Using email for your marketing purposes is very powerful, easy and (almost) free, and is still the most effective way to reach your customers/clients. However, sometimes it pays off to go off-line and use traditional methods for generating leads or new business.
Depending on how clean and fresh your lists are, you may be experiencing 80%-98% deliverability rates for your emails. But you must agree that nothing beats the deliverability of the good old post office!
What if you could combine the strengths of an online, automated system, which works very much like an Email Publishing System with the
- deliverability of snail mail, and
- benefits of sending your prospects and customers a tangible item?
Would you be interested in trying this almost perfect business-generating system?
About a year a go I discovered Send Out Cards, an online on-demand printing and delivery system that works very much like sending personalized email, only it prints,personalizes and mails real postcards and greeting cards in any quantity. You can send a dozen custom postcards for about 10 bucks including postage. When you send a greeting card in an envelope, you can even insert gifts such as Starbucks or Home Depot gift cards!
You can use this system to send automated, but personalized postcards and greeting cards. You can choose between thousands of great stock designs – humorous, retro, playful, business-like, your choice – or you can easily create your own designs as simply as uploading a digital photo and adding a voice bubble or a caption.
Recently, I used Send Out Cards to generate some leads for my Ezine Coaching Program. If you’ve ever used direct mail (DM), or at least read about it, you know that a decent DM campaign results in about 1% response rate, while 2% is considered exceptional. Well, my postcards generated close to 10% response rate!
I used Send Out Cards to set up a custom designed postcard (ah, the benefits of having an in-house graphic designer – me 🙂 On the back of the card I have a simple marketing message, basically asking the prospect a few thought-provoking questions with a call to action to find the answers to those questions on my web site, with an offer to receive a free CD and printed report.
All of the copy on the back of the postcard is printed on-the-fly, personalized with the recipient’s name, and all of that using my own handwriting! Of course, I didn’t spend hours manually writing those postcards, I had my handwriting digitized so that my postcards appear to be hand-written.
For this particular postcard campaign I set up a special web site, with three different versions of the landing page. Why different versions of the landing page? Because I am split-testing them to see which one converts better – in other words, which page generates more subscribers.
Again, I am using my trusted Shopping Cart to manage and track the split-testing. This is so powerful, I am amazed every time I log in to my account – especially when I remember how we used to do it, many years ago with every DM piece having a little “ad code” and processing those responses in a spreadsheet! Wow. This is so much easier today.
To be able to track your off-line campaigns I recommend that you set up a special URL, e.g. www.yoursite.com/postcard, or even better, a unique web site. If you’re testing different postcards, have each card link to a different URL.
Using Send Out Cards is a great way to generate leads and especially repeat business from existing clients. However, one more great way to use Send Out Cards is to test different cards on a small sample of prospects (you can test the design, headline, copy, etc.) to see which one to use en masse, if you’re planning to ultimately send a large-scale mailing (1,000 or more cards).
Once you’ve nailed a winning card, then use a commercial printer to print your cards and a mail shop for personalization/sorting/mailing.
Extra tip: when mailing your own envelopes, try to use something to differentiate your envelope from the competition by using either an interesting sticker or enclose an object into your envelope. Anything that will make the recipient want to open it!