My Little Marketing Horror Story That was the Start of PostcardMania

Woman reading horror story

What made you want to start your own business?

Some people have just always wanted to be their own boss. For some people, it’s a passion for their trade or the desire to make the world a better place.

I relate to that, for sure:

I do what I do because I truly believe that small businesses are the backbone of the U.S. economy, and I want to use my experience and knowledge to help small business owners grow their companies and prosper!


There was ONE event that really convinced me that PostcardMania was needed and wanted by the marketplace, and would not only succeed but THRIVE…

What was it?

It was a horrible marketing experience!

Tell me if you’ve been through something like this…

Back in the late ‘90s, I ran a small graphic design firm where I also brokered the printing for my clients, and I wanted to send some postcards marketing myself to my prospects.

At that time, to get 5,000 full-color postcards cost more than $1,000 — some companies charged as much as $1,550! (There was no online shopping yet!)

One printer was offering 5,000 postcards for $425, — so I decided to try them out.

But when I got the proofs back, I noticed something:

They had added their 800-number to the postcards in 5-point type!

To be clear:

I designed the postcards, but they added their phone number.

They thought they were so slick — like “we’ll give you this great price but you’ll have to help promote us.” I was like, REALLY?

I’m a broker — I sell printing and could bring you a ton of business but you’re going to print YOUR phone number on MY postcards?

So I called and asked them to remove their phone number from my art.

They said they would — for $50 more!


After a lot of back and forth, I eventually prevailed and they agreed to remove it at no charge — but it was then and there that I decided to start my own postcard marketing company.

We would do all the design, printing and mailing in-house, so everything would be much simpler for our clients. (Back then, these postcard printers didn’t sell directly to small businesses — only to those of us in the trade. PostcardMania was actually the first to offer direct mail postcards at super reasonable prices directly to you, the business owner!)

And I certainly wasn’t going to print my company’s telephone number on my customers’ postcards!

We offered 5,000 cards for $389 — that price was pretty much unheard of at the time — and it just took off!

It was when competitors started popping up online that I needed to do something else to differentiate PostcardMania…

Which is when I changed my unique selling proposition (USP) and made my company more about marketing and results than just full-color postcards at such a reasonable price.

Download this FREE worksheet for help coming up with an irresistible USP for your business!

And that’s the story of how PostcardMania was born!

Now I want to hear from YOU:

Have you had any terrible marketing experiences?

Here’s one:

My client, Dr. Behnaz Raisdana, paid more than $7,000 to advertise her new dental practice in the local phone book.

“I know the phone book is not very popular anymore, but we do have an older community,” she told me.

Guess how many calls that $7,000 ad produced in 12 months?

ONE. Yep — one!

Fortunately, she also mailed postcards regularly to the surrounding community, which brought in 451 new dental patients in that same time frame!

So… your turn.

Tell me your marketing horror stories — I really want to hear them! Perhaps I’ll share your experience in a future blog post…

Email them to me at

If you’d like personalized help coming up with a USP for your business, or want to talk about any aspect of your marketing, call one of my 30+ experts for a free, no-obligation consultation at 800-628-1804!






  • I had a water softening company back in 2006 when real estate was SUPER HOT! I spent $48,000 on radio ads which got me 0 customers, the only thing it helped was when my telemarketing room called homes they had heard of the company name which helped set appointments.

  • Wow, thanks for sharing. I hope were able to see a positive return on those radio ads once you set appointments!

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