Wow! Thank you to all our amazing contestants this past month!

    We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectsPLUS! and Opportunity Knocks experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries! We’ll choose another winner March 7th!
    Congratulations!

    Our $150 winner is Kim Snively from Classic Papering & Painting Inc. who shared, “Opportunity Knocks is a great company to work with. They are professional, responsive, and have quick turnaround times. We have worked with them for several years and I definitely recommend them.

    Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Simply share your ProspectsPLUS! experience on our Google or Facebook Page and you’ll be automatically entered.  We’ll give away a $150 ProspectsPLUS! credit. Next drawing is March 7th!

      How much marketing spend is enough?

      We’re frequently asked by small business owners how much they should allot to postcard marketing. The truth of the matter is that it varies for every business, but we understand how helpful a few guidelines can be.

      Today we’ll give you the numbers that’ll help you plan your budget for 2017!

      First, consider the two types of marketing that you can spend on:
      1. Indirect marketing cannot be measured, such as advertising on billboards, outdoor signage, radio spots, and what are mostly called “traditional” advertising. Consider these to be expenses because unless someone tells you why they purchased, you can’t calculate your ROI.
      1. Direct marketing can be measured, and includes direct mail, pay-per-click ads, and email. Because you can track deliveries and responses, you can determine how much you earned as a result. This is an investment rather than an expense. Direct mail, for example, can net $27 for every $1 spent according to Hubspot.

      When you’re planning out your marketing budget this year, lean heavily towards direct marketing. Sure, you can’t live without your signage, but isn’t it nice to know when and how you’re making your money back?

      Make sense? Now let’s talk dollars.

      How much budget should I allocate to overall marketing?

      Your spend in marketing will vary depending on how competitive your market is an how aggressively you’re trying to grow. The U.S. Small Business Administration recommends spending 7-8% of your gross profits on marketing if you’re bringing in under $10 million each year. For a standard service or retail small business, that can range from $140,000 – $800,000. (Businesses with less competition or with a solid customer base may spend only 2-3%.)

      Go ahead and work out what that number is for you.

      Now, how do you determine how much to spend on each of your direct marketing channels? Quite simply, the spoils should always go to the victor. Whichever channels performs the best should receive the lion’s share of your investment.

      We recommend an 80/20 rule where 80% of your marketing budget goes towards the top channel where you get the best ROI, and 20% to the rest, just to remain diversified.

      Your 5 direct marketing options: 

      • Direct mail / postcard marketing
      • Blogging / SEO marketing
      • Social media marketing
      • Pay-per-click marketing
      • Email marketing

      The top performing channel for most small business always ends up being direct mail marketing. U.S. companies spent $47 billion on it in 2016 and here’s why:

      Direct mail deserves 80% of your budget because it offers: 

      1.  Time savings

      With all forms of digital marketing, the apparent ease of signing up masks the fact that you must do much of the work yourself. With emails and social marketing, you must learn new software, craft copy, schedule sends, track results, and repeat this several times a week.

      With postcard marketing, on the other hand, you can set it all at once and forget it. Providers allow you to schedule sends months ahead of time and you can utilize templates to copy from the best marketers in the industry. A single campaign can take less than 20 minutes through our web-to-print platform and you always have a success manager to call for help.

      (If you’re really in a time crunch, Opportunity Knocks can also just do it all for you, hands-free.)

      2. Better targeting

      Email and social may be cheap, but you often get what you pay for. It can take a long time to build a working email list or accumulate a sizable social following, and even then, the tools to segment and target particular parts of your audience can be expensive. While banner ads do a much better job of targeting, more than one quarter of all internet users now use ad-blockers and most exhibit banner blindness.

      Direct mail, on the other hand, has the advantage that you can utilize data partners like Nielsen to simply choose people and companies by their characteristics and target them individually. You can, for example, simply select an area on a Google Map or you can choose from profiles of people who fit your ideal customer.

      3. Higher quality customers

      The customers who come from direct mail campaigns are, on the whole, more loyal and spend more than those acquired through digital channels.  67% of survey respondents felt that mail was more personal and led to a better relationship than digital outreach according to the U.S. Postal Service, and studies show that affluent households prefer it.

