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.