Postcard Designer Postcard Review!

by longrobnc 52 replies
I'm 100% sure, but I'd like some feedback. I contacted them last month because I wanted to test out direct mail. I bought a list from them, they did the design and the mailing of the postcards. I provided a list of our offers that are successful when used online or in the local newspaper and a few pics.

We did not get a great response. I sent out 6000 4.25'' x 6'' postcards. I got 7 calls and we closed 5 deals. I lost about $1k. I did not think much of it. Just thought that my business might not be suited for mailers.

Later, I found a book written by the company owner. There was a list of "must have" elements that she recommended. Things like Headlines, sub-headlines, testimonials, benefits, etc

Moving forward, I really want to get a better understanding of what I am doing before spending $2600.00 again. Help would be appreciated.
#offline marketing #mania #postcard #screwed
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Kryzak
    I've done a lot with postcard mailing and it's extremely effective when done properly. One thing I can certainly recommend is to start using PURL postcards instead of standard. A PURL is personalized to each individual receiving it and includes their name in the URL of the landing page.

    Other than that there's a large number of factors that influence results, from the copy, to the color of the postcard, to the list it's being sent to, etc.

    I hope this helps!

    Andrew
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  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

    I'm not sure if the above statement is 100% true, but I'd like some feedback. I contacted them last month because I wanted to test out direct mail. I bought a list from them, they did the design and the mailing of the postcards. I provided a list of our offers that are successful when used online or in the local newspaper and a few pics.

    We did not get a great response. I sent out 6000 4.25'' x 6'' postcards. I got 7 calls and we closed 5 deals. I lost about $1k. I did not think much of it. Just thought that my business might not be suited for mailers.

    Later, I found a book written by the owner of Postcard Mania. There was a list of "must have" elements that she recommended.

    Moving forward, I really want to get a better understanding of what I am doing before spending $2600.00 again. Help would be appreciated.

    Attachment 17151

    Postcard Mania didn't screw you. If I were the owner, I would ban you as a customer for your misleading headline and your "someone else must be to blame" attitude.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      Postcard Mania didn't screw you. If I were the owner, I would ban you as a customer for your misleading headline and your "someone else must be to blame" attitude.
      Well sir, if you look at their website you would see that they offer a service that they do all of the design, layout, offers etc based on what they say works! So, in essence, I hired them to design a piece that would convert. It didn't! The designer left out vital information by "THEIR STANDARDS".

      I filled out the survey and paid for a full service campaign. When something doesn't work, and the piece is sub par by the standards that the founder set, who is there to blame? The headline is not misleading by any stretch.

      I lol'd at your "ban me as a customer". Print shops are a dime a dozen. Maybe I can just skip the printing and mail out the knee high stack of returns that I got from their campaign. lol you're a funny little fella.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    "I'm not sure if the above statement is 100% true, but I'd like some feedback."

    So you make a post that is likely to be picked up in google that pretty much accuses them of nefarious conduct yet you are not even sure if it is true.
    I actually have some ideas that could help you but Im afraid if they dont work to your satisfaction that you will write a scathing headline criticizing me, so I will have to pass.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      "I'm not sure if the above statement is 100% true, but I'd like some feedback."

      So you make a post that is likely to be picked up in google that pretty much accuses them of nefarious conduct yet you are not even sure if it is true.
      I actually have some ideas that could help you but Im afraid if they dont work to your satisfaction that you will write a scathing headline criticizing me, so I will have to pass.
      If they had bothered to write a headline for me at all I might not have a gripe!

      Well, how about this. Don't write a book claiming that a successful postcard campaign must have specific crucial elements to be successful................and then design a campaign for someone and NOT use those elements! Changed the headline to better suit you ladies!

      By the way, I read the founders book. I'm 100% sure that the design is lacking. Based on your response, you agree! I did not have high expectations. I was fine with the campaign being a loser. I saw it as a test. Problem is that they did not follow the criteria that they sell upon.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    I can see where you are coming from on this. I would probably be a little disappointed if I were counting on them to do a killer design but then they not even follow their own guidelines.

    What does postcard mania say about this?
    Perhaps they will give you a refund on the design portion.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by Eddie Spangler View Post

      I can see where you are coming from on this. I would probably be a little disappointed if I were counting on them to do a killer design but then they not even follow their own guidelines.

      What does postcard mania say about this?
      Perhaps they will give you a refund on the design portion.
      The salesperson that kept calling me has not responded to my emails. Their results manager emailed me and asked me to fill out a form. I filled it out immediately. They never got back to me. Just said that someone else there would respond.

      Listen, I don't mind losing money if I get some data from the campaign or learn something that I can use. I want to take something away from the campaign other than, DON'T USE THIS COMPANY AGAIN!

      Eddie, they PROMISED BIG...... and skimped on the delivery portion.
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Isn't 1k for 6000 mails too much?
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by WeavingThoughts View Post

      Isn't 1k for 6000 mails too much?
      In total, I spent $2600. The return on my investment was -$1,000 and - a hell of a lot of energy!
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Maybe you can get repeat business and eventually profit.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by WeavingThoughts View Post

      Maybe you can get repeat business and eventually profit.
      That's a possibility. The problem is that we provide a service home owners don't use very often. I'd say the average is every 5-10 years. I have yet to find a way to do business with the customer more often. That's my fault. A referral is also possible.