       

      Does that help answer the budget question? Businesses hoping to grow should look to spend 7-8% of their gross revenue on marketing and if direct mail is your channel of choice (and by the numbers it should be), you should dedicate 80% of that budget towards it.

      Ready to play catch up? Just log into the web-to-print platform and get started or call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 for a free marketing consultation and competitor review.

        What makes snail mail so much better?

        In a world where everything’s moving too quickly to keep up, sometimes it pays to slow people down. Consumers have been inundated with digital offers, ads, and notifications to the point where they don’t really value them. They’re so abundant and so cheap (read: free) that they’re not worth anything.

        In this world, email offers are often deleted faster than you can say “but wait, there’s more!” Direct mail, on the other hand, lacks the speed of email and it forces consumers to slow down and consider what’s being said.

        Here’s are 4 reasons that direct mail beats email:

        1. Direct mail is more memorable

        People spend longer looking at print advertisements like postcards than they do at their digital counterparts, and they recall more of what they saw, according to research by the U.S. Postal Service. Perhaps this is because in an age where everything digital is cheap, printed pieces denote quality.

        This increased recollection with print is invaluable because when it takes up to 7 touches for prospects to remember your business and email requires twice as many touches, postcards get the same thing done in half the time.

        2. Your messages actually get through

        Email spam was a considerable problem as far back as 2003 when the CAN-SPAM law was enacted to give consumers a right to unsubscribe. Since then, spam has not only grown but consent-based email has risen exponentially: Virtually everyone on Earth, from your dentist to your dry cleaner wants to send you offers that you didn’t know you’d “opted” into. The result is catastrophic email clutter.

        Direct mail on the other hand shows up in far more limited quantities and as a result, garners a far greater deal of attention. The U.S. Postal Service reports that 98% of people check their mail daily and more than half of people prefer direct mail over email according to an Epsilon study.

        3. Direct mail allows for creativity

        When it comes to email, you’re limited to two options: plain text or HTML images. Be careful, however, because if your HTML isn’t coded properly or there’s too much of it, providers like Google’s Gmail might flag it as spam and it’ll never make it through. How much is too much? You’d have to pay your email provider to find out.

        Direct mail on the other hand is an utterly blank canvas where you can place large, attractive photographs and have room for multiple offers. This gives more people reasons to act and the USPS found that 23% of direct mail recipients visited a store as a result. Could the same be said for email?

        4. Direct mail allows you to convey emotion

        The key to converting customers is to convey emotion and when you can use bright colors, beautiful designs, and over-sized calls to action, you can use psychology. You can also personalize the postcards to address people by first name and together, these changes can drive 20% more sales opportunities.

        Are you surprised we’re done already? This list goes on, but suffice it to say, direct mail is more memorable, gets through, and performs better than email. Isn’t it lucky then that you can create it just as easily through our web-to-print platform?

        Get your campaign out the door in the next 20 minutes and be done for the week!

        Need an expert consultant? Opportunity Knocks is a ProspectsPLUS! sister company who can win you more customers! Call them at 1 (866) 319-7109 and get introduced.

          Not all ROIs are created equal and when it comes to what Partners with Nature pulled off, they’ve really figured something out. We love highlighting the successes that we help our customers achieve which is why we’re proud to introduce Brad Hollingsead!

          He’s the owner of the Columbus, Georgia based landscaping company and today he shares how he’s building a premium, service-oriented landscaping business and how ProspectsPLUS! is helping him get there:

          Brad sat down with Jim Schimpf at Opportunity Knocks:

          Listen to the 20 minute interview:

           

          Q: Brad, thanks for taking the time today. Can you tell us a little about yourself and the business?

          A: Sure, we’re a lawn care and landscaping company. I just retired from the army, and we started up in September. Pretty late in the season, I know, but we wanted to build a real strong, professional image in our marketing now. This year is looking good for us.

          Q: How are you going to start off strong this year?

          A: Well, you see everybody, they just throw a trailer on the back of their truck and toss a lawnmower in it and they call themselves a landscaping company. I wanted to give us a more professional appearance than that. You guys have helped a lot with my marketing and the mailers and postcards.

