We get so wrapped up in & use to online, email, txt, & SEO, that we forget to look at the "tried & true" or "old school" marketing methods, like Post Card Marketing
Post cards are great place to start because it's been proven to work over a very long time, it's familiar to consumers, & can be cost effective. Post card marketing campaigns are based on sending out standard post cards through the traditional mail in order to generate interest for a business. That's it, easy right? But, like with all marketing execution is key.
It generally works like this: a small business creates a post card that offers the reader some information about the company. Then the business sends these post cards out to prospective customers via the traditional mail. The prospective customer then sees the card, reads the information on it, absorbs this information and hopefully, contacts the business.
The concept of post card marketing is actually very simple.
It is not a new form of marketing. Businesses both large and small have been using this traditional form of marketing for many years.
However, with the widespread use of the internet and the creation of internet marketing strategies, mail based methods have become a less popular way to advertise a business. This does not mean that these tactics are not effective- it just means that your competition is using this type of marketing.
Why Post Card Marketing can be so effective is message delivery, meaning the customer read the message.
Physical mail, that stands out - like post cards - works very well increasing awareness of your business and your message is often read by the receiver, unlike email or even plain post mail letters.
Another benefit of this form of business marketing is that it is extremely cost-effective. There are few other forms of marketing that can deliver such results for the priced paid. Post cards are also an extremely easy-to-implement marketing tool.
You won’t have to hire a marketing specialist, marketing content writer, search engine optimization expert or even a high-end printer to market itself through post cards.
A pretty detailed rundown of "Pros":
- Post cards are easy to read and do not require that the reader opens an envelope. This means that even if your potential customer isn’t interested in reading your promotional material, odds are they will take a glance at a colorful, already opened post card.
- Post cards offer information that is available at a glance. This means that the reader can absorb your message in just a few seconds of reading.
- Fewer companies use this form of traditional marketing today, meaning your small business may have a competitive advantage when using post cards to market itself.
- Post cards are less intrusive than e-mail marketing. Most online users today are bombarded by marketing e-mails. Receiving a simple post card in your mailbox is a lot less annoying and intrusive.
- Post cards are fully customizable. You can add various colors, pictures, texts, graphics or coverings to make them unique and interesting to the reader. These are features that may not be available through other forms of marketing.
- Creating and printing marketing post cards is inexpensive. You won’t need a special computer graphics program or high-tech printing machine to create high quality marketing post cards. In fact, almost anyone can create effective, interesting and exciting marketing post cards on their own.
- Shipping marketing post cards out using the traditional mail is also inexpensive. While sending out post cards may not be as cheap as sending out marketing e-mails, it is still extremely cost effective. All you will need is a few postage stamps to send out your cards. In fact, studies show that post cards are up to 38% cheaper to mail than traditional sized letters and envelopes.
- There is not a lot of labor involved with sending out marketing post cards. Once the post cards are printed the only labor required is placing a stamp on them and dropping them into the mail. This can save your employees or your marketing team both time and effort. In some cases you can have your post card creation company or local post office do this work for you.
- Post cards are tangible objects. They are something that the customers can touch, feel, read and keep if they desire to. Post cards can be handed to other people or tacked to the refrigerator door. People often like tangible objects and if they decide to hang on to your post cards they can be reminded of your company’s offer over and over again. They can also help spread your business’s message if they choose to give the card to another person.
- Post cards offer you two sides to display your business’s message.
- Post cards are not covered by an envelope, which means they will be easily seen by the owner of the mailbox.The lack of an envelope also means that various other people will end up seeing your company’s message as the cards travel to their recipients. Post cards are a form of marketing that advertise all along the way
- Post cards can be used to display lots of different kinds of content. There is no specific type of content that must be placed on a post card, so your small business can use a variety of methods, depending on which ones will work the best. You can use photos, pictures, graphic designs and any other form of content you wish to on a post card.
- Marketing post cards can be distributed in many different ways. Your small business can send them out through the mail, but it can also hand them out directly to customers or leave them in places where customers will find them. There are many different ways to cheaply and effectively distribute marketing post cards.
- Depending on the type of marketing tactic you use, post cards can help you track your marketing plan’s effectiveness. You can find out how many customer responses are due to reading your post cards.
- Marketing post cards can help you keep your customer mailing lists up to date. If you include your company’s return address your marketing post cards, you can determine how many of these cards are being ‘returned to sender’. This can help you determine how accurate and up to date your current customer mailing list is.
