26 January 2007

[design] AdSwift: Postcard Promotion for Everyone

719 Something I've been meaning to comment on is quite an interesting bit for the little guy's marketing toolbox.

There's a local (Portland-based) company that is trying to make a living providing a service the small business may not realize they needed. One thing every business (or person striving to build their rep) will need is publicity. Where to get it–that's the problem.

Enter AdSwift. If postcards are in the cards for you as part of your promotional mix, you'll find that AdSwift makes it very easy to accomplish, and the cost is 40 cents per card. I've seen the product and it's glossy, very good looking. And, as a bit of disclosure, the firm I work as my 'design' employment just embarked on a relationship with AdSwift, so I got a closeup look at using it to good effect. I'm very impressed by what I've seen–they've got some net mojo in full effect over there.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The beauty of AdSwift is that, to begin with, anyone can go use it. You don't need to sign up for anything if you don't want to; the five step process is testable up to the point of shipment by any surfer who wants to do it. Registering to use AdSwift is free as well, and you don't pay for anything unless you order cards.

They have a respectable array of ready-made designs to use but once you register you can get yourself a "Swift Box", which allows for online storage of all graphics and mailing lists...you can use what they supply, AdSwift will connect you with a mailing list, or you can upload your own graphics and define card backs. You can also create multi-card "campaigns", and set them to mail out in a burst or what they call a "drip"...a little now, a little in a week, etc, etc.

I just ran the demo myself, and found that they will produce and first-class mail 100 jumbo (6"x9") postcards for $69. But what if I just want them shipped to me so I can distribute them the way I want? No problem...they ship them direct to me for $49.

I don't have too many yardsticks to use, but the price impressed Design Big Boss enough that he really wants to use them. And they really bend over backwards to please...the web archtecture apparently allows them to reconfigure to a great deal of client needs, and the COO and CEO (both of whom I had the pleasure to meet) are very friendly and knowledgeable (the COO, Cliff, is a Photoshop wiz as well...he clued me in on a SeKrIt PS technique for making your images pop, taking the drab out...but I won't let on at least not now).

They really want your business. Taking under account that I work for a company that's using them as a vendor, I really think if anyone is looking for postcards on the go, a real turnkey process that involves no installation on the client side, they ought to check AdSwift out.

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