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Direct Mail – Back With a Vengeance

Years ago the only way we had to reach consumers was through the post office.  Then, along came the Internet and email.   Suddenly email was the cure-all and billed as the snake oil of the 21st century for large scale communicating.  For minimal cost, you could contact thousands of people. It was cheap, but today it’s back to being just one of many vehicles you need for effectively communicating your marketing message.

Think about how many emails we dump every day, often before we even get to our computers.  My phone is set up to show me all my email and anything I don’t want is dumped without ever being opened. Adding to the support of screening email are my spam filters – always loaded at the end of each day. Companies are spending millions of dollars to be in my mailbox and yours, and we make them disappear with just the push of a button!

Even more ironic is the US post office, one of the many government organizations we all love to hate when they raise the price of a stamp each year. Well, to a point they’re back in the driver’s seat. Often a well-designed postcard will help you get your message out there better than email.

If you’re going to design an effective marketing campaign then my suggestion would be to design your postcard as the foundation and then spin off various components for email, social media, your website, and blog. You need all of these components for success.  Then, “accessorize” your campaign with some publicity and cross-promotion with other companies or photographers.  The whole idea is to weave a web around your target audience so your promotion/message is everywhere.

Your goal is to build top-of-mind awareness.  In other words, the minute the thought of needing a professional photographer comes into your target’s head, your name is right there, because they just got your postcard, read about you in the paper, heard somebody mention your name or read something online.

But, don’t underestimate the importance of having a powerful, good-looking message.  The challenge in a postcard and printed material is developing an effective design and continuity with the rest of your marketing material. I’m always amazed that photographers are the worst offenders when it comes to forgetting a picture is worth a thousand words. They insist on long worded boring descriptions of their promotions when they could be hitting their audience hard with some great images and a few snappy one-liners.

Unless you have a degree in graphic design, you don’t need to do this all by yourself.  And, obviously, here I am sharing this post on Marathon’s blog! Not only can Marathon help you define the concept, but once you’re on board with a project you have access to their entire team for support.

The timing right now could not be better!  Yes, I said “better”.  Think about how many of your counterparts are caught up in the challenges of the 2017 season.  What better time for you to make an investment in yourself and promote your business when so many competitors are trying to figure out what to do next!