DTM Notes from Chapters 11,12,13,14,15
CHAPTER 11: Direct mail is an Ideal TARGET MEDIUM
Why is Direct Mail an Ideal Target Medium?
For small businesses, I can start very small, and test very quickly, and easily expand my efforts when I have a winner.
Personalization Builds Trust
I personalize each piece of direct mail that I send.
The Perfect Testing Platform
Direct mail offers the best opportunity to test and track my advertising efforts. www.livinpr.com “Levin 10 letters a week”
One of the primary factors in the success or failure of a direct-mail campaign is the list of recipients. (Don’t mail the right message to the wrong people) I can purchase any mailing list of qualification for any list. Mailing lists: 2 categories
1) Lists compiled from public records
2) List of subscribers and enthusiasts
Go to InfoUSA. Lists are available at reasonable prices. SRDS (standard rates and data service) lists are more expensive but lists more than 10,000 mailing lists of all shapes and sizes.
The Perfect Mailing List
This happens by carefully merging several types of lists. Start with getting a mailing list from InfoUSA that meets my strict demographic profiles of my ideal client. Focus on those who have demonstrated a past behavior that demonstrates that they value what I do or sell. The list cost may increase a lot, but I will ultimately shrink the overall size of my list with this approach.
My Hot Suspect List
500 qualified suspects are enough to focus marketing effort on. IT depends on how much business I need to grow my business.
A More Qualified List
Have up to date information/addresses and names that could have changed. www.signaturestrategies.biz
My Sticky Sale Letter- Don’t Leave Home Without It
It’s a sales letter I’ll always be working on and testing.
Sticky Sales Letter Formula
It should contain a Headline- Every sales letter needs one. The headline must scream “ “This is worth your time!”. Examples:
1) Ask a compelling question: “Do you know why …?”
2) State my offer. “Free report reveals 101 ways to . . . “
3) Identify the target: “Mechanical engineers find that. . .”
****************THESE NEED TO BE 18-24 font type)
· State the problem: I let the readers know their problem and frustrations they must be going through.
· Stir up the Problem: Draw a mental image of what this may be costing them in money, time, frustration, etc.
· Paint a hopeful Future: I show them or reveal to them what life could be like or what it is like for some others like them.
· Outline solution – I show them how they can get relief.
· Answer Objections – I address objections they’ve had in the past
· Make an offer- I offer a free report, workshop, or low cost product.
· Create a call to action- I tell them why and how they can contact me to get this offer
o P.S. ALWAYS end with a P.S. be restating my offer. People read the headline and the P.S. natural with the eyes.
How to get My Letter Written
1) Outline my letter using the formula
2) Write a rough draft in one sitting
3) Leave my letter alone for a day
4) Edit my letter for impact
5) Let a professional proof my letter for errors
6) Edit one final time for passion
Copy writing Tips for Small Business Marketers
READ A lot to become a better writer, and on the topic
Writing Is a Master Marketing Skill
To become a better writer, I write even more. It’s the art of writing that starts it all.
· “Writing creates ideas. It’s rarely the other way around. Many times, I have no idea what I’m going to write, but once I start, ideas just happen. What comes about is often far greater than anything I could have simply thought and then transferred to paper or screen.
· Writing helps you have something to say. The more you write, the better you will sell.
· Writing helps me listen more actively.
· I write speeches; write notes; write essays unrelated to my business
Create a swipe file
Letters I’ve received that I save to hang out to know what works and what doesn’t work.
Tell them why
I tell readers why I’m making a great offer in my copy. I tell them why I started my business, and why I’m having specials, and why they should by from me now.
Write as I talk
I say what I believe and how, and I always connect with my reader. I am smart, but don’t come off arrogant.
I use sub headlines in my copy
This helps those who don’t read word for word, so they can scan.
I use quotes
I use quotes in the form of a testimonial or from me to allow the conversation that I’m trying to start.
I use an active voice
Active verbs make my copy stronger. I have someone edit my work and change my p [passive verbs to active ones.
People love stories. I talk about the day I realized there was a need for what I offered.
Pretest My letter
I pretest it for readability
· I read my letter out loud to get a feel for how it sounds.
· I round up a 12-year-old or 2 and see if they understand what I am offering
· I show a copy to some of my best clients or prospects and ask for their input
My sales Letter Package
Outer Envelope- I sample #10 standard envelope, laser personalized, featuring my company logo, my return address, and a REAL STAMP, is the best package. Don’t be dishonest. I make my envelope look very important, and make it look as though the recipient is the only person I sent the letter to.
