Should You Do Postcards as Part of Your Advertising Plan?
Any Advertising You Do in your business, Needs to Be Consistent
In today’s episode: We discuss if you should use postcards as part of your advertising plan? There are some pros and cons but the key is consistency. Plus we will talk about the EDDM program with the US Postal Service.
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Episode 91: Should You Do Postcards as Part of Your Advertising Plan?
Welcome back to the Local Small Business Coach Podcast. I am your coach, Tammy Adams.
Today we are going to take a look at using postcards as part of your advertising gameplan
So lately I have been I have been trying to layout my gameplan for advertising for the rest of the year and into next year. I realize that my plan needs to be focused and targeted. So when I got the question for this week’s episode, I thought it was perfect, since this topic of advertising is on my hot list at the moment as well.
Let me get to the jest of the question: Chad sent me an email asking about using postcards as part of his advertising plan. He heard that snail mail is old news and worries that he would just be wasting his money. He wanted to know my thoughts.
I thought Chad’s questions was timely, since I as well have kicked around doing some post cards as part of my advertising. So, let’s discuss how using postcards can be a great part of your advertising plan if used right.
Is Snail Mail Dead?
The first thing we should tackle is this idea that snail mail is dead. Let’s face it, most of us dread going to the mailbox. All there ever seems to be is bills, donations requests and other junk mail. If you are like most folks, you pull out the stuff you need and toss the rest. So what chance does your post card have?
On one hand you are right. Your post cards might get swept up with the other advertising and dumped in the trash without a second thought. However, on the other hand, if you can find a way to stand out from the others, people will give you at least a second or two of their attention. The key, is to catch their eye. How do you do this? You can do this with something cute and clever and fun or maybe it is a deal they just can’t pass by. Some folks use oversized postcards. Just know, these will cost more.
So, while snail mail isn’t what it used to be, it is still an effective form of reaching your community.
THE RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Let’s talk about your return on your investment. Now, you probably have heard that you are lucky if you get even a 2% return on your postcards. I’m sure that sounds horrible. The reality is, most of your advertising is going to be very low. Think about how many people see you other advertising and never act on it?
A great example of this are the vehicle wraps I’m a huge fan of. Our truck can be seen by hundreds of people a day and receive no calls. You can put a coupon in a local paper and maybe 20,000 people will see it and yet only 10 or so will use it. So, it is natural that you aren’t a fan of spending this money and are hesitant about starting post cards as well. Remember, you probably have a low return on most advertising you do.
CONSISTANCY IS THE KEY
You are probably wondering, what is the key then to making post cards work for you? The key is being consistent. If you think you can dip your toe and do a postcard a year, then save your money. Don’t even bother.
The secret to making postcards work for you is a steady diet of postcard mailings. This type of advertising requires you to mail out 2-4 times a year. The goal is to plant the seed with your potential customers. Remember, they might not need your services today, but you want to be top of mind when they do.
Earlier, I mentioned making them fun. Mine for example have my “happy house” as we call it. It is a big orange house with glasses and a big smile. Plus, I try and find something to make them laugh or smile.
Maybe you can do the same with either your logo, or maybe a catchy saying. Some do a play on words.
GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO KEEP
Now, you don’t have to be cute. You can do a postcard with some coupons on it. This way, when they do need you, you will stand out when they see they can save $100 for example. If they think they will need you soon, then they might even put your card on their fridge until they do. A great example might be power washing their home or doing window screens.
Some folks have found success by sending out chotsky stuff that people can put on their fridge, this way, their business is in the customers face yearlong. Some folks do a mini calendar and others sponsor local sports teams. If your area has a huge following for say the professional sporting teams, those schedules also do great. In our area, it is common to get ones with the Diamondbacks, Suns or Cardinals schedule for example.
As you can see, anything that causing them to keep your card, is another great type of postcard you can send out. These are perfect if you don’t think you can do multiple times a year but hope a significant number will at least keep your gift
EVERY DOOR DIRECT MAIL – AFFORDABLE OPTION
Doing a postcard can get expensive. Not only do you have the printing cost, but you have the mailing cost. With a postcard stamp costing 34c at the time of this podcast it can get pretty expensive. But there is a cheaper alternative. Every Door Direct Mail
Offered by the US Postal Service, it allows you for a much cheaper amount to blanket pockets within your area. So for example you can target a subdivision or area.
The con to this is, you have to do the full area that you select vs picking and choosing certain houses. However, I highly recommend if you are going to try postcards, that you use EDDM and target key areas. If you go to the USPS website you can input your zip code and see what it might cost you and how many households you target.
SO, SHOULD YOU USE POSTCARDS?
Now, with all that said, should Chad and you use postcards? I think postcards are great for some businesses, especially service based businesses. However, you need to know that you will be putting out money before you will see any type of return. This might mean you have $500 – $1000 invested before you start to see a return.
Remember, this is a long-term advertising plan. Even when you start to see a return, you must keep going if you want it to last. It is all about that consistent, in your face advertising.
But if done right, you can keep a nice healthy steady business coming in.
Have any of you used postcards as part of your advertising plan? What has your experience been? Shoot me an email at email@example.com. I’d love to share you’re your experience with others.
And as we wrap up this episode I want you to know, that I realize being a local small business owner can be a lonely gig at times. But you don’t have to do it alone. Just know, I’m always here for you.
By the way, If you like what we are taking about, then make sure to subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss an episode, if you love the podcast and what we are talking about, then please leave a 5 star review so other local small business owners know this is a podcast that they can’t miss.
Meanwhile, I wish you the best in your business and remember: Great Customer Service, coupled with Great business practices will set you on the path to Great Profits!
Bye for now…..
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