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You've decided to try advertising your business with post cards. The idea came to you from the post cards you receive from other businesses. You like the idea because it seems easy to do and economical. However, you've never tried this before so you question whether this method will bring you customers.
Let me say this first, "All Forms of Advertising Work!" However, you have to clearly understand how the advertising medium works and realize that each form has it's limitations along with costs associated with it.
At this time, I also I need to dispel a myth that has been around for as long as there has been printed advertising. Many, many business people believe that if they do a 1 time mass mailing it should be a slam dunk in sales.
Let me be the first to say. "With over 36 years of selling to the public, it simply doesn't work that way!" If you plan on being in business longer than 1 day, then you must continually advertise to keep the clientele coming to you.
Advertising in any medium has always been about repetition and getting your name remembered. It's called "Branding". Study businesses that use television commercials. They are constantly repeating their business message 1000's of times a day. They are the best free examples to watch and learn from.
So for your business, you can conclude that the more your prospects see your name or message repeated, the easier it is for them to get to know you and what you offer. Then it becomes an easier task to get them to buy from you.
So How Does Post Card Advertising Work?
You create an ad on a Post card. This can be done in your favorite graphics or word program. Then use the mail merge feature in the program to insert mailing addresses automatically. In case you haven't setup your address book you would need to do this before you do a mail merge.
Print out the cards, stamp them and then mail them out. If done correctly and repeated over and over again your customer base will grow. This is the simple mechanics of post card advertising.
So Where Do I Get Good Addresses From?
Before you can get good addresses, you must first know who it is you are wanting to target before you do your mail out. You wouldn't offer gun sales to anti-gun activists or religious material to a group of Atheists, now would you?
First, go to the large search engines and do some research to find out who uses your type of product and/or services. Once you uncover who they are, you then know who your target market will be.
As a side note, there are companies that do sell mailing lists that contain groups of people, organizations and businesses. It is all gathered and cataloged and based on personal interests and/or work related. You can buy these mailing lists or start your own.
Secondly you have to determine how often you will be sending your post cards out. The amount of times you repeat your message, to those you target, will determine how well they remember you. Let me show you how I am targeted by companies that I do business with and that get my attention as well as my order.
ImpactYourArea.com is targeted by companies that make promotional products. Everyday I receive something in the mail from some company. It could be product announcements, new product samples, promotions and/or valuable insight to generating more sales.
Some companies send me information at least once a month. Others 4 times a year. Then there are those companies that send me something only once a year.
Of those three company types which do you think I remember more? It would be those that send me something once a month.
From this example it should be clear that getting your message out repeatedly and often is how your prospects are going to remember you, your product and/or services.
So What Are The Limitations With Post Card Advertising?
Let's say you plan to send out 5000 post cards in a one time mailing. If you are targeting prospects that use your type of service or product, then statistically you should draw 1-2% in responses. Meaning that roughly 50 people may show some interest.
That doesn't necessarily mean you have converted the prospect into a buyer. It only means they have shown an interest in your offer and are willing to take it to the next step.
The next step, for them, is to find out a little bit more about your offer. These are your "Tire Kickers". Of those that responded your chance of converting them is also 1-2%.
So your chances of converting prospect to buyer, from your 1 time mail out could be 4-6 buyers from your original 5000 post card mail out.
Now most would say that the campaign was a failure. However, by the way this medium works it was right on target.
So How Do You Increase Response Rate?
Instead of sending out a 1 time mass mailing of 5000 post cards, consider sending out a smaller amount and do it in monthly increments. Repeat the mail out process once a month for 12-24 months.
So How Much Should You Send Out?
I would start small and build from that. This gives you the ability to spend a little at a time while measuring how each mail out converted. This keeps your advertising costs down and manageable.
Start with 500 post cards a month. Only target prospects you know that would use your product and/or services. Then I would repeat the mail out to the same group over the next 1-2 years.
Even if they do not buy the first or second time after they've received your card, they are beginning to get to know you and your product and/or services. As time goes by your chances of converting them to a buyer increases. There is also a good chance that those you target may pass your offer onto someone else.
In conclusion, never allow the idea that advertising once will be the solution to gaining repeat business. Don't forget that post card advertising does work if you learn how to do it right and you repeat the process over and over.
Copyright 2005 © Woody Quiñones & www.Impactyourarea.com
About the Author: Woody Quiñones has been selling to the public since the age of 10. With over 36 years of marketing experience he has started several businesses with little or no money. Including his popular website, http://www.ImpactYourArea.com Woody is also an Authorized Kaeser & Blair Dealer, a published online writer, a licensed and certified locksmith of 17 years and can be located on numerous online business forums.