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Though there are undoubtedly companies that sell April Fools' Day-related merchandise, there really is no specific product or service associated with the holiday. Many April Fools' Day flyers deal with spring-related businesses: spring-cleaners, outdoor landscaping supplies and mowing services. Outside of those industries and other examples of fair-weather marketing, customers continue to make purchases as usual on April Fools' Day. Therefore, the question is not what customers buy but why customers buy on April Fools' Day.
The foundation of any great marketing campaign is a well-defined target audience. Know your customers, walk in their shoes and understand their desires, fears, problems and motivations. Then, you can develop an incredible can't-refuse offer with a high rate of success. The 40/40/20 rule of direct marketing postulates that 40 percent of your success is based on the quality of your mailing list, 40 percent is based on the perceived quality of your offer, and the remaining 20 percent is on everything else. Balance time spent on each of these activities accordingly. You might be surprised to find that you invest more in artwork than in building your mailing list, but this shouldn't necessarily be the case.
Your design draws customers in to your offer and sets a tone or atmosphere that helps them feel more comfortable doing business with you. Design says "Hey look at me!" and it also tells customers that your products or services are the best, the highest quality, the most efficient, the most trustworthy and that now is the time to buy. A great April Fools' Day postcard or banner design is powerful and motivational whether the message is funny, dire or anything in between.
Coupled with your design, copy highlights the features and benefits of your offer and captivates your audience. Great copywriting sells products and services, especially when it's tailored to your customers' triggers. A clear and easy call to action with multiple response options yields wonderful results.
Too many marketers overlook the value of quality printing, both in terms of cost to print and return rate. First of all, it's typically less expensive to have your postcards, banners, brochures, and flyers professionally printed than printed on a desktop printer. And the high-quality printing lends credibility to your company, builds customer loyalty and yields a higher return rate.
Another ill-advised April Fools' Day marketing practice is to put all of your proverbial eggs in one basket. That is to say, you take a gamble by banking all of your success on one marketing technique. Instead, develop a variety of materials to hit the market early and often. Send a postcard or two, distribute posters, flyers, brochures and banners, slip door hangers on customers' doors, mail a catalog, and repeat your efforts. If you're operating on a tight budget, remember that it is usually far better to put your message in front of a smaller selection of customers multiple times than to blast your entire market just once.