Direct-Mail Copywriting – Finding the Gold

When it comes to direct mail copywriting, finding quality marketing examples is like finding a needle inside the proverbial haystack.

Here, check this out: I’m a perpetual student. I have piles of books and papers all over the house. Courses, magazines, books, letters, and hundreds of pages of material I’ve printed from things I stumble across online.

And they’re everywhere.

Some small piles towards the back of the dinner table where no one really sits… another medium-sized stash on the chair in the dining room where no one notices too much… on top of every desk in my office… on the floor in the bathrooms next to the toilet (But not in my teenaged sons bathrooms – even I won’t venture into that place.)… and scattered around my desk on the floor in my office, I have several piles as well.

Occasionally I get through one or two of the piles, or if I take a long plane flight I’ll scoop them up and stuff ‘em in my briefcase and they’ll tend to disappear for a while, but then… within a few weeks, they magically reappear like some sort of weed in your garden you could swear you just pulled out last week, and the last week before that.

The thing is, while most of the stuff in these piles contains good information, most of the direct mail I receive, is pure crap. No matter how hard I try and find even one good idea I could use and run with, I just keep turning up empty-handed.

The other day, however, I received a very interesting piece in the mail, which I can use and actually improve on.

It was a crumpled up piece of paper, that was a cover letter to a sales piece. The letter had scrawled across it, in handwriting, something to the effect of, “I figured since you threw out the last two pieces of mail I sent you, I’d give you a head start on this one.”

This was pretty clever as a lift letter for a follow-up piece, I thought.

The copy itself wasn’t very compelling, but the concept worked. The piece was supposed to get me to stop and pay attention and I did.

Unfortunately, the actual selling piece was awful. They could have sent me the Hope Diamond as a free gift, and I still wouldn’t have been able to read through it. But the point is, at least I found an idea to run with.

The truth is, looking for exact models, in anything, is rarely productive. But searching for good ideas, finding them and then adapting them to your specific needs, is incredibly productive.

There are a few changes I would have made, to the lift note, and if you use direct mail, pay close attention to them: I would have used yellow paper, and I probably would have written the note in blue ink instead of black. I also would have included my picture on this lift note as well. Photos always get more attention and boost your response rates.

Since the transaction value was high, which means the vendor could afford to spend money to acquire customers, I also would have sent the entire thing in a garbage can mailer, instead of just crumpling the note up.

The garbage cans I’m talking about are small garbage cans you can mail out – several of my clients have used them successfully. I’m sure you’ll agree, it is virtually impossible to ignore something like this when you receive it in your mailbox.

The big problem with all this, is you typically can’t find good ideas like this in even 1 out of every 100 pieces of mail you might get. But that’s O.K., because… when it comes to direct-mail copywriting, even one good idea… is worth it’s weight… in gold.

Direct Sales Recruiting: 7 Tips For Turning a Cold Prospect Into a Hot One

Create a positive mental attitude before you get on the phone or meet with your prospect in person. Always be prepared and professional but warm and engaging. Selling is just one aspect of direct selling.

Recruiting and building a large team of direct sellers is the way to earn a residual income in direct sales. Effective recruiting requires understanding human psychology. You’re a matchmaker – matching your prospect with your opportunity.

Start by asking questions and forming a connection first. Find out what your prospect is looking for. What is the gap where she is now and where she wants to be?

There are many reasons why your prospect wants to start a business. From earning more money, to staying home to raise her children, or having a more flexible schedule… you won’t know unless you ask and listen carefully.

Share stories instead of selling. Tell your prospect how the extra money you’re earning have made a difference in your life. Maybe it has allowed you to quit your job, have more time with your family, or more money to splurge on dinners and vacations.

By sharing your success story, it’s a powerful way to connect with your prospect and appeal to her emotions. Your story will inspire her to move from where she’s at to where she wants to be. You want your prospect to think if she can do it, so can I. Your goal is to help her make a decision that is right for her.

Don’t talk about your products or company right away. Recruiting is about forming a connection and building the like and trust factor. Have your company brochures available and send her home with those. In this internet era, chances are your prospect would have already looked at your company info online before meeting with you in person.

At the end of the recruiting process, whatever your prospect’s decision is, always be gracious and never make your prospect feel bad about not joining your business. Ask to stay in touch by email and who knows, maybe she will be interested in the future. But make a bad impression and you’ll never get another chance.

Remember: selling and recruiting is never about you. It’s always about your prospect. Your prospect is making a decision that’s best for her and not for you.

Do your best to leave your ego out of the conversation which will help you to stay calm during the process. This will actually put you in a better light instead of being defensive and making a case if there’s an objection to the business opportunity.

Selling directly never works because no one likes to be sold to. When it comes to recruiting, provide enough information to help your prospect make a decision.

To get more recruiting tips and start attracting the right prospects to your business – be sure to get my FREE tips.

Direct Marketing for Car Washes

Direct marketing and direct-mail work very well for carwashes, but often carwashes fail to understand that there are many types of direct-mail and it makes sense to explore other options rather than just sending out direct-mail packages to the top demographic in the local area.

For instance it makes sense to put a flyer for your car wash inside the Chamber of Commerce newsletter, which is mailed out to the businesses who are members, they all have cars and company vehicles too. It makes sense to send out mail out packages to business district zip codes for all small-business owners.

It makes sense to put flyers in the mailboxes at the real estate offices. It makes a lot of sense to co-op with other auto services and ask if you can put your car wash coupons inside the invoices for other auto service companies. Your carwash can reciprocate by putting other auto services and their brochures in your lobby.

Sending direct marketing, direct-mail and mail out packages through the U.S. mail has always been good for car wash business owners and it always brings in new customers and clientele and refreshes those previous customers who may not use the carwash on a regular basis. It makes sense to use direct marketing and direct-mail in car washes if you want to expand your business and continue to make a profit. Please consider this in 2006.