The good, the ad, and the ugly

    The Super Bowl has become an advertising spectacle, no doubt about it. Companies, usually car manufacturers, spend upwards of seven figures on their Super Bowl ads and because those gobs of money attract some of the brightest minds in the advertising industry, we spectators get the wonderful benefit of looking at the most advanced advertising thinkers competing in a high-stakes bake-off.

    We know we know, it’s not football season yet, but does a true fan ever put away their jersey? True champions are always training, and for better or for worse, we’re always watching ads from the industry’s experts to see what we can learn. So consider today an off-season punt-fake of sorts, and run with us!

    Before next season (aka your marketing this month) really kicks into high gear, we want you to be prepared with plenty of direct mail marketing tips!

    Consider these your spring training.

    The best: Merge your story with a larger narrative.

    Chrysler’s Super Bowl Ad “Imported from Detroit”

    https://youtu.be/SKL254Y_jtc

    Powerful? Yes. Attention grabbing? Check. Chock-full of narrative? Definitely. Chrysler’s ad makes a wise choice in tapping into a universal narrative that we all love: the underdog story. And it accurately connects the ideas of strife and accomplishment, and that great hardships can lead to even greater successes. Detroit has been through it all, as has Chrysler, and they’ve spun that into a strength.

    How can you harness this in your direct mail? Tell your story! Sure, you’re in business to make a profit and take care of your family but what’s the greater narrative around what you’re doing? If you’re a small business, you should see yourself as out there battling Goliath, fighting to improve whatever industry you’re in. If you’re in a troubled industry, tell the Rocky Balboa story about how you can come back and make that industry great again. Find a universal narrative like Detroit coming back from the brink of failure and you’ll engage customers and draw them in!

    The worst: If you can’t be the best, be memorable

    Mountain Dew “Puppy Monkey Baby”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql7uY36-LwA&feature=youtu.be

    If you’re like us, you turned that off after just a few seconds. (OK…not really) It does not get any better. During the Super Bowl however, nobody’s changing the channel and they’re effectively chained to this tortuously bad video. You’re probably screaming, “What were they thinking? How could they pay $4M for that?” and the answer is, because it’s effective.

    It’s not effective at being likable, but it’s effective at being memorable, and in advertising, that’s often all that matters. It’s the same reason that you know, but probably don’t like, Pepto Bismol’s Jingle, or Geico’s mascot. This commercial started a firestorm of negative press and had everybody talking about it the next day at the water cooler. And from that perspective, it worked, because Mountain Dew was top of everyone’s mind.

    How can you harness this in your direct mail? Don’t focus on being polite, focus on being memorable. Jump out and grab people with your sales copy, and don’t be afraid to use clashing, garish colors or lots of exclamation points (within reason). Your postcard’s job is to catch people’s attention and even if they don’t respond, to help them grow accustomed to your pitch so that you stay top of mind! And luckily, you can accomplish all of this without being even a fraction as annoying as Mountain Dew’s commercial, or spending $4M.

    Oh…and whether it’s a talking lizard, a puppy monkey baby or a silly jingle, repetition cements your brand.

    And there you have it, tips from the best and the worst of one of the most expensive advertising events on Earth! Now it’s time to put it all together.

    Use our DIY web to print platform to create a postcard in under 15 minutes that tells your underdog story or sears itself into your customers’ consciousness!

    Either way, blame it on what you learned from the big guys!

    Need help with your strategy? We can help you identify and perfect your story and turn it into sales. Give us a call at 1-866-319-7109 or contact us at Opportunity Knocks today!

      Conventional thinking in most marketing circles is that nobody does direct mail marketing anymore, direct mail is too expensive, it doesn’t work in today’s dynamic, internet driven landscape.

      These same thinkers say, shift your marketing budgets to social media, email, and the newest addition, mobile media.

      Not so fast my friend!

      According to studies done by the American Affluence Research Center, direct mail is probably the most cost-efficient method for reaching the truly affluent, i.e. the wealthiest U.S. households — These are the households with a net worth of $800,000 or more and incomes of 200,000 plus.