What Postage Rate?
I want my letter to look as though it went solely to the addressee. 1st class mail postage may be the best. Sometimes 25% of bulk mail does not reach its destination. Test many elements of my direct mail package. Changing the headline of a letter increases response.
Great Things Come in Small Packages:
I don’t overlook the humble postcard. It will only cost about 30 cents each a person. This includes all benefits of using first-class mail. I send an attention getting message, once a month. To my entire list of suspects and prospects around 4$ per lead, per year. With a postcard, there is no envelope to open, so it’s more likely that my message will be seen.
The use of Color
Digital printing has become very affordable. Color is more memorable. I use a short, impact-filled headline on all my postcards.
A couple of Other Uses for Postcards
· Special client offerings
· News announcements
· New product announcements
I take my postcards to networking events. I standout by passing out my postcard ad with a dynamite offer on it. I check with the post office before printing on postcard mailings.
The Post Office Is a Great Small Business Resource
There’s an online service that allows me to design business reply cards and envelopes (BRC and BRE) suitable for printing. On replymail.com, it’s easier now to create this in just several simple steps. I need a permit for most, but I acquire that online. Business replay is where the sender pays the return postage, and that dramatically increases response rates for certain types of mailing promotions.
Don’t Forget about Handwritten Notes as a Direct Response Tool
Receivers love them, and it’s fun. Cards make a great impression.
Small Batch, Handcrafted Direct Mail is Still Very Effective:
I think small and I think personal, and I think value, then follow up.
I have small, information-rich lists.
I might find personal details on social media research. I’m better mailing handwritten letters, than mailing a bunch of generic stuff.
I use the web to offer free content, free evaluations, free trials, and I build trust before I sell.
Personal follow-ups work. I tell or ask the reader for me to send something of value, and I do it. Lumpy mail works. Be creative.
How to Run a Lumpy Mail Campaign
I start with my core marketing messages, core point of difference, or benefit. Examples of lumps. “We’re the key to your success.” (box of keys) “We’ll jump through hoops to get your business” (hula hoop) Strong image and metaphor of the message.
Repetition improves my results.
A Building Series
3-piece story strategy for my campaign. In each piece, I imply there’s more to come.
The Call to Action
Whatever I want the outcome or call to action to be, I deliver it in my last piece
How much for Those Lumps?
I consider how many clients I need, and what the lifetime value a new client has on my business. A new client could easily be worth 10,000$ to my annual business. Spending a little to acquire a new client is worth it then. I only need a handful of clients to start. I already have started. I target 10 new businesses, and I watch my appointment rate soar over 70%.
A Consistent Contact Strategy
I don’t know when the exact time is a client decides to buy. Sometimes it’s immediately, or sometimes it’s a year or more, depending. Consistent and repeated contact is the key. Prospects that have responded to my two-step ads are contacted at least 8 times a year. Dropping useful information, month after month, to my prospects and customer is the best trusting building strategies I can employ.
Contact Management Software to the Rescue
Look up people that would probably purchase my products through yellow pages, etc., and put this in my contact management software. After I send a letter I finally call in a week and set up an appointment. One appointment for every4-5. 5 letters a day, with follow up phone calls. One appointment with a new client every day!
A Consistent Pattern of Contact
What do I send to my prospects and customers monthly? Calendar points example:
Month #1- Letter announcing a new service (CHANGE to existing service)
Month #2- Newsletter highlighting tips and company news
Month #3 Phone call to discover opportunities
Month #4- 6 of an industry magazine article of interest
Month #5 Case study of a successful client solution I provided
Month #6- Request for critique of a proposed sales letter (I won’t believe how valuable this can be)
Month #7-Tme for another newsletter
Month #8- Reprint of an article I contributed to an industry magazine
Month #9- Announcement of a new service
Month#10- Invitation to a workshop
Month#11- Phone call to introduce someone in my referral network
Month #12- Checklist of helpful tip for my industry/service
“A” prospects could be around 30, and I give them different gifts, like my favorite book or homemade cookies with my company logo on it. Personalize it by researching their back ground on their marketing materials. Action Steps:
1. Start a swipe file-study and collect successful direct mail letters.
2. Research sources for my perfect direct mail list.
3. Craft my primary sales offer.
CHAPTER 12: EARNED MEDIA ATTENTION AND EXPERT STATUS
DEFINING PUBLIC RELATIONS FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS:
According to DTM system, public relations activity for the small business consists primarily of gaining positive mention of my company or my products in newspapers, magazines, news shows, newsletters, Web sites, and journals read or viewed by some portion of my target market.
