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5 Summer Print Promotions to Spark New Business

By Modern Postcard

As the weather shifts from cool to warm, a psychological shift in consumer spending also occurs. Vacations, home improvements, outdoor events, child care, school supplies and dozens of other market segments get a boost during the summer months. That’s a big opportunity for all types of businesses. As the seasons change, it’s important to get the word out about sales and promotions, early and often. Here are a few ideas to add some extra sizzle to your summer marketing campaigns.

5 Summer Print Promotions to Spark New Business

1. Perk-Up Your Postcards
Getting maximum exposure from any print marketing campaign starts and ends with your visuals. One of the biggest mistakes many businesses make is packing too much information into a small space. Some of the best print marketing campaigns have simple visuals, minimal copy, prominent offers and convincing calls to action. That’s it. Here are the 10 Essentials of Effective Postcard Design to reference industry best practices.

Summer is the best time to use radiant imagery, bold colors and seasonal-friendly offers that address the needs of your target audience during June through August. Even if the products or services you offer don’t literally relate to a summertime theme, you can creatively speak to the season with your messaging and marketing offers. Here are a few ideas:

  • Temperature-related discounts, like $10 or 10% off for 100-degree days; “cool off with cool savings,” etc.
  • Summer-related giveaways like airfare for two, beach supplies, barbeque essentials, baseball tickets, etc.
  • In-store freebies such as complimentary ice cream cones, popsicles or fruit-infused ice waters
  • Holiday-related savings for the first day of summer, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, etc.

2. Build-In Mobile and Social Engagement
For added social engagement, include a call to action on your print piece that encourages customers to post a picture or comment related to your campaign for a bonus discount. If your mailpiece offer code is 40% off, the social bonus could add 10% to the total discount for those who participate. Or, it can be whatever your business dreams up. Create a campaign-specific hashtag and give clear instructions for prospects to tag or mention your company so they qualify for the incentive. Another idea for online engagement is to include a scannable QR code to your marketing piece. If scanning gives customers a too-good-to-ignore coupon or lets them participate in a giveaway, you're much more likely to generate interaction with your print marketing. Plus, once they scan the code, they're already on your social media page or website. That gives you an instant opportunity to make a sale.

Tip: If your website is not responsive or mobile-optimized, it’s time to make it happen. According to a thinkwithgoogle.com article, “People are more likely to use a mobile device to go online in the summer months than in other seasons. Whether they're traveling on vacation, lounging on the beach or grilling in their backyards, U.S. consumers are constantly connected.”

3. Partner for Printing
If you have a neighboring business that offers complementary services, it could be mutually beneficially and financially smart to co-market on some print promotions or direct mail campaigns. Even if you decide to send out separate pieces, sharing lists can expand your reach. If you choose to send out a combined mailing, it's a great opportunity to offer discounts on service combinations. For example, a hair salon might partner with a local nail salon and offer a “summer refresh” discount on both services scheduled for the same day. The options are endless and could have a convenient, two-for-one marketing effect, attractive to prospects.

4. Explore Plenty of Print Sizes
While postcards are effective and get the job done, summer is a great time to explore other unique or creative print formats. You can print or mail flyers, booklets and even posters to round out your marketing campaign. You can even invest in promotional items for giveaways. Try using an unusual shape or switching to branded envelopes for all of your mailings. They get more interest and are more likely to garner a second glance.

5. Don't Forget Your Catalog
Catalogs have evolved along with the direct mail market. Before, companies may have sent out one or two catalogs each year, with more than a hundred pages, featuring every product on shelves. Now, smart retailers use catalogs more like magazines. They are shorter, highly focused and include relevant content. For example, Penzeys sends out seasonal spice catalogs that include a store coupon, seasonal blends and some of the most popular selections. It also includes informational pieces explaining the differences between certain spices. All of that information is often packed into a catalog that is less than 30 pages. By sending out more frequent, smaller catalogs, retailers can drive more consistent revenue from an otherwise very expensive print job.

Tip: Booklets come in all shapes and sizes, so don’t feel your business must send out a traditional 8.5” x 11” piece. Pocket guides are portable and great for prospects to throw in a tote, briefcase or suitcase. Smaller or oversized square catalogs are unique in shape, so they stand out from the rest.

The real trick for any good print marketing campaign is to start early, know your market and establish a realistic schedule with enough buffer time to produce quality work. You don't want to send out summer sale notices in August, so it's important to have everything ready in advance. Contact Modern Postcard early, so you can learn precise turnaround times and get your project on the schedule. You might be surprised at how much our team of print and direct mail experts can help with the process.

For more information on creating summer promotions that sizzle,
call 800.959.8365 to partner with the direct marketing experts
at Modern Postcard.

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National Speakers Association, Greater Los Angeles Chapter