      By coupling targeted data with the right message and a strong branded presence companies can be 100% sure they capture these more affluent consumers. These are the same consumers who don’t typically surf the web on a daily basis. They are the same group of consumers that are not glued to a computer screen updating their Facebook account. These are the consumers who have more disposable income and are more likely to purchase your products or services if they feel you’ve invested in them.

      (Check out the Market Dominator’s impressive Affluent Marketing Program)

      When I open my mail box each day, I see the proof that marketers have not yet abandoned direct mail. Both small businesses and giant corporations are still capturing consumers through this channel and increasing their brand awareness.  I strongly believe that those marketers who are getting results through direct mail want their competitors to continue thinking that digital media is where they should spend their budgets.  They want to make sure to keep the secret that direct mail can still be a powerful tool in the 21st century marketer’s arsenal.

      Direct mail is still a very important vehicle to deliver sales directly, but it also works with other marketing platforms to connect with customers.  For example, I may see a postcard in the mail quite frequently but never order by phone or mail, rather, I always go online to make my purchases.

      Statistics from the Direct Marketing Association confirms the synergies between direct mail and other multi-channel strategies: “Fifteen percent of customers receiving a catalog and 12 percent receiving a letter, postcard or flyer from a company made a purchase on the company’s website at some point.”

      It all comes down to the best way to get in the customer’s door and capture their attention. With the use of targeted data, direct mail will continue to score big with the largest, most affluent luxury market that is the baby boomer generation.

      Need help, got questions or want someone do it all for you? Call Opportunity Knocks today at 1-866-319-7109 and they’ll get it set up. They’re a full-service marketing agency and their bread-and-butter is using these campaigns to drive crowds of new customers your way!

        What’s the dynamite, you ask? It’s Every Door Direct Mail. This completely hands-free approach to postcard marketing guarantees maximum penetration with minimal effort, and it actually ends up costing a lot less than even traditional direct mail.

        But, before you get excited…know ahead of time, it’s not for everyone. To help you figure out if it’s the right approach for you, let’s walk through a few real life scenarios, shall we?

        Sandy has an open house and she’s worried about low attendance, and as a new realtor in town she doesn’t have a big enough network to know who to invite.

        Trey runs a restaurant and he’s tired of paying for radio and TV spots because he can’t tell if they’re reaching the right people.

        Nicole and her husband have a long-established landscaping business but still spent all of last week “flyering” just one neighborhood, and they’re tired of it.

        Pablo has just moved his dental practice to a new neighborhood that he doesn’t t know well yet, and he needs to fill up his appointment book so that he can pay his staff.

        What do all of these businesses owners have in common?

        These are all perfect candidates for Every Door Direct Mail! They’re small business owners who lack the time, the lists, or the resources to saturate their local marketing with advertising, and don’t have gobs of money to spend!

        Every Door Direct Mail pulls out all of the stops and parachutes postcards onto the doorstep of every consumer or business within a specific area. It’s the secret-weapon in our offering arsenal is just the opposite of our usual “segmentation, personas, and targeting” approach that we so heartily advocate because sometimes, results can’t wait. You don’t have time for pin-pointed accuracy, you just need to get the word out, fast! If targeted postcard marketing is like casting out a fishing net, this is like fishing with dynamite!

        And of course, we don’t expect you to provide any lists for all those people, we already have them. All you need to do is design the perfect postcard and hit send, and our advanced digital printers kick into action and start churning out tens of thousands of pieces of direct mail headed to every conceivable customer in sight.

        For your convenience, there’s no:

        • Dealing with lists. Just select an area, we make sure every person or business in there gets something.
        • Addressing each person or business individually, our system handles that.
        • Licking hundreds of yards of postage
        • Dropping them off at the post office (unless you want to)
        • Need to track your own deliveries. We guarantee 100% delivery tracking for you and you can check results online!

        And Every Door Direct Mail isn’t just limited to postcards here. It’s anything that a company could want to send to their prospects: Sandy will choose to send out jumbo-sized open house invites and brochures to people. Trey will opt to drop trifold menus on every doorstep. Nicole and her husband will send flyers to every corporate building and park. And Pablo will be sending dental postcards to everyone within driving distance!

        And what about cost-effectiveness? Well, they win out there too. This is your maximum saturation with minimal effort, and it ends up costing you a whole lot less: just 17.6 cents per mailing! 