      However, my reaction has a lot more to do with disappointment than money. I think that this mailer could have been very successful if done the right way. Also, I'm now in to the next month and still not sure how to handle this. I don't want to spend a lot of time and energy on another loser. Money not spent on a good follow up piece is a lost opportunity for me.
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  • Profile picture of the author CudaFish
    It seems you edited out some information from your first post. What kind of company are you, and what offer were you promoting?

    - Mark
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    cudafish.com | marketing | design | work / life balance
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by CudaFish View Post

      It seems you edited out some information from your first post. What kind of company are you, and what offer were you promoting?

      - Mark
      Sorry Mark, I did some editing because no help seemed forthcoming. Others, such as Claude, did not want to discuss the merits of the mailer and opted to just attack me. I guess it's ok to some to offer a great system and then not follow that system after they have my money.

      Garage Door Sales & Service

      We were pushing installation and repair service. Time tested offers, but the mailer had no headline, no sub-headline, dull colors. Very little to get it noticed.

      I basically learned of the missing elements by reading the company founder's book.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
    Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

    We did not get a great response. I sent out 6000 4.25'' x 6'' postcards. I got 7 calls and we closed 5 deals. I lost about $1k. I did not think much of it. Just thought that my business might not be suited for mailers.

    Later, I found a book written by the company owner. There was a list of "must have" elements that she recommended. Things like Headlines, sub-headlines, testimonials, benefits, etc

    Moving forward, I really want to get a better understanding of what I am doing before spending $2600.00 again. Help would be appreciated.
    First of all I (and probably everyone else here) would have to see your postcard.

    Secondly, what kind of list did you buy from them?
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

      First of all I (and probably everyone else here) would have to see your postcard.

      Secondly, what kind of list did you buy from them?
      They asked me a series of demographic questions about our customer based or ideal customer. Home Value, Age, Target Zip Codes, Household Income, etc

      I actually spent a great deal of time going through our customer base to narrow down the specifics of who we usually do business with, and where.

      Thanks in advance for taking a look. I may have jumped the gun, I may be way off. Just looking for feedback.

      Attachment 17152
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert Domino
        http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...n-success.html

        Your card is as boring and uninspiring as that guy's was.

        While I don't appreciate your venting method, coming here and saying they "screwed" you, I understand your frustration.

        When I look at this postcard, here's the elements that jump out to me:

        "Locally Owned and Operated Since 2001"

        => I care why? That's like answering the objection "how do I know you're going to be there in 10 years" before telling me what the product is and why I should care.

        2 car garage doors 599
        29 service call
        65 off spring replacement
        Free estimate
        Free remote or keypad

        Can you see how un-exciting this is for anyone not currently actively looking for new garage doors?
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by Robert Domino View Post

          http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...n-success.html

          Your card is as boring and uninspiring as that guy's was.

          While I don't appreciate your venting method, coming here and saying they "screwed" you, I understand your frustration.

          When I look at this postcard, here's the elements that jump out to me:

          "Locally Owned and Operated Since 2001"

          => I care why? That's like answering the objection "how do I know you're going to be there in 10 years" before telling me what the product is and why I should care.

          2 car garage doors 599
          29 service call
          65 off spring replacement
          Free estimate
          Free remote or keypad

          Can you see how un-exciting this is for anyone not currently actively looking for new garage doors?
          I agree that the headline was maybe not the best choice. This is the type of feedback that I was looking for. This is also what I discussed with those guys. How can we capture someone that doesn't have a problem now. Thanks for taking the time.
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by Robert Domino View Post

          http://www.warriorforum.com/offline-...n-success.html

          Your card is as boring and uninspiring as that guy's was.

          While I don't appreciate your venting method, coming here and saying they "screwed" you, I understand your frustration.

          When I look at this postcard, here's the elements that jump out to me:

          "Locally Owned and Operated Since 2001"

          => I care why? That's like answering the objection "how do I know you're going to be there in 10 years" before telling me what the product is and why I should care.

          2 car garage doors 599
          29 service call
          65 off spring replacement
          Free estimate
          Free remote or keypad

          Can you see how un-exciting this is for anyone not currently actively looking for new garage doors?
          I looked over the other thread. I would not know where to start. The designers that I have spoken to know nothing about marketing and could care less about results. Getting talented people with their own businesses to help with design and content is probably not going to happen, and my mind is such a mess from frustration.
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      • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
        Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

        They asked me a series of demographic questions about our customer based or ideal customer. Home Value, Age, Target Zip Codes, Household Income, etc

        Thanks in advance for taking a look. I may have jumped the gun, I may be way off. Just looking for feedback.
        The postcard isn't bad. If I would have received it anytime between March and November of last year I would have called you (because one of my door springs busted in February).

