Franchise Marketing Strategies: Tired of Wasting Your Marketing Dollars?
Direct Mail Postcards: a Direct Path to Amazing Return on Investment (ROI)
What's the fastest, simplest and cheapest way to promote just about any franchise? Direct mail. Or more accurately, Postcards.
Results of direct mail marketing vary from business to business but the principle holds true and always works: if you send out enough promotion, you will make sales and maximize your marketing ROI.
When it comes to marketing ROI, you have to realize that Return On Investment is measured in dollars. Let's say you spend $2,000 to get out a postcard mailing of 5,000 pieces and you get 10 calls as a result. Doesn't look like much. But out of these 10 calls, you close 6 and get immediate sales of $12,000. That's marketing ROI! And that's not even taking into account the future sales to those 6 new customers. It could add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Don't worry about the amount of responses, look at your overall Return On Investment.
How much will it cost not to do this advertising?
Will your franchise be successful if you don't advertise? Look at it from a branding point of view.
Postcards are an effective way to brand your franchise in your local community. The locals may have heard of the franchise, but have no idea you are open in their area. Instead of spending loads of money on TV ads that may only hit a few of your potential customers, use direct mail to specifically target your new customer base.
The biggest single factor in the success of your direct mail or postcard marketing strategy is who you send your mailings to. The mailing list must contain the names of people who are likely to be interested in the benefits of your products or services.
By targeting your promotion, you can save a significant amount of money – mailing postcards 1st class is less than the cheapest letter rate and thousands cheaper than a 30-second TV spot.
Why limit your exposure? One of the biggest advantages of direct mail is that your message is seen immediately. No envelopes, no long letters to read – just your company name in the open for every person to see – you can even market to the postal workers!
Make Them Notice with a Good Design
What really works when it comes to postcard marketing? To start, a good design and message.
Your design should reflect your franchise, be relevant to who you are marketing to, should include an offer to create an immediate call to action. The graphic and headline is what ultimately prompts your prospect to turn your card over and read your message so make sure they communicate to your target audience.
In most cases, it is more cost effective in the long run to hire a professional to do the design and copy for your promotion instead of spending the time to learn the software, much less the marketing know-how necessary to elicit the response you are trying to get with your direct mail piece. The proper emphasis on the design and copy of your postcards will result in much higher ROI for your postcard mailing. Over emphasis on aesthetics and under-emphasis on what will get results can be deadly for your ROI.
Repetition Gets Response
Regular, repeated mailings are the way to create big, measurable results. When you mail every 30 days for a year you will cause a dramatic growth in your business.
With direct mail, you can send your message to a targeted group of prospects or to your existing customers for only 25 to 30 cents each, including postage.
If you put out a blast of communication you will get inflow – prospects, customers calling or coming in and buying. Yes, if you deliver a good product you will get some business from referralsâ€¦some. But you want that blast repeated over and over and over to get the inflow that it will generate consistently. And consistency is where prediction comes in.
Say you send out 5000 postcards.
- Out of that 5000, 150 hang onto your postcard.
- Out of that 5000, so many call the 1st week.
- Out of that 5000, so many call the 2nd week.
- Out of that 5000, so many call the next month.
- Out of that 5000, so many call in 6 months.
- Out of that 5000, so many never call.
There is a dwindling inflow from that first mailing and therefore can give a false impression of what occurs from one mailing. Someone sends out a postcard and says, “I only got four responses from my mailing!” But there is a whole dynamic that is going on that is continuing from that one mailing way after the person who sent the mailing expects things to happen.
Look at this scenario:
- You send out 5000 postcards one week and you have all that going on that I mentioned above.
- You send out 5000 the next week and you have all that going on that I mentioned above.
- You send out 5000 the next week and that dwindling flow chart is going on, on each one of those outflows.
What is going to happen? Eventually it is going to snowball because it's coming in from all different places! You are really putting your communication out there consistently in a big way and you are going to get consistent and continuous growth.
Likewise, any local community activities that you do to help get your name out there will get you even more results if you have a targeted and consistent direct mail campaign running.
Postcards Work for Franchises
When it comes to marketing for franchises, the image needs to remain the same throughout so that it's recognizable no matter where you go. In fact all business cards, postcards, letterhead, etc. should have the same logo and colors – the same 'look and feel'. Often the franchise's corporate headquarters will provide or approve the designs you use to ensure this.
The key to any successful direct mail campaign is not only designing a postcard that is effective, but one that dovetails with your other forms of marketing to make a powerful impact. Direct mail postcards are a powerful way to drive more traffic to your website or to get sign ups to your email newsletters and more!
When looking for a direct mail postcard marketing company to assist you, you need to look for a turn-key company that ensures excellence and quality in every step and can show you how to track your results. But most of all, they need to know the subject of marketing cold. You need a partner in marketing that won't only sell you something pretty, but advise your marketing plan to your best interest.