Doesn’t it seem like holiday marketing creeps forward every single year? We sure think it does.

    I mean, who isn’t at least a little bit offended when turkeys start appearing in July and Santa Claus starts making appearances in November?

    And yet, it’s a sort of cheer-filled arms race that you can’t afford not to be playing. Most businesses do almost one third of their annual sales during the holiday season alone. Customer attention overload also climaxes in late November and continues on into the new year and if you want to break through and make your sales numbers this year, you need to start generating some brand awareness pretty much right now!

    To that effect, we want to make it easy on you!

    Here are our holiday marketing tips for closing more sales in the busiest time of year:

    1. Gift reminders

    Does your product or service make a great gift? Remind people! One in three shoppers wait until the week of Christmas to do their shopping. You’ve probably been there, we all have: you don’t know what to get or you don’t have the time and before you know it, they’ve run out of stock.

    Do your customers a huge favor and help them lock their gifts in now, early, (perhaps for a discount) so that they can avoid the last minute buying madness! The best way to do this is to focus on the pain that this typical entails, like so:

     

    holidaycard1

     

    2. Holiday decorating tips

    If there’s anywhere that consumers can use help this season, it’s in making sure things run smoothly. With all of the family coming over and the need to coordinate plane tickets, spare bedrooms, meals, and more, your marketing can do them a big favor. Find a way to work your products or services into simplifying or streamlining the holiday bustle and they’ll love you for it. We’re talking about things like recipes, gift wrapping ideas, books for the plane ride, games for the family, music to play, house repair, and landscaping.

    3. Offer holiday related services

    A smart marketer realizes that they can turn just about anything into a compelling event, and the holidays are no exception. With so many people either using their home to gather the whole family or leaving it vacant to go back to someone else’s, there’s a lot that you can remind them not to forget. If you’re a landscaper, make sure that their house is safe and clear from widow-makers while they’re gone. If you’re a dentist, make sure that the kids’ teeth are galvanized against the onslaught of sugary goodies that are coming. If you’re a contractor, make sure that the house is ready to withstand the flood of slushy boots! There’s something for every business in here.

     

    holidaycard2

     

    4. Sweeten the deal with holiday offerings

    Help people get into the holiday spirit by giving your products or services a holiday twist – gift wrap purchases, hand out candy canes, give away toothbrushes, and color things in Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, or Christmas colors.

    5. Holiday count-down marketing

    If you’re really looking to stay top of mind, start a countdown. In some cases, this makes a lot of sense for sales that can’t happen early, like food, flowers, decorations, and travel. Use marketing postcards simply to lay the foundation for later sales!

    That season is just around the corner!

    Just like your shopping, don’t put off your holiday marketing until it’s too late. Pick up the phone and give us a jingle at 1 (877) 222-6010 and let’s get you set up for end of year success!

    If you really want a hands free holiday marketing plan, call up the experts at Opportunity Knocks, the sister company to ProspectsPLUS that will set all of your campaigns up for you!

      Bigger is different and different is better

      First off, do not read this article. Unless of course you want to learn some psychology that’s going to help you bring in new customers, that is. Today’s lesson is all about a powerful psychology lesson and the direct-mail service that helps you take advantage of it.

      Let’s pause for just a second before we start though – why did we start this article the way we did, with a warning not to read it?

      That’s what’s called a pattern interrupt and it’s designed to derail readers from their routine. You probably expected something like, “What you have to know about marketing is…” and when it was the opposite, you got curious. You paid attention.

      Pattern interrupts work because we as humans like to follow patterns. We get coffee at the same cafes, commute along the same routes, and respond to all marketing messages with a “no thanks” before we even know what they offer. We tune out most of what is happening and if you’re a business trying to break through, you have to break the cycle.

      You have to interrupt.

      In direct mail, there’s a service that offers precisely this: the Market Dominator.

      This isn’t just your regular old jumbo postcard. It’s a grand, glossy, place mat-sized mailing (12” x 15”) that positively begs the question: who sent this monstrosity?

