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  1. Why postcard marketing? Postcards are perfect for direct marketing.  Unlike their enveloped cousins, postcards arrive already ‘opened.’  Glossy 4-color printing reproduces photography beautifully. Headlines and short copy are more memorable than letters. They have long shelf lives on refrigerators and cubicle walls. Use them for invitations, announcements, thank yous, couponing, gathering survey data and driving traffic to your business or website.  A postcard’s powerful impact combined with reduced postage rates make for a winning ROI.
  2. Hunting for Great Mailing Lists – When it comes to prospecting for new customers, consider using a specialty mailing list.  Three great sources are: 1) association membership rosters.  Many associations rent their mailing lists for industry-related marketing. 2) subscribers.   Almost all magazines and newsletters rent their readership files. These lists tend to be highly targeted, up-to-date and very responsive to direct mail.  3) tradeshow, conference and seminar attendees. When matched up to your industry, these lists always perform. ValCards is a recognized, certified list broker and can assist you in obtaining these specialty mailing lists available only through the broker/dealer network.
  3. Personalization Increases Response – Research proves that personalizing your direct mail can lift your response rates by 30-50%*.   Personalization can take the form of ‘speaking’ to the recipient by name, or referring to their company, or customizing the imagery and messaging to be as relevant as possible.  Plus, the combination of personalized postcards and a personalized web landing page (PURLs) can sometimes double response rates! Increase your response by taking advantage of ValCards powerful personalization offerings.*Direct Marketing Association (DMA) Study
  4. Make your calls to action!  Make ’em loud and often. With direct marketing it’s vitally important to invite response with calls to action (CTA’s). Call for action at least three times. Imply the CTA in the wording of the offer (e.g. Enter to Win); follow your body copy with a CTA (e.g. call or click Today!); and in the footer or ‘PS’ remind them to why they don’t want to forget to do it today.  Make your CTA’s large, bold and bright and use ample exclamation marks! Give your reader every possible vehicle to respond such as 800 #, local #, fax #, email, reply card, website or personal URL (PURL).
  5. Sell with Benefits…Not Features – As you develop your postcard copy, it’s critically important to phrase the features of your product or service as benefits to the reader.  Features are benefits; it’s just a difference in perspective.  Simply put your mind to asking “who, what or why would a customer want this feature?” The answer to your question becomes the benefit.  Be sure to surround every benefit with the words ‘you’ and ‘yours’ as often as possible.  Always think “what’s in it for them?”  And finally, consider positioning these benefits as 3-5 bullets sandwiched between the opening and closing text.
  6. Huge Postage Savings idea! – Are you sure you need to send it First-Class? ValCards can be sent First-Class or Standard bulk rate – it’s your choice! First-Class mail delivers in 2-5 days, gets forwarded and gets returned if undeliverable.  Standard bulk mail delivers typically in 5-7 days and does not get forward or return privileges.  If time allows, selecting Standard Mail can save you 11 cents per piece (i.e. save you 6%-12%!). Try testing Standard bulk mail vs. first-class mail and see if you can lower your mailing costs and increase your ROI.
  7. Want to write like a Pro? – Good postcard marketing involves careful word choice in both the headline and the body copy.  People don’t buy on logic; they buy on emotion. Headlines must stimulate the reader’s curiosity and body copy must move the reader to take action. Tap into fear, greed, curiosity, jealousy, insecurity, frustration and pride.  Why not ask and answer a provocative question? Make a bold promise or a solid guarantee.  Use numbers and statistics, for example: Top 7 reasons 10 worst mistakes 3 reasons to enter. Interject magic words like Free, Save, Sale, Discount, New, Introducing and Trial Offer.  And don’t forget to use ‘you’ and ‘your’ (meaning ‘them’) at every opportunity.
  8. An offer you CAN’T refuse! – Direct Mail should always carry a valuable, irresistible offer. How you word it really matters. As a rule: Dollars-off will outperform percent-off (i.e. $10 off a $100 order should beat 10% off this holds true until around 50% off, then switches around); Buy One Get One (BOGO) should outperform ½ off and is better for maintaining revenue; ½ off the second item usually outperforms 25% off the order; and Buy 2 get 1 free should outperform 33% off. Eliminate as many restrictions as possible and expire the offer to create urgency and value.
  9. 4 Steps to a Successful Tradeshow – There’s no better way to promote yourself for a tradeshow than with a series of postcards. 8 weeks out – send a pre-show card to ‘save the date’ and book the show. 4 weeks out send an invitation to set a meeting time.  Use a personal URL (PURL) to prequalify leads. 2 weeks out send a reason to visit your booth (contest, gift, event). Immediately after the show, send a) thanks for meeting or b) sorry I missed you card. Need the list of show exhibitors or attendees?  No sweat – ValCards has access to the mailing lists of most tradeshows.
  10. Stake your claim with LTV! – Marketers should claim the Lifetime Value (LTV) of repeat business when evaluating the results of every campaign. Take the time to establish the average lifetime of the average client and then multiply your first-time results by this factor. If the average client stays 3 years, then simply 3X your results. Or alternatively, if you can determine the annual rate of client attrition (e.g. 30%), then LTV = 1/(1-.30), or 1.43, so LTV would be $1.43 for every first-time dollar from a campaign.  LTV Analysis: marketers should use it and the C-level should expect it.
  11. 40/40/20 Rule of Direct Mail Marketing – Did you know the success or failure of a direct marketing campaign depends 40% on a targeted mailing list, 40% on a compelling offer and 20% on the mail piece format and design. That’s right, it’s most important to get your message in front of the right audience with an irresistible offer. Make sure your list is targeted, accurate and current. Make sure you offer a valuable discount, bonus or contest. Pretty pictures and 4-color glossy printing can certainly help generate interest and response, but the list and offer matter 4 times as much.
  12. Gold! Right in your own backyard. – The greatest ROI from direct mail marketing consistently comes from the careful segmentation of current customer files. Consider segmenting your customers by: how Recently they purchased, how Frequently they purchase and how much they spend – their Monetary value.  Distinguish the highs from the lows in each R,F & M and create different promotions specifically geared towards each segment. Maybe send your “R’s” a thank you card your “F’s” a loyalty ‘punch’ card and your “M’s” an up-sell offer.  Segmenting your customers is sure to improve your campaign’s ROI.

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