          Q: What do you find is more professional about postcard marketing?

          A: Basically, if you start with a great image and a good professional look like that, then right off the bat customers are going to expect more from you but they’re also going to be comfortable with you working on their property.

          Q: Coming out of the slow season, what’s been the biggest marketing challenge for you?

          A: Just getting my name out there. I live in a town where I don’t come from. I’m jumping into a market that’s already got 300 companies and everybody is already using their landscaper. People are already set and have contracts. That’s the biggest challenge for me.

          Q: What’s the trick to converting those contract customers over to you?

          A: Quality work and persistence. We’ve gained 10 customers from you guys alone in the last month – all new homeowners – off that program. And off those ten customers, we’ve received annual contracts, and we’re looking at about $22,000 for the new year.

          Q: What kind of investment was that program up-front?

          A: We’re doing the 3-postcard program through you guys. Basically, most of those customers are calling me after their 2nd postcard. So, $2 per customer?

          Q: Wow – that’s incredible.

          A: Yeah. I used two other forms of advertisement too. One is HomeAdvisor, the other one is Thumbtack, and I spent a lot of money on HomeAdvisor and not even close to the return of the postcard and the mailers. On the internet, you get put in a boat with 20 other contractors who are bidding on it and you’re spending $8, $10, $12 per phone call. Postcards put you directly in the customer’s face, they remember your name, they see what deal you’re giving them, and they call you.

          Q: So, you’ve been using the new-mover program?

          A: At first I was really wary of the whole program. My wife sells real estate and a lot of the homes that people buy are buying new homes. People are moving into new freshly sodded yards. And I was thinking, “that’s not going to work” but sure enough, by the second month we started getting calls and it just grows and grows and grows.

          It works because they see your face and they see your card a couple of times and it’s in their head. I was surprised, there’s people who will get your card but won’t call you for a while because they’re busy and they’ll just put it on their refrigerator. Nine times out of ten when I go to show up on an estimate I’ll ask how you heard about us and they’ll say “oh we saw you on a postcard” and they’ll go and get it.

          Q: By the way, how did you hear about us?

          A: I honestly don’t remember, I found you guys on the internet. The postcards and the print were awesome, and I got a hold of Andy and we’ve been working ever since. He’s amazing, that guy – very helpful and very user friendly.

          I’ve head other people tell me to use other companies and without a doubt I will never change. There’s no reason to change. I don’t even look at other companies. I don’t have any time or need, even if they’re cheaper, I don’t care. This is just super user friendly.

          Not too shabby results for 3 postcards, huh?

          Brad, we can’t thank you enough for the kind words and for taking the time to sit down and share your expertise. We appreciate your business and we’re excited to continue to grow with you!

          Now, curious if it’ll work for you? Only way to find out is to call in yourself at 1 (866) 319-7109!

          Would you like to be a featured client spotlight? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line at 1 (866) 319-7109.

            Sometimes it’s a good business practice to lose money. Does that sound crazy? It shouldn’t if you trust your marketing and you think on a long enough timeline.

            Marketing isn’t an expense but rather an investment. Just like your 401k, you put money in and expect it to grow. Your customers will need you again after all, and if you’ve properly invested in them and they feel valued, they’ll chose to buy from you repeatedly rather than go somewhere else.

            According to Shopify, an ecommerce platform, “Psychologically our brains prefer the constant and tend to repeat our previous actions.” This is why it can be up to five times cheaper to retain a customer than to find a new one: people’s habits work in your favor. Make it easy for them and get the ball rolling with that first purchase, even if sometimes it’s a money-losing one!

            Here are 3 ways that losing money can make you money in the long run:

            1. Offer freebies or samples: Everyone loves free. It’s a nearly irresistible offer that’ll bring people through your doors who wouldn’t have otherwise come, and yet it has powerful effects. Free samples or “gifts” not only familiarize them with your products (think Costco’s free food samples) but also trigger the psychological principle of reciprocity.