        I'm not sure how you could target anyone for your service. (How often do door springs bust or how do you find someone looking at replacing their garage doors?) Buying lists of names and then sending out postcards via first class or standard mail gets to be expensive. Personally I think you should be targeting areas using EDDM saturation. And you'd probably be able to send out twice as many (larger) postcards as you did in your first attempt for the same amount of money.
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

          The postcard isn't bad. If I would have received it anytime between March and November of last year I would have called you (because one of my door springs busted in February).

          I'm not sure how you could target anyone for your service. (How often do door springs bust or how do you find someone looking at replacing their garage doors?) Buying lists of names and then sending out postcards via first class or standard mail gets to be expensive. Personally I think you should be targeting areas using EDDM saturation. And you'd probably be able to send out twice as many (larger) postcards as you did in your first attempt for the same amount of money.
          Springs don't break very often. Maybe every 7-10 years. Honestly, I had never heard of EDDM until I bought Bob Ross' M3. We targeted zip codes based on neighborhoods. EDDM would have been a much better approach. Something that I thought they would have shared with me. If I'm throwing mud against the wall why buy a list?
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

        They asked me a series of demographic questions about our customer based or ideal customer. Home Value, Age, Target Zip Codes, Household Income, etc
        All of that information is used to target specific zip codes. That's as targeted as you can get with your offer, I think.

        Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

        I actually spent a great deal of time going through our customer base to narrow down the specifics of who we usually do business with, and where.

        Thanks in advance for taking a look. I may have jumped the gun, I may be way off. Just looking for feedback.

        Attachment 17152
        The postcard isn't bad. The headline is "Purchase any door opener..." they just didn't put it at the top.

        Personally, before I spent the money, I would have studied some keywords and search phrases in your niche. Maybe add a "24 hour Toll Free Recorded Consumer Hotline". I've used that in ads before, and it's the single most profit-generating part of the ad.

        Here's the problem. PostcardMania isn't an expert in your field. I think they gave it a good shot. But they are making educated guesses based on what you are telling them.

        And they aren't Master Copywriters. They are graphic designers and know something about the structure of an ad. That's why I never let my ad rep design my ad. They can give layout advice, but nobody knows your business like you do.

        Media reps are never great copywriters.

        I think they gave it an honest real effort.


        Originally Posted by Mr. Subtle View Post

        Personally I think you should be targeting areas using EDDM saturation. And you'd probably be able to send out twice as many (larger) postcards as you did in your first attempt for the same amount of money.
        Yup. That was my thought as soon as I found out the business he was in.

        In fact, I wouldn't have used PostcardMania for something as non-nichey as what you sell. If you can't tightly target your market, and are going to just mail to zip codes, EDDM is the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
    It is a bit boring but I would be calling you if I got it cause I need a garage opener lol

    Too bad you're not in western IL
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  • Profile picture of the author digichik
    My suggestion to you would be to use Mr. Subtle to write the copy for your next mailing. Do a 6.5" x 12" postcard and send it out using EDDM to older subdivisions(maybe some of the newer cheaply built ones too) in your area. You should be able to send out 5000 postcards(EDDM) of this size for under $2000. This would include design & copywriting, printing, postage.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by digichik View Post

      My suggestion to you would be to use Mr. Subtle to write the copy for your next mailing. Do a 6.5" x 12" postcard and send it out using EDDM to older subdivisions(maybe some of the newer cheaply built ones too) in your area. You should be able to send out 5000 postcards(EDDM) of this size for under $2000. This would include design & copywriting, printing, postage.
      Well, if he has a brain fart..........I'm all ears. I have no problem with his rate. The comics are pretty catchy on his page too! Lol
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  • Check out some of the threads about postcards at ContractorTalk.com. Here's one where PostcardMania posted some ideas (page 3):

    Starting A New Business, Going To Try Postcard Marketing. Any Tips? - Marketing & Sales - Contractor Talk

    They are also a member here. Maybe they can give you a break on the next run:
    http://www.warriorforum.com/tags/postcardmania.html
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  • Profile picture of the author WeavingThoughts
    Your service is too specific for an avg list.
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  • Profile picture of the author postcardmania
    Hi Robert,

    I’m sorry to hear your campaign didn’t yield the results you were expecting. We absolutely want to help you in any way possible to get the best results from your marketing. It is great that you took the time to read our CEO's book and shows that you are serious about growing your business! I want to address all your points above as well as some of the feedback others have contributed:

    1. Re: your design and your dissatisfaction with it not including all of the points that our CEO covers in her book. I took a look at your design and for the most part your design is good. Because we work with so many different clients we are balancing creating a design with all of the elements that we think should be included, against what the client is telling us they want on their card, and then getting the design done quickly for them. One thing that we developed to help our clients ensure that they have the best design is our 10 Elements Checklist that we send out with every postcard proof we send to our customers. I am not sure if you reviewed this when we sent your initial proof to you on 3/1/13? You will see it has all points listed off and any points that are missing from your card are not checked off. We also include an example image of what the front and back of an ideal card should look like. Now that I review the form I do see that we should add "testimonial" to it as you are right, that is an important element that every card should include.

