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J.R. Services
02-17-2012, 11:05 AM
Give me your thoughts on my design. Its not the best, I know, but I think its good enough for me to do a trial run and test the waters. This is my first postcard run. Thanks for the help

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/Work/postcardfront.jpg

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/Work/postcardback.jpg

Gilmore.Landscaping
02-17-2012, 11:17 AM
Forget the beach picture..... its not helping. I would stick with more pictures of your work. Left justify your list of services. If it was me I wouldn't read all that. I am a fan of bullet points.

J.R. Services
02-17-2012, 11:29 AM
Forgot the preview with the mailing info.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/Work/postcardback2.jpg

greensense
02-17-2012, 03:35 PM
I agree with Gilmore, try some pictures of your work if you have them. The word energy is a typo, along with the year-'round (don't need the ') on the first one you put up.

I'd also try to convert that paragraph into a bullet list. That's the side of the card most people see first and most people probably wouldn't take the time to read the paragraph, meaning they'll never look at the other side. I like the idea of posing questions to them; maybe use some on the other side and keep the bullet list to reasons they should hire you; i.e. it saves them time, better curb appeal, etc.

J.R. Services
02-17-2012, 05:57 PM
Thanks for the help, here's my revised draft, let me know what you think

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardfront1.jpg

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardback1.jpg

It got blurry since I just print screened and copied it into paint

Gilmore.Landscaping
02-17-2012, 06:22 PM
Slow picture needs to go but its getting better. The red text was a little hard to read,
Posted via Mobile Device

greensense
02-17-2012, 06:49 PM
Good improvement. I'll tell you how I'd do it; obviously we all have our own ways. I usually use Word then publish it to a PDF to send to the printer; not sure what your circumstance is. Either way, I'll give it a go, don't take it wrong, just throwing out ideas for ya.

I'd change the red font to white on the front to balance it out with the rest of the white on the front and I'd blur the front images so the edges fade into the background image. I'd move the logo up next to the bottom image and have a line on the bottom that reads something along the lines "Call us today for your free estimate at XXX-XXXX" that stretches across the whole bottom. I'd probably drop the caps on everything but the "Enjoy Your Summer!" so they read like sentences, all of the caps are a bit distracting. I'd also play around with the fonts some more; its a matter of personal preference, but I'm more of an Arial guy myself. I also like to use some sort of font that looks hand written (Bradley Hand ITC, in my world; maybe the one in your logo?) to give it a personal touch in certain parts. Again, minor, but I'd try to match the yellow on the front a little closer to the color of the sign in the bottom picture if you can and maybe add a shadow to it. Lastly, I'd just try to get your website on the front.

On the back, the font's a bit tough to read. In Word, I usually use a text box and add a white background then make it 60% or so transparent so you can still see the background image, then use darker text. You can also use black and then keep the white font. Make sure that the full-color image shows 1/4" or so all the way around the text box. Maybe try to break up the bullet list some; the first are three reasons they should use the general service; the remainder is why they should use your service. Totally throwing it off, but consider putting the first three on one side of the card and the remainder on the other. I'd personally ditch the Residential & Commercial, that doesn't matter to too many people, especially if you're mailing it; they'll assume they got it because you'll work for them, residential or commercial. You can probably fill that line with a better selling point. Again, I'd drop the caps on everything and just to get it so you have one line before the URL, try "Check us out online!" or something similar. Again, the font is a personal thing, but I'd use a more plain font and drop the italics on the bullet list and try to keep it to two colors of text. Maybe consider putting the promotions in bubble or something with a bright fill color.

Lastly, if you have any, sneak in a customer testimonial in a hand-written font; goes a long way to reduce risk in the viewer's eyes.

Again, don't take that critical, just throwing out ideas for ya to think about. You should keep fixing it until you think it looks as best as it possibly can, because response rates for direct mailing are low; you need to stand out from the crowd to avoid the path that leads straight to the garbage. It's the difference between closing 1.5% of your cards or 0.25%, which will end up determining if the mailing was worth it or ends up a bad investment. Definitely don't rush it and get opinions from as many people around you as you can. The first time you posted it you said you knew it wasn't the best but you're just looking to test it. Don't let that be your excuse, because personally, I'd like to test my best design versus one that I know I can do better on; you'll just be spending more time and resources on the testing than you really need to.

