What the Heck is a Campaign and Why Do I Need to Do One?
Many people ask me, “What is a postcard campaign, exactly?” “And why do I need one?” I sigh. I take a deep breath before writing this chapter. This is a biggee. Very important subject. This is the one that is hardest to teach. No matter how I try, no matter how much proof I give, people just don’t want to believe it.
But I owe you the truth. So here goes… cam•paign n. 1. A series of military operations undertaken to achieve a large-scale objective during a war: Grant's Vicksburg campaign secured the entire Mississippi for the Union. 2.
An operation or series of operations energetically pursued to accomplish a purpose: an advertising campaign for a new product; a candidate's political campaign. intr. cam•paigned, cam•paign•ing, cam•paigns To engage in an operation planned to achieve a certain goal: campaigned through the jungles of Vietnam; campaigned for human rights. [French campagne, from Italian campagna, field, military operation, from Late Latin camp nia, open country, battlefield, from Latin campus, field.] Definition number 2 above is the one we’re using. But from studying the entire definition along with the derivation (the word origin) you can see how all the definitions tie together. Campaigns for marketing are, in a nutshell, a series of advertising steps including repeat mailings that are strategically planned so that there is maximum benefit (more new customers) for your business. Nota bene (that means “take note” in Latin – and I do mean take note): If you are not doing repeat mailings then you are flushing money down toilet. Sorry, I know.
The truth sometimes hurts. Why is this true? One mailing of one postcard once is barely going to get anyone’s attention for more then the minute they see it. Think about it. How many times have you seen the same TV commercials over and over? A one shot in the dark postcard mailing is not going to change your business, your bottom line, your life or your anything. So, if you are not up to confronting that you need to do a campaign then maybe you shouldn’t be in business. And that may sound harsh – it is harsh. It’s a harsh world. And I want you to succeed in it. There is another reason. Credibility.
In some cases people will hold onto your postcard for a while. They can hold onto your postcard for six months. They may even hold on to your card for three years. But in most cases they’ll think “Oh, I may need that some day” and then while tidying up they’ll throw it away. When you repeat your mailings to those same people and they see your image, logo, slogan, message over and over you become credible to them. Your chances of them responding just got greater. Repeat mailings cannot be repeated enough. Why do over 50% of businesses fail within five years? Because they don’t have enough people paying money to them for their services. The bottom line is, they don’t market – they don’t get people buying their stuff. That’s the whole point of marketing.
Yes, of course some promotion is better than no promotion. And sending out a one time mailing is better then never sending any mailing at all. But with a real campaign of repeat mailings you will soon learn to predict your growth. Eventually you will see trends within your own company based on specials or offers on your postcards. You’ll know which offers pull more responses. And if you tabulate your results – meaning if you keep track of how many closes or how much income came off of that promotion… well, you can see where this is going… prediction. You’ll be able to create your campaign based on your results. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s keep it simple.