In our last post we introduced you to the 4-part series we’re doing on the 10 Key Elements of Your Marketing. Because we want to help you become expert in creating effective marketing campaigns.
In case you missed the first post, you can read them here:
Today we’re going to focus on four elements: targeting, offers, copy, and urgency.
KEY ELEMENT #2: Identify Your Target Market or Client
Perhaps the greatest thing about Direct Mail Marketing is that it is very easy to target specific demographic groups. You can rent or buy lists that contain just about any criteria you can imagine about a market.
For B2C you could look for a specific ZIP code, type of family, size of family, owners or rents, and a myriad of other demographic factors.
For B2B, you could look for SIC codes, size of the business, gross sales, number of employees, location, competitors, etc.
Who should you target?
Choosing the right list is vital to the success of a direct marketing campaign. You can mail the greatest offer in the world to the wrong list and get zero response. You can also mail a mediocre offer to a good list and still get a good response.
There are three main types of targets that every business should approach
- Your in-house customer list
- Your in-house prospect list
- Your targeted cold prospect list
The in-house customer list is obvious. It is simply a list of your customers. So many marketers take this list for granted and don’t do anything with their customers. Never forget your in-house customer list. It is just as important as any other list you may use. In fact, it may be more important than any other list – these are the customers that are easiest to make a sale with, and since you’ve already spent the cost-of-acquisition to get them, the sales you do make are much more profitable. This list is red hot and a gold mine.
The in-house prospect list are prospects who haven’t purchased yet. They’ve contacted you, and expressed some level of interest in your product or service, but they haven’t made the purchase yet. The fact that they already took a step to contact you puts you closer to the sale. Just because they haven’t bought yet doesn’t mean they won’t.
Maybe they still don’t know, like, and trust you. Maybe you didn’t do a good enough job of showing them the value proposition, and can do a better job the second time around. Maybe they never really saw your materials even though they asked for them. Maybe you just did a louse job the first time around. No matter the reason they haven’t bought yet, this is a very valuable list because it’s already warm.
The third list is a targeted cold prospect list.
This one is a little more difficult to obtain, and you have to put on your thinking cap to figure out who exactly should be on this list. In order to do this, you have to identify who your ideal target customer is, AND what are some of the demographics associated with them. Then you’ll need to go to the sources where you can find people with those demographics. There are mailing list companies, magazines, associations, clubs, trade groups, social media groups, and all sorts of sources for people with similar demographics.
Back to our real estate example… If you are looking for high equity properties and you don’t target your list properly, most of your mailing could end up going to people with very little equity in their property. To make money as a real estate investor, you have to purchase houses at wholesale value, often 50 cents on the dollar or less. If you offer a person who owes $100,000 on their home $50,000 there is almost no chance they are going to say yes. You may even get a 10% response rate to the mailer because you have a compelling offer. But if none of those people are the right prospects, you will not get any deals. You are wasting your money even soliciting those types of people.
But targeting the right prospects isn’t enough…
KEY ELEMENT #3: Have an irresistible Offer
An irresistible offer is the lifeblood of any marketing campaign. So many people make a mistake of sending out a mail piece, email, or website that has no offer at all. Typically people will say, “We’re in the _______ business and here’s our phone number”.
That is NOT an offer.
It is critical to determine what your objective is, and then craft an offer to help you achieve that objective.
If your goal is to generate a lead, use an offer of a free report on maximizing profits, a DIY on staining decks, or other free content relevant to your industry.
So many marketers make the mistake of only listing features and benefits, but they are missing the very critical compelling offer that spurs prospects into taking action.
Remember “We clean carpets” with a phone number listed is NOT an offer.
KEY ELEMENT #4: Always Talk About Benefits and Experience to Prospects
Any time you write anything on any sort of marketing piece, you need to ask yourself the question, “Who cares?” Look at it from the prospect’s point of view. If the prospect doesn’t care about what you just said, don’t say it. Instead, focus on telling them the benefits and experiences they’ll get from your products and services. Because let’s face it, buyers are about the “What’s in it for me?”
Let’s look at the real estate business again. What is a typical problem someone might have? They may have a vacant house that is costing them money, and they don’t know what to do. Think about that problem when you craft your message. You might say, “We will remove all the worry and hassle of fixing up and getting your vacant house ready for sale, so you can move on and enjoy your family”.
That statement solves their key problem AND talks about a benefit for them. If you want to take it one step further, you’d add in the experience of the benefit. “We’ll remove all the worry and hassle of fixing up your vacant house and getting it ready for sale, so you can sit back on your beach chair, dig your toes into the sand, and watch your children romp in the waves on that family vacation you’ve never had time for.”
Another example is what I used to get people interested in a direct mail book I wrote. I know that most small business owners are interested in more sales and profits. So all my marketing copy talked about the benefits of increased profits – not about direct mail specifically. They don’t care about doing Direct Mail without knowing what Direct Mail is going to do for them. Connecting the fact that Direct Mail can result in increased profits makes sense to most business owners.
KEY ELEMENT #5: Create a Sense of Urgency
Sense of urgency is very important in any marketing piece, but especially in a Direct Mail piece. Create a sense of urgency by setting a specific time or a specific deadline they must respond by, or your offer is good for. You can use scarcity to create a sense of urgency with, “This offer is limited to the first 10 people who respond within 24 hours!” or “We are only buying one house in your neighborhood”. Sense of urgency motivates the reader to act. It is human nature to not want to miss out. The more you can make it feel like the reader will be missing out the stronger your message will be.
Your next assignment is going to be similar to the last. You’re going to take the information you learned in this email and actually do something with it. Sensing a pattern here yet?
Schedule another half an hour at some point in the next 24 hours, and shut everything out just like last time. Then I want you to brainstorm:
- Who your ideal market and/or client is
- What irresistible offer is will compel your ideal market and/or client to take action
- Which ways you can create a sense of urgency