This humble device may be your best choice for reaching customers this year
Why are more retail jewelers turning to full-color postcards as a key form of promotion? The biggest reason is the simplest: You dont have to open a postcard. It wont get lumped in with all the direct mail envelopes that people toss without opening.
If the postcard shows a very glossy, well-photographed picture of attractive jewelry, the recipient will very likely look at the picture and turn it over to see who sent it. She might well put it aside and think, Next time Im near the store, Ill go in and have a look. The postcard often sits out as an easy and constant reminder of your jewelry store.
Last year, for example, Les Olson Jewelers in Palm Harbor, FL, had the best July ever after mailing postcards for the first time in June. Now were working on a series of postcards, says owner Bob Shinsky. He printed four sets of cards, each picturing a different item on the front. Three are seasonal and one is generic. He mails the cards to existing customers as well as other local homeowners.
Cutting Costs on Mailings
When the economy is a bit shaky, you should increase promotion to keep your name in the minds of consumers, but you also have to keep down costs. To get maximum return for your marketing dollar, you can mail postcards up to 41/4 by 6 inches for between 16¢ and 17¢ each first class (the cheapest letter rate is 18¢-23¢). If you find the right company, youll likely be able to have 5,000 postcards printed for less than $400.
Finding the Right Company
Most retail jewelers dont have in-house marketing departments, so find a postcard company to help you. A postcard company can handle your mailing and save you money. It makes most of its profits from printing, not from consulting, selling mailing lists and mailing, so it can often find you better deals on such services. The company should:
- Specialize in postcards. It shouldnt just do postcards a-mong other printing jobs. Youll pay less because the company gang-prints cards. In other words, the company will print many different postcards in one large press run, says Joy Rockwell, owner and president of PostcardMania, a postcard marketing and printing specialist in Clearwater, FL.
- Have some marketing knowledge and experience. The company should be able to advise you on mailing lists, design and quantities.
- Offer UV coating (laminated), full-color and 41/4-by-6 in. postcards. This ensures you get the highest-quality look and the biggest post card you can for the lowest mailing rate. The UV coating is essential for a very high gloss finish to make your jewelry look good.
- Help with photography. Getting a good picture is vital to the success of your postcard. You might pay $150 to $1,200+ for photography and, generally, you get what you pay for. However, some photographers do a good job without charging the earth. Your postcard company should have contacts with photographers. Once you find a company (it doesnt have to be local many do business with stores all over the U.S.), ask for advice on creating the postcard. Many companies will help with everything from determining whether you should mail to existing customers, mailing lists of potential customers or both. The company also will send you proofs. Make sure any corrections you request are made so youre happy with the final product.
- PostcardMania, Clearwater, FL; (727) 441-4704, (800) 628-1804, www.postcardmania.com.
David Phillips is a freelance writer.
||PostcardMania provides high-quality full-color postcards ideal for jewelers.