This next secret is one of the most powerful and important things you are going to learn – either in your present profession or in any other field. This is one secret that most direct marketers, or any kind of marketers for that matter, fail to grasp, understand, and certainly fail to utilise.
This is a secret, that, once I learned it and began using its power, transformed some mediocre or modest success into great and profitable successes!
This particular secret is one that is resisted with great vigor by most people in business. And, because they do resist it, they are hampering their ability to make incomes they want and deserve. Just what am I talking about?
I am talking about the secret of sequenced-step, direct marketing. Let me explain what I mean by way of an example.
In an earlier secret, we discussed the idea of using multiple steps to get lead generation to the highest level.
What we were talking about there was the idea of having an attention-getting headline to get people interested in the ad, having them then read the ad, and having them call the phone number and use a non-threatening voice mail response device to get their name and address, and then sending out the report.
The idea of the steps there is you are not asking people to do too much at any one particular step, and you are only designing the step to gain the advantage of what that particular step is supposed to accomplish.
In other words, we don’t want the ads to sell your product or service, we just want the ads to have people give you a call and get them on your voice mailbox. So that’s what we were talking about there as far as multi-steps. Using simple steps to gain responses.
The next thing that we are going to teach you in this secret is the idea of the sequenced marketing, which is a continuation of the multi-step lead generation approach, but one that takes it on to a much higher degree. It changes the way your direct response marketing will work.
It will work because of these sequenced steps.
So, let’s continue this thought process through.
You will be making a big mistake if you only mail your letter to people one time.
YOU MUST MAIL TO PEOPLE THREE TIMES! AT LEAST! SOMETIMES, IT WILL TAKE SIX OR SEVEN OR EIGHT OR TWELVE CONTACTS TO REACH YOUR PERSON! ONE OR TWO MAILINGS IS A TOTAL AND COMPLETE WAST OF MONEY!!
There isn’t a direct mail piece in the world that will pull all it is capable of pulling, from a one-time shot. People need to be reminded and nudged along. I guarantee, the whole thing will be a failure if you only mail them one letter!
So, why does just about everybody think direct mail is a waste of money? Because they try it once or twice with a poorly done ad or letter and mail it out just once!
When they get little response, they assume the medium is bad.
Why do you think that so many companies do so much direct mail? For their health?
How many times have you seen Ed McMahon on that envelope? Only once? I doubt it. You see it over and over because that is how it works!
The best way to use the three-step approach is to have each mailing “build upon” the previous letter.
For example, the second mailing should say, ”SECOND NOTICE” or something like that, and it should refer to the fact that you had sent them out a piece before.
The third mailing should be headed with a bold:
Just like a series of collection notices in reverse!
The timing should be about three to four weeks or so from one mailing to the next. This building will add a measure of remembrance and recognition.
You can test different sequences and different timing.
Just as long as you understand that the repetitive mailings and/or phone calls will double or triple your business!
We know from our statistical analyses, that if we just mailed out one mailer, we would get a fraction of the business that we are capable of getting, and do get, from the sequenced-step mailings. In other words, if we only mailed one time you probably wouldn’t be reading this right now!
Now, this particular secret came from the master, Dan Kennedy.
Once we started mailing out to people a second and third time, we discovered some amazing things were happening. We were getting more business.
We found that people who got the second or third or fourth or fifth mailers often called after receiving those subsequent mailings. Why? Because either they didn’t read the first mailer, or they read part of it, or they didn’t get a chance to respond to it, or who knows what reason.
All I can tell you is what David Ogilvie said many years ago, that “life is a moving parade.”
See, people’s lives change.
And if they have expressed an interest in receiving your materials, (or if you started off mailing to them cold – because you thought they might be predisposed to being interested), either way…receiving your first marketing piece doesn’t indicate whether people are either going to respond, or not going to respond…based on the one piece alone!
As I said, 99.99% of marketers – even very sophisticated direct marketers still only use one contact to try to get a prospect to do what the marketer wants.
This particular point is so important that I am going to stress it over and over again throughout these secrets.
The concept of sequences is really very simple. It just means that every so often, on a periodic basis, somebody who has responded to your FREE report requests receives something else from you. (This secret works just as well, and is just as important, to existing clients and customers, outside professionals, etc).
For example, let’s say that you send out a first report, and you get no response from a majority of the people. This is not unusual – in fact, it is to be expected in most cases.
See, just because somebody expressed an interest in getting a FREE report doesn’t mean that they are interested in scheduling a consultation or buying your newest product. No – not even anything of the kind.
In most cases, what you are getting are people who are anywhere from “somewhat interested” to “very, very interested”…and everything in between.
Now, when you send out your first reports, the people who are “very, very interested” and like the report, and who make an emotional connection with you, they might respond immediately. Might.
Even the most highly motivated prospect may blow you off initially, for any number of reasons. But, they still are your best prospects…and, the ones most likely to respond right away.
But the number of people who are “very, very interested”, out of all the leads from one effort, is usually very small. The majority of the people responding generally range anywhere from “somewhat”, to “king of interested, “ to – maybe – “very interested.”
