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Solving the problems of small business. Business Opportunity here.
Please bear with me, this could be long. Because I have to give a bit of a history lesson to give you all a perspective.
I was talking to Steve DiMarco this morning, who told me he had two people who wanted to be on his LOCAL PROMOTIONS COMMUNITY BASED POSTCARDS ZIP ZONE cards.
He has over 50,000 cards mailed, 2500 at a time to 17 different ZIP ZONES. This is in addition to his DAILY SPECIAL boards, the Pizza Shop mailers and other advertising programs he does. He's been at it 25 years.
So, I asked Steve this morning how things are going with the Covid Crisis, and him not going out to call on businesses like he used to. That is when he mentioned the two guys who said yes, when he contacted them via phone.
They were customers from past mailings and are now LOOKING, some very desperately, for ways to bring back their customers and to add new ones.
They, like MILLIONS of small businesses on Main St. USA are looking for effective, affordable A D V E R T I S I N G ways to let people know they are open for business.
The UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE has been declared a MUST stay open business, which means the mail continues to be delivered. More on this is a moment...but for some HISTORY, as promised (or threatened he.he)...
I sold advertising in 1965 on Action Ad Clocks
Like this one^^
Since then I have sold thousands of dollars of advertising on scores of various vehicles, including daily special boards, print and magazines and on postcards. POSTCARDS, still being mailed by the USPS.
We used to use what was known as BULK mail, had a permit, paid a lot less in postage back in the day, and within the last decade the USPS came up with their Every Door Direct Mail.
A quick Google search and you find 4M quick results and the first 1000 links are to places who have the latest and greatest on EDDM. Several Gurus arose, and it became a hot ticket a few years back.
In our archives here, going back a few years, you would find when I spoke to over a dozen people who were doing postcard marketing, especially co-op marketing on giant postcards, the 9 x 12 size was popular back then.
I talked to these guys all over the country, one guy quit his job to go full time, and as memory serves, he quit after doing 5 cards because the run around trying to fill the card up with over a dozen or more advertisers ujust wore him down. Others found success and continued to do it.
What I found out was this: to much time, to much run around, to little profits when it was all added up. There were also results.
Some early postcard sellers were telling their advertisers they could get a 5% return from a mailing of 10,000 or 500 new customers. The first time I saw a video of someone saying that, I was flabberghasted. NEVER, never since 1965 have I ever told an advertiser they could expect a % on their ads, especially the outrageous claim of 500 new customers for a mailing of 10,000 postcards.
See, and you will find this here in the archives too, my city, Cuyahoga Falls has a river running through it, dividing the East side from the West side, and it is rare for a pizza shop on one side of the river to deliver to the other, UNLESS they are one of the few right on the river close to a bridge.
So, for example, I had a pizza shop on 6th street, if I mailed 10,000 postcards via EDDM, probably half of them would go to zones where I get veryfew customers from. THAT WAS PROBLEM ONE with mailing out huge numbers of cards. The same problem a business has when advertising in the newspaper or one of those city coupon mailers.
Too many of the eyeballs seeing the ad were NOT in the advertiser's target area.
In addition to that, PROBLEM TWO, was exclusivity, which coupon books and mailers can't offer. In the video Steve has done, he shows you one with 3 competing golf courses right next to each other.
Early 9x12 postcard guys trying to fill up so many spots and offering exclusivity, one per card, ran into a sticking point at a certain number, usually around 10, it was hard to get another 8 or however many on the card and the TIME it took, made the first guys on it getting a bit anxious about when the card was going out.
Anyhow, there were problems, and especially when a business did go on a co-op card and got nowhere near the business they thought they would get...because of the hype, and back then, the high dollars because of the novelty of EDDM...many small businesses became one time users, because it didn't work for them.
And the reason it didn't was, as I mentioned, 5,000 out of 10,000 were being mailed to areas out of their business range.
Back in the day when I was competing with Yellow Pages, Radio, TV, newspapers, both daily and weeklies, and coupon books, envelope mailers...they all talked in BIG NUMBERS...
OF VIEWERS, listeners, readers, C I R C U L A T I O N...ALL about the eyeballs on the ad...and almost every one of those media guys had fudging going on, like newspapers who counted readers, so a paid subscription of 100,000 had like 250,000 readers (YEA, the kids read the funny pages).
And in direct mail, they also talk numbers. So, a mailing of 10,000 isn't big, it isn't huge, many times that go out...but for the small local business guy, the idea of 10,000 or 2ok or 30k seeing his ad just does not translate to business. We found that out the hard way.
So Steve DiMarco created his Zip Zone program. And folded that into his already going business of LOCAL PROMOTIONS-COMMUNITY POSTCARD MAILINGS.
