June 30, 2015
Post Cards on Friday
We’ve noticed, over the years, that successful companies are always reaching out to both existing and potential customers, with some message going out every week. And post cards are perhaps the most cost effective way to do this. They are much cheaper than letters, and do not have to be opened! Make them fun and catchy and people will notice, perhaps even talking about them to others.
Why post cards instead of letters? Its often been shown that 90% of received mail gets throw away without having been opened! The recipient merely scans the outside of the envelope, and quickly decides which must be opened. The others go in the trash. But post cards are different. They don’t need to be opened. They almost always get a few more precious seconds, particularly if the the graphic is fun, creative, or somehow compelling. Indeed, a great post card might even make the refrigerator for display. And when that happens, it is a ‘win’ for you! Pick your designs for their fun and creativeness. The more times you reach the refrigerator, the better your business does.
How find compelling postcard artwork? Every town has starving artists filled with ideas eager to be expressed. Reach out to them with your need. Perhaps do a series of 5 post cards. Or, if you have graphic skills, create your own. And some of your product suppliers will offer marketing post cards. Ask them. Many of the core products we use are strongly marketed in their own right, and their distributors sometimes will have attractive post cards designs you can use. In some cases, they actually sell you a box full of pre-printed cards at a nominal fee. Occasionally, we will post some good examples on this blog that you can use.
Once you a have a nice design, use your local printer to print the cards. Or, a quick internet search will show many companies who print full color postcards (one side only) by the thousand, sending them to you in a week or less! By buying a thousand at a time, reduces your ‘piece cost’ to a very manageable number.
Notice that we are recommending that you purchase post cards printed on one side only. Any good pest control software will include a post card printing layout for the blank side. You will find your customers or prospects to be printed, type in your message, select the needed merge fields, and click print! Your postcards will zoom through your laser printer with your custom message and the customer’s address in mere minutes. Quick easy and fast. Affix postage and you are ready for the mail.
To be sure, we aren’t talking about sending hundreds of post card every week. Rather, we suggest do a small mailing of 25 or perhaps 50 cards every week. Then every few months, switch to a different postcard for a different ‘campaign’. A reasonable goal is to reach out to every prospect 3 times per year. Do this reliably, and a lot of those prospects will become customers. By mailing a set every week helps to cement marketing as a core business function. Companies that keep marketing front and center every week are MUCH more likely to strongly grow.
You can also buy a mailing list to expand your prospects to work with. When you add new records from a list to your software, be sure to search each name first, in case it is already in your system. Most good software allows you to set the ‘Source’ of where it came from. This will allow you to track the sales that result from that purchased list.
Your mailing should go out to new prospects, but also to customers that might be interested in expanding the services they use. Reselling to your own customers is a powerfully effective way to grow. To mine your existing customers, go to the Customer History page or Customer Statistics. Look for those customers that consistently spend say $200 per year, but don’t use the service you want to promote. Send your new postcards to them.
Should you use bulk mail and presort services? NO! Instead buy and use the prettiest stamps each month. Putting on 25 or even 50 stamps once a week is a very small task that will quickly become part of the Friday afternoon routine. The stamp is one more way you get to get grab your prospects attention. Anyone that uses a ‘Bulk Mail permit’ to save a few cents is dramatically reducing their chances for success. Use a pretty stamp, you’ll gain a couple extra seconds of their attention.
We like to encourage the users of our software to have some ‘campaign’ running at all times. Plan those campaigns carefully, and work them consistently and you will succeed.