Yes, in fact, it does.

    But design isn’t what you think it is. It’s about a lot more than just pretty pictures of smiling people and a big logo – and it can be the difference between getting hundreds of new customers or nothing at all.

    Design is that whole process of understanding exactly how your customers interact with your postcards and addressing questions like:

    • Who opens the mail, and when and where do they do it?
    • Are your customers right or left handed? (more on that in a minute.)
    • Where do your customers’ eyes go on your card?
    • What colors and calls to action (CTAs) improve sales?

    Whew, seems exhaustive, but each of these factors can impact how many people actually pick up the phone and call you. In fact, through testing, you can uncover inexplicable little tricks that cause your response rates to jump 5x – sometimes you won’t even know why, but you will know that it’s good design because it keeps the cash coming in.

    Here’s how to improve your design:
    1. Ask yourself: Who opens the mail, and when and where do they do it?

    Knowing more about your audience can inform the colors, text, and font that you decide to use. For example, the Direct Marketing Association found that 91% of mail is always picked up by the same person and 80% of those people are women. If you’ve been tailoring your postcard to men, time to rethink your message.

    Here are more examples: If you sell to doctors and nurses, know that they’ll likely open their mail extremely early or extremely late, and visibility at that time of day is very low. You’ll want to use higher contrast colors. If you’re marketing to the elderly, you’ll want to use bigger, more legible fonts. And if you are marketing to men, 8% are colorblind and have trouble distinguishing shades of red.

    The bottom line: Find out who’s opening the mail, when and where they do it, and design everything just for them.

    2. Ask yourself: Are your customers right handed or left handed?

    Unless your business specifically sells to the left-handed community, know that 3 out of 4 adults are right handed. That means that when they pick the actual postcard up, their thumb will cover the right fifth of it. Knowing this means that you can design your postcards so that whatever is there is too big to be covered up.

    The bottom line: Put your offer (they last thing they should see) on the right side and make it big enough so that it can’t be covered.

    3. Ask yourself: Where do people’s eyes move across the postcard?

    Your postcard always gets to tell a story. Which story? The one about why the reader should want your service. Draw their attention to the first thing you want them to see by making it big and bright and then use the yes-ladder method. This says that you should explain to them what they’re missing in the biggest font, show how you solve it in the next biggest font, and then present the offer, in that order.

    The bottom line: Use size, font, color, and position to guide where people look to improve their comprehension.

    4. What colors and CTAs perform the best?

    It’s no secret that people react differently to different colors and words: every audience is unique. People in rural or metropolitan counties may each have different opinions of the colors red or blue. Californians might not know what to do with the word “y’all.” And the phrase “don’t mess with …” probably performs less well in Maine than in Texas.

    Based on all your knowledge of them, use your customer’s’ preferences to your advantage to highlight the parts of your postcard that matter most. Test everything endlessly until you seize upon a trick that drives far higher call volumes.

    The bottom line: A/B test colors, text positions, and CTAs one at a time to find what works.

    Good designs get great results! Become a great designer yourself simply by getting started in web-to-print postcard mailer – it only takes minutes and it can earn you thousands in new business. We even have done-for-you templates.

    Want a hand? We’ll design it for you at Opportunity Knocks. Just call 1 (866) 319-7109

      Can you name all 10 ways postcards can save your business?

      Don’t worry if you can’t, even we get tripped up sometimes. Plus, you have plenty else to worry about, which is why we made you a quick-reference list of the top 10 uses for postcard marketing – feel free to bookmark it!

      Postcard marketing, after all, is such an incredibly cost effective means of capturing new customers and getting your name out there that you’re practically throwing away money if you’re not applying them to every part of your business!

      The top 10 ways that postcard marketing can save you:
      1. Acquiring new customers– Postcards excel at bringing in new business for a variety of reasons but chief among them is the fact that people actually act on what they read. Research shows that 60% of people who see a postcard eventually take that action.
      1. Increasing your revenue and profit – Because postcard marketing is so cost effective, you both increase your profit and hack away at overhead. Brad Hollingsead, CEO of the Georgia-based landscaping business Partners with Nature, reduced his cost-per-new-customer from $12 with online ads to $2 with postcards. Basically, he saved 600% on marketing while still bringing in $22,000 in new business.

