If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times: less than ten days after their first postcard is mailed, the client calls me and says, “Rachel, it should have arrived a few days ago, but my phone hasn't rung yet. Are you SURE the postcard was mailed out?" First I reassure them that we mailed it. Then I remind them again that it usually takes several mailings before the phone starts ringing off the hook.
Sometimes my clients believe me. . . and a few months later, they start seeing great results from their postcards. Sometimes my clients don't believe me. . . and they give up on postcards before ever really giving them a chance.
You remember when Grandma told you that patience is a virtue? You might not have realized it then, but she was talking about your postcard marketing campaign, too.
The truth is, anyone who doesn't live under a rock already knows that successful advertising campaigns are based in repetition, repetition, repetition - and consistency. Let's take a few examples. What comes to mind if I say. . .
"Tastes Great, Less Filling"
"Where's the Beef?"
"I just saved a lot of money on my car insurance!"
Getting the idea?
We remember successful advertising campaigns for many different reasons - they are clever and well-written (I'll address this in subsequent articles), but more than that, we remember them because we hear or see them over and over again.
Yet when it comes to postcard marketing, many of my clients seem to think that one huge run of postcards is sufficient for their advertising needs for the whole quarter or the whole year.
Use common sense by thinking about your own buying habits:
Do you buy a product the first time you see it advertised?
Do you buy a product the second time you see it advertised?
Aren't you much more likely to buy a product after you have seen it advertised several times?
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your postcard marketing budget.
1. When you create your postcard marketing budget, plan for a minimum of eight mailings.
As I always tell my clients, your money will be put to better use by mailing 1,000 people eight times than 8,000. Even if you can only afford to mail a small number of people on a monthly basis, this is a better strategy than mailing a large number only once or twice.
Don't give up after just a few mailings. Our company once had a real estate agent client who mailed NINE months in a row without a single phone call. He had decided that if he didn't get any results on the tenth mailing, he was calling it quits. On that tenth mailing, his postcards yielded three high-quality listings. Just one of those listings was more than enough for the ten months of postcards.
2. Be as consistent and frequent as you can afford.
We are a culture of very busy people. Very busy people share something in common - very short attention spans. If you want people to remember your company, your name, your product, mail them at regular intervals - weekly if you can afford it, but at least monthly. Mailing once per quarter can work for certain clients - for example, retail clients who have a big quarterly sale that their current clients already know about might benefit from a quarterly postcard, especially if they are also utilizing monthly postcards. But once per year? What advertising do YOU remember from one year ago? If you can't remember, how do you expect your prospects to remember YOUR advertising if you're only doing one mailing per year?
3. Use your budget, your consistency, and your frequency on ONE group of people. Just recently, a client mailed a list of 2,500 people. For his second mailing, he chose a new list of 2,500 people, and he hasn't gotten a single phone call. Groaning, he called us and said, “Why didn't I listen to you??" Even though he's now done two consistent monthly mailings, he may as well only have done one mailing for those two groups of 2,500. Each group will have only heard of him once, not twice. It can be tempting - especially when our budget is small - to reach out to more and more people by mailing to a different group every time. However, this is another strategy that flushes your advertising dollars down the toilet because it breaks the rules of consistency and repetition.
4. Above all, be patient! There are plenty of people out there who will try to tell you that they can get you rich quick with little marketing, no marketing, or cheap marketing. The people selling get rich quick schemes are preying upon our unwillingness to be consistent and patient. Don't fall for it. As one famous advertising slogan goes, “Good things come to those who wait. "
About the Author
Rachel Medlock is an account representative and website designer with Mr. Postcard, LLC, of Atlanta, GA. For over ten years, Mr. Postcard has been helping real estate agents and business owners in the Atlanta area and beyond to succeed through direct mail and postcard marketing. In addition to postcards, Mr. Postcard designs and prints business cards, stationary, newsletters, and websites. If you need help on your next marketing campaign, turn to the experts. http://www.MrPostcard.com .