Ahh, spring is in the air and the birds are chirping again. Or is it fall, and the leaves are changing colors? Or have the first flakes of snow now fallen and as you scrape across the icy sidewalk in your winter galoshes? (Or if you’re a Californian, you’re asking ‘what are seasons?’)

    My point is that everyone notices when the seasons change. It’s universal, and it’s part of our biological clock.

    Why am I going on about this? Am I merely waxing poetic about the changing of the seasons? Of course not! If you know Opportunity Knocks Marketing and this blog by now, it’s all about the marketing tips that can be gleaned from this insight. In this case, you can leverage the seasonality of your customer’s needs to better target them with postcard campaigns!

    Why do seasons give us reasons?

    The seasons can tell you a great deal about what people are going through, or about to go through, and you can thus appear to be downright prophetic in your recommendations to them. And as well all know, the more targeted you can be, the more effective you’ll be. In many cases, you can double your ROI on a campaign. According to Forbes, personalization can increase sales by as much as 10%. What would you do with that extra money?

    Here is how our most successful customers align their marketing with the seasons:
    1. Spring cleaning: Once its springtime and the grasses are growing green, people are coming out of their proverbial winter caves and thinking about being outdoors again! This means that they’re pulling out last season’s clothes, trimming their yards, planning neighborhood gatherings, and anticipating full-blown summer. How can you best advertise to them?
    • Spring trips: For many, Spring Break is time to get out. Advertise trips, travel destinations, home alarm systems, and doggie day-care for while they’re gone!
    • Wardrobe changes: People want sun and it’s sure to leave it’s mark. They’ll need protection with hats, sunscreen, sunglasses, and flip-flops. And on the flip-side, they no longer need their coats and skis, so it’s time to talk about storage units, consignment, and house-cleaning.
    • Festivals: Millennials are really feeling the summer love and festivals have become big business. Cater to this market with far-out clothing, camping gear, and RV rentals.
    • Tax season: Not a fun time, but a trigger event nonetheless! People will be interested in accounting, legal, banking, and document storage services.

     

    1. Summer fixing: Summer has hit and the sun is sweltering. People are thinking about how best to enjoy themselves and stay cool. They’re likely taking a few out of town trips, and they’re definitely investing more in their yard to make it a great, shady gathering place.
    • Vacations: With the kids out of school, it’s time to haul everyone off on a road trip to the Grand Canyon or hop on a plane to Fiji. Advertise road-trip car inspections, electronics, play devices for the kids, insurance, and travel services.
    • The outdoors: People will spend more time outside, both in their yards and in the national parks. It’s time to help them break out cooler clothes, hiking boots, and anything they need for a BBQ like better lawn chairs, a fire pit, solar panels, and pool cleaning services.
    • That one backyard project: Every family has that one project, that gazebo started last season that hasn’t been worked on. They’ll never be more interested in your help with it than right now!

     

    1. Autumn squirreling: People are trying to get the most of everything in Autumn. This is the time that the sun has sunk lower in the sky, the days are growing shorter and people are anticipating the trials that winter (or school or the holidays) will bring.
    • Back to school: Students dread it, retailers love it! Cash in on the must-have clothing, books, writing supplies, sports equipment, tutoring, and transportation arrangements.
    • Holidays: They’re coming up quickly and decorations are in order; everything from pumpkins to fir trees. Catch people early with services to make decorating and un-decorating totally hands-free and they’ll love you for it.
    • Sports frenzy: NFL season begins and across the USA and millions of folks are suddenly going to be glued in groups to the TV. It’s a social event, so now is the time to strike with offers for a more spacious couch, snacks, new TV and phone packages, and of course taxi services.

     

    1. Winter heating: The real chill has set in and people are bundling up at home with family. They’re prepping for the holidays and thinking about being thankful for the people in their lives, and are looking for great bargains on gifts.
    • Home remodeling: With all that time indoors, people invariably get to thinking about that old floral wallpaper that they never quite loved. Advertise remodeling or decoration services! They’re also very aware of how much they’re paying for heating, so advertise energy-saving appliances and weather-proofing!
    • Gift season: They say to always sell value, not price, but this is time to appeal to both people’s values and their wallets! Nothing strains a budget like buying gifts for the whole family and nothing helps a buyer be generous like a really good deal. Advertise those holiday deals!
    • Trip planning: People are moving about the country and stress levels are about to hit their zenith as everyone takes to the skies to visit home! Think about how you can make their lives easier, from more comfortable flights to shipping services to games and meal ideas for the family.

     

    The circle begins again: no, there’s no fifth season here, unless you count the beginning of the next year. Seasons are a cycle! If you’ve done it correctly and you’re consistent, customers will actually start to associate those powerful seasons with your services, and that’s a great place to be.

    Tips

    If it’s working, make it a habit. Pin this season’s successful marketing campaign cards on the calendar for the next few years and keep track of the ones that worked best!

