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Then Sun Pacific will send out mailings of a couple of thousand postcards once or twice a month to current or past clients, and another 3-4,000 to prospective borrowers every week, handling all mailing in house. They use large (4 1/4” by 6”) full-color, laminated postcards which look very attractive.
“We went to postcards a few years ago because I got sick of doing bulk mailings using envelopes,” Forest admits. Folding letters and sealing envelopes is pretty labor intensive. Postcards cost less and mail costs are lower.
Forest attributes a full 20% of his business to postcard mailings which account for majority of their spending on print advertising/promotion for year. “Because of magic formula that business comes in in proportion to postcards and other forms of promotion that go out, we get results from all quarters,” he says.
The above example includes networking with title companies and handling large mailings in house but this is something to work up to if you want to go that route. Few mortgage brokers have an in-house marketing department and it can be time-consuming and overwhelming to take on all of these aspects of getting postcards mailed out using existing personnel who are already busy dealing with loans and paperwork.
A good postcard company can handle entire mailing and save you money in process. They make their money from printing postcards, not from consulting, selling mailing lists, mailing and so on. So they can give you better deals on these other services where needed.
Having postcard company do mailing from you has an additional benefit of saving on shipping. Printed matter is quite heavy and shipping 10,000 postcards across country is not that cheap. If it is mailed from postcard company direct these shipping charges are avoided.
Sharp Mortgages Inc. of Jacksonville started using postcards in 2001, having used every other form of advertising and promotion. They sent out two initial mailings of 10,000 postcards each and have ordered another 50,000 so it must be working. “We let postcard company handle mailing,” says Bill Sharp Snr. who handles their advertising. “With all other things we have to do, we find that it’s easier to let them handle mailing than to tie up our time in here.”
Don’t be put off by thought of all extra work involved for your already too busy personnel. In long run it might save you a lot of money to pay a little extra for postcard company to take entire process off your hands from design and print through to mailing.
How to get going with postcards.
So, assuming postcards are way to go, where do you start? A. Find a postcard company to help you.
This company must:
1. SPECIALIZE IN POSTCARDS, not just do postcards among other printing jobs. You will get better service and a better product. It will cost much less because they are printing your postcard along with many other customers’ postcards and can “gang print” them which means they print many different postcards on one large sheet of card and it’s only one press run.
2. Have some MARKETING KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE. They should be able to advise you on mailing lists, design, quantities and so on. The better ones offer a full range of services from advice through design, assistance with photography, printing and mailing.
3. Postcards they produce should be UV COATED (laminated), FULL COLOR, 4 1/4” x 6” so you get biggest size card you can for lowest mail rate and they really look good. The UV coating is essential for a very high gloss finish that really makes postcard stand out and attract attention.
4. Above all you need to know that you are going to get RESULTS. Percentage of response is not real measure of success as this varies from industry to industry and area to area. What you want to determine is return on investment. If you spend $2,500 all inclusive to send out a 10,000 postcard mailing and get 200 calls as a result, and convert even 10 of those into mortgage purchases, then mailing was a terrific investment. So you need to look at big picture and check for results in terms of return on investment.
When choosing a postcard company to handle your mailing, it’s a good idea to get some names and phone numbers of their customers and call them up to get some first hand information on how good company is: do they deliver good service and value for money?
Once you have found right provider (it doesn’t have to be local – better ones work on a national basis and do business with companies all over USA) get their advice on producing postcard. They will help you with all steps.
B. Decide whether you want them to handle mailing for you (see section above on outsourcing).
C. Decide whether you are going to mail to your existing customers or to mailing lists of potential customers or both.
Procurement of mailing lists an important point. Sending out postcards to 10,000 random homeowners by zip code is not going to get same response as sending 10,000 postcards to qualified homeowners of type that you specialize in (conventional, subprime, refinances, etc.). You can buy mailing lists that are quite specific. Your biggest expense is going to be postage. It’s worth spending a little extra money to make sure your message gets to qualified potential mortgage purchasers in category that you want to deal with. The postcard company should be able to help you with choice and purchase of mailing lists.
D. Decide on content of card. Again, a good postcard company will have experience with this and can offer valuable advice. They’ve probably worked with other mortgage brokers and know what works and what doesn’t.
E. Get card produced. They will send you proofs. Get any needed corrections made so that you are happy with them.
F. Get them mailed out.
G. Sit back and make most of response.
H. Plan your next mailing and repeat steps.
After you’ve done a few mailings you will get a better idea of what works and you can refine your campaign.
This is a proven, tried and tested, workable approach to increasing sales through direct mail using color postcards.
Joy Gendusa founded PostcardMania in 1998, her only assets a computer and a phone. By 2004 the company did $9 million in sales and employed over 60 people. She attributes her explosive growth to her ability to choose incredible staff and her innate marketing savvy. Visit http://www.postcardmania.com