Wow! Thank you to all our amazing contestants this past month!
    We had some terrific entries – and we thank you all so much for sharing your ProspectsPLUS! and Opportunity Knocks experiences! If your name wasn’t drawn – no worries! We’ll choose another winner in June!
    Congratulations!

    Our $150 winner is Lee Cline from Rustic Countrysides who shared, “Andy and his team are quick to respond and helpful. They gave us plenty of options with the information needed to help us make a great marketing plan for our company to move forward and take advantage of the inquiries generated from their vision and ideas”

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

      The postcard is still one of the best ways to bring new customers to your business. It’s targeted, cost-effective and prospects appreciate direct mail more than email, according to a U.S. Post Office study.

      The following four points are too often overlooked. But if you want to have success after success with your postcard campaigns, you’ll learn them well and employ them always.

      1. Use a targeted list

      It doesn’t matter how awesome your ice cubes are or how fast you deliver if you’re promoting to a list of prospects in Siberia.

      The quality of your list is the most important aspect in the success of the mailing.

      The ideal scene in the promotion of any product or service is that every single person on your list is the perfect prospect for your offer—they need it, want it, and are able to pay for it.

      It’s anyone’s guess if that ideal is attainable but one thing is certain: with a little work, you can reach plenty of high-quality prospects.

      (And for the sake of your ROI and results, you can’t skip this).

      To accomplish that, do an analysis of your best customers—the ones who make repeat purchases, send you referral business, and are always happy to give feedback:

      • Who are they?
      • Where are they located?
      • What’s their age?
      • Etc.

      Work up a profile of your best customer. With the easy access we have to data today, you can use that profile to find more of the same and thus come away with a targeted list.

      2. Write a killer headline

      If your headline is weak, your mailing fails—simple as that. Your prospect won’t be interested in your offer. They’ll use your postcard to sweep dust into a dustpan.

      It’s not necessary to be clever but it is necessary to appeal to what is most important to your targeted list. (See #1, above.) The two biggest requirements for a strong headline are curiosity and benefit—you want to pique the prospect’s curiosity and also promise them a benefit.

      Sometimes you can get away with one or the other.

      For instance, if your target list is asthma sufferers, a headline as simple as “Attention: Asthma Suffers” (curiosity) could work just fine. You could use a sub-headline to transmit the benefit (e.g. “Find out about a preventative treatment you can get without a prescription.”)

      3. Make an irresistible offer.

      You whet the prospect’s appetite with the benefit you’ve promised in your headline. Now your offer has to fulfill that promise in such a way that the prospects almost feels they’d have to be crazy to not buy (or call, or schedule an appointment, etc.).

      In addition to having a product or service your prospects want, there are plenty of ways to make your offer irresistible:

      • “Limited time offer”
      • “While supplies last”
      • Discounts
      • “Buy-now” bonus
      • Etc.

      (Tip: Everybody loves a great deal but which of your deals is the best one? Like anything in your promotion, your offer is among the things you can A/B test to see what gets the best response.)

      4. Track your results.

      You probably don’t need to be told that the whole point of postcard marketing (or any kind of direct mail marketing) is to be able to track the results. So, don’t do a mailing unless you’ve put in place a tracking method, such as:

      • QR codes
      • Unique phone numbers
      • Coupon codes
      • Landing pages
      • etc.

      Tracking is not sexy. It’s administrative. It can be tedious. But it’s one of the most overlooked aspects of successful direct mail marketing. Successful marketers track.

      You can design your first postcard, build a targeted list, and schedule the mailing right here online.

      Questions? We’d love to hear from you or visit us online at www.prospectsplus.com/pei

      Need a little coaching? We can design it all for you – just call 1 (866) 319-7109 or visit Opportunity Knocks marketing!

        You know what happens when you assume, right?

        A wrong assumption between two people can be embarrassing enough. But when you make a wrong assumption about your customers, embarrassment is the least of your worries. It can end up being expensive and wasteful…for you.

        Chances are good that you have some idea of the kinds of offers your customer persona is likely to respond to but when you want to deliver an even more highly targeted offer, what’s the shortest line from A to B?  

        You do it with by stealth survey.

        What Is It?

        Put simply, a survey presents two similar things (we’ll call them A and B) to an audience to see which one the majority of that audience prefers.

        With a stealth survey, the audience doesn’t realize they’re being surveyed. They think they’re just looking at an ad. (They are.) But the way they respond to it provides the marketer or business with a survey result.

        (Don’t worry; it’s totally legal.)

        When Would I Use It?

