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How to Design An Effective Postcard for Your Small Business

Postcard marketing is easy and effective for most small businesses. How do you design an effective postcard? Should you use one of those postcard templates you found online?

You want to design an effective postcard that is aesthetic and looks good. The problem is that “aesthetic” and “looking good” may not create a response and drive the traffic you want from your postcard mailer.

You are not designing a home decorating project that Joanna Gaines would be proud of. YOU ARE TRYING TO GET THE ATTENTION OF AND DEVELOP INTEREST IN an offer you hope a prospect will respond to.

 

First Things First, Things To Consider Before You Get Started

Before you begin designing an effective postcard consider the end-user, AKA the recipient of the postcard. What is happening with your average prospect today?

  • They are very busy.
  • They are very rushed.
  • They consume media and advertising very lazily with their attention being sporadic and bouncing from one thing to another.
  • Consumers are bombarded with over 1800 advertising messages a day. Some ignore most of what they see and hear.

The Following Are 10 Design Tips That Get Your Postcard Design Noticed:

  1. Clear and bold headline. The headline should contain the main benefit of the product or offer.
  2. Relevant photos and graphics.
  3. Use bright colors in the design. Remember the first step to any successful ad campaign is getting noticed. Pastel colors do not get noticed unless they are used to contrast brighter colors.
  4. You must include a special offer on your postcard. Give the prospect a reason to respond. The offer has to be of real value to the prospect.
  5. Reinforce the main headline on the front of the postcard with subheadline on the back that ties in and is relevant.
  6. Always include benefits to every feature mentioned. People buy benefits.
  7. Do not forget your company name, logo, website and most importantly your phone number. The phone number should be in at least two places on the postcard.
  8. Design-wise, your call-to-action has to almost clash with the rest of the card. It needs to be loud, bright and very noticeable. Make sure your call-to-action contains a benefit for responding now. By definition, a call-to-action is an action phrase, for example, “Call now and receive (blank) for $$$!
  9. Always have an expiration date on your offer. If it looks like they can buy your product or service anytime, why buy now?
  10. If you have reviews and testimonials include them. Third-party validation goes a long way today.

Click Here To See More Postcard Samples

Your Website – Is It Ready To Handle Leads?

Today 90% of people who have an interest in your postcard offer will go online and check out your website and reviews. Make sure your website looks good and is designed to convert people from shoppers to buyers. I have seen many marketers lose 80% of their potential results with an outdated, poorly designed website.

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Do not get cheap and hire your brother-in-law to design your website. Invest a little money and do it right. Your returns and leads from your website will pay off with a good design

Getting noticed is the first step in any ad campaign. Postcard marketing puts a message directly in your best prospects hands. Do not waste this opportunity to get noticed. If your design is poor with too much information on the card and does not grab attention your mailer goes in the trash without even so much as a yawn.

Need help designing an effective postcard mailer and campaign for your small business? Fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

How to Generate More HVAC Leads & Referrals

Today your success in generating quality HVAC leads largely depends on three things: 1) the quality of your service, 2) the amount and type of marketing you do, and 3) your website.

I am going to take these in reverse order. I am amazed at the HVAC customers we work with who do not have a website or their website is old and has not been updated for 5 plus years. Bad, bad, very bad!!

The way people shop today is that 90% to 95% of people will go online and research a business before calling. They check out your reviews and look at the services you offer online. Then they go check out your competitor’s website. If your website looks old, ugly and is difficult to navigate the prospect crosses you off the list.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a website, but you also don’t need to have your brother-in-law or cousin do it because he has a knack for technology. Your website is the first impression your prospects will have of your business.