Why PR is So Powerful:
It helps produce impressive lead generation results. Successful placement of a feature story about me is more effective than yellow pages for a year even.
People think it’s more likely to be true in the newspaper for example
A full-page ad in a magazine can be thousands of dollars. A story in that same publication could be free.
Great Brand Building
Telling a story of how my firm or people overcame adversity can help me target market connect with my firm in a much more personal way than advertising promotions can.
Resells My Clients:
It’s easy to grow my business growing and doing more business with my existing clients.
Resells my Stuff:
Generating positive press coverage makes clients proud to be a part of my team.
Automatic Marketing Content:
I can reprint articles that appear in newspapers, magazines, and newsletters.
A 5 Step Small Business PR plan for Today
I write well placed articles for my potential clients to read and be very impressed with. The internet.
1. Listen – 10 journalists and/or bloggers who cover my industry and get their names from Google. Read what they write to learn how to get their attention to let them know you care about what they cover. This is easy together now a days.
2. Network – Networking with my list of key journalists, (showing them I know wat I’m talking about) is how I become a resource for their story. Build relationships. Don’t sell.
3. Pitch Curves- I pitch curve ideas. I do this when I truly build trust with journalists, and I come to understand they need my stories. Don’t pitch them crap. They get crappy pitches all the time.
4. Release- Each month, I make it a habit to distribute one-page announcements through PRWeb or PitchEngine. Thousands will see this.
5. Amplify- I post my press on my online profiles. I have an “In the news” section on my site and keep it updated. Using Google Alerts, I grab RSS for my company name and automictically post. I print one-page release in release format and send it to my clients and network even more.
How to Use New Rules and New Tools to Create a Media Storm
I have featured stories that boon my business. Third parties, like magazines that talk about my business, is a form of trust to my clients. I create a steady surge of coverage. Here are a couple of practice to be worked into my PR generation system
RULE 1: Monitor in Real Time- I keep tab on what’s being said by my competitors. Google alerts and collecta.com is a great way to help identify times.
Rule 2: Build Relationships- Now everyone is essentially publisher. Journalists must pay closer attention or they miss a big story. Having access to journalists through social media is important to me. I follow 5 important journalists and post to their blog and become thorough with what they would want me to know. Networking….
Rule 3: Expand the Base-A Niche blog could have a larger and more active readership than a daily newspaper. Read a blog and post an idea or compelling argument why this would be valuable for the blog’s readership. Twellow.com, google, blogsearch.com placeblogger.com
Rule #4: Go Direct- Help a Reporter Out (HARO) Tools:www.prweb.com www.pitchengine.com
What Makes a Good Story?
Will my readers find it interesting, entertaining, and useful? IF the reader doesn’t care, I’m fucked. How to get a reporter’s attention:
Have Real News
News gets the media’s attention
People are fascinated with things that are first Example: the first company to feature a technology.
I offer something unique, and that grants me positive publicity.
I offer Local Angles on National Stories:
Local News reports prefer local stories even when covering a national one. I watch national news trends sometimes to stay on top of these opportunities.
Capitalize on My Ties to a Trend:
Reporters like to get on top a coming trend.
I Take Advantage of Stories Overcoming Adversity:
People loves stories with a happy ending, a great ending. Overcoming adversity is a great story.
I keep an Eye out for People Stories:
I make stories out of births, weddings, or my employees going to college out of my firm’s scholarship.
I Solve a Common Problem-And Then Tell about It!
These stories are often read by potential clients and this is what makes me firm different. I don’t appear too self-serving.
“Contrary to Popular Belief…”
Present a marketing argument going against a current fad. This catches media attention because it’s showing both sides of the story.
The PR Toolbox-Creating Sticky Pitch Letters, Press Releases, and PR Kits:
Tools in PR system: Pitch letter, press release, and the publicity kit.
The Pitch Letter
It’s an ad for my story idea. (A pitch letter is not a press release) Ways to write a powerful pitch letter:
· Don’t waste a word: One sentence to grab journalist’s attention
· Customize it: I tailor my pitch to those receiving it. I know my audience
· I prove that it Fits their readership: Editors and reporters will ask “Why would our reader care about this story?” and my pitch completes this.
