Al Lautenslager With all that is going on in the world of terror through the mail, many companies are very concerned about direct mail programs and how to get their messages to their target markets. Envelopes have caused great concern. Before this article and even more so now, postcard marketing has proven to be very effective and now stated, safe. Not only that, in today’s business, doing things quicker, better and cheaper is sometimes the key to survival. It is also the key to good management and the key to successful businesses. All businesses love to succeed. All businesses think they know what to do but when it comes to marketing there is sometimes a lack of interest, a lack of direction or a lack of a turnkey tool that allows business managers to create high powered marketing, efficiently. Postcard marketing addresses all of the above. What follows are a few postcard marketing ideas that will provide a turn-key solution to kick your marketing into high gear. These are only a few of the ideas that work. This is meant as a thought starter but can be developed into a full blown marketing program. Marketing with postcards is quick, easy and, as you will find, less expensive than many of the traditional advertising, promotional and marketing vehicles used today. In some cases it can supplement or even take the place of some of the more popular on-line marketing. There are ideas presented here that will work for your business or organization. There are ideas presented that won’t necessarily work as well as others. The benefit is that there are many ideas and many choices. Pick a few. Focus your efforts. Test the vehicles and the audience. Re-use what works and your marketing will be on its way to a whole new level while at the same time giving you more time to focus on the things you do best. Happy marketing! Benefits of Postcard Marketing: - Quick - Easy - Least expensive marketing - Consistent - Automatic - Always read - Lower postage costs - Customers/Prospect attention - Can start relationships - Top of Mind Awareness - Print friendly A few ideas for postcard marketing: Lead Generators: Get people to contact you by offering something for free: information, gift, booklet, sample, consultation, etc. Response Mechanism: Much like Internet auto-responders, send a series of postcards outlining different features and benefits of your products and services. Consistent Message: Timing is everything in marketing. Mailing postcards on a consistent basis, usually on the same day of the month, takes the guesswork out of when you prospect will need you. Reduced Price / Free Offer: Entice customers and prospects with a 2 for 1 offer or percent off or even something free, all with simple postcard messages. Use simple graphics and short sentences for the most impact. Up sell: Create value opportunities for those that are already customers. Your best prospect is a current customer. Offer something as a "thank you for being a preferred customer," or some value for the purchase of your higher margin products and services. Introduction: Introduce you, your company, your products or services to those that are new to the area, the business, an organization or new to your market. Reminders to Re-Order: Customers like to "be taken care of." Letting customers know its time to re-order something is a great service. "Did you know your are about to run out of (your product here)? It’s time to re-order according to our records." Invitation to Return: Sometimes we lose customers. This happens because of various reasons. It’s ok to communicate via postcards, telling former customers that you want them back. Start before you lose them and mention to them, "We haven’t seen you in a while." WWW.com: In the world of Internet Marketing, traditional postcards are used extensively. Sometimes it is just a matter of communicating a website, "Visit us at www.1-800-inkwell.com," or sometimes communicating the look of the home page of a particular site. Use of traditional marketing is widespread in the marketing of on-line businesses. These are only a few ideas. As you can see postcard marketing can be the basis for a company’s total marketing program or just one more part of a multi-faceted program.