But, that whole group of people, if they are not ready to do anything right when they get the report, are going to be people who you are going to have to continue to contact often to build up enough psychological, critical mass to cause them to eventually respond.
For example, let’s say that somebody sees one of your ads in the paper, and they respond and get your report. Let’s say that this person is “kind of interested” in buying some rental property but really not ready to do anything right now. So they read the report, and they like it, but because they are not ready to buy, they are not ready to respond. You are not going to get a sale from this person because they are not ready to do anything.
Now, each month goes by, and every thirty days you are sending out another piece to them – it could be a second or third copy of the report, it could be some postcards, it could be articles, it could be newsletters, anything.
But for now, just get the concept that every thirty days (which is the time we normally recommend because it is easier to keep track of), they are receiving something from you.
Remember, what they are getting from you wouldn’t be anything boring, or some image type brochure, or personal promotion piece. Only interesting, curiosity-provoking things, whether ads for other reports in the form of postcards, or newsletters, etc.
So this person gets something from you every thirty days. Six months later, for whatever reason, they decide they are ready to do something, and a couple of days later, your sixth or seventh piece shows up in the mail. Who do you think they are going to call?
You see, three things that have to happen for any marketing to work. You have to match the right message to the right market at the right time. Now, if you have the right message, which we are assuming you will, using the materials we are providing you…materials that are psychologically interesting. Not boring. Just materials that stimulate feelings of compassion and empathy.
So that’s the “right message” part of the formula.
Now, we assume you have the “right market” because, these prospects “raised their hands” by responding to your ad or postcard or whatever. Out of the whole group of people out there, these prospects are probably better to market to than anyone else.
So, the third step, “the right time.”
This one can be a problem because you don’t know what the “right time” is. You’ve got the message and the market, but what is the “right time”?
See, statistics show that it takes a minimum of five contacts before somebody buys anything.
Responding to your ad, of course, may happen instantly, because you have peaked their curiosity, and the act of calling the voice mailbox is non-threatening.
Requesting a FREE report on a non-threatening basis from a recorded message, however, is not the same as actually calling up and asking you to come over for a meeting.
This is the whole deal.
This system doesn’t suck just because all of your leads don’t buy right away. That would be ridiculous for us to imply or say. What’s happening is that you are building the best follow up/mailing list you could ever get your hands on.
A list of people who are interested and have told you so by asking for the report!
The real magic is that a small portion of the leads will buy right away. Others will come in later. And still more will come in much later.
As long as you fill your pipeline with these interested parties and never stop following up with a non-threatening, non-salesy approach… you will see a whole new world in a few months. Often as quickly as a few weeks!
But you have to work the leads! You can’t just send one or two mailings out and expect to see more business. Here, for the first time, everyone you talk to will have called you first! Don’t blow this incredible marketing opportunity by assuming you can sell your product or service with a one shot deal!
Ok, if it takes five contacts to make anything happen, why should we stop at one or two? How many people are you missing. If you don’t continue to mail (and/or phone) people.
Now, at the end of this Secret we are going to give you some suggested sequences. The key here to understand is that you have to follow up with these people!
If you don’t want to do any of it by phone and just want to do it by mail…you will still get much more business that if you don’t do any follow up at all! But, if you do the combination of phone and mail follow up, you will get your most responses and get the highest percentage of people who respond to your original advertisements to eventually become your client/customer/patient.
Keep in mind, when you are spending money getting people to raise their hands and say they are interested…you have to decide how much money you are willing to spend to keep after those people, until they do become clients, customers or patients.
For example, let’s say that it cost you $7 to get the lead from your advertisement. And let’s say that it costs you $1 to mail each follow up piece each month for printing, postage, handling and so forth.
So, in the course of a year, you have $7 for the first contact, and you’ve got an additional $12 tied up with that lead. (That’s when you are mailing them once a month.)
Now you have a total of $19 invested in that lead. Let’s say, then, that out of every ten leads you get, one becomes a customer. So for ten leads, you are going to spend $190 in lead costs and follow up mail/phone costs to get one customer.
In this example, if your one customer is worth $3,000 in your pocket from a sale, the questions I have to ask is:
“Would you spend $190 to get one customer?” The answer is, most likely, “Of course!”
But if you only mail once or twice and stop your follow up, you will only be spending $7 or $8 per lead, and out of ten leads, you only spend $80.
Let’s say, because of the poor follow up, $80 gets you no customers. On the other hand, by spending $190 and sending twelve mailers, you’re far more likely to get at least one customer. Which approach makes more sense?
This is a big hurdle we see many members having a hard time getting over. We see clients doing what we tell them, getting leads, following up once or twice…and dropping the ball and letting go.
It is so sad to see these people give up just when they were at the point of finally making a breakthrough and getting the money they spent on ads back in the form of huge profits…by following sequenced mailings.
I am going to say this again – you can not maximise your profits without doing spaced, repetitive, continuous mailings and phone calls to your leads.
