Now that the holidays are over and 2018 is here, you may be eager to figure out how to grow your business even more this New Year.
But if the holidays drained your budget a little too much, or maybe 2018 just crept up really fast for you, I have something that may help you.
I put together 5 ways to take your direct mail design and get better results from it —
No need to reinvent the wheel.
Here are a few proven ideas to get more leads (and revenue) from your postcard campaign in 2018.
1. Double the quantity of postcards you mail
One of the easiest ways to get more calls and better results from your current postcard design is to simply mail more postcards.
The more marketing communication you send OUT promoting your business, the more likely you’ll be to get more people to respond.
This is actually the hardest point for me to get across to small business owners…
Whatever the amount of communication you THINK is the right amount to put out there to bring in leads — well, you have to 10x that amount in your mind — to really have the correct estimation of effort.
I’m not exaggerating even a little bit here.
I mailed 1,000 postcards per week when I started my tiny business with zero funding. Yes, I’m referring to PostcardMania back in 1998. I upped it to 2,500 pieces within months and then, after about a year and a half, I upped it to 5,000 pieces per week.
My first full year in business as PostcardMania, our revenue was $689,000. The second year it was $1,546,000, and the third year we made over $3 million!
We kept increasing the number of postcards we mailed.
So, step 1:
Send MORE postcards, period. And mail consistently too!
I know you may be thinking, “Well, you own a marketing company, of course you’re going to say mail more.” But here’s the barefaced truth:
I built my business on this concept. So I KNOW it works.
When the economy tanked in 2008 and 2009, I panicked like every other business owner. A large portion of my clients at the time were in the mortgage industry, and when the housing bubble burst, I panicked.
Against my better judgement, I listened to the advice of others and cut my marketing costs to save money. You know what happened then?
My revenue sunk.
But, because I knew WHY my revenue dipped, I quickly reinvested back into my marketing…
And my revenue went back up.
We’ve NEVER cut our marketing, and our revenue has been steadily going up.
If you’re sending 1,000 postcards per week or month, try 2,000. If you’re mailing 2,000, try 5,000. You get the picture. And I’m being conservative in this advice!!
There’s no reason you shouldn’t get more leads from mailing MORE postcards — especially if you’re doubling (or tripling) your quantity.
Remember this though:
You NEED to track your results after you start mailing. My guess — actually, my personal experience — is that you’ll see an increase in leads right away and an increase in revenue in about 4-6 weeks after mailing depending on your sales cycle.
I’d be SHOCKED, in fact, if you doubled, tripled, or quintupled the amount of postcards mailed and saw zero or even little results — unless your postcard design is downright awful (which I doubt).
So plan #1:
- Take your postcard
- Get more printed
- Mail more this year
- Track what happens
I can still understand if you’re wondering about this… a LOT goes into a successful postcard campaign, and I don’t want anyone mailing out MORE of a card that produced terrible results. There is always a reason for a lack of response, and it’s NOT that postcards don’t work… it’s a problem with the design or the list, or what happens when they check you out online so…
Now onto the next strategy.
2. Mail your postcards to a different mailing list
Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re a tax advisor.
You’ve been mailing your postcards to a list of residents in your town with these 2 traits:
- Living within 5 miles of your practice
- Income of $40k and up
Here are some other lists you could mail your postcard to:
- Residents who live 10 miles out
- Income of $35k or less
- Target ages 35+
- Split your own customer lists between early and late filers
- Mail to new movers in your area
As long as your postcard’s design communicates appropriately to each list, the point is:
You can mail your postcard to different lists!
When you mail your postcards consistently — hitting your list at least 3 times — you’ll see results.
You could use Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM), the U.S. Postal System’s bulk mail program, which saves money on postage (the most expensive element of your campaign, by the way).
With EDDM, you can blanket an entire area with your postcard marketing and reach every mail box in an area, if that strategy works for your business.