Keep it up, it's making nice progress!

greensense
02-17-2012, 06:51 PM
I have to agree with Gilmore again; the slow sign is the focal point of that picture, not your work. If it's all you have, it'll do, but if you have others, they'd be better!

J.R. Services
02-18-2012, 12:30 AM
greensense, I really apprieciate your professional feedback, I am by no means a professional at designing.
Here's where I stopped for the night
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardfront3.jpg

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardback3.jpg

greensense
02-18-2012, 10:53 AM
Nice improvement! The only things I'd say are maybe to move the Enjoy Your Summer so its centered vertically between the two pictures (just has to go down a little bit). For the sake of it; try to italicize it or throw a shadow on it. Also, not a huge deal, but try to keep the sub-title the same width as the Enjoy Your Summer part; maybe try "Let us care for your lawn & landscape" or something of the sort.It looks like you justified the question on the top; maybe just center it; the different spacings between the words on different lines can throw people off a bit; maybe try it and see what it looks like, then decide which is better. Again, I'd do something to fade the edges of the pictures on the front; its called a Soft Edge in Word; under the picture formatting tab. Maybe move your logo up to center it vertically next to the bottom picture; it'll help both your logo and the bottom contact info stand out a bit. The last thing would just be to try to use the same font for all of the white font, the top one looks like it might not be bold or something; I personally like that more. Maybe try to make the bottom contact info font look like the top question one.

On the other side; try:

20% Off First Month of Lawn Care
and
10% Off Landscape Maintenance

I'd also put some kind of end date on the offer (i.e. Don't wait! Offer ends 5/31/2012); it'll prompt people to call you back sooner; unless, of course, you're planning on distributing the postcards throughout the year. Consider filling the box with the offer in yellow and using a black font or something of the sort so it really stands out.

On the bottom where you have the Facebook link; that works fine; but to catch more attention, consider inserting an image of the "Like us on Facebook" button and then put the JRServicesMD text next to it.

You're definitely making nice progress; it's a huge improvement from the first one you posted! Keep it up!

J.R. Services
02-18-2012, 11:45 PM
greensense, and gilmore, I really apprieciate the help, thanks to you guys I didn't send out a hack job of a postcard. Up until tonight I had been editing everything on vistaprint, that was a mistake, their formatting is so limited it isnt funny, so I took your advice and started using Word and it only took me about 20 minutes to do on there what took me hours on vistaprint. still not done but here it is word, Im sure you guys are tired of seeing this thing by now :)
http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardword.jpg

PK Mows
02-19-2012, 12:55 AM
Myself, I think it's too busy. Too much to look at. I'd not have the pictures and all the text on the front, just that nice background, the company name and phone number in large print as the most prominent feature along with your call to action. And the website address easier to find.

I actually had to read it a couple times to notice you have a special offer. If you want to promote that 20% off, make it a prominent feature. That's a real attention getter, an offer like that, make it something the person sees immediately.

You want to draw the eye towards what you feel is the primary message. If you feel it's the special offers, make them the focal points. If it's your company name, phone number or site address, make them the most prominent feature. You only get a second or two to grab their attention with a postcard, you want to hit them with something that makes them look closer.

The best thing to do is pay attention to advertisements you get in the mail yourself. You want your postcards to grab a person's interest and lead them to the next step, calling or visiting your website. Looking at it, the thing that I remember is Enjoy your summer. That's not what I would want someone to remember. Your call to action should be something directly related to what you are offering. That 20% offer is a great call to action and would get you calls all by itself I think. I'd have my company name, phone number and 20% off jumping off the front.

On the back, a few bullet points about the service you offer, or a short paragraph with your mission statement or something else nice and then your contact info and that 20% in big letters again.

You also don't really need to go into detail about your 20% off. Just put it up there and let people visit your site or call to find out what the 20% off is all about.

I hope I'm not sounding too critical, because I'm not trying to run down your work. Just want to offer that a postcard should be to move a Customer to the next step, typically not to make the sell on its own.

greensense
02-19-2012, 09:43 AM
PK Mows has some good points, and it's really a decision you have to make. There's two schools of thought when it comes to direct mail. The first is you should provide the least amount of information and just grab their attention; the second is that the people that have any interest whatsoever will benefit from being provided more information. When people send letters; reality is that long-form letters (5+ pages) outsell short, one page letters. And that one-page letters sell much better if the copy is carried over to the back side.

