So one of the questions that I’ve been getting is a “Michael, it seems like you favor,  online marketing and digital versus offline.”

And the short answer is yes, I definitely favor, online marketing. And it’s not because I’ve got more experience in online marketing, but rather the results of online compared to offline are often night and day. And in particular, if I’m comparing like TV ads to YouTube ads night and day in terms of what I can accomplish with YouTube ads versus TV ads or radio ads versus podcasting for, for example, there’s just so many differences. Now that’s not to say that I do not like any offline marketing and there are Some tactics that definitely work and I’ll continue to talk about those in different episodes. So one of the questions in particular for me was what do I think about postcard marketing?

So I’m going to give you some tips, tools, best practices, and tell you when it could, could be or the opposite a wouldn’t be a good option for your business. So if I were to to really give you, I guess just like disclaimer is that I’m, as I just kinda set up, I’m pretty partial to, to digital and that really is more if your funds are somewhat limited. Now, if you do have some money for testing, I would love you to test out postcard marketing. Now the secret sauce with postcards is you’ve got to make sure that you’re hitting up the same audience two, three or four times. 

The number one mistake that people make with postcard marketing is they send one postcard to 5,000 people when they should have sent a thousand postcards to those people four times, not 5,000 but a thousand or even five times to those same a thousand people.

You went, well, why would I want to do that, Michael? Because one postcard is not going to move the needle. So if your budget only allows for one postcard, I would rather you then continue to drill in, drill and drill on your audience so that you’re maybe only sending to a hundred people five times. So I feel like I can afford to invest 500 postcards in terms of printing, design, shipping, et cetera. I got 500 so I’m going to send one postcard to 500 people. Stop that immediately. Change your audience size and focus on sending at least three or four postcards to a smaller group of people. Now, so that’s the number one mistake I see being made all day, every day.

Now the second thing to the postcard piece though is if your audience selection is wrong, it doesn’t matter if you’re sending four postcards, you’re sending one postcard to 20,000 like it’s completely irrelevant.

So you really need to work with the postcard company, data sources, different things like that. And the postcard campaign can vary drastically. The most effective campaigns are going to be your current customers that you’re aiming to drive more from. So you’re aiming to get them to come back into your location, you’re aiming to get them back or to do more. So common example is oil changes. So those you don’t necessarily have to send four times, you might only have to send two rather than four or five.

That’s the best option. But if you’re trying to drum up new customers, that’s when you’re going to have to really have that brand repetition. And what I like to do from an audience perspective is to really work with not only the postcard company, but often I’ll work with one or two other places. So like info as an example, or the chamber of commerce. You want to look at what are the places that are going to have the best and cleanest data but more importantly, you have to have some ideas as to who you’re trying to reach. So this really goes back to customer and prospect segmentation. So don’t tell me that you’re aiming to hit every single person that lives in the zip code because you can, you’re, you’re a pest removal company for an accountant. Everyone needs their taxes done. Okay, but let’s redefine that.

Who are your best customers? What do you, what is your customer persona look like? So maybe it’s, well, they’re women between the ages of 25 and 40 those are our best customers. They live in these particular neighborhoods because we have the highest concentration of customers there so they see our signs out, so then you’re going to start there and expand. 

I always start with a smaller sample size than greater and I always plan on will this be cost effective if my response rate is 1% to three per like a low response rate. Now, if I were to look at the pest control thing, let’s say you’re going after new customers to people who have never heard of you and you’re going to hopefully listen to my advice and send out three four five postcards. Let’s say that the investment for that is, I dunno, $500 well, you’ve got to make sure that if you’re getting a 1% response rate, is that going to cover it? Now, it’s not going to cover it on the front end, but obviously if you know the lifetime value, and I know we’re getting into a couple of different topics on this podcast, but if you know that lifetime value in that marketing math, that very well may pay for it. So you’ve got to do your homework beforehand. 

You’ve got to be looking at the math, you’ve got to be making sure that you really know your ideal customer and that too, you’re focusing on your ideal prospect and really honing in on them. Smaller sample sizes versus larger.

And then obviously with the postcard design, there’s a lot of do’s and don’ts and things like that. I always go for bigger postcards. The bigger the better it stands out. Um, obviously you want to have simplified messages, simplified calls to action tracking, uh, pearls. So personalize URLs work really well on postcards. So go visit Michael Tasner or .abc pest for your personalized quote that works really well and can increase response rate. So there’s a lot of do’s and don’ts, but I mean if I were to look at apples to apples, so comparing maybe, uh, email marketing versus postcard marketing. I would always favor email marketing because I can gauge the response rate faster. However, if you have some marketing dollars to play with, there are certain local businesses that are crushing it with direct mail because as more and more people like me are pulling out of traditional offline marketing, the rates are getting more expense or excuse me, less expensive. It’s getting less crowded. People are getting less mail, they’re getting 10 times more email, they’re getting less physical mail. So it’s a good time to capitalize. But I don’t want you to throw $20,000 at direct mail. I want you to throw $1,000 or 2000. I want you to test it. And again, test a big postcard, a simple call to action to the same people at least a couple of times before you make any further decisions can definitely be a great way to drive revenue for your local business. Hope this was helpful to you. Now get out there, make a change, and take some action.