Categorized | Shoestring Startup

Postcards, Shoestrings and Joy: The PostcardMania Story

The Story about your company: My company, PostcardMania is one of the nation’s most effective marketing companies specializing in lead generation for small to large-sized business. We’ve been featured on the Inc. 500 and 5,000 lists and offer complete marketing campaigns with graphic design, printing, mailing list acquisition, mailing services, website development and email marketing services— all while continuing to educate clients with free marketing advice.

By 2010, our revenues reached over $19 million and we now employ over 190 people, print 4 million and mail 2 million postcards each week representing more than 40,000 customers in over 350 industries.

Name of your company and URL? http://www.postcardmania.com

Date started? June 1998.

What is your product or service? Our primary product is direct mail marketing, specifically postcards. However, we also offer email marketing and website design & development.

Joy Gendusa

Why did you start your company? I started my company so that I could provide for my kids the way my dad provided for me. I had a small graphic design company with 4 staff. I ordered postcards from a postcard printing company that promoted only to the trade. When I received the proof, it had the printer’s 1-800 number on it. I asked them to remove it and they said it would be $50! I couldn’t believe it! After I got off the phone, I turned around to me 4 employees and said we were starting a postcard marketing company and we’re going to call it PostcardMania. And we won’t put our 800# on our customer’s postcards!

How was it financed? I had a credit card. Only one… with a 5k limit.

Date officially launched? June 1998.

What free online or offline tools do you use? I subscribe and read many newsletters such as Ad Age, Marketing Profs, Marketing Sherpa, Seth Godin’s blog, etc. Even though there are core principles in marketing, the industry is constantly changing. If you want to survive, you have to change with it. So, I soak in all the new information I can!

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or? Provide exact URL of each:

Facebook – www.facebook.com/postcardmania
Twitter – www.twitter.com/postcardmania
LinkedIn – www.linkedin.com/in/postcardmania
YouTube – www.youtube.com/postcardmania

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)? 191

What is the best advice you ever got? Only closely associate with people with your best interests in mind. I’ve found that there really is no point trying to build lasting relationships with people only out for themselves.

What almost killed your business in the start? Having no money!! I really had to figure out how to have revenue without giving terms and having to wait for the money. Prior to PostcardMania a business person never purchased printing or marketing and paid 100% up front!

What is the one thing that you did right? I kept my nose to the marketing grindstone — even when times got tough. Actually, especially when times got tough! If there was a lull in business, I sent out a ton more postcards. There is a direct correlation between how much you mail and the response you see. Obviously, there are other factors, but that’s what worked for me!

 

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)? Oh, I was terrified of public speaking and I really had to overcome that just to be able to conduct my staff meetings! Now I speak professionally!

Are you currently in the black or red? Red, but getting blacker every day!

What type of marketing or advertising do you do? Most of our marketing budget goes to direct mail, but we also use Pay Per Click (PPC), SEO, publicity and email marketing. We’ve found it absolutely essential to have a integrated approach to marketing. At this point in time, with technology being what it is, every market is saturated. To breakthrough you really need to be firing on all possible cylinders.

What would make your business more “Successful”? I measure success by the success of my customers —so the more winning campaigns we produce the more successful we are. We have a policy of building on success. So when we have a customer who does really well, we find out what worked so we can replicate it. That’s the advantage our clients have against anyone else out there — and that’s what would (and will!) make us more successful.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Csgo0YkOxEA

Would you want to be acquired by a bigger company, run it yourself or sell in a couple of years? Tough question. I’ll take on any investors because I like being able to make my own decisions in the moment.

What do you think your projected annual revenue will be? 21 million this year. We did 19.17 last year and we are currently running 10% up over this time last year.

How long do you think it will take you to get to your projected annual revenue? You want an overall long term projection? I’d like to get to 100 million and I think I can do it in 7 years.

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