        So, you have to ask yourself: do you have the bandwidth to run a highly targeted and effective postcard marketing campaign right now? Or is it time to get the word out at all costs and saturate your market?

        Kickstart your Every Door Direct Mail campaign today and see how many customers were out there waiting for you to reach them!

        Need to go one step further and have someone do it all for you? Call Opportunity Knocks today at 1-866-319-7109 and they’ll get it set up. They’re a full-service marketing agency and sister company to ProspectsPLUS! and their bread-and-butter is using these campaigns to drive crowds of new customers your way!

          Here at ProspectsPLUS! we get to see some pretty creative stuff.  It’s really the icing on the cake from having a direct mail marketing “platform” which easily helps small businesses get out there and draw in crowds of new customers.

          Our users can get pretty darn crafty and today it’s all about three cunningly creative customer stories that you can take advantage of too:

          1. Use postcards to announce a visit, boost effectiveness by 209%. Does your sales process involve door to door sales calls or do your jobs involve you going out to customer sites? If so, you’re a prime candidate for this one.

          One of our customers runs a pest control business that makes neighborhood visits and the owner couldn’t help but feel like it was a huge waste to drive all the way out to each development to only hit one house. As any good salesperson does, she went door-knocking and left job signs, but it just wasn’t cutting it. People weren’t expecting her and it took up a lot of her time. Instead, she started sending 1-2 postcards a few weeks in advance of her visit to a neighborhood along with the deal she would offer if they signed up on that day and lo-and-behold, her door knocking success rate jumped 209%. Pretty impressive, huh? And this tactic isn’t just limited to consumers either.  We have a tech services customer who does the same thing within business parks!

          2. Use QR Codes to engage smartphone users. There’s nothing people like better than being “smart phone engaged.” Especially when it lets them leverage the supercomputer in their pocket that we’re all absolutely glued to.

          According to wireless week, 65% of digital media is now consumed on mobile, and it’s high time that your direct mail campaigns took advantage of this. One of our pet supplies customers saw a natural fit and created some mystery with their QR code by saying “Have you seen this video yet?” They linked it back to a funny YouTube video of a lemur asking to have his back scratched which they had embedded into a landing page, which then funneled all of those visitors back to their website to become leads.

          3. Use postcards as handouts. This is one significant advantage that postcards hold over any digital media: it’s an offer that you can physically hand off to someone!

          One of our many real estate customers got to feeling like he had prospected as much as was possible and that he was all out of the “Glen Garry” leads for this year. Not so. In a fit of genius, he took his list of past clients (which he typically sends birthday cards to) and he created a postcard thanking them for their business and offering that if they passed his postcard along to a friend who then became a qualified lead for him, he’d pay for their weekend at a cabin the mountains (at a place his family owns and never uses).

          The results? His cabin got booked up for the entire summer and he had to find another place to send people. With the right postcard offer and an attractive reward, you can drum up an extraordinary amount of business in what otherwise seemed like a dry pond. (And, as of this posting one of those leads has closed, paying for the campaign thousands of times over! How’s that for ROI?)

          So, you’ve seen what they can do. What’s your creative play?

          Or, maybe you have something that blows these out of the water? Either way, share it! Get that campaign out there into the world and head straight to our web-to-print platform and either upload your own designs or choose from hundreds of best-practice designed templates. Or, if you want to talk to just an all-around helpful person, call ProspectsPLUS! today at 1-877-222-6010!

          Having trouble targeting your campaigns?

          If you could use some help putting all of the pieces together including figuring out who to send them to, Opportunity Knocks is a ProspectsPLUS! sister company that specializes in taking you from “interested” to “expert marketer” in no time.  Call today 866-319-7109!

            Marketing Rocket Science

            Targeting is all about landing your marketing message exactly where you intended to go, even if it’s from hundreds of miles away. If you hit the bulls-eye, you’ve delivered the right message to the right person at the right time, and you’ll probably land a sale. It’s the marketing equivalent of Space X’s recent landing of a rocket on a barge floating at sea. Pretty impressive huh?