    Hopefully you’re chock-full of seasonal ideas and have noticed that Spring officially begins on March 20th! Plant your springtime seeds for success and get started on a mailing or call 877-222-6010 to talk to a helpful “flowers and may showers” marketing expert and get your marketing rolling!

      Was YOUR Name Drawn?

      Wow! A big thanks to all our amazing contestants this past month! We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectPLUS.com experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries!  We’ll choose another WINNER, April 5th!  Congratulations everyone!

      Our $250 Winner is Peter Koukounas, who shared:

      “I was never a big fan of postcard marketing until Jim and his team made me a firm believer in the benefits of this marketing approach. Just from 1 run, the amount of leads and signed agreements have paid for this campaign and future campaigns 10 fold. The design, professionalism and approach that Jim and his team came up with was spot on and we will now be doing campaigns on a monthly basis. Any company looking to do postcard marketing would be doing a disservice to their company by not partnering with Jim and his team for their marketing needs.”

      Thanks Peter!  You now have a $250 gift card to use on our DIY postcard marketing website here or on a custom postcard marketing campaign through our sister company, Opportunity Knocks here.

      Thank you to everyone who entered! Ready to throw your hat in the ring? It’s easy!  Leave your review of your ProspectsPLUS.com product or service on our Google+ Page or our sister company’s Facebook Page today!  We’ll give away a $250 Postcard Marketing Gift Card! Next drawing is April 5th.

      We’d also like to invite you to join us in our goal to raise $50,000 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®! We are matching every donation this year, dollar-for-dollar! Learn more at: blog.prospectsplus.com/st-jude

      And if you’re in the mood to see what’s NEW – head over to our Specials Page and see all the new marketing tools for March and nab your 10% savings promo codes!

        Do you ever run into someone at a party who likes to ramble? Who starts telling a story and halfway through you’re wondering, “where are they going with this?”

        Now think about what they make you want to do: find a quick exit or somehow finagle them onto another unsuspecting guest. It seems pretty obvious that rambling doesn’t draw people in, right? Well this is exactly what you are doing with your website if it’s not optimized to drive leads.

        And every visitor that “bounces” becomes someone else’s customer!

        Creating a good website actually becomes harder the more you know about your business.  Most owners fall victim to what Chip and Dan Heath, authors of the book Made to Stick, call “the curse of knowledge.” This is when you know so much about a subject that it’s difficult to say it simply. When your website is filled with too many things it becomes intimidating and suddenly you’ve become that rambling party guest.

        What we need here is a reset on what really matters. Your website exists to drive more traffic to your business, so here are 4 tactics that can help you clear the way to do so:

        #1 – Say things more simply.

        Don’t think you can say things more simply than you already are? Think again. Even a giant company like ADP who has literally thousands of products manages to explain what they do in just seven words.

        Pretty impressive, right? If they can do it, so can you.

        A great exercise for this is to try to explain what your business does to a small child. The younger the better. Grab a niece or nephew and ask them to explain it back to you, and through several attempts you’ll start to realize that there are many unanswered, “why?” questions that you had assumed were obvious. To your customers however, they aren’t. This will help you transform, “Experienced industrial metalwork and fabrication contractors” into “Your local metalwork experts.” Simple can be beautiful, right?

        How do I get more people to my now simpler website?

        You’ve heard the term “SEO” bandied around, no doubt, maybe even as someone’s title followed by the word “expert.” At its simplest, Search Engine Optimization is how Google (and other search engines) gauge how valuable your site is. The more valuable, the higher it ranks on the list when people search for you.

        Pro Tip: visit www.similarweb.com or hook up Google Analytics to see how many visitors your site is currently getting.

        The key to having good SEO is to have a well-organized site full of keywords that your customers are searching for. While simplifying your messaging, you should also focus it so that the keywords are used consistently throughout. Don’t just write this one in! Spend some quality time on it (or hire a freelance writer), as Google’s algorithm can spot a fake and it will hurt your score.

        Great work so far, but are you feeling impatient waiting for Google to discover how great your new site is? There’s always paid advertising where you can have ads for your site placed around the web. It costs money, but it’s a guaranteed way to get things rolling. Google’s Adwords service can come off as a little complex to the layperson so it never hurts to talk to an expert before getting started.

        #2 – Getting them to take an action

        Now that people are knocking down the proverbial doors to your website, waste no time in directing them to a “call to action” or CTA, like this:

        The most effective lead-generation websites have a homepage with one large picture, a single sentence, and one or two buttons. Just take a look at Opportunity Knocks Marketing for a good example. Visitors have just two choices: get started or learn more. See what a vast departure this is from a website homepage full of hundreds of options? Here, your prospects clearly understand what you do, and can waste no time contacting you.

        This sort of simplicity is possible because again, we’ve clearly defined our objectives: get people to fill out a form so that we can call them. Know your own objective, for example an eCommerce site would direct them to a store, but it always starts with a call to action.