The Press Release:
Media outlets rarely use the content in my press release for a story. They’ll dismiss my story if my pitch sucks.
One Page, One Subject:
Press Release is meant to get the attention of a reporter and editor, and make them want to know more about my firm. After a reporter reads my press release, they want to know more. That’s the point. I keep my press release to one page. Reporters won’t look at anything longer. Maybe even leave them hanging.
My Publicity Kit
Essential Press Releases that my publicity kit should contain:
· Backgrounder- History and background of firm. Types of clients I want and have
· My core message- Highlights primary benefits of doing business with me
· Service descriptions- Describe services my firm specializes in
· Process descriptions-Describe unique things I have implemented
· Case Studies- specifics of recently completed projects.
· Founders-describing mine and their industry background and experience
· A word about photos- I have a Recent 5x7 photo always
The Media Interview:
Getting the interview is half, and then follow these steps below to turn my interview into a powerful marketing tool
Set Goals for the interview:
Ask the nature of their story, who the audience is, etc. These help my responses.
Never Wing It
I Script quotable core message sound bites.
I Break the Ice
This helps greatly settle my nerves and upon up the reporter, like “Where are you from?” and “What brought you to this publication?” Everyone’s more relaxed.
Sometimes reporters have no idea what I’m trying to say. Do this if that happens:
“What’s important to consider in this case, though…” “Let me make more relevant for your readers….” “What we can take from that point is…” “That’s a good example, but I think you’d also be interested in know…” Redirect a question from a journalist, and have a plan and present answers.
When I don’t know an answer, I tell the journalist I will get to it. Great excuse to follow up with the reporter.
One Last Thing:
Get the Last Word!
Prepare a Takeaway:
I make it easy for the journalist to get all my info correct. All forms of contact included at the end. I make sure of it.
1. “I target my media sources, including a growing list of Internet-based media and news resources.
2. I create 3 or 4 central media themes for the year that support my core marketing message.
3. I create a list of 10-12 minor, but interesting, marking-related themes for ongoing PR
4. I create a PR calendar, and assign a PR theme and goal for each month.
5. I write a fully developed pitch for each of my major themes.
6. I formulate a one-page press releases with catchy headlines for each year of my minor themes.
7. Once a month, I target my core media list and distribute a press release or pitch for a major theme.
8. I follow up with my core media list by telephone, and offer some new place of news or trend angle that I did not include in my pitch or press release.
9. I track media coverage in local and trade press, set up Google Alerts for several key related terms, and reprint for marketing purposes any media coverage received.
10. I send handwritten thank-you notes (or T-shirts) to members of the media to thank them for an interview or mention.
CHAPTER 13: RAMP UP A SYSTEMATIC REFERRAL MACHINE
Combine referral marketing system with advertising and PR systems.
What IS Referral Marketing?
This is designed to bring me new clients, qualified leads, and repeat business without other advertising methods. I can build entire upon referrals. Most businesses get started this way. They want someone they can trust.
Why Referral Marketing Is So Powerful:
Be confident (don’t fear) and have a strong organized system (no lack). I don’t fear being rejected, or seem that I’m begging for business. I’m not. Get over it. Because I offer a good product of service, it would be a disservice to my customers if I don’t actively seek referrals and help others. Generating referrals comes down to two things:
1) I proved and product and service that people like
2) I manage the referral expectation
Why I should bring referral marketing to the top of my marketing thinking
People Love to Give Referrals
They feel like they’ve helped me grow my business. It feels good to them. People like to sound smart and talk about the business and how it made their lives better, or saved them money. People love to brag about a great deal. I ask for referrals. I’m doing people a favor.
Great Return on Investment:
Referral marketing is very cheap, or free, and less time.
More Qualified Clients:
Referrals will be a better fit than random people generated from some advertising campaigns.
Borrow Credibility and Trust:
They don’t trust my advertising. They trust someone they know that knows me. Then they borrow that trust.
Fewer Issues Regarding Price:
Their best friend recommends my business. They attach a higher value to my service due to my relationship with that best friend.
IT makes me Better
I make every client so happy, that they are dying to send their friends and family and associates my way.
Rules of Referral Marketing:
Best referrals are existing clients. I develop referral tactics that allow me to generate referral leads from both existing clients and my targeted referral network. The right referral network partners can generate more referrals than my customers. A strategic partner is more motivated to appreciate my work than an existing client.
