Thursday, November 16, 2023
In this post, I’ll talk about effective communication channel strategies utilizing multiple online and offline media.
Many believe there are only two ways you can acquire customers. Online and Offline. This is true to an extent, but they don’t know the depths of Online or Offline media.
Now, I’m willing to bet you aren’t using most of these media channels.
And for the sake of this post, I’ll keep it short utilizing a few of my favorite media channels, but in case you’d like to use others, they are listed below.
Direct Mail Media:
There are many more, but the question becomes, how many of these are you using simultaneously?
The chances are not a lot.
Now I’m going to pick a few media that I believe will propel your business into new heights without having to deal with the headaches and nuances of HOW to do them.
Direct mail isn't some magic bullet that's going to solve all your marketing woes just by dropping a postcard in the mail. It's tough, it's gritty, and it's downright frustrating at times.
But it's also brutally effective when done right.
First things first, you must stop thinking online media and funnels are the only way to acquire customers. Yes, everyone is on their phone, all the time, but that's precisely the problem. It's so pervasive that your message is just a tiny blip in an ocean of content.
Direct mail, on the other hand, has space to breathe. And when you curate it properly, it gets delivered, it gets read, and assuming it's good – it gets replied.
To start it off, you need to know your audience, and I mean really know them. Not just their age or what they buy, but their fears, their desires, their daily gripes. You need to understand them better than they understand themselves. Only then can you craft a message that hits home.
And that message?
It needs to grab them by the lapels and demand their attention. You've got about as much time to hook them as it takes to walk from the mailbox to the trash can. Make your headline scream relevance and urgency. If your headline is yawn-worthy, your entire piece is headed straight for the bin.
Now, the heart of your direct mail is your story, your pitch.
Here's where you've got to be a little bit of a wizard. I would recommend reading my book “The Ultimate Sales Letter”, as it teaches you that you need to weave a narrative that connects their problem to your solution so seamlessly that by the end of it, they're wondering how they've ever lived without what you're offering. But don’t try to be clever for cleverness’s sake. Be clear, be direct, and for heaven's sake, be interesting.
Your offer, this is where the rubber meets the road. It can’t be lukewarm. It must be something that makes them sit up and take notice. And you have to make this offer as if it's the most important thing they'll ever read. Because to them, it just might be.
Now, don't just tell them what you’re offering. Tell them exactly what to do about it. Your call to action should be as obvious as a slap in the face. Don’t leave them guessing or hoping they'll figure it out.
You need to lead them to the action you want them to take.
And finally, get ready to roll up your sleeves and dive into the trenches. This isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it sort of deal. You’ve got to test, adjust, and test some more. Every batch of mail is a lesson, and you’d better be a fast learner.
Direct mail isn't for the faint of heart.
It's for the determined, the resilient, the ones who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty. If you’re looking for an easy way out, you won’t find it here. But if you’re willing to put in the work, to really hone your craft, then, and only then, you might just have what it takes to make direct mail a cornerstone of your marketing strategy.
Now you can do a sales letter with a button to purchase, a 5-day challenge, or perhaps webinars. But they all require a great skill of copy and knowing your audience. In my book, The Ultimate Sales Letter, I teach students how to write their first sales letter in a short period of time.
In spite of my lack of formal education or training in this field, I’ve developed literally thousands of sales letters for my own business enterprises as well as for hundreds of clients, and over 90% of them have been successful.
Many have been tested against “control” letters crafted by much more educated “professionals”, and mine have won.
A few years ago, I was called by a company to write a letter to test against one already being used, which had been written by one of the top three or four pro copywriters in America. I went up against this widely recognized, much admired, very highly paid guru, and I beat the pants off him. I do not tell you this to brag; I tell it so that you will realize that you can do it, too.
I’m self-taught. You can be self-taught.
Also, for most of your purposes, you do not need the same skill level that I or other top professional copywriters have painstakingly developed. In most situations I work in, I’m putting together sales letters that will compete against other sales letters written by other top pros, but you will more likely be competing in an environment where top-flight pro copywriters do not prowl.
One great copywriter, John Francis Tighe, quoted the philosopher Erasmus, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”
I’ve literally personally received thousands of “success stories” from people in every imaginable business or sales career, who have used this book as their guide, put together a sales letter from scratch, and achieved desirable and profitable results.
Some have gone on to great proficiency. Several have become consultants and copywriters.
I recognize that a large part of your success will depend on your confidence to do something. The mechanics are all here for you. But you ultimately have to go from your first read, whether it’s my emails, NO BS newsletter, or even my books, to the act of following its steps, getting sales letters prepared and into the inboxes of your prospects.
Here are some general ideas that will help you get started:
Sales is a different type of media. There’s outbound sales and inbound sales. Meaning either your sales person is out hunting or your marketing team is providing leads to your sales team. Both work. It is up to you how good it works.
I always start with a promise statement.