            We’ll tell you right now, Space X didn’t just do that on a whim. It took a thoughtful approach and some fairly serious planning, and before that planning was complete there was some fairly expensive trial and error. The same goes for you, only with careful planning, you can avoid the costly mistakes that don’t bring in the right customers. If you want your direct mail postcards to land on all the right barges, as it were, you’re going to need to look at the data. Get it right, and you’ve injected rocket-fuel into your ROI.

            Here is the data you’ll want to consider when targeting your postcard marketing:

            Who they are? Let’s look at your demographics. This is the first step you’ll want to take in narrowing down your audience by age, gender, marital status, economic status, level of education, income level, and employment. This will help you cut down the entire market of potential buyers to more manageable segment to whom you can address a more personalized message. If you select only women, for example, you can use all-feminine pronouns throughout your postcards. If you’re not sure where to start, try to come up with your most “typical” customer and filter based on that.

            What do they value? These are what are called psychographics factors. Whereas demographics are more about someone’s physical state, psychographics delve into their belief systems, their values, and take into account preferences like hobbies, interests, and dislikes. You’ll want to factor this part heavily into how you phrase your messages so that you’re speaking in your audiences’ language. Avoid controversy by erring on the side of respecting all beliefs equally in your marketing.

            How they act? Behavioral segmentation is about whether people are likely to respond to your marketing or not. Luckily for direct mail, it has broad acceptance among all demographics, but what sorts of calls to action are people likely to respond best to? People in large cities are more likely to prefer a website they can visit while folks from the Midwest typically appreciate talking to someone on the phone. And if you’re using QR codes, make sure that it’s with a younger demographic.

            Where they live? Values, neighborhood, and weather all play a big part in people’s responsiveness to marketing. Travel offers featuring bright and sunny beaches are all the brighter when sent to cold places at cold times. Or if a community is particularly proud of its civic engagement, remember to list your local affiliations like the chamber of commerce or Rotary on your postcard.

            Past business relationship? This is of course key: have they bought from you before? If you’re in doubt, be sure to use ambiguous language that doesn’t presume that they don’t know you, as this may hurt the brand familiarity that you’ve already built up. If you know for certain that you’re targeting customers, talk to them like old friends.

            Great, that’s a mountain of data. How can you quickly and easily sort through all of this to get your postcards to the right people?

            Using our web-to-print platform, target your ideal customer personas at the click of a button. Simply choose to between these four options:

            Map My Mail: Draw an area on Google Maps using tax assessor data.
            Demographic Search: Choose from hundreds of data choices and in-depth property information.
            Psychographic Search (Powered by Nielsen PRIZM): Understand your customer at a deeper level by choosing pre-selected personas who match your ideal customer.
            Upload your own list!

            Once you’ve got your list and you’ve designed your mailing, it’s blast-off for your marketing campaign.

            Get started today by calling us at 1-877-222-6010 or printing online to safely land more new customers today!

              Wouldn’t it be nice if your customers took care of you for once?

              Current customers are the bread and butter of any small business. They’re your lifeblood, your recurring revenue, and you’ve spent years acquiring, delighting, and keeping them. And after all of your hard work, isn’t it about time they took care of you too?

              You know, there’s a lot more to your relationship with them than meets the eye.

              For whatever value you’re getting from each customer, it’s probably only a small fraction of their full wallet-share (That’s the total amount of money that they spend on goods like yours). Let us elaborate.

              Let’s say that you’re a general grocer. If your average consumer spends $100 with you each month, but US Census data shows that the average household spends $281, you only have about 1/3 of their wallet-share. What gives? Where is the rest of that money going? Probably to the specialty grocer down the street carrying the Iberian pork, or that new Juice shop promoting cleanses. Your customers have spread their spending across many providers in order to find what they want and like.

              So you mean they’re going to spend that money anyway?

              Yep. The question now becomes this: Instead of spending 7 times more to acquire new customers, isn’t it a great use of your time to run marketing campaigns to your current ones to garner more wallet-share? Of course it is, and here’s how it’s done!

              Marketing to your current customers

              Whether you’ve filled a gap in your offerings or you’re simply trying to get people to realize the breadth of what you already have, you want to advertise in a way that feels authentic. Whereas emails can feel cheap and get lost among the clutter, consumers and businesses alike actually prefer and respond better to postcard marketing which denotes a certain quality by the nature of the fact that it had to be printed and sent with intention. It’s an offer they can touch, and it doesn’t disappear when they put their phone down.

