Posted in How To on July 12th, 2012
Jeremy Reeves is a direct response freelance copywriter and marketing strategist who helps businesses uncover hidden assets, boost conversions and maximize profits. See how he can help grow your business at www.JeremyReeves.com
I’ve written several guest blog posts here on Visual Website Optimizer. So far, they’ve all dealt with unconventional tactics I’m using with my online clients to get massive results.
I’ve included links to them below, just in case you want to read the others after this one.
- The Anatomy Of A Longform Salesletter (MUST read)
- Why Longform Salesletters Still Work – Even For Professional Businesses
- 5 Ways To Double Your Email Response Rates And Profits
- The Top 7 Split-Testing Blunders You MUST Avoid
In this article, I’d like to switch gears and talk about how to increase your profits either online OR offline, using marketing campaigns instead of one-time promotions.
(Please share your comments after reading and tell me if you like these step-by-step, “in the trenches” articles of what I’m currently doing with clients.)
More specifically, I’ll show you how (and why) I created…
A 3-Step Mailing Campaign Which Over-Booked My Client After The First Mailing Alone!
First, let me give you a brief background of the client.
He has an offline business in the financial industry, helping people get more affordable mortgages. He came to me because two different government programs were recently introduced, and he wanted to develop some marketing material to get people to call him.
What’s important to note is that he was hiring me to get him results. I was tasked to come up with a way to do that.
Here’s what I came up with.
Instead of sending out a single promotion to his list, we would instead create a 3-step marketing campaign. Marketing campaigns, as opposed to single promotions, are MUCH more effective – sometimes pulling in 50% or higher results.
The structure we came up with was as follows.
- Step #1: Send a postcard announcing the service, with a deadline for responding
- Step #2: Send a very unique direct mail letter, reminding them of the deadline, and including more information
- Step #3: Send a final, and again very unique, direct mail letter, warning them of the impending deadline… and providing even more reasons to respond now
Let’s dive into each a little deeper.
Mailing #1: The Eye-Catching Postcard
The idea was to send out a postcard which reminded the clients of who he was (he recently moved and hasn’t talked to them in awhile).
It would also raise curiosity by showing them the benefits of the new program without revealing too much information which would cause them to try and “qualify themselves”. The reason I did n’t want to give out too much information was simply because, if they DID try to qualify themselves without knowing all of the information or talking to my client… they might mistakenly assume they didn’t qualify. And therefore not call. We also told them about the strict deadline they had to call by to qualify for the offer.
As for the call to action?
It was simply to call him.
(Normally I would have given them three options: Visit him online, call, or call a pre-recorded message… but stuck with a single way to respond for various reasons personal to this client)
So phone call it was.
While I was in the middle of writing step #2, which I’ll explain in a minute, my client called me up and said not to worry about getting it done in time for the original deadline.
He’d had so many people call him that he couldn’t take any more leads.
That is a very, very good problem to have.
Now, let me explain the reasoning behind the success of this promotion.
Reason #1: Great Copy – The copy I wrote was perfectly in line with the mindset of the customer. It met them exactly where they were at by adding curiosity instead of trying to explain the entire program on a small postcard.
Reason #2: Perfectly Matched Offer – Great marketing happens by combining great copy, with a great offer, to the correct person. That’s exactly what we did. The offer was a very simplistic one. They called my client, he put them through a little “analysis” to see if they qualified, and if so he did his thing and helped save them money. It was free, and only took a minute to call him. That means zero risk for the person. And zero risk means a perfect buying opportunity.
Reason #3: An Existing Relationship – My client already knew these people (though many were from several years ago) and we made that known. We’re doing it even more so in the second letter. We also sent this to existing clients first to test, since existing customers and clients are an absolutely gold-mine, especially when you’re introducing new offers.
There are many more, but I’m sure you get the idea…
After sending out step #1, he was slammed with leads. So much so we’ve postponed letters #2 and 3 because he’d never be able to keep up. So let me tell you what those steps will look like, once they go live.
Mailing #2: A 4-Page Letter In A Very Unique Package
(Note: While reading this rest, I want you to be thinking about how you can do this either online OR offline. Read the main idea, and apply it to your business)
For letter #2, we’re testing a 4 page letter, but in a very unique fashion.
