Designing Strategies: The Blog
According to wonderful social media friend, Lois Geller, owner of Lois Geller Marketing Group in Hollywood, Florida, postcards may well be better used to make family and friends back home jealous of your out of town excursions. Many businesses have added this popular format to their marketing plan for a number of reasons: they are relatively inexpensive to design and print, they can be colorful and eye-catching, and postage is usually cheaper than First Class postage for a letter.
In a recent post on her Joy of Marketing blog, Lois recommended using letters in envelopes for direct marketing instead of post cards. The reason? Lois stated that letter campaigns result in significantly higher response rates. Why? According to Geller: “To most consumers, serious mail comes in a letter, which is private. The act of opening an envelope and unfolding the letter is engaging.”
Lois went on to detail how her firm was able to create an increase from 0.75% response for a client’s previous postcard campaign to 11% response with a well developed letter campaign. That is a significant increase in responses, and business. Certainly something to think about. The cost of assumed savings by using post cards was actually costing that firm money.
Postcards can still have a place in your marketing plan, using them as handouts or as a piece in your media kit. But, as direct mailing pieces, engage customers with a personalized and intriguing letter. Create some mystery. Start customers wondering what might be inside that envelope. Be even more engaging by hand-addressing the envelopes for a more personal touch.
Lois’ blog post includes more tips on making your direct marketing campaigns count. Take a look and pick one or two of her tips and add them to your marketing mix today.
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I was channel surfing (no pun intended) last weekend and ran across an old movie about a women’s surfing competition. I watched for a while as time and again, the young competitors would paddle their surf boards out into the ocean, sit straddled across the boards, looking out over the ocean for what they hoped would be a good wave. Not just a good wave to ride, mind you, but a big, great wave to ride into shore, scoring high points for their surfing prowess.
As you can imagine, there were quite a few times when things didn’t go quite the way they planned. Some competitors exhibited excellent skills during their ride to shore; others ended up in the undertow after a crash and burn experience. When each ride was finished, the competitors just turned around and paddled back out to wait, watching for another wave and another chance to prove their surfing skills.
It was interesting how much this surfing process reminded me of the way many small business owners approach their businesses. They have no processes or systems in place to bring in new clients and projects. They just sit back and wait for something to come to them, taking whatever comes their way. They hope it will be something big and really, really good. They hope it will be very profitable and highlight their abilities in the best possible light. Sit. Wait. Hope.
Needless to say, this is NOT a business model you can rely on for success. Managing a business is about putting systems and processes in place that will bring continuity and create a clear path to success. These processes not only enable business owners and managers to bring in new customers and projects, they help bring in the kind of projects and customers they really want — the best ones, not just whatever comes along. With organized systems in place, projects and sales can be processed and moved along smoothly, creating the best results possible with a positive profit margin.
Don’t use surfing as your business model. Don’t sit. Don’t wait. Don’t just hope. Take time to put policies, systems and procedures in place. Move your business away from chaos, potential to crash and burn and a whatever comes approach. Move toward organized continuity and success.