        #3 – Leveraging their contact info in other campaigns

        Always use forms for collecting information. Too often I see good websites that direct people to a page that just lists an email or a phone number. Why leave it up to the customer to get in touch with you? If you instead use a form you not only take the initiative to reach out to them but you also capture their information for future use.

        Several of our customers use their online forms to collect people’s addresses or zip codes which then allow them to send them postcard campaigns which see even higher engagement than typical email, meaning that they’re getting a higher ROI for the website that they already have. Pretty neat trick, huh?

        #4 – Clear the runway for takeoff

        You’ve come leaps and bounds from where we started. You now realize that by trying to say too many things on your website, you can end up saying virtually nothing. And now that we’ve been able to redefine your objective for the website around generating leads for your business, everything has gotten a lot simpler. Your messaging is clear enough that a five-year old can explain it to you, you’ve got traffic to your website, and you’re directing all of them straight to a form. Now we are in business!

        There’s always more to learn, and if you’re finally ready to see some revenue from postcard marketing, call us today at 877-222-6010 and talk to an expert about how you can drive more leads!

           

          When you think “psychologist,” you probably think of some stuffy Freudian character with a long armchair asking you how you feel. Am I right?

          You’ve probably never fancied yourself a psychologist, but as a marketer, you absolutely need to know the basics. You may even discover in reading these that you already do some of them naturally…but how many of them do you actually practice in your marketing? Very rarely is it more than two.

          If you’re like most businesses, you stop at the learning phase and never put valuable tactics like these into practice and as a result, you’re dumping buckets of money down the drain with each marketing campaign. They’re simple, they boost your results, and best of all, they’re totally free!

          So here are the 4 psychology principles make your postcard marketing vastly more effective:

          Principle #1 – Scarcity

          This is the idea that we humans want something most when we fear that it’s going to disappear, like a squirrel who wants to cross the road but is only finally motivated by an oncoming car (and speaks by unharmed). As they say, you don’t ever miss something until it’s gone.

          How is this used to sell things? Every time you see “limited supply,” “offer expires,” “get it while it lasts,” or any kind of offer expiration date, this is what’s going on. Ever notice that when shopping online, Amazon will tell you that there’s only 5 items left in stock in red letters? Are they being helpful? Partially, but the real goal is to sell with scarcity.

          How you can use it: Make your product or service scarce. If people receive a postcard with a discount and no time limit, they’ll feel that they can wait for forever and will stash it away and lose it. Try giving people 2-4 weeks to take advantage of an offer and instead they’ll post it on their refrigerator and eventually act. Remember to make the expiration large, loud, and clear so that it really catches their eye!

          Principle #2 – Contrast 

          This one proclaims that our sense of something’s size is completely dependent upon context. Large isn’t really large until placed next to something small. Don’t believe me? What if I told you that you owed me twenty dollars? Seem high? Well compare that to me telling you that you owed me $100 but if you just give me $20, we’ll call it even. What changed? Your sense of how much you owed went from large to small, despite it being the exact same dollar value.

          Once you know that our sense of size is always affected by the first number we hear, and you can control this by making sure that that first number you show customers is always bigger. See this in action in any department store where they’ve “slashed” prices and the tags show the original higher price crossed out in red.

          How you can use it: if you’re going to include prices, make sure that you contrast them with the normal cost, or the cost of your competitors. $25 won’t seem like a screaming deal until you point out that others are charging $50. Or even better, combine it with the scarcity principle and say that it’s $25 this week only!

          Principle #3 – Reciprocation

          This is the idea that we feel deeply compelled to return favors. They leave us feeling indebted, and nobody likes that. Here’s an everyday example – my wife and I were on a long drive and we stopped by a diner so she could run in to use the restroom. I stood there awkwardly with the waitress and then found myself walking out with a hot coffee to go. I didn’t want coffee, so why did I buy it? Because I felt indebted for our use of the restroom.

          This is happening anywhere that free samples or advice are being handed out. The homeless person who washes your windshield, the superstore handing out free food tastings, timeshare vacation getaways, even those monogrammed address labels that non-profits send you in the mail are all leveraging the rule of reciprocation. If you receive something, you feel compelled to return the favor and very often, you’ll spend more than you got.

          How you can use it: Include in your postcard an offer for something free. It can be key rings, chocolates, cards, or advice. If done in a genuine manner, people will stop by for their “free” giveaway and it will activate the rule of reciprocation. By the nature of having gotten something for free some percentage of them will feel compelled enough to buy something after all.

          Principle #4 – Social Proof 

          This is a common and obvious one, also referred to as the “lemming effect”: people follow the crowd. It’s so obvious that you might not think it’s worth discussing but over and over again we see marketers overlook it. There’s almost no excuse for excluding this one from your marketing!

