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Using Post Cards to Generate Calls & Referrals

Post Card Marketing: Using Post Cards to Generate Calls & Referrals

By Jeffrey Dobkin

A letter is the best marketing tool.

Post Card Marketing III

Post Card Marketing III

In a letter you have time and space to sell sell sell. You can explain benefits, features; show facts and figures.

A longer consultative sell? No problem in a letter: you can explain what you’re selling, why you’re selling it, and why your customers absolutely need it: just initial here and here and send back, and we’ll take care of the rest!

But a letter is a lot of work and expense in a mailing: printing, folding, including a brochure to add a harder sell and credibility; envelope, mailshop services for inserting, postage, affixing postage, imaging name and address. Lots of handling.

Post cards, on the other hand, can be effective and certainly less work. Post cards enjoy high readership because once the recipient picked it up and is ready to toss it out – hey, they’ve read it!

But, post cards are no good for lengthy consultive selling propositions. In fact, most post cards aren’t much good for selling. That doesn’t mean they aren’t useful marketing tools.

Fortunately, you don’t have to sell anything from a post card.
The objective of a post card is generally not to sell something. The objective of a post card is to generate a phone call.

I write a lot of post cards for clients and I seldom ask for an order; but I always ask for a phone call – several times.

If the reader calls, the post card is a complete success. It has done everything we’ve asked it to do: generate a phone call – now it’s up to my client to close the sale, set an appointment, send more information, or whatever the call objective is — to turn the prospect into a customer.

Getting people to Call

The best way to get people to call you from a post card is by giving readers what I term a “Non-threatening reason to call.” Offer something for FREE they can ask for. It’s really difficult to get people to call you to ask general questions – much easier when they can ask for some specific offer you make, especially when it’s FREE.

Offer anything but a brochure. You can get free brochures at your local drugstore or dry cleaner. Free brochures have no value. But: offering a FREE Booklet works well. A FREE “Informational” Booklet! And notice how by setting the word FREE in all capital letters it jumps out at you? You should do this, too.

Need a booklet? While a single 8-1/2” x 11” sheet of paper folded in thirds is a worthless brochure; the same sheet of paper folded in half is a booklet. Two sheets folded in half and nested together is an even better booklet.

What drives people to call

The title of the booklet is what drives people to pick up the phone and call now. The better the title — the more phone calls you’ll get. Get it? The better the booklet title — the more people will call.

How to create the best title

From my book, Uncommon Marketing Techniques: The Jeff Dobkin 100 to 1 rule: On a blank sheet of paper, write 100 possible titles, then go back and pick out your best one. Hey, I didn’t say you’d like it, I just said here’s how to create the best title. The objective of the booklet title is to drive every possible qualified prospect to call. And to call is the objective of the post card.

While I like attractive booklets that have sizzling copy and crisp graphics, the truth is when the reader calls to get your booklet, the objective of the post card has been fulfilled, the reader called. The actual booklet is secondary to generating the phone call.

Marketing plan: 1. Reader gets post card. 2. Reader sees “must-have” booklet title and calls for FREE booklet. 3. You get to talk to an interested reader when he calls. End of first part of campaign. When this happened, your post card was completely successful.

Next part of campaign: The reader who called has raised his hand as an interested party and is now a real prospect. He receives your booklet, literature, and a longer, harder-selling direct mail package.

Examples of Booklet Titles:

On the billboard side of the post card yell, “Call and get a FREE Booklet: “25 Ways to…” or “15 Things to Look Out for when…” or “Learn 9 proven Ways How To….” and give a big phone number. Or, Free Booklet tells you how to…” You get the idea. Post Card + FREE Offer + FREE Booklet = phone calls.

Getting Referrals

Don’t forget to add a line at the bottom of your post card, “And Thanks for all those great referrals – We appreciate them! Please, keep them coming!” This simple line gets you referrals.

Jeff Dobkin is a consultant, a fun speaker who writes and designs direct selling letters, post cards and direct marketing material. He has written 5 books on direct marketing and 2 on humor. Call him at 610-642-1000 for his other articles on post cards (sent to you FREE.) Visit  Oh, wait: you’re already here.  Hey, as long as you’re here, buy something:  Click Here to visit our bookstore.