Friday, February 04, 2005

The Anatomy of a Winning Postcard

I received this newsletter, and while it isn't directly associated with Yellow Pages marketing the principles are identical. Most Yellow Pages ads fail to live up to their potential because they violate the basic principles outlined here. Enjoy!

The Anatomy of a Winning Postcard


You probably get a lot of postcards as I do. Being an
astute marketer, I always take time to look through all
of my mail and I pick out stuff that catches my eye.

I put that stuff in my swipe file to refer to later.

But I often shake my head in disbelief sometimes at the
mail that I receive.

Some of it is downright rotten.

At times, I can't believe someone is actually spending
money to send this stuff out.


Case in Point...

Yesterday, I got a postcard from a guy named Mike
Czarowitz who is a local real estate agent.

Apparently, he just joined Remax and recently moved his
real estate practice to Friendswood.

Well, he sent out an announcement to let people know
about his new affiliation with Remax. I would imagine
that he paid a good amount of money to send this card
out to everyone in my neighborhood.

Here's the postcard I received:

Front Side ->

Back Side ->

If you even have half a marketing brain you can see why
this is a losing postcard. But let's take a look at
what it's lacking...

-> Problem # 1

No compelling headline (he uses his name as the
headline...don't do this!)

-> Problem # 2

The bulk of the postcard is taken up with the Remax
logo (No one cares about Remax, they care about their
own problems, and how you're going to solve them!)

-> Problem # 3

He gives absolutely no reason to respond.

-> Problem # 4

His call to action is "Please stop in and say hello,
the coffee pot is always on." Pleeeeaaase!

-> Problem # 5 - He completely wastes the address side
of this postcard. There is no information on it


I Decided to Take This Postcard and Give It a Complete
Design Makeover and Turn It Into a Lead Generating
Machine - - Here It Is...

As a favor to Mike Czarowitz (the realtor who sent out
the loser postcard) I took some time to completely
redesign his postcard so that it would generate leads
rather than just "get the word out there."

Here it is...

Front Side ->


Here's a Few Things to Take Note of When Reviewing the
Redesigned Version of Mike's Postcard.

-> Change # 1 - The Headline

The billboard side of the postcard starts out with a
big bold headline. I'll admit, it's not the most
powerful headline but it does evoke curiosity and makes
you want to read the subheadline (which is the primary
job of the headline).

-> Change # 2 - The Subheadline

The subheadline gives a very bold promise (although 30
days would be better). One important element of the
subhead is that it includes the phrase "or Someone You
Know," which forces the reader to think of their
friends and not only themselves.

-> Change # 3 - The Photo

People like to know who is communicating with them.
Putting a photo of yourself brings a warmth and
closeness and lowers the distrust barrier that we all
feel with someone we don't know.

-> Change # 4 - The Caption

Below every photo you should always include a caption
because when the eye looks at the photo it will always,
100% of the time, look at the caption as well.

I not only introduced Mike's name but I used a boxed
caption that highlights his expert status and further
lowers the distrust barrier.

-> Change # 5 - The Copy

The copy on this postcard starts out by filtering out
prospects simply by asking whether they're thinking of
selling their home.

It also introduces the "60 Day Home Selling System" and
attempts to create some curiosity so that the reader
will turn the postcard over and read the offer.

You'll also notice that I used a "handwriting" font.
This is a special font that looks like it's been
handwritten. It's just one more element that serves to
personalize my postcard.

-> Change # 6 - The Call-to-Action

The objective of the billboard side's call-to-action is
simply to turn the postcard over. Although that sounds
unnecessary, it leads the reader one step further down
your sales path.


Now Let's Take a Look at the Address Side and See What
Makes It So Powerful

The address side of the newly redesigned postcard is
what gets the phone to ring.

Here's what the address side looks like:

Address Side ->

(copy and paste the links into your browser)

Here are a few changes I made on the address side that
make it powerful.

-> Change # 7 - The Headline

Notice that I started out the address side of this
postcard with a compelling headline. The headline
tells people exactly what I want them to do.

NOTE: By the way, ALWAYS start out your marketing
material with compelling headlines.

-> Change # 8 - The Arrow

You'll see that I've included an arrow on the right
hand side of the headline. I did that to pull the
readers eye to the special report that I want them to

-> Change # 9 - The Copy

I start out my copy calling the reader "Dear
Friendswood Neighbor." The word "Friendswood" will
capture readers attention because they live in

All I want to do in my first paragraph is to get the
reader to read my second paragraph so I stir up
curiosity to keep the reader going.

I then promise the reader that my system will sell
their home in 60 days and to find out how I do that
they'll need to order my fr^e report.

-> Change # 10 - The Graphic

As you can see, I've included a graphic of my special
report to show readers what it looks like. This brings
a realism to my offer and it helps people to visualize
what they'll be receiving.

-> Change # 11 - The Call-to-Action

The caption to the graphic includes my call to action.
This line WILL get read 100% of the time. It gives
SPECIFIC instructions on what I want the caller to do.

-> Change # 12 - The Phone Number

Notice that I put the hotline phone number in reverse
type. This makes the number clearly stand out.

I've also included the words, "24 Hr. Recorded Msg.,"
which lets the reader know that they aren't going to
get someone on the other side of the phone call trying
to give them a hard sell.

I've personally found this one line of text to increase
my response rate by about 12% - 20%.

-> Change # 13 - The Address

Look at what a small space I've allocated to the
address. Now look at how much space I've used for my
message. Don't make the mistake of using the whole
side of the postcard just for your address (or even
half the side for that matter).


Now Which Postcard Would You Rather Mail?

If you've hung in with me this long then you've got a
real lesson in writing compelling copy and postcard

I hope you enjoyed it and learned a lot from it.

Just imagine, for the exact same cost that Mike
incurred sending the original postcard, he could have
sent the redesigned postcard.

Same cost - - 10 times the response.

Which postcard would you rather mail?


Blogger Wolley Segap said...

Imagine that! Basic Yellow Pages practices can effectivly improve "creative" marketing efforts as well!

Just goes to show how the YP industry really is in-touch with successful, proven advertising techniques. I'd suggest that Dick's re-design would also apply to newspaper, magazine, website, email, tv/cable and PPC campaigns too.

11:22 AM  

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