Postcard marketing benefits and ideas

Postcard marketing benefits

I have always loved postcards, as a promotional technique. Here is a list of postcard marketing benefits:

*  They are inexpensive to produce
*  There is no envelope, which means that your postcards will be read
*  You can print in full colour on the front
*  Postcards allow you to be creative
*  Postcards can be used for customer education, i.e a series of tips and ideas can be sent using postcards
*  You can send postcards (with permission) directly to the customer; therefore it is a more targeted form of marketing than traditional advertising
*  Postcards are versatile: you can experiment with different sizes, images, headlines and sequences
*  Postcards can be fun and engaging
*  They are quick to produce
*  They can be personalised

They can be used to:

*  Produce sales leads
*  Launch new products / services
*  Announce special offers
*  …and many other things

Think of your postcard as an advertisement. On this basis, you would have a headline, image and bodycopy. The headline will determine whether the customer reads the bodycopy (text).

Personally, I have always liked DL sized postcards (1/3rd A4).

Print your postcards on a reasonably thick stock, so that they are not flimsy.

If you are starting out with this promotional technique (of which there are several hundred), I suggest that you start with low quantities and run some tests.

If you would like to use this idea within your marketing, I can help with strategy, ideas, headlines, copywriting and artwork.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading about postcard marketing benefits, you can ask questions about this topic within The Marketing Compass website.

Interestingly, MailChimp has launched a postcard marketing service.

MailChimp postcard marketing

PS Remember that all of your marketing has to be GDPR compliant if your business is in Europe.

Act like a startup

If you have been running your business for a while, from time to time you may get fed up with it. You may find yourself disengaging and even wishing that you were doing something else. Perhaps the answer is to act like a startup.

Do you remember when you first started your business? Scary, wasn’t it? Sheer adrenaline propelled you forward. You put in long hours and kept hammering away until you had a successful enterprise on your hands.

Business and indeed human nature does not work in straight lines. Success comes and goes. Sometimes everything is ‘up’ and sometimes everything is ‘down’.  If you find yourself in the doldrums, what would happen if you worked like a startup does, for the month ahead?

For a start, you have to find your passion for your enterprise once again. You would put in longer working hours. You may find yourself wanting to talk to everyone about your business. You would generate new ideas and ways of looking at challenges.

The trouble with having a successful business is that you can stop taking risks. The business owner can find themselves buried in bureaucracy and paperwork. The fun of it all can drain away. Perhaps this is why so many entrepreneurs sell their businesses once they have reached a certain size, only to start all over again.

One idea is to schedule a creative thinking session for your team or hire a business creative thinking speaker in order to help you and your colleagues to think outside of the box.

We welcome startups and small business owners here: www.marketingcompass.co.uk

7 reasons to launch a startup

Speed of response to sales enquiries

“Thank you for your rapid response!” a prospective new client wrote in an email. “I am waiting for some other consultants to get back to me, so please bear with me for a few days.” I wonder why so many suppliers take so long to respond to sales enquiries? I imagine that they would tell me that they are busy (who isn’t?) Do they like it when people are slow to respond, when they are looking for quotations?

I wonder how fast you are at acknowledging enquiries that arrive in your email in-box or by phone?  One way of keeping on top of emails is to install an email app on your phone (i.e. the Gmail app  which is available via Google Play). When I am travelling, I keep a close watch on my emails and I acknowledge receipt of sales enquiries either immediately or as soon as possible i.e. at the next break during a training day or consultancy session.

I am extremely lucky to be married to Joanna, who used to work as a PA in central London.  Joanna answers the phone when I can’t get to it and I CC her when I email sales proposals. I ask clients who book my consultancy, training or speaking services to  ‘please respond to both of us and we will organise everything for you.’

How fast do you turn quotations / proposals around? Personally, I turn them around quickly, usually within a couple of hours of receiving the enquiry and quite often within the hour.  I think that that speed of response to sales enquiries is a message in its own right. It says: “We are here. We care about you. We are reliable. If you work with us, this is the level of service that you can expect in the future.”

What is the difference between ‘positioning’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘brand’

A member of The Marketing Compass asked me:

“What is the difference between ‘positioning’, ‘differentiation’ and ‘brand’.

Positioning refers to where the company (or brand) sits in the marketplace in relation to its competitors. This is usually seen via a chart with an X & Y axis. Think about supermarkets and how they range from low cost / no frills  through to up market operators such as Waitrose. If you looked at price versus service, the first type of supermarket would be bottom left and Waitrose would be top right.

Differentiation refers to the ways in which an enterprise or brand stands out from the crowd. Norwegian Airlines currently offers return flights from London to Los Angeles for £400 (!) on Boeing Dreamliner aircraft (which are relatively lightweight and fuel efficient). Therefore their key point of differentiation is price.

A brand is a promise. It is the offer that the enterprise holds out to the marketplace. For example, you always know that you can return goods to John Lewis and that they will not make a fuss. Here are some branding tips, by the way.

