Hello - we are getting ready to do some marketing via postcards. I know that there are various people that do what we are interested in (small batches of targeted postcards - not printing 5,000 generic ones and simply mailing them).
I've briefly looked at SendOutCards, VistaPrint, and several other smaller shops.
I'm at the point where I need to start comparing the different prices, strengths, and weaknesses, and choose somebody to start working with. Unfortunately, I'm involved in some other projects right now, and I don't want to wait a month until I'm finished to get this going.
In addition to analyzing and recommending a vendor for us, I'd like you to recommend some of the other tools we'll need to do what we want to do, and write up a brief, very casual document on the process. I'll go into more details on that elsewhere, I've already gone on too long here...
Okay, so here is what we specifically want to do. This will help you choose the best vendor, as well as allow you to recommend other software/services to do what we need to as easily as possible.
1. We have a database of companies in our local area, and/or could simply look up other companies close to us using Google or SuperPages or whatever.
2. We would choose a "category" of businesses, for example "roofers", and go and type that search into Google.
3. Because Google knows that our search has "local intent", it will return results in our local area for roofers - usually with Google Places/Maps results in addition to normal organic results, but not always.
4. Either way, we will do a screen capture of the Google results page that comes back after our search.
5. Then, we'll highlight the keyword that was searched for, add a text box or two with some short and simple copy, and a couple arrows. I'll attach a sample, but essentially the idea is to show them the results of a keyword they would like to rank for, and ask them "wouldn't you like to show up here?"
6. That would be one side of the postcard, and would simply be one graphic that we would upload.
7. We would then go in to the other side of the postcard and copy-and-paste in some additional verbiage, our company info, the call to action, etc.
8. We would then upload our list of roofers that we want to mail this to, which could be anywhere from 50 to 500 or even 1,000 depending on how large of an area we target.
9. The vendor we choose to do this would then handle the printing of the postcard (both sides), as well as inserting the address, adding the postage, and dropping them in the mail.
So, as stated elsewhere, we obviously want to find the best vendor for this. SendOutCards and Vistaprint seem the strongest on the service, but I'm completely open to other, smaller services that might have better pricing, or might make it easier/faster to do - we intend to do several "batches" (of 50 to 500 postcards most likely) a week, if not more.
After that, the only other major tool or software I think we'll need is something that allows screen capture and annotation. I currently have Jing, and that does most of what I need, but it doesn't do the "thought bubble" (see attached sample), so I have to insert the graphic into MS Word, and then add the thought bubble - lots of steps.
I've heard that SnagIt is good, and I'm sure there are other good solutions out there, so I'm open to that.
Finally (and if you'd rather skip this part and bid without it, that is okay), I'd like a very simple instruction document created for our use only - in other words, it doesn't have to be fancy, it just needs to work.
I'd like you to document the steps from running the search, to doing the screen capture and annotation, to uploading the graphic to the vendor we choose (most have free trials or let you prepare/preview the project before you print it), to uploading the list, to submitting the job to the vendor to be printed/addresses/posted.
I'm sure there is lots I've forgotten here, but it is late and I'm tired...so ask away!