I have been asked many times at lectures “what, if anything, are you mailing to prospective clients?”. Things have changed drastically since I first starting trolling for shows and I’d like to share some of my own personal insights with you.
First, not everything is driven by the Internet. I know that’s hard for some of you to conceive and believe, but the Internet is only ONE tool in your toolbox to secure shows. There are many who still like to get something concrete in their hands and then talk with you by phone before making a decision. Therefore, I believe the Internet AND making mailings work hand in hand to get you customers.
All that being said, what you mail out has also changed. In the startup days I knew of many acts that would fill an envelope full of letters and newspaper clippings touting how great a show the act in question had. It sort of looked like the heavier the envelope the better and that if you could overwhelm a client they would have no choice but to book you. Two things ended this process. First, the postage would absolutely break the bank to send out things like that today. And even sending it “bulk mail” or, as some refer to it, “junk mail” it still would cost a small fortune. The next reason is that people are far more busier than ever. If your mailing package looks too bulky, most of the time it would be immediately thrown in the trash..sometimes without ever opening it!
I was a firm believer in the day of three things in a mailing package: a cover letter, telling them in brief why they should book the show; a brochure or flyer; and then a postpaid Business Reply card. The Business Reply cards got too expensive and the amount of paperwork and permits bogged down the process, so that went by the wayside. And for reason I just mentioned, he rest of the package also starting drawing little attention.
My solution was the full-color postcard. I wasn’t cumbersome to mail; could be mailed cheaper; and gave all the info in a concise way. I also used the info on the card or even the card itself on my website so it worked to reinforce the mailing. Also my clients were also more prone to save a postcard then an envelope full of “stuff”.
With the advent of online companies like ‘Got Print”, “Vista Printing”, and “24 Hour Printing” full color was also more affordable, so the postcards could really be an attractive “salesperson” flying to my customers via the mail.
I highly recommend the color postcard. My favorite size is 5 ½ Inches x 8 ½ inches. It’s big enough to draw attention and I mail them first class postage, In case the address of the client is incorrect I can get it back with the correct one. Experiment with postcards and work side by side with the Internet. It’s a great way to keep in touch with clients! I have also included a postcard that I have successfully used to give you an idea of what can be done. Please don’t copy it..but use it as a guide to create your own!
To contact Mark Wade: firstname.lastname@example.org