?Direct response marketing is one of the most efficient and profitable ways for your carpet cleaning business to reach potential customers and retain current customers. A marketing postcard yields good ROI and provides measureable results. Direct response marketing postcards build name recognition, and their effectiveness can be accurately measured - with the right combination of message and media, response rates can be as high as 14% - making them highly cost effective A successful direct response campaign begins with a solid strategy that differentiates your carpet cleaning business from the massive competition. Here are some tips for creating a good carpet cleaning marketing postcard. Focus on One Big Idea The space on a post card is limited, so make your message clear and focus on one promotion, service or campaign. The big idea should be a benefit that your services offer rather than a feature. For instance, hot water extraction and truck-mounted equipment are features - your copy should not mention these but istead hone in on the benefits these features provide for your customers - fast service and spotless carpets. Create a Catchy Headline On average a prospect might glance at a postcard for 10 seconds max before deciding whether to throw it away or keep reading. Your headline must capture the attention of a prospect and get them to keep reading. Create a headline that hooks your reader, offers value, or raises important questions like "How Does a Dirty Carpet Affect Your Home?" Make a Compelling Offer Show you care about your customers by offering a beneficial service at a value and with a guarantee. Don't waste your 10 seconds with confusing offers. Addressing your audience and their needs in your carpet cleaning marketing postcard is crucial to high response rates, so make sure your images and messages are relevant. For instance, don't send direct marketing flyers or post cards that offer carpets cleaning in offices and retail spaces to residential prospects. Offer to clean one room for free with a purchase of a package instead of tricky square footage discounts. Add value to your carpet cleaning services by identifying and solving customers' problems, such as time and money, and simplifying their lives. Include a Clear Call to Action A compelling offer should be followed up with a clear way for interested customers to act. Include a clear call to action that includes action verbs: "Bring Beauty Back into Your Home; Call today for a free consultation." Whether you want prospects to call for an appointment, send an email or visit your website, you should make the task simple and clear by including 3 points of contact: toll-free phone number, email and website addresses. Create a Sense of Urgency Offer time-sensitive carpet cleaning specials that expire within a certain amount of time. A clean carpet can be suggested for almost any event, so you can create a sense of urgency by offering holiday specials or spring-cleaning promotions. These limited-time incentives will generate high response rates for your campaign. Moreover, the effectiveness of time-sensitive campaigns is easier to measure and track. Design a Unique Postcard Include one captivating image that complements your headline and is appropriate to your audience. In the residential market, kids and pets are relevant images in the carpet cleaning industry. Use full color and consider a unique shape in order to make the card stand out, and pick one font in order to keep the look consistent. Remember, you have 10 seconds to incite a call to action and not be shuffled to the bottom of the stack. Run a Test Campaign and Track Your Success Once you have created a unique postcard with a compelling offer, it is important to make sure you have a targeted and qualified direct mailing list. Run a test campaign to measure the success of your postcard or flyer. Generally a 2%- 5% response rate is considered good; a 1% or below response rate means you should re-evaluate the design and copy of your postcard and your mailing list. Keep in mind that a campaign should be mailed at least 3 times to yield a valid response rate, and you may have to tweak your postcard design a couple of times to get the results you want. In the end, the time and money you spend creating the perfect carpet cleaning marketing postcard will pay off for your business in the long run. Get Found Online! Do you want to find new customers for your business online? Demandmart offers an automated platform that makes online marketing for small business affordable, easy and effective. It can help you get exposure in search engines, create online coupons, schedule appointments online and automatically follow-up with your customers via email. For more free small business marketing strategies, check out demandmart's small business internet marketing tips.