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NMOA Direct Marketing Article
Direct Mail Postcards - 7 tips for more successful postcard campaigns
4 Article Series on Postcard Marketing - article 3 of 4
By Jeffrey Dobkin


This is the third in the four article series by Jeffrey Dobkin on creating effective direct mail marketing campaigns with post cards. The first article listed 5 objectives and goals of your direct mail post card campaign. The second article on post card marketing highlights 5 ways to create your postcard campaign to make your phone ring with maximum response.

This article continues with 7 more new ways to increase response from mailing post cards.

1. When you offer a FREE booklet in your post card, make sure Your Booklet Title is Fantastic.
The booklet title is where "good" just isn't good enough. Your booklet titles need to be spectacular.
- 12 Ways to Lower Your Insurance Premiums.
- How to Stop Your Roof Leak by Friday!
- 10 Things to Check before Calling a Tow Truck.
Make sure your booklet title - way beyond a shadow of a doubt - will drive every reader to call.

2. Mail Frequently.
While a single postcard can certainly hold it's own with a hot headlines, crafty copywriting, tight transitions, and irresistible offers, postcards campaigns - like most other direct mail marketing campaigns - work best when you mail with frequency and regularity. Consider a 5 or 6 postcard campaign to stay in top of mind awareness of your best prospects and customers, or to build loyalty and exposure for yourself through multiple brand impressions. Cost? Just $3 for 6 cards. For a longer sales campaign over time or for products with a long sales cycle, continue mailing with regularity. Even if you mail postcards every two weeks, the cost of this direct mail post card campaign is just $13 (26 x $.50) for an entire year.

When mailing a sequence of postcards, place the sequence number on each card to let readers know each card is an integral part of a full postcard marketing campaign. Print "Postcard Series, Card Number 5 of 20" or whatever the card number. If you don't know how many postcards will be in the marketing campaign, just say "Postcard Series, Card Number so and so". This adds credibility to your firm and your direct mail marketing campaign. It lets readers know you're not single shot in the dark or a one trick pony.

3. Postcards are cheap to mail and are delivered fast.
Postcards get a special rate from the post office. And since they are easy to handle you can get a mailshop to address your card, image the barcode automatically and mail first class - and the postage savings will usually cover the cost for the mailing house to do all the work: the ink jetting addressing, sort in zip sequence, and mail. Even with a mailhouse doing the work, your postcard campaign will still be cheaper than mailing postcards bulk mail. The cost for the mailshop is offset by the savings in postage. Delivery will be faster too - your postcards will arrive in just a day or two.

4. Mail to a Great Mailing List.
By specifying the right mailing list there's no wasted expense. Your ad is precisely targeted and delivered only to the tightly qualify recipients on your direct mail mailing list. With the correct selection of a direct mailing list, you can mail to only the most highly qualified prospects, or past and/or current customers.

With a hand-selected mailing list, virtually 100% of your postcards reach your best targets in your marketing campaign. The better your mailing list, the better your response the more your phone will ring. An excellent resource for how to tightly specify your mailing lists can be found in the book, "How To Market a Product for Under $500!" from the Danielle Adams Publishing Company. The chapter on direct mail is almost 100 pages.

This book dedicates over a dozen pages to the correct selection of direct mail mailing lists. It emphasizes how to tightly specify mailing lists, how and where to find mailing lists, test mailing lists, and the technical in's and out's of negotiating a mailing list purchase.

Additionally, in the book "Uncommon Marketing Techniques," a chapter similarly titled "How to Buy a Great Mailing list!" is an excellent resource in mailing list specification.

You are only as good as your mailing list - make sure you spend additional time in finding a great direct mail mailing list. It's impossible to spend too much time investigating which mailing list is the best list to test and mail.

5. The size of your postcard campaign
How many postcards do you mail? Here's what to mail in your postcard marketing campaign: Micro business? Mail postcards to your top 1,000 prospects, and your top 200 customers. Midsized business? Mail postcards to your top 10,000 prospects, top 2,000 customers. Large business? Call me and let's talk. BTW, when I write and design postcards for clients, I always use oversize postcards that are 5-1/2" x 8-1/2".

6. Yes, you can reuse the same post cards.
Suppose you create ten post cards, and you have a heavy mailing schedule - like you mail every two weeks. To complete this direct mail marketing campaign it would take you almost half a year. While you know your postcards by heart and are probably sick of seeing most of them so many times through the writing, editing and design process, your customers got them and glanced at them in a heartbeat before they called you, then tossed them out or filed them away. They won't remember them. Feel free to repeat the cycle starting with card one.

Better news: if customers remember one or two of the postcards - this means you received excellent recognition and brand retention. Congratulate yourself. Good job. OK, party's over, now get back to work. Continue mailing the rest of your post cards, or create new ones.

7. The value of your post card campaign.
What's a client worth to you? $500? $1,000? $5,000? Maybe $500 a year? $5,000 a year? Here's a proposal: suppose you sent prospects a postcard every two weeks - or 26 postcards a year. Your cost? At 50 each, that's $13 bucks. And if you get one client from this postcard marketing campaign? Success! Don't forget all the while the rest of your postcards are still hanging around generating calls. And if they are also written and designed correctly they can be building a relationship of loyalty and trust.

Is it worth a $13 postcard direct mail marketing campaign to entice a prospect to call you? How about spending $13 on postcards to keep clients active and thinking about you (and how great your service is) all year long?

Is it worth $13 a year to use postcards to build loyalty and trust into a lasting relationship. Let me put it to you this way... How much does it currently cost for you to get a new client? Now how does that figure compare to $13?

In the fourth and final article in this series, Jeffrey Dobkin shows you 15 offers you can make on post cards to get your phone to ring. Since these articles were written for the insurance industry, offers are for insurance agents. Fortunately, if you're not in the insurance field, most of these offers will still work pretty well for you anyhow.

About the Author:
Jeffrey Dobkin will now take your questions, call him on it: 610-642-1000 rings on his desk. Write to him at The Danielle Adams Publishing Company Box 100 Merion Station, PA 19066. Dobkin has written 4 books on increasing response in your direct mail and direct marketing campaigns. Titles include "How To Market A Product for Under $500," "Direct Marketing Strategies," and "Uncommon Marketing Techniques." Please order his books at the NMOA Book Store or call directly, or download Dobkin's e-books on this website, www.danielleadams.com. Another source for specifying and purchasing mailing lists is the one hour audio, "How to buy a great mailing list!" by Jeffrey Dobkin interviewed by internet wizard Markus Allen. This audio is available in MP3 format on the website www.danielleadams.com. Learn to specify and buy a mailing list like a pro in just one hour by listening to this download.
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