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.
YOUR DIRECT MAILING JUST BOMBED, NOW WHAT? DON’T BE SO QUICK TO BLAME YOUR MAILING LIST FOR YOUR POOR RESPONSE
So, you just finished a direct mail campaign and anxiously started counting your riches, just waiting for all that money to come pouring in from your latest efforts. You waited, and waited, and - nothing! Oh, maybe a few orders here and there, but not even enough to come close to breaking even. Congratulations, your direct mailing campaign just BOMBED! Why do I say “congratulations”? I am not being sarcastic or cruel. You see, this is where you get to LEARN and correct things so that you can make money in the future. This is where you are either going to find out if you are just looking for a “get-rich-quick” scheme, or if you really want to operate a legitimate business of your own. You must experience failure before you can achieve success. Rarely do people make money on their first direct mail campaign. Heck, I’ve bombed on many of my direct mailings. However, through years of learning and trial and error, I’ve learned to minimize my chances of failing.
IT MUST BE THE LIST, RIGHT? ... WRONG!
Invariably, the first thing most people do when their direct mailing bombs is claim that they got a lousy list. It’s true, the list is extremely important. However, the list must be a good fit to the OFFER you are mailing or you’re doomed for failure. For example, if you’re selling a book on how to maintain and clean fireplaces you would not only want a list of homeowners, but you’d want to be sure they had fireplaces as well. Actually there are three pillars upon which all direct mail campaigns rest: The List, The Offer, The Creative – we’ll discuss all of them in this article. The same theory holds true when selling any “how to” information or money making opportunity. It’s quite possible that the list you are using is too good for your offer! That’s right, it’s too good because the list contains names of people that are too knowledgeable for your offer. Now let’s talk about “The Offer”. For example, let’s say you purchase a list of “Opportunity Buyers” that have actually paid money for a business opportunity within the last 30 days or so. These people are looking for legitimate opportunities. If you send them some pyramid, bogus MLM or chain letter scheme do you really think you’ll be successful? Of course not. These folks have already been bombarded by similar offers and are too smart to buy into such nonsense. You will get a very poor return, but it is not the fault of the list! On the other hand, if you offered these people a workable, realistic opportunity to earn money you might realize a very good return indeed.
WHERE DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT LIST TO MATCH YOUR OFFER?
This is the million dollar question! If the answer were easy there would be many more successful direct mail companies! First of all, stay away from “Cheap” lists. This is a mistake that many make when purchasing lists. They buy the cheapest lists available, without investigating if they are any good. Look at the big picture here. If you pay $50 or $100 more for a list of 1,000 names this is only 5¢ or 10¢ more per name. If you are selling something that nets you a $10 profit, you only need 5 or 10 more orders for the more expensive list to pay off. This is only a .005 percent increase in response. A better list can easily net you a 2% or 3% higher response, so it pays to buy the better list. Beware of the “Opportunity Seeker” lists. Many of these are names compiled from generic ads such as “EARN $1,000 A WEEK NOW! FREE REPORT, CALL 1-800-XXX-XXXX!” This ad may generate a lot of leads, but they are not “qualified” (willing to spend money for your particular type of offer). These names are worthless.
If you want a list of names to match your particular offer, a good place to start is with a reputable list broker. Brokers work with several different lists and can custom tailor one for you. I’m not talking about someone calling themselves a “broker” that just sells one type of list. I’m talking about REAL list brokers here. You’ll find them in phone books, trade publications, or in the Standard Rate and Data (SRDS) reference directory at your library. They will take a look at your offer and work with you to obtain a list of buyers interested in what you are selling. The more detailed you get, the more expensive the list. You will also be required to purchase a minimum of 5,000 names.
The BEST place to purchase names is directly from a prime source. This is somebody that is actually compiling “qualified” leads for their own offers, which compliment what you are selling. For example, if you are selling a book on how to lose weight, you may rent a list from a company selling diet related nutritional products. These are complimentary products. If the prime source has a large enough database, they may have an outside list management company handling their list rentals. The most important thing for you to do is find out as much as you can about the names. Ask how they are compiled, how much they spent on average, how old they are, how many times they have been rented, etc.
WHAT ABOUT YOUR OFFER?
Quite honestly, most of the offers I see are garbage – scams, pyramid schemes and worthless plans that over-promise and are extremely questionable. And ‘The Creative’ (what your mailing looks like) – do you really think that people are going to believe you’re making a fortune when you send out some flyer that looks like it was photocopied at the local drug store? Or maybe you’ve got a professionally printed sales package but you’re promoting an illegal pyramid or chain. People are getting hit with these offers everyday and it doesn’t take long before they discount all of them as garbage. The most important thing to remember here is that you MUST have a product or service that people want or need. In other words, it answers an unfulfilled want or desire. The market must also be large enough that there are enough people that will order your product or service. The price must be such that you will make a profit from a reasonable return. I always shoot to break even on a 1% return. If I can’t do that, I don’t bother with the campaign.
TEST, TEST and TEST AGAIN!
Before you go blowing a bunch of money on any offer or list, do a reasonable test. Since there are SO MANY variables involved in any direct mail campaign, you must first test the list. Mail out to about 10% of the names and gauge the response. If it is not favorable, do NOT mail to the rest of the names. Try changing your offer slightly (maybe a different sales letter, circular, etc) and test again. Test ONE variable at a time so you know what it is that works.
Direct mail can be a long, tedious process. You must offer a product that is desired and has enough margin to sell via direct mail. It is a learning process, like anything else that is worthwhile. Don’t try to take steps that are too big. Take little steps, adjusting and tweaking your offer and strategy each step of the way until you find something that works.
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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