There are a lot of “marketing experts” out there who will tell you, “marketing is simple.” It isn’t, and postcard marketing is no exception. However, it CAN be simplified to the point where even the busiest restaurateurs can manage an effective and profitable marketing program.
Of course, you cannot just snap your fingers and produce an effective design and targeted mailing list. But there are a few proven tricks of the trade that will help you build a winning campaign right from the beginning.
Are there many nuances that really go into creating a fully optimized postcard marketing campaign? Yes. But honestly, even if you never master them, or don’t find time to do so, you can still build a successful campaign that will increase your business and make you more money. All you need are what I call the Big Three. Once you know the Big Three, you can expect excellent results from your postcards even if you haven’t gotten to the more nuanced strategies that can wring every last cent out of your marketing investment.
If you get the Big Three right, you will see big-time results for your restaurant, and you can focus on fine-tuning later. The Big Three are: Size, Design, and List.
“What size postcard do I need?”
“Can I get away with a smaller card?”
“What is the benefit of a bigger card anyway?”
The size of your postcard may sound like an arbitrary choice, but it is so much more important than that. The size of your card has a direct impact on the response to your mailing. There are always variables involved, but you would have trouble finding someone who disagreed with the following statement: “A larger postcard is easier to see.” More people notice larger postcards, more people read larger postcards, and that increases your chances of turning card recipients into paying customers at your restaurant.
Most direct mail postcard companies have options when it comes to the size of your card. If they don’t have options, you should perhaps choose another company. Usually, your options will look like this: small (4”x6”), medium (5”x8”), and large (6”x11”), though the specific names will vary (i.e. tall, grande, and venti!). The size you ought to choose can be found by answering these questions:
1. How much do other restaurants in your area market themselves?
a. Not at all/I’m the only one (you can lean towards a smaller card)
b. Light to moderate amount (lean toward a larger card)
c. Moderate to heavy amount (you need a large card)
2. Do your competitors also mail postcards?
a. No (you can lean towards a smaller card
b. Yes (you need a large card)
3. How much explanation does your offer require?
a. Not that much/easy to grasp (smaller card is fine)
b. A little background info (medium should do the trick)
c. A lot/details are important (Go big or go home)
4. What kind of restaurant do you have?
a. Fine dining (go big)
b. Family/casual/pub (medium is fine)
c. Pizza, fast food (small will be fine)
My guess is that for most restaurants, the answers are: C, B, A, B. Based on these results, my suggestion is a large or medium sized card. There is no use putting the effort into a card just to have it ignored because you wanted to save a little bit on printing. I’ve seen larger cards work over and over for restaurants. It’s proven, so don’t buck the science!