          You can see this at work in tons of varied places from Yelp reviews to customer testimonials to sitcom laugh tracks. If people see others buying a brand and being satisfied, they too will buy without any further thought. It’s a powerful force for moving sales.

          How you can use it: Customer testimonials with pictures work wonders, as do any statistics about customer satisfaction. Social proof will give you instant credibility and make customers far more likely to take you up on your offer.

          And there you go, now you’re a budding marketing psychologist! Like we said, you probably already use some of these. What really separates moderate returns from great ones in a postcard campaign is someone’s ability to use more than one of these principles at a time. Especially when you combine them with psychological triggers, the result will be an intensely appealing offer that people just cannot pass up on.

          Speaking of great deals, if you’re a big fan of the free advice we offer here on our blog, just think about what our marketing services can do for you! Give us a ring at 877-222-6010 and try out your new-found psychological powers of persuasion today!

             

            Building a mailing list that actually responds

            You should feel great about getting your first postcard campaigns out the door because getting started is really half the battle. But how are you doing on your responses? That’s the other half, and it’s a big half. A conversation goes both ways and if you’re doing all of the talking and not hearing anything back from your mailing list, it’s considered unresponsive. It could be more than just the marketing copy and odds are good that the problem is one of three specific things it’s causing you to lose out on customers.

            Before we dive into the answers, let’s talk a bit about why people wouldn’t respond. It is no secret that consumers are absolutely bombarded with marketing messages these days (some 5,000 per day, according to studies). The result of this is that people have learned to filter what they see and if it smells like bad marketing, they just ignore it. What are the signs they look for?

            1. It’s not personalized and addresses them generically “Dear Mr. or Mrs.”
            2. It asks for something without offering anything back
            3. It’s unclear what you’re asking them to do

            All of these are poor interpersonal habits for anyone to have, but coming from a business? In the words of Fat Tony, “forget about it.” These messages won’t ever be responded to. Luckily we’ve helped run thousands of successful marketing campaigns over the years and have three tips for creating a truly responsive mailing list:

            Get Personal

            People feel compelled to respond when addressed by their first name. Just as you know intrinsically that you’ll have a higher response rate when writing someone’s name on an envelope than printing it, you’ll have a higher response rate for addressing them by their first name on a postcard than by using “hi there.” Why? Because at our core, we’re all just a little bit vain. We like to hear our own name. And when someone addresses us by it, we feel compelled to learn their name as well. This works just as well with your business as it does with two strangers meeting for the first time, so always lead with their name and they’ll feel obliged to remember yours.

            Deliver Real Value

            To compel your customers to act, you need to consider the “WIIFM,” or “What’s In It For Me” factor. This is an acronym that you should pin to your wall and every time you’re designing a marketing campaign, refer back to. If you were your own customer, what would be in it for you? Nobody goes into the auto shop out of the blue just because its #1 rated in customer satisfaction. They go in because they heard a clanking noise and they’re afraid their old jalopy will have a blowup on the freeway. So what’s in it for them with your postcard? Peace of mind! Tell them about how relaxed they’ll feel knowing that their family car is safe to drive. Find the real value that you offer them and it will compel them to act now.

            Tell Them Exactly What They Need to Do 

            Your postcards may have pretty pictures, but they’re so much more than a pretty picture! Every marketing action you take should be driving consumers towards taking an action of their own, whether it’s bringing the postcard in for a 2-for-1 deal or calling your toll free number. If you’ve taken five minutes to set up your marketing funnel, you’ll know exactly which action to direct them towards. So make your call-to-action large and obvious!

            And if you’re really looking to inspire responses, it’s also very important to make it as easy as possible to respond. Leave nothing up to interpretation. I’m always shocked when I see mailings that say vague things like “Get in touch with us!” and the phone number is either absent or hidden somewhere else. They’re expecting me to know what “get in touch” means, how to do it, and when I should I do it. As a consumer, I’m likely to set this postcard aside and forget it. Don’t create barriers to people responding! Use a phrase like “Call today for your free sample at 1 (800) 555-5555!” which tells them why (free sample), how (call us), where (phone number), and when (today).

            How to Get It Right

            The best postcard campaigns are ones that consumers feel they got a great deal on and actually look forward to receiving more mailings. When they respond consistently and your sales start to spike, you know that you’ve hit the three points successfully. You’ve sent personalized outreaches, delivered value, and made it easy and compelling to respond. Congratulations! You’re now holding a responsive mailing list which is the golden goose egg of marketing because it will keep delivering more sales.

            Not so tough after all, huh? Now that that cat is out of the bag, there’s really nothing standing in between you and a successful, responsive mailing list than just getting started!

            Today is the day, give us a jingle at 877-222-6010 and let’s talk about your next marketing campaign!

