Postcards are an effective vehicle for promoting your business: they are cheap to print and mail; they get people’s attention because there’s no envelope to block the message; and you can use them in direct mail or in person. Postcards have a personal feel to them – what’s one of the first things you did on vacation when you were younger? Look for postcards to send back to those at home. Printing postcards is a great way to open a dialog with prospects and customers – they’re meant to be used to generate sales leads, not to close sales.
Create a personal message to the customer. Send out postcards to those in a 5-mile radius that says “Visit our location on Main Street.” For those who live closer to another store location, urge them to visit your store on XYZ Street. Keep it somewhat personal so that the recipient knows that you are reaching out to her and that you are local. Local businesses are generally looked upon favorably over generic, large business chains.
Buy a targeted mailing list. Buy a list from a list broker, such as BuyerZone.com or check out the Direct Marketing Association’s list of brokers (see Resources). Mail your postcards to those on the targeted mailing list and tailor your message to this list. For instance, if you have a list of parents, write “Dear Parents.” If you are sending a postcard to pet owners, talk up your product in terms of the family pet.
Send out an invitation to your grand opening. Many stores have grand opening events for stores that are opening in other states. This is just a reason to have a sale. You can do the same thing, whether you’re opening a new location or having a grand opening of your new Web site. Design your postcard to look like an printed invitation and give people a reason to stop by your store.
Hang postcards on community bulletin boards. Go to your local library, supermarket or laundromat and hang your postcards on bulletin boards there. Postcards don’t always have to be sent through the mail to be effective. Also hang postcards on a local college’s community board, if allowed.
Hand out postcards at trade shows and networking events. Instead of handing out your business card, give people a postcard with your information on it. A postcard will allow you to give people more information about your business while also giving them your contact info.
Whether you follow one of these steps or all of them, the most important thing to remember about postcard marketing is that the postcards won’t do you any good sitting in your office. No matter how you get the postcards out into the world, get them out there. Give them to friends and family. Leave a postcard along with your tip at a restaurant. You never know who might need your products.