In this article, I’ll discuss a simple three-step direct mail marketing system that gets more people to give you more money, more often, for higher profits. Isn’t that what you really want? The main thing I want to emphasize here is that a good marketing system focuses on the prospect more than the product, in all ways. Think about what you sell, and think about the marketplace you sell to, and remember: when it comes to direct mail marketing, who you sell to is much more important than what you sell.
You see, no matter what you sell, the direct marketplace marketplace you serve will remain more or less constant through time. Your business might survive for decades, and the products and services you offer throughout that time will come and go; but the people you sell to will generally be the same (assuming you don’t change marketplaces altogether).
Now, some changes do occur. People will come in and out of the marketplace and some clients will stop being customers for one reason or another, but the marketplace as a whole will stay mostly the same. So you have to know that marketplace better than you know yourself in order to sell to it. If you start with the premise that you need to do a better job of understanding who your customers are and who the marketplace is, then from that position, you’ll be able to identify the kinds of things that marketplace wants.
Your first and most important task is identifying the benefits your prospects are looking for. Usually, they seek out offers that fill their wants or provide solutions to problems they’re experiencing. If you’re in the diet industry, people who are overweight will seek your solution to help them become fit and healthy. If you’re an electrician, you solve people’s electrical problems. If you’re a mechanic, you fix people’s cars.
People come to you because they’re in pain or have a problem they need solved.
If you always start with the marketplace, then the products or services you offer can adapt and adjust as you serve them; whereas if you start with your product or service and your marketplace shifts, you’re stuck with worrying about your product specifically. You may miss a market shift because you’re so focused on your product, and may be unable to keep up because of that focus.
Step One in a successful marketing campaign is attracting the right kind of people and repelling all the others. You do that by means of the offers you make, based on your extensive knowledge of your marketplace.
Step Two is building people’s trust. Today, it’s not easy to trust people, especially in business. Many businesses have let people down in all kinds of ways; and in fact some of those problems go far beyond individual businesses, straight to the industry at large. You have entire industries full of problems, and then governments get involved to try and fix the problems, sometimes creating a whole new set of problems.
As a small business owner, you have to break through that distrust by building relationships with people. What better way to do that than with direct mail, where you can communicate with them one-on-one? It’s as if you wrote a letter specifically to them; it can introduce you to them and establish a new relationship. As they continue to do business with you, the relationship can grow stronger. In the beginning, when you send your letter to a prospect who doesn’t know you from Adam, it’s the only thing that can build any kind of relationship or trust factor. You have to use words to paint a story that introduces them to you, your company, your business, and those benefits they can achieve when they decide to become your customer. Direct mail is perfect for that, because it’s a one-on-one communication. It’s not a billboard they see as they drive down the highway. It’s not an ad they see screaming at them from the TV.
No, it comes quietly in the mail and, when done right, delivers a hard-hitting benefit, promise, or guarantee that makes them sit up and take notice. You can then build from that point and ultimately gain their trust, which is how you survive in business. You don’t do business, especially repeat business, with people you don’t trust.