By sending out fewer cards, he was able to solve several problems for many small business owners, like...he got the ad cost down to a reasonable rate. He was able to mail more often, usually 3 to 4 times a year to a Zip Zone, and this gave his advertisers the ability to make seasonal offers or to change up their offers and use TIME LIMITED coupons on the cards too.
Instead of mailing 10,000, Steve is able to get the closest Zip Zones to a business and mail to them, and by mailing 3 to 5 times a year, it keeps the business in front of the target market.
Now this is just one of several advertising things that Steve does, and recently he has done a lot of daily special boards, or realtor boards, but the Covid Crisis limited his people contact, and the closing of restaurants didn't help that part of his business.
BUT postcards picked up the slack. He didn't need to call on businesses, he could send a sample, and call them as follow up and found he could fill a card up pretty quickly, all by remote means, no face to face.
About a year ago we discussed ways for him to get this opportunity out there to other people but he wasn't satisfied with some of the blocks, and slop and mess for both himself and his dealers or distributors.
But he has developed a turn key system now, a license, and is willing to give some people a test area to see if they can do it, and want to maintain their territory.
Steve is a former franchise own and a licensee of a successful product, the Nutty Bavarian nut carts, so he has drawn upon his experiences in these areas to create ready to go business opportunity for the Covid times.
He has a little guerrilla video for now, and is testing the concept, I think a few of you reading this might be interested in this, so here is a link to watch his little 11 minute video.
What is different about the LOCAL PROMOTIONS-COMMUNITY POSTCARD is the zip zone, smaller mailings.
Do not compare this to 9x12 co-op cards or other EDDM programs, this has been tried, tested and proven, with repeat advertisers. \
Because he mails fewer cards, keeps the costs down and is able to sell the ads much faster, in fact, it shouldn't take but a couple of days to sell out a card with only 6 ads on it. Eight is the maximum number of ads, but the whole idea is to sell the quickly.
Unlike those guys a few years back that took, 6 and 7 weeks to sell a giant postcard, and then doing all the run around to get checks, proofs and approval, this method is clean, neat and so much easier.
Well take a look. It is only 11 minutes. Steve is available to answer questions and he has some TEST areas available.
Last edited by GordonJ : July 6, 2020 at 03:42 PM.
Is there only ONE BUSINESS model????
Something to sell.
Someone to buy.
Is there a different model? Doesn't it all come down to some kind of a transaction? A demand for something, a supply for the demand.
Millions of people are scrambling today. The uncertainty is racking up a pile of casualties.
26% of Franchises are fast food, most of those are take out/drive through only. The buzzards are circling overhead.
NPC International, the largest franchisee of Pizza Hut restaurants has filed for bankruptcy, and it is estimated many more will follow.
The Pizza Hut spin on the bankruptcy is; "...an opportunityto create a better future for this franchisee". So, it is a good thing?
You need a steady job, get into PR and spin, cause that is the world we live in today.
Anyhow, as many of us are looking for opportunities during this crisis (and crisis is spin itself, a crisis comes and GOES)...
I am daily talking to people with good business models, which suit me...sell a consumable product or service...build up satisfied customers and keep on.
Why did I put this under the post about ZIP ZONE POSTCARD mailings???
By sending out fewer cards, on a quarterly basis, Steve has created an ADVERTISING consumable. Where as, his menu board program is yearly, and many co-op EDDM cards are one off, because they mail 10k to 100k at a time and saturate an area.
ZIP ZONES stay local, are affordable to the merchant, and with quarterly mailings, the can be seasonal too. It gives the small business a chance to stay in front of their customers, get branding benefits, while consuming advertising, and needing more. There is a demand for advertising, make no mistake about it...and ZIP ZONES can be the supply.
Something I forgot to mention...REPEAT BUSINESS...
This past week, Steve got another LOCAL PROMOTIONS card put together, but what I forgot to mention was...
he presents them as a ROTATION marketing system, he shows a map of their zip codes, and then the zones around them where the cards will go, on a quarterly basis. Although Steve does not have them do a contract, he accepts the verbal COMMITMENT to go on all the cards for a DISCOUNT.
By offering the space for a lower price, it makes doing the card much faster, doing one a week should be doable for almost anyone, and if you have a heavy business area, like those strips of businesses, then doing two or three could happen quickly too.
Steve's ROTATION marketing system, lets him do a zip code, move to the next one, and some may have many zones (a zone being approx. 2500 mail addresses).
IF they don't want the discount, the one off deal, a bit more expensive, but gives them a chance to test it out and some prefer that way.
Anyhow, I forgot to mention the idea of ROTATION marketing, which keeps cards flowing in a Zip Code for many months at a time.
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