              Here are the 6 steps to running a highly successful current customer postcard campaign:

              1. Figure out who you’re going to target. The first step is to determine who that customer segment that you want to go after is. Maybe it’s all of your customers, or maybe it’s a small subset. Filter all of this information into a spreadsheet in this format.
              1. Design the offer: Visit ProspectsPLUS’s web-to-print platform to get started and select among preset designs.  Remember that you’re speaking to people who already know and trust you. This is an opportunity to leverage that relationship and write in a colloquial and personal manner. Doing the opposite could cost you big points. I know that every time Comcast sends me another offer for faster internet addressed to “Dear occupant” even though I already use them, I etch another mark on the wall of my deep dislike of them. Don’t be Comcast!

              Address your customers by name, acknowledge your existing relationship, and include an offer that will allow you to track the success of your campaign. Maybe that’s a URL, maybe it’s a discount code, or maybe you simply ask them to bring it in with them to the store!

              1. Upload customer list. If you’re having trouble at this stage coming up with enough customer addresses, you can achieve practically the same thing through neighborhood targeting wherein you simply select the area around your business using Google Maps.
              1. Set it for multiple sends: While it takes on average 7 marketing touches for someone to become aware of your business name, it may take the same amount to get them to become aware of a new product offering. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and assume that you’ve done a great job on branding already and set this campaign for no less than 3 touches over the next month.
              1. Review and send. Have you dotted your “t’s” and crossed your “i’s”? Well go back and fix that! Once everything is good to go, set those postcards and let your marketing partner do the rest!
              1. Track responses and ROI: You can log back into your ProspectsPLUS account at any time to review the deliveries in real-time thanks to our USPS integration. You can measure that against the number of offers that are redeemed to figure out your overall success.

              Customer success campaigns are downright easy, aren’t they? There’s no dreaming up new messaging to tackle new and unknown markets, there’s just spreading awareness among the current patrons that you already understand so well. Done correctly, your customer postcard marketing campaigns will save you boatloads of money and help you earn a greater wallet-share of your customers for lower marketing costs!

              If you haven’t started your customer postcard campaign yet what are you waiting for?

              Have any questions about how this works? Never hesitate to pick up the phone and talk to a real person at 1-877-222-6010!

              Or if you think your customer campaign requires a little more support, Opportunity Knocks is a full-service marketing agency and partner of ProspectsPLUS who can set up and run the entire thing for you!

                Who is your customer…really?

                That’s the question that Nielsen’s PRIZM poses to us, and we’ll pass it along to you like a hot potato. Do you really know them or how to reach them? That’s what Nielsen is here to solve.

                PRIZM sort of sounds like a weapon of mass destruction from a James Bond film, and that’s basically what it is for your marketing: A game-changing tool of mass- effectiveness. It calls itself “the leading lifestyle segmentation system” and that term “lifestyle” is key because beyond knowing the basics about where your customers live, it gathers the other hidden consumer data that usually goes unnoticed, like lifestyle preferences.

                Let’s take for example two demographically identical mothers. Both live in two-bedroom homes in the same neighborhoods with the exact same income. One could possess a love of soap operas and romance novels while the other could be enthralled with WW2 military history. You should market to them differently, we don’t need big data to tell you that, but how do you figure out those preferences so that you can do so?

                Big data solves big problems

                That’s where Nielsen’s PRIZM becomes the answer. After all, every postcard that you send that is personalized for the Days of Our Lives-loving mother is completely wasted upon the fan of historian EB Sledge, and vice versa. This is the reason that your cost-per-lead-acquisitions are so high and you can watch postcards going out but no responses coming back in. Nielsen’s PRISM solves this by collecting psychographic data which includes beliefs, interests, dislikes, and lifestyles, and sharpens your list up to a very fine point.

                Okay that’s pretty powerful, but is it easy to use?

