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Let's keep it civil folks :)

The topic was about sending direct mail campaigns (if you check out the Google Answers link in the original post, there's a lot of great information there).

I think effective advertising is about targeting your market as much as possible. A classified ad "might" work because of the shotgun approach, but I think there are better ways to spend ad dollars. That's just my opinion.

However, my original foray into selling t-shirts online was started by me spending WAY too much money on a classified ad in a Major national magazine (Rolling Stone). The results were less than dismal.

There is a certain demographic that reads newspapers and there are certain businesses that have budgets to keep running ads that aren't "direct response" ads. Some businesses run ads for months on end in a paper or magazine because they feel it gives them branding exposure.

That's different than what I was getting at with this thread (direct response marketing).
 

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Muncheys said:
Your a t-shirt person, if you were to stumble across this ad in print you're telling me you wouldn't take a look.

ATTENTION
The Worlds Greatest T-Shirts In The World Are Now Available. Quantities Are Limited Get One Before It's To Late. Go To example.com

.
Uh...NO. I really would not.
 

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everyone likes pizza- but I'm not going to a website to look at pictures-or order there. I used postcards for other businesses and it worked. I used the paper and spent 3x as much and never got a call. I'm am now going to use postcard to market my tshirt line- but with a twist I am not reavealing till I see if it works. Keep everyone posted%%%*
Greg
 

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I've sent out a couple hundred postcards specifically to local landscapers, cleaning services, construction companies, auto repair shops and restaurants. Not one has garnered a call or an email. I figure I should have gotten one or two calls out of it, as narrowly targeted as the mailings were to businesses that often buy t-shirts. I pulled the names out of the business section of the newspaper listing "new businesses" which is actually any business receiving or renewing a business license.
I've had better luck getting phone calls from Craigslist and Google Adwords.
 

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I guess what everyone here is failing to mention is the content of the postcard. the image and message determines if someone is going to throw it in trash- or read it. then if they read it- go to the website. then if thats appealing- order a shirt. any one of these links can be weak and stop a purchase. its not just the postcard thats not working.
after joing this site and looking at many of the websites from other people on t-shirt forums, I was suprised how bad and sloppy looking most of their sited were. Im suprised if they sold one t-shirt.
 

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Here's the front of the postcard I sent out. The back had an offer of 15% off any job when the postcard was redeemed, plus a photo of vehicle signage and yard signs.
[media]http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w110/pitmangraphics/PitmanGraphicsPC.jpg[/media]
 

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I have done postcards for a number of companies in my local area. Everyone of my customers said that the return they got more than paid for the postcards. The postcards I made were outsourced to a professional printer. I laid out the photos on the front and in some cases did the photography. The company logo was prominently displayed on the front. The postcards were 4.25 X 6 inches and a good solid stock. They looked like the ones you buy on vacations. The owner would tell me what they wanted to say on the back and I edited for brevity. They weren't cheap to produce, because I wasn't willing to give away my skills. All of my customers said that they not only recouped the cost, but that the cards made them money. One of the companies I worked with was in the t shirt business.

From my perspective a well thoughtout, well designed and well made postcard will always bring winning results.

Unfortunately, I couldn't find enough business for just postcards.
 

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i just sent out 1000 postcards last week. guess how many buyers? zero. how many hits on my website? zero. I called the company several times that sent the cards (saturation mailing) and they said it was a federal offense if the carriers threw them in the trash- but I cant believe they were really delivered.
I am going to actually go to the routes where they were sent to see if they were delivered- i cant trust people anymore...and i have another 1000 i got printed just waiting on my desk. (cost me $255 to send them) - to see the card- go to website- www.mauibred.com contest page.
 

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i read the classifieds all the time, its always interesting to see what people have, or waht services or products are for sale in the classifieds, a bunch of people do, probably not your main target demographic that is looking to buy t shirts, which in my opinion would be small business or organizations or people associated with events, but people who buy t shirts is such a wide target anybody could want to get some tshirts made for anything. i myself will try the direct mail campaign, because i want to actually directly target people and call them out by name/business/service, etc. but i would definitely put a feeler out in the paper in the classifieds, like any ad, you just have to effectively market, by putting in the right things, my ad might say something like:

you like t shirts? got a sweet idea? let us make them for you!
very affordable. free quotes!

"business name and phone number"
 

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Part of the reason why newspapers are doing poorly these days is that so much of the classified advertising has gone on-line. Craig's List does the same as newspaper classified for free and it's searchable.

As for Direct Mail, responses of 1-5% have been quoted by other posters. Having worked for companies that used to do Direct Mail, these are fairly good results. If something go a response rate of over 10% then that was something to celebrate and this was using targeted lists with high quality mailings. It's still a case of having to send a load of post out to get a small amount of results back.
 

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Before you have them send out the other 1000 cards, make sure that your mailing address is on about two or three of the cards. That way you should know if the postal employees are delivering your postcards. The list people salt the names to find out if you try to use them more than once, so do your own salting.
Who were you targeting? The general public or those that may buy many shirts for a store? I looked at the face of the card, but I couldn't see the back. Did you make them an "offer they couldn't refuse"? If you would like to contact me directly to talk about your postcards please feel free. I wish you well on your next mailing.
 

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My partners and I have been talking about this topic this week. One wants to make flyers and run around delivering them at night. The other wants to make post cards and distribute them to individuals and stores, and I don't like either idea.

I lean more towards using social media tools, craigs list, or direct phone calls and emails. Not sure what is going to be more effective, but i'm not excited to spend hard cash and get back little to no results.
 

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I have used Modern Postcard for other businesses and they were easy to work with.

Now for my word of caution. Yes expect a 1-2% return on a successful direct mail campaign. The quality of your list is key. There are many ways to specify who is in your mailing list and you really need to spend some time figuring out the right combination of factors. Its not as easy as just buying a list in a certain area. You can break it down by income, education, family size and a large number of other lifestyle factors.

In the end its a number's game. If you are expecting a solid return on one mailing you are making a mistake and should save your money. While once in a while someone has major success usually campaigns work because there is a large investment and leads receive multiple mailers over an extended period of time. Think of how regularly you get catalogs from some companies. There is a reason they keep mailing them to you. The take away message, unless you have a large budget to run a full direct mail campaign that is ongoing and large enough to provide strong returns, you are probably better off using your limited resources on other marketing techniques.
 

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after using postcards for years- I realize how wasteful and stupid i've been. I took the advice of just giving out shirts- along with a flyer of the website in a poly bag. works better. I could have handed out 1000 shirts for as much as i've spent on postcards +plus people are finally wearing my shirts. =goal
 

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I personally think throwing a classified add in the newspaper is cheap marketing. Being featured in the newspaper is another story. Direct mailing list, as well as direct promotion gifts such as tee shirts is the way I'm going. If you have a quality product that your demo would want to wear, why would they not wear it. Especially if its for free!

The success rate that you get from direct mailing, goes way beyond that simple post card. If everything about your brand is not on cue you are setting your self up for limited success.
 
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