Alan Rosenspan's "Improve Your Response"
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
I just finished a brief book called "Its Not How Good You Are, Its How Good You Want to Be" written by British creative director Paul Arden.
Its a terrific little book more aspirational than educational, but worth picking up. On the other hand, there was a book right beside it with the title and Im not making this up "Your Marketing Sucks"
I was tempted to write the author a letter your title sucks.
The reason Im mentioning books is that David Ogilvy used to say, "The difference between a great surgeon and a good surgeon has nothing to do with their hands. A great surgeon knows more than other surgeons."
The same is true of direct marketing the more you know, the more effective you can be. And there are dozens of excellent books and resources available.
If youd like a list of my favorite books on advertising and direct marketing, just e-mail me at Arosenspan@aol.com
My agency just completed a project for American Express to re-launch their Legal Services Plan. See more information in our Control section.
The results have been just terrific early returns show that weve beaten their control by 4 to 1.
Im not bragging (well, maybe a little) but I just want to share with you the reason for those excellent results. Because its an idea you can apply to your marketing as well.
The brochure for the Legal Services Plan doesnt start out talking about the product. In fact, you have to fully open it, and view three panels before you can even get to the product.
Instead, the brochure starts with three panels that ask the prospect three specific questions:
"You have a big problem with a small contractor. How can you resolve it?
"Youd like a simple will to protect you and your family. Who can you call?"
"You want to talk to an Attorney, but you dont want to spend a fortune. Where can you turn?"
Only then, when you fully open the brochure is the answer revealed and surprise its the American Express plan.
This technique of first identifying the problems that people may be having that your product will solve -- is very powerful. If the person reading your letter or brochure agrees with even one of them they are already nodding their head "yes" when they get to the product.
Weve used this technique with several clients including my own company. Our brochure cover asks these three provocative questions:
"Are your response rates going down, and you know you could be doing much better?"
"Did your agency show you just two or three ideas, and you think youve seen one of them before?"
"Is your next direct marketing project important to you as well as your company?"
Once again the goal is to get my prospect to nod their head and murmur, "Thats exactly what weve been experiencing "
So for your next direct mail package try not showing your product or benefits first. Start off with identifying the problem that your prospects are having.
Think of your prospects first and they just may think about you.
All of my clients are smart but one of them is an absolute genius.
And Id like to share his big idea with you.
My client works for a high technology company. They wanted to launch a new product using direct mail, but there were some questions
Whats the best price point? How many packages should we mail? How much can we afford to spend on the offer?
Most companies try to guess the answers but my client was much more innovative. He put together an Excel spreadsheet that listed all the different variables of a direct mail program.
He started with his objective which was to sell 500 units. He then rolled out several different scenarios based on response rates of 1%, 1.5%, 2% etc., plugged in the costs and figured out the net revenue for the program.
Based on these figures, we could then manipulate the numbers, "test out" several ideas, and see what would happen.
For example, we learned that if we increased the cost of each individual offer from $1. to $50. then response would have to go up from 1.0% to 1.6% in order to keep the same net revenue.
This was enormously valuable information and led to developing some very exciting offers. These were offers which most companies would say "we could never afford that!" but my client proved that we could.
We were also able to determine mail quantities and even determine the best pricing for the product. No wonder he calls this tool -
I talk about "Big Ideas" in all my seminars but Ive never written a lot about them. And today, they are more important than ever before.
We all receive so many advertising communications every single day, in our mail, in our e-mail, and virtually everywhere we look - that unless it has a big idea, it wont even get noticed.
Here are 7 fast ways to get a big idea for your next project:
Its been awhile since we did our last Creativity Test so Id like to introduce another one to you.
Several years ago, I had an Art Director who did an outstanding job on a project and I wanted to thank him.
I couldnt give him a raise budgets were tight. I couldnt even afford to give him a bonus. So I figured out a way to reward him that cost me less than $100. but he was absolutely delighted with it.
My idea was based on the famous quote from Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics. She said: "Everyone has an invisible sign hanging from his or her neck saying, Make me feel important. Never forget this when dealing with people."
Ill tell you what I did in the next newsletter, but thats the Creativity Test. Come up with a way to reward a valued employee for $100. or less.
Best answer wins our special mystery gift thats not available in any store (I promise you youll love it.)
Deadline: September 1st 2003.
My good friend Ray Considine wisely suggested I need a closing line for my newsletters.
Ray is a brilliant Sales and Training guru who wrote W.A.Y.M.I.S.H. (Why Are You Making It So Hard to give you my money?) so when he talks I listen.
The legendary newscaster Walter Cronkite used to say, "And thats the way it was." Porky Pig used to stutter, " Th Th Thats all, folks!"
I used to get out of boring meetings by saying, "Ive taken up enough of your time "
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© Alan Rosenspan & Associates