              Marketing Funnel
              The Marketing Funnel Can Help You Drive More Customers

              It’s no secret that small business owners are wearing many hats, and switching them out frequently: customer service, accounting, business development, marketing, even janitorial (hey, who else is going to sweep up that mess?) As a result, you can’t be blamed for not being able to focus the same resources on marketing strategy as the big guys, like Target, Bank of America, and Home Depot. Heck, you may even only have 15 minutes each week to dedicate to it!

              So how can you keep up?

              We’re here to help you “market like the big guys.” We’ve lifted the best million dollar strategies out of the executive boardrooms and laid them out here in small-business terms so that you too can profit from them!

              We’ll start with how you can create your own marketing funnel.

              Why is it called a funnel and why should you care?

              The funnel is simply the shape of the diagram, and you should care because this is how Fortune 100 companies like Verizon drove $18B in sales last year. It’s a tool for getting consumers to buy more and keep them coming back! And it’s simple enough that you can create your own in the next five minutes.

              A funnel is way to categorize all of your customers, and divides them into segments based on how much they know about you. At the top is everyone who hasn’t yet heard of you, by far the biggest group. As they move down the funnel they become “aware” of you, have seen your logo, or simply recognize your name. But they aren’t buyers quite yet.

              themarketingfunnel

              The third stage is “considering,” and these people are either considering your business or have a problem that you can help them solve immediately: their bathtub leaks, their drain spouts are clogged, they’re considering repainting the kid’s bedroom, etc. These are people who can become customers right now.

              The fourth stage is “engaged,” and these people are already one-time customers. But don’t celebrate yet, the job isn’t done! A one-time customer who buys tree-trimming service for $150 might sound great, but how does that sound when compared to a customer who reached the “advocate stage,” told their friends, and became the source of $1,500 in revenue? You want advocates! People so happy with your service that they can’t help but brag to their friends about what a deal they got. These people multiply the revenue that they bring in, and they cost exactly the same to acquire. It should be your focus to turn all of your one-time customers into advocates!

              Marketing funnel set? Now, let’s turn it on

              And there it is, that’s the marketing funnel in a nutshell! Customers start at the top and go on a journey to the bottom. Now let’s understand how you can use it.

              Start to think about how your own customers move through these stages, and what marketing strategies you can use to help them along. How do people typically become aware of you? Mass marketing is a great start, and postcard marketing is a really intelligent way to address a large group of people in a personalized way. And don’t forget, it takes many touches to get and keep someone’s attention, so don’t think it’s a one-and-done type of affair.

              aware

              Once people are aware of you, how do you get them to visit or call-in and buy? If you were the marketing person at Verizon, you might actually have enough manpower to call every person in your area (they in fact do). But you’re a business owner with just 15 minutes each week, so you’ll need a strategy and a partner. Here’s where you can go to social media or send a mass email to your list. And once again, postcard marketing is great for taking people who already know you and offering them a discount or trigger-based offer (birthday, holidays, life events).

              Every customer is a potential advocate

              Once your customer is “engaged” in the store or on the phone, catch them by surprise with a random act of generosity! It doesn’t even have to cost you money, sometimes the best ones are free. When my local barista remembered my name I went from referring to it as “the coffee shop” to “my coffee shop.” I’m a lifetime advocate and it cost them nothing! Sometimes however, give-aways can work wonders too. A local pizzeria I knew used to empower delivery boys to give away a 2 liter coca cola. My friend was a recipient and bragged that he “had them throw in an extra coke” and you can bet your bottom dollar that he only allows his friends to order pizza from there. In the end, advocacy is about how you made them feel.

              Now that you have your funnel written down, pin it to the wall and save it! You can refer back to it and if sales start to slump, you can pinpoint what part of your marketing funnel is “light” on prospective customers and see which campaigns to run to target them.

              And there you have it! That’s all you need to know for this week’s installment of “marketing like the big guys.” You learned to set up your own marketing funnel and came up with creative ways to move people through the stages from top to bottom in order to drive more business and keep customers coming back.

              Remember, you’re not alone in this one! If you’re feeling inspired and are ready to get one of those campaigns out today, give us a jingle at 877-222-6010 and let’s get those people in your funnel moving in the right direction.

                Operating from the concept that less is more, short copy is sometimes the most effective way to get your message across. Short copy allows you to key in to what is critical for your target audience and when you’re working with a small space, such as a postcard, you’ve got to focus in on what really matters.  What will paint a true picture of your offer?  How it will benefit your customer?  And why should they call right now!  Here are some suggestions with proven success in converting your target audience into into loyal customers.

                Understanding Your Target Audience

                The real effort that goes into creating effective short copy should be done before you write the first word.

                1. Know what is important to your target audience.
                2. What makes them happy?
                3. What makes them mad?
                4. What is their biggest challenge?
                5. What keeps them awake at night?

                Short copy is most effective when the audience is specific, limited, and targeted. Imagine you are addressing one specific person rather than broadcasting a general message to everyone. Drill down the specifics of that one optimal customer. Ask yourself who is most likely to buy your product or service and speak directly to that customer.

