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Keys to Direct Marketing Strategy (Part 2 of 3)

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Keys to Direct Marketing Strategy (Part 2 of 3)

It is important not to be intimidated by the task of putting together sales letters. You do not need to be a Shakespeare or a Hemingway to get this job done. 

If you’ve been paying attention to your email, then yesterday was Part One in a 3-Part series on Direct Marketing.

I covered the first 3 pieces you need to create your direct marketing, and why it is so important if you're a business that wants to stay in the game for the long haul.

We’re picking up now on steps four through six - how you create your direct response pieces and get them in front of your prospective customers.

#4 - Marketing Message
What exactly is a marketing message? It is the news that you have to spread the most important thing or things that you can say to your target market that has real meaning and significance to that target market. Two categories of information included in most marketing messages are (A) the universal selling proposition and (B) the unique selling proposition.

A universal selling proposition is made up of all the things that you have to say and offer, even though and maybe because of your competitors offering the same things. For example, being open on Saturdays may be nothing special in your business. Everybody does it. But you still need to mention it because everybody offers it and to omit it would make you stand out in a negative way.

But a unique selling proposition is the thing or things that differentiate, that you do differently, that are different by personality, price, offer guarantee, whatever.

So as to make you stand out in a positive way, if you don't have one of these, you'll want to start searching and brainstorming in order to find or create one.

I would encourage you to look outside of your industry for breakthrough ideas. At best, incremental improvement can come from doing what is normal. Better breakthroughs come from bringing brand new ideas into an industry.

Incidentally, people who struggled with this unique selling proposition challenge often ask me to give them one. It can't be done. If you could just be handed a unique selling proposition on a silver platter, it wouldn't be unique to you, now would it? Only you can create your unique selling proposition.

#5 - Media
Media is a non-manual, labor intensive means of delivering your marketing message to a target. Different media works better for different businesses, sometimes at different times.

If you are a business to business or industrial company media, you might typically use or include trade or industry magazines, maybe the Wall Street Journal, exhibiting at trade shows and direct mail. If you market to consumers, your media choices might include newspapers, Valpak or money mailer, radio, or direct mail.

In all cases, the important thing to remember is that you are, from now on, going to only use media that can be used for direct response advertising, not institutional or image advertising, and that you are only going to do direct response advertising.

Think of this as tough minded advertising. This means that every dollar invested will be expected to yield immediate direct response. This incidentally begs some basics elements that must be present for it to be considered direct response.

  • A benefit telegraphic headline
  • ​A true marketing message 
  • An offer or offers
  • A reason to respond immediately
  • ​Response instructions and mechanisms.

If these five things are not present, you're not doing direct response.

To discuss media options for a minute for business to business or industrial marketers, I prefer lead generation advertising and trade magazines, then direct mail, and sometimes finally phone follow up to these leads.

If you look at your trade magazines in your industry, you'll find that almost all if not all ads push product. The ad that does NOT push product instead flags the attention of precisely described individuals and then offers those individuals free information of interest and value to them really stands out.

Also, while cold mailings try to reach business decision makers have massive waste, a lion’s share will usually get screened and trashed or thrown out, unopened or unread. But delivery of requested information to a named decision maker who requested (and remembers requesting) that material is much more productive.

For consumer marketers, there's a greater variety of often productive options. For many businesses, media, like the Yellow Pages and coupon mailings or money mailer and Valpak, can be made to reliably and consistently deliver true breakeven or better results satisfactory for acquiring new customers.

Also for many businesses, cold direct mail, such as a sequence of letters, can work.

#6 - The Sales Letter
As you study my methodology, you will find that the sales letter is a staple, most used tool. In many instances, I utilize a sequence of letters, each one clearly referring to the previous ones, all sent in a fairly condensed period of time (most commonly four to six weeks).

It is important not to be intimidated by the task of putting together sales letters. You do not need to be a Shakespeare or a Hemingway to get this job done. A good sales letter, actually, is selling in print, so they are conversational and they have personality.

Your letter should be written pretty much like you talk. You can find an excellent example of this on the sales letter of my NO B.S. Newsletter, which is currently online.

Most people are able to do this themselves with the aid of the materials provided in the bonuses of my NO B.S. Newsletter.

BONUS TRAINING - “Plant the Farm” Sequence

This refers to using a time sequence in communicating for the first time with a particular group of targeted prospects, called a farm. There are certain rules that you will learn to apply, to the “plant the farm process” that then change when you move to a “maintain the farm” mode.

For example, in most cases in “plant the farm”, you're going to use plain white paper, an envelope with no company or business identifications logos or teaser copy on the outside, and a simple sales letter, the first thing seen when the envelope is opened.

But once a relationship is established, this envelope format is no longer mandated. In fact, then postcards, self mailer and catalogs become effective options.

There are a number of different kinds of farms appropriate to many businesses or sales professionals. Certainly the most common are geographic, such as all of the home owners or all of the business owners within a defined geographic area, such as a zip code or a sales territory, but you can probably learn to be more selective and sophisticated than that.

And you'll learn some of the keys to doing so in Midas Touch Marketing, “​​Your ‘Bargain Price’ Sales Force”, included as a gift to those who subscribe to our monthly newsletter.

Another frequently productive farm is an affinity farm, a group of people that have something significant in common, but are not necessarily boundaried by geography.

For example, if you are a fireman, but as your part-time business you sell water purifiers, you may want to target all the other firemen in your town or nationwide and in your sales letter, you would lean on this affinity.

Your Sales Letter may say something similar to the following:

Dear Fellow Firefighter,

I'm a fireman at Cincinnati Firehouse Number Three in Cincinnati, Ohio. If there's one thing that you and I rely on for our very lives, yet take completely for granted, it is water.

But I am not writing to you about the water that blows out of our truck hoses to save lives. Instead, I'm writing to you about water that comes out of your faucet in the kitchen at home, and may very well be robbing you and your family of life by destroying your health (and so on).

Begin writing your strategy and sales letter today and tomorrow we’ll continue with one additional training on how this direct style of marketing is being used today, with a few options you can implement to automate these steps. And we’ll end with some key takeaways you should not forget as you implement these programs.

If you’re already a NO B.S Letter subscriber, then this training is available to you right now for FREE inside your member portal in your bonus course: “Midas Touch - Direct Marketing.”

If you’re not a member of the NO B.S. Letter yet, you can subscribe here (and I’ll give you the “Midas Touch - Direct Marketing” course - a $297 value - for free). Join The NO B.S. Letter Today (And Get The ‘Most Incredible Free Gift Ever’ - Plus over $19,997 Of Pure Money Making Information

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