      Here’s what it can look like:

      dom1

      Or this:

      2

       

      Here’s What The Market Dominator Produces:

      “The second Dominator mailing triggered the call. They had looked at several designers.  They visited our website and were pleased to see that we weren’t tied to any single style or design.

      The couple had moved often, but this was the place they wanted to settle and call home and they wanted it done right, irrespective of budget. They weren’t going to be happy unless they got exactly what they wanted.  

      This appt. resulted in a $165,000 sale!”

      The Mitschelen’s – Decorating Den Interiors, Miami, FL

      When people receive a Market Dominator card, their usual mail-sorting pattern is completely interrupted. This mailing doesn’t even fit in their hand, no matter how they arrange it all; there’s simply no avoiding looking at it. Add onto this a massive and stunning stock photo and you have yourself a guaranteed positive impression.

      It’s also big enough for these other added benefits:

      • You can both include a large visual AND fully explain what you do
      • You can include tear-out coupons for other services so that you kill two birds with one stone
      • You can include a map of other customers around them who have purchased recently

      It’s a lot of real-estate to work with and its novelty is its key to success:

      It interrupts patterns and gets recipients to consider you. 

      Of course it’s more expensive than your standard postcard, but it’s also vastly most effective. Do you know if it’s effective for you? There’s really only one way to find out, and that’s to ask the customer success team who sees them go out every day.

      Call them at 1 (877) 222-6010 or hop on over to our website and send a sample!

      Or, if you’re busy and want us to do it for you, call Opportunity Knocks. They’re a white-glove marketing service that turns your ideas into customers like magic. Call them at 1 (866) 319-7109!

        What’s the biggest danger to your sales? Is it the competition? The economy? Sharks?

        None of the above!

        The answer lies within your own office: it’s inconsistent marketing. Not sticking to a marketing plan is at the heart of every great marketing failure, from the miniature to the massive. This is because marketing messages and campaigns compound upon each other and when you give it a rest, leads that were close to calling go cold.

        Think about it. When you give up after a few campaigns because you’re not seeing success, it’s like giving up on heating water because it never came to a boil. The next time you return to it, it will be cold, and you’ll be starting over from scratch. You’ll have dropped from your prospective customers’ radar and have lost warm leads to the competition.

        “Don’t let this happen” is much easier said than done, we know, so here’s our 7 step foolproof consistency strategy for you to try out!

        The 7 step steady-seller marketing plan:

        1. Keep it simple: Over complicated marketing plans are easily abandoned when the going gets rough. Cut your plan down to the minimum-viable necessary campaigns and channels. If you can’t measure the results of something, cut it.
        2. Keep it visible: Print out your simple marketing plan and post it somewhere visible in a public and highly trafficked area in your office. This keeps it top of mind and keeps you motivated to be consistent with the public plan.
        3. Create things in batches: Somewhat like shifting gears on the freeway, starting and stopping your marketing writing and creation causes a lot of friction. When you hop to something else, you start over in first gear. Instead, set aside blocks of several hours and channel all of that genius at once. Write all of your emails, blog posts, and postcard copy in contiguous sessions.
        4. Automate everything: You want to make the process as streamlined and effortless as possible, and much of the technology is completely free. Use your calendar to set reminders to create content, use your email system to schedule emails ahead of time, and set your postcard campaigns up with multiple sends so that you can get it all done at once and then sit back for the remainder of the month. You can go even further and trigger postcards off of events like birthdays, purchase anniversaries, and new homeowner arrivals.
        5. Re-purpose good content: This is where laziness and genius start to converge: you can actually start to accomplish more by doing less through re-using successful taglines and images. It gives your marketing consistency and it becomes more memorable through repetition.
        6. Measure your results: Nothing will train you to keep up your marketing like seeing the positive impact of your efforts. By asking every customer how they found you and tracing online and postcard leads back to their origins you can make the connection between effort and payoff tangible and the process more fun.
        7. Stick to your plan! The best way to create accountability around your marketing plan is get someone’s help in keeping you honest. Find a business partner, spouse, or friend and give them some amount of money to donate to a charity that you dislike if you fail to keep it up.

