Friday, July 6, 2012

Post Cards As Tear Offs And Blow Ins

The publishers of The Metro Review were concerned about whether or not they were using their magazine effectively as an advertising medium. The advertising revenue had not increased by very much over the past few years, and they simply didn't know whether or not they could do more to increase the exposure for their advertisers.

They decided to call on someone they knew who might be in a position to advise them: a salesman at a full service printing company which happened to be located a block from their new location. They called him and invited him over to see their new location.

He came by and studied their magazine and after a great deal of consideration he recommended that they do more with the use of post cards in the magazine itself. The idea was that advertisers would put tear offs and blow ins into the magazine. They would pay the magazine for the privilege of delivering the post cards that way, and I would add to their own revenue. Moreover, the idea was that the advertisers would take advantage of all that post cards could offer them.

The rep explained that post cards - both the card itself and the mailing costs - were dirt cheap: pennies each, in fact. So costs were under control.

So what then? How does a marketer turn those post card messages into customers? Simple. They put on the post card any number of means for the customer to contact you. They could put a 1-800 number for them to call. They could put their website address for them to go and look at. They could use a QR code to send them to a special page offering them a special deal for being a first time customer. If any of those approaches don't work, then that person is not a potential customer. But if one of those approaches does work, then your acquisition costs are pretty low.

He recommended using a highly professional design and layout for any message. Even though it's just a postcard, and even though it's cheap to make and produce, your image is reflected in how you present your message. A message that is simple, clear, direct, with a readable font and good coloration will be noticed and taken seriously.

He also recommended using postcards as means of doing surveys. Marketers sometimes come up with the idea of doing customer surveys. But what is the purpose of the survey? Is it to find out how the product turned out? Maybe; although the reality is that if there were problems it's more likely that the marketer would already have heard about a problem. We believe that many marketers do surveys for a different reason, one that is not stated outright, and that is that it is a way to try to win the customer back to look at more things to purchase.

The bottom line is that looking for ways to communicate with potential customers is the name of the game. The use of postcards is a very inexpensive way to communicate, and publishers of magazines can find a variety of reasons to use post cards to help their customers communicate with potential customers.

The author, who is associated with Conquest Graphics, is a nationally recognized expert on all aspects of printing, print marketing, the internet and social media. Contact Conquest Graphics at for a discussion about using post cards to enhance revenue for your magazine.

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