If you operate a business using mailing lists, consumer mailing lists, opportunity seeker mailing lists or MLM mailing lists to target Opportunity Seekers, Business Opportunity Seekers, MLM Opportunity Seekers and Home Based Business Opportunity Seekers, you can benefit from reading this article.
LET ALFRED HITCHCOCK TEACH YOU ABOUT DIRECT MAIL
Thirty years ago, the Alfred Hitchcock television series ran a clever show in which a direct mail campaign demonstrated incredible results. You'll enjoy this retelling of the show's story. You'll also be surprised what you can learn from Alfred Hitchcock On Direct Mail Campaigns. It went like this:
A man named Peter came home for dinner, and his wife handed him his mail. Among the bills, fliers and other things one would rather not receive, there was a letter from an anonymous man who predicted the outcome of an upcoming prize fight. Peter was curious when he read the letter, but he didn't think much about it until two days later, when he heard that the predicted fighter had, in fact, won.
Shortly thereafter, Peter received another anonymous letter. It commented on the writer's ability to predict the future, and it forecast which team would win a coming baseball playoff game. This time, Peter was more than just a little curious. In fact, he and his wife spent the entire evening talking about the mysterious letters and who might have sent them, and why. It was three days until the playoff game, and Peter found himself constantly thinking about the game for those three days. And, sure enough, the letter writer was again correct. Over the next few weeks, Peter continued to receive letters forecasting not only sporting events, but also which way a particular stock's price would go, whether a new law would be passed by the state legislature, and whether or not a union would go out on strike at the threatened deadline. In every instance, there were two possible outcomes, and the anonymous tipster always picked the right one. With each successive letter, the anonymous writer began to tell more about himself -- how he had this gift all his life, that he felt it immoral to use it for his own gain, and that he wanted to use it for the benefit of others. Finally, after eight letters, the writer phoned Peter and introduced himself: John Walters. Peter, who by this point could think of little else but this amazing man and his talent, immediately asked for a meeting. The writer, now caller, was a shy man. He resisted at first, but then agreed to meet with Peter in a quiet cafe.
As the two of them sat over coffee, Peter began to think more and more about the potential that lay ahead for someone who could so consistently and reliably predict future events. And he told the stranger so. Slowly, reluctantly, John told Peter that he would help him profit from the gift God had given him. There was an important football game coming up at that time, and John was certain of the outcome. Best of all, the team that would win was the underdog, so a bet would pay at least five-to-one. If Peter could get together $10,000, John would place the bet for him and then give him the winnings. Well, Peter couldn't believe his good luck. He went home and had no trouble convincing his wife to withdraw their savings for this bet; after all, she had read the amazing letters, too. Peter met John at the appointed place to give him the $10,000 and then waited for that Sunday when the game would be played. Sunday came, and sure enough, the underdog he had bet on was the winner. Peter was ecstatic as he and his wife made plans for how they would spend their winnings. Peter waited by the phone for confirmation of his winnings from John, but there was no call. All week he looked in his mailbox, but there was no letter. Peter, and those of us in the Alfred Hitchcock program audience, waited breathlessly for the payoff. At this point in the Hitchcock program, the scene cut to a small hotel room. The man we knew as John Walters and another man were counting out stacks of money. John said: "Not a bad haul, huh Spike? We made over 48 grand this time." Spike responded: "You know, Lefty, I never thought it would work, but people are so gullible. First you send out 1,024 letters on that prize fight. In half of them, you say one guy is gonna win, and half say the other. So you picked right for 512 people. Then you send 512 letters to the winners, and half of them get the right baseball team." Lefty continued: "That's right. And by the time we are down to 4 suckers who have received 8 straight predictions, they can't wait to part with big bucks to become rich."Learning From Lefty Of course, those of us in marketing and sales would never perpetrate a fraud like this, but we can learn a few lessons from Lefty about making direct mail more effective for big-ticket sales:
1. Use personal letters rather than mass mailers
A first-class letter has a better chance of getting through to the recipient than any other form of mail, and it is more likely to be read by the addressee. Since you can't tell your story unless your mail is read, getting through is everything.
2. Direct mail works better when it is repeated
A letter from an unknown mailer may not be read. If the letter is read, it is often greeted with little credibility. But if the message is good, second and subsequent letters will get more attention. The more letters you send, the more you make it clear you are in business to stay, and you are interested in this prospect.
3. Vary your message, but stick to a theme
If people recognize your mail piece as one they have seen before, they may throw it away unread. If each piece offers some new, useful information, the recipient has more reason to read it. Make each piece informative and a little different, but all pieces should continually support one well-focused idea. (Every mailing you receive from Publisher's Clearing House is different, but each one offers the same multi-million-dollar pitch.)
4. Tell the truth
The more puffery you put in a mailer, the less credible your message becomes. And if you get caught saying something that is not true, the reader's response will be much more negative than positive. Keep your messages simple and honest.
5. Be willing to make an investment over time
Our friend Lefty had to send out more than 2,000 letters to land just 4 "customers." That was a lot of writing and addressing, not to mention stationery and stamps. But the payback was worth it.
6. Never ask for anything major in an initial mailer
Sure, you may promote your company and your products, but don't ask an unknown person to make an investment in you, or to make any other big decision, until you have given him time to get to know you better.
Consider implementing these tips if you operate a business using mailing lists, consumer mailing lists, opportunity seeker mailing lists or MLM mailing lists to target Opportunity Seekers, Business Opportunity Seekers, MLM Opportunity Seekers and Home Based Business Opportunity Seekers and want to make more money than you are currently making.
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