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Making Card Decks Work For You.

You can't make a sale unless your customers notice your offer. Here are some suggestions to elicit response and guarantee your offer stands out in a card deck:

Headline

Here's your first, and often only, chance to grab the prospect. Remember the "3 Bs"--make your headline bold, brief and benefit-oriented. Use your headline to flag a particular audience, such as "Reading Teachers."

Visuals

Even a simple line drawing can capture attention. Photos and illustrations that harmonize with the product and headline are certain to lift response. And some advertisers report significant response increases with the use of four-color process. Your budget and offer will determine if the investment makes sense for you.

Copy

Rule number one: Get right to the point. With limited space, what you say is more important here than in virtually any other type of advertising. Include features of prime importance to the prospect, and offer as much detail as possible if going for a sale.

The Close

Assume nothing. Tell the prospect exactly what to do and how to do it. Many sales are lost as a result of vague or confusing response instructions.

Reply Formats

You have three choices:

1) Have the return postage prepaid on your Business Reply Cards. Prepaid postage on BRCs have been proven to generate higher response rates than non-paid cards;

2) If your goal is to improve the quality of your responses, choose the "place stamp here" format;

3) For a variety of reasons, you may want to put sales copy on both sides of the card (remembering to always include your address/phone/fax or Web address for responses).

Why Card Decks?

Cost. All costs, including space insertion, printing, packaging, postage, and mailing are shared with other advertisers--making it easy to get your message delivered for a fraction of the cost of solo direct mail.

Targeting. Your sales message is delivered to prospects or buyers within a tightly defined target market.

Response. One of the best things about card decks is that results are seen quickly due to the loose deck format and ease of responding. You can expect approximately 50 percent of your responses by the fourth week after the mail drop date and 90 percent by the eighth week.

Measurability. Return on investment can be measured precisely as you know exact costs of sales and leads.

Testing. The cost of testing most marketing campaigns is high, if not prohibitive. But the cost to split test a variety of elements--headlines, copy, price, premiums--is minimal.

George Sala is advertising sales director, Card Deck Division, at Prentice Hall Direct.

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Comment:Making Card Decks Work For You.
Author:Sala, George
Publication:Target Marketing
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2000
Words:430
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