The postcard can be very effective if you simply want to send something quick and easy to keep your name in front of the prospect. You can also send out a larger number of pieces without it costing an arm and a leg. Postcards, a generally good as an introductory piece offer information on your firm without giving too much information a head of time.
This is probably the most expensive and sophisticated way of getting your point across. You can either do a 3 or 4 color postcard with lots of photography and graphics or a simple text heavy piece. The brochure is also a way to leave a prospect with a great impression after a sales call. A brochure is often designed to offer a great deal more information than the postcard and leaves a lasting impression on your prospect.
If you´ve never used a graphic design firm and can fit it into your budget, think about hiring one to design your next direct mail piece. If you can´t work it into your budget, that´s okay, there are options. Before we talk about the graphic design firms, let´s explore those options. One of my main resources for business cards, labels postcards and brochures is an on-line firm called Vistaprint.com (www.vistaprint.com). This firm is one of the best ways that I have found to design your own brochure using a selection of templates they provide. Vista print often advertises (250) free business cards. The only thing you pay for is the shipping and handling. You can always customize you pieces, which cost extra but this is an inexpensive way to design a piece that´s all your own. Simply follow the steps to design your piece which can take as little as 10 minutes (for a simple postcard). Personally, I haven´t had the need to go anywhere but Vista print for all of my cards etc.
There are a lot of design firms out there. Believe me I have quite a few of them as clients. Design firms vary in their expertise like most every other company. Some only do print work (postcards, brochures etc) while others handle advertising, and web design. Still others do it all from concept to printing. Regardless of which type of firm you choose, you need to understand exactly what type of piece you need (postcards, website etc). The good firms will sit down
with you and map out exactly how to help. Be careful, design firms can get very expensive ranging anywhere from $75.00-$300 per hour. Most of the top firms work with large million dollar budgets. They also prefer more corporate projects (it´s where the money is) and generally don´t want to work with smaller firms (a very sad fact) because they feel that it takes more work (for less money)to work with a smaller company. A great many firms charge for production, copy writing, design and printing not to mention shipping and consultation. This is how they make their money. And yes it can get pricey. Is it worth it? It depends on what services you need and which ones you can leave out. Also how customized do you want the piece to be. Believe it or not you can cut a great deal of the expense down to size by doing some of the work ahead of time instead of letting the designer design you out of your budget. The way to get around this is to be prepared. Sit down with a pen a paper and sketch out what you want the piece to look like. Don´t worry you don´t have to be an artist to do this. What you´re looking for is a rough idea of what you´re looking for. Next, write the copy. The copy is again, a rough written draft of what message you want to get across in you piece. This doesn´t need to be Shakespeare, again just a rough draft. Next figure out what kind of budget you can work with. Will a postcard get the job done or do you need a postcard for a more sophisticated look? Once you have these components in place and a general idea of what you want the piece to look like, you are ready to hire a firm. The reason for hiring a firm as opposed to doing it yourself? Money and a more customized professional look. While companies like Vista print are one way to go, don´t discount design firms as a hands on alternative. Design firms have there place and can offer a great deal of expertise to your project. The can also handle the addressing of envelopes for the dm piece and even suggest list to use for your piece. While Vista print allows customization, including adding a logo (of your own design) you will need to have a designer design the logo before you add it. In other words determining how customized you want the piece to be, will determine if you do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you.
This is an excerpt from my book"Telemarketing Success for Small and mid-sized Firms available at www.amazon.com and bookstores everywhere
Tony Wilkins is the owner of Telemarketing Consulting Services and author of "Telemarketing Success for Small and Mid-sized Firms´ available in most bookstores and online at www.amazon.com and www.xlibris.com you may also find out about his workshops and services at
http://stores.ebay.com/telemarketing-success via e: mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 415-267-4872 .If you´d like to be notified of a new posting for this column, please contact Tony Wilkins at email@example.com