                Not only do you have nearly perfectly targeted data, but they make it incredibly easy to use it in your targeted postcard campaigns. Through ProspectsPLUS’s web-to-print postcard marketing system you can use Nielsen PRIZM to select from 66 demographically and behaviorally distinct types of consumers, including factors like:

                • Socioeconomic rank (Are they bohemian or big sky families?)
                • Sports (Do they prefer skiing or golf?)
                • Media (Do they prefer museums over fantasy football?)
                • Shopping (Are they more likely to buy from Nordstrom or Amazon?)
                • Apparel choices (Do they buy from Rag and Bone or K-mart?)
                • Plus, Income, Product usage, Education, Occupation,Home value, Leisure time preferences, Life stage …

                And the list goes on.

                There’s an infinite amount of data, and we’re only just getting started.

                Based on your business goals, Nielsen and ProspectsPLUS! can help you answer these questions:

                • Who are my best customers?
                • What are my best customers like?
                • Where can I find them?
                • How should I reach them?

                If it all seems too good to be true, we’re right there with you. Before we were business partners with Nielsen PRIZM we were just customers, but it seemed like an invaluable service to extend to our clients. We want you to get highly personalized too because it’s such a critical element of successful modern marketing.

                This ability to get hyper-targeted is increasingly key to winning sales. As technology advances in the digital world and websites personalize themselves to the user, 73% of people have already been trained to prefer doing business with brands that can address them by name and understand their interests. They also look for the same personalization in offline direct-mail marketing, where we help you keep pace by getting laser-targeted on specific customers within specific households and addressing them all by name, beliefs, and behaviors.

                So, we’ll repeat the question we started with: Who is your customer, really?

                Nielsen’s PRISM knows. And you can use it in one of your postcard marketing campaigns today. They take just fifteen minutes to set up using one our best-practice designs and we have a full staff ready to answer your questions if you pick up the phone and just give us a call at 1-877-222-6010!

                Need a hand in putting it all together?

                Marketing isn’t everyone’s forte, but we’re here to make it as easy as counting to three. Opportunity Knocks is a full service agency who can get all of your ProspectsPLUS! postcard campaigns set up quickly and help you with your overall strategy. Give them a call at 866-319-7109 today!

                   

                  Who’s afraid of that big bad list?

                  Unless you want your marketing to have a supernaturally high budget, stop marketing to ghosts! Every small business is working with a list, either one they’ve built-up organically, purchased, or borrowed, and they’re always in a state of disrepair, full of non-existent people.

                  Like an old house that doesn’t get maintained, these lists are expiring from the moment they’re created because consumers move, marry, and change their names, and businesses do the same through relocations, mergers, and acquisitions. If you’re not maintaining proper hygiene for your direct mail list, you’re sending postcards to people who aren’t there, and what’s more wasteful than that?

                  Quite simply, your marketing budget can’t take it. Hence, the need for proper list hygiene.

                  There are several ways to go about maintaining your list hygiene: do it yourself or call in a partner. Even if you’ve already chosen to have a partner handle it for you (a great choice, we must say), it’s still highly instructive to appreciate what goes into doing it yourself.

                  Here’s the process of maintaining a clean list for postcard marketing:

                  Use a program: Microsoft Excel will do just fine, but 6 out of 10 small businesses out there are still using something else, from notepads to sticky-notes and whiteboards. It’s time to get organized and get it in one place, and Excel works best because it’s free and commonplace, unless of course you have some software like a CRM.

                  Basic data hygiene: When’s the last time you went through your list? This is the “sweeping the porch” portion of hygiene, which involves manually scrolling through to clean up misspells, properly labeling your columns, and de-duplicating people who show up more than once.

                  Export only the fields necessary: Your list needs to be speaking the same language as the system you’re uploading it to, and the most common is a .CSV file (taken from Excel). Here’s the proper list format that we use here at ProspectsPLUS!.

                  Manage the un-delivered rate: It’s important to know which postcards arrived and which didn’t so that you can update your list. If you’re sending these on your own through the USPS, the price of tracking each can run you a hefty bill. Some companies provide this tracking through their portal!

                  Monitor the do-not-mail list: The FCC cares about unwanted direct mail just the same as they do phone calls and email, and they manage it through the Direct Marketing Association. As a business, you’re responsible for not sending to people on this list and while violation fines vary by state, they can run up to $16,000 per incident! (If you use direct mail marketing partner like ProspectsPLUS!, they’ll take on this responsibility)

                  If you get stuck, call for help! The last thing you want to do in list hygiene is go it alone, and you can always give our experts a call at 1-877-222-6010 to make sure you’re handling it correctly!

