This Could Make Or Break You

This Could Make Or Break You


Carrying on from our Direct Mail Secrets, here’s another one.

The List will Make or Break your Direct Mail Project

Sad but true. By list here I mean, whoever receives your direct mail piece. You see, the receptivity of the recipient to your mailing has more to do with the Success or Failure of your mailing than the quality of the marketing itself.

Its all about the LIST and the LIST SELECTION. So read on to discover what the very best Lists are to mail to and how to maximise your dollar return and minimise your spend

#1 – Your “House List” of Present Clients

This is a list of folk who have bought from you in the past. What’s important here is to know when they last bought, what they last bought and how much they spent. It is often referred to as “recency” and “frequency”. To make the most of your direct mail project financially, always mail your most recent buyers first. That way, your other mailings can be paid for out of profit generated from your own list.

Even sadder is the fact that most businesses that build a list don’t do anything with it. Don’t in fact use direct mail. Take for example, Harvey Norman and Dominos. Last time I checked both these companies get your name and address when you buy but do nothing with it. For us in business this is a sin.

After all, your best bang for your buck has always been direct mail and it always will be. You see, big companies like the ones I’ve described above macro manage their business. For them to “change” is a major decision. Add to that, the fact that they are so invested in their model they are incapable of changing.

You see once upon a time, the big companies controlled the channels of business. It was virtually impossible to compete with them. They often had a massive footprint in the marketplace like retail stores everywhere. They pay much less than you would for ads in media like TV, radio and print.

That said, finally the little guy gets to kick the big guy’s butt by micro managing the business. Finally the little guy can dominate the internet. The little guy can dominate direct mail.

Heck, I’ve got a client who has sold about $10 million worth of garden sheds online in the last couple of years. He doesn’t own a shed, make a shed, deliver a shed or install a shed. In fact, he carries no stock, owns and rents no space.

Once upon a time, you would have needed a couple of acres of land with sheds on display and stock at the ready.

Another client sells about $7 million worth of gazebos a year both online and offline using direct mail and direct marketing strategies and tactics.

Only a few years ago, none of this would have been possible. Finally the little guy does get to be the big guy… if he knows “how” of course!

Bottom line is the big guys have been slow to adopt the internet and they never “wised up” to the best one of all – direct mail.
The other sin is of course for you to create a list of buyers in your business and do nothing with that. It makes you no better than the big guy who has messed it up.

Recently I had the pleasure to go on a business trip to New Zealand. In between seminars I found myself with a day off. It was a quick trip and my wife didn’t go with me like she normally does. So, I did what any smart husband would do. I went shopping for my bride and for my new stepdaughter.

Being a mere man, I wanted to get the shopping thing out of the way as quickly as possible but make “a trip of it”. So I hopped on a ferry and travelled to a retail precinct, enjoying a morning tea and lunch on the way.

Now it was time to shop. I spotted a girly gift shop and figured this was a one stop shop for me. And it was. I bought 4 or 5 pieces, mostly jewellery and a bag which was all then beautifully, individually packaged for me in neat little draw string bags.

The lady behind the counter was delightful, tremendously helpful and knew I needed and wanted all the help in the world. In fact, she did say to me she loves male shoppers. We are so easy to help and sell to.

Guess what, in spite of all this wonderful attention and service I received, this delightful middle aged shopkeeper let me walk out the door without getting my name and address.

Think for a moment. She knew what I bought, she knew I was a spender. All she had to do was have a simple questionnaire may be with an incentive to fill it out that asks me when my anniversary was, when my wife’s birthday was, when my stepdaughter’s birthday was.

And then sometime in the future at an appropriate date, make me an offer. Better still, send 3 or 4 hand-picked gifts especially for the occasions I’ve described above. Of course, she could do so with no obligation on my part and include a free postage bag to send back what I didn’t want.

Get this. I would have probably bought the lot. Gets me in front on gifts. Imagine what the lifetime value of the client may have really been for this gifts shop if they knew how. Sad isn’t it?

#2 – Your Past Inactive Clients

It goes without saying that your next best list is past but inactive clients who you mail to, to reactivate. The best offer is FREE with no strings attached, but they need to collect it from your store.

Your chances of getting them in and selling to them go up dramatically.

#3 – Your Current Fresh Leads Preferably Created by 2-Step Marketing

If you are not growing you are dying that’s why you must master lead generation and the most effective form of lead generation is 2-step marketing. And then you market to them for life or until they die or buy.

Right here is where a disgusting number of business owners get it wrong. You see they give up on the prospect way too soon.

Right now at home, my wife and I are completely renovating our 1980’s home on the beach. I’ve had any number of tradesmen come and quote (if they turned up!).

On anything from painting the roof, rendering the house, replacing the doors and windows, renovating the kitchen and bathroom, replacing the garage doors and landscaping the complete property.

And guess what, in spite of the quotes being for tens of thousands of dollars I received little more than a hand written quote or two. And literally no one has followed me up to ask for the business. Can you believe that?

Of course they think I probably bought from someone else or that all clients “suck”. Who knows what they are thinking but they are probably complaining. Imagine for a moment if one of them had rung me up or mailed me using direct marketing and gave me some form of offer to buy now.

As if I wanted to meet with tradie after tradie. I simply wanted to do a deal.

#4 – Your Old Leads from 2-Step Marketing (Most give up too soon)

Bottom line business owners give up way too soon on a prospect, don’t let that be you.

The statistics below should shock and horrify you but at the same time represent incredible opportunity.


#5 – Rented Commercially Available Lists and/or Joint Ventures

The best way to do this is to do an endorsed mailing (by the list owner) to their list on your behalf edifying you in the process. The trick here is to do everything for your joint venture partner and list owner. Write the mailing and pay for it too. Why? Because, if you don’t do it, they will stuff it up.

You see the list owner is the host and you are the parasite. You will benefit most simply because the dearest thing anyone has to do is to build a list of advocates.

So finally your most valuable asset in business is your own list and your reputation with them and if you are not building that list and using that list everyday using emotional direct response marketing you actually don’t have a business at all. You have a promotion depending upon your next sale.

All the Best,

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