Things You Must Have to Have a Good HVAC Website:

  • The website looks fresh
  • It’s easy to navigate. A prospect should never be more than one or two clicks from what they are looking for.
    1. Services you offer
    2. Specials you offer
    3. How to contact you
    4. Service areas
    5. Response time
    6. Guarantees
  • If you have the personnel, I encourage our clients to include a live chat feature on their website. A live chat feature is a pop up that engages the prospect in real-time asking if they need help. Look at it this way, if someone walked in your store you would ask them if they needed help or had a question. This is the same thing but on your website.
  • Make sure your phone number is plastered all over and is easy to find.
  • Content with specific keywords is important because it helps you pop up in the Google searches.

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The Amount & Type of Marketing You Do Matters

It use to be that to run a successful business and generate plenty of HVAC leads all you had to do is buy a half or full-page ad in the Yellow Pages. They do not even print Yellow Pages anymore – it is all online.

Does this mean you should spend all your ad dollars online? The problem with that is no matter how big your ad budget is you will run out of money.

A better strategy is to do a targeted mailer and use what is called remarketing ads. What is a remarketing ad? Basically, after you go to a website and leave, the remarketing ad follows you around the internet where ever you search. Very effective because the people who are on your website are prospects right now and following them with an online ad is easy and cost-effective.

Direct Mail is a small business’s secret weapon. Let me ask you this–do you know anyone who does not have a mailbox?… Everyone has a mailbox and gets their mail delivered every day. Direct mail allows you to put a targeted message in front of a prospect for less than Google Pay Per Click ads, radio, TV or even billboards.

Types of Mailers for HVAC Marketing

  • New mover mailers. They have just moved to a new home and do not have an existing relationship with another HVAC company.
  • Target area mailers. We have ways to get your postage down to 13¢ to 19¢ per piece, saving you a lot of money.
  • Existing customer mailers. It is always a good idea to stay in front of your existing clients. There are several ways you can do this.
    • Newsletters
    • Thank you cards
    • Service reminders

Marketing and generating HVAC leads is simple if you have the basics in, a good website and do regular and routine mailers.

If you need help with marketing your HVAC business, fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

HVAC Marketing: Unplugging with Print

HVAC marketing for new customers is very competitive because there is a digital war waging for the customers and prospective customers attention.

What is the best way to advertise as an HVAC business? Is it time to go all digital marketing? Maybe, maybe not!

Let’s look at the digital media vying for your customer’s attention.

  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Youtube
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Angie’s List
  • Home Pro
  • Email marketing

That is just a few of the digital platforms aggressively marketing to your customer. According to BankMyCell.com, the average smartphone user checks their device 47 times a day. That’s 17,155 times a year!

What’s more staggering is 85% of smartphone users check their device while speaking with friends and family. Good news, however, many have come to recognize that things are off-balance. 47% of users have tried in some capacity to limit their digital consumption, although only 30% have been successful.

These statistics should prove to you this fact:

The struggle with digital addiction gives print marketing one of the most profound, impactful benefits of all:

  • It isn’t digital!
  • It can be held, it is real.

Direct mail marketing still is the only advertising medium available to you that has 100% penetration and 100% usage. The United States Post Office delivers the mail 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. Everyone gets his or her mail.

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Print marketing’s most underutilized aspect is using it as a follow-up tool. Because people are shopping more these days and taking longer to do so and because people are more informed than ever before, a nice leave behind brochure or flyer is tangible, real and more impactful than almost anything you can do. It also is a way for you to get real, actual time in front of your customers and prospects.

In today’s oversaturated digital world, your prospects and customers have begun to appreciate companies that use marketing that gives them a chance to unplug from all things digital, and it’s one of the reasons that direct mail response rates continue to rise. Those same smartphone users, 92% of them in fact, say they prefer direct mail when making purchasing decisions (according to a recent DMR report).

The choice is simple–by offering the tangible, physical, intrusive experience that print marketing provides, you’re allowing your consumers to unplug, to interact with your company, and to give full attention to your and your brand.

It’s not digital! That is the Print Advantage!

Marketing For Real Estate Agents

Being a real estate agent you are in one of the most competitive industries in the world. Often sales and fortunes are made or lost on pure emotion.