            This principle states that people who have received something free feel compelled to give something back. It’s that basic sense of fairness we all share, and it’s why when 7-11 gave away free Slurpees® a few years ago, they ended up making money. Slurpee sales shot up 38% because many people who came for the freebie paid for a larger size, and bought other items to boot. Freebies make people want to buy, and over time, they get people hooked.

            How to use it: Offer something of your own for free that is valuable but not costly, and will convince people to overcome their hesitance to try out your service. Examples include:

            • Landscapers can offer a free yard evaluation and estimate
            • Dentists can offer a free checkup
            • Home repair specialists can offer a free home inspection
            • Mechanics can offer a free checkup or oil change

             

            dental postcard

            Example: Tague Dental Care offers free consultations.

             

            2. Offer big discounts: Discounts can help customers overcome their hesitation to buy for a variety of reasons. If there’s a time limit (there always should be), they’ll be motivated by the deadline and if the offer is attractive enough, you can lure them away from your competitors. Now, if you know that they’ll need to make repeat purchases in the future, it can make sense to discount significantly because once you’ve habituated them to buying from you, they’ll be back next time without that discount.

            How to use it: Offer that discount that’s too good to pass up. Examples:

            • Car dealerships can offer a big family discount on the assumption that the kids will eventually need cars too
            • Retail stores can offer half-off first purchases
            • Restaurants can offer a new-mover welcome dinner

             

            3. Run a brand-building campaign: It’s always valuable to get your name out there, even if customers can’t yet take advantage of your offer. We call this a brand-building campaign and underneath it is the fact that customers need to be exposed to your brand 7 times before they start to recognize it.

            Those offers can’t all be calls to action (CTAs) because you’ll appear too needy. Instead, launch a brand-building campaign that simply educates buyers on what you do. If it includes an offer, instruct them to pin it to their refrigerator and save it for when they need it. Instead of asking something, you’re offering help, which builds trust and keeps you top of mind.

            How to use it: Create a postcard that educates prospects on the benefits you offer and doesn’t include a direct ask.

            • Hardware stores can offer emergency discounts (for when the drain gets clogged)
            • Restaurants and pizzerias that deliver can offer “I’m too tired to cook tonight” discounts
            • Flower shops can offer “I need to celebrate that special someone” discounts
            • House cleaning services can offer post-party cleanup discounts

            Investment marketing truly is that simple. Pick the method that stands out most to you, log into our web-to-print platform, and get it out the door and be done for this week!

            Or, if you’d like expert guidance, call Opportunity Knocks at 1 866-319-7109 and they can do it all for you!

              Is it the new year already? 2017 is nothing but a blank slate ahead of you and this is the year that you’re going to really blow those revenue goals out of the water!

              To maximize your ROI, we’ll start you off with some seasonal planning. Marketing is all about getting the right message to the person at the right time, and paying attention to the seasons helps you get that timing part right.

              Seasons still affect our lives dramatically and when they change, consumers’ needs and interests change along with them. If you can adapt your marketing to reflect these changes, you’ll have a lot more success than if you beat the same drum all year round.

              To do this, just create your own list of how the seasons affect your own customers’ food, travel, shopping and home needs!

              Here are some seasonal marketing ideas to start with:

              Winter is characterized by cold weather, holiday parties, and family travel. We’re in the heart of it right now but here’s what to be thinking about for next year:

              • Food: Offer people the sweet stuff: they’ll consume more desserts, cakes, and food this season, and might need help catering their parties.
              • Travel: People are going three places during the holidays: to see family, to see the snow, or to escape the snow. Help them with travel services that speak to one of those three.
              • Shopping: This is the season of holiday gift-giving and people buy more when they’re buying for others. Help them with gift ideas and take advantage of shopping holidays like Black Friday.
              • Home: Winter season is when appliances, plumbing, and septic systems break. Help customers by doing preventative inspections and emergency repairs.

               

              Spring is when everyone sheds their heavy layers, gets outdoors, and plans for the Summer. Spring starts on Monday March 20 this year.

              • Food: Customer preferences switch from hearty foods to lighter ones. Adjust your menus and advertising accordingly.
              • Travel: Spring is a slow time for traveling, but it’s when people plan their summer vacations. Help them by suggesting where to go.
              • Shopping: A dramatic change of attire is in order as things warm up. People will need to buy a new wardrobe and in large urban areas, will need storage for their winter clothes and snow-sport gear.
              • Home: With the sun out, people look outside once more. Help them with lawn-care and home repair projects to get things into shape for summer.

