Case Study - Win New Web Design Clients Through Direct Mail

This article recently appeared in the SitePoint Tribune, a weekly newsletter published by To have articles like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email address in the subscription box below…

They say that great things are discovered by accident. This is certainly true for Martha Retallick of

She started her Web Design career in 1996 when she got the job to build a Website for her father’s chemical engineering consulting practice.

What she didn’t expect was that the marketing campaign she developed for her father’s Website would end up producing a ton of business for her!

Once she designed the site, she was tasked with promoting it. With the Website being a novel thing back in 1996, and her marketing budget almost non-existent, Martha decided to mail postcards via the US postal system to promote the site. She gathered the original address list from people on her and her father’s Rolodex.

"Shortly after I sent that card to just over 100 people, an amazing thing began to happen. Dad called me and said that this colleague, and that friend were interested in having me create a Website for them. Turned out that these people were all on my little mailing list! I ended up doing several Web design jobs, and one of those customers is still a client to this day," says Martha.

The total cost for the first postcard campaign? Just $31.49. $23.20 for postage and $8.29 for the postcard printing.

Moving With The Times

With email so cheap these days, why would anyone use old-fashioned postcards to get the message out? Martha notes that the "problem is, most people are inundated with email. In fact, most people get hundreds of emails a week. On the other hand, most of us only get one or two postcards a week, if that many. See how easy it is to stand out from the crowd?"

That’s not to say that Martha doesn’t publish an email newsletter — she does! Why? "Because some things require a lot of explanation. And that means you’re going to have to use a lot of words, which won’t work very well on the back of a postcard. So you have to use the right tool for the job. And don’t just rely on one tool!" Martha adds.

"I try to do monthly mailings. If I do fewer than 9 card mailings a year my business is adversely affected, and, yes, I’ve learned that from experience."

The Proof

At the moment, Martha contacts 450 people through every mailing! Here’s the result of just one recent campaign:

"I placed an order for 500 cards, and I received a total of 510 cards. I sent 402 cards to my mailing list, and kept the remaining 108 cards for sharing at networking events. Here are the costs associated with this postcard marketing effort:

Fedex digital files and payment to printer: $7.85
Printing and delivery of postcards: $107.00
Postage on 402 cards: $84.42
GRAND TOTAL: $199.27

"That works out to 49.6 cents a name ($199.27 divided by 402), or $5.95 per name per year, if a postcard is sent during each month of the year.

"What was the result of this postcard marketing campaign? One sale: an Internet consulting project involving a longtime client. Revenue from that project: $900. That’s about $4.52 back for every dollar invested ($900.00 divided by $199.27)."

Your Own Postcard Campaign

Alright, so you’re conviced that spending a few hundred dollars to try this out isn’t such a bad idea — what’s next? Here are the steps that Martha follows:

  1. Idea Generation & List Creation
  2. Card Creation
  3. Printing
  4. Mailing
  5. Follow-up with Prospects and Clients
  6. Cost-Tracking and Evaluation of Results

What if you don’t have 100+ addresses to do a mailing? Simple, says Martha. "Join business and professional groups. For example, you could join a couple of groups, each with 50 members, and guess what? You’ve found 100 prospects! The caveat to this idea is: some groups have restrictions on how the membership list can be used, so check the official policy before you start postcarding your fellow members."

You can easily locate postcard printers through a search on Google. One company Martha has used recently is

What should you put on your Postcard? It doesn’t have to be fancy. Recently Martha conducted a Joint-Venture mailing for . Here’s what the card read:

Post Office Box 43161
Tucson, Arizona 85733
Telephone: 520-690-1888
Email: [email protected]

FACT: 80% of American businesses
are family-owned, and 50% of all U.S.
employment is in small, family-owned
firms. Program your family business
for success – visit:

Designed by Lrpdesigns – Specializing in
Web Design That Works since 1995:

What about images for the front of the postcard? Of course, you can use anything that you design, but a screen shot of your Website works well. Even better, try a screen shot of a client’s Website along with a testimonial. The more powerful the better, so try something like: "The Website you built us now represents 30% of our revenue!" Exact numbers work best, whether they are traffic, revenue, or sales related.


Everybody gets email these days, but few of us receive postcards, and that’s why they can work so well for driving clients to your Web design business. A few hints to take away:

  • Collect the addresses of potential clients. Go through your own roledex, and those of your friends and business associates. Consider joining a professional organization that makes its mailing list available to members or even scouring the yellow pages for companies without Websites (perhaps targeting one niche at a time).
  • Figure out a short message for your postcard. Testimonials describing the specific results of past clients’ campaigns can be especially impressive.
  • Find a postcard printing company through your favourite search engine and get a couple of hundred cards printed up. Enlist the help of friends and family in addressing them and mailing them out…
  • Measure your results. Minimally, your mailing should be bringing in 4 times its cost in new business. If not, change your mailing list or postcard — or both.
  • Send your mailings 6-9 times per year, even to the same addresses. Maybe someone won’t have a budget for Web design the first time they hear from you, but they might the second or third time…
  • Reap the profits, let out a loud laugh, and run to the bank (or perhaps a vacation to the Caribbean?)!

    Good luck!