        There are three scenarios in which you would do a stealth survey. Each is a different way which a business could use to create growth:

        • Expanding into a new market
        • Introducing new products
        • Changing the pricing structure

        Whereas a routine postcard mailing would present a single offer, a “stealth survey” postcard presents three. It not only will give you back valuable data on how to target your offers in the future, but with three offers, you’re casting a wider net and thus have a better chance of coming away with a customer.

        Some Ways To Do It

        A dentist wants to start offering cosmetic dentistry services. So rather than shock his existing customers with a sudden shift in focus, he could instead prepare a postcard with three offers:

        “Call and set an appoint to get one of the following discounts:

        • 10% off cleaning
        • 15% off of braces
        • 20% off of cosmetic dentistry”

        Perhaps you’re a janitorial service and you want to begin offering more extensive, higher-priced services. Don’t just change your postcard to reflect the new service and price, but place three offers:

        • Office cleaning – starting at $150/mo
        • Day porter services – starting at $75/day
        • Full building maintenance services – starting at $750/mo

        Or, let’s say you run a mobile auto mechanic service and you want to expand your business into the next city or county but you’re not sure what the demand is or if your current messaging will hit home. So make three offers:

        • Factory-scheduled maintenance
        • Engine, transmission & electrical repairs
        • High-performance upgrades

         Then design and send your postcard. Monitor your responses as they come in. You’ll get your “survey result” (which of the three is most interesting to your prospects) and you’ll probably get some customers in the process as well.

        Most importantly, you will know how to target and design your future postcard mailings, and thus produce increasingly higher ROI.

        Need a little help? Call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109; they can design your “stealth survey” offers for you!

        Or if you got the gist and you’re ready to mail, you can start at www.prospectsplus.com or just give us a call at 877-222-6010.  We’re ready to help.

         

          Rosie was standing on the curb with her cellphone to her ear. Ten feet away, her Toyota sat in the right traffic lane, steam rising out of its crumpled hood.

          She’d been rear-ended by that guy in the work truck behind her, and pushed into the rear end of that blue SUV in front of her.

          The lawyer’s office answered and she told the guy who picked up that she’d been in an accident.

          After he collected some information, he asked how she’d heard about them. She chuckled. “Those radio ads I’ve been hearing! ‘If you’ve been in an accident, call 1-800-I-BE-HURT!’” she told him.

          The Real Reason

          Some slick radio advertising exec will show you the law firm’s new clients stat, correlate it to their radio campaign, and say, “See? That’s the power of radio.”  

          And…it’s persuasive. Kind of compelling, right?

          But before you start shelling out six figures for airtime and production costs for a lot of corny radio commercials, absorb this simple rule:

          The effectiveness of any advertising comes from the repetition, not the medium.

          This was first recognized by English businessman Thomas Smith, in his book, Successful Advertising, which was published in 1885—decades before people radios were readily available to the public.

          Y’see, your prospects recognize your name when they’ve been exposed to it (via any medium) three times. When they’ve been exposed to it seven times, they begin to associate it with your business. By the time they’ve been exposed to your name 27 times, you’ve risen in their mind to the level of a brand in your particular market. “Oh, that’s Bob Jones,” they say. “He’s that web designer.”

          So who are they likely to call when they need the kind of service you provide?

          Prospects Will Go with Who They Know

          You probably hear similar commercials on your local radio station, right? For lawyers, plumbers, mattress showrooms—whatever. The same kinds of messages over and over, day after day.

          And you rarely give them a second thought until, like Rosie, you absolutely need a lawyer (or a plumber, or a mattress, etc.).

          The Direct Mail Advantage

          Advertising effectiveness comes from repetition but with direct mail, you can get even more power. That’s because it’s targeted—so it only goes to the kinds of people who are likely to need and can pay for your products or services.

          Unlike radio’s “shotgun” approach, direct mail is a laser. It’s efficient, with an impressive ROI—$27 for every dollar spent.

          You can create a targeted prospect list and design and mail your postcard in minutes—right now, from where you’re sitting.

          If you know what you’re doing and you’re ready to mail, you can start at www.prospectsplus.com. If you’re still unsure about how targeted demographics can dramatically impact your response, log onto Opportunity Knocks Custom Campaigns or just give us a call at 877-222-6010.  We’re ready to help.

            Marketing can often feel like shooting at mosquitoes in the dark. You want to reach your target audience with an offer they will want, using a message that will get their attention and resonate with them.

            Often, you end up guessing what might work.

            To succeed, you need more and better information about your prospects—authentic data, rather than guesses or assumptions.

            Without authentic data, you end up using your advertising budget to confirm what you don’t know.