               

              Summer is when the kids are out of school, everyone is traveling, and people gather outdoors. Summer starts on Wednesday, June 21 this year.

              • Food: Increased tourism means peak restaurant season, so ramp up your advertising. With warmer outdoors, help people pack for BQQ’s and home gatherings.
              • Travel: With the kids off from school, families travel to local landmarks, resorts, and destinations. Packaged, all-inclusive offerings with something for everyone in the family are popular.
              • Shopping: Retailers can reap the rewards outfitting beach and party-goers, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology reports that consumers are likely to purchase more of everything in a warm environment.
              • Home: Summer is the season for maximum heat and demand for ways to cool down, from AC unit repair to fans and pool cleaning.

               

              Fall is when cool weather coaxes people back indoors and marks the beginning of school and holiday season. Fall begins on Friday September 22 this year.

              • Food: Fall is a great time for restaurants, grocers, and anyone in the food business because consumer food palates return to heartier meals. Attract customers with autumn offerings such as Starbucks’ notorious pumpkin spice latte and Panera’s fall menu.
              • Travel: Like spring, fall is an in-between season but it’s when most families plan their holiday travels and make ticket purchases.
              • Shopping: Back to school season is a major driver for retailers, as is the start of the holiday season and the return of cold weather.
              • Home: In anticipation of winter, yards will need to be winterized and families will prepare for the holidays with home decorations.

               

              What then? It all starts over again! Set these dates in your calendar and keep your marketing as fresh as the seasons.

              If you’ve got a few ideas for late winter or early spring, get them rolling now with a simple postcard campaign. Just choose from a template, upload your logo, and you’re off to a quick start in 2017 with highly effective seasonal marketing!

              If you truly want to maximize the seasons, just call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 and they’ll implement a hands-free year-round plan for you.

                Wow! Thank you to all our amazing contestants this past month!

                We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectsPLUS! and Opportunity Knocks experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries! We’ll choose another winner February 7th!
                Congratulations!

                Our $150 winner is Barbara Elliott who shared, “Opportunity Knocks is a great company. They are great to work with and the marketing pieces get results. We have used them for over 5 years and found the staff to be very helpful and very cutting edge.

                Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Head over to share your ProspectsPLUS! experience on our Google or Facebook Page.  We’ll give away a $150 in ProspectsPLUS! credit. Next drawing is February 7th!

                  Who only goes to the gym once?

                  Here’s a list of things that don’t work too well if you give up after only the first try:

                  – Going to the gym
                  – Driving a car
                  – Juggling flaming knives
                  – Marketing for a small business

                  With all these, if you give up early, and you just wouldn’t get results. And believe it or not, it’s the last one that we’re the most concerned with, as it’s by far the most dangerous.

                  Seriously. While there are hospitals for clownish accidents, there isn’t one for businesses that can’t grow and fail.

                  It is thus extremely important to stay the course and see it through. As they say, it takes seven years of hard work to become an overnight success. Are you working on yours?

                  Repeat after me: Repetition, repetition, …

                  Marketers who stick with it know that success is partly sticking to their plan and the other part is repetition. Repetition isn’t simply saying the same thing over and over again either, although it can be. Canny marketers know that there are three types:

                  • Direct repeats
                  • Repetition across channels
                  • Flavored repetition

                  In the first scenario, you should be sending the same postcards to the same list once every 2-3 weeks. This works well because people start to expect that it’s coming and you build a rolling awareness with them.

                  It takes, on average, 7 such postcards for your brand to become cemented in such a prospect’s mind. Some will buy sooner, but that’s when things really tip in your favor.

                  This outright repetition is how you land “born-again” leads who were once interested, shelved the idea of purchasing, and then make a quick buy once reminded. You want to be careful however, because according to a 1970 study on repetition in marketing, after the novelty of your marketing wears off people enter a “worn-out” phase where your repetition actually starts to hurt you.

