A nice and easy read for business owners and copywriters.
- Outwork everyone
- Insatiable curiosity
- Surround yourself with smart people
- Help others first
- Use Content Strategically
- Everything you send doesn’t need to sell something but everything you send needs to achieve something. Everything is a relationship event.
- Deploy the best resources
- Develop a clear strategy. Don’t get lazy with your copy and creatives
- Find out what’s missing
- Use focus groups
- Walk around
- Get real world feedback
- Sweat the small stuff
- Look for consequential thinking in your messaging
- What’s the logic line? Can prospect follow it? Is there a thread that ties everything together? Is it congruent with your message overall? The affiliates also need to meet your logic lie
- Do you care?
- It’s crucial to be empathic
- Give them a reason to care about you
- Understand the basic rules of language. Use language that customers use
Act as if your campaigns are expensive to send
Never adapt the idea to the technique. Adapt the technique to the idea.
Go deep initially, not wide at the start
- Start with your contacts (go deep with your 3000 contacts) mine your house list first. Then go after the cold audience. Always look at the economics of being big in a small niche.
- Content. See what you have already that can be repurposed. Repurposed content for instance
- Promotions. Archive of educational materials. Power of swipe files. Bonus and Premiums.
Talk a book
Questions to ask:
- What kind of content brought someone onto the list?
- What was the tactic that got the person to opt in?
- What’s the psychology of the buyer?
- What triggered the decision to buy?
- Who wrote the copy?
- Can you use the writer again for similar offers/
- How long was the copy?
- What was the format? Short form/Long form/Sweepstakes
- What was the conversion behavior? Make a purchase?
- There’s a direct correlation between how much prospects engage with initial promotion and how long they will stay with you
- For example, someone that buys with you with long copy is highly engaged, you’ll want to track what promotion he came in vs someone who came in on short copy. Usually short copy are more impulsive purchase and not as wedded to the product
- Look for the underlying motivation of the list
What to look for in copywriters
- Understanding DM principles
- How they share their success and their generosity
Marketers sell the first order, product developers, content creators, and customer service and fulfillment people sell renewals.
Barrier to switch — Ritz Carlton, infinity
Dick Benson —> secrets of direct mail
The 31 Rules
- A 2 time buyer is more likely to buy than a 1 time buyer
- The same product sold at different prices will result in the same net income per thousand mails
- Sweepstakes will improve results by 50% or more
- A credit or bill me later will improve results by 50%
- Tokens or stickers always improve results
- Memberships renew better than plain subscriptions by 10% or more
- Department store pricings always pay except for membership offers
- You can never sell 2 things at once
- Self mailers almost never work
- The more believable a special offer, the more likely its success
- The addition of installing payments for an item over $15 will increase results by 15%
- Dollar for dollar, premiums are better offers than cash discounts
- Adding elements to a mailing package even though it’ll obviously add to the cost will more likely payout than cheapening the package
- For magazines, a soft offer — try a complimentary copy at our risk — is better than a hard offer, or cash or bill me
- A yes no option will increase orders
- Free is a magic word
- 2 premiums are frequently better than 1
- Long copy is better than short copy
- Personalized letters work better to house lists those that have bought or subscribed before than to cold lists
- Brochures and letters should stand alone and each of them should contain all the information
- Direct mail should be scrupulously honest
- Subscription sold at half price for at least 8 months will convert at renewal time just as strongly as subscription sold a full year at full price
- Lists are the most important ingredient
- The offer is the second most
- Letter should look and feel like letters
- An exclusive reduced price to a house list will more than pay its way
- To predict final results, you can always presume you’ll receive as many orders as you receive in the past week
- A follow up mailing dropped 2 weeks after the first mailing will pull 50% of the original response
- An incentive to pay cash when you offer both cash and credit options reduces net response
- Test mailing packages are the best when they come from independent creative sources
- Offers of subscriptions using 2 terms, 8 months/16 months, will pull more money, but 10% fewer orders
- Nothing works all the time