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Direct Marketing Breakthroughs Worth More Than $1 MILLION - Part 2

Direct Marketing Breakthroughs Worth More Than $1 MILLION - Part 2

February 24, 2009

(if you apply the ideas found here!)

Last month, I covered 9 breakthrough ideas that have jump started sales over and over such as the guarantee that doubled one client's business, how to use the power of the P.S. to reinforce your offer, how to give your marketing a lift every time and much more. Here are 7 more ideas you can put to work ' all of which have brought in more than $1 million in sales! - Jon

Tip #10: Take the risk out of the deal.

Go beyond the guarantee and take all the risk away from your prospect. I call a BTRF deal, a 'Better Than Risk Free' deal. The goal is to make it easy for prospects to take the next step with you. Here's one of my favorites: 'Send no money now. Just check if you want a free, no obligation trial offer. And if you don't love it, just write 'cancel' on the bill and keep your free gift as our 'thank you' for trying us out.'

If you got offers from two competing magazines and one said, 'Subscribe today and if you don't like it, we'll refund your money' and the other said, 'Get a free trial issue and only pay if you like it.' Which one would you choose?

Tip #11: Repeat yourself.

Repetition is the mother of all learning. It breeds familiarity, which leads to trust, which leads to business. Send multiple mailings to the same prospect to create a relationship. (Do you only see one ad on TV? Of course not!) Remember, most sales don't occur until after the 5th contact! Your prospects feel like they know you even though they've never been in contact with you. They will most likely choose you when the need arises because they say to themselves, 'I already know him.'


Tip #12: Tell your hungry fish what to do next.

Everything you do in your marketing piece should lead your hungry fish to the close ' your call to action. What is that you want them to do? Buy something? Make a phone call?Reply by email? Click a button on a website? Send a fax? Let them know.

You also want to spark a sense of urgency and promise to fulfill a need if they act right away. The longer they wait, the less likely they'll act so you want your prospects to act immediately. Give them a reason to respond right away. Here are a few examples: Offer expires in 72 hours ' Only 37 left at this price ' Offer available to the first 400 responses.

Tip #13: Get your prospects to pick up your offer now!

If your house is like mine, if the phone rings, someone rushes to answer it. It doesn't even matter if I'm talking. I'm just told, 'Hang on, the phone's ringing.' Your package should be like a phone ringing. The prospect should say to himself or herself, 'I have to pick this up and open it right now!' Here are 5 methods:

  • Add stickers.
  • Use bright colors or multiple colors on your package.
  • Give it an unusual shape or size.
  • Make it official or urgent looking (i.e., check enclosed, official business, etc.)
  • Add a see-through window.


The most powerful color combination in marketing is black and yellow. If you don't want to be taken too seriously, use orange. If you're selling food, the most effective colors are apricot and peach. Red connotes motion, action and risk-taking.

Tip #14: Add a premium to your offer.

Research has proven a letter with a free gift offer (a premium) can out-pull a sales letter alone by as much as 300%. The premium is simply something a prospect receives for taking an action with you. The best premiums have a high perceived value. They may not cost much, but they should look like they do.

Electronics, such as a clock or oversized calculator, are some of the most popular premiums. Whatever you choose should be tailored to your target audience. Be sure to include pictures of them in your marketing several places and place another picture beside the reply device as a reminder of what they get when they respond.

Tip #15: Appeal to the senses.

Since I'm also known as the 'lumpy mail guy' and the 'watermelon guy', I would be negligent if I didn't recommend lumpy mail ' direct mail's greatest secret weapon that has been known to bump up response rates by as much as 75%. One of my favorite mailings is the 'fortune cookie mailer' in which you send the cookie with a customized message inside. Tell prospects you can help them save money, or make a 'fortune.'

Does it work? Ask Berman Sales in Detroit. They sent a fortune cookie to every prospect as a follow-up tool and doubled their sales. Real estate guru Vena Jones Cox used it as an invitation to an event. She had the highest response of any mailing she ever did!

Remember, the more you involve your reader, and the more noticeable and compelling your package is, the more likely your reader will respond. This one involves the sense of taste and a sense of intrigue.

Tip #16: Test whether to tease.

You have an incredible opportunity on the outside of your envelope or package to reach out and grab your prospect's attention.

Your prospect will glance at your mailing and make a decision to open it or trash it in just a few seconds. Make the most of that time! So the question is: to tease or not to tease.

Tease: Ask a provocative question that fulfills a need. Example: 'Want to double your profits in just three months or less?'

Or, here's one of my favorites: Delicious pin-up enclosed. This one certainly piques your curiosity. (It's a restaurant carry-out menu with a magnet.)

Or don't tease at all. Don't say anything. Don't even include your name or return address. Letters without a return address pique interest. There are questions that come from the unknown: 'What is this? Who is this from?'

Either tease or don't tease at all. Don't mix the two. Either make the envelope a clear advertising piece OR use the personal approach, but don't use both.