Using promo models to distribute postcards

jimnewman75jimnewman75 subscriber Posts: 8
edited August 2008 in Marketing
Has anyone had any luck with ramping up sales by using promo models to distribute marketing materials to pedestrians?  There`s a busy intersection in Charlotte that is conveniently located to the two major financial institutions: Bank of America and Wachovia (well, maybe Wach is not so major anymore).  We`re hoping that the models will generate a buzz by distributing postcards that has our name/logo/branding, but they will also be prepared to explain our services and capture contact information for follow up.
 
Has anyone had any luck using this method?  Please let me know -- we`d like to know others` experience before we make the investment into marketing materials and hiring the spokesmodels.

Comments

  • DCCSCSDCCSCS subscriber Posts: 6
    We have handed out postcards a lot.  It`s one thing that we can do daily and doesn`t cost us very much. (We have time and do it ourselves, so it just costs printing).  We did some full color ones, but the black and white worked just as well.  Honestly, when we hand them out we get many more visitors to the site, but that hasn`t translated into more customers.
  • jimnewman75jimnewman75 subscriber Posts: 8
    That`s our major concern - wasting money on the promo if we cannot convert anyone into a customer.  But if I look at it mathematically, we would only need to convert 5 of the (estimated) 750 pedestrians into customers to cover our promo costs -- that`s 0.67%, which is small.  And since we`re a service company, we cannot distribute free samples, but we could have a raffle drawing that gives free service hours to the winner(s).
    Also, my concern is that it usually takes a consumer 7 times of seeing your branded service/product before making a decision to buy.
    Perhaps we should wait until we approach the holiday season to pitch the service as a great gift idea for friends and family.
  • NateStockardNateStockard subscriber Posts: 0
    I have actually created a business doing the hand-to-hand post card thing, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn`t. (In Katy, TX this didn`t work too well, so I have had to close up this division of my company.)
     
    I will tell you this: in some cases, you pay for models and materials, then you get ran off by the cops or business owners.
     
    Also, when doing hand-to-hand, 750 is not enough. You are probably not going to get a .67% return. We always distributed 5,000 flyers over 3-4 days. This will actually create a buzz about the information on the flyers. We also had success with products or services for the general public. If you are pushing specific services, this is probably the wrong approach.
  • NateStockardNateStockard subscriber Posts: 0
    I just looked over your site to see what you are selling, and I think you could spend your money in better ways. You have a unique business, but you don`t want to give off the wrong image. Your target market wants an extremely professional company, and sometimes post card distribution doesn`t scream elegant and professional.
     
    Think about different ways to get your target market`s attention. If you are going pay models, dress them up in unique costumes carrying really large billboards that say quickly what they would be doing for clients, then run them around a busy, high-end location like downtown. You want people talking about your crazy models and hitting your site for more info.
  • jimnewman75jimnewman75 subscriber Posts: 8
    You hit the nail on the head -- promo models handing out postcards doesn`t scream elegance, which could backfire on us.
     
    But you just gave me another idea: what if the promo models were "protesting" our services?  For instance, they would have picket signs that say, "We have TOO much time now!" or "I miss going grocery shopping!" or "I want to plan my own parties!" 
    This would be comical and would certainly stir a buzz (I think).  Any thoughts on this idea??
  • NateStockardNateStockard subscriber Posts: 0
    Now you are thinking!
    I think that would be the better approach. That would get some attention, but the best way to do it, is with a lot of people! I would say a 100-person protest. Make sure you coordinate press releases, and if you have enough time before hand, really put some unique stuff behind it. Create a website for a group that has formed in protest of your company. Make it seem serious, but add a comical spin. Create videos on youtube, make myspace pages, etc.
    I know this sounds like a lot, but if you put a quite a bit into this, you could make some local and regional, possibly even national news with a crazy protest, and you have a recurring marketing event that will undoubtedly drive traffic to you.
    Excellent idea!NateStockard7/8/2008 9:19 AM
  • jimnewman75jimnewman75 subscriber Posts: 8
    Thank you!!  Well, you certainly helped bring me that brainstorm!!  But I love your ideas, too -- sounds like a lot of work, but FUN!!  And it would certainly bring plenty of attention.  Thank you again -- this has brought some excitement with this campaign!!
  • DCCSCSDCCSCS subscriber Posts: 6
    I just wanted to mention that we got our first paying customer from handing out cards.  Our data suggests that we handed out about 1000.  Because we hand them out ourselves, it didn`t cost us very much "real" money.  This also means that we probably have to keep it going.
  • NateStockardNateStockard subscriber Posts: 0
    Brandon,
    It is always good to see someone successful with any type of marketing!!!
    My experience with post cards ha shown me that niche market businesses like yours will have a return rate at about what you already received: 1 in 1000 of paid customers. I`m not sure what you are paying for flyers, but you need to make sure you are seeing positive ROI.
    How long did it take you to pass out 1000 flyers? What is the value of that one customer?
    I get flyers designed, printed, and delivered for about $450 for 5000. That is 5 paid customers for the entire distribution. Not considering my time of distribution, that means they have to be worth at least $90 to cover the cost of flyers. If I factor in my time, that could get costly.
    I am a big believer in post card (flyer) marketing. I have used it for years, and it has worked, just as it has for you. I said you have a niche market only because not everyone is a potential customer. I have also learned recently the power of networking (properly) and trade shows/expos/fairs. Make sure you examine your ROI on this marketing activity and weigh out the difference of networking and building a database of potential clients that you can regularly market to with emails and the such.
  • printprintprintdotbizprintprintprintdotbiz subscriber Posts: 1
    Yes, you do have a unique business. I`m sure you market are busy high net worth indiciduals with absolutely no time on their hands.
    I would attain a good mailing list and send specialized invitation postcards to a select number of CEOs/VPs etc inviting them to save their time by using your service. If you make it look high class/like an invitation, its less likely to get thrown out. Thats just my experience/ $.02
  • DCCSCSDCCSCS subscriber Posts: 6
    Nate-
    What do you mean by networking properly?  I think we are doing a good job, but we haven`t seen much return on the connections that we have made.
  • NateStockardNateStockard subscriber Posts: 0
    When networking, you must look at it as relationship-building. When you go to networking events, don`t go with the idea that you are looking for clients.
     
    I talked with a power-networker yesterday, and he told me 90% of his business came from 10% of his direct contacts. So in other words, his business came not from who he knew but who they knew.
     
    Networking is a long process. You must build relationships and nurture those relationships. By doing this, you become the person they refer when someone is looking for your type of services.
     
    Also, linkedin.com is very valuable. Build, build, build. Once you build a substantial network of contacts, you can search through your contacts to see if someone has a connection you need when making sales calls.
  • DCCSCSDCCSCS subscriber Posts: 6
    That`s good information.  I first was under the impression that everyone I would meet at those events would automatically increase our business.  We recently received our first direct referral from our networking efforts after about 6 months.  The relationship of trust that we have been able to foster with those we meet seems to have more impact on people than the quality of our product (which is what we were trying to focus on initially).  In other words, we have shown that we are quality and trustworthy people, so our contacts have come to trust that we will treat their friends well.
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