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Have you ever tried postcard advertising?

Discussion in 'General Chit-Chat' started by WhatsYourSign?, Mar 29, 2019.

  1. WhatsYourSign?

    WhatsYourSign? Member

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    I'm always up for trying something new to see what works, and postcards are next on the list.

    The most important part of this (other than the quality of the list) is having a compelling offer that will get people to call/email.


    For those of you that actively market your business, what offers have you seen to be effective with advertising sign shops?


    Things I've been considering:

    * Free design with purchase of sign (with some limits, i.e. sign must be at least $150)

    * $25 off purchase of at least $100

    * 500 free business cards with purchase of at least $150


    Would love to hear feedback from any of you who have experimented with direct mail/postcard advertising.


    Thanks in advance!
     
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  2. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    if we do mailings, a friend taught me to do postcards because with a postcard someone can still read the offer on a discrded card. no one picks up a discarded envelope to open the paper and see what it says. but a discarded post card can still draw another person in

    letter once (you can include a tri fold or a price list)
    followed by a post card for the next round
    letter again
    even being thrown away it accomplishes the goal of building name recognition
    i mail to targeted industry or group, with a specific offer. but there has to be a "hook" something to draw you in. mostly price
    you have seconds to draw them in. somewhere between "another sign company offer" and the moment they drop it in the garbage
     
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  3. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    Its ineffective. Weve been doing it for years and follow all of the marketing rules with it from message to target. I even manually go through our mailing lists 1 by 1. Most recently we targeted an existing customer nationwide that had an immediate need at every location. Sent it out twice a week for 2 months. Nothing, no website traffic, calls, orders simply nothing. We did receive orders from them and every one had no idea who we were and it came from referrals at other stores. I even called and asked various locations that we were established with.
    We do them for our paint business as well. Even our local existing customers dont notice the cards when I ask if they got them. I keep doing it because Its cheap and I have hope but in 10 years, we have received $0 in revenue from it.
    Unless its important, mail gets chucked without a second look. Just think about what you do with the mail, nothing gets looked at unless its a check, a bill or has IRS on it. The rest get trashed.
    Now Ive made email lists by manually going through state contracts and other sources and with a good targeted message have got awesome results. We got a $200k+ deal from a random targeted email a couple years ago.
     
  4. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    To add to this, my health insurance was canceled for non-payment about a year ago. Had no idea why. Well, they send the bills on a folded post card and they went right in the round file. I remembered these blue cross postcards coming over and over after I called pitching a fit. Thought it was the stupidest idea ever and often wonder if this is a tactic they use to cancel people or get out of coverage during a lapse. Who looks at these things?
     
  5. WhatsYourSign?

    WhatsYourSign? Member

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    Would you be willing to share a bit more about how you use state contracts to target people? If that's effective, I'd like to experiment with it.


    I've read mixed results about postcards... My results may be the same as yours but I'm hopeful they won't be.
     
  6. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    We used to make and install ac systems on school buses and miami started requiring all school bus contractors to have ac equipped buses. So I got the list for all miami/dade, broward and palm beach county approved bus contractors and started emailing them. These were personally written messages, not a picture or some other crap. It was easy to respond to. Mind you, we had already been doing direct mail campaigns to these people for the same thing with no results.
    Im my opinion, you have to market to a specific and immediate need to be effective in b2b marketing. Coupons, general info, gimmicks etc dont work. Its up to you to determine what that may be. An example that comes to mind is targeting politicians and groups when election season rolls around for coro signs, promo items etc.
     
  7. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    equippaint,
    evaluate your "hook". are you giving them a reason to come in to your business?

    i had a partner once, we did valpack, split the cost of the promotion.
    if i did the copy & the offer we got decent response. i discounted agressively.
    considered this our acquisition cost ,since about 70% became repeat customers.
    if my partner did the copy, he simply displayed our regular prices. no response, a waste of postage. many arguments later, he finally abandoned what i call the
    <our business name> come in and pay full price! advertising template

    if they already have a vendor they are comfortable with, you need to give them a reason to incur the "costs" of a change, both in terms of money & loss of comfort level.
     