Why send a second letter? Because…
The 2nd step in a campaign can bring in up to 50% of the response the first step achieved!
I can’t reveal specific numbers because of client confidentiality, so let’s just assume he got a 10% response to make the numbers easy. By sending out a second letter, I expect to achieve roughly half the results of the first, or another 5%.
That increases the results by 50%, achieving a total response of roughly 15%.
This letter talks about how the deadline is passed because so many people already called him and he couldn’t take on anybody else.
It’s also going to talk about the new deadline, and WHY their is a new deadline (very important). It will also include more information about the program, what type of people qualify, his story, a lot more “personal touches”, and a handful of other persuasion-boosting elements.
The best part of it is that it will be sent in a bright red express envelope package. The opening of the letter will then explain why it’s being sent in that type of package.
The reason we’re going with such a drastic approach is twofold.
- It works
- It works
Most people send absolutely terrible promotions. No grabbers… nothing exciting… and a lackluster offer sent to the wrong person… and wonder why they get lackluster results.
Customers these days are DYING for something entertaining to happen. That’s the reason drama shows are one of the most popular shows on Earth. People want action… drama… excitement. Send them a bold, exciting package in the mail and you’ll quickly jump-start them into action.
Some people think this is weird. Some people think it’s too expensive, or too complicated. All are wrong. If you’re paying 2x the price for each piece but getting 3x the results, it is NOT expensive.
And in terms of how many mailings to send?
The answer is stupidly simple…
You Continue Sending Packages Until The ROI Achieved Is No Longer Acceptable
It’s really that simple. And it works for both online and offline campaigns. One of the things that bewilders me about some business owners is that they want to limit the number of autoresponders they have.
If you’re paying, say $150 per email… yet are making (on average) more than that per email that goes out… you ought to continue layering on emails until it’s not profitable anymore.
Yet, most peoples autoresponder campaigns (and offline campaigns) only go out for a few messages with no regards to profitability. It makes me sick, knowing how much money is left on the table. The same holds true for people doing split-testing.
You see, it’s the same principle as direct mail. You simply continue sending messages until it’s not profitable anymore. It’s like having a printing press in your basement, but only running it during certain hours of the day.
But, so be it.
Mailing #3: A Final 4-Page Letter
Let’s move on to package #3.
Package #3 is very, very simple. I did it this particular way because the client wanted a 3-step campaign, but was testing my services out for the first time so wanted to figure out a way to save a little money doing so.
So here’s what we’ll do…
For letter #3, we’re simply going to take a copy of letter #2 and have him cross out certain parts of it, BY HAND… rewrite it.
For example, he might cross out the part where it says “respond within 28 days” and write “14” where the 28 was. We’ll also include a small lift note at the top, possibly in the form of a sticky note with a handwritten message… saying something along the lines of…
…“Sent you this 2 weeks ago but I haven’t heard from you. Wanted to make sure you got it. Below is a reprint of my last letter”.
And follow that with his name and signature.
(Online you can achieve the same result by copy/pasting the email… and adding a similar note to the top of the email)
And that’s letter #3.
It will take probably 20-30 minutes to redo the letter, yet will still achieve great results because it’s a new and fresh way to get another message into their hands.
So What Implications Does This Have For Online Marketing
There are actually several…
- You’re A Business Owner – Do not classify yourself as an “online” marketer. You’re a business owner. Period. Online, or offline, marketing is a tool for achieving your end result. You should be using both. And you can use 3-step (or 5… 10… 50… etc.) campaigns to achieve similar results, both online and offline.
- You Should Be Testing – Split-testing can be achieved both online and offline. For example if you’re using a postcard to drive people to your website – test it! Test the postcard… test the landing page… test the letters, etc. You can literally test anything, online or offline.
- Don’t Make Assumptions – One of the biggest blunders I see business owners making is making assumptions about what works and what won’t. If you’re assuming something will/won’t work before testing it, I can guarantee you, you are losing money.
So there you have it. The campaign which got my client so much business, he literally had to pause the campaign to avoid being (figuratively) over-run by his clients.
I hope you’ll take the ideas in it, apply them to your own business, and test them out. There are dozens of different ways to use campaigns to turn more prospects into customers, more customers into larger-purchase customers, and to get your customers to come back more frequently.
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