Color printing is a high impact marketing tool — when you know how to use it.
The difference between ho hum results and hitting the ball out of the park is a great print piece. One that combines an attention grabbing image with a catchy message that is right on target for your audience. It isn’t enough to slam some stock photographs together with your logo and a snappy message with Word and send them off to your favorite online postcard printer.
Marketing with printing is a combination of art and science. The art begins with the synergy of the message and design. In the last 10 years working with marketers, creative teams and graphic designers, watching them struggle through the process of developing marketing collateral, I have witnessed the best and the worst results of this colaboration. I have seen tens of thousands of different postcard jobs leaving our shop on the way to the customer. I have received twice that many pieces in the mail. The bottom line is that something is either a great piece or it isn’t worth sending.
I have learned one simple way to know if the piece is ready to send. Show your final three designs to 10 customers or other impartial people. If 6 out of 10 don’t pick the piece you want to print, and like it, you aren’t ready to mail it. If more than 8 out of 10 pick the piece you like, you should pick people who are not afraid of you.
The science is easier to explain than it is to practice. Successful print marketing begins like any other successful marketing…with the ability to measure. Many companies will heavily invest in testing and usability studies for their website and spend countless hours staring at web analytic programs trying to fine tune their Search Engine Marketing, then throw their hands up when it come to measuring direct mail. Marketers too often claim that there is no way to measure the effectiveness of a postcard mailing campaign. This claim is born out of laziness.
Measuring effectiveness is more difficult than say, online CPC advertising, but this is simply a challenge requires creative solutions.
- Ask customers where they heard about you. If your business has a strong repeat customer base, make it a priority to discover the source of EVERY CUSTOMER. Add this objective to your CRM system and offer an incentive to your staff every time they find out where a customer originated.
- Match new customers to your mailing list and identify records that match.
- Add a coupon as your call to action.
- Use a special 800 number for each postcard or list