Effective Direct Marketing

I knew a guy that owned a vacant house once, and he always laughed at the amount of postcards he received every week. He said they all looked the same and he just threw them away. That got me to thinking about my own marketing and I quickly realized that my plain white post cards were probably meeting the same fate as those that he received every week. The owners of vacant houses are constantly inundated with a storm of postcards, so in order for yours to get noticed, you have to stick out a little.

The first mistake in direct marketing that many newbies make is that they send only one card to a home owner and get frustrated when they don’t get a response. The successful marketers understand that it takes more than one contact to get a home owner’s attention. In fact, on average it takes a minimum of THREE contacts to get noticed. If you think about the big corporations like McDonalds, you will realize that they run ads constantly and repetitively on the television. You’ll be watching football one Sunday and by the end of the game, you suddenly have a yearning for a Big Mac, even if you don’t like them. That is because McDonalds ran ads over and over again in order to stand out in the white noise of all the marketing that you are consuming during the course of the game. They are trying to achieve what marketers call top of mind awareness. That is your goal with your direct marketing. You want to make sure that after they have received multiple pieces of your marketing and they decide to sell, your company is the first one they think of because of all the mail they have received from you.

Another thing you might want to consider in your post cards is using a color that will stand out more than everybody else. For that reason, use cards that are fluorescent instead of plain colors. Those colors are brighter and tend to get noticed better. A good example is to look at the colors that Sprint uses on their store signs–fluorescent yellow. The reason they use that color is that it catches people’s attention more than soft, normal colors.

One thing that you don’t want to forget is that letters work better than postcards. Not just any letter, but those that are hand-addressed. Why is that? Because it doesn’t look like just another piece of junk mail. Instead, it appears to be a letter from somebody they know. Rapport from an envelope. You can’t beat that.

When you go to write your marketing letters you can go one of two ways. You might want to keep your letter short and sweet. I, however, have had the best of luck with a three page letter that I include in my manual, The Hidden Treasures and Profits of Probate. The reason it works so well is that when I wrote that letter, put in to action the advise of Zig Ziglar. Give enough people what they want and you will get what they want. What I did in the letter is give them a short rehab course explaining to them everything they would need to do from demo and construction to selling the house. The catch is at the end when I close them by telling them that I will buy their house in its current condition. By the time they get through reading my letter, they realize that there is a lot of time, money and energy required to fix up a house in order to get full retail value. But the real reason the letter works so well is that the executor has the real feeling that I want to help them, not take advantage of them.

The Bible is a great moral book, but it is also an awesome business manual. If you will remember to do unto others as you would have them do unto you, you will have great success in your marketing.

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