A post­card is worth a thou­sand words

A well-planned cam­paign can help your busi­ness reach a broad range of cus­tomers


Small busi­nesses have to reach out to their cus­tomers reg­u­larly to stay “top of mind.” And yet tra­di­tional mass me­dia can be bud­get-busters. The good news, says Bruce Walden, owner of Toronto graphic and web de­sign firm Walden, is that a wellde­signed post­card cam­paign can do the trick.

It doesn’t cost the earth and it can help your busi­ness trum­pet its pres­ence, let­ting po­ten­tial clients know about your prod­ucts or ser­vices or help you keep in touch with ex­ist­ing cus­tomers.

“It’s a very cost-ef­fec­tive way of get­ting the mes­sage out to a se­lect group of peo­ple,” he says.

To make sure you get no­ticed, Walden sug­gests tar­get­ing your best prospects first. In most cases, that means peo­ple in your busi­ness’s neigh­bour­hood.

Don’t make the mis­take of be­liev­ing that peo­ple in Rosedale would be nat­u­ral tar­gets for your chi­ro­prac­tic ser­vices “just be­cause they have lots of money,” he warns, par­tic­u­larly if you’re not lo­cated in Rosedale.

“That’s usu­ally not very suc­cess­ful,” Walden says.

“The only time peo­ple typ­i­cally go out­side their neigh­bour­hood in Toronto is for spe­cialty prod­ucts — things they can’t get nearby.”

An ex­cep­tion to that rule might be a den­tist who speaks Por­tuguese, for ex­am­ple.

“Even if you’re not nec­es­sar­ily lo­cated in Lit­tle Por­tu­gal, you might still want to tar­get that area,” he says.

When de­sign­ing your post­card, Walden cau­tions to go easy on the text.

“All mar­ket­ing th­ese days has be­come im­age-heavy, so hav­ing a large photo is prob­a­bly more eye-catch­ing,” he says.

And nix the clut­ter: The big­gest de­sign mis­take peo­ple make, he con­tends, is over­crowd­ing post­cards with words and images.

“Peo­ple try to make a full brochure of every­thing they ever did or could have done for a client,” he says, of­fer­ing the ex­am­ple of an in­te­rior de­signer who wedges 10 tiny photos on a post­card to show­case a range of decor styles.

“It’s smarter to have one re­ally eye­catch­ing im­age on the front that shows the qual­ity of your work. You can al­ways drive peo­ple to your web­site where they can see more ex­am­ples.”

Don’t for­get to in­clude a “call to ac­tion” — you want peo­ple to take ac­tion now, rather than “file that card for six months and then throw it out,” says Walden. “So give them a rea­son.”

The post­card might dou­ble as a coupon that ex­pires on a spe­cific date, might in­clude a dis­count of­fer — 10 per cent off the new fall menu, for in­stance — or pro­vide a sea­sonal ap­peal (“Make your own wine now, in time for Christ­mas!”).


Don’t for­get to in­clude a call to ac­tion as a way get peo­ple to re­spond quickly to your post­card. It can be as sim­ple as a coupon with an ex­piry date.

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