    2. Your mailing list - My records show that you provided 4300 of the 6000 records that were mailed to. What we would recommend is analyzing the 7 responses that you received to see what the common denominators are and compile a new list based on those elements. We would be happy to help you with this.

    3. Repetition - I show that you only mailed to the list. It is extremely important to hit the list at least 3 times to get an accurate gauge of your response. This is one of the most important rules of marketing - repetition and consistency of your message. We also have a terrific new product called DirectMail2.0 which can be added to your campaign so that the people who visit your website as a result of the mailer, but who are not yet ready to take action by calling you, will continue to be marketed to through online ads when they browse any website in the Google network. This is an incredible way to exponentially improve the number of responses you get from your campaign.

    To address some of the ideas from the other forum members:


    1. PURLs - these are great but a lot more expensive per piece so you would have to do a test mailing to see if there was additional response that warranted the additional expense.

    2. EDDM - the cost per piece on EDDM is less expensive than targeted mailings but depending on the area that you are mailing to and how many homeowners are in that area, it is most likely better for your to do a targeted mailing. The reason for this is that with EDDM you would be hitting renters and lower value homes that wouldn't be likely to buy new garage doors.

    Regarding our results manager not getting back to you promptly. I looked in our system and see that it took almost 2 weeks for you to hear back from them after submitting your campaign information. This is absolutely unacceptable on our part and I am scheduling a meeting with the manager in that area to ensure this is handled right away.

    Marketing is a big subject and there are a lot of elements that go into your marketing. Your website is another element - many people who receive the card will go to your website and depending on how good or bad it is that will contribute to your results.

    Our goal here at PostcardMania is to help you grow your business - sometimes this is difficult for us to do because we want to teach you so much about marketing without overwhelming you into doing nothing. We would love to have you at our next client event where we will cover 2 full days of marketing training including direct mail, online advertising, your website, social media and more. Since you are clearly serious about marketing your business I HIGHLY recommend this to you. We'd also love to meet you and get you to realize that we really genuinely want to help you grow your business and we in no way are trying to rip you off or deliver you a sub par product.

    The last communication that we received from you was that you didn't want to discuss the campaign any further because of your (understandable) frustration with it taking two weeks to get back to you. We will reach out to you again via email to see what we can do to get you rolling with a successful marketing piece. We'd be more than happy to come up with a new design for you and help you analyze your responses.
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    • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
      Originally Posted by postcardmania View Post

      Hi Robert,

      I’m sorry to hear your campaign didn’t yield the results you were expecting. We absolutely want to help you in any way possible to get the best results from your marketing. It is great that you took the time to read our CEO's book and shows that you are serious about growing your business! I want to address all your points above as well as some of the feedback others have contributed:

      1. Re: your design and your dissatisfaction with it not including all of the points that our CEO covers in her book. I took a look at your design and for the most part your design is good. Because we work with so many different clients we are balancing creating a design with all of the elements that we think should be included, against what the client is telling us they want on their card, and then getting the design done quickly for them. One thing that we developed to help our clients ensure that they have the best design is our 10 Elements Checklist that we send out with every postcard proof we send to our customers. I am not sure if you reviewed this when we sent your initial proof to you on 3/1/13? You will see it has all points listed off and any points that are missing from your card are not checked off. We also include an example image of what the front and back of an ideal card should look like. Now that I review the form I do see that we should add "testimonial" to it as you are right, that is an important element that every card should include.

      2. Your mailing list - My records show that you provided 4300 of the 6000 records that were mailed to. What we would recommend is analyzing the 7 responses that you received to see what the common denominators are and compile a new list based on those elements. We would be happy to help you with this.

      3. Repetition - I show that you only mailed to the list. It is extremely important to hit the list at least 3 times to get an accurate gauge of your response. This is one of the most important rules of marketing - repetition and consistency of your message. We also have a terrific new product called DirectMail2.0 which can be added to your campaign so that the people who visit your website as a result of the mailer, but who are not yet ready to take action by calling you, will continue to be marketed to through online ads when they browse any website in the Google network. This is an incredible way to exponentially improve the number of responses you get from your campaign.

      To address some of the ideas from the other forum members:

      1. PURLs - these are great but a lot more expensive per piece so you would have to do a test mailing to see if there was additional response that warranted the additional expense.

      2. EDDM - the cost per piece on EDDM is less expensive than targeted mailings but depending on the area that you are mailing to and how many homeowners are in that area, it is most likely better for your to do a targeted mailing. The reason for this is that with EDDM you would be hitting renters and lower value homes that wouldn't be likely to buy new garage doors.

      Regarding our results manager not getting back to you promptly. I looked in our system and see that it took almost 2 weeks for you to hear back from them after submitting your campaign information. This is absolutely unacceptable on our part and I am scheduling a meeting with the manager in that area to ensure this is handled right away.

      Marketing is a big subject and there are a lot of elements that go into your marketing. Your website is another element - many people who receive the card will go to your website and depending on how good or bad it is that will contribute to your results.