        What do consistent people get to see? The water boiling over with leads of course! It doesn’t take very long to get excited and realize that a continuous marketing effort is the surest way to generate the consistent sales that you need.

        Take 15 minutes to get your quick win out of the way for today and fire off a 3-touch postcard marketing campaign; Even borrow our images to get it done!

        Want a coach to keep you honest?

        The ultimate form of consistent marketing is letting someone do it all for you. Call Opportunity Knocks today at 1 (866) 319-7109 to set up your free evaluation and calculate the ROI total freedom!

          The key difference between marketing and advertising

          What’s the difference between marketing and advertising? Quite simply, marketing is about compelling immediate action and advertising is about generating positive impressions. Marketing drives people to pick up the phone while advertising helps them remember jingles. Ads typically are best in glossy magazine pages and on billboards whereas marketing is most effective on postcards and in emails.

          Both of them have their place, and as a small business owner looking to drive more sales, you should certainly be doing both.

          But when should you be doing which?

          When it comes to direct mail marketing, you actually don’t have to choose. You can use Jumbo-sized mailings to obtain enough real estate to comfortably do both, and kill two birds with one stone. Make your mailings beautiful, memorable, and catchy, while simultaneously driving an immediate buying response. Here’s an example of a postcard that does this well:

          postcard_dia

          With this Jumbo postcard 3:2 ratio layout, we achieve a clear advertisement on the left side with a marketing message on the right.

          For the ad portion, they used the company’s color scheme, an emotionally evocative picture of a delighted customer, and the theme of unveiling beautiful, nearly magical jewelry. It exudes starry-eyed excitement and conveys the emotions that we want associated with the product.

          On the marketing side, they get right to the point with a compelling message. They used a rhetorical question, “How will you show your devotion?” to engage their readers in active thinking, they repeated the company name more than once, and of course they made sure that the call to action (CTA) was abundantly clear and involved a sense of urgency. Will time really run out to schedule an appointment? Only you, the business owner, knows for sure, but that doubt inspires readers to immediate action.

          Together they make an ideal one-two punch for your postcards! The ad is memorable and thematic and the marketing is compelling and actionable.

          More reasons to love Jumbo postcards

          Another benefit to Jumbo postcards is that their unusual size makes them additionally impactful: they’re higher visibility, the pictures are larger, there’s more room to work with, and they exude a novelty factor that increases the time that recipients spend with them by 15-20%.

          Plus, you don’t need anything to get started with our free templates and carefully selected stock photos!

          Ready to create your own?

          Here’s our 30-second guide on things you can include:

          • Limit the total amount of text to 75 words or less
          • Beautiful or striking advertising image
          • A color scheme consistent with your brand
          • A theme that ties it all together
          • A tagline, like “Make the night unforgettable”
          • A rhetorical question to get people thinking
          • A clear CTA with a phone number
          • Urgency – tell them why the offer won’t last
          • Your business name and or logo

          Hop into our web-to-print platform or call 1 (877) 222-6010 and get yours rolling off the presses today!

          Need a little help from the experts?

          Opportunity Knocks is only a click or a quick phone call away at 1 (866) 319-7109! They specialize in bespoke marketing and advertising campaigns that are guaranteed to help you land new customers.

            Who wants to be more like a car dealer?

            We sure do!

            You probably hesitated to respond just now, and we can understand that. Very likely, the image that your brain conjured up was one of a red-faced used car salesman in a checkered suit trying to sweet talk you into a deal. That’s the old-school car dealer however. The new ones have been forced to adapt and change with the times and they look very different. They’ve become less salesy and more tech savvy.

            Despite popular belief, car dealers are selling on slimmer margins than ever before and often times sell cars at a loss because of fierce competition. Those that have survived have had to maximize their use of digital and relationship marketing to continue to find more and more sales, and today we’ll share everything that you as a small business owner can learn from them!

