- David Smith
The Mighty Power of the Humble Postcard - Part 1
If you are not allocating a fair share of your marketing budget to Direct Mail, you are missing out on potential business.
Obviously, each advertising medium has pros and cons that need to be considered as you strategically divvy up your marketing budget. So let's take a quick look at your options and see where Direct Mail fits in. TV and radio spots are great for image branding to a diverse audience in a wide geographical area, or promoting retail sales events, but they are an expensive and scattershot approach to reaching new customers. Newspaper advertising can be effective, but again, you spend a lot of money for ad space that will be ignored by the many readers who are not interested in your product. Tele-marketing is (thankfully!) almost dead, having been nearly regulated out of existence. Email marketing is a great tool, and economical, but getting more difficult because of powerful spam filters. It is getting tougher every day for your message to make it to someone's Inbox. The only effective way to market via email is by using your own list of previous buyers who have "opted-in" to receive messages from you. While email marketing is great for maintaining contact with your existing customer base, it won't help you find new prospects.
Direct Mail is still tops for generating leads
According to the 2015 edition of the Direct Marketing Association Statistical Fact Book, companies in the United States spent $46 billion on Direct Mail in 2014—up from the $44.8 billion spent in 2013! Direct Mail keeps growing because it keeps working. It is a cost-effective method for reaching consumers where they live. Mailboxes do get crowded sometimes with advertising, but if you have an attention-getting mailer aimed at the right prospect, your message will be seen! This brings us around to what I believe is the best bang for your buck: Postcard Marketing. Postcards have several marketing advantages: They are right in the prospect's face. Unlike a letter, there is nothing to open, and that means there is one less obstacle between your message and your customer. Their limited copy space forces you to focus on a message that grabs attention and generates a quick response. They are quick and economical to produce...and cheaper to mail than letters!
Good lists make all the difference
Best of all, custom mailing lists are readily available so you can zero in on your prime prospects. Your postcards can be focused like a laser on the people you really want to reach. A good mailing list company can create a list for you that reaches any combination of demographic categories you desire. Need to reach parents with young children, who just bought a home, make over $100K annually, and drive a Toyota? No problem...there's a list for that! Next issue we'll discuss some of the basic components of a successful post card campaign. But for now, I encourage you to think about your dream customer: age, income, zip code, family size, spending habits, etc. Jot down the demographics of your perfect prospect, and you'll be ready next month when we discuss the secrets to profitably reaching those customers with a focused postcard mailing campaign.