Have you ever found a mailer at your doorstep that compelled you to go and check out a business? To be completely honest, I can only remember one time I’ve ever been so won over by a business mailer, and you can bet it involved pizza. It was large, it was delicious, and best of all it was free.
That’s exactly the sweet spot that Clearwater, Florida-based PostcardMania is trying to hit, the one that overpowers your business mail apathy with a wonderful offering of gooey pizza. Postcard Mania provides a variety of postcard advertising services to small businesses to help them get their message out and wrangle new customers, offering everything from postcard printing and design to a custom email marketing platform.
We sat down with PostcardMania founder Joy Gendusa, who talked with us about the ins and outs of creating compelling business postcards.
What is the backstory behind PostcardMania?
I had a small graphic design / print brokering company with about four or five employees. I ordered some postcards from a postcard printing company and when I got my proof it had their 800 number on the back of the card, even though I had done the graphic design myself.
I called them up and asked them to remove it and they told me it would cost $50 to remove the number. I eventually spoke to a supervisor who removed it that time but told me next time I would have to pay the $50. I thanked him and went out to my staff and told them I was going to start a postcard company called PostcardMania.
What are some key elements that make a compelling postcard?
We’re trying to generate a lead, so you’re not going to close a sale with a postcard, necessarily. You have to get their attention quickly so that, before they throw it away, you can pull them in. The front of the card has to have a really great headline that instantly communicates what the product or service is.
You should have a good image that backs up the headline and you have to have an offer that has a very high perceived value. As consumers we want free things, but offering a free quote or a free brochure isn’t going to get it anymore. You have to make the offer powerful enough to counter the customer’s anxiety of giving their info away.
What types of businesses tend to benefit most from postcard marketing?
We’ve had probably over 350 different industries buy from us. What we’ve done for our business to grow is look at which are the easiest industries to close our postcards. Most of our customers are in the home improvement area, like roofers, plumbers, garden and lawncare, and anything in the medical field that’s more of a specialty business.
Postcards are great for the type of business that a person’s not necessarily searching for; it enlightens someone about something they don’t know about. Postcards additionally give a kind of credibility to a business that a popup ad or spam email doesn’t. It gives that brick and mortar feel.
What’s one area of your business that’s keeping you up at night?
Earning before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, or EBITDA. It basically means profit. The truth of the matter is my business doesn’t keep me up at night. I’m actually doing great and very rarely in the past 15 years has my business affected my sleep. That’s where all of our attention is focused is on becoming more profitable.
What has been your biggest challenge?
In 2007 we had our most profitable year. We were servicing 36 percent of our clients in the mortgage and real estate industry. The largest in terms of revenue now is dentists at 10 percent of our revenue. There was a big shift following the economic downturn that began in 2008.
At the same time our numbers were going down. Every single year until 2009 we were up over the year before. I’ve had no capital injections at all and I have no partners. We’re doing over $45 million in revenue and we were down about $4 million in 2009 and it was the first time we were ever down. I wasn’t paying myself and I didn’t want to let anyone go. Fortunately we had good people on our team to help us and we came out the other side.
What’s next for PostcardMania?
95 percent of our revenue comes from direct mail. I don’t think it’s ever going to completely go away, but we’ve really been diving into more online marketing. We offer PayPerClick management; there’s a lot of info on how to do that type of marketing successfully. We do it for ourselves really well so we decided to offer it to our customer base.
We have about 56,000 small business customers. We’re offering them more online services and really becoming more full service.
Posted By Team www.MeetAdvisors.com