Why it’s the “Design of the Week”
- Contrasting Images on the Front – Having both a light and dark half of the card really grabs the viewer’s attention and provides an interesting visual contrast.
- Coupons on the Back – The back of this postcard features four different discounts. Having discounts as part of the postcard adds incentive for the customer to act on message.
- Combining Icons with Text – Icons visually tell a message without the clutter of too much text.
Founded in 1988, XP Laser Sport is a laser tag fun center that has two locations, Laurel and Owings Mill, Maryland. Marc Mueller is a co-owner of XP Laser Sport; he handles much of the operational and marketing side of the business.
Josh Nelson: Hi Marc, thanks for speaking with me today. What is your goal when you send out postcards?
Marc Mueller: Our main thing with postcards is we heavily target for birthday parties. We have a computer kiosk that we have customers use to fill out their kid’s information. We use that information to send out birthday postcards 6 weeks in advance.
Josh: Are there other considerations you take into account when you send out postcards?
Marc: Yeah, we actually look through our responses and see where people are coming in from. We really pay attention to the zip code and if an area is getting a low response rate we may stop sending to that area. It really helps us see our boundaries because obviously people are only going to drive so far.
Josh: What other marketing tools do you utilize and how do postcards fit in with them?
Marc: We have our website, postcards, email, newsletter, and our Facebook page. Postcards are important for us because it is the most direct way to reach the customer. That’s why it is so critical to get the customer’s to put their information in the kiosk.
Josh: In regards to the design of your postcard. Did you do them yourselves? What are the key features you focus on?
Marc: Yes, we make our own design. We took our own pictures and we really wanted to highlight that we offer both the indoor facility and our mobile outdoor setup. I think placing them next to each other on the postcard made for a visually appealing postcard front.
Josh: I really liked how the picture created a day and night effect when you first looked at it. Looking at the postcard I see that people have to register the coupons on the postcards in order to redeem them. How do you track the results?
Marc: People can redeem the coupons over the phone or in person when they set up parties and this allows us to track results. We see fairly even results from all four discounts.
Josh: Can you talk a little bit about the thought process in regards to the discounts on the postcard?
Marc: Yeah, so our goal with the postcards and the discount, ideally, is to have a party scheduled in advance of the child’s birthday. That is why we send out the postcards 6 weeks in advance. You will notice that 3 of the 4 discounts apply specifically to parties that are planned. If they choose not to schedule a party with XP Laser Sport we still provide them with a discount for a free game of laser tag on their birthday. Our hope is that they will come in and redeem that free round and chances are they will bring friends with them. That allows us to get their friend’s information as well so we can send postcards to them when their birthday comes up.
Josh: What kind of results are you seeing with postcards?
Marc: The results vary over the course of the year. Not many people realize it but activities such as this are heavily seasonal. The holidays are the slowest time of the year because people are using their disposable income on gifts. We are busiest from January through May because that is when it is cold outside and people are looking for indoor activities. With that said, it is important to maintain the contact throughout the year with postcards.
Josh: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Marc. Any closing comments?
Marc: Yeah, expresscopy.com is awesome. It is really easy to upload the design file and the order shipped in 24 hours and that just makes my life so much easier. I used to have to stamp and address each postcard individually and now expresscopy.com saves me from all that trouble.