Postcard Marketing : Low-Tech Marketing’s Prince

Postcard marketing may be low-tech, but that doesn't mean it can't be effective – read up on some tips for making the most of postcard marketing for your small business.

Web advertising, e-mail or other high-tech marketing methods aren’t
the only way to market these days. Many entrepreneurs are simply
seeking a low-cost, easy-to-implement sales tool, and aren’t wrapped up
in the latest tech fad.

For “tech-less” marketing,
old-fashioned postcard marketing is a great option. These princely
little pieces pack a powerful marketing punch for many a startup and
small business.

Consider the Midwest School of
Music, in Indianapolis, IN. When owner Barbara Granneman returned to
teaching piano, she used a postcard campaign to get her business
started. In a month she had 40 students and hired another teacher. Now
a few years later she has 32 employees and has opened a Chicago branch.
Aside from a Yellow Pages listing, postcards are her only means of
marketing. She tried others, but stopped them all because postcards
proved most effective.

Even technology companies love
postcard marketing. Intuit, which makes accounting software, recommends
postcard marketing to its accounting firm clients for three reasons:

  • It’s easier to read a postcard at a glance than to open an envelope
  • Postcards are less intrusive than e-mail, and these days have less competition
  • Unlike e-mail, postcards can take on any size, color, gloss or graphic

You can create, print and mail postcards without a big investment. Free
design templates are available at the US Postal Service website, and
the standard 4×6 size costs just $0.23 to mail.

Getting your postcards printed is also a snap. The field is highly
competitive and you can choose from dozens of printers who will print,
say, 5,000 color cards for less than $0.05 each, and have them done in
two days.

Direct mail experts at the USPS say the most effective postcard marketing shares these traits

  1. They’re eye-catching: Your postcard doesn’t have to be art, but it helps if it’s attractive. Adding a high quality photo or other image will help
  2. They’re simple:
    It’s a postcard, not a novel. Pretend every word is costing you $500. A
    jumble of information won’t do it. Simple, bold headlines like “Fall
    Fashions Are In!” or “50% Off Cookware” work best – then explain where,
    when and a few other details
  3. They’re timely:
    Messages such as “Your Service Contract Expires June 1” work great – if
    you have a timely message of some kind for your customers, use it
  4. They’re two-sided:
    Be sure to use both sides of your postcard, but not every inch. Use one
    side like a poster and the other for a few details. Or put an ad on one
    side and a personal message on the other
  5. They’re multifaceted:
    A postcard can double as a coupon, gift certificate or event ticket.
    Ask people to present the card to claim an offer. It’s an easy way to
    measure effectiveness

Design your own cards and have them printed, or use free design services. Some firms will also mail them for you.
A few popular online print shops include:

  • PrintingForLess
  • iPrint
  • VistaPrint
  • Custom Postcards Direct
  • Premium Postcards
  • Post Card Builder
  • Astonishing Mail

Our Bottom Line

Marketing methods don’t have to be high-tech or expensive in order to
be effective. For many types of startup ventures, a simple and
cost-effective direct mail postcard marketing campaign might prove just
the ticket for kick-starting company sales.

© 2005 BizBest Media Corp.

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