As long as you read and follow the post office’s EDDM instructions, you’ll be fine to mail with EDDM. Or, we can address, bundle and send your EDDM campaign if you want to save some time and still take advantage of EDDM’s postage discounts.
3. Catch some of the 95% of leads who visit your website
About 95% of people will head to your website to check you out before they take any action (such as contacting you).
But then what do you think actually happens?
About 96% of those people — those leads — just DISAPPEAR.
This is a scary HUGE waste of marketing money.
It’s like you’re paying to generate leads…
The majority of whom visit your website…
They click around —
And then disappear.
It’s like, where are my leads?
As a business owner, you need to fix the bottleneck that is your website.
I can’t tell you the number of times this is the EXACT reason why a campaign fails.
It’s easy to check Google Analytics (an amazing and FREE website tracking tool) to see how many more people visited your site after your postcards mailed.
When you see that traffic spike with your own eyes, you KNOW the cards worked — they did their job.
They generated interest and got folks to go to your site for more info! So THERE is where you have to convert them to either buyers or leads that you follow up with.
A website these days is almost like your business’s store front — except on your computer (or smart phone).
So here’s what you can do to get more leads from your website:
Make sure your website has lead capture forms on it, like this one:
Your lead capture form should appear “above the fold” on your website, aka, above the point a prospect would need to start scrolling down your homepage to read more information.
Your prospect should see your lead capture form IMMEDIATELY and realize that by filling in their details, that’s how they’ll contact you for an appointment or to take advantage of your special offer.
See this lead capture form on this site:
You can’t miss it. (That’s a website we designed for one of our clients, by the way.)
Make sure your website designer puts a lead capture form on your website homepage, or if you’re the website person, then there are lead capture plug-ins and third-party services you can easily use.
When your prospect fills in their details, you’ll receive an email alert so you or your team can quickly respond to the lead.
Speed is important when dealing with leads! The faster you respond to a lead, the more likely you’ll close them.
Have you ever filled out a web form and then waited days for any response?
I have — and at that point, I feel like this:
“If it took that long to call me, a) you don’t need or want my business that badly, and/or b) Geeeez, how long will it take you to get back to me once I’m your client?”
In fact, 35-50% of sales go to whomever simply responds FIRST to the lead.
So to be first, you need to be fast.
Another tip on the subject of communication:
Place your phone number on EVERY page of your website — in the same place too, so your online leads know where to look to call you.
The upper right hand corner works well, like this:
As your prospect clicks through each page on your website, they should still see your phone number in the same place so it’s a consistent message:
To contact you now!
Now, you know that you need to respond to leads quickly. Here’s another way to do that:
Use live chat on your website.
The beauty of live chat is that it puts a real person on your website to answer questions, sometimes even after your business has closed for the day.
Here’s why live chat is so valuable today:
- 92% of consumers love using live chat on a website
- 77%won’t contact or even buy from a business that doesn’t use live chat
- 63% say they’re more likely to return to a website that has live chat vs. one that doesn’t
Live chat turns your website into a real human interaction so that prospects can get answers immediately. And most live chat assistants are trained to direct calls to your business when possible, which generates leads in REAL time — while they’re hot and interested in your business!
Here are a couple live chat companies to check out:
But with live chat – be sure to train your person on this job to turn that reach into a lead. Don’t just answer the questions! You have to ASK questions and get a dialogue occurring so that the person WANTS to speak to someone (so they can be closed). Make sense?
The idea behind these website strategies is to turn your website into a lead-generating machine.
If your website isn’t collecting leads, it’s essentially LOSING leads.
Which brings me to the last website strategy:
Using pop-ups on your website — meaning, those windows that actually pop up to invite prospects to enter their details to contact you.
Here’s one from our website:
Most website platforms have plugins you can use to create these pop-ups and place them on different pages of your website.