                  For an example of this just think about how in the mid 2000’s Comcast played back-to-back-to-back television spots and seriously upset consumers who sometimes saw the same ad three times in a row. Too much of a good thing can be a bad.

                  Switch up your channels

                  For the best approach, balance out your repeat touches by broadcasting them across many different channels too. When consumers see your ads on TV, the radio, in their mail, and in their email, you’ve activated what’s known as the availability heuristic. That’s where we assume that just because we’re seeing something a lot, that it’s important.

                  Evolutionarily, this instinct has been extremely useful, but nowadays with cheap, mass digital marketing you can achieve the same effect as true news might have hundreds of years ago. Being on many channels leads people to believe that everyone is talking about you, which then leads them to wonder why they too haven’t tried your service.

                  Switch up your message

                  And finally, if you want to keep that repetition going across channels and over a long period of time (and you should), you’ll want to start to vary pieces of your ad to keep things fresh and interesting. For example, keep the same branding and header message on your postcard, but change the value proposition or the pictures of people.

                  Allstate Insurances’ mayhem campaign does this by featuring the same actor, same suit, and same message in a variety of situations.

                  mayhem

                  Persistence beats resistance

                  We hate to sound like a broken record, but excuse us: repetition and consistency are the true keys to marketing success! Just as you wouldn’t expect to become a bodybuilder after one trip to the gym, you shouldn’t expect your customers to remember when, where, how, and why they should buy from you after one postcard. It’s going to take many.

                  That’s why you have to repeat your marketing to repeat your success!

                  Ready to try it out? Send another postcard right now through our web-to-print platform and get one step closer to that next sale.

                  If you need help designing a hands-free repetition marketing campaign that’ll run for months on its own, call the experts at Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109!

                    Get people to pay attention

                    How much time do you think each lead of yours spends with your postcard? That depends heavily on how you’ve designed it.

                    A study by the USPS shows that people spend longer looking at print advertisements like postcards than they do at digital ones, and that they react more emotionally and remember what they’ve seen for longer.

                    But with that said, that’s still not a ton of time. Most website visitors stay for less than 3 seconds, and 79% of people exhibit “banner blindness” and don’t even see online ads.

                    So even though direct mail is by far your best option, you still have to work for it.

                    You have to land a really punchy first impression!

                    Design your postcard to lead your readers

                    What you want to do is lead your readers up the “yes ladder.” This is the idea that you get people to commit to reading your postcard piece by piece. As they buy into each sentence and nod and agree, they then read the next. In other terms, you hook their attention more and more as they go.

                    Messages that follow this format will start with broad, generally true statements that just about everyone can agree with and narrow down into a specific call to action when they reach the top of the proverbial ladder.

                    Here are the 3 steps to creating a postcard “yes-ladder:”

                    Step #1: Draw them in

                    See our example postcard below. The first great move that this postcard makes is that it’s bright, colorful, appealing, and not over-crowded. Beautiful design is important, and postcards that have too much going on will deter readers right from the start.

                    golf1

                    The second excellent choice it makes is that it addresses the recipient by first name. (The same level of personalization available online also exists in postcard marketing thanks to digital printing technology) With a grasp on the reader’s attention, it then presents an appealing inquiry: wouldn’t you rather be playing golf than mowing the lawn?

                    Why yes, yes I would.

                    Step #2: Explain simply

                    If that message landed home, the reader is now thinking, “How do I do that?” Perfect. Explain what you mean in friendly, colloquial terms that are free of industry jargon like “experts at hedging and trimming.” Keep it focused on the benefit to the reader, which is all they really care about.

                    golf2

                    Ahh, so now they understand that we’ll do the mowing for them. Next question.

                    Step #3: Present the offer

                    With two yeses under your belt, it’s time to wrap it up (are we still under 3 seconds here?) and deliver the offer. Your lead now wants your service and you should tell them how to get it. Include an offer code that’s unique for each different postcard campaign so that you can track results and optimize your marketing to improve your ROI.

                    golf3

                    The road to more sales is littered with “yes ladders”

                    Designing your postcard properly will allow you to direct your prospects’ attention where you need it to go and lead them up the path of the “yes ladder.” This leads them right to a sale and drastically improves your postcard marketing results!

