So you’re hosting (or at least promoting) a live event. Who is your audience? Existing business customers? Prospective customers (or a specific segment of prospects)? The entire community? Postcard mailings can boost attendance, whether you use them on their own or in combination with other advertising techniques.
Postcard mailings work for annual sales, open houses, Easter Sunday sunrise services, restaurant guest chef nights, fundraisers and festivals. Get help from a direct mail professional to choose the most effective mailing list – you may need targeted selection criteria, or a residential (“occupant”) list might be more appropriate.
Make sure your design says it all.
Ensuring your event is a winner requires a professional eye and a focus on detail. It’s crucial to choose the right images, headline, supporting information and follow-up call to action. Where you place each element and even the colors you use can drive greater interest in attendance. Should you use a jumbo size postcard, or a smaller one? Your postcard mailings expert can guide you toward the most advantageous choice. Even print quality matters, because an “iffy” looking postcard is a sign your event may also be “iffy” in some way.
Even if you have event-specific artwork, the graphics team at your direct mail company will ensure you’re presenting that artwork in a postcard-perfect way.
What do you want people who receive your postcard mailings to do?
For some events such as a festival or all-day open house, attendance is essentially unlimited. For others – perhaps your annual Valentine’s Dinner for Romantics — you want to target a smaller group.
If attendance is limited, your postcard mailings should emphasize pre-registration. Drive recipients to your website to sign up, have them call your office or shop to sign up, or ask them to come by and register in person. With all these options, you also have the option to ask for their email address.
Make your postcard redeemable.
Have recipients bring it with them, to use as an entry ticket, get a discount on admission or a free commemorative wine glass or other memento, or enter an on-site contest. Take it another step further and have them add their name (if you don’t already have it) and email address, so you can follow up with them after the event is over. Sending a personalized “thanks for attending” email with another valuable offer will help you convert them to customer status.
Cross-promote with other marketing techniques.
You can use radio, your website, social media, bag stuffers, table tent cards, email – whatever means you have at your disposal – to promote your live event. The more ways you reach people, the more people who will know about the event, of course. However, be careful to use only marketing tactics appropriate for your type of event.
If you’re hosting an exclusive trunk showing for existing customers, that doesn’t require an all-out blitz. A promotional plan based on postcard mailings only – perhaps backed up by email – should be sufficient.
One is never enough.
Every marketer knows repetition is critical to indelibly make your point, and that’s true for marketing events as well as merchandise or services. Even if your event is the community’s most famous annual happening, people need reminders. So plan ahead to send a series of three or four postcards, a week apart.
That timing ensures you aren’t mailing so early people ignore your information and it allows you to reinforce your message. Those who forget to put your event on their calendar the first time will be sure to do so when they see subsequent postcard mailings. They can also keep your postcard around so the pertinent details are handy. Let your direct mail experts handle postcard mailings for you, so you’ll be confident the timing is just right, without delays or slip-ups.