You've probably heard how powerful direct mail can be, when done properly.
Unfortunately, I get emails from business owners every so often telling me that they "tried using direct mail" and it didn't work for them.
You know what I immediately think when someone tells me that?
They probably didn't do it right and that's why they got such a dismal response.
So sometimes I tell the person, "Send me your letter so I can take a look at what you mailed out." And after seeing the letter...9 times out of 10...
...It Was a Piece of Crap!
Sorry to use such strong words, but that's usually what people send out. Crap.
(hang in there cause I'm going to show you a great "out of the box" direct mail piece.)
Either that, or they send it out to every Tom, Dick, and Harry and they wonder why they didn't get a response.
1. When someone has requested information from you.
2. To your own house list of customers and clients.
3. To a joint venture partner's house list using your
JV partner's name.
4. To a small, highly targeted list of people who have
proven that they already buy (or are highly interested in) the specfiic types of products and services that you sell.
5. To people in your local neighborhood (if you're a
business whose customers come to you because they live close to your business (i.e. restaurants, dry cleaners, child care facilities etc.)
But even this type of mailing should be targeted.
These are the only situations that I would use direct mail that I can think of (there's probably a few more that I've left out.)
One Caveat: If you have a high ticket product (or one that has a big backend) that appeals to the masses might warrant a mass (spray and pray) mailing, like credit cards or insurance.
Meet Dr. Greg Nielsen...the "Chiropractic Copywriter"
I've complained to you about crappy direct mail letters so I wanted to show you one that I thought was excellent. That's only fair.
I have a friend named Dr. Greg Nielsen.
He's a chirpractor...but to be honest with you...he should be a high paid copywriter.
Dr. Nielsen lives in the small town of Waterford, Wisconsin - - population 17,233.
Although his town is small, Dr. Nielsen makes a very healthy living because he DOMINATES his local market using mostly direct mail to his previous patients.
Dr. Nielsen can flat out...write great copy!
Want to See a Direct Mail Letter that Works?
Here's a recent letter that I received from Dr. Nielsen's office. It was the third letter in a three letter sequence that he sent to me to get me to sign up for his marketing program.
The letter consists of....
1. The letter
2. The order form
Take a look at the letter that he wrote to me.
(Copy and paste the link into your browser.)
Here's What Makes This Letter Outstanding
If you looked at the letter you noticed that there were three parts.
1. The letter.
2. The order form.
3. A testimonial sheet.
Take a close look at the letter and you'll notice the following elements:
Element # 1
The letter is actually written as though his assistant Marie were sending it out.
This one of Dr. Nielsen's famous "Staff Memo" letters, in which it appears as though one of his staff is writing the letter. It's a great hook and makes the letter very interesting.
It also gets people to read the letter because everyone reads, "Staff Memos."
Element # 2
Notice the "From" section at the top of the letter and the date on the right.
This immediately lets the reader know who the letter is from, which is one of the first questions that people have when they pick up a letter. It also first the format of a real memorandum.
Element # 3
This letter has a compelling headline.
In fact, this headline is modeled after the most famous headline in history that was written my John Caples, "They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano, But When I Started to Play..."
Great headlines can be modified and used over and over again. If it's a proven winning headline, it will probably work in a lot of different applications.
Element # 4
There is a little plastic tooth attached to this letter. This is called a "grabber" and it creates a letter that is lumpy.
People love to open lumpy mail just to see what's inside. This grabber took some time to attach, but it was probably well worth it. It gets people's attention.
And notice how beautifully Dr. Nielsen ties the grabber into the first paragraph by saying that getting you to respond is "like pulling teeth." That's smart.
Element # 5
"Marie," the writer of the letter, tells us about the first two letters that were sent.
This reminds us that he's tried multiple times to get us to respond. Not just once.
And it also allows him to tell us that this is the last letter that he is going to send us. It's our final opportunity to take advantage of this opportunity.
Element # 6
The final call to action in the last paragraph of the letter gives us exact directions on what we're supposed to do next. He doesn't leave it up to guessing or assumption.
Element # 7
There is a P.S. with an additional bonus offer and a deadline date. Bonuses and deadline dates are extremely important to driving sales.
They simply can't be underestimated.
EVERY good sales letter should have some kind of bonus with a deadline. It works...what more can I say.
Element # 8
The order form is excellent. It is yellow, which makes it stand out from the core sales letter.
It's called a "Fast Response Form" to let people know that it can be used to give a fast response. And the copy on the form have a positive, upbeat tone.
It assumes the sale and reiterates the reward for responding fast.
Element # 9
What is a sales letter without testimonials. A famous marketer once said, "You don't have a product until you have testimonials." Testimonials are so important.
Just this past weekend, Jeff Alderson and Rod Beckwith sold over 200 copies of their new software http://www.PressReleaseEqualizer.com just through me alone, because of one thing.
My testimonial. I created a video of the software that demonstrated the results I achieved using this software and that video created a stampede of buyers.
I wanted to forward this letter on to you to show you what a great sales letter looked like. It was unique and very different. It had all the important elements of a winning sales letter.
And by the way, if you are smart, you should give Dr. Nielson $99 to get his direct mail pieces for the next 12 months. They are awesome.
His letters and newsletters comprise some of the very best letters and examples of great copywriting, that I have in my swipe files.
(Why do you think I pay to get his letters myself.)