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The One-Two Punch that Most Postcards MISS

one-two-punch-with-postcardsI recently received a postcard advertising a copy machine.

I threw it away.

Days later, I received another postcard advertising a phone service.

It quickly informed me I could get complete information on unrestricted worldwide telephone service for $14.95 per year by calling the 800-number on the card.

I called. I got the information, had my questions answered and ordered.

Now, did I really NEED a new phone service? No. But the postcard got my attention and created some interest. I had the time. So I called.

But here’s the interesting part in all this:

Why did one card go in the trash and another in the to-do pile? It has everything to do with a proven one-two marketing punch.

Let me explain…

The copy machine postcard tried too hard to get me to IMMEDIATELY buy the machine. It had way too many words — and they were WAY TOO SMALL!

On the other hand, the phone service card had just 32 words on it — a gentle reach, just asking me to call.

The company who offered me the long distance service was using a time-tested, two-step selling process:

Step 1: Generate a lead. In the above case, getting me to call their 800-number.

Step 2: Provide the requested information. When I called, one of their sales representatives answered my questions and made me feel confident I could save quite a bit of money and that the service would be as good or better as my current one.

I’ve been in the direct mail marketing business for more than 17 years, and I can tell you this:

Two-step marketing works.

Why? It allows a person to get comfortable before plunking down their hard-earned cash.

Think about it.

Most of life’s biggest moments come in stages. Getting married, for example: there is usually a “warming up” period (dating and engagement — notice: two steps!) before a couple ties the knot.

It is MUCH EASIER to create interest (a lead) than walk a person through an entire buying process and get them to buy on the first contact.

First, you execute Step 1:

Use postcards to inexpensively promote and target prospects and generate leads.

Then you initiate Step 2:

When the prospect calls in, you give them the information they need.

This two-step process ALSO helps you create a list of people who are interested enough to contact you. You can then follow up with the ones who didn’t buy when they first reached out, preferably until they do buy from you!

I cannot express enough the importance of this:

Be sure to get the information you will need to follow up with the people who responded to your postcard offering. Staying in front of interested prospects is a proven path to increased sales.

Your postcard should generate interest. That’s it. It doesn’t have to do too much. (Really!)

Your message should then focus on getting prospects to contact you in order to get something. A discount, more information, an exclusive report, etc. Just so long as it has a high perceived value (more on that in a sec).

When crafting your postcard message, there are 3 things you need to include to generate interest and motivate prospects to reach out:

  • The biggest benefit of your product or service or how your product/service makes their life easier or solves a problem: In the worldwide phone service example, it was cost savings.
  • A good reason for them to act NOW: Some kind of “special offer” or deadline (three weeks from your mailing date works well).
  • A direct CTA (call to action): Tell your prospects exactly what you want them to do. The more specific, the more likely they are to do it! (Call 800-123-4567 for Your Copy of Our Free Report is a good call to action. This is a bad call to action: 800-123-4567.)

BE CONCISE. Short messages on postcards produce more leads!

Another two-step idea that works for us is to place a website or landing page on the postcard and send the recipients to the page for something FREE, but valuable (our best offer is simply free samples of our products).

When they go to the website, there is a fill-in section to capture their contact information in exchange for the free samples.

Voila! Now it’s a lead.

These leads aren’t as hot as someone who calls us — but now we can “warm them up” with more promotion and information about who we are and what makes us better than the competition!

This process will generate a bunch of leads from people who are truly interested in your products and services.

Then you follow up with them until they close. Easy peasy, right?

BUT if you want some professional help, I do have a staff of 25 professional marketing consultants on hand Monday–Friday (and often Saturday and Sunday!) who can help you brainstorm and execute a winning 2-step marketing plan. Even if you don’t buy from us, our time and advice is free. Call today at 800-628-1804!

As always, let me know what you think in the comments below, or email me directly at


*This article is adapted from my new book, Postcard Marketing in an Online World. Click here to read it.

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