Category: marketing Time: 2002-11-09 Views: 1

Related post

  • Case Study - Get Web Design Clients on Retainer 2002-11-02

    This article recently appeared in the SitePoint Tribune, a weekly newsletter published by To have articles like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email address in the subscription box below- Mark Walmsley is the Managing

  • 6 Killer Tips for More Web Design Clients 2006-02-08

    The beginning of the New Year is always a good place to start afresh, to wipe the slate clean and make this year your year. Once the Christmas turkey has been eaten, the hangover's gone, and the relatives have been sent home, you can start that plan.

  • Portfolio or Case Study - for a Web Development Company 2012-09-28

    This is about Web Development Company specializes in Web Application & Mobile Website Development. On home page we intend to show portfolio (featured work we have done)... but what should we title them? I mean should we put it as Portfolio or Case St

  • Why my new web design increased in 20% my bounce rate? 2011-08-17

    I do need your help and opinions. Last August, 1st, I have relaunched my website with a completely new design. As I have also moved it from Dreamweaver and .html format to Wordpress, the new website had also its urls changed to wordpress format, whic

  • The Web Design Business Kit Chapter 6 - Market Your Business 2003-07-20

    Marketing your business isn't hard. There are literally hundreds of ways you might do it. Not all of them work, but you'll soon have more clients if you follow a few basic steps. You need a steady flow of prospects to develop your business. An approa

  • Best Adobe product for web designing? 2015-01-12

    I've been using Photoshop for the last 2 years to create mockups for my sites, but the biggest problem I find with Photoshop is its terrible way of rendering text in a web-realistic way. Is there an Adobe product that is better suited for web designi

  • The Big Web Design Trends for 2015 2015-02-04

    When thinking about web design, you must consider the full spectrum of possibilities that the internet presents. Done boldly, designers can push the current limits of human interaction and imagination on a global scale – as is often seen with edgier

  • New Web Layout Ideas for 2015 2015-04-17

    Every year new web design concepts emerge as some older trends recede. In the next months we will no doubt see a temporary increase in the popularity of video backgrounds, tiles and animated storybooks, just to name a few. On the other hand, it's alm

  • Case Study: The difference a web design firm can make 2005-09-25

    We took a vacation in Wyoming/Idaho last week to look for a summer log cabin property. The local real estate market provided a telling example about the difference a web design firm can make. Before going on our trip, I contacted a few realtors via G

  • Case Study - Community Portal Boosts Web Design Sales 2002-10-19

    This article recently appeared in the SitePoint Tribune, a weekly newsletter published by To have articles like this delivered straight to your inbox, enter your email address in the subscription box below- Doug Isom lives in Eureka Spr

  • SitePoint Podcast #157: Client Centric Web Design with Paul Boag 2012-04-06

    Episode 157 of The SitePoint Podcast is now available! This week Kevin Dees (@kevindees) interviews Paul Boag (@boagworld) of BoagWorld and Headscape about his new eBook Client Centric Web Design. Listen in Your Browser Play this episode directly in

  • Secrets to Powerful Web Design Case Studies 2016-02-01

    If you don't know about the power of case studies yet, pay close attention; they are about to become your best friend. For the most part, case studies are a mainstay of nearly every industry. Companies of all types use case studies to show the world

  • Case Study - Start Small, Get Big and Snag Huge Clients Along the Way 2003-02-01

    Melbourne-based Reactive Media started humbly back in 1996 with just two people: Tim O'Neill and Tim Fouhy. Both were fresh out of the Wanganui Polytechnic Design School with degrees in Computer Graphic Design. "The company was formed by having contr

  • How to design resilient web service clients? 2015-08-20

    I am writing an app that is supposed to talk to a web service. Let's say it's a chat app. It would need to receive a stream of new messages (so that they are pushed to the interface as quickly as possible), as well as send its own messages. Furthermo

  • AllMusicGuide: A Web Standards case study 2004-07-14

    Yesterday saw the launch of a new design for All Music Guide, the music world's answer to the Internet Movie Database. AMG has been around since 1995 and has grown to be by far the largest and most useful music resource on the web. It's a classic exa

  • Classic Case Study: An effective but risky strategy for late-paying clients 2004-08-01

    "I still did not receive my payment for month-old work. I'm kind of hesitant to speed up work on your project because I have several projects in progress and my priorities are shifted towards the paid ones." So a web developer emailed me the oth

  • Are dotted pictures a new trend in Web Design? 2012-08-21

    I've noticed lately that some of the websites I visit regularly are adopting a new and bizarre trend in Web Design: "the dotted pictures". Not sure what to call it. It looks as if a pattern of regularly-spaced dots was deliberately layered on to

  • How to present web design mockups to a client? 2013-06-11

    I'm working on a website redesign project. I will need to present a few different mockups to the client for review. I want to make sure the client can see everything in context. I don't want to assume that the client has the right software. Maybe eve

  • What are some good ways of presenting web designs to a client? 2014-04-18

    I'd like to ask you how you manage with presenting webdesign. Usually, I send a jpg file/files to client directly to the mail, but this isn't the best approach. In most cases it does the job, but I've experienced some cases that didn't. Let's say I'v

iOS development

Android development

Python development

JAVA development

Development language

PHP development

Ruby development


Front-end development


development tools

Open Platform

Javascript development

.NET development

cloud computing


Copyright (C), All Rights Reserved.

processed in 2.762 (s). 13 q(s)