Credit card processing firm Commerce Payment System Inc. is planning to vastly up its postcard marketing efforts after strong results in 2010.
The Hewlett, NY company first tested the mailings last May. The initial three drops of 12,000 11-by-18 inch postcards resulted in 100 leads, 25 of which later converted into customers, says president Michael Mendlowitz.
Commerce Payment then rolled out the campaign, sending postcards to an average of 55,000 new businesses each month. Going forward it plans to double the number of postcards mailed, Mendlowitz says, noting that in 2011 the mailings will account for about 40% of the company’s marketing expenditures.
The postcards are being mailed to such newly incorporated businesses as retail stores, salons and auto shops as well as to the offices of doctors, dentists and lawyers, all based on their Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes, he says.
The firm, which previously relied exclusively on online media such as Google and independent sales representatives to promote itself, felt postcards might be a new way to reach potential customers.
“I was just looking to grow my business. We were doing a lot of online lead generation through Google and we were looking for another way to diversify our marketing channels,” says Mendlowitz. “Out of every 100 leads we get from postcards we close about 35%. Online, it’s only about 25%.”
Why postcards as opposed to larger scale direct mail?
“I thought that a postcard, if done the right way, was going to get read,” Mendlowitz says. “With an envelope it has to get opened and [very easily] gets put into the junk pile.”
After some testing, Commerce Payment decided to use first class rather than standard mail postcards and a very specific message in its offer. Standard mail would be cheaper, but first class mailings arrive more quickly—and the element of time was critical in winning new customers.
In terms of the creative, Commerce Payment decided on a package that emphasized the single message of getting the facts about accepting credit card, as opposed to one highlighting all the firm’s services.
“Interestingly enough, the specific offer of credit card processing outpulled the other by about four times and initially, that’s not what I thought would happen,” says Mendowlitz, “It turned out that [the general] offer was too wide so we didn’t get the response we expected.”