      (If you want that same campaign, just call us at 1 (866) 319-7109 and we’ll set you up)

      1. Drive store or website traffic – Consumers today are walking around with blinders on and even though your product might be perfect for them, they’re not paying attention. Postcards are proven to break through – people actually look forward to them – and you can drive traffic to your store or website.
      1. Promote events and special offers – Nothing catches attention like a brightly colored, well-designed mailing. Cut through the clutter and announce offers through the mail where people have no choice but to read them.
      1. Grand opening or relocation – Need to get the word out? There’s absolutely no better way on Earth to alert everyone within a target radius of your new opening than Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM). It’s a partnership with the USPS who already knows everyone and where they live, and it drops a postcard onto every mailbox.
      1. Introduce products and services – Need to let both current and new customers know that you’ve got a new offering? Pack it all onto either a regular or jumbo-sized mailing with a hero-shot of that product in action. Limeberry Lumber announced their new home-installation service this way and saw a 10x return on their money, for a grand total of $55,000 in sales.
      1. Build community awareness – Postcards don’t always have to have a call to action. In fact, you can build a solid reputation as a community-minded business by promoting local events. (In the end though, this usually does help sales too.)
      1. Establish your expertise – People patronize businesses who they think know more than they do. Use postcards to deliver free tips and expertise and in turn, people will come buy from you when they need help.
      1. Develop new markets – Moving into a new market? Launching a new product line? Expanding your business? Soften those new targets with postcard mailings to drum up business and test the waters.
      1. Ward off competitors – People are sometimes attracted to what’s new and exciting and if you’ve got new competitors moving in on your territory, it pays to get your name out there and keep people talking about you.

      Is this giving you good ideas? Put your marketing where your mouth is and use our web-to-print platform to send that postcard today!

      We’d love to talk strategy with you – shoot us a call at 1 (877) 319-7109. We want you to succeed!

         

        There are a lot of misconceptions about our world today, and a lot of ideas masquerading as “facts.” For example, do you think millennials prefer to read something or watch a video? Surprise, it’s reading. And what do you think wins more new customers, a million-dollar social media campaign or an old fashioned catalog? For brands like Burberry, it’s the catalog.

        Needless to say, we could all use a little reality fact-check! Especially when it comes to direct mail, which has received a lot of press lately.

        Here’s what the numbers say about it:

        #1
        What you hear: direct mail is dead
        The truth: Americans actually love getting mail
        1. 70% of Americans say snail mail is more personal than the Internet – Direct Marketing Association
        2. 56% of Americans say receiving mail is a real pleasure – DMA
        3. 98% of Americans check their mail daily – Entrepreneur

        Despite all this talk of digital taking over, direct mail marketing is undergoing a renaissance. Consumers suffering from digital overload want opportunities to disconnect. For this reason and more, they actually love to receive direct mail!

         

        #2
        What you hear: Everything important happens online nowadays
        The truth: Americans spend so much time online that they’re sick of it

        It’s no argument that Americans spend a lot of time on their screens:

        • Americans dedicate 10 hours per day to “screen time” – CNN
        • Americans spend 2 hours per day on social media – Adweek

        And yet…

        • 85% of consumers suffer from banner blindness – Adotas
        • Only 1 in 2,000 people click on the average digital ad – Google
        • 90% of Americans are tired of staring at screens all day – Business Insider

        Put simply, people are tired of being online and know better than to trust most things that they read on the internet! This unfortunately applies to most of your marketing there.

         

        #3
        What you hear: The best way to get new customers is online
        The truth: Mail is better for advertising than digital
        • Mail requires 21% less cognitive effort to process than digital media – Canada Post
        • Consumers are 70% more likely to recall a brand name from a postcard than an online ad – Canada Post
        • Direct mail delivers a strong ROI of 15-17% – DMA
        • Direct mail outperforms digital by 600% – DMA

        Americans want any excuse to put those screens down and experience something real – postcards and direct mail, for example, are striking, tactile, and satisfying, and endless studies prove that they’re far more effective at getting people to remember you, give you a call, and walk into your store.

         

        The bottom line: Direct mail is the best way to reach your customers in the modern age!

        Lucky for you, postcards are easy – click here and get a campaign out the door in minutes.

        Would you like a digital + print strategy? Opportunity Knocks can help, just call 1 (877) 319-7109.

          What do archery and postcards have in common?

          For both, proper targeting is nearly everything. Without sighting your bullseye and lining up a proper shot, you’ll miss and wind up pulling out your hair trying to get either to work.

          For marketing, missing is particularly expensive. Messages sent to the wrong addresses, wrong people, or at the wrong time cost money. Many business owners wrongly assume that they can make up for this by sending greater volumes but if you’re wallowing in the 1% return category and sending 10,000 postcards, you’re spending 10x as much to accomplish the same thing as someone who sent 1,000 postcards but got their targeting right!

          Which business owner do you prefer to be? Yeah, we thought so. Here’s how we can help you get your targeting on track:

          Visualize your target

          Before you fire, let’s take a look at where you’re aiming. Who is your ideal customer, and where can they be found? This profile might be very different than that of your average customer, as you always want to find the highest value ones with greatest ROI.

          To do this, you’ll likely have to do a little research by talking to top customers, interviewing store visitors, running a rewards program, and conducting surveys.

          Through this you might come up with something like “married women between 35 and 44 years old with kids and at least high school education.”