“If you own a business or sell for a living, suck it up and stay in your seats for another 55 minutes. I promise you'll leave with enough practical 1, 2, 3 action strategies to at least double your income in the next 90 days. And at the very end of our time together, I'll give you one complete action strategy you'll be able to take with you and use and see income from it in just 15 days.”
Now, first of all, consider the setting.
I'm often either the speaker right before the lunch break or at the very end of the day. And people are tempted to leave and people are leaving, so I want to do something to get them to stay and pay attention. But that only seems unique to my situation. Even in one-on-one selling, the prospect is tempted to leave and does leave mentally. You don't see him get up and physically walk out of the room, but his mind certainly wanders.
So just as an ad needs an attention-commanding headline, a sales presentation needs an attention-commanding opening sentence.
Second, there are strong specific benefits promised.
This opening statement is like an ad for my presentation, and the heart and soul of a good ad is a great promise. This is a very important technique. If you don't grab 'em by the throat and compel them to pay attention from the very beginning, when are you going to get their attention?
Next, I go through about three minutes of credibility building, which I won't bore you with. But basically, I'm saying, “Here are three or four, really good solid reasons for paying close attention to me, here's proof I can help you.”
Then I start to create an ‘agreement with a problem’. There are a number of proven, reliable sales presentation formulas. One of my favorites is problem, solution.
I believe that making a sale gets easier if you create agreement - mutual pain, mutual understanding, and emotional angst about a problem - then be the white knight with the solution.
After all, if there's no problem, why buy a solution?
So, in this case, I talk about how people feel about marketing and prospecting. For business owners, I talk about being advertising victims. For salespeople, I talk about cold-call grunt work.
And mutual pain is tricky. In selling, I want my prospect to know that I really do understand his situation. That I've sat where he's sitting and struggled with what he's struggling with, but I also need to establish the advisor position, essentially a superior position.
“Look, I've shared your pain, but I've found a way out.” That's the point.
So, in this case, I paint the picture of being an advertising victim. Only a victim could paint taking the big black checkbook out of the center desk drawer, sitting across the desk with some media salesperson, not knowing if he's telling the truth, whether you're making a good decision or a bad decision, how you'll measure the results, but writing out a check anyway. A shared painful experience. And so we tend to trust somebody who has clearly experienced what we experience and we tend to distrust those who haven't.
But then I make a big global size promise of the solution. In this presentation, I tell a quick, funny story about me, with me as the goat that summarizes the problem and delivers a big promise of a solution.
After that, I say that the solution consists of three parts, three big steps, and we're going to look at all three of them. And because getting people to remember things with pictures is helpful, I say we're putting together a three-legged stool. That sets me up so that later I can call on that picture repeatedly. Now we've got one of the three legs screwed onto the stool. Now we've got two of the legs. And so on.
People perk up when you tell a story. We were conditioned as kids that this was a good thing. Hey, please tell me a story. Jesus taught in parable stories, the summary.
I just want to keep re-establishing problem-solution, problem-solution, problem-solution.
It's pretty important to emphasize that I've very carefully built a foundation here. I've made and reinforced very appealing promises, given them credibility, and established a sense of rapport with the audience. I've set up the framework or the skeleton for the entire presentation. So it'll be easy for the audience to see each step completed for them to know where we are.
My presentation has three parts.
There's no magic there. It could be two, it could be five, it just happens to have three in each case. So in part one, I describe a feature, really a tool they ought to have. I tell a personal story that illustrates it, and I give a couple case history examples.
In other words, I deliver the same basic piece of information about five times. I call this technique internal repetition.
It's important because information heard and seen only once has virtually no impact, but information heard repeatedly has substantial impact. We know that from education, but it is just as true with persuasion. When I close that section, I go back to my illustration.
Now we have one of three legs screwed onto the three-legged stool. I go through the same thing with the second one and with the third, and then I tell a story that goes all the way back and ties one, two and three together.
Repetition is necessary.
The trick is to repeat without being redundant, to tell the same thing differently X number of times. By this point, I'm hoping they are convinced that I know and understand their situations, and that I know what I'm talking about and that the little system I just described to them could work for them.
I want them to understand it, but still not be able to do it. Then I “problem-solution” all over again.
The new problem is the inability to use my solution. After just one quick introduction to it, bridging the gap between ideas and implementation. Then I whip out the solution-solution– my product.
Think of it this way. For every problem, need, or desire, there is a ‘generic solution’ and a ‘brand-name solution’.
A hot summer, kids home from school, driving you crazy– hard to relax. Well, the generic solution is your own backyard swimming pool. You have to buy into the generic answer before you choose between a Shasta pool or a Bluebird pool.
In my presentation, I'm first of all selling the idea of using direct marketing and direct response advertising in place of traditional advertising and prospecting. I have to get that mental shift made first, then my ‘commercial’ for my product really starts.
Usually after, it’s a big price drop, and they’d be too dumb to not own what I’m selling.
So there you have it. Effective Marketing strategies communication channels strategies that can grow your business practically overnight. If you use these strategies properly, you will have more success than you know what to do with, although it goes much much much deeper than this.