small business guide local awareness 1

What Is Postcard Marketing? The Small Business’ Guide to Local Awareness 2

Without local awareness, no small business can survive. Working to build awareness in multiple ways will help spread the word farther and faster. Many local businesses use postcard marketing as their primary tool to accomplish that goal, because it’s budget-friendly and it works.

Across the country, there is a groundswell of desire to “shop local.” Buying locally is just as important to people in small towns as it is in identifiable areas or neighborhoods within a larger town or big city. People want to hear from you and learn more about your business, so they have another local shopping option. And since people also love getting postcards in the mail, postcard marketing is a perfect match.

Postcards are ideal to introduce your business, whether you’re brand new or you’re adding another location in a new part of town or a neighboring community. You can get your name out to a large number of people quickly and keep building your branding and name familiarity with repeated mailings. Over time, you can establish your business as a “known entity.”

Postcard marketing starts working right away, and that early response helps get your small business off to a solid start. With repeated mailings, you’ll be able to:

  • Continue to build your clientele by attracting a steady stream of new customers, clients or patients.

  • Generate referrals from people who now know who you are, where you are and what you do.

If you’re opening a second location, your regulars will be thrilled to get your postcard telling them they don’t have to drive all the way across town to get to your place any more.

Postcards build awareness for special promotions.

You can also use postcards for short-term campaigns to boost seasonal business, introduce new professional staff, promote your latest merchandise or menu items, drive traffic to a big sale or special event, upsell specific groups of existing customers or win back former customers.

Don’t rely on postcard marketing alone.

Postcards may be your primary advertising avenue, but it’s still important to use other methods to build local awareness. Try these:

  • Tasteful signage on service or delivery vehicles, even your personal car, help carry your name wherever you travel. That reminds people about your business and stimulates additional interest. Keep vehicle signage simple and use colors that contrast in a way that makes your sign easy to read in an instant.

  • Join business organizations – your downtown association, the chamber of commerce, Rotary, etc. – to reach a broader audience and help people associate a face with your business name. This can be particularly important for professionals such as attorneys or dentists, because it helps build trust and confidence in prospective clients or patients.

  • Join a group or two on LinkedIn, too, to broaden your visibility within your industry and learn from your colleagues.

Building awareness must be an ongoing activity.

You don’t operate in a static environment. Sometimes patients or clients move away or stop doing business with you for some other reason. That’s just the way of things, but you need to replace those folks with new customers in order to maintain your customer base.

Since your goal is to grow your business, you need more than replacements, you need a steady influx of new customers as well. And new people move into your community over time.

Repeated mailings of your postcard marketing ensure your introduction process is always fresh and timely with those new prospects. This is crucial for every business, whether you provide some type of homeowner service, personal or business services, you own a retail shop or a restaurant or your “small business” is actually a church or non-profit organization. Repetition is what makes marketing successful.

Photo Credit: @stevensnodgrass via Flickr. 

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