People-pleasing postcards: This humble device may be your best choice for reaching customers this year

People-pleasing postcards: This humble device may be your best choice for reaching customers this yearWhy are more retail jewelers turning to full-color postcards as a key form of promotion? The biggest reason is the simplest: You don't have to open a postcard. It won't get lumped in with all the direct mail envelopes that people toss without opening.

If the postcard shows a very glossy, well-photographed picture of attractive jewelry, the recipient will very likely look at the picture and turn it over to see who sent it. She might well put it aside and think, “Next time I'm near the store, I'll go in and have a look.” The postcard often sits out as an easy reminder of your jewelry store.

Cutting Costs on Mailings

When the economy is a bit shaky, you should increase promotion to keep your name in the minds of customers, but you also have to keep down your costs. To get maximum return for your marketing dollar, you can mail postcards up to 4 1/4 by 6 inches for between 17.5¢ and 19.5¢ each first class (the cheapest letter rate is 19¢ – 24¢). If you find the right company, you'll likely be able to have 5,000 postcards printed for less than $400.

Finding the Right Company

Most businesses don't have in-house marketing departments, so find a postcard company to help you. A postcard company can handle your mailing and save you money. It makes most of its profits from printing, not from consulting, selling, mailing lists and mailing, so it can often find you better deals on such services. The company should:

  • Specialize in postcards. It shouldn't just do postcards among other printing jobs. You'll pay less because the company gang-prints cards. In other words, the company will print many different postcards in one large press run.

  • Have some marketing knowledge and experience. The company should be able to advise you on mailing lists, design and quantities.

  • Offer UV coating (laminated), full-color and 4 1/4-by-6 in. postcards. This ensures you get the highest-quality look and the biggest post card you can for the lowest mailing rate. The UV coating is essential for a very high gloss finish to make your product look good.

  • Help with photography. Getting a good picture is vital to the success of your postcard. You might pay $150 to $1200+ for photography and, generally, you get what you pay for. However, some photographers do a good job without charging the earth. Your postcard company should have contacts with photographers. Once you find a company (it doesn't have to be local – many do business with stores all over the U.S.), ask for advice on creating the postcard. Many companies will help with everything from determining whether you should mail to your existing customers, mailing lists of potential customers or both. The company also will send you proofs. Make sure any corrections you request are made so you're happy with the final product.

Joy Gendusa

Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998 with a phone, computer and no capital investment. Since then, she has grown the company into one of the nation's most effective direct mail marketing firms, specializing in postcard marketing for small to large-sized businesses. Over the years, she expanded to offer mailing list acquisition, website development, email marketing–all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

She has been named Tampa Bay CEO of the Year, Business Woman of the Year in Tampa Bay and has been featured on MSNBC's "Your Business." PostcardMania is an Inc. 500 and 5000 company and has won awards for creativity, best business practices and leadership. Find Joy on Google+

If you would like to interview Joy or book her as a speaker, please email joyspeak@postcardmania.com or call 1-800-628-1804 ext. 281.

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