How as a professional real estate agent can you get more listings – sell more property? How can you stand out, be remembered and even more importantly be referred? I will share with you some ideas that can help you generate more new clients and sales.

As you know in real estate the money and security are in the listings. So how do you get more listings? That is a great question.

What do home sellers want? What are we looking for when we choose an agent?

The answer is simple…we want to sell our home fast for top dollar!

A better question would be what do we fear most when choosing a real estate agent?

From the viewpoint of the person selling the home, the biggest fear is to hire an agent who just wants to list the home. We are afraid of hiring an agent who thinks its enough to just put a sign in the yard and collect a commission check in 3 or 6 months – for basically doing nothing but putting a sign out front and getting the property listing in the MLS.

The Introduction

The first impression does make a difference. I recently sold my home and interviewed 6 realtors. It amazed me that five of the six showed up dressed in what I will call generously “business casual”. I was going to pay the agent I listed with $60,000 in commission and they did not think it was important to dress up for someone that was going to pay them $60,000.

The realtor we finally listed with came to the house dressed to the nines. She has been a realtor for 25 years and she has sold almost a billion dollars in residential real estate last year. Her appearance and presentation said to me that she knew what she was doing and was a professional.

Outline Your Strategy For Marketing The Property

You know the drill on this one, comps, professional property pictures, staging, etc. This also is the point where you build confidence that you are going to do more than just put a sign in the front yard and collect a check in six months.

How to get buyers to the property. Do not just say “List it on the MLS or put on Zillow!” Everyone does that. If I’m going to hand you a commission check I want to feel like you EARNED IT!

The agent I mentioned previously held a Broker’s Open House. Nothing new, a lot of agents do this. What was different is in the quality of the food she had. It was not hors d’oeuvres, but a catered meal. She said that to get other agents and brokers to show up you needed to feed them. She had photos of the Broker’s Open House that showed a lot of people and of the food.

Demonstrate

What is your track record? What can you do to show your expertise in the area? “Show” does not mean, “say or tell” it means to show them a printed, tangible proof of what you have done. At this point, this would mean a nice brochure with testimonials, show the client mailers you send out to promote your other properties. If you don’t have something nice that sells you – it is well worth the investment to hire a professional designer.

Validate

After you get the listing, validate the seller’s decision to hire you by doing one thing—be in communication.

  • Do not wait for the client to call you. You call them every week with an update.
  • Send them copies of the promotions and advertising you sent promoting their property.

If you are not mailing promotion out every week you are costing yourself new listings, sales, and referrals. Seller’s talk to their friends about their listing agent, especially if they have evidence you are busting your tail to sell their home. Printed marketing materials are the validation that they chose wisely the right agent to list their home.

  • Develop a newsletter and mail to your existing and past clients, and to areas you want to get more listings in. A good newsletter would have tips, trivia and also showcase the current listings you have.

The last statistics I recently saw stated that today people will sell their home every 5 to 7 years, so if you are not staying in front of your old clients you are losing potential listings.

Today, it is easy to slip into the cheap and easy email blast promotion or social media post which is fine to do but should not be the only thing you do. Email marketing that is sent out is forgotten 3 seconds after it is sent and is deleted along with the hundreds of other emails. A printed postcard, newsletter or flyer is more real and has more of an impact than something emailed out.

Your Website

Finally, your website today is one of the best investments you can make in your business. A couple of tips for your website:

  • Sell yourself: bios, experience, specialty areas or neighborhoods, and testimonials.
  • Make sure your phone number is easy to see and find.
  • Content, tips, and tactics that interest and engage.
  • One of the best things you can do is to install a live chat feature on your website. People today are rushed and will not fill out an online form or call right away. Many will live chat, though. This gives you the ability to have a conversation with a prospective seller or buyer.

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If you need help strategizing and coming up with a marketing plan to get more listings and sell more homes, give us a call at 727-536-4173 or fill out the form below and one of our Marketing Consultants will contact you shortly.