      Our goal here at PostcardMania is to help you grow your business - sometimes this is difficult for us to do because we want to teach you so much about marketing without overwhelming you into doing nothing. We would love to have you at our next client event where we will cover 2 full days of marketing training including direct mail, online advertising, your website, social media and more. Since you are clearly serious about marketing your business I HIGHLY recommend this to you. We'd also love to meet you and get you to realize that we really genuinely want to help you grow your business and we in no way are trying to rip you off or deliver you a sub par product.

      The last communication that we received from you was that you didn't want to discuss the campaign any further because of your (understandable) frustration with it taking two weeks to get back to you. We will reach out to you again via email to see what we can do to get you rolling with a successful marketing piece. We'd be more than happy to come up with a new design for you and help you analyze your responses.
      1st of all, you have some poor information on many areas that you have pointed out including the list, EDDM, etc. I've looked in to EDDM. It would have been FAR superior. Renters? I do them all the time. I've picked up loads of property managers through renters and I fix their doors all the time. I actually make more on repairs than installations. A big criteria of the list building was by area (zip code). That's because I knew the nice neighborhoods that have doors that are getting aged. I could have laser pointed those spots with EDDM, done bigger postcards, and almost twice as many for the same price. IF I needed to hit them 3 times that could have been handled the same way.

      I'll get to the point of why I came here. Your company contacted me for nearly a year and sold me the merits of direct mail and how well you do it. My expectations were built on your sales techniques. There was trust there, so I moved forward. If I did not trust you then why would I have paid you double the fee for printing that other online sources charge?

      You guys never contacted me at all when I had questions after the sale, ever! Just put me off. I spoke to someone there that told me that the analyst would contact me, but she never did. After you guys ignored me for two weeks I sent an email saying that I would never use you again. At that time, I got a promise of a follow up. The way that I've acted may seem irrational to some, but it boils down to one thing. I don't know direct mail. I was counting on you for insight. I'm not a marketer. I come to this site because it's a great place to hire for online projects, etc.

      I feel that I was given a lot of bad advise on this campaign. Everyone there was very nice and highly reachable until you had my money. When I had questions, nobody wanted to bother. All I wanted was to discuss what we could have done differently, and made changes for the next go round. If the money had come from your wallet you would have wanted the same thing.

      I've spent thousands on this very site for services. I've never had one issue after the sale because when I had questions I was set straight. If I had the wrong expectation all I needed was for you guys to put me in my place. A non response is unacceptable!
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    • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
      Originally Posted by postcardmania View Post

      We'd be more than happy to come up with a new design for you and help you analyze your responses.
      HI there,

      Roughly translated, this says,

      "We'll be glad to take more of your money, and use the already crappy results you've achieved to tailor another mailing for you. Since we know you'll dump us like a poo-sandwich after that, we'll kiss your bottom for now in the hopes you'll spend more money with us."

      All the best,

      Sasha.
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  • Profile picture of the author betterwtveter
    I say you got ripped off if they not only did the design and charging that much. You need to find another company.
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  • Profile picture of the author misterme
    Graphic designers use the space to make things pretty, copywriters want to use the space to sell. There's a give and take between those two camps.

    Besides a better initial offer, maybe the money is in doing upsells, and in followup mailings to catch homeowners at the right time and in doing cross promotions for garage related products like storage spaces, driveway repairs, water sealer, etc. Maybe you can partner with those firms and exchange leads, piggy back mailings and/ore share commissions.
    Signature
    "Best book on answering objections I have seen... it's for photographers but it has brilliant techniques you can use in any business." - Claude Whitacre. When They Say That, You Say This (Amazon Kindle)
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  • Profile picture of the author SashaLee
    Hi there,

    We have two clients in the same boat. People don't think to call their kind of business until a calamity happens, or after it has happened.

    The key to their success has been to hammer their market so that they garner "top of mind" thinking. People don't think "Oh no, I need to call a <insert niche>". They say "We need to call <Company>"

    This is accomplished by consistent contact made with the niche market using every available media on a regular (at least monthly basis). Our clients initial sale is in between 1-2 thousand so it pays for them to invest heavily in constant contact methods.

    If you can narrow your market enough, you can own it.

    All the best,

    Sasha
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    • Profile picture of the author Aaron Doud
      Originally Posted by SashaLee View Post

      Hi there,

      We have two clients in the same boat. People don't think to call their kind of business until a calamity happens, or after it has happened.

      The key to their success has been to hammer their market so that they garner "top of mind" thinking. People don't think "Oh no, I need to call a <insert niche>". They say "We need to call <Company>"
      Agree completely businesses like this really need to think about branding while also ensuring ROI for all marketing.

      There is a construction company around me that is everywhere. If I needed work done (windows, siding, and doors as they say in their jingle) they would be one of my first if not my first phone call. Not even sure I would price shop since I don't have time for that.

      With garage doors the OP needs to hit people who either need or want a new garage door and that will be hard to do without cheaply blanketing areas that should produce good clients. Then work on the offer to get each mailing to a positive ROI.

      As for outside the box thinking the OP could always target people who have purchased or leased a new luxury car and target a higher end garage door offer.

      When I purchased my vette last year that made me want a new garage door.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        I gave it a shot earlier on the postcard.

