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Card Deck Design Tips

June 17, 2011

Since many people are new to Card Deck advertising, we decided to put together this list of tips for designing a successful Card Deck ad.  We've been publishing Card Decks for over 20 years, so we know if you utilize these tips, you will be well on your way to a successful campaign!

  1. Strong Headline: Cleary state or strongly suggest a positive benefit to the product.
  2. Illustration or Picture: A strong visual gets the readers attention, especially if it ties into the headline.
  3. Color: A 2-color or 4-color card will enhance your product and increase readership of your ad.
  4. Overwhelming Offer: Offer a discount or something "special"; if you're giving something away, emphasize the word FREE. It's also a good idea to indicate the value of the free gift.
  5. Emphasize Benefits: People are not as interested in the features of your product, a they are in the benefits of those features. For example, one feature of your product may be its simplicity of design. Mention the feature with its corresponding benefit: "Our easy-to-use design saves you time!" Highlight your benefits using "bullets" instead of paragraph text.
  6. Make it easy to respond: Items such as toll-free telephone numbers, acceptance of credit cards, and "ship now, pay later" offers make it easier for prospects to respond.Be sure to include your fax number, email address or website, if applicable.
  7. Provide Sufficient Room: Those who respond need at least 1-1/16th inch between lines in order to write their return address and other information.
  8. Add Qualifications: Consider the following suggestions to generate more qualified leads:
    1. No inquiries processed without prospect's phone number.
    2. Ask for the best time to call, and request both Home and Work phone numbers.
    3. Indicate a minimum order or investment amount.
    4. Use "Place Stamp Here" instead of pre-paid business reply mail
  9. Create Urgency: Use your headline and/or text to encourage the prospect to act now instead of later.
  10. Horizontal Layout: It has been tested and proven that horizontal layouts in card deck advertising generate better response than vertical layouts.
  11. Make it Clear: Be sure you clearly indicate exactly what action you want the prospect to take.
  12. Test Offers: With A/B split options; you can test different options, prices or headlines in the same card deck.
  13. Jumbo Cards/Insert Options: These larger formats give you more room for a direct-sale approach and you can include an order form. Preprinted mini-catalogs cost a fraction of the postage for a solo mailing.
  14. Build a Prospect List: Keep track of the prospects that respond to your ad and stay in touch with them. Even though they may not buy immediately, they may buy at some time in the future.
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