            5 Lessons we can all learn from car dealers:

            1. Adapt to what’s new: When your industry gets turned on its head by an economic collapse, you have to adapt to new models and new markets. You have to take time to understand all of the ways that people find you and adopt those channels. This is how dealerships have shifted away from radio ads and TV spots to a digital-first approach via e-commerce stores, eBay and Craigslist listings, online review sites, and digital ads.

            You’ll know that you’re in danger of falling behind if you catch yourself saying, “I don’t believe in this (insert new technology here) thing.” The internet was also once just a flash-in-the-pan trend, but look at it now!

            1. Use your Google business listing: Local advertising is all of the rage because when consumers look for local services, they type in a keyword like “plumbing, roofing, or painting” along with the name of their city. Google now responds to those queries with a map and a list of local businesses as the top result. As 91.5% of people never look beyond the first page of results, you should create your Google page to be listed there! Car dealers know this and spend plenty of time on their Google Business profiles.

            automap

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

             

            1. Manage your reviews: Car dealers know that today, word of mouth means something different than it did twenty years ago. We’ve moved beyond simply asking for recommendations from close friends and family members and 88% of consumers trust social recommendations from mere acquaintances. Car dealers thus know that the best way to build trust (and that’s been plenty lacking the public perception of car dealerships) is to deliver great service and actively ask happy customers for great reviews! The Better Business Bureau (BBB) will even let you respond to and resolve complaints to clean up
              your history!

            Here are a few of the top ones to pay attention to: 

            • BBB
            • Yelp
            • TripAdvisor
            1. Direct Mail Reminders: Top car salesman know that it’s still all about the relationship and the most lucrative deals are from repeat customers. A young couple buying a car isn’t a one-time win: it’s the potential to also sell a minivan and then several used sedans when the kids are old enough to get behind the wheel. Savvy car salesman also know that they can fully automate this process of keeping in touch so that they can focus on prospecting, which is why they rely heavily on digital direct mail which sends automatic postcards on people’s birthdays or the “birthday” of the car. It keeps you top of mind for little additional effort.
            1. Go for the referrals: Even in this day and age, car dealers still focus on referral business. They know that the quality of any given lead varies dramatically depending on its source and the highest quality ones are still direct recommendations. Good car dealerships do more than just provide a business card: They close out their transactions (whether you buy or not) by asking if you know three people looking to buy car and ask for an introduction. If they provided great service and can offer a deal, that’s something you can pass along to a friend to help them save money. It’s a winning cycle of value, and you should be doing this with all of your customers. Always ask for three referrals!

            Learning to deal like a dealership

            The car dealers that are thriving are leveraging more than just one of these tactics: they’re using all of them! They are listening carefully to how customers are finding them so that they can optimize their online profiles, they’re curating their reviews, and they’re asking for referrals to maximize the value of each customer interaction. All of these are equally potent for your business and they’re great reminders of what you should be doing to get the word out and attract more sales!

            Ready to begin on the easiest and quickest wins?

            Go to Google to open your business listing, log into the BBB’s website to register your business and see your reviews, and set up automatic postcard reminders for your client’s birthdays and holidays to keep in touch and leverage the long-term relationship!

            Need help getting up to speed?

            Nobody can get you from 0 to 60 faster than Opportunity Knocks – they’re a top-caliber agency that’s like adding turbo-fuel to your marketing mix. Just tell them how many new customers you want and watch
            them work!

              When quality makes a difference

              Have you ever heard the phrase, “potato quality?”

              It’s a joke popularized by YouTube commenters about the quality of videos taken. Whereas excellent, high-resolution videos or photos typically receive questions like, “Very nice, was this taken with a Canon DSLR?” Jokesters ask the same question but replace the camera with something inanimate and, well, not very good at taking photos, such as socks, blenders, or of course, a potato.

              As in, “Great photo, was this taken with a potato?”

              For example, a classic potato-quality photo that we’re all familiar with:

              bigfoot

              It can be very funny, but all the humor drains out of it immediately when that photo is part of one of your marketing campaigns. We see tens of thousands of photos headed for the direct mail presses that are blurry, out of focus, off-topic, have a grainy resolution, and look like they were taken with a potato, and we can’t halt them all, but we certainly try.