What is the Best Way To Advertise Your Small Business?

If I were to ask you what you want from advertising your business you would most likely say:

  1. You want a way to increase sales that’s fast and easy.
  2. You want to know if the advertising worked or not, judging by the volume of interested prospects who called or came into the store in the first few days the ad was running.

Being a small business owner myself, I feel you!

Fast easy sales and a volume of hot interested prospects flowing in the door is my ideal scene too.

The challenge is that advertising worked this way about 8 to 12 years ago.

Having said that it is possible for you to create a flow of interested prospects flowing in and people buying from your advertising.

3 Challenges With Adverting for Small Businesses Today

The way people respond to advertising has changed and if you are not aware of it you will rack up failed advertising campaigns and waste a lot of your money.

  1. About 95% to 98% of your potential sales will not happen immediately but will happen later. Only 1% to 2% of sales will happen after the initial contact with the prospect. Why?
  2. Because the bigger the ticket of the item you are selling, the more people shop and the longer your prospects will take to decide.
  3. People are bombarded with thousands of advertising message every day. They have a short memory and will forget you very quickly.

You can create a steady flow on prospects coming in your door if you do one thing!

FOLLOW UP!

How important is follow up?

If you are receiving thousands of advertising messages a day – which ones will you remember? The one you see the most.

If your day is packed with activity, things to do, random emergencies, people calling for your attention, which advertising message are you most likely to respond to? The one you see the most often that seems to benefit you the most.

Let’s look at most of the large Fortune 500 companies. Almost all of them advertise consistently.

I know what you are thinking, “Well they have the money to advertise – I don’t.” You are right they do make a lot of money. These companies also made marketing their business a priority early and stayed with it.

Advertising and choosing the right way to advertise for your business can seem overwhelming.

  • What is the best way to advertise your business?
  • Which will generate the best return for you? These are good questions.

Let me try to give you the answer to these questions.

What is the best advertising medium for a small business? Do you know anyone who does not have a mailbox?…No, you don’t. Everyone in the United States has a postal address and receives mail every, single day. Making Direct Mail the only advertising medium available to you that has 100% market penetration and 100% usage.

Because your best prospects get their mail delivered every day and go through their mail every day, you can put a communication directly in the hands of your best prospect.

Something you need to know about Direct Mail Advertising is that the way “response” is defined has changed.

Let me ask you this if you received an offer in the mail or even saw a TV ad and you had an interest, what is the first thing you would do?

If you said, “go online to find the website,” then you are like the 90% of consumers in the United States. You go online and research the company and the offer.

  • Is the company reputable? You read reviews.
  • Is there a better/cheaper offer? You look at competitive websites for better offers.
  • You get tired of searching the Internet, may get confused or maybe you see some clickbait that snags your attention and there you go, off down a rabbit hole forgetting what and why you were searching in the first place.
  • Or, after researching you pick up the phone and call the business you most feel can help you. The majority of the time today the act of buying does not happen quickly.

The way people shop today definitely presents challenges but also is an opportunity for you.

The opportunity is that the prospect was interested enough to Google your company since they just received the mailer from you otherwise, they would have just thrown the postcard away and would not have gone online to research you.

How people shop today has a definite benefit to a small business because there is technology available that allows you to use your website as a sort of funnel for hot prospects.

Once people go to your website Wilson Print Marketing can:

  • Follow them with an ad on Google and Facebook.
  • Identify them by name, address, and even phone and email.
  • Track the number of people who went to your website.
  • Track the number of calls you got from the campaign.
  • Track exactly when your direct mail piece is delivered to your prospect.

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No, it is not expensive.

Yes, it is easy and turnkey for you.

Yes, it works.

All you need to know is who you want to reach.

Things have gotten a whole lot easier for you for marketing your business. If you would like more information about how the above technology can help your business please give us a call 727-536-4173 or fill out the form below to request more information:

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