                  And speaking of getting help…

                  Remember earlier when we hinted that there was 1 secret tool that will do it all for you?

                  That secret tool is a digitally-powered postcard marketing partner like ProspectsPLUS!

                  With our cutting-edge integrated data partners like Nielsen PRIZM we keep a fully up-to-date list of all of the consumers and businesses that you consider prospects. Our software is fully CASS Certified (Coding Accuracy Support System) to ensure that addresses are printed correctly, and uses NCOA (National Change of Address) technology to make sure that your recipient still lives or works where you’re mailing them.

                  What does all of this mean? That instead of doing any of the list hygiene above, you can simply trust us to ensure near complete data accuracy and that as a result, we can guarantee 92% delivery success on your mailings. You’d have to make list hygiene your full time job to come even close to that on your own, and we provide 100% mail tracking on all of the deliveries to boot!

                  Are you curious what that a guaranteed hygienic list looks like?

                  Jump into our web-to-print postcard marketing platform and see for yourself!

                  Just follow our guide to designing the perfect postcard and then select from uploading your own, selecting your ideal customer type, or drawing a mail-to zone on a Google map!

                  It’s that simple, and take it from there.

                  Any questions? Call our experts today at 1-877-222-6010 to start bringing in more living, breathing, customers!

                    Messaging makes or breaks your postcard campaigns

                    Your writing style is extremely important in your marketing. It’s how your customers and potential clients perceive you, how authoritative they think you are, and whether they trust you enough to pick up the phone and buy from you!

                    And yet despite this, many small business owners totally write-it-in for their postcard campaigns (excuse the pun, but on this one we had to). We know, because we watch them go out every week. They’re simply going with the first draft of whatever they jotted down and not thinking about whether their message is actually effective.

                    Let’s take a look together at what really effective messaging looks like. 

                    Examine these two advertisements. As a customer, what do you notice?

                    At Janet’s Landscaping, we use top of the line mowers and edgers. 

                    You will love how lush your lawn looks, only with Janet’s Landscaping.

                    Pretty obvious which is more appealing, right? The second one jumps right to what I want as a customer, which is a beautiful lawn. The first one on the other hand presumes that I know that mowers and edgers equate to a good lawn, but it takes mental effort. Don’t make your customer do work, come right out and say it in their terms!

                    So now, here’s the message that nobody likes to hear.

                    You’re out there advertising like the first one!

                    We’re all guilty of a little self-centeredness. It’s only natural, after all, we know what we ourselves like and how we like to say it! However, if you’re not speaking in terms of what your customers want to hear, people are throwing away your postcards before they get to the good stuff and dragging down your response rate and ROI.

                    And we won’t stand for that! Your success is our success, and we’re in this together. So without further adieu … 

                    Here are our top 6 tips to help you speak in your audiences’ language:
                    1. Know your audience. Get used to speaking in terms of the value propositions for each of your buyer personas. Maybe John and Jane newlywed are most interested in a clean yard where their kids won’t get hurt, whereas Sally apartment complex owner expects her lawn to help attract new renters. The same value proposition wouldn’t work for both, so make sure you’re got the right one!
                    1. Use the acronym WIIFM: Or, “What’s in it for me.” It’s what your customer thinks when they read your offer. Every time you write something, ask yourself what’s in it for your customer and if it doesn’t clearly tie back to a tangible benefit like more revenue or saved time, keep trying.
                    1. Change your writing style to fit the situation:  
                    • For selling to households, make your postcards bright and colorful and folksy sounding! Take the tone of being a neighbor and reference things that only a local would know.
                    • When your services are big life decisions, like accounting, insurance, and investment, sound solid, authoritative, and reliable.
                    • For marketing to local businesses, get to the point! They’re busy and if they don’t see the value proposition in the first three-seconds, you’ve lost them.
                    • For triggered campaigns on specific events like birthdays or moving into a new house, share in their enthusiasm!
                    1. Use analogies: Using analogies is like building a suspension bridge between the value proposition of your message and your audiences’ front door. See what I did there? Analogies allow you to use mental shortcuts to help customers understand more quickly and in less words. For example, “Great landscaping is like a complete makeover for your home!”
                    1. Use powerful descriptors. I recently followed my wife into a makeup store called Sephora and I was blown away by the word choice in there. There are thousands of products and each of them have only a few words to capture your attention, so they do a breathtaking job: Vivid. Effortless. Luminous. Purifying. Glowing. Clay. Do these jump out at you or what? Use them, and here’s a list of 100 powerful adjectives to get you started.
                    1. Once you’ve finished your first draft, start over. Why? Because as you write your ideas will change and your message will improve. Whenever we write headlines for these articles we write no less than six and each one improves upon the last, until we have something that’s truly attention grabbing.