              It’s a fact that a great deal of your marketing success is dependent upon your visual elements. Xerox estimates that customers are 80% more likely to engage if the photo is high quality. Photos should tell a story that compliments your marketing and provides a visual metaphor that compels people to take action. Terrible photos do just the opposite – they reflect poorly upon the sender and tank your ROI!

              We’ve thus written up this 3-minute guide so that you know how to achieve the greatest success with your postcard marketing!

              The 5-step process to taking great photos:

              1. Camera: To take a great marketing photo, you’re going to need a camera that can’t be chopped up and served as fries. Ten years ago it was necessary to purchase an expensive, bulky DSLR camera to achieve top quality but most smartphones can produce high enough quality and resolution to do the job!
              2. Subject: Next you’ll need your subject. Of everything on this list, the subject takes the most consideration because you have so many options. Do you photograph your storefront? Do you snap a shot of employees at work? Very likely, the best thing you can do is to photograph your finished product. People will buy from you because they’re trying to solve a problem, whether that’s needing food for dinner or having a well-repaired roof. Show them exactly what they can expect, including, if possible, a happy customer! Here are some examples.

              postcard_samples

              1. Composition: Capturing your subject in the best possible light (no pun intended) also takes a little consideration.  High noon is typically the worst time because it casts harsh shadows whereas dusk is ideal because it shines with softer light. For indoors, proper lights should be numerous but indirect, so as not to cast shadows.

              When lining up the shot, think about the rule of threes (see below), where you divide the screen up into thirds and place the subject at one of the four intersecting points. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it works a lot of the time. If you’re thinking of taking the photo from an angle, try to go for more extreme ones, as they’ll be more interesting.

              The rule of threes: By dividing the photo into thirds each direction, we get four points on which to line up the subject.

              ruleofthrees

              1. File Size: Once you have the right image, make sure that it’s the right size for uploading, and at the very least, 5.75” by 4.5” (just larger than a standard printed photo). In terms of pixels on your computer, that translates to at least 740 by 580. Larger is always better, but there’s no reason for it to exceed three times that size.
              2. Final Edit: Test what you’ve come up with on a few friends or co-workers. Does it grab them? Do they understand what you’re trying to get across without any explanation? If not, it’s not the right image! You have one chance to hook people’s attention with your marketing, and you’ll see the highest ROI with better images. If you can’t seem to come up with what you’re looking for, there’s no shame in using a stock image account.

              Choosing the finalist

              Follow these 5 steps and you’re well on your way to better marketing pictures! Better pictures mean more responses and more responses mean more sales! Channeling your inner photographer can have benefits on your bottom line, and practice with these makes perfect.

              Want to see how your images look on a postcard?

              Log into our web-to-print platform and upload your own to try them out! If you need help, our customer success team is dying to help out at 1 (877) 222-6010!

              Need help from someone who’s reviewed 10,000 photos?

              Opportunity Knocks marketing is a sister company to ProspectsPLUS that specializes in white-glove campaigns where they’ll select the best photos for the highest impact! Give them a call at 1 (866) 319-7109 and talk to them today!

                The good/better balance

                Would you rather have one paying client or ten non-paying ones?

                That’s really the question you should be asking yourself when you decide who to target with your marketing campaigns and yet you wouldn’t believe how many small business owners choose to go after the ten non-paying clients!

                Allow us to explain.

                Here are two population bubbles. That is, two different audiences of consumers that we can target with our direct mail marketing. Which one would you choose to market to?

                key1

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                Most people choose Population A because it seems bigger and they believe that it’s simply a numbers game. What they’ve forgotten to consider is the quality of those audiences, and what segment of each of them is actually a good group of customers for them to have. Just like trying to eat too much junk food, they may over-stuff themselves on something that provides little to no nutrients.

                Instead, you have to think about the number of ideal buyers within that population. Aka, is it healthy? If you sell life insurance and everyone in Population A is a teenager or already has it, it most certainly is not, and you’ve just spent a lot of money marketing with no hope of return.