                    Try it out with a pre-made postcard template designed by our experts.

                    Need more help with your marketing strategy? Stop wasting money and call Opportunity Knocks marketing at 1 (866) 222-6010 and land more customers now.

                      Of all the great American novels ever written, how many of them do you think were ready on their first draft? I’d be willing to bet zero. All powerful and effective writing needs editing and several drafts.

                      Or, as novelist Patricia Fuller puts it:


                      “Writing without revising is the literary equivalent of waltzing gaily out of the house in your underwear.” 


                      Sure, a postcard isn’t a novel, but it has the same impact: it needs to evoke emotion in your readers. So, when you are engaged in writing of any kind, do as the experts do, and don’t run out in your underpants!

                      Good postcard offers are rarely worked up on the first try and can take four, five, perhaps even six or seven tries before they start to sound good. Today we’ll give you all the ammunition you’ll need to write your own jaw-dropping offers and boost the ROI on your postcard marketing.

                      Here’s our hyper-simple 4-step method:

                      Step #1 – Make it a powerful offer

                      There are four guiding principles to writing truly great offers, and that’s to make them:

                      • Simple
                      • Front-loaded
                      • Emotional
                      • Calls to action

                      Most people who see your marketing will only give you 3 seconds of their attention and just like any interview, you must make a powerful first impression. If your offer is overly wordy, you’ll lose them, and the entire marketing campaign could be wasted. Therefore, it’s critical to have a simple message and short sentences.

                      You’ll also want to front-load key words so that they’re the first thing that people see. For example, instead of saying:

                      “Make sure that you have your lawn properly cared for by our specialist who can give you peace of mind!” 

                      Say

                      “Gain peace of mind with our lawn care specialists!” 

                      The second version gets to the point much faster.

                      And make sure to pack your message full evocative, concrete, and emotional words like:

                      Amazing, incredible, shocking, free, value, guaranteed, easy, effortless, discover, act now, never, new, safe, proven, effective

                      And finally, don’t forget to tell people what they’re supposed to do! Leave nothing up to the imagination, if you want them to call, say “call now.” If you want them to visit, say so. This is your call to action (CTA).

                      Got all that down? Now you’re ready to start writing.

                      Step #2 – Write, re-write, and keep re-writing

                      Now that you’ve got the rules down, you’ll want to move to step two, which is to write your marketing offer one sentence at a time. Because your postcard should be brief (remember, simple!) you shouldn’t have more than 3-5 sentences, so this won’t take too long.

                      Write each sentence, then re-write it right below the first one, improving it slightly to incorporate the principles above. If you wrote “great marketing offer” change it to “amazing marketing offer.” If you used tons of works, write it more simply. Repeat this process 7 times.

                      The final result will be a sentence that’s far more impactful!

                      Here’s what it should look like:

                      START:


                      We’re the best pool care specialists in the region

                      We’re great at pool installation and want you to know about it

                      Call us today because we’re pool installation experts

                      Call us today because we’ll put in a pool for you

                      Call us right now and we’ll make your pool look amazing!

                      Call right now to get your pool looking incredible for summer!

                      Call right now for effortless pre-summer pool installation! 

                      Once you do this for each of them, you’ll have edited your postcard text down to something really gripping and actionable. Now, for the next step.

                      Step #3 – Have someone else proof-read it

                      Authors aren’t anything without their editors, and you should have one too. Run your postcard messaging by a few other people and ask whether it’s clear and makes them want to pick up the phone. If it’s not compelling, that’s great feedback, and it’s back to the editing board. If the people around you don’t buy it, why would your customers?

                      If you want some inspiration for postcards done right, look at our sample gallery.

                      Step #4: You’re done. Design and send it through our web-to-print platform.

                      There, that wasn’t so hard, was it? You don’t have to be Stephen King and churn out a novel a day, but if you can do one postcard, you’re well on your way to realizing your marketing ROI.

                      If you need a hand, Opportunity Knocks is here for you!

                      They’ve written thousands of high-performing postcards – just call their customer care experts at 1 (866) 319-7109 for instant results!