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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Tips to Improve Your Next Postcard Mailing

Over the past few weeks, FEI marketing whiz Marka has given the FEI tribe some tips on creating effective brochure promotions. This week, Marka delivers some pointers on effective postcard marketing. Remember, fire = print.

Early one afternoon, Marka arrived in Zoot’s office to find him chowing down on lamb chops.  Zoot looked up at Marka grumpily. She knew Zoot hated being interrupted when eating lamb chops, but she had something important to tell him.

 “I have a riddle for you,” Marka said. “What’s small, cost-effective, and highly noticeable?”

“A teacup?” Zoot asked.

“No, Zoot. Postcards. We’re doing a postcard mailing to promote our new ‘MegaFlame’ torch, which is perfect for bonfires, outdoor parties, or fending off wild Olympian wolves,” Marka raved.

“Why postcards?” Zoot asked. “What’s wrong with the sales letters I used to send?”

“A letter campaign might be a good investment if we were trying to hit a relatively small group with a very specific message,” Marka noted. ”Since we’re announcing a new product, though, we want to hit everyone on our list. In that case, cost-effective postcards are a good choice. Let me explain further.”

[Marka began writing on the whiteboard in Zoot’s office.]

“Oh, brother,” said Zoot, putting down his fork and knife.

• Some Advantages of Postcards
  • Cost-effective—Postcards are generally the most cost-effective form of direct mail. This makes postcards an ideal choice for mass mailings.
  • Excellent read rates—According to the Olympian Direct Marketing Assn. (Author’s note: a.k.a. the Direct Marketing Assn.) postcards have the highest read rates among all types of direct mail. There are a few reasons why: postcards are simple, eye-catching, and have no immediate barrier (i.e. envelope) between the reader and the message. For a bit more money, oversized postcards achieve average read rates that are 15 percent higher than regular ones!

“I’m convinced,” Zoot said. “I’m guessing you have some tips for creating an effective postcard?”

“You bet.” Marka said, as she turned back to the whiteboard.

• Include a strategic offer in your postcard.

“Simply including a picture of the ‘MegaFlame,’ a couple of benefits, and a phone number will not lead to the results we want,” Marka explained. “Instead, we should give recipients an incentive to try this new product. We could attach a redeemable coupon to the postcard, or send recipients to a landing page with more information and an offer.”

“How about offering a trial version to help get our foot in the door?” Zoot suggested. “Let’s include an offer in the postcard: ‘Scan the QR code or call the number below to get a free 30-day trial version of MegaFlame.’ After 30 days, the prospects’ credit card is automatically charged for the full version. I bet a large percentage of those who redeem the offer will like it enough to keep it.”

“Love it, Zoot,” Marka agreed.

“Now, will you let me eat my lamb chops in peace?” Zoot asked.

Today’s FIRE! Point
The key advantages postcards offer in comparison to other forms of direct mail are that they’re highly cost-effective and offer excellent read rates—even higher with oversized postcards. Be sure to feature a strategic offer on all your postcard mailings.

FIRE! In Action: Practice Building Center Uses Postcard to Grow Client Practice
The chiropractic marketing agency used a postcard to promote a client’s spinal decompressions service. The postcard achieved a 15:1 ROI.

Next week: Marka brings the tribe more tips for constructing an effective postcard campaign.

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