                Let’s take a look at those same bubbles, but now with the segments of ideal customers highlighted in orange. Which would you choose now?

                key2

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                 

                Seems pretty obvious right? By choosing the latter you stand a much higher chance of success. You’ll reach more people who are interested in your message. You’ll also achieve a much higher ROI because you’ll be wasting fewer of your postcards on the wrong people!

                This is the point behind trying to target fewer good prospective customers over a large mass of them: You should prioritize having one paying customer than chasing after dozens of non-paying ones!

                How can you incorporate this knowledge into your marketing?

                Easy: Use technology to finely target your postcard campaigns!

                Zeroing-in on ideal customers has never been easier, and there are four simple ways you can
                do it:

                1. Select a Geographic Area: Using Google Maps data you can highlight and target homes or businesses within a specific geographic area. This is most useful for when you want to keep your job-sites tightly grouped for maximum efficiency and works well because generally, clients within the same areas and geographic regions will have similar buying habits. If you have one particular area that’s already been highly profitable, start with targeting just that one!
                2. Select a Customer Profile: Maybe your business is more nuanced than simple geography and you want to get inside the mind of your buyer and target not just people who look like them, but also people who think like them. Use Nielsen’s PRIZM technology to select customer profiles based on psychographic makeup: beliefs, interests, and socioeconomic class.
                3. Upload Your Own List: This option is much rarer and is for the savvy marketers who have been collecting contact information on existing or prospective customers. You can do segmentation on your own in Microsoft Excel and then set your postcard campaigns to target those individuals or households.
                4. Hire an Expert: There are a handful of marketing agencies out there who can help you combine the above options to come up with the killer targeted campaign. They bring a vast body of knowledge to the table that allows you to get hyper-specific. Engage with them and you can learn a lot!

                Use this to pare your target audience down to just ideal customers whoever or wherever they are and you’ll see your ROI rocket through the roof! You’ll send less and accomplish more and that is the key to highly effective small business marketing.

                So … what are you waiting for?

                All of the options above are available through our web-to-print platform or by calling Opportunity Knocks at 1 (866) 319-7109 to enlist the help of an expert!

                Do this right and you’ll be sending fewer messages for a higher return and the next time you hear someone talking about trying to reach the maximum audience, you’ll be able to spread these insights and save them from wasting their money!

                  When to use direct and when to use digital

                  In today’s marketing world you have a dazzling array of options. Do you email customers? Advertise online? Send them postcards? Put up a storefront sign? The unfortunate answer is all of the above!

                  Successful small business marketers employ a multi-pronged approach that reaches customers across a variety of mediums. People who miss one ad may see another, and those who see both will be doubly influenced.

                  The problem with many channels however is that with only a few hours each week to focus on marketing, you can’t run them all at once. You have to decide, and it’s often tough to know which one to do when.

                  Recent research by the Fox School of Business in partnership with the USPS can help shed some light on the solution.

                  Results show that while digital ads and emails were effective at delivering a focused message that holds the recipient’s attention on a particular piece of an ad, say, a box of text, physical advertisements like postcards were superior at keeping people engaged for longer, for eliciting an emotional reaction, and for helping them remember what they had seen.

                  In short, print mail elicits emotional reactions that people remember like elephants!

                  This makes intuitive sense, after all. In this day and age when digital is synonymous with cheap abundance, printed materials denote quality because they appear to take more effort. Customers invest more in businesses that appear to invest in them with bespoke outreach.

                  This is all despite the fact that with the advent of digital printing technology, the capabilities of both are converging. Personalization (addressing all recipients by first name) is possible in print just as it is in online advertising. Services like targeted postcards can be sent out to address people by first name and triggered “smart” postcards can do interesting things like send themselves to remind people of upcoming appointments.

                  Print and digital thus have plenty of overlap but the USPS’s research makes it pretty clear when we should be using which.