Here is my 4 step marketing model:
1. Marketing plan
2. Website
3. Promotion
4. Selling / conversion (the latter is an ecommerce term)

If you have a clear strategy that is embodied with your marketing plan, things will go better for you. The plan would include your decisions on positioning, differentiation and brand, amongst other things.

Does all of this apply to services? The brief answer is that, yes, it most certainly does.

Website not working? This may well be to do with the lack of a marketing plan and the clear direction that it gives you with regards to differentiation etc.

Nigel Temple offers an in-house / 1-2-1 marketing plan training course, during which we build your plan.  He is also a website developer (there is a lot to be said for keeping busy, isn’ there?)

Website navigation bar tips

Imagine that you are looking for a specific product or service that you market. Now take a look at your website. Does your navigation make it easy to find the relevant item? Is it easy to understand? Is everything in the right order?

Here is a simple navigation bar:

Home
About
Services (or Products)
Blog
Contact

Notice that there are only 5 options.

in general terms, fewer is better.

An upper limit would be 9 items.

Use drop downs to reveal other options.

Ensure that the menu works well on smartphones and other mobile devices.

If the customer hasn’t visited your site before, they will be looking for something. If they can’t find it quickly, they will disappear.

Visitors will spend a few seconds looking for what they’re after. If it is buried or difficult to find, you’re making them work too hard and they will go elsewhere.

My first book was about writing words for websites. During the research for this book, I looked at hundreds of website navigation bars.

By the way, there is a trend away from navigation bars altogether. Here an example: www.marketingrobot.co.uk

Website development

You have 1 second to convince customers to stay on your website

Imagine that you are seeing your website homepage for the very first time.

The website has  1 second to convince you to ‘stick around town’.

Two types of people visit your site: strangers and friends. Strangers include people who are looking to buy and friends include customers and people that know you.

They are busy. They are on a mission. They want an answer to their question or a way to solve their problem and they want it now.

Online, first impressions count.  The customer’s heart will either sing or sink as they look at your site.

How many customers are you losing, by not passing the ‘1 second homepage’ test?

Website development

A copywriting tip leads to activity and connection requests within LinkedIn

Yesterday, I posted the following copywriting tip within LinkedIn:

“A contact has updated their website with new wording. I noticed that there are some typos. I have found that if I point out grammatical and punctuation challenges, the changes are made and little learning takes place. So I gave this feedback: “There are a few typos on the homepage. I suggest that you read the webcopy out loud and slowly. When I lead copywriting workshops, the delegates are amazed by what they pick up, when they do this.”

I was quite surprised by the amount of feedback that it received. At the time of writing this comprised:  7 Likes, 4 Comments and 572 Views (scroll down to see a screenshot). Nothing to write home about, you may say, but not bad for a short social media update.

As you can see, the update comprised a tip. It was concise. As people began to comment, I responded to their comments.

This morning, I have had 2 new connection requests within LinkedIn and several new notifications. So I have posted another tip, this time on MailChimp training.

LinkedIn is a big subject and they have a habit of moving things around, don’t they?

~ Nigel Temple provides LinkedIn training for professionals and sales teams ~

What do the green LinkedIn profile buttons mean?

Have you noticed the green buttons that sometimes appear just underneath the circular photo of a member of LinkedIn?

Starting informal conversations via a LinkedIn message can be an effective way of getting noticed and moving onto a business topic.

You can now see who is online and available, within LinkedIn.

On a desktop / laptop, click on ‘My Network’ / ‘See all’.

A list of your connections appears. Some of them will have a green dot (they are logged into LinkedIn and they are using a desktop / laptop).

On a mobile, visit a connection’s profile to see their ‘green dot status’.

If the green dot has a white centre, they are on LinkedIn via a mobile phone.

This feature works for paying and non-paying LinkedIn members.

Connect with Nigel here:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/nigeltemple

Is it worth having a CRM?

Is it worth the time, trouble and expense of having and using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system?

The answer is that, yes, it is.

In my experience, it is a challenge to keep track of details and information when you are marketing and selling, as the information escalates exponentially. You end up with lists or a spreadsheet full of dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people.

If you are busy and the sales leads are coming in, you need to keep track of current sales opportunities. At the same time, it is important not to ignore dormant customers and your future sales pipeline.

For example, you may ask yourself: Who else is involved in making this decision? What did they tell me six months ago? Are they on LinkedIn? Is there a direct dial telephone number for this person?

The best CRM for your enterprise is the one that you actually use.

All too often, the software can be difficult to setup and too complicated to use on a day to day basis.

Have it open at all times. Record details as you receive them*.

In an interconnected age, choose a CRM that integrates with other software applications that you use.

For example, Capsule CRM integrates properly with MailChimp and Gmail.

Once I have sent a proposal by Gmail, with one click I can add that person into Capsule. When I look at their profile in Capsule, it shows me the email and the PDF proposal – which I can open with one click. I can then add this opportunity to my sales pipeline, which means that I won’t forget about it.

The benefits of having a CRM system

Capsule CRM training

* Please bear the GDPR legislation in mind when you record and store data.