            “That’s the nature of the beast,” we tell ourselves. “Trial and error. It’s how everyone else does it. Isn’t it?”

            Well, yeah—uh, no…not exactly.

            Some people are nailing it a lot more often with a lot less trial and error—and getting phenomenal response and marketing ROI.

            You can, too.

            Punch #1: Demographics

            Demographic data—physical traits like location, gender, age, ethnicity, etc.—are important, especially if you are promoting a local or regional business to the people within that area.

            It’s the #1 punch and provides a certain level of targeting. So, if you were marketing a new kid’s clothing store, for instance, access to demographic data would enable you to reach households with children.

            That’s a start and it can increase your ROI. With hundreds of data choices, you will find and reach more of the kinds of customers you’re targeting.

            But there’s a way you can fine-tune your targeting to create dramatically better response and ROI.

            Punch #2: Psychographics

            While demographics tell you about the physical aspects of individuals or groups, psychographics tells you about their attitudes and their thinking…what their interests and opinions are, their likes and dislikes…what makes them tick.

            Once upon a time, you could advertise a box of soap and people bought it because it was among only two or three boxes of soap available.

            Today there are hundreds of “boxes of soap.” Customers have become more sophisticated. Their needs have become more specific. So in addition to demographics, you need the scientific advantage of psychographic data to reach them with your marketing.

            It’s the #2 punch that can produce mind-blowing response and ROI.

            For instance, if you were marketing an alternative health clinic, you wouldn’t want to spend your money trying to reach people who favor conventional medicine, believe that prescriptions drugs are the only answer, and the like. Rather, you would want to reach people who favor natural methods, alternative healing, chiropractic, and who have spent money on such things in the past.

            Psychographics enable you to do just that.

            Nielsen, the consumer research organization, makes this psychographic data easily accessible with PRIZM codes.

            With a few mouse clicks, you can design your first postcard, target it by PRIZM segmentation and schedule the mailing.

            If you know what you’re doing and you’re ready to mail, you can start at www.prospectsplus.com. If you’re still unsure about how targeted demographics can dramatically impact your response, log onto Opportunity Knocks or just give us a call at 877-222-6010.  We’re ready to help.

              How many businesses can you think of that a customer interacts with on a daily basis? (Starbucks maybe?) There aren’t too many.

              If you’re a doctor, you see the same patient once a year for their annual check-up. If you’re a house painter, you see the same customer once every four or five years. If you’re a wedding photographer, it’s even less often.

              If that describes your business, then between now and the next time you see that customer (or get a referral from them), it would be kind of…awkward to continually promote your services to them.

              But, at the same time, you can’t just drop off their radar. That would completely violate The Law of Consistency. You’ve got to remain in their life and on their mind (“top of mind,” as we marketers like to say).

              Luckily, there’s a way to do that without becoming a nuisance. And it’s a total win-win for everybody too.

              Content Marketing

              Content marketing is how you keep your name in front of your customers without selling to them. The “content” in content marketing is any information that’s interesting and helpful to your customer.

              By giving your customers information they enjoy and look forward to getting, you create an ongoing relationship with the person, in addition to the less frequent relationship with the customer.

              Content marketing can come in a lot of different forms, both online and off. UK-based paint and wallpaper supplier Farrow & Ball created a completely separate website called The Chromologist (the term for someone who interprets color) which provides content for people who are passionate about color (their target audience)—and not just in terms of paint. Another is made-for-action video camera maker GoPro, which creates and posts tons of action video…and even welcomes customers to upload their own GoPro videos, which other users can then access, edit, and compile into their own videos. That’s not just content marketing; it’s a content community.

              These approaches work because the content is important, inspiring, or exciting to customers. 

              How to Get Started with Content Marketing 

              Step 1: Identify your customer 

              Sit down and write a description of your typical customer—also known as a customer avatar or customer persona. Ask yourself these questions:

              • What is their age?
              • Where to they live?
              • What is their annual income?
              • Marital status?
              • Kids?
              • Pets?

              From these questions (and depending on your niche, you might think of more, which is okay), you will come up with a statement of the customer persona, such as “Ernie is in his early 20s, lives in Los Angeles, is unmarried, has no children, is a career person, and makes $30,000.” 

              Step 2: Identify Actions and Interests 

              Put yourself in Ernie’s shoes for a minute. What’s his average day like? What might he need help with?

              • Drives to work
              • Pays rent
              • Is dating or is interested
              • Goes to parties and/or happy hour
              • Often eats out or on the go
              • Looking to move up, make more money

              Look at what you come up with. Then compare it to the things you’re an expert at that you could assist Ernie with. Of course, you want it to be something that’s related in some way to your business.

