In the world of successful direct marketing—which includes marketing with postcards—there are a few fundamentals that remain constant. Regardless of what kind of business you run, your marketing pieces, to be effective, must contain the following:
- Attention-grabbing headline
- Promise of benefit
- Irresistible offer
- Call to action
These factors are mostly copy-related but consider also that the photo or image can convey a promise of benefit or support an irresistible offer.
Another factor which is necessary for successful direct marketing for any kind of business is repetition and persistence. On average, it takes seven postcard mailings for your brand to lodge in prospects’ minds. Repeated contact is what turns prospects into customers.
Those are the main things that all businesses have to do to create response.
Adjusting the Factors
If you own a pizzeria and notice that the florist next door markets with postcards and gets a lot of business, you wouldn’t necessarily want to copy what the florist is doing for your postcard; it probably wouldn’t work. Rather, you want to create the kind of postcard campaign that will work for a pizzeria.
Luckily, many industries have more or less already discovered what works.
So, similar to how there are these direct marketing factors that are common to all industries, there are specific adjustments of these factors that work better for some industries and other adjustments that work best for others.
Below are three examples to give you an idea of how these factors are used in a few different industries.
You’ve got to present a great offer but dental practices seem to fare best when they present multiple offers on a postcard—as many as five, such as:
- Free x-ray and consultation
- Hundred-dollar gift card on work over a certain dollar amount
- Limited-time special on dentures
- Limited-time special on implants
- Major discount on braces, etc.
This approach speaks to a range of prospects: the ones who need dental work now, the ones with a bit of money, the ones with less money, etc. You give prospects all kinds of reasons to visit you.
It’s recommended that you use a larger postcard, especially if:
- you have a lot of competition in your market, and
- they are using postcard marketing
The landscaper could look at the successful dental office and say, “Hey, they have five offers and they’re so booked up, I can barely get an appointment. I’m going to have five offers on my postcard too.”
He’s on the right track but three good offers is plenty for a landscaping business. It could be three out of four of these:
- Free landscape evaluation and estimate
- A low monthly lawn care package price
- Percentage discount on project
- First two grass cuts free
As we’ve said many times before, a key factor in direct marketing success is the quality of your list. This is specialized for the landscaping industry in that you should routinely be mailing your postcards to a list of new homebuyers in your market—anyone who has purchased a home in the last six months.
As far as offers go, as an HVAC company, you can do very well with one strong offer—the more compelling and the bigger value, the better.
And, if you’re in the HVAC industry, then you know that your offers should correspond to the season: A/C-related offers as you head into summer, heater/boiler-related offers as you head into winter, system inspection and maintenance during the rest of the year.
(And notice that seasonally-geared offers might work somewhat for landscapers but wouldn’t work so much for dentists.)
Over at www.prospectsplus.com/pei you can find customizable postcard templates for every industry—looks and designs that have been shown to be effective in creating response.
Or, give Opportunity Knocks a call at 1 (866) 319-7109 and have one of our design and marketing pros put together a postcard campaign that makes your phone ring with incoming orders.