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Improving Glance Readership in Post Cards – Part III of III

Improving “Glance Readership” in Post Cards

by Jeffrey Dobkin

Glance Readership is the 2 seconds you get when someone first picks up your post card.
In this time they decide to either read it — or throw it out (along with your money).

Let’s see, where were we…  oh yes, you were bitching…

er… complaining about me not listening to you or something like that – I don’t know I wasn’t listening.  I think you also said that your post card wasn’t long enough to sell your products, and I said you’re right – it isn’t.   Here’s the real deal: the ONLY job of your post card is to make the reader pick up the phone and call YOU. That’s the ONLY objective of your post card, nothing else.  When your post card made them call you, it did its job.

Then, YOU sell your products.

To get people to call you, offer something FREE.

A FREE CAR is good!.  But wait, heck – it’s expensive.  A FREE Mont Blanc pen is nice – but wait, heck that’s expensive, too.

Hummm… if there was only something that we could pique the reader’s interest in so keenly, and drive him to the phone.  If there were just something, anything, we could describe in one or two lines, so that we made the reader want it, need it so badly that if he threw out the post card, he’d wake up in the middle of the night and come running down to get the card out of the trash… and respond.

Oh, if there were only some information that we had, crucial information that he needed so badly that he would call and ask for it; critical information that… what?  Wait.  Wait a minute. Information?  Did I say “Information?” “Information the reader needs?”  That’s it!  Information he needs.  Information he needs badly!  By Jove, I think we’ve got it!

We’ll offer information.  An informational booklet!  A FREE informational booklet.  They’ll call for that, hummmm…  if we can just make it sound interesting.

Maybe if we write a catchy title —— something our clients really, really want… and need.  Certainly something they’d dive in the trashcan to recover.  More than that…  Something they’d drive across town to find out!

Maybe… Information they’d need and want so badly they’d swim across the English Channel to get.  Information so valuable they’d take my wife and keep her.  OK, Never mind.  This last idea was a little much. But certainly information readers need and want.

So, settled!  We’ll offer information.  Information about how they can easily resolve their wants, satisfy their needs.  It’s a good thing your products and services can do exactly that.  If only we could figure out how to make them pick up the phone and call…

But wait – I just had an idea!  How about a booklet titled “How To Solve your Biggest Wants and Needs.”  Nah… too general.

How about offering a FREE ‘Informational’ booklet? Yes with “FREE” written in all capital letters.  Maybe a title with the number of ways readers can solve their most pressing problems?

“How To Solve your 9 Biggest Headaches.”  Excellent!  How about “FREE BOOKLET shows you 9 ways to solve your…!”  Yes, even better! Just fill in the blank part yourself—with exactly what your customers are looking for.

Solve a specific problem: “9 Ways to Cut your employee payroll without layoffs!” Yes! “6 Ways to increase your profit without increasing your sales!” Yes! “12 Different Ways to Instantly Find a Leak in your Roof!” YES! “7 Easy Things to Check when your Car won’t Start… and 5 ways to Get it Started!”

Just “Call Now for your FREE booklet!” (Don’t forget to tell readers exactly what you want them to do.  “Call now and get…”)

Booklets are cheap to produce, easy to change, light to ship and make excellent giveaways that your customers will hold on to for years if you provide valuable information.  And they’ll call if you can hit the title on the money by offering the specific information your readers really want.

You see, it’s the TITLE of the booklet that makes it valuable,  irresistible for the reader, and makes him call.  It’s not really the booklet itself – just the title.  People call just because of the title.  They don’t see the booklet until later.  When they called, the post card worked.  The booklet title made them pick up the phone, and the post card worked.

The best way to create a title for your FREE informational booklet?  Yep… Same way you came up with your headline, The Jeff Dobkin 100 to 1 rule:  (Remember the deal we struck-up from the first article – you were going to send me 5 bucks each time you used this?)  Write 100 headlines, go back and pick out your best one.  Best way to create the most irresistible booklet title.

Article Summary

1. Get your post card through the first round of Glance Readership by having a super-compelling headline, tightly written sub-headlines and outstanding graphics.

2. Get the objective right: The objective of the post card isn’t to sell your product or service, it’s to generate a phone call.

3. Make the phone ring by offering something irresistible, for free.  I mean for FREE (all capitals)!

4. FREE informational booklets work really well.

5. The booklet title generates the call. The title owns 100% of the responsibility of driving the reader to the phone to make the call. The better the title = the more calls.  Simple as that.  When the phone rings, the card worked and the FREE Booklet title made it happen.

6. Finally, when the phone rings, YOU sell your product or service.

Glance Readership: The better your graphics, the better your headline, the more people read your post card.  The more readers the more opportunities you have to offer something for FREE.  The better your FREE offer works is determined by the title of your booklet.  The better the booklet title the more calls you receive.  The more calls you receive, the better the post card worked, the more business you’ll enjoy.  Any questions?

Jeff Dobkin will now take your questions.

This is the final installment of the three article series on “Glance Readership” — A direct marketing 3-article series written by Jeffrey Dobkin.

Jeff Dobkin will now take your questions.

This is the third and final part of “Glance Readership,” An article series written by Jeffrey Dobkin.  Where would you like to go now?

More articles about post cards.    How to write and design direct mail letters.  

Store.  Insurance post card offers.    Financial Advisor Letters-sample letter.

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Bio, Jeffrey Dobkin ·  Dobkin is a speaker (blah blah blah, yip yip yip) and a marketing consultant (marketing plans, pr, market strategy, plan analysis: audits and review, media review) who happens to be an amazing writer (corporate literature, articles, brochures, ads, collateral, annual reports, technical material), specializing in direct-selling print and web (DR Ads, catalogs, TV scripts, web copy) and direct marketing material (letters, direct mail, mailing packages brochures, catalogs, web copy and did I mention post cards?)  He’s also pretty darn good at analyzing catalogs, ads and campaigns and direct mail packages.  He has written over 250 articles and 5 books on direct marketing including the cult classic, “How To Market a Product for Under $500.”  He can be reached at 610-642-1000.   Visit for additional articles and more of Jeff’s fun-filled, typo-prone and grammatically-challenged writing.  Oh, wait… you’re already here!  Well, heck-don’t just sit there — buy something: Store—CLICK HERE.  Or at least sign up for our emails… Click here.