At PostcardMania we discovered that pop-ups — especially when used with a special offer — can be VERY effective at increasing leads…
In fact, the hand-drawn pop-up you see above helped generate a 400% increase in leads for PostcardMania.
That’s why we ended up creating a tool to specifically help our clients catch more leads directly from their websites too. And the best part is you don’t have to fiddle with any website code, plus we made it very affordable.
Implementing just one or two of these website strategies will help increase your website’s conversion rate, which means you will have more leads you can contact and close.
4. Add Google ads to generate 400% MORE response to your marketing
Take your current direct mail campaign and add Google ads to it to reach 90% of internet users.
Run online ads (that match your postcards in design and special offer) with Google AdWords at the SAME time your postcards mail.
When your prospects receive your postcard or see any form of your marketing, like I mentioned above in #3, 95% will visit your website before they take any action with your business.
When someone visits your website, Google “cookies” them. (“Cookie” simply means a little bit of code is added to your web browser.) Then, after visitors leave your website, your Google ads “follow” your prospects all over the internet. These ads show up on millions of websites, many of which are household names.
Here’s just a small list of websites your ad could appear on:
- The New York Times
- The Guardian
- And MILLIONS more!
Here’s an example of how this works:
This type of integrated marketing puts your message where prospects are most willing to receive marketing — at home, from their mail box, and their most visited websites.
In other words:
Your marketing gets seen much MORE — with no additional effort on your part — and using the genius of Google’s ads platform you can increase your campaign response by up to 400%.
That’s why we developed Everywhere Small Business, to integrate direct mail with Google ads in one simple program.
Here’s an example of a campaign we did using Google ads:
There’s the postcard, and here’s the accompanying Google ad:
When a prospect sees both your postcard and your online ads, they’ll know they’re from the same business because they MATCH.
Want to take your reach up another level?
You’ll want to use Facebook ads too, which I talk about next:
5. Reach 68% of adults where they spend about 50 minutes per day
Facebook’s become so big it’s impossible to ignore (2 BILLION monthly users), and chances are your prospects use this social media platform — since it’s the largest one in the world.
With 70% of users checking Facebook multiples times every day, you have an immense opportunity to be seen on Facebook.
Run Facebook ads with your direct mail campaign.
We can target the same people on Facebook that will be receiving your postcard in their mailboxes.
Your postcard recipients will see your message pop up in their newsfeeds too.
If you combine Facebook ads with your postcard campaign PLUS add in Google ads, your marketing will reach your prospects virtually everywhere they spend their time.
Here’s an example of a campaign we ran using direct mail, Facebook, AND Google ads:
That’s the postcard…
And here’s the Google ad:
Here’s the Facebook ad:
See how the postcard, Google ad, and Facebook ad all clearly look like they’re from the same business promoting the same message?
We call this marketing program Everywhere Small Business.
With Everywhere Small Business, we handle all of your marketing for you:
- Designing your postcards and entire campaign
- Printing and mailing your postcards
- Setting up your online ads and running them
- Tracking your clicks, calls, and leads!
For the above dental campaign, here are the results so far:
- 17,722 postcards delivered (tracked with our mail tracking feature)
- 178,648 ad impressions (meaning, Google ads have been seen 178,648 times)
- 21,335 Facebook ad impressions
- 33 calls received right off the bat
This specific campaign is still running, so the final number of leads and sales are yet to be reported (stay tuned!)
Whatever you do in 2018, increase your marketing.
I recommend planning your entire year’s marketing right now — early. That way you’ll know for the ENTIRE year that your business’s marketing plan is covered, and you can just focus on servicing your new customers.
If you need help, contact one of our marketing consultants for a FREE consultation at 800-628-1804 to find the best solution for your business for 2018.
Or, you can email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
P.S. If you decide you do want a fresh postcard design for your 2018 marketing, we can absolutely help you. Want to see postcard designs that have already worked for businesses just like yours? Check out our postcard gallery, organized by industry!