- An ONTRAPORT account
- US based Contacts
Why Send Postcards?
Postcards are an ideal media in several situations, but in the past have been difficult to use for anything but mass-mailing lead generation. In the past, you had to pay your printer to make up 100s or thousands at a time, which is fine if you're mailing to a rented list of thousands...but not ideal at all if you want to just mail a few. This is why sending postcards via ONTRAPORT opens up all kinds of new possibilities for communicating with your prospects and customers. You can send them one at a time or automate them. As a marketer and business builder, postcards are a great tool because...
- They're inexpensive
- They're eye-catching and nearly always read - no envelope to open
- They're not email (which we're all overwhelmed with)
- You can reach a wider audience via a different media that your competition may be overlooking
- There's no such thing as postcard spam filters!
- Results are easily measurable
- You can personalize them to each contact using merge fields
- They are REAL, physical and tangible
At the current time, Postcards can only be mailed to US addresses. They are big (8.5" x 5.5") and mailed first class.
- Free birthday offers
- Anniversary reminders
- Referral requests (automatically right after they've gotten the most benefit from using your service?)
- Welcome to the business
- Lead Generation
- Holiday promotions
- Contract expiration reminders
- Cross- and up-sell offers
- Update contact info requests
- Party invitations
- Appointment reminders
- Thank you cards
- Bid/proposal follow up
- Demo or presentation follow up
- New product announcements
- Recurring service reminder (e.g., oil change, haircut)
- Pre-tradeshow appointment setting
- and much, MUCH more!
Make sure to grab a prospect’s physical address as often as you can or is appropriate. Being in touch both online and off is proven to increase the lifetime value of a client.
If you only have email addresses for your clients, then you'll need to come up with a campaign that gives your contacts a good reason to cough up their mailing address. While you're at it, get their birthday, too.
- Ask for their birthday and mailing address (because you want to send them something!)
- Offer to mail them something (coupons, gift certificates, etc.)
- Ask for it on your ONTRAPORT opt-in/sign-up forms
- Ask them for it during the new client setup process
- Call and get it (have a reason!)
The postcard builder/editor is found in the Messages collection. Once there, click the New Message button. Click Postcard > Create.
- Preview: To get a pdf proof of your postcard the way that it will look when printed, click the "proof" button just next to the save button.
- View Side: Here you can easily switch between working on the front side and back side of your card.
All design elements such as text, images, shapes, gradients and images are added in the form of layers, which, if you’ve used Adobe Photoshop, or Paint, should be familiar to you. If not, they’re very intuitive and you’ll quickly get the hang of layers.
- Click New item on the right
- Choose to add one of 4 different layers
- Text area
As soon as you create a new layer, it will start out selected. You’ll know it’s selected because in the layer stack, it will appear as blue; grey = not selected. To select a layer, you can either click on that layer in the stack or click on the layer in the actual postcard. You must first select any layer before you can edit it (resize, reposition, etc). If you select a text layer in this way, it will make it so you can edit the text.
You can drag the layers by clicking and holding the up/down arrows icon within the layer stack on the right to control which are on the top and bottom (and everywhere in between) of the stack,. If a given layer is underneath another layer, it may not be visible because it’s hiding underneath another layer. If you want that layer to show, you’ll need to drag it in the layer stack so it’s above the layers that might otherwise be blocking it.
There are two ways to do this:
- Select the layer you want to resize
- Then grab (click and hold) one of the little red squares, or “handles” on the edges and drag it outward to expand, or inward to shrink.
- Note that if you want to keep the height to width ratio the same while you resize the layer, you can do so either by using one of the handles on the corners (as opposed to the sides) of the frame, OR by holding shift while you resize. This is especially useful when resizing pictures so you don’t accidentally change the width, but not the height, or vice versa, thus, distorting the image.
This method allows you to enter a specific height/width measurement (in pixels) for the size of the photo as you’d like it to be.
- Select the layer you’d like to resize.
