"Improve Your Response" Newsletter
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
Please excuse me for not sending you this newsletter sooner.
Despite the economy, Ive been incredibly busy including seminars for Kessler Financial services, the DMA, Liberty Mutual and the Professional Insurance Marketing Association.
I also wanted to wait until I returned from the DMA Annual Conference in Orlando, so I could share some of the things I learned with you.
Anyway, thanks for your patience and I hope the following information is useful to you.
The first presentation I attended was Barry Gibbons, who is the ex-CEO of Burger King.
Gibbons has written a number of books with terrific titles, including "If You Want to Make God Really Laugh, Show Him Your Business Plan" and "Warning: May Contain Nuts."
His main point was this: We can accomplish much more than we think we can, but we sometimes block ourselves.
And thats the point of the story that I want to share with you.
Harry Houdini, arguably the worlds greatest escape artist, used to tour the United States and demonstrate his powers. He would visit the local prisons and have them strap him into a straightjacket, wraps chains around his arms and legs, and tie him down.
Theyd stick him into their toughest cell and hed have 20 minutes to get out. The entire town would crowd around outside the cell, waiting to see if Harry could escape.
And he always did with one exception.
In one small town, Houdini quickly got out of the straightjacket and the chains and ropes, but was stymied at the door of the cell. Try as he might, he just couldnt seem to pick the lock and turn the cylinders. 20 minutes passed then 30 then an hour.
Houdini tried every trick he knew all without success until at last, he admitted defeat and he called in the warden to free him. The man walked in and simply opened the door
the jailer had forgotten to lock it!
Houdini had actually locked the door while trying to unlock it.
How does this tie in with marketing? Gibbons says that we all have a door like that in our company or in our personal lives. A door that we think we can never get through. A goal we think we can never accomplish.
His suggestion: go up and turn the handle - it just may open for you.
In my own presentation, I invited people to think of their next direct mail package like a fortune cookie. Its a good metaphor because:
Fortune cookies need to be opened.
Theres a personal message inside.
But unlike most direct mail:
People are happy to open a fortune cookie.
They are usually very pleased by what they see inside
How can you make your prospects feel that way about your direct mail?
One suggestion is to focus on the prospect. The fortune never talks about the company that makes them, or the restaurant it focuses on the person reading it.
Imagine how upset youd feel if you opened a fortune cookie, and read the following message:
But thats what we often do in direct mail.
To prove the point, my wife and I recently ate at an Asian restaurant and at the end of the meal, she opened up her fortune cookie. There were three fortunes inside she felt like she won something!
Each fortune was better than the one before. They read:
My wife was delighted, and I eagerly opened my fortune to see what good things I would discover about myself.
Imagine my disappointment when I read the following:
Richard Rosen of AlloyRed in Portland, Oregon gave a brilliant presentation on the integration of brand advertising and direct marketing.
He says that traditional advertising is based on generating Awareness, then Preference, then Consideration all of which lead to Sales.
And that works if you have a $200 million advertising budget like Nike.
A smarter model starts with Awareness, but then leads to Engagement and Interaction. Because unless you give people a means and a reason to interact with your brand awareness alone isnt going to work.
The reason for interaction could be
The means could be
What was most fascinating about Rosens presentation was a series of ads for Taylor golf clubs.
The first ad was all image no copy, not even a web address.
The next ad had the web address.
The third ad had the web address and copy that gave you more information about the clubs.
The fourth ad included all of the above plus an offer.
The ads kept including more and more until the image part was completely lost, and it became a junky "Golf Club" blow-out.
It may sell clubs, but the ad does nothing for the brand image and may even hurt it.
Rosen shows his clients this range of ads, and asks them "Where on this scale do you think your ad should be?"
This gives both the client and the agency a sense of how important branding should be versus response, and makes sure they are all (literally) on the same page.
We all get so much direct mail these days from companies who want us to accept a new credit card, refinance our mortgage, donate to a charity.
How can you make your direct mail stand out?
If you can add something to your direct mail package that isnt just designed to sell your product, but to help or inform or serve the prospect in some way, they will be grateful. And they may even respond.
Let me give you two examples:
So what value could you add to your next package?
Member-get-Member or referral programs are one of the most important opportunities for direct marketer.
The idea is that each of your customers knows another person with similar characteristics. They both may live in the same neighborhood. They both may have the same job.
They both may share the same interests.
And that other person could be a prime prospect for you.
There are two important benefits to a Member-get-Member program:
The program works best when you reward both the customer and the person they refer. So your customer can say,
Even politicians are using Member-get-Member.
The Bush campaign has appointed 100 elite "Rangers," who have raised more than $200,000 each by collecting checks from their families, friends and business associates.
Democrats have done it too. Senator John Kerry has created a "Hall of Fame" for people who raise $100,000 or more.
So if you have a loyal base of customers, and you want to grow your business, a Member-get-Member might be a very effective program.
In my last issue, I challenged you to come up with a way to reward a valued employee for $100. or less.
We received over a dozen very creative answers. Here are some of the best:
" For under $100, you could probably begin an employee of the month
award. The winner would get their name on a plaque. A cover article about
that employee could appear in an in-house newsletter or on the company
bulletin board. He or she could be awarded use of a special "Employee
of the Month" parking space. They could also be presented with a
certificate and a ceramic coffee mug at a company-wide meeting. "
"Since the person you mentioned is an art director, the first step is to come up with the name of a magazine that either really exists or doesnt. For instance in this scenario the name could be International Art World Magazine.
Create a magazine cover, with this persons face as the prominent
highlight. Then create a main headline, such as This Months Feature
Article "Whos Who in the World of Creative Art Directors."
"Id make a tablet to hang on the Art Directors room
door,saying, "Name. The Best Art Director Alan Rosenspan & Associates
"I would pay to have the artwork or collateral materials designed
by this person professionally framed and then affix a plaque to the artwork
with that individuals name attached to it as the creator of this
great work. I would place the framed piece in the corporate lobby or conference
"Here are a few of my thoughts in recognizing outstanding contributions with a limited budget.
My answer was pretty similar: The persons name was Mark Davis.
His title was Art Director. I changed his title, and for less than $100,
I had his business cards reprinted to read as follows:
Mark gave one to his mother and his girlfriend. He handed them out to everyone he met. He enlarged one and put it on his office door, where it remained for years.
The winner and I hope you agree - for having the most ideas is Mike Sawisky. The Mystery Gift I promised is a small statue of a man bowing. Its called "Your Personal Ego Booster."
Thanks for participating.
Havent thought of one yet but I would like to leave you with a little poem from Shel Silverstein.
Go make some magic!
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© Alan Rosenspan & Associates