“What could we do that would make our clients so happy they would look for ways to refer new clients?”
Target My Referral Sources:
I have a profile very specific of my best referral sources. This resembles my best customer. My business explodes from customers landing one or 2 new clients just like them. I also develop relationships with other prospects who trust people I know within my target market.
Make IT an Expectation:
I expect a referral from every client and start that expectation from the beginning.
Do It during the Honeymoon
I acquire referrals ASAP. I ask very early for referrals in the relationship.
Educate My Sources:
I systematically generate high-quality referrals. I educate my sources.
How to Spot My Ideal Client:
My referral sources know exactly the type of referrals I’m looking for. I think of my best customers.
My Core Message:
I educate my clients property on my products and services so I get the best customer’s
My referral marketing process:
I let my source know how I want to contact my referrals, what I’m going to say, and how I’m going to do a follow up. (This helps them recommend friends and family) My marketing system makes my clients/sources feel comfortable. I show them our system.
A Call to Action:
I end the education by instructing my source the best way to refer me. I tell them exactly what to say, and what website to go to find me.
The Perfect Introduction in Reverse:
CHAPTER 14- TURN PROPSECTS INTO CLIENTS AND CLIENTS INTO PARTNER WITH AN ADVANCED EDUCATION SYSTEM.
Effective Marketing Eliminates the Need for Selling
Move away from selling and toward educating prospects that are interested in my business
What happens when the phone actually rings?
2) Presentation- Present offer of a product or service
3) Transaction p- I think out and consistent execute ways to take the order
Selling Pattern Interrupt
All my systematic presenting is done in advance. This helps my firm stand out.
On to the Core Steps: Discovery, Presentation, Transaction
Discovery- Have a plan
Presentation: The Internal Seminar
Sales Call. I present my solution through my marketing. I make salespeople respond to questions from prospects attempting to “sell” them. I take control.
My seminar consists of these key elements:
· The problem
· My solution
· My core difference
· My story
· A real client example
· How I work
· The expected results
Transaction phase includes:
· How I charge and invoice
· How I expect to be paid
· What I need to do to make sure my bills get paid
· Who to contact regarding billing issues
· Affirmation about what I will bill
Get the New Customer off to a Great Start:
My customer kit explains:
· What to expect from me next
· How to contact me if I have a question
· How to get the most from my new product/service
· What I need from you to get started
· What we agreed upon today
· How we invoice for our work
· A copy of our invoice
The Lead Conversation System Technology Tool Kit
Using technology helps provide additional point of contact, training, and research.
Discovery moving a lead to the next planned step
Presentation-the planned act of presenting my unique approach, case statement, and story
Nurturing=Keeping a prospect interested and engaged as they move through their buying cycle.
CHAPTER 15 COMMIT TO MY MARKETING WITH A PLAN, BUDGET, AND CALENDAR
I have an integrated plan
I Set Marketing Goals and Communicate Them
1) I must really want to accomplish the goal, if not, the Ni MUST FINA A WAY TO MAKE IT SO
2) I believe that it is possible to accomplish the goal
3) I put the goal in writing
4) I list in detail all the benefits of achieving the goal
5) I set a deadline for achieving the goal
6) I list what stands in my way of achieving the goal
7) I list what skill, knowledge, and people I need to assist me.
8) I have a plan to accomplish the goal
9) I constantly revise my plan
10) I make a commitment
Goals That Support the Duct Tape Marketing System: Vision Goals and Tactical Goals:
“Where do I see myself in 5 years?” Tactical goals are easier
Goals for my vision:
What do I want to be when I grow up? I write these answers on paper.
Revenue and profit goals must be set.
Profit- I have sales with profits.
My income- I have goals set toward my income.
Set goals with these actual marketing tactics:
· Number of active suspects
· Free reports distributed
· Prospects generated
· Appointments made
· Prospects converted to clients
· First-time clients
· Web site visitors
· PR mentions
· Business cards handed out
· Workshops presented
· Testimonials received
The logistics of Time
Today’s business needs to live in real time, deal time, and meal time
Real time- Everything is busier now, and I must keep up and stay ahead of the real-time competitive advantages going on around me.
Deal time- getting up and knocking on doors. Be productive. Make a sale.
A Further word about My Time
I begin the process of reaching all my goals.
Make it a Game- Have Rules and a Way to Win
Tell the World Where I am Headed
The universe is on my side and will help me get there.