I was just wondering…has anyone ever tried sending out a Black Book Letter type offer on a postcard? It seems to me that if it is the great offer that people go for (and the word “FREE”), then wouldn’t a postcard get the same results as the letter, but for a much cheaper price? Or am I missing something?
Has anyone tried this or thought about it?
Thanks for any responses!
The Black Book letter is a sales letter designed to sell…a postcard may not be able to convey the message. That being said a 24 cent postcard stamp is the best value in advertising- buy 500 and test, test, test, test…
I believe the success of such things are influenced a lot by the area of the country in which you operate. I operate in the Los Angeles area which is extremely competitive. My local direct mailers advised against doing the letter format as we are constantly bombarded with such mailings. They advised just doing a postcard with the offer so people could see the offer and decide. Most around here can spot an advertising piece like the BB letter and just toss it without opening it. Most of the time they are loan people looking to do a refi for you.
A lot of people on these boards attest to BB letter success so I had to try it. I sent out 4700 mailings over two weeks. We are two weeks out from the first drop and we have not even received a 1% return. Obviously the money and time expense is not worth it. I get the impression that in smaller towns and rural communities where the pace is slower and they are not subjected to bombardment of mail we receive here the letters would be much more effective as people have posted here.
Next week I am hitting the same homes with doorhangers with agressive offers (not as aggressive as the BB letter). If I get a decent return I will hit them again in 10 to 14 days with another doorhanger. Otherwise I will follow up again with postcards. Since I am hitting the same homes over and over again I would expect better than average returns, but I should be able to tell which worked best.
After, or during this sequence, I plan on doing the BB letter as a postcard to a different zone of homes and see what happens. I would think it would be more effective since they will at least see the offer without tossing it.
I do have to say that I did receive some very positive feedback from the people who did redeem the offer. They were very excited. Nice to have a POS that can track the new sales I will receive from the new customers generated.
We just did this exact thing. Full color two sided postcard. The whole chain did it. WIth pring and mail it costs a little more than $200 per thousand. Response sucks. OVer the first two day we have gotten 7 back total. When I sent a generic yellow card black ink to my customer database I got back 15 on day one to a mailing of 1100. My card only offered a 2liter and salad free when they order a 16" or larger pizza. Avg ticket is $18.50, the franchise card offers breadsticks, salad and pop when they order any pie. Average ticket $10.87. So which one do you think I will not do again. LOL!
Believe it or not… Sometimes the mail carriers will “accidently” loose your mail. Or your mailhouse that you thought was astonishing, might “accidently” leave out a route and of course charge you as they did the whole mailing. Or they will send out one route and not send the others for 2 weeks. I believe by law they can hold bulk mail for up to 30 days before sending it out (USPS). Well there are hundreds of unfortunate scenario’s that can take place, that will totally screw your rate of return on any direct mail piece, especially when sending bulk.
I’m not saying you got screwed but this is always something to look at when your direct mail piece goes bad. Especially if it’s been a proven piece in the past.
Can you guys forward a copy of your direct mail piece to me? email@example.com … I just like comparing mail pieces that have pulled successfully and those that have not.
Sounds surprising though - Is the difference WHO you mailed to?
Was your mailing that pulled better sent to prior customers, but the company one sent to never-before, or even to “resident”? That would definitely explain the difference in response rates…
We did our BB letters just as advertised as we did not want to leave anything to wonder if we had changed anything.
They were personally addressed on the envelope and letter inside and we used the pre-cancelled stamps instead of an indecia or metered mail. My wife personally wrote out 1700 of the letters and we used a handwritten font for the remaining 3300. We did two separate drops so if some mail was lost I think we would have had different rates of return.
The guarantee was on the letter as well.
Yes, the response would have been better sending to our existing customer database but that is not the point of this letter.
I hope I’m not coming as across as just a nay sayer. I’ve noted how other people have had success with this in other parts of the country (mostly smaller towns) and wanted to share my experience where I am.
Kamron just copied the direct-response-style letter or mail order letters and converted it to the pizza business. and he reinforced the letter with an attractive offer. Nothing new here.
I always thought that the key to the response rate that many people got was the offer and the area of the country where it was mailed. just because the pizza is a very mature business and no matter what you say people just don’t care they are conditioned to hunt for the deal.
So, I mailed the letter, exactly as the book says. cost .50/piece and got 2% return. didn’t break even. then I took the headline + the offer + the guarantee + reinforced it with “how we do everything fresh and so on” to help the credibility thing and toped it with the call to action and put some limited time on it. and put everything in a large post card and mail it. cost .25/piece and we got 2%. same response rate but cheaper to produce. then we mailed the exact same postcard, but this time with a different headline other than Kamron’s headline in the letter and mailed it to the same people as we did before an it pulled 2.7%.Better. But all in all the coversion rate always been low because people act like this: if you give me the deal I will buy from you if not I will look fo the next coupon.
Conclusion: BB is expensive. Stick with Doorhangers and coupon books. be competitive with your offers (you don’t have to be the cheapest as long you have good food) and watch you cost.
If you’ve been around for awhile and alot of people have had a chance to try your pizza already and have determined that they dont like your pizza or service your not going to get a very good return on your direct mail either. Now if your brand spanking new or recently opened within a year or so, you would probably get alot better of a response from ANY direct mail. Plain and simple, if your operations suck, if your pizza doesnt appeal to the masses, if you’ve got service issues, it doesn’t matter how much you advertise because people don’t like your place.
I could care less about little Ceasar’s $5 pizza, because I personally believe their pizza… sucks and their employees they put out on the road looks like scrubs… I’d never go in there… Plus the shopping center Little Ceasar’s is in, is run down (by my house). They could mail to me all day long and I’d never respond.
Now, I’m not implying that your pizza sucks, you have bad service, or any of the above but I’m just throwing it out there as something that will greatly affect your rate of return on any direct mail piece.
Also nobody ever emailed me your ads.
Have a great day!
Also I am going to agree with the poster above that the BB letter is just that… Its just a sales letter that anybody experienced in copywriting can write. Its no big secret amongst those who know how to put salesmanship in print However a majority of the time independant pizza shop owners, have no idea what copywriting even is. I know I sure didn’t when I first opened.