- Then, in the upper right of the editor screen you’ll see the current Height and Width measurements for that layer. Simply select EITHER the height or the width value and change it to whatever you’d like. This option automatically keeps the height to width ratio (or proportions) of the image the same. Thus, if you change the width, the height value will instantly be changed as well; in order to maintain the proportions of the layer. This method of resizing is good if you’re looking to make exact changes and where specificity is key.
There are two ways to do this:
Drag and drop method
- Select the layer you want to reposition
- Grab the layer (by clicking and holding within the layer itself, in the postcard, not in the layer stack).
- Drag and drop it wherever you like.
- Select the layer you’d like to reposition.
- In the upper left of the editor screen you’ll see the current position for that layer. The positioning is shown in the following measurement:
- Left: This is simply the number of pixels the layer is from the left-hand edge of the postcard.
- Top: This is the number of pixels the layer is from the top edge of the postcard.
- If you want to change the horizontal positioning of the layer, simply enter the number of pixels you’d like the layer to be from the left and press enter. Similarly, if you’d like to change the vertical positioning of the layer, enter the number of pixels you’d like the layer to be away from the top of the card. This method of repositioning is good if you’re looking to make exact changes, and where specificity is key.
This is done based on the distance of the shape from a nearby shape. This is useful when you’re trying to get two shapes to line up perfectly or create borders/frames
- Select the shape you’d like to move or resize.
- Press and hold the ctrl key (command on a mac).
- The distance in pixels that the selected shape’s edges are from the nearest shape will appear along with a guide line. The line will appear in green when that edge is perfectly aligned with the next shape’s edge and the number will be 0, since there is a 0 pixel distance between the shapes.
- Use the arrow keys to nudge (reposition) the selected layer or drag the layer for bigger moves.
- As you move or resize the layer, the number will change appropriately.
On the left hand side of the toolbar you’ll see your shape selection choices. Your gradient area can be in any of the available shapes: Rectangle, Circle, or Rectangle with rounded corners.
Gradient Adjustment Slider:
- To change the colors in your gradient, double click the rectangle that sits underneath the little ‘carrot shaped pointer.’
- To increase the distance of the transition (and thus, the subtlety of the gradation) from one color to the next in your gradient layer, move the two sliders further apart. To decrease the distance and subtlety of the gradation/transition from one color to the next, move the sliders closer together.
- To increase the area of the color, say, on the left, move both sliders to the right, and vice versa.
- To change the direction of the gradient from vertical to horizontal, or vice versa, click the Vertical / Horizontal button next to the Gradient Adjustment Slider.
- To change the opacity of the gradient layer, use the Opacity slider.
When adding an image you have a few options:
Add a new image
- Add an image layer to your postcard
- In the Insert Image popup window, click the Upload tab in the top left.
- Here you can choose to upload a file from your computer by clicking the Browse Computer button, locating the file on your computer, selecting it and uploading it OR if you’d like to use an image that’s already online somewhere, you can choose the Enter URL option, and do just that. Simply enter the address where the image you’d like to use is hosted.
- Most web images are at too low a resolution to look good when printed, so be sure before you use an image that it’s a high resolution image.
- You must either have created an image, or have permission from its author in order to use a copyrighted image. You may, however, use certain images offered under the creative commons license.
- To insert a select image into the postcard, click Insert Selected Image.
Use an image you've already uploaded
In this case, add an image layer to your postcard, click the Browse tab, choose your image and click Insert Selected Image.
Before you put your card into any sequences, you’ll first want to get a proof to make sure that everything looks the way you want. To do this, simply click the Preview button in the upper left and choose to open it in Adobe Acrobat, Reader, or whatever program you use for viewing PDF files. If everything looks right, you’re ready to start having us mail your postcard out. If not, go back and make the necessary corrections and run another proof.
When using merge fields on Postcards, be sure to use the same styling for the entire merge field. Make sure the brackets and characters within them are the same font, font size, and font color.