        What I really think is that direct mail for this offer is a mistake. The number of people thinking about a garage door or opener...in his area...today...is nearly zero. He may be mailing 5,000 postcards to ten people actually in the market.

        I would be online with videos, articles on his website, blog posts, and make sure my business was at the top of the Google Plus Business listings.

        For less cost than that one mailing...he could dominate his local Google search results....almost forever.
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I gave it a shot earlier on the postcard.

          What I really think is that direct mail for this offer is a mistake. The number of people thinking about a garage door or opener...in his area...today...is nearly zero. He may be mailing 5,000 postcards to ten people actually in the market.

          I would be online with videos, articles on his website, blog posts, and make sure my business was at the top of the Google Plus Business listings.

          For less cost than that one mailing...he could dominate his local Google search results....almost forever.
          Thank you for the input, Claude.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            The Postcardmania person is their Social Media spokesperson.

            Possibly not a person who has much power in their organization
            to appease a disgruntled customer.

            Will be interesting how they handle this now because the public approach hasn't worked.

            Best,
            Ewen
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          I gave it a shot earlier on the postcard.

          For less cost than that one mailing...he could dominate his local Google search results....almost forever.
          I'm not sure how this is done. I've literally spent thousands on SEO over the past two years. I have watched my keywords in the serps for a year and they never get anywhere near the 1st page. My main keyword has never gotten higher than #30 and it's a pretty long phrase with the city name. Maybe I need to hire a new SEO guy!

          BTW, I do get leads from google, but it comes from PPC. I spend around 2-3k a month there. I've always thought that I should shift a bit of that to SEO, but I have never seen a return from SEO.
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          • Profile picture of the author Robert Domino
            To be fair with Postcard Mania, we don't know their typical results.

            I'm sure they have more experience marketing restaurants than garage doors.

            I'm not excusing them or anything, but let's be realistic. They probably have very little data on offers that convert in that micro-niche.
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          • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
            Originally Posted by longrobnc View Post

            I'm not sure how this is done. I've literally spent thousands on SEO over the past two years. I have watched my keywords in the serps for a year and they never get anywhere near the 1st page. My main keyword has never gotten higher than #30 and it's a pretty long phrase with the city name. Maybe I need to hire a new SEO guy!

            BTW, I do get leads from google, but it comes from PPC. I spend around 2-3k a month there. I've always thought that I should shift a bit of that to SEO, but I have never seen a return from SEO.
            In my experience, Google page one results bring in fewer sales that direct mail, but the sales continue, because the search results don't go away.

            My suggestion is to post a few videos, run up the views on Vagex.com, post a Blogger blog, and place a lot of good articles on your website.

            If your city is not a 500,000 or more population, it isn't that difficult.

            I have a book, Local Online Marketing, that explains how I do it.

            But PPC? If you are spending that much a month, you need a manager (not me) to continually test keywords, results, and costs.

            You should be getting a far better result in your Google placings.

            As far as postcard results? I have never had a better than 1% call in from cold post cards mailed to zip codes. Of course, like you, I'm selling something people don't buy every week, and I'm not the cheapest. I was always ecstatic with a half of 1% response.

            Do you use any of the coupon mailers? Val Pak? Anything like that?
            For $600 per 10,000 I could get a full page ad in a coupon magazine, that worked very well.
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            • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
              Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

              In my experience, Google page one results bring in fewer sales that direct mail, but the sales continue, because the search results don't go away.

              My suggestion is to post a few videos, run up the views on Vagex.com, post a Blogger blog, and place a lot of good articles on your website.

              If your city is not a 500,000 or more population, it isn't that difficult.

              I have a book, Local Online Marketing, that explains how I do it.

              But PPC? If you are spending that much a month, you need a manager (not me) to continually test keywords, results, and costs.

              You should be getting a far better result in your Google placings.

              As far as postcard results? I have never had a better than 1% call in from cold post cards mailed to zip codes. Of course, like you, I'm selling something people don't buy every week, and I'm not the cheapest. I was always ecstatic with a half of 1% response.

              Do you use any of the coupon mailers? Val Pak? Anything like that?
              For $600 per 10,000 I could get a full page ad in a coupon magazine, that worked very well.
              I will take a look at your book to see if I can figure it out.lol
              I read one other(Unfair Advantage) last year.

              I've never done Valpak, but I do other coupon magazines. I've never had much success. The last half page ad I did cost me $800.00. It pulled 1 lead. I did a full page sunday newspaper ad twice last month. I got a great deal, and it wound up only costing me less than $80 a lead. All quality leads.

              Based on your advise, I need to figure out how to edit a video.
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  • Profile picture of the author Eddie Spangler
    Great Job Postcardmania on sounding just like the other "corporate speak" companies, you know the ones who talk shit yet say nothing.
    Signature
    Promise Big.
    Deliver Bigger.
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    • Profile picture of the author DABK
      This is from their (postcardmania) website (notice the use of the word 'copywriter.' They did not say 'great copywriter' but you get the feeling you'd get someone good, all the same.

