox. When marketers responded to customer demands to stop the paper trail, the advertisements came directly into the home through email and online advertising. Mailing lists went digital and customers missed the feel of the advertisement in their hands.
Marketers have responded to the fickle winds of the consumer and have returned to mailers for their advertising needs, and the numbers are looking great. While email piles up and can rest unread for a long time, research proves that 79 percent of all households at least scan all direct mail that’s pulled out of the physical mailbox. Pitney Bowes discovered that 78 percent of all consumers actually prefer direct mail for new product announcements over email notifications. The argument stands alone – direct mail has made a huge comeback.
Business marketing gurus are diversifying their direct mail portfolios with a number of different options. Flyers, postcards, even calendars are great items to send out to customers. The media is designed, proofed, printed, then mailed to a pre-defined customer list, where the customer is more likely to respond because there is no work involved to view the advertisement. Email advertisements, on the other hand, are rarely being viewed anymore due to overactive spam blocking software, default folders for ads, missing images, and cluttered formatting due to browser and e-mail software variations.
Flyers work well for blitzing the customer list. If there is an event that needs to be advertised quickly, or if the focus group is small, flyers are the most economical and easiest means to get the word out. The flyer can be focused on one specific aspect of the business, but it is large enough to include more details, such as venue name, address, contact information and sign up information. This type of advertisement is also easy for the customer to save and review at a later date. It won’t get misplaced as easily as smaller means of communication.
There are times, however, when a postcard serves its purpose. Smaller events are often advertised on postcards. The postcard can be used for special coupon offers or other enticing offers. Often, businesses ask the customer to bring the postcard in to receive an offer. This helps the business marketing team monitor the effectiveness of the postcard.
Finally, calendars are a useful tool to help keep your company fresh with the customer all year long. When a company distributes a useful item to a customer, brand recognition is extended beyond the initial reception of the first advertisement. Even if the customer only glances at the brand on the calendar, the brand will still stick in his or her mind. When there is a need, the customer will be more likely to consider the company on the calendar first.
Direct mail is coming back strong, and it’s getting creative. Smart businesses are cashing in on this new trend, and the results are quite profitable.
Every salesperson knows a personal touch and a standardized follow up process can mean the difference between a closed sale and a lead going cold. But when you’re juggling a sales calls, managing a busy appointment schedule, keeping up with routine office and administrative matters, and trying meet quotas, the “extra” touches like a follow up note can get lost in the shuffle. If you aspire to send every sales prospect a handwritten note but find the task always gets pushed to tomorrow’s to-do list, you might want to consider an alternate method of follow up. To stand out from the crowd while maintaining the personal feel, the best sales teams are turning to postcards to deliver follow up messages and seal the deal. But to really make your postcards work for you, there are a few things you need to know about getting your message across.
Maximize Your Personality On Both Sides Of The Postcard
While those other guys are following up with lengthy typed letters that no one will read, and burying them in boring white envelopes, you have the opportunity to make your postcard stand out at first glance. Put extra effort into picking the right image to reinforce your brand, value proposition and personality. Skip stock photography and use this opportunity to focus on your product, your service or even you in action. Make sure to keep the text to a minimum – this isn’t a brochure. It is your calling card – and one that should grab their interest visually.
Keep It Simple And Appreciative
You’ve already had the sales talk so skip it in your follow up postcard. Remember that the point of this postcard is to thank your prospect and remind him or her that you really care – not reiterate your sales pitch. Keep any references to your product or services out of your message and include direct contact and social information as the only calls-to-action.
Make It Personal
Order printed postcards with your headline text, image and return address information to help expedite the process. However, when it comes to your prospects’ information, handwritten is key. Avoid using labels or mass mailings and hand write a personal message, including a specific reference to their company or needs. The messaging needs to feel personal and unique, otherwise you will lose effectiveness.
By getting personalized postcards preprinted, you can make sending them out as a follow up a much simpler step in your sales process. To make it even easier, keep a stack of postcards handy in your car, briefcase or office and attach postage in advance. This way when you’re ready to follow up, you simply need to write in the recipient’s address and a brief message – a very personal touch for very little effort.
If you’re a small business owner, you know how difficult it can be to make the most of your marketing budget. It isn’t always easy to find the best values, and some advertising investments never pay off. Here are a few ideas to help you get the most marketing bang for your buck.
Get online and get social
Social media can be a very viable—and extremely economical—means for marketing your business. Dedicate time to creating a branded Facebook page and use it often to create genuine relationships with your customers, strengthen the brand bond, and make them feel like insiders. Develop and maintain an active presence on Twitter, as well. Use social media as your central marketing hub. News, promotions, events and any other marketing endeavors should link back to these profiles and vice versa, giving your audience a comprehensive view of your organization.
Don’t limit your marketing to the digital realm. On the contrary, in our technology-centric world, tangible items can have more of an impact than ever. Flyers, brochures, business cards and postcards are still relevant and effective tools; you just have to find ways to mix up the way they’re presented. Include them with give-away items, or distribute them at networking events—or perhaps even at a branded fundraiser that you’re sponsoring.
Vehicle wraps are one of the most cost-effective ways to get your brand noticed. Did you know that a single wrapped vehicle can generate 70,000 impressions a day in a heavily populated area? This creative approach turns even a trip to the supply store into an advertising opportunity at a fraction of the cost of a billboard.
Get in their mailbox
Composing and distributing a monthly newsletter is another simple, effective way to market yourself to your customers long after the first sale is made; it will keep you on their mind for future needs. Promotional postcards with discounts and special offers will peak interest. While e-newsletters are great, in-boxes are often overwhelmed. These days, a physical mailbox is the place to be.
DIY marketing doesn’t mean sacrificing a professional image. Present yourself like a pro by designing a cohesive campaign that establishes your brand’s identity, then leave the printing to the experts. United Reprographics uses state-of-the-art methods that ensure all of your printed materials are top quality. From stationery to signage, brochures to vehicle wraps, we have a solution for your needs.