              Step 3: Choose Your Channel(s)

              Now it’s time to pick the best way to reach your customers with your content. For a company like GoPro, who makes video cameras, online video was the obvious choice but most businesses opt to put written content out on one or more of these channels:

              To get even more bang out of your content marketing, make sure the different channels are integrated: Your postcards should urge people to sign up for your newsletter. Your newsletter should mention your blog. Your emails should—you get the idea. But you don’t have jump in all at once. Start with one channel and build it from there.

              Once you’ve done Steps 1, 2, and 3, then it’s time to start writing. Remember, you’re writing for your customer’s benefit, not your own, so sincerely focus on delivering a meaningful and valuable content experience to them.

              Then send your content out!

              Lastly, you’re going to want to monitor your results, to ensure that the content is really “hitting home” with your customers. You could also just go directly to them with a survey to find out what they really want to read about. 

              Do these things and you will succeed in keeping yourself “top of mind” with your customers. They will appreciate it and will pay you back with the next sale or referral.

              You can get a trial content market postcard campaign out the door right from our web-to-print platform right now. It’s easy! 

              But if you need a hand getting your campaign off the ground, call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109; they can create custom campaigns and plan it all out for you!

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

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

                Our $150 winner is Kristin Kopcial from Decorating Den Interiors who shared, “Opportunity Knocks makes my marketing a breeze! I use the New Homeowners program and have had great results. I would highly recommend Opp Knocks!”

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

                  With postcard marketing, you only have one quick opportunity to catch your reader’s eye. After that, the amount of time and attention they give to your ad will depend heavily on how it’s designed and the message you are sending.

                  Will yours be eye-catching enough that it becomes fridge-worthy? Or will it get lumped in with the junk mail?

                  Here are three steps to ensure that your direct mailers get noticed.

                  1. Keep it Simple

                  Start with an image that clearly and effectively portrays your message without overwhelming your reader. Select something bright and colorful that does not overcrowd the postcard. Too much clutter will be distracting, look like spam, and ensure prompt disposal.

                  Likewise, the message you choose needs to state your purpose directly and clearly. In few words (again, avoid clutter) you will need to describe who you are, what you do, and why they should do business with you.

                  The lesson: Reduce clutter to keep your message clear.

                  2. Aim for maximum contrast

                  As humans, we’re constantly comparing what we see to what we know. This habit is called perceptual contrast.

                  When what we see doesn’t match our expectations, we’re surprised and it catches our attention. For example, when Coca Cola left prank vending machines that dispatched unlimited drinks, flowers, and even pizza, it gathered quite a crowd.

                  More commonly, marketers leverage perceptual contrast by listing “before and after” discount prices in their direct mail campaigns. This price can be arbitrary, but it makes a big difference.

                  An offer for a $100 window cleaning service doesn’t sound too exciting but an offer that shows that the original price was slashed from $200 to $100? Now that’s something.

                  The lesson: List the slashed “before” price to increase response rates.

                  3. Call your readers to action

                  The last critical element to your direct mailing campaign is a clear call-to-action (CTA). This is where you tell people what you want them to do. Make it crystal clear how they stand to benefit and how to take advantage of your offer.

                  For example:

                  “Call today for your free quote!”

                  “Bring this card in for 15% off your purchase”

                  “Visit our website and use offer code TUESDAY”

                  This includes your contact information: a phone number, an address, an email, printed large and clear. Include this and you’ll make responding easy for your customers!

                  The lesson: Include a bold CTA.

                  Now you’re ready to net new customers! Log into our web-to-print platform and get them out today.

                  Need some expert help? We can design it all for you – just call 1 (866) 319-7109 or visit Opportunity Knocks marketing!

                    Welcome to Part 2 in our multi-part series on how to maximize your direct mail revenue. (If you missed Part 1 on planning and investment, read it here).

                    Let’s face it, the average consumer is so inundated with advertising messages – from junk mail to billboards – that trying to stand out is a herculean feat.

                    But the trick to being found and making sales isn’t being louder or pushier – it’s being smarter. Your postcards need to speak directly to your reader, and with these persuasion tips, you’ll master the art of the postcard sale.

                    3. Design

                    The design of your direct marketing postcards requires more than a pretty picture and eye-catching logo (although those are important). It takes an understanding of your customer and how they pick up and use your postcard.

                    For example, what are the demographics of the people who read the mail? What kind of lighting do they read it in? Which hand do they hold the mail in? Where is the focal point of the card, and therefore where should you place your most important details?