                  Use both digital and print in a winning one-two combination, but…

                  Use digital for:

                  • Targeted messages to decision-makers
                  • To deliver newsworthy information like, “Did you know that studies show …?”
                  • Educating prospects, such as with blogposts

                  And use print for:

                  • Inspiring immediate action and quick sales
                  • Driving home taglines, slogans, vanity phone numbers (1-800- CALL-MIKE), and website URLs through repetition
                  • Delivering many options and listing out all of your services in the hopes that one will apply

                  And together, you’ll have yourself an adaptable marketing strategy that gets the right message to the right person at the right time with the desired effect: teach them, attract them, and close more sales!

                  Look no further to get your first targeted postcard campaign out through the venerable USPS – just log into our web-to-print platform and we’ll take it from there!

                  Despite effort, is your marketing still flopping?

                  We’re throwing you a lifeline and you can get a free evaluation from Opportunity Knocks who specializes in white-glove multi-channel marketing campaigns that knock it out of the park! Call them at 1-866-319-7109 today before the offer runs out!

                    Billboards, if you haven’t tried one, are expensive ($3,000-10,000 per month) and created by some of the biggest ad agencies on the planet. This means that hundreds of thousands of dollars are poured into them (just like Super Bowl commercials) to make them effective. As a small business marketer, these are giant marketing lessons just begging to be seen and we need to pay attention!

                    There are of course vast differences between billboards and postcard marketing: with postcards, you typically aren’t reading them while driving a car, so there’s no risk of crashing. And unlike billboards, you can get away with some fine-print because people can stop wherever they are to take a second glance. But, because postcards are so flexible, people often get lazy and crowd them with too much text and glaring images.

                    Because billboards are forced to be big, visible, bold, and immediately understandable, there’s a lot that we can learn to improve our direct mail marketing!

                    Here are 6 things that billboard ads can teach us for postcard marketing:

                    1. Less text is more. The rule of thumb for billboard advertisers is 7 words or less. Seem crazy? It’s quite a challenge, and as writers often say, “If I had more time, I would have written a shorter ad,” because it takes a lot of thought and effort to boil everything that people need to know about your company into a single sentence. Try it out and you’ll find that what’s left with is all that really matters.
                    2. Use readable fonts. Direct mail marketers often see the dropdown menu for alternative fonts and they presume that they should customize theirs. Don’t. Billboard advertisers stick to Arial, Calibri, Verdana, Tahoma, and Helvetica because they’re simple and can be seen from afar, especially when bolded.
                    3. Simple designs are elegant. What do 95% of billboards consist of? A flat background, text, and a small logo. That’s it. And rather than looking drab and empty, in this age of digital information overabundance, it gives them a clean and elegant aesthetic. Just think about Apple’s marketing, with white text on a gray background. Or look at any of these billboards for inspiration. Without the clutter, your message hits home harder.

                    example1

                     

                     

                     

                     

                    1. Repetition is the key to recognition. What do all of Chik Fil-A’s billboards have? Cows. Allstate’s? A guy named Mayhem. McDonalds’? A bright red background. What are they doing? Sticking to the theme! We remember things far better when we’re exposed to them over and over and you should adopt this in your postcard marketing. Find an image or a color that works well and use it repeatedly to drive home your message over multiple postcard sends!
                    2. Consider 3-D effects. Some of the most attention-grabbing billboards mess with our sense of reality by incorporating 3-D effects. Can you use these in postcard marketing? Absolutely. One customer of ours who handles pet grooming has her postcards shipped to her and she cuts out a doggie bite from each one. Another one who does shipping puts an extreme-angle image of an eighteen-wheeler that looks like it’s jumping out of the postcard at you. What can you come up with?
                    3. Use visual analogies. A picture is truly worth a thousand words and good billboards drive home their message at a single glance. Come up with some creative visual analogies for your business like “rock-solid insurance coverage” or “landscaping will have you in heaven.”

                     

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                    Put it all together and you have some killer tactics for tightening up your postcard marketing. If you can use less text, readable fonts, elegant designs, repeated images, 3-D effects, or visual analogies you’ll drastically increase your response rate and turn that marketing campaign into paying customers.