                Realize the Power of One

                When you understand the “power of one”, you can put together tight and compelling copy without the need for wordiness and fluff. Focus on one main idea and weave that idea through your entire piece.

                Stay on track!

                To determine your main idea, determine the biggest problem you can solve for your target audience and focus on that, free from other distractions. Avoid lengthy stories. If you must tell a story, paraphrase and shorten as much as possible! If the story works, keep it. If not, go with something else, such as a compelling quote from someone your target audience knows and trusts, or refer to a relevant current event.

                Edit anything out of the copy that doesn’t support your main idea of solving the potential customer’s biggest problem.

                Know Your Goal

                Determine the goal or action you want your target audience to take. You may want them to visit a website or call a number for more information. You may want them to set an appointment, or you may want them to buy something. Whatever your goal, know what it is when you write your copy. Once you’ve established the goal, determine what it would take to convince your target audience to take that action.

                The easiest way to drill down on your goal is to write the call to action first. This will give you a clear direction to proceed in before you write your copy.

                Find the Deeper Benefit to Your Offer

                Short copy will not allow you to emphasize every feature and benefit of your product or service. You’ll need to select the benefits that are most compelling to your target audience. Earlier, you determined the main idea for solving the customer’s biggest problem. Now you’re going to go ever further and determining the deeper benefit you offer. Here’s where you focus on how your product will solve their biggest problem, and why wouldn’t they want that?

                Imagine you’re selling a fitness product; a workout DVD with resistance bands. Features might include a 30 minute DVD you can watch anywhere, and resistance bands for strength training. To tap into the emotions of your target audience, ask yourself, “so what?” You can answer that by understand the biggest benefit – a DVD can be watched anywhere; in the privacy of your own home, or while traveling. Resistance bands build muscle faster, meaning you’ll see results sooner and won’t have to work as hard for the same results as you would with a traditional workout.

                Take a moment now to analyze the deeper benefit. For a younger person, it might be about being more toned and attractive. For an older person, it might be about maintaining good health and reducing the aches and pains that come with age.

                Paint a picture that builds an emotional connection.

                Put Customers at Ease with a Solid Guarantee

                To improve the performance of short copy, include a rock solid guarantee. Anything that minimizes risk will help your target audience feel more comfortable to try your product or service, thereby increasing conversions. These could include a simple satisfaction guarantee, a risk-free trial, or a free trial offer.

                Test It Out

                Testing your copy is a must! By testing out your copy, you can see what works and be better prepared create good short copy on the next go around. Short copy is easy to edit and test, and small changes such as altering the headline or changing the font size can make a big difference.

                Feeling overwhelmed?  We can help easily dissect this concept into a killer postcard marketing campaign…We have seen and tested new ideas for days!  Call 877-222-6010 today and start seeing new postcard marketing sales now.

                  The Familiarity of an Old Friend (or Better Yet…Family Member)

                  To be successful in business, it used to be sufficient enough offer the best widget, sell it a fair price, and provided top notch customer service.

                  Now, in the days of the heavily-saturated marketplace, being the best isn’t good enough anymore. Don’t get me wrong…being the best is a great accomplishment (although very subjective) but to be truly successful these days, you have to be more.

                  You have to stand out from the crowd to end up on the top of the mountain. (That’s literally a mountain!)  Customers are bombarded daily with marketing pitches; a refrigerator magnet for the veterinarian, a calendar from the real estate agent, some address labels from a charity, coupons for pizza and sandwiches. It’s a lot. It’s a lot for a customer to digest when they go to the mailbox every day and receive numerous mass marketing pieces.

                  So what can you do to set yourself apart from the others? One word:  Tenacity.

                  You’ve got to hang in there, put yourself in front of that customer time after time after time until you start to feel like a member of the family. This is where the 3-7-27 Law of Branding comes into play.

                  Name Recognition Is Not Enough

                  A great way to establish credibility, build trust, and create resonance for your brand is by being aware of the 3-7-27 Law of Branding. This law tells us that according to historical trends it takes:

                  • Three (3) contacts for someone to recognize your name.
                  • Seven (7) contacts for someone to associate your name with your business
                  • Twenty-seven (27) contacts for your business to become a brand name in the market.

                  “So where do businesses make the biggest mistake?”  After three contacts, they quit. Period.  And as they quit all the money they invested in that initial recognition goes out the window.  It’s a shame, really.

                  They assume, “Hey, they know my name now,” then sit back and wait for the business to roll in.  Then they are shocked when it doesn’t! Three contacts is simply not good enough. You’ve got to follow up and follow through with the 3-7-27 Law of Branding.

                  Building Your Business

                  Now that you know how many times prospects should see your marketing, how do you execute?