                    Once you have a better understanding of the way people open and look at their mail, you can design accordingly and create visually stimulating postcards.

                    You can use color and font variations to draw the eyes around your card. You can use the yes-ladder method to get people to agree to several statements on your postcard before showing them a call to action (CTA). And you can use psychographics and knowledge about how your customers speak to tailor your language to them.

                    Do this, and you’ll have a piece of postal excellence that really gets its message across.

                    4. Test

                    Now, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll come up with the best design on the first try. Don’t sweat it, and don’t let “perfect” be the enemy of “finished.” Get it out there and test.

                    You can use A/B testing which is when two similar marketing campaigns are launched simultaneously with one or two slight differences to see which works best. It’s like scientific trial and error, and is how the most successful marketing organizations on Earth operate.

                    It’s only by looking at this data that you’ll know that you’re having a positive impact.

                    Here are some elements that you can A/B test:

                    • The Offer: What works best, a two-for-one deal or 30% off? Free initiation fee or free month of training? You’ll never know until you A/B test!
                    • The Audience: Hopefully you have some idea who your ideal customer is at this point, but you may be surprised about who is really most receptive to your mailers.
                    • The Images: Try using a variety of images on your cards to see what captures their attention.
                    • The Timing: What time of year do consumers respond best to discounts? What weather conditions will get them to shop? Trying your mailers in different months could reveal unique buying habits of your market.
                    5. Adjust

                    Finally, after all your designing and testing, you’ll want to take your results and adjust your campaigns accordingly. By incorporating each of your testing successes into your long-term marketing strategy, you’ll be able to craft compelling, effective, and specific offers that speak directly to your prospects.

                    It’s good practice to continue designing, testing and adjusting throughout the life of your company—markets change constantly, and you’ll have to keep up if you want to win. The more you perfect your system, the more seamless and compelling your postcards become.

                    Ready to test? Log into our web-to-print platform right now!

                    And look out for Part 3 in this series, coming soon.

                    Need help getting marketing strategy up and running? Call Opportunity Knocks marketing at 1 (866) 222-6010 and reach your customers today.

                      With an ROI of $27 for every $1 spent, do you really need anything more than postcard mailers?

                      They’re one of the most effective ways small businesses can market themselves and yet you don’t just stumble into incredible results like this with zero planning.

                      No sir, you are going to need a full-fledged strategy, and that’s why we’re kicking off the first in our three-part series with planning your two biggest resources: your customers and your budget.

                      1. Identify your customer

                      One of the biggest advantages of using a direct marketing system is that you can target customers in whatever market you choose. Unlike digital campaigns, you have full control over which living, breathing people see your ad.

                      To figure out who those ideal customers are, ask yourself:

                      -Who are my best clients? Think demographics: Is your product geared towards men or women? What age range? Income or education level? Career status?

                      -Where do they live? ProspectPLUS! gives you options when it comes to figuring out where your targets live. You can use:

                      In addition, if you’ve run successful campaigns in certain areas in the past, you can reuse your mailing lists and simply upload them.

                      How do they buy? You will also need a grasp on your customers’ purchasing behavior. What sorts of call-to-actions (CTA) have your prospects responded to? Do they prefer talking on the phone, browsing your website, or visiting your store? Study the data from your previous marketing campaigns to understand exactly what drives your customers to spend. This will determine how to craft compelling campaigns that lead to real results.

                      2. Identify your budget

                      Postcard marketing can be used to build your business in more ways than one and the more you invest, the more you take advantage of psychological principles like the availability heuristic whereby customers see you so much that they start to wonder what they’re missing out on.

                      Ask yourself: 

                      – Where do I invest my marketing dollars? Just like a good investment portfolio, it makes sense to diversify, but you should bias your spend towards those channels that give you the greatest ROI.

                      For many small businesses, this is direct mail. It’s easier to target customers, saves you time, and produces high-quality leads. Limeberry Lumber learned this the easy way and saw a 10x ROI and drove $35,000 in sales by focusing on direct mail.

                      A good rule of thumb is to elect for an 80/20 split—80% of your marketing dollars toward the top channel (direct mailers), and 20% for everything else.  

                      -How much to invest? U.S. Small Business Administration recommends investing 7-8% of your gross revenue back into your marketing, although the optimal number may fluctuate for your particular business. Keeping in mind the 80/20 split, consider allocating 5-6% of your total gross revenue to your direct mail campaigns.

                      Ready to get started? Log into our web-to-print platform today.

                      And look out for Part 2 of this series coming soon!

                      Or, need something specific? Call Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 and get expert advice!