Our Postcard Process
The RESPONSE! Postcard Process: What To Expect When You Place Your Order
RESPONSE! is not simply a “print shop” or a “graphic design firm”. We are small business marketing experts with experience in direct mail, market research, graphic design, public relations and sales. We work with you as a marketing partner to create and deliver a successful postcard campaign. A typical campaign undergoes the following process.
Your RESPONSE! Marketing Consultant will discuss key factors for your upcoming campaign during your consultation.
This includes discussing what has been successful for your business in order to isolate key target audiences, or to assist in categorizing your customers into targeted market segments in order to work out a targeted mailing list for your mailing. Other key issues your consultant will discuss with you are offers that have been highly successful in the past, as well as any products or services frequently requested or that your customers display an interest in. This information will help to isolate an offer that will excite interest within the the specific audience your campaign is targeting.
Our professional designers take over and create a postcard design that is appropriate for the intended audience and designed to catch their attention.
High quality design and effective copywriting will set your campaign apart from the competition, so we pay special attention to colors, images and message clarity to ensure your marketing message truly communicates to the recipients. This process usually includes research into your industry and will definitely include any successful actions you have mentioned from past promotion.
Your design is then thoroughly and independently verified against a postcard marketing checklist by Quality Control. This includes ensuring that the offer is straightforward and can be understood, that a strong Call-To-Action is visible and obvious, that the intended audience can easily respond to take advantage of the offer, and that the benefit to the customer is clear and desirable (solves a problem or enriches the customers life in a way that is desired by the customer). In addition we employ a number of marketing techniques that make our design and quality control team not “merely designers”, but seasoned marketers who know that, at the end of the day, it is the results that matter.
Once you have approved your new postcard design, it is ready to be printed.
Your postcards are printed on high quality, thick 14 pt card stock, finished with a super gloss, cut and sent to our Mailing Dept. The Printing Department mails you samples of the printing so look out for the clearly marked sample packages arriving in the mail!
Your mailing list is now prepared and set-up for mailing using state-of-the-art software.
If your list was provided by you, we will de-duplicate the names and addresses, scrub any bad addresses against the post office’s NCOA service (National Change Of Address, additional charges may apply) and remove any incomplete addresses. If your mailing list is a purchased targeted mailing list, we will now download it based on the specifications discussed with your Marketing Consultant. Waiting to download it at this time ensures the list is at its “freshest” when it is used—consumers and businesses are constantly moving and data can change very quickly. In fact, an estimated 20% of the US population moves annually.
Your mailing is now addressed and prepared by USPS standards to ensure fast and maximum delivery.
This process, which would take you and your staff hours or even days to do by hand, is done in a fraction of the time using specially designed address printers that print directly onto the postcards.
Your mailing is delivered to the Bulk Mail Unit of the post office and processed for delivery.
Your target audience then opens their mail boxes and finds your postcard and offer. Many of the recipients will save your postcard for later follow-up, and some will call you within the coming week or two.
Now is the time to track your responses, ask new customers and callers how they found out about you
Ensure your staff are doing the same. Log the information religiously—this will lay the groundwork for your future marketing. It is important to really track this information as we find that the personnel in a small business are frequently not asked to collect the source of the lead, or simply don’t do it. The information is vital as certain target audiences may have responded more than others, and certain market segments may have been more active in making purchases. At RESPONSE! we are constantly monitoring our postcard responses and we know which market segments and industries will respond to our postcards, and even what time of the year they are most likely to respond.