                    So what are you waiting for? Try out one of the visual analogies above by selecting stock photos in our web-to-print platform! If you’re drawing a blank and need inspiration, give one our customer marketing experts a call at 1 (877) 222-6010!

                    Need a billboard-sized campaign?

                    Opportunity Knocks is a sister company of ProspectsPLUS who can turn your ideas into full-fledged multi-stage marketing campaigns that dominate your market and set you up with serious recurring revenue. Give them a call to see what they can do for you right now at 1 (866) 319-7109!

                      There’s never been a better time to buy!

                      Get yours now before the sale is over!

                      Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

                      Heard it all before? Of course you have. Businesses everywhere are using phrases like these because they’re trying to create what’s known as a compelling event. Put simply, a compelling event is a business pressure or influence that forces an action. It’s something in the moment that makes you think that now is the time to buy, and it’s effective because given the option to think things over, people usually pass. You have to compel them to take action right then and there.

                      We’d like to arm you with all of the compelling events in the world but for the sake of brevity, today we’ll share our top 5 favorites.

                      Here are 5 compelling events that you can use to drive sales:

                      1. Limited time offer: This invokes the scarcity principle in psychology which is a primary motivator of human behavior – if we think we might lose something, we jump on it! By coming up with just such an offer, whether that’s an add-on product, a buy-one-get-one-free, or something new that you’ve cooked up, you’ll compel people to buy now rather than later. A great example of creating scarcity in this fashion was McDonald’s McRib® which was sold on limited time offer and whipped demand up into such a feverish pitch that inspired a rabid following worthy of an entire Simpson’s episode.
                      1. Expiring sale: The first rule of having a sale is give it an end date. If it doesn’t expire, what’s stopping people from buying next month? Next week? Next year? Assign a deadline however and you’ll find people flocking to take advantage of it.
                      1. Inconsistent Supply: In talking to your potential customer, educate them on how if they don’t purchase right now you can’t guarantee that you’ll be able to locate new stock, get it to them on time, or may be so busy that if they don’t book you now they’ll have to wait a full month! This compels them to act for fear that they won’t get what they want on their terms. Of course, be careful about speaking in finalities and instead of saying “definitely” use “may not” or “might not” so that you leave the door open in case the compelling event does not work.
                      1. Fear, uncertainty, or doubt: This is a classic in insurance sales and plays off of our relatively poor understanding of probability. We humans are much more motivated by things we can actually visualize, which is why shark attacks are higher on people’s list of fears than car accidents. It’s the emotional connection that matters. And so it is in sales that you can play upon people’s fears (while being ethical) of things like natural disasters, robbery, and car wrecks.

                      To use this, ask your customers about the worst-case scenario if they don’t buy whatever it is you’re selling. If you sell tires or roof repair, talk about the rain storms that are coming. If you sell telecommunications gear, talk about what will happen if their point of sale (POS) system goes down. If you sell pool cleaning, talk about mosquito dangers. If you sell insurance, well, just about everything is fair game!

                      1. ‘My boss would kill me’: This is a unique twist on the “limited time offer” event where you play up rapport with your client to then offer them a discount that you assure them you wouldn’t normally be allowed to offer. It need not be entirely true, but it often convinces clients that the offer is certainly one-time-only and worth taking advantage of.

                      How do I know when to use which one?

                      Experiment to find out. Compelling events are much more of an art than a science and it depends on your customer. If you have the opportunity and chat with them to do a little qualification, you’ll find that you can match up compelling events with their actual needs for the ultimate persuasive sell.

                      Well, what are you waiting for? Your offer shouldn’t wait any longer than your customers should! Log in and create a postcard campaign that uses a compelling event today and unleash a flood of highly-compelled buyers!

                      Let us ask you, could you use a little advice?

                      Nobody should have to market alone, that’s why Opportunity Knocks specializes in custom marketing campaigns that drive astounding results. Call them at 1 (866) 319-7109 today and get yours running!