Hey there Rainmaker… I asked, and you delivered!
In my message yesterday I asked for feedback to try to get a sense of why my email engagement stats may have dipped a bit since I started writing a book while you watch.
And, maybe as I should have expected, the feedback was all over the board…
Everything from loving the fact that this is going to become a book because it enhances the value… To telling me to go back to what I was doing before, or perhaps write even shorter emails… To, it’s summer, of course I’m not reading as many emails! (But zero unsubscribes!)
As of right now, I haven’t decided on a change of course, so while I think about it, I will keep delivering content- and value-packed chapters from my upcoming book… As I do below!
Specifically, I want to thank Will Singleterry, Marvin Johnston, Colin Noden, Niels Teunis, Luis Caraballo, and Jackie Johnson for their thoughtful input on the topic.
On to today’s lesson… Dan Kennedy’s 3M secret to developing a successful marketing plan…
“Right Market, Right Media, Right Message.”
In putting together a marketing or advertising campaign to reach new customers, you need to think beyond just what the ad will say. In fact, if you say all the right things, but get other critical elements wrong, you can end up with zero response.
You must consider EVERYTHING it takes to get results.
And so we’ll borrow an idea from Dan Kennedy’s book, The Ultimate Marketing Plan.
This is Dan’s Marketing Triangle. It outlines the three core elements you need to get right in any marketing plan or campaign to ensure success.
- The Right Market.
- The Right Media.
- And The Right Message.
If you’re missing only one of these, your probability of failure goes through the roof.
Speak To The Right Market
The market is everything.
A little illustration from the mail order world. Mail order marketing relies on list rental. As you’d imagine, this is a list of names and addresses you can send your marketing to. But a list also represents a potential market.
Let’s say you’ve just written The 30-Minute Comfort Foods Cookbook. And you want to sell it by mail.
The worst possible list you could mail to is the phone book. If you mail every address on every street in America, you’ll undoubtedly be mailing to a huge number of unqualified, uninterested people. Folks who don’t cook. Folks who hate comfort foods. Folks who don’t read. Folks who don’t have a book in their house — even a cookbook. You’re wasting every cent invested in putting your marketing message in front of these people.
One step up from the phone book is a compiled list. This is a list of people sorted based on demographic factors. So you could buy a compiled list based on household income, thinking more wealthy people would have more money to spend on cookbooks. Or you could mail by religion, expecting American Christians to be more interested in traditional comfort food. Or political party. Or whatever other sort. This would be better — because you’re narrowing down your targeting somewhat. However, sending to this compiled list would also lead to a tremendous amount of wasted spending, compared to what’s possible.
A big step forward from compiled lists is the buyers list. These are mailing lists of people who’ve bought by mail before. If you’re selling by mail, it’s nice to know that the people getting your letters have a history of buying by mail. Further, with a buyers list, the closer you can get to a product match, the better. So if you can get a list of mail order cooking magazine subscribers, that’s pretty good. Find a list of cookbook buyers, that’s great. If your cookbook sells for $29, and you can get a list of people who bought $29 comfort food cookbooks, all the better! The better you can match what they’ve bought before to your product, the higher response you’re likely to get. Yes, the lists will be smaller, and probably cost more. But the increase in profitability of your campaign will more than justify it.
Now let’s take it one step further. I’ve told you before that “a buyer is a buyer is a buyer.” Most mail order buyers lists offer “hot line” names. This is someone who has bought within the last 30, 60, or 90 days. You will pay a premium to rent only these names. However, this premium is more than worth it. Because not only are they proven buyers of a product like yours, they have bought recently. This means they are active customers in your niche. Now that’s a hot market!
“But wait,” you might think, “I’m not doing mail order selling. What does this have to do with me?”
My answer is… Everything!
Even if you’re not renting direct mail lists, it will pay to think like a mail order marketer as you build your marketing campaigns. The better you can do to find a targeted market for your campaign, the more profitable it will be. The more likely it becomes that you can bring new customers in at a profit.
Alternately, some businesses ARE built to “mail the phone book.” The late Gary Halbert, known to many as “The Prince of Print,” put the family-crests-by-mail business on the map. He’d mail every Smith in the phone book with an ad for the Smith family crest. And he made a fortune doing so.
Lacking that broad of an offer, you will be well-served to ensure that you’re focusing your limited marketing resources on putting your offer in front of as targeted a market as possible.
What need, want, or desire does your product or service fulfill? Who has that need? How can you reach them in the most effective, efficient way possible? Where can you run marketing that will reach the people who are most likely to buy your product, based on past purchasing behavior?
That leads us right into the next side of the triangle…
Use The Right Media
Once you have the market defined for your campaign, it’s time to look at what the most effective, efficient media is to reach them.
If they gather in a particular social media group, and you can reach them there, great.
If they are all already on your email list, splendid.
If they all read a particular newspaper, magazine, trade journal, or other periodical, awesome.
If you have to rent a mailing list to get them all in one place, that’s just fine.
If you need to go to a trade show to connect with your best leads, do it!
If you think of yourself as an “Internet Marketer” or “Social Media Marketer,” or define yourself by any other channel, you’re doing yourself a massive disservice. Just imagine if you thought of yourself as a “Bus Bench Marketer.” That’s the ludicrousness of defining yourself by a single channel.
Rather, if you want to achieve maximum results, you have to be willing to use the media your prospects use.
Mail and email have become ubiquitous. Nearly everyone can be reached by mail or email, if you can find a list, a partnership, or some other way to put yourself into their inbox — whether physical or digital.
And still, you shouldn’t stop there. Find the media where competitors advertise, or where comparable products and service bought by your prospects are advertised. Also, look beyond the obvious, to media your prospects consume but that competitors haven’t discovered yet.
Once you know your market, your goal is to find every cost-effective way you can to put your offer in front of them.
Find the media they’re already consuming, and use it. Find media they will consume, and use it. Find media they might consume, and test it!
Any medium you can use to get your targeted message in front of your target market is worth enough testing to figure out whether or not it is viable.
Which leads us into…
Deliver The Right Message
With your market defined, and your media known, it’s time to think about what you’re going to say. What is your selling message? What should it look like to stand out and get your prospect’s attention? What offer should it make? What action should it ask for?
The right message will call out and get the attention of your ideal prospect. It will get them interested in your message. It will build a desire in what you’re offering. And it will compel them to action and response.
Part VI of this book — on Breakthrough Marketing Communications — will cover this in great detail. For now, let’s just say that in order to have a complete marketing plan, you need to not only identify the right market, and right media, but also ensure that you have all the details right for the message you put in front of them.
Get all three sides of the triangle correct for your marketing campaign, and you’re well on your way to breakthrough results.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets