Four Steps to Creating Powerful Direct Mail Promotions

The simple formula I’ll reveal in this article can be your #1 secret strategy for getting the very best prospects in your marketplace to do business with you. Some of these steps may sound familiar, because I’ve mentioned them in my other articles, but they all bear re-emphasis.

Let’s dive right in.

Step #1: The marketplace is more important than the product or service. Yes, what you sell is important; it plays a role in your sales strategy, obviously, because it’s what people are buying. But if you don’t start out by thoroughly understanding your marketplace first, then no amount of good products or services will cure that. You have to have an excellent understanding of who you’re selling to, and that’s much more important than the exact products and services you sell.

Step #2: Whenever you can, write your sales material first, based on the biggest wants, hopes and fears of your marketplace. This assumes you’re offering something like information marketing; if you sell a widget and it already exists, obviously that’s not a possibility. But if you sell paper-and-ink, audio, or Internet-based information products of any kind, this is a very important step for you.

Once you’ve done all you can to create that perfect sales letter, you have an ideal blueprint for creating your product. Suppose you’ve written a letter that promises your prospects 10 things if they do business with you. Those 10 things become the outline for creating your product. Whatever you’re writing — a book, a course, or audio program — use the sales letter as a guide to deliver all those things to your customer. When they receive your product later, they’ll have everything you promised them.

Step #3 is to make the biggest promises you can while still being believable. Credibility is crucial. It doesn’t matter whether you can do something or not; if people don’t believe you can, you might as well leave it out. You must be able to verify a claim, or you’ll hurt sales by including it. Just because something can be done, that doesn’t mean that you necessarily want to tell them you’ll do it — unless you can make them see themselves receiving that benefit.

Step #4: Include specific information to make the offer more believable. Generalities are too vague to make people believe; specifics will help you close the sales. Use facts, figures, testimonials, and similar strategies to verify that what you’re saying is true. This helps build trust with your marketplace and helps them feel confident doing business with you.

That’s the basic four-step formula. It works especially well if you’re creating information products, but can be adapted to anything. Just start out with a marketplace in mind, study it so thoroughly that you understand what that marketplace wants the most, then offer to give it to them. If you can deliver, you’ll never want for money.

The most important factor here is trust. They have to trust you at all levels, or they won’t give you their business. Once you say something that they feel is a lie, they’re going to stop reading your mail. They have to like and trust you, and trust is the more important of the two. Verify your claims. Don’t just say they can make $10,000 a month; show them how. Show them how, if they make $10,000 a month, $50,000 is a possibility. Having customers who are already making that kind of money is an even stronger argument. Ask them for testimonials and include those testimonials in your copy. As long as people trust you, they’ll give you their money — especially if you stand behind your claims.

Local businesses can offer guarantees. There’s a well-known car dealer in the San Diego area who says, “Buy this used car from us, take it home, test drive it, kick the tires, do everything you want with it — and if you don’t like it in seven days, bring it back and you owe nothing.” That’s a promise most used car salesmen would never make, because you’re telling people they can have a free car for a week. I suspect they qualify their customers very well first. Apparently this offer has made them a lot of money.

If you’re a dentist or chiropractor, you can guarantee your work. If somehow a tooth breaks off or the partial plate isn’t right, you’ll do it over anyway; so why not guarantee it? That makes it sound better. Likewise with any product or service you’re selling. If you can guarantee it, do so, because it builds trust. When you’re dealing with a plumber who guarantees his work, you feel very good about the plumber — and this works for all kinds of other services and for many products.

The most important step is #2: Create your sales material first. I realize that some people may think this is insane, yet nothing could be smarter — because customers are really buying the benefits, not the product or service. They’re after the perceived results based on the promises you make to them. This works better for some products and services, but again, you can pretty much do this with any service. There are so many intangible aspects to a service, and all kinds of shortcuts, strategies and insights you can use to jumpstart the process. People buy benefits. Creating sales material first will produce a tremendous number of sales.

And remember, prospect knowledge is more important than product knowledge. Just know what people want. Get in their heads and find that out, because again, people buy benefits, not features. A benefit is the emotional end result they can get if they buy your product or service. You can load it up with lots of benefits, make lots of promises — and then get busy scrambling like crazy, trying to figure out how you can fulfill on all of those promises. Think outside the box!

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