      "Full Postcard Design - $199
      We do all the work.
      Our copywriter and design team create a results-driven postcard design including images, text and layout. You fill out a short design survey and we'll take care of the rest."


      Also from their website (notice that they promise 'your postcard' will have 'every successful element':


      "At PostcardMania, our Results Manager constantly tracks which po
      stcard designs bring in the best results, and we make sure your postcard has every successful element."


      Based on the above, I don't think the OP's expectations were unreasonable.


      To the OP:
      Why don't you market to mortgage brokers and loan officers: they do a lot of loans for remodeling. True, not everybody who gets a loan to remodel is going to need or want a new garage door... But I'm thinking they'd be easier to convince to buy one that random people in the neighborhood.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        Based on what the Postcard mania spokesperson said, they dropped the ball. I don't think the postcard is bad, but their customer service would have made anyone angry.

        I don't think the OP is due a refund, but I would have offered a second print run for free, and only charge for mailing.

        Personally, I still think that the postcard idea is a mismatch for the very select market for the offer. I would have been shocked if the OP would have got 50 calls.

        There are a couple of guys here that could have made a stronger postcard (I'm not one of them).....but the postcard wasn't bad. The customer service was.

        Postcardmania just didn't manage client expectations. Maybe a step they should include.
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        • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
          Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

          Based on what the Postcard mania spokesperson said, they dropped the ball. I don't think the postcard is bad, but their customer service would have made anyone angry.

          I don't think the OP is due a refund, but I would have offered a second print run for free, and only charge for mailing.

          Personally, I still think that the postcard idea is a mismatch for the very select market for the offer. I would have been shocked if the OP would have got 50 calls.

          There are a couple of guys here that could have made a stronger postcard (I'm not one of them).....but the postcard wasn't bad. The customer service was.

          Postcardmania just didn't manage client expectations. Maybe a step they should include.
          50-60 is what I was actually expecting.lol I kept getting that 1% response figure. I spend about 50 per lead online, so it did not seem unreasonable.
          In retrospect, the bar was just set way too high. I think that I would have done very well at less than 20 leads though. We really pushed hard to close everything possible from the post cards just so we could break even.
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
    Can someone clarify this for me...

    PM suggests using their direct mail 2.0 google remarketing service, but I'm pretty sure remarketing not even work if you don't have 30 or something unique visits to your landing page in a month?

    I really wanted to integrate some google remarketing with direct mail myself but when I was looking into remarketing I kept reading about those 'quota's'.

    The OP sent me an email earlier that I responded to the other day, and I agree that EDDM would be a much better choice for this and that service should be the big focus. I also mentioned that the picture of high end garage doors in a high end home may not mesh with his target audience. If he's getting property managers and rental business successfully, I don't believe that the image on the postcard would appeal to those people--in fact I think many of them would toss it away thinking they are not in the market for super high end overhead doors.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by bob ross View Post

      Can someone clarify this for me...

      PM suggests using their direct mail 2.0 google remarketing service, but I'm pretty sure remarketing not even work if you don't have 30 or something unique visits to your landing page in a month?

      I really wanted to integrate some google remarketing with direct mail myself but when I was looking into remarketing I kept reading about those 'quota's'.

      The OP sent me an email earlier that I responded to the other day, and I agree that EDDM would be a much better choice for this and that service should be the big focus. I also mentioned that the picture of high end garage doors in a high end home may not mesh with his target audience. If he's getting property managers and rental business successfully, I don't believe that the image on the postcard would appeal to those people--in fact I think many of them would toss it away thinking they are not in the market for super high end overhead doors.

      Darn you Mr. Ross!

      "the picture of high end garage doors in a high end home may not mesh with his target audience."

      See? That's what a direct mail copywriter would have said!


      And the vast...vast percentage of in house copywriters are really graphic designers. I've met copywriters who have never read a book on copywriting.

      I'm just glad they didn't decide to become doctors.


      And the words "Catchy copy" makes me shudder in fear.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve Wells
    The postcard looks nice, BUT it does not catch attention. It seems they have no copywriter on staff, or did not think to add any copy, or were not thinking that you wanted catchy copy?

    The colors are bland. One thing I do know about these types of places is that a lot them do not have professional in house designers or copywriters. They many times have the same guy doing the printing, designing the actual mailers.

    I might go to them directly, unless you did this over the internet, and share your thoughts with them in a civil manner, and show them what you read, and maybe they will give you some type of refund?
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  • Profile picture of the author bob ross
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    • Robert,

      I've been reading through your thread: "Postcard Designer Postcard Review!"

      I have owned 3 successful locksmith and door servicing companies. So I know the boat your are in. I've serviced, rehung, installed, shimmed every type of door out there over the past 25 years.

      Well I haven't done a Herculite frameless glass door yet, but I have done tons of garage door business. From spring replacement to automatic door opener installs. To reprogramming remotes to greasing roller tracks to complete damaged garage door removal and new installs.

      You and I both know that we have more reactive customers than proactive and preventative maintenance business. From my own testing I can assure you that direct mail does work, but in a reactive service type industry it works better with existing customers than new business.

