Have you ever felt that people knew what you were thinking? Did you ever wish that a particular person actually could read your thoughts?

We’re going to guess that you answered “yes” to at least one of those questions. It’s natural.

But, as a business owner and a marketer, you can never expect or rely on people—customers or prospects—to read your mind.

Anything you want them to know, you must tell them.

Anything you want them to do, you must direct them to do it.

The Expensive Visitor

Imagine if you sold life insurance or did home renovations or any other kind of business that often required you to meet with prospects at their home. (Maybe you already do run a business like that.)

Imagine you spend a half-hour or hour with your prospect, going over their current situation and the best solution for their concerns or problems. Then you just sit there, waiting for them to read your mind: “Buy this product or service right now.” You wait for them to say “Okay, let’s do it,” and reach for their checkbook or credit card.

It’s not going to happen. Rather, the prospect is going to hesitate. They’re going to say “I’ll think about it” or give you some other objection. And you—a businessman, a salesperson, a marketer—will slowly or quickly become nothing more than an expensive visitor—expensive to you, in terms of time spent vs. sales (not) made.

You don’t always have to personally visit a prospect or customer to become an expensive visitor. Sometimes, your postcard or other direct mail does it for you.

Ask for the Sale

As was famously said by hockey great Wayne Gretzky (or basketball legend Michael Jordan or others, depending on who you ask): “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

If you don’t ask for the sale, it’s all but sure that you won’t get it. The “sale” isn’t necessarily a financial transaction but any action which you “sell” the person on—get them to agree to do.

In the same way, when your postcard has no call to action (or a really weak one), it’s as good as not taking the shot. Your direct mail pieces end up being “expensive visitors.”

Tips for a Strong Call to Action

Regardless of what you are trying to get the customer/prospect to do (buy, call, log on, etc.), here are some things to keep in mind:

  1. Have a single call to action, rather than several. Choices invite questions and confusion. One call to action gives only one choice.
  1. Eliminate risk. Don’t expect people to purchase high-ticket items from a postcard. It’s too much risk. But you can get them call or log on for information or some lesser risk call to action.
  1. Keep it simple and short. Don’t use a lot of industry jargon in your call to action (or any of your copy). Use the kind of language that your target audience would use in relation to your product or service. Keep it to eight or nine words maximum, and a short subhead at the most.
  1. This is more of a design point. Ensure that your call to action text is of a color that contrasts sufficiently with the background colors of the card. Make sure it stands out.


And while we’re on the topic of standing out, visit www.prospectsplus.com/pei where you can create and mail postcards that will really stand out in your prospect’s mailbox—use your own design or our custom templates.

You can also call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 they’ll go right into action, designing your postcard, creating or expanding your mailing list with targeted prospects and even handling the mailing for you, too.