- Post cards are timely forms of communication. You can send them out and know that they will be in your customer’s mailboxes in just a few days. This allows you to tout timely promotions or deals and use the phrase “Offer ends soon”.
- Post cards can be multifaceted. They can be used to display information, as a promotional tool, as a coupon or even as a gift certificate or event ticket. If you can think of a way to use a post card you can probably incorporate it into your marketing strategy.
- It is very hard to hide a post card’s message. With creative content ideas and a lack of an envelope most of your customers will have to end up reading your message.
- Post cards can be created in both large and small numbers depending on your business’s specific marketing strategy. This means you can print up as few as 100 post cards or as many as 10,000 post cards easily and quickly.
- Post card marketing techniques can be used to directly drive traffic to your business’s store-front or website
Another detailed rundown, this time on Tips to make your campaign most effective:
Start with a powerful headline.
Because there is no envelope, your customers are much more likely to end up reading the content of your marketing post cards. But that doesn’t automatically guarantee that they will continue reading. This means that you will want your post card to display a powerful and enticing headline, as this will be the first thing the reader will see. The headline will be what determines whether or not your reader chooses to continue reading. A truly powerful headline is one that speaks directly to your targeted audience and that generates their interest.
Make the reader want to know more.
The goal of a marketing post card is to get the reader to either remember your business’s name or to perform a specific action. In order to accomplish this you will have to design your post card’s content so that it makes the reader want to find out more information, which will hopefully have them visiting your business’s store or website. The more interested the reader is in your company’s message, the more likely it is they will remember its name.
Keep it simple.
Again, there is not a lot of room available on the standard sized post card, so you will have to keep your message simple and to the point. Odds are your reader will only grant the card a few seconds of reading time, so it is important that you say what you have to say quickly and clearly. Try providing some teaser information that gets the customer to find out more. Don’t try to explain everything about your business, service or product- there simply isn’t enough room. Use your marketing post cards to generate leads.
Don’t make your cards look too promotional.
You will have a better chance of getting your customers to read your post cards if they look as though they were sent to them by a friend, rather than a promotional piece of advertising.
Make sure the reader can easily see your business’s contact information.
This usually means making the telephone number and website address easy to see. A good way to do this is to make them large in text size, or to make them a color that stands out to the eye.
Try not to make your post cards look too flashy.
Colors and designs are great for making your card look professional, but try not to overdo it. Too many colors, flashy designs or written text may overload your reader, causing them to avoid reading what it is you have to say. It may also make your production costs too expensive if you go overboard with the colors and graphics. Two colors is usually enough to capture the reader’s attention without overburdening them.
Do use pictures and images.
People like pictures and images. A colorful photo or design will make them more likely to read and remember your message. Just don’t overdo it.
Remember that you can always send out multiple cards.
Marketing post cards are cheap to produce, meaning you can always send out more of them. This means that you do not have to cover everything about your business in a single post card.
You will want your marketing post cards to look professional.
Your readers will have to think highly of your company in order to offer it their business, so your post cards must look like they came from a professional business. This means creating cards that look like they are professional and avoiding cards that look like they were made in a grade school class.
Have your post cards printed on quality paper.
Your marketing post cards don’t have to be made on the world’s finest paper, but they should be printed on paper that makes them feel good in the reader’s hand. White paper is the best, especially if you are adding colors to it. 80lb stock is a good jumping off point for paper thickness.
Choose the right sized post card.
The standard size for a traditional post card is 5 ½ inches by 8 ½ inches, but you may choose a larger or smaller post card based on your marketing tactics. A larger card allows you to put more content on to it, but it also costs more to print. Choose the right sized card for your specific marketing strategy.
Try to make your headline appear as a friendly message, rather than a form of advertising.
Most people are fed up with the amount of advertising they receive on a daily basis, so it is better to make your post card’s headline look like a friendly message. This will encourage the reader to keep reading.
Include an incentive to act quickly.
It will be very tempting for your customer to stick your post card somewhere and forget about it. Adding in a timely incentive to act will help ensure that your card doesn’t disappear in a drawer somewhere. “Act now to receive this great deal” or something like that will help ensure that your customers take advantage of your offers.
Add in the date and your sender’s name.
This will help your post card look as though it was sent from a friend, rather than for promotional purposes.
The content of your promotional post cards will go a long way in determining how successful your marketing campaign will be.
Pay attention to your content and remember to display your message in a fast, clear and concise manner