Here are three tips you can immediately implement in your own marketing arsenal.
1. Always Target the Most Profitable Audience
Years ago in another life… I worked as an assistant to a financial adviser. The one thing that stands out in my memory is that he had selected clients that…
Now, that's what I call picking the right target audience.
This direct marketing tip is so elementary, it’s easy to overlook, but it's a no-brainer:
When in doubt, follow the money.
You should always aim to attract prospects who are the most likely to spend, rather than targeting the penny-pincher out there.
Remember the classic Sears, Roebuck and Company “Big Book?”
You know, those behemoth catalogs brimming with offers (even complete “kit” houses), which became a staple of Americana itself.
Sears initially targeted the neglected rural markets with their catalogs, but quickly realized that the growing and more affluent urban areas were where the real money was, and as a result, the company’s expansion into big cities quickly eclipsed their mail-order division.
Your business should play by similar rules when it comes to targeting.
Prospects who can barely make ends meet aren’t the ones who are going to be most receptive to your offers.
On the flip side, the more money in the pockets of your prospects, the more willing they’ll be to give you the time of day.
Luckily, these days you have more control than ever in terms of who you can target and how you qualify your prospects.
Hint: Most of this comes down to basic demographics; Baby Boomers are MUCH more likely in a position to spend surplus cash-dough than Millennials, so you should generally forget targeting the under-30 crowd with your ads
2. Never Neglect the Power of Personalizing Your Message by Using Your Prospects' Name.
The sweetest sound your prospects can hear is their own name.
Unfortunately, we live in a day and age where we’re bombarded from all sides by spam.
And with all the trash piling up in our digital inboxes, people are sick and tired of
one-size-fits-all, untargeted marketing messages.
Here’s a good example…
Did you ever get something in the mail with a sticky note? Well, in 2004, two professors from Southern Methodist University conducted an experiment where they attached personalized sticky notes to direct mail solicitations, and nearly doubled their response rate in the process.
The direct mail gurus of the 1980s employed similar tactics, attaching hand-written messages to engage their prospects’ curiosity.
A personalized sticky note would read…
“Check this out, [first name]. It really works! —J.”
The “article” inside the envelope was, of course, was an advertorial.
And the infamous “Letter from J.” sticky note tactic remains as effective today as it was 30 years ago.
These same principles can be applied in the digital age, and much more easily to boot.
If you have an email list or a Facebook group, you already have your prospects’ names on hand.
Just don’t forget to actually USE all the information you have available to give your audience a personal touch.
It’s those little details that really count and build rapport.
After all, direct marketing means talking to individuals, directly.
3. Make Your Ads Worth Reading and Receiving.
Here’s a pop quiz:
If you aren’t willing to get excited about your own ads, why should your prospects be expected to?
Case in point…
The ad wizards at Apple taught us time and time again that just a little bit of buzz can go a long way.
Take Apple’s classic “1984” Super Bowl ad as a prime example.
Here’s a company that’s clearly intent on making their products seem larger than life.
This ad isn’t selling a computer (you didn’t see one, did you?); they’re saying, “our mission is to change the world.”
Similarly, during the more recent launch of their Mac Pro desktop, Apple teased journalists by sending theater-sized posters of the new hardware in mysterious, jet-black tubes.
The stunt sought to generate word-of-mouth buzz and hey, it worked (…which goes to show direct mail isn’t dead, after all).
And you don’t need to be a creative genius or master salesperson to do the same, either.
In fact, let’s take this time to bring these three principles of direct marketing full circle:
With so much competition these days…
It’s really that simple.
So rather than wait around and hope for new business, take matters into your own hands.
So hit the bricks, digitally speaking.
Put yourself out there and keep these principles in the back of your mind every step of the way.
With so many resources at your disposal…
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