"Improve Your Response"
INSIDE THIS ISSUE:
I'm doing a seminar for a company in Massachusetts and the first
time I visited their offices I was welcomed by a friendly receptionist
who gave me her card. Her title was
I knew I was in good hands.
The reason I mention this is that we have a large number of new subscribers so if this is your first newsletter, I hope we make a good first impression.
And if you've been a regular reader, I 'd like to thank you for your
Advice from the King
Alan King, one of my favorite old-time comedians, just passed away at the age of 76.
In an interview in 1991, he told a story that I think is important to direct marketing writers.
King said he was working strip joints and seedy nightclubs in his early career, and not doing very well. Then he watched a performance by another comedian Danny Thomas and had a revelation.
"Danny actually talked to his audience," King recalled, "And I realized I never talked to my audience. I talked at them, around them and over them, but not to them."
"I said to myself, "This guy is doing something terrific, and
I better start doing it." He did and became a huge success.
Inside it says, "We did."
This technique is working exceptionally well but that shouldn't surprise you. Because personalization almost always works (unless you get the name wrong and even then it gets a lot of attention!)
In fact, the US Post Office estimates that personalized letters are 50% more effective than "Dear Reader" or "Dear Colleague."
One of my clients is Ancestor.com the largest genealogy company in America, with over 3 billion records in their database.
We recently did a mailing inviting people to find out more about their ancestors; where they came from; and how they lived.
The outer envelope read, "Now there's a website dedicated to the <SAMPLE Family> History"
The response vehicle also was personalized. We invited people to go to an individual website personalized with their name.
"Simply visit www.ancestry.com/<SAMPLE>"
How could anyone not respond?
Dale Carnegie, who wrote the classic, "How to Win Friends and Influence People" said that the sweetest sound in the English language is your own name.
Don't you agree, <YOUR NAME HERE>?
What Do Non-Profits Know
In most companies, direct marketing is only a part of their marketing plans. Sometimes it's a very small part.
Let's take one of the biggest companies in the world IBM. IBM does a ton of direct marketing and they do it very well. However, how much do you think it contributes to the bottom line?
Not much, I suspect.
Let's go even further: If IBM didn't receive a single response to any one of it's direct marketing programs in the coming year how much do you think it would affect them as a company?
Would they go out of business? Probably not.
Therefore, IBM and other big companies can be careless about their direct marketing. It's not mission-critical.
However, there are a number of organizations that live and die by the
response to their direct marketing and that's where non-profits
The answer is they couldn't survive.
And that's why it pays to study what non-profits do and then apply
those lessons to all our direct marketing efforts.
Flower Power Answers
In the last newsletter, I invited you to come up with an idea for Hare Krishna supporters. (I'm not one of them I just wanted to dramatize the power of unexpected rewards.)
As you may remember, Hare Krishna supporters used to come up to people in airports and shopping malls, and present them with an unexpected reward a small flower.
It worked at first, but then people walked a little faster to avoid them, or worse simply took the flower and tossed it on the ground.What could the Hare Krishna supporters do?
We received about a dozen answers from as far away (from me) as Moscow and India. Here are three that I think would work:
It would also serve as a reminder long after a picked flower would die.
What did the Hare Krishna supporters actually do?
They began giving away little flags of the country they were in something no one would be likely to throw on the ground or toss away. It worked very well for them.
Not So Obvious
I received an astonishing e-mail from one of my newsletter readers that read:
"Alan, who are you? What's your company, what do you do, and why should I care? You tell me I can contact you for consultation, but what should I want to consult about? Is it obvious?"
I guess not.
I've tried to be very careful with my newsletter and never turn
it into a promotional piece for me or my company. And that's why I've
saved this part for the end.
To begin with, Alan Rosenspan & Associates is a direct marketing and e-mail creative and consulting company.
We offer a number of different services to our clients with one overriding benefit: we are usually able to increase response significantly.
We can help you refine your direct marketing plans for the coming year; identify opportunities and show you how to capitalize on them. We'll work directly with you to work to develop more effective and more successful programs.
We can review your direct marketing packages, advertising, e-marketing and fulfillment materials and give you an unbiased analysis. We'll also suggest new ideas, identify offers, and give you dozens of ways to improve response.
We create highly successful direct mail packages, e-mail campaigns, advertising and fulfillment.
Our approach is to develop a range of concepts for each assignment, and then work with you to select the most effective one. We then complete the copy and layout - ready to release to your printer or publication.
Seminars and speeches
I have a number of highly-interactive seminars on direct mail, creative strategy and creativity. These have been sponsored by the Direct Marketing Association, NEDMA, New Zealand Post and other organizations.
Each of these seminars is also available on-site to individual organizations. This offers the opportunity to participate in a team-building, motivational seminar that focuses on your specific work, issues and opportunities.
In fact, we just received this e-mail from one of our attendees,
"Thank you so much for leading the Creative Strategy Seminar in San Francisco the past two days. I swore I wouldn't go home until I got this email out to you."
"I took away so much useful information, I can't believe it. I am trulyinspired to work at a higher, more creative level and the knowledge you shared with me has me so excited about discovering a component of my work that can turn my job into one I love. I'm not sure I'll ever sleep again!"
Opt in, Opt out, Options
2. You can access all our back-issues on our website at www.alanrosenspan.com
Please let me remind you that your name and/or e-mail address will never be shared, sold, circulated, or passed along to anyone else.
Thank you, Alan
© Alan Rosenspan & Associates