          Line up your shot

          Next, target your ideal customer. That could be by location (perhaps they all live in similar neighborhoods), by profile (if they’re scattered but have distinct characteristics), or by a marketing list (if you have one). You can research this by looking up census data or, if you have a marketing partner like Opportunity Knocks, they can perform the research for you.

          In the case of the middle aged mothers, it’s safe to assume that they probably live in similar neighborhoods, but that they also have similar demographics, so here are your options:

          • Geo-location targeting: Target specific neighborhoods by selecting an area on a Google map with Map My Mail.
          • Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM): If you’re certain that entire zip codes are a good fit, reach every household in that area with EDDM.
          • Profile targeting by Nielsen PRIZM: Scroll through profiles to find one that matches your audience using Nielsen PRIZM.
          • Demographic targeting: Input the demographics of your audience and we’ll match them with tax assessor data using a Demographic Search.
          • Upload a List: Lists are hard to maintain because people move and details change. If your list is recent and well-kept, this can be your best approach. Simply Upload and send.
          Watch to see if you hit

          There are two ways you can track postcard success: by USPS delivery confirmations that the postcards arrived (ProspectsPLUS! provides these automatically to you) and by responses. You’ll want to track the total number that you sent to find out what percentage were delivered and what percentage called in and made a purchase.

          How do you know if the postcard is what drove the sale? Simple: include a discount code on the postcard. Customers can either use it to visit a landing page URL or reference it when they buy in-person or online. Track out how many codes are redeemed and presto: you’ll have your number.

          Remember, the best archers out there aren’t born masters, they get good through repeated practice. If you’ve created a marketing plan to bring in new customers, stick with it, learn, and improve each time. Test the images, the offer, the copy, and the targeting until you start to see response rates that don’t make you pull out your hair!

          Ready to try one out? Log into our web-to-print platform and fire a campaign off today.
          If you need help, Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 has sent tens of millions of postcards and can do the targeting for you!

            This fundamental uncertainty plagues both fishermen and marketers alike.

            It stems from not knowing enough: with a gigantic pond of opportunity, there are surely fish, aren’t there? And if there are, is it my bait that’s bad or is it just a matter of time? Marketers often wait in heart-wrenching silence for a nibble, just wondering.

            The good news for you is that there’s a simple answer to this age-old problem: You can both wait it out AND increase your odds of success through A/B testing. Testing means you both stay still (consistency is the key to marketing) and try something new.

            Just like a fisherman with many poles in the water, you should constantly be experimenting with your marketing.

            Test everything, but only one thing at a time

            Testing only starts after you’ve given it your best guess. Design by our best practices and then make minor changes and see how your audience reacts to them.

            When a change has a positive impact, adopt it and change something else. It’s a winner-takes-all approach that lets your marketing evolve into a devastatingly powerful tool.

            Why not test multiple variables, you ask? Think about it. You’ll never know which change made a difference. If you change the size of the postcard as well as the text, then which change should you make to your other postcards? Both? What if the text was worse but the size was better and they canceled each other out? Isolating variables solves this.

            Here are variables you can test:
            • Offer: Is your offer succinct, powerful, and to the point? Try shortening it and use the SUCCS method of dangerously compelling offers.
            • Size: Could it be that your postcard isn’t big enough to stand out from all the other mail? Disrupt the ordinary with Jumbo mailers.
            • Images: Images have the ability to instill emotion which leads to sales. Are your images achieving this? Test first among those in your office and then A/B test them on clients. In our experience, high-contrast images with bright colors and smiling people work best.
            • Targets: Perhaps your postcard is on-point but it’s directed at the wrong audience. Go back to the drawing board with the same design and select a different audience group.
            • Timing: Are your offers landing at the wrong time? It could be that you’re not taking seasonal marketing into consideration.

            And now, there’s nothing left but to start testing! Log into our web-to-print platform, change something about your last campaign, and see what sticks!

            If you want to speed things up, use Opportunity Knocks’ advanced testing and perfect your design faster – just call 1 (866) 319-7109.

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

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

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

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

                How much marketing spend is enough?

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

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

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

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

                Make sense? Now let’s talk dollars.

                How much budget should I allocate to overall marketing?

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

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

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

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

                Your 5 direct marketing options: 

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

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

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

                1.  Time savings

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

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

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

                2. Better targeting

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

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

                3. Higher quality customers

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

                 

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

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

                  What makes snail mail so much better?

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

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

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

                  1. Direct mail is more memorable

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

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

                  2. Your messages actually get through

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

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

                  3. Direct mail allows for creativity

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

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

                  4. Direct mail allows you to convey emotion

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    Brad sat down with Jim Schimpf at Opportunity Knocks:

                    Listen to the 20 minute interview:

                     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    Q: Wow – that’s incredible.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                    Not too shabby results for 3 postcards, huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                       

                      dental postcard

                      Example: Tague Dental Care offers free consultations.

                       

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

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

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

                       

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

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

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

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

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

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