Try this for the heck of it; remove the question from the top and move the Enjoy Your Summer w/ the subtitle there. If you're going to have the number under the logo, you can probably ditch the line with the phone number; that'll draw more attention to the web address. You could also just make the web address bigger and span it across the whole bottom; I do that with a lot of my stuff. I think the black outline around the top and bottom fonts is throwing me off; I get why you have it on the top one because of the background.

Another totally different approach; remove the top picture, top text, Enjoy Your Summer w/ subtitle and the two lines from the bottom; move the picture and logo w/ph # down towards the bottom more; put a black background (possibly a bit transparent) in behind the bottom picture and logo; so that the upper 2/3 has the background image that's already there shows. Then run a narrow black text box along the top with your web address and emphasizing free estimates:

www.JRServicesMD.com - Free Estimates

That'd be an option for a very simplistic card. Don't just limit yourself to one design. Save the one you have now and make a second one; then decide which you like more. It normally takes me a couple weeks to design my mailings. Consider looking through some people's cards that have been posted on here for ideas.

Keep going; now that you have Word; the options really open up!

J.R. Services
02-19-2012, 05:37 PM
Alright, I tried to take a little bit of both of your's advice, I after some fresh eyes, I could see that it was kind of busy, but at the same time I don't think people will act on something that carries very little information. Anyways here's what I came up with.

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardfrontfinal.jpg

http://i174.photobucket.com/albums/w86/reyncreed/postcardbackfinal.jpg

I think the front is definitely how I want it, aside from maybe changing the coupon color.
The back however I'm not sure of, it should definitely stand out though

J.R. Services
02-24-2012, 10:26 PM
no thoughts on the latest design?

uniquechev
02-24-2012, 10:34 PM
I think that the Enjoy your summer part of the post card draws your eye too much to it then people may start to think about what they are going to be doing over the summer and not really think of your work. Plaster your name / logo in the center cause then they'll be like oh ok this company etc..... and on the back where you say find us on facebook is a bad idea of wording .... people are lazy they dont want to have to find out ! they want to see a link to type in or scan into their smart phones etc. Make it inviting and simple cause people who are not in our line of business want to be pleased not bothered with having to do more work to find out on the web. And i think same with the back of the card with the % off box... switch that out with your company name ! make your name know and bold and big and put the yellow box where you logo is now cause if you do that they will associate your logo with the services you are willing to provide

PK Mows
02-25-2012, 03:14 AM
To me, you're still trying to get too much on the card. I would consider what my primary message is and just worry about that. What is it that you want someone to understand about this postcard? Do you want them to start getting used to your company name? Do you want them to know you have a special offer? Do you want them to call you today? Pick one theme at a time and make it something they can't miss.

Your postcard will not perform to its fullest on its own, it needs to be part of an entire marketing program. Choose how you want to use your postcard in your advertising, whether just to put your name in front of people to build brand recognition, to present special offers, to drive them to social media sites, whatever, and integrate that with all your marketing.

Like maybe send out a postcard with the focus being your company name and logo and contact info to one neighborhood. A few days after that postcard hits those houses, drop doorhangers with your company name and logo and contact info and a list of services. A week or so later, hit that same neighborhood with doorhangers that have basic lawncare price estimates on them. Then mail out a postcard with a special offer a week or so after that. Brand recognition is huge for selling and getting top price. People will spend more money on your product once they become familiar with you, remember how much Hyundais used to cost?

Here's a good exercise, for the next few days when you check your mail, quickly look through the mail as you walk back inside and then put it down for five or ten minutes. Then, try to remember what you got in the mail, who it was from and what they sent you. When something particularly sticks in your mind, look at that piece and see why it stuck. Do the same thing when you're driving around, check out business signage and see what sticks and why. Watch commercials on tv. One that's stuck with me, and if you've seen it, you'll probably instantly know which one it is, is the new Fiat commercial. There's a lot to learn from that commercial. That's the way to build a product image. Maybe not the image a Lawncare company needs, but the point is that's the sort of result you want.

There's also numerous sites that will give you guidelines about good postcard and advertising design. Go through a few and see what they have to say. Other companies have already spent millions designing their promotions and figuring out what does and doesn't work, take some cues from them. Look at credit card ads, Walmart and other large retailers ads, successful car lot ads, and anyone else who depends on their ads to drive business. They've already done the market research, take advantage of that.

cpllawncare
02-25-2012, 07:43 AM
This is a great improvement over what you had, I would agree it's too busy, I would take out the enjoy your summer part and put your name and number there instead.