  8. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    equippaint,
    do you really get good results from email?
    i will give it a try, but we live in times where spam filters reject over 90% of mail (barracuda network's industry figure, not mine)
    i have deliberately avoided email for this reason.
    you give me hope! i eould much rather have the vastly lower costs of an email campaign
    whose lists are you purchasing?
     
  9. ikarasu

    ikarasu Very Active Member

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    It's funny, in Canada unsolicited emails are illegal. You need to opt in to get mails from anyone.. it's illegal and can result in a huge fine otherwise.

    The company/person has to first agree to be contacted... By opt in newsletters / etc.

    But all these companies I don't care about can send me 5 postcards a day...

    Ask yourself how many times you read postcards in your mailbox... I don't think it's too effective
     
  10. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    equippaint,
    You got my attention.
    you obviously know how to frame your offer, if you get a good respnse from an email campaign. (although a/c in Florida is a sure bet)

    its funny that your results are the opposite of mine. (although, experience has been that some industries respond better to the "old school" approach of printed material)
    it's a lot more expensive with $.55 postage, 2% response rate & probably a 1 yr cycle needed to make you a household name, one where they now recognize your logo & name
    i would much rather have the near zero costs of an email campaign
     
  11. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I think it is here as well but so are robocalls. I dont send out spam in the traditional sense of the word and dont mass mail. Its targeted to select people with a typed message for a specific need.
     
  12. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    With the emails, it’s just the same as making a good sales call. If you walk in with “hi, im bob we make signs. Heres my card, call me next time you need something” you will get absolutely nowhere even if you do it 10k times. It seems like about 95% of reps use this approach and thats what a postcard does.
    You have to go in with “i ran into your pm dave on a job and he said to come see you about signs you may need in the hotel you are just starting to build”. Do your research, dont send anything that does not address a specific potential need or you are just wasting everyones time.
    Im no expert but to me, its pointless to close your eyes and throw a bucket of darts at the wall. The proper way is to throw them one at a time, carefully and thought out aiming for the center.
     
  13. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    I tried postcards targeted to commercial real-estate agents in my area.. I did a round every month. Handwritten in an envelope to about 50 agents in 7 agencies... Nothing.
     
  14. netsol

    netsol Very Active Member

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    1996 i decided to leave the commercial video business (repairing studio equipment for large clients, including johnson& johnson, ford motor company,) 2 large clients were sold to a holding company that provided equipment rentals in house. decided it was time to try something new

    new business as a computer consultant
    sent 250 faxes weekly for 3months (the same 250 companies)
    got 3 new clients the first week
    picked up a total of 20 offices, some referrals from the original responders
    my campaign adressed an immediate need, new mls system, replacing the mls book with all the listngs in it, with a website. we could solve the problems connectng to mls at 56k speeds
    sent a different theme every week, enhancements we could offer your office, improving the client experience, services you could offer agents making it easier to recruit
    2 of the new clients showed me a folder with every fax i had ever sent them. they don't all end up in the garbage
    23 years later i still have many of these clients, still have keys to their offices for after hours access

    i plan on using the same targeted message strategy for our sign business (my "retirement" business). going to use a combination of mailings, phone calls, salesmen visits. i want to target several niche industries. with a good message, and discountng deeper thsn the competition. we will start in a month or so

    by the first of the year we. will see how sucessful my strategy is
     
  15. equippaint

    equippaint Very Active Member

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    I did faxing too when I sold construction equipment. Any rain or snow day Id sit in the office and send them out to specific categories from the blue book. Also setup an autodial fax program that would send out at night, would do it about once a month to the same targeted contractors. I got decent results from that as well.
    Now that were talking about it, I think postcards are about the only thing that delivered a big fat zero.
     
  16. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

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    Knocking on doors AND following up are by far the biggest payoffs.
     
  17. night eagle

    night eagle Active Member

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    We always send a thank you postcard w a 10% off next order. But I have tried advertising w paper ie post cards, Val pack door hangers and I can’t say it was worth the money.

    google placement, and a used haul box truck outside my store w banners on 3 sides like a billboard have worked the best for us
     
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