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Guerrilla Direct Mail

Get your profits off to a rip-roaring start with direct mail. To make every stamp and letter count, follow these seven steps and leave your competitors in the dust.

While their competitors are still rubbing the New Years' confetti from their eyes, guerrillas are quietly working away. Preparing to launch a series of marketing attacks to capture customers and sequester profits.
Because January is the best month historically for direct mail, now's a great time to reach out through the mail.

You can use direct mail to get new customers, thank holiday customers and invite them back for January specials, and bring old customers back into the fold. You can warm the way for a sales call to a cold prospect.

But what you can't do is send out a half-baked letter. Or flyer. Or postcard. Or catalogue.

Not if you're a guerrilla, you can't. Because sending out a shoddy direct mail piece is like taking postage stamps and pushing them down the drain.

Or, even worse, it's like giving the postage to your competitors. And saying, "Here. I'm really a fine business. But I don't know what I'm doing when it comes to mail. So please, send out a mailing and tell the market what a fool I am."

Not an appealing scenario. But, lucky for you, you can avoid the trauma of a half-baked mailing. Not only that, but you have the opportunity to make significantly more money than you spent on the mailing.


Simple. By following these seven guerrilla rules of direct mail:

1. Before you write, do a couple hours of research. Ask a handful of your current customers to tell you in their own words what they like most about doing business with you.

Use those words when you ask them. What they will tell you will be the most important benefits they perceive. Use those benefits to start your letter.

2. Come up with a really dynamite reason for someone to respond to the letter. Make an extraordinary offer.

Find a new and appealing way to bundle together a number of your product or services. Or offer special payment terms. Or an unusual guarantee.

3. When you start writing, use short words and short sentences. People can't, won't, and don't read long, complicated stuff. Not if they don't have to.

They won't read your letter unless it's EASY to read.

4. Count the number of "you's" and "your's" in the letter. Your letter should have at least twice as many "you's" and "your's" as "I's," "we's," "me's," "our's" and your company's name. A ratio of four to one is even better.

When they read your letter, your customers like it when you talk about their dreams, their problems, solutions you can provide to their problems, and the benefits they will receive. And they will show their appreciation -- with sales!

5. Whatever you do, DON'T mail it out the minute after you write it. No matter how good a writer you are!

Let it sit a day or two. Then, rewrite your letter to make it simpler, clearer and more compelling. After that, read it out loud.

Then, show your letter to some customers. If their reaction is "interesting" or "well written," you may have a loser on your hands.

A sales letter isn't an essay. It's a sales piece, first and foremost. So, after reading, if your customers say, "How can I get one of those?" -- they want to buy what you're offering -- you've got yourself a guerrilla letter.

6. Check to see if it's clear what you're offering and how a reader can take you up on the offer. One great way to find out is to have a child read your letter. Children often see the obvious that adults -- caught up in the more abstract problems and distractions of life -- miss.

7. Do a test mailing and measure the results. Don't send out all your letters at once. Just send out a few dozen. Or a few hundred. When the results come in -- when your mail is good, they'll come in fast -- then do the math.

Did you make money? Did the letter get you more than you would have gotten if you had put the time to other use? If the answers are yes, then roll out it. And let the profits roll in. See ya next time!

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By Jay Conrad Levinson

About the Author: Jay Conrad Levinson

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Jay Conrad Levinson is the author of the best-selling marketing series in history, "Guerrilla Marketing," plus 30 other books. His books have sold 14 million copies worldwide. His guerrilla concepts have influenced marketing so much that today his books appear in 41 languages and are required reading in many MBA programs worldwide.
Click here to visit Jay's website.
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