                  Postcard marketing has long been and continues to be one of the most successful and cost-effective ways of building your business within a target audience. Matching your message to the exactly the right audience pays huge dividends and saves you tons of money.  If you’ve got email addresses and phone numbers, those are great ways of getting your name in front of potential customers, but you want to stand out from the other 400 emails in their inbox, the personal touch and tangible feel of actually putting something in the customer’s hand is priceless.

                  Try these strategies for highly successful postcard marketing:

                  1. Let your postcard look more like a message from an old friend than an advertisement. Use familiar images like fake stick-on notes, fonts that look like handwriting, and imperfect lines.
                  2. Create a little intrigue to motivate customers to take action using wording such as “Learn how you can save 10% on home remodeling fees today.” It’s a subtle difference from a standard close, but this type of message tends to be well received and engenders a higher response rate. According to master direct mail copywriter, Dean Jackson, “Be compelling vs. convincing.”
                  3. Include a credible testimonial. Use a genuine and honest testimonial, one the customer could actually verify if they felt so inclined.
                  4. Addresses are on the back of postcards and mail is typically viewed address side up, so it’s critical to begin your pitch on the back of the postcard. Make the pitch on the backside something that will motivate the customer to turn the card over to learn more.
                  Start Carving Out Your Place Today

                  So there you have it.  Four easy examples of how to make a great impression on potential customers through postcard marketing.  Given that you’re required to be in front of that customer a number of times, you’re going to need all these creative approaches and more. Commit to choosing a list of leads and creating a mailing every day. In doing so, you’re invoking the power of the 3-7-27 Law of Branding and will be well on your way to carving out your niche in the marketplace.  Need help coming up with more creative strategies?  We can help…We have seen and tested new ideas for days!  Call 877-222-6010 today and start cementing your brand!

                    If you’re a business owner, over the course of the past several years, you’ve probably embraced social media and other online marketing techniques.  After all, every marketing guru swears that digital marketing is the “future” of marketing.  What’s worse, they repeatedly warn business owners just like you that if you don’t keep up with the times, you’ll quickly become irrelevant to your target audience.

                    What these self-proclaimed gurus fail to mention is that there’s a traditional marketing strategy that when utilized properly, can be just as effective as a comprehensive digital marketing campaign – if not more so.

                    So what is it?

                    Postcard marketing.

                    And here’s why…

                    Have you ever received a REALLY good postcard in the mail?  We’re going to guess that the answer is yes.

                    Do you remember the feeling you had when you received it?  The image was vivid.  It caught your attention.  The message was engaging.   You genuinely WANTED to do whatever that postcard was telling you to do, whether it was to grab a free drink at a local restaurant or book a massage at a new salon down the street.

                    So, the question then becomes: why aren’t you using postcard marketing for your business?

                    If you’re like many business owners, you’re convinced that postcard marketing campaigns are outdated – and maybe even completely ineffective.  Perhaps you believe that they’re too expensive or just won’t work for your business.

                    The Cold Hard Facts 

                    Recent studies have found that that:

                    • 7% of people visit their mailbox daily
                    • 5% of consumers read postcards
                    • 4% of consumers respond to postcards that they find relevant
                    • 46% of consumers say that they are more likely to respond to a postcard from a company that they’re already familiar with. Repeat advertising?  Yeah, it works.

                    Now let’s translate these numbers into something more tangible, shall we?

                    The Benefits 

                    Postcards are:

                    • Cost-Effective – The cost per lead – the total amount of money spent divided by the total number of leads generated – for postcards is $54.10. To put this in perspective, print advertisements average around $60.50 cost per lead and telemarketing a whopping $190.49 cost per lead.
                    • Customizable – Digital printing companies like ProspectsPLUS! can print postcards in a variety of shapes and sizes – and for a variety of different promotions – while keeping both your message and imagery laser focused. You no longer need to order in bulk as you did in the past so you can run smaller campaigns that are more fine-tuned to your end objective.
                    • Personable – Because of the different printing options available, you can completely personalize your message, all the way down to using the recipient’s first name, which is very strategic when executing laser focused send outs like birthday postcard marketing campaigns. After all, who doesn’t like receiving something in the mail that addresses them by name, wishes them a happy birthday and offers them a promotion of some sort?  The same thing goes for holidays.
                    • Physical – You can’t physically hold an email or a voicemail. You can, however, hold a postcard. You can put it on your refrigerator.  You can leave it on your counter so you see it often.  It’s never going to accidentally be deleted or lost in cyberspace… and it certainly isn’t going to get a virus.
                    • Nostalgic – It’s no secret that digital techniques have completely transformed the marketing landscape. As a result, many small businesses have opted out of using postcards. This makes them both rare AND appreciated.  Being different can be a great way to retain your existing customer base while generating a healthy, steady pipeline of new prospects and customers.
                    • Accessible – Most letters come in an envelope. And let’s face it: it’s pretty easy to tell whether something in an envelope is legitimate or a solicitation. Postcards are different. When your intended recipients pull your postcard out of the mailbox, they see everything there is to see. There aren’t any secrets.  Your message is right there, front and center.