                    That wasn’t so hard, was it? Six simple tips that you can follow to start speaking in terms of what your customers care about so that your postcards really hit home.

                    Ready to turn your new panache for writing into revenue?

                    While you might not feel like the next Stephen King, ready to churn out a novel worth of postcards, don’t worry! We can help with your postcard marketing writing if you just give our friendly folks a call at 1-877-222-6010. Together, we’ll use writing to help you reap huge returns!

                      Better get checked … for banner blindness?

                      What would you say if I told you that 86% of the people reading this today suffer from “banner blindness?” Wait! Before you run to the phone to text your doctor (that’s a thing now), or go to WebMD, understand that this is actually good for you! It’s your body’s natural defense against a torrential hurricane of annoying online advertising that’s become so loud that almost nobody is listening anymore.

                      Banner blindness is when people can’t recall the last advertisement they saw. Research by Adotas confirmed that just about everybody exhibits it, and that it’s linked to the fact that there are too many bad ads out there. Shysters shilling weight loss supplements and adult dating sites have inadvertently trained us as a society to completely ignore them.

                      This is especially bad news for those well-intentioned advertisers out there because now nobody is being heard. And yet, paradoxically, the industry keeps growing. Why? Because advertisers themselves aren’t paying enough attention! The whole industry is practically driving blind. Despite study after study confirming that online advertising is among the lowest performing ways to garner new customer eyeballs, the industry is slated to grow by 15.4% this year.

                      So before you go doubling down on your online advertising, consider these alarming statistics:
                      • 56% of all of the digital ads out there are never seen by a human! Source: AdAge
                      • Standard banner ads are only clicked on by 1.2 people out of every 1000. Source: eMarketer

                      That’s all pretty bleak, and when you consider that only 1-2% of people who actually click on that banner actually end up making a purchase, making sales this way is like getting only 5 customers out of an entire football stadium of prospects.

                      If not digital ads, what then?

                      At ProspectsPLUS, we say fall back on what you know, and trust a mixture of your instincts and data. There are thousands of tech companies prowling out there promising magic bullets while looking for creative ways to cut into SMB profits and at the end of the day, that’s not how businesses grow. Banner and digital ads do have their place but only as a supplement to doing business as you always have: meeting and greeting strangers, spreading the word, and leaning on the single most reliably effective target marketing channel: direct mail.

                      Direct mail is like that first car of yours…the one you were so proud to own but which you left behind when you moved away. And now, years later, when you come back and whip the dustcover off of it and the engine roars to life, you’re enthralled with the sleek design and the unparalleled quality. You realize that nowadays, they just don’t make them like they used to.

                      And we mean that. Postcard Marketing isn’t some plastic-lined import. It’s a 1969 Mustang for your marketing.

                      Postcard marketing delivers these results:
                      • 7% response rate from households, 30x higher than banner ads! Source: DMA Response
                      • 15-17% ROI on average. Source: DMA Response
                      So now you have to ask yourself, what’s it going to be: Direct responses or fighting against banner blindness?

                      ProspectsPLUS! has been in the business for over 20 years, and we aren’t going anywhere. Pick up the phone today and call us at 1-877-222-6010 or try our print-to-web guided process to get your next truly genuine postcard marketing campaign going!

                      And if you need those campaigns but want an expert to set them up, Opportunity Knocks can get it all done for you in flash! They’re a sister company to PropsectsPLUS! who specialize in white-glove direct mail marketing.