      You will get some new business from sending post cards but post cards or any direct mail piece sent to previous business always out performs.

      As you stated people don't think about using our businesses unless something happens. But once they do call and use your service that's when you need to begin the marketing process to keep clients coming back for more and referring you over the competition.

      Reading through this whole thread and what you've been doing for 2 years tells me you want more business but no mention of your systematic approach to Following Up with previous clients.

      What has always generated more sales and larger invoices is the networking of follow up with existing customers I do regularly.

      Consider what you can offer previous clients on your post cards that already know you and have bought from you.
      • Once a year roller track inspection and regreasing.
      • Continuity testing of electrical components
      • Door closer gear or chain drive adjustments
      • Garage door keypad installs
      Not to mention that if you know the type of door opener your existing client has, i.e. Genie, Liftmaster, Craftsmen how you can send personalized alerts to that client.

      Remember you have a customer database that might be underutilized.

      Below I've attached a pdf for my locksmith consulting clients that asks the question "What Type Of Business Are You In?'

      Everywhere you see the word "Locksmith" change it to "Garage Door Service".

      Good luck!
      Signature
      Force-Communication - "It is the noble art of causing a client, a customer, or a prospect to perform a positive act as the direct result of reading your words." - Herschell Gordon Lewis
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      • Profile picture of the author longrobnc
        Originally Posted by ThePromotionalGuy View Post

        Robert,

        I've been reading through your thread: "Postcard Designer Postcard Review!"

        I have owned 3 successful locksmith and door servicing companies. So I know the boat your are in. I've serviced, rehung, installed, shimmed every type of door out there over the past 25 years.

        Well I haven't done a Herculite frameless glass door yet, but I have done tons of garage door business. From spring replacement to automatic door opener installs. To reprogramming remotes to greasing roller tracks to complete damaged garage door removal and new installs.

        You and I both know that we have more reactive customers than proactive and preventative maintenance business. From my own testing I can assure you that direct mail does work, but in a reactive service type industry it works better with existing customers than new business.

        You will get some new business from sending post cards but post cards or any direct mail piece sent to previous business always out performs.

        As you stated people don't think about using our businesses unless something happens. But once they do call and use your service that's when you need to begin the marketing process to keep clients coming back for more and referring you over the competition.

        Reading through this whole thread and what you've been doing for 2 years tells me you want more business but no mention of your systematic approach to Following Up with previous clients.

        What has always generated more sales and larger invoices is the networking of follow up with existing customers I do regularly.

        Consider what you can offer previous clients on your post cards that already know you and have bought from you.
        • Once a year roller track inspection and regreasing.
        • Continuity testing of electrical components
        • Door closer gear or chain drive adjustments
        • Garage door keypad installs
        Not to mention that if you know the type of door opener your existing client has, i.e. Genie, Liftmaster, Craftsmen how you can send personalized alerts to that client.

        Remember you have a customer database that might be underutilized.

        Below I've attached a pdf for my locksmith consulting clients that asks the question "What Type Of Business Are You In?'

        Everywhere you see the word "Locksmith" change it to "Garage Door Service".

        Good luck!
        Thanks for the reply. You are right in one sense. I have a very underutilized customer database. Our commercial department has a very long life cycle. Most of our customers have been with us for nearly 10 years. We have less commercial customers, but we do business with them on an ongoing basis. Because we only have around 500 commercial customers, we have an easy time picking up the phone and calling inactives. In our residential department, we do well over 100 service calls a month and we do several installs daily. For this reason, I just don't keep up well after the sale. I use Aweber for pre-sale follow ups, but I don't always do a great job of getting email addresses from call in customers, or building widgets to sell my database. I paid the $2k set up for Infusionsoft to try to put the post sale in to place. It has a lot of ability to segment my customer types, but the trainer was terrible and the software was confusing. I kept it for two months and walked away. The triple entry of information was killing too much time. That's a crappy excuse for not finding a new solution, but it is what it is, I guess. After that, I got analysis paralysis and never pulled the trigger again.
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  • Profile picture of the author xlfutur1
    When driving my kids to school, I consistently hear a local radio commercial that is only about 10 seconds long.

    The ad goes like this....

    First you hear a spring breaking sound, then a guy says..."garage door spring break? Call Overhead Door today at XXX-XXXX and we'll fix it right away"

    Seems this ad would be very cheap to run because its so short, and if you woke up the same morning to a garage door spring that is broken (as I did recently) many would probably call them immediately.

    The ad only addresses one thing... a garage door spring breaking. Many homeowners, like me, have older garage doors that need replacing. An astute salesman could probably sell me a new door in a few minutes if he came to fix my spring.

    So maybe a local radio spot like this is something you could try.
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  • Profile picture of the author CudaFish
    Lemme sum this up here.

    I own and run a marketing and design firm. We do print advertising.

    I get calls from Postcard Mania every SINGLE day trying to sell me their services for my business. Talk about doing zero research before picking up a handset and dialing my number.

    Faceless and mindless corporation if you ask me, like most of them out there..

    - Mark
    Signature
    cudafish.com | marketing | design | work / life balance
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