                     The Main Takeaway

                    Traditional postcard marketing is NOT dead. There’s still a whole lot of experimenting to be done and because less businesses are doing it, your postcards will stand a MUCH better chance of standing out. Making an investment into a postcard marketing campaign for your small business is not only a good idea, but one that has proven to remain successful over the years – and will continue to do so long into the future.

                    Want to learn more about how you can use postcard marketing to up the ante on your marketing efforts?   If so, give us a jingle today!  877-222-6010.

                      Direct Mail in a Digital World

                      Every company has a desire to build a loyal customer base.  You communicate with them often, you treat them with utmost respect and you over-deliver on your value proposition’s promise.  This, however, is typically expensive, time-consuming and only happens over an extended period of time.

                      One alternative to this approach is being there when your customer needs you most.  (Then communicate often, treat them with utmost respect and over-deliver on your value proposition’s promise.)

                      In the marketing world…we call this a “trigger.”  And one “trigger” group that can easily become loyal customers are New Movers.  Let me explain…

                      Putting Your Brand on a Blank Canvas

                      Let’s take a closer look at a New Mover and analyze their current situation.  This is a group of potential customers who have just moved to a new area, whose life is probably in immediate chaos, they need products and services and thank goodness for you, they have not yet developed loyalties to businesses.

                      New Movers are essentially a blank canvas. They have moved away from what is old, familiar and established and now must forge new loyalties. They are in a position where they not only want to establish new buying connections, but circumstances dictate that they must do it quickly and easily.  They are yours for the taking, but only if you know how and have an effective new mover marketing system to win them over.

                      A Society on the Move

                      Americans are people on the move and in a period of transition, they represent a massive marketing opportunity. The motivation for moving can include major life transitions such as marriage, change of job, births, retirement, and divorce.  (Even more “Triggers”…more on that later.)  This period of transition can prove to be very challenging.  A person new to an area may feel lonely and uncertain, having severed social and community connections ranging from friends, neighbors, physicians, to even mechanics and hairdressers.  All of these things must now be replaced in their new location.

                      When people move to a new area, they experience five stages of transition:

                      • Stage 1 – Separation: Saying goodbye to the old and familiar.
                      • Stage 2 – Transformation: This represents the physical aspect of the move.
                      • Stage 3 – Early Integration: They experience this during the first six months in their new location.
                      • Stage 4 – Integration: The subsequent period of adjustment.
                      • Stage 5 – Maintenance: The period where those who have relocated finally settle in.

                      As you can see, moving to a new area is a major life disruption.  And it’s the perfect time to help.

                      The Time to Strike

                      The time for a business to seize the opportunity to gain a new customer is during the “Transformation,” “Early Integration”, and “Later Integration” phases.  These phases represents a time of “hyper-spending” – a time when new movers will purchase everything from new furniture to pizza delivery. Once a person has relocated to a new area, they will spend an average of $7,100 on goods and services that can be directly attributed to their move. Additionally, 80% of residents new to an area will try products and services from local businesses in the first 6-9 months.

                      Radical Generosity

                      Businesses are quick to seize on the opportunity of these new movers, but the problem is they are using the same conventional promotional offers they are using with everyone else. Big mistake!

                      This is the opportunity to get a little more radical.

                      Offer them something more than the typical every day offer. To win new movers as a permanent customer, you should be offering these customers not only sufficient incentive to try your business, but also a gesture so sincere that they are taken aback by the generosity. Now is the time to truly give to a market that needs you most.

                      The “token freebie”, such as a gift-with-purchase offer is simply not enough. If you’ve got a restaurant, offer them a free dinner. If you’ve got an oil change business, offer them a free oil change. These types of offers, are two to five times more likely to convert than traditional offers.

                      It may be tempting to feel like that’s just too much to give away, but consider that if a family orders $25 worth of pizza most weekends, in four years, they will have generated up to $4,500 revenue for your business and a gross profit of approximately $3,500 (Disclaimer Alert…we’re not pizza experts!)  A customer’s loyalty to an auto repair shop represents approximately $2,000 based on average turnover. A free dinner or oil change seems like kind of a bargain in comparison to what is to be gained. (Again, another guess but you get the point.)

                      The question you should be asking is not can I afford to do a giveaway, but rather, can I afford not to do a giveaway?

                      From Blank Canvas to Loyal Customer

                      Opportunity Knocks’ new mover mailing system, integrates all the essential elements of a successful new mover marketing campaign.  Three cards are mailed to address the three critical phases, personalized postcards are mailed to initiate a personal touch and it’s completed automated so you can focus on what you do best.  You can even search a new mover database for free to find out how many people recently moved to your area.  You’ll see the little bit that you have given away will come back to you many times over – an opportunity knocking that you cannot afford to miss!