"Improve Your Response"
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
The Frugal Sharpei
When you think about involvement devices in direct mail your mind usually goes to stickers, scratch-offs or questionnaires.
And these all work very well.
But sometimes your entire direct marketing program can be based on involvement. And I cant think of a better example than a program my agency did for the dog food "Kibbles & Bits."
Before we began working on the program, we found research that showed there were three distinct types of dog owners. If you own a dog, see which category you fit into.
Category One were people who said, "The dogs a dog." This group fed their dog dry dog food, and the dog slept in the yard or the basement.
The second category were people who said, "The dogs a member of the family." This group fed their dogs canned dog food, and the dog slept in the bedroom.
Then there was the third group. We called them "doters" because they positively doted on their dogs. These were the people who said, "I dont understand. I cooked him liver and onions just the way he always likes it. But he only ate half..."
"Maybe hes mad at me!"
Here the dog wasnt only a member of the family but the most important member. So we directed our program right at the dogs.
We started a newsletter written just for dogs. We had a letters to the editor column, entitled "Speak!" We featured a recipe column, not by the Frugal Gourmet, but rather The Frugal Sharpei.
The program was uncommonly successful, and we received hundreds of letters -- not from owners, but "from" the dogs!
Direct mail about dog food -- how dull! -- became something our prospects looked forward to. In a way, it wasnt direct mail, because most direct mail just wants to sell you something. This made you smile, and got you involved.
Knowledge is Power
My friend Ken Wax is one of America leading sales trainers. (You can view his website at www.kenwax.com)
He recently came out with a remarkable idea about selling that also applies to direct marketing. And its so simple:
"People buy from people who know more than they do."
Think about it for a moment. If you have an ordinary cold, you can douse yourself with decongestants, try to get some rest and wait it out. But if your nose suddenly swells up to five times its normal size, you need to see a doctor. Because he or she knows more about medicine.
If something simple goes wrong with your car, you may be able to fix it yourself. But if its serious you have to go to an auto mechanic. Why? Because he or she knows more about fixing cars.
These arent perfect analogies because even if you know whats wrong with your car, you probably dont have a lift in your garage. But the point is still valid.
How does this apply to direct marketing? If you know more about your product, your company, your clients and the market you will never have to worry about your job.
The Q&A Segue
Most websites have a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) area. They are a very effective way to anticipate and address questions a prospect may have; and also overcome possible objections.
They work even better in a direct mail package.
If youre selling a complicated product or service, it is always a good idea to have a Question & Answer panel in your brochure, or even on the back of your letter.
This forces you to think like a prospect. What questions might they have? What might prevent them from responding? What will reassure them?
A Q&A also enables you to present information in quick nuggets and thats how people like to receive it (USA Today is a perfect example.)
I have a special technique for the last question of the Q&A that has worked very well for me. I call it "The Q&A Segue."
No matter what Im writing about from cars to computers to credit cards my last question is always the same. I always write a version of:
Q. Sounds great! How do I respond?
What Im trying to do is plant the idea that they should respond to this mailing. And my last answer always tell them exactly what I want them to do and how to do it.
Why not try this idea in your next direct mail package?
As Ive written before, surveys are an excellent direct marketing
tool. And an on-line survey can be even more effective.
Now its easy to create an on-line survey for your company at www. EZQuestionnaire.com.
They guide you through each step from "Creating the Survey" to "Tracking Your Respondents."
But the best part is its free! EZQuestionnaire offers a free basic membership, where you can create a customized survey using their template and post it online.
You can also opt for their Corporate Membership at $49 a month and create unlimited surveys and additional data management tools. The corporate membership also allows the survey to be online for an unlimited period.
If you ever attend a presentation by "Rocket Ray" Jutkins youll remember it the rest of your life.
Ray is an original. He often comes riding in on his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, roaring down the center aisle and up onto the stage, and then leaps off to give a spell-binding presentation.
Rays been in more countries than Colin Powell, and he always gives an unforgettable seminar. In fact, in some of the places Ive traveled to, the first question they ask me is, "Do you know Ray Jutkins?" Ray is the author of the classic, "Power Direct Marketing," and one of the smartest and most knowledgeable direct marketers I know.
Here are some of his words of advice:
"Write to people, not companies. People make decisions, companies dont. People are the actors in daily life, the drama of the office, factory and home."
"Never, but NEVER talk down to your audience. Look them straight in the eye, aim at them directly. Or even better, look up to them."
"Tell your audience more than once what to do - REPEAT the message. McGraw-Hill says to repeat your offer 7 times. Repeat your offer and encourage your reader to accept it several times in your letter, in the P.S., in the brochure, flyer, insert, order form or response card"
"Its amazing how 50% off makes you feel 100% better guaranteed."Unfortunately, Ray is very ill right now so if you know him, or youve heard him speak, Im sure he would be grateful to hear from you. You can e-mail him at Ray@RayJutkins.com
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Thank you, Alan
© Alan Rosenspan & Associates