Hey there Rainmaker, can I let you in on a little bit of my own personal strategy?
I’m creating a campaign for one of the arms of my business right now, where I’m reaching out to brand new prospects.
This is a bit different than a lot of the work I’ve done over the last decade — where I’ve primarily used networking and word of mouth within the direct response community to get new clients.
Without going into too much detail, I’m looking to reach out to owners and executives in businesses of a certain size, in a locally-confined geographic area.
I could simply buy a list of their email addresses, and send them an email (or more than one) in order to try to get on their radar.
And if I’m dealing with large enough numbers, that might work.
We all know what’s up with email inboxes these days. They’re too-full, packed-to-the-brim, annoyances that just cause us too much stress to look at…
And so when a brand new marketing message shows up from someone we don’t know…
Well, the natural inclination from a busy executive is to delete this stranger’s email, and forget about it within 5 seconds.
(Incidentally, the single most important factor for what gets emails opened is NOT the subject line, but the “From” name. Think about your own personal experience: if it’s someone you know well, you’ll always open their email; strangers have to really compel you to read.)
The last thing I want for my marketing is to get deleted and forgotten!
… And I’m sure you feel the same way!
So, as we’re talking about web marketing, I want to give you one of the most valuable things you can do to make sure your next email marketing campaign gets the attention of your prospects…
My recommendation? Don’t send an email!
At least, don’t start with one…
Rather, if you want to create a highly-effective marketing campaign that actually generates real business results…
(Especially if you have a higher price point or profit margin to support it…)
Start by connecting with cold prospects OFFLINE, then follow up with them online.
I’ve repeated this saying before, and it continues to be true… “The least cluttered inbox is the one you grew up with.”
Gary Halbert’s old truism that people read their mail standing over the trash can is still true, yes… And yet, they read their email with their finger over the delete key. And it takes far less time and effort to delete an email as it does to trash a direct mail piece.
Even more so if you design your direct mail to be something that looks and feels like the kind of mail that can’t be trashed without at least being opened.
Here’s how I’m applying this direct-mail-first principle in a campaign I’m working on…
And before I dive in, I want to give a ton of credit to my colleague, workshop attendee, and coaching client (and incredibly sharp salesperson) Diane Sheldon-Ku for helping me map out this plan.
So, like I said, I have the option here to buy emails, phone numbers, and/or mailing addresses of primary decision makers at my choice of companies.
I’m not going to go email-only, because a cold email will most likely get deleted and forgotten.
And so I’m going to start by sending a letter that will be nearly impossible to ignore, that will contain a 24-page letter with my full pitch laid out in detail.
Then and only then will I — with Diane’s help — begin the email campaign to the same prospects.
We’re going to do a 3-step email campaign, following the initial letter.
We’ll follow Ryan Deiss’s 3-email sequence of gain-logic-fear. The first email will reiterate the core benefit of the offer I’m making. The second will lay out a logical case for response. And the third will use the fear of missing out angle to drive any procrastinators to action.
In addition, we will be integrating phone follow-up with the businesses, in order to try to capture any response from folks who aren’t inclined to respond by direct mail or email.
This integrated media campaign lets us reach these folks from many angles, over a limited time period.
Any given part of the campaign alone wouldn’t necessarily drive response. But the integrated campaign will make us hard to ignore, and will make any qualified candidate for the offer seriously consider it.
Will this be successful?
It’s impossible to know. It’s an untested offer, to an untested market. That introduces a huge variable (actually, two!) that could have more impact on response than actual marketing creative and campaign structure.
However, we’re pulling out all the stops — in a limited test — in order to give ourselves overwhelming odds in favor of making this offer to this market successful.
If I were to make the same offer through only email though, or through one-touch direct mail, or through a telemarketing campaign alone… Well, it’s quite possible that this limited-media approach alone would be enough to tank even a good offer to the right target market.
Now, how to apply this to your marketing…
I’m getting a chorus of agreement from all the smart, sharp, sophisticated, and forward-thinking direct marketers I know…
They are ALL banging on the pulpit of OFFLINE, OFFLINE-to-ONLINE, ONLINE-to-OFFLINE, and MULTI-CHANNEL-MULTI-MEDIA-MARKETING… Even better if it’s an INTEGRATED, MULTI-TOUCH CAMPAIGN.
Maybe your market isn’t easily reachable through direct mail lists (either demographics-based, or psychographic/behavior-based).
But maybe they all read a certain publication… Or form enough of a general population audience that they’re reachable through mass print media such as newspapers.
Find a way to structure your marketing funnel so you’re connecting with them offline as well as online.
Get away from the clutter by showing up in their physical world, not just their digital world.
If possible, for customers acquired online, put something in their hands soon — so you start to form an offline relationship.
It strengthen your business by giving you leads, sales, and customers from multiple channels… And because it will improve your recognition to and relationship with your customers, it will actually make all your online marketing stand out more and get higher response.
Do this, Rainmaker, and you’ll be creating breakthroughs left and right.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets
PS — Proof that I know what I’m talking about. Yesterday I wrote about adding a time-constraint to your marketing promises. I told you it would lead to higher response. The subject line from yesterday’s email was “This Could Put $10,000 More In Your Pocket In 30 Days…” And the open rate was definitely at the top of my standard range. Do what I tell you, Rainmaker, and you will create breakthroughs!