Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Postcard Marketing: Recession Rescue Case Study

Postcard Marketing: Recession Rescue Case Study
by Marcia Yudkin

Someone asked me if postcards are a good marketing tool for a recession. Yes,they are! Indeed, postcards pulled me out of the 1990-91 recession.

With a business partner, I'd started a training company in writing skills andrented an office at the prestigious Statler Office Building, adjacent to thePark Plaza Hotel in Boston. As the recession deepened, companies froze theirtraining budgets, and all of our hot training leads evaporated.

However, I had two significant assets to exploit. First, our office rentincluded access to a classy conference room we could reserve as much as wewanted, and second, I had a list of 3,000 people who'd been in one of my adulteducation classes on writing in the previous two years.

I wrote up three classes we could give in the conference room, reserved thedates and mailed postcards to my list. People called to sign up! For the nextfew years, until the economy recovered, postcards reliably filled our classes.

Several lessons I learned about postcard marketing during those years remaintrue today.

1) Responses from a "warm" list of people who know you will always be greaterthan responses from strangers. Our classes were $99 each, and I'm not sure thepostcards would have yielded such a nice profit had they been sent to "cold"prospects.

2) For seminars, you need sizable mailings to get enough participants to fillthe room. The response rate would have been the same had I sent just 1,000postcards, but that might not have generated enough people for each class.

3) Consistency and repetition help. I mailed postcards every two months for anew round of classes, always using magenta card stock from the Kinko's copycenter. From what people said when they signed up, it was clear they had cometo recognize the hot pink postcards as coming from me. People paid moreattention to the postcards as time went on, not less.

4) Color attracts, but images are optional. I used boldface strategically onthe postcards to create a readable layout, but the cards contained no images รข€“only words. If you look at galleries of sample postcards online, you'll see nopure-text samples, but for certain purposes they can work extremely well.

One thing that's changed since postcards pulled me out of that recession is thatyou no longer have to mess with address labels and stamps or postal permits tosend postcards. Choose the right postcard vendor, and you can design yourpostcard online, upload your database and order the cards sent on a specificdate. It's so much easier now!

Veteran postcard marketer, consultant and author Marcia Yudkin is the creator ofThe Mighty Postcard Marketing Course, which teaches the strategic, logistical,design and copywriting secrets of successful postcard marketing. Download a freeone-hour audio interview in which she and the co-owner of a postcard printingand mailing firm reveal the basics of marketing with postcards: www.yudkin.com/postcards.htm

Greg Cryns
Wordpress website creation and SEO


  1. Great article. Yes, the industry has changed a lot since then and there are a lot of great tools that can help increase your ROI for your postcard campaigns. 2 of them being Variable Data Printing which personalizes each postcard to your customer and the 2nd being Personalized URL's(PURL) which combines postcards and channels them to a webpage to capture client information that you want. It helps you track your marketing ROI. http://www.myeasymailmaker.com offers both of these tools and can really bring boom to your next campaign, even during a recession.
    Thanks for the read Travis Batting

  2. Hi Marcia. I would encourage your readers looking for a simple personal url solution to check out Purlem.com. They can get up and running with a personal url in less than 5 minutes, and its free.

  3. great post! marketing with postcards is cost efficient yet it can generate good marketing results. it's good in promoting your business services and opportunities.