Does this make sense? Do you see how critically important it is to continue following up with these people because you want to be there, in their mailbox, or on the phone, or both, when they become ready. In our opinion, you should go after people a minimum of twelve times, at least once a month. Some people want to stop after three times. Some people want to stop after six times. That’s up to you. But, as I said, our recommendation is that you should go at least twelve times before you give up. (Or until you stop getting business from a certain step in the sequence.)
I know some very successful business professionals who go as far as 24 steps. Yes – when they get a lead, they mail them something every month for two whole years before they give up on them. Yes, they may be spending $30 on each lead because of the cost of the follow up, but these are the same producers who are grossing $300k per year!
Let me ask you a question. Is there a correlation between the fact that these people are willing to follow up with prospects and their incomes are so high? Is there a correlation between that and the fact that the lowest earners are only following up once or twice at the most – if they follow up at all?
Yes – I believe there is a great correlation! I can tell you from thousands of tests that repetitive marketing to leads who have already expressed an interest…is one of the biggest Secrets we are ever going to share with you.
As long as you understand that people’s lives change and that they often move from a “little interested” to “very interested” overnight!
If you’re systemised and keep those leads in the loop, many of them will have a change that moves them from “slight interest” to “deep and immediate interest” just like that! If you give up, when the change occurs, someone else will get them, but not you.
Now, the next thing I’d like to do is to go into a few sequences and some suggestions on how we think you should test your sequences.
Before I do that, I just want to mention that you do need to test your sequences. The suggestions we are going to give you are merely that, suggestions.
In any market, at any time, depending on who you are going after, who your target is and what economy is in your area, as well as interest rates and other factors…the sequences may need to be changed or adjusted in order to maximise your dollars.
For now, I would like to discuss a very simple testing method which we call the A/B testing method. Here’s how this works.
Let’s say that you are running an ad in the local paper, and let’s say that you are getting leads over a four-day period. What you can do is set up one sequence for the leads that come in on even-numbered days and a different sequence for the leads that come in on odd-numbered days. So, if you got ten leads that came in on an even-numbered day, ten that came in on odd-numbered day, another ten leads on an even-numbered day and ten on an odd-numbered day, you would then send out twenty reports in one sequence, A, and another twenty reports in another sequence, B.
Let’s say that sequence A has six steps – which would be letter, letter, letter, postcard, postcard, postcard.
And sequence B also has six steps – but it’s sequence is different. It is letter, postcard, letter, postcard, letter, postcard.
What you do, then, is track over a period of time, the people who came in on the different days, knowing which sequence they were attached to, and determining which sequence produces the most number of buyers.
In the course of two or three months, if you find that sequence A out produces sequence B by a measurable factor, then you know that you can switch all your marketing to sequence A.
As I said earlier when we talked about testing, it is very important to set up the sequences, and it is very important to test the sequences.
One more thing. What about phone calls?
I just want to briefly mention that phoning leads does help a lot!
There are two basic ways to use phone follow up.
One is to call before the report goes out. This call is not salesy.
It is just a courtesy call to let people know that report is on its way, and that you wanted to know if they needed anything else sent out with the report.
On this type of call, you can ask if the prospect minds if you call in a few days, after he or she has read the report.
Or, you could not ask that, and call anyway.
The second, is after the reports go out…whether you have already called prospects or not…is a great time to call and ask if they read the report and if they have any questions.
Light, easy stuff.
No selling, no pushing.
If they say they haven’t read it all, or whatever, you can ask permission to call them up in a week or two.
If they say they don’t want you calling, then don’t call back.
You’ll find that most people don’t mind, and you set your contact management system to follow up with them.
Whatever you do, it will NEVER BE LIKE COLD CALLING!!!
Remember, each one of these people called you first. It is nothing even remotely close to cold calling.
The only similarity is that you use the telephone.
The leads are usually friendly and easy to talk to.
Yes, you’ll get an occasional jerk, but who cares?
As long as you don’t try to push or sell with these phone follow ups, you’ll be relaxed, they’ll be relaxed, and you’ll make lots more money without any sales pressure at all!
Now, let’s look at a couple examples of different sequences you might test.
(Note: these sequences are designed for leads that have been generated by some sort of cold advertising – ads, direct mail, postcards, etc)
Suggested Sequence A
|Action||Time Between Steps|
|1. Pre-delivery phone call||Immediately|
|2. $ bill Letter #1||Immediately|
|3. Post-delivery phone call||A day or two after delivery|
|4. Letter #2||Three weeks after letter #1|
|5. Phone call||A day or two after Letter #2 is delivered|
|6. Letter #3||20 – 30 days after Letter #2|
|7. Phone call||A day or two after Letter #3|
|8. Current monthly newsletter||30 days after Letter #3|
|9. Current monthly newsletter||30 days after first newsletter|
|10. Phone call||A day or two after second newsletter is delivered|
|11. Postcard offering a different report||30 days after second newsletter is delivered|
|12. Postcard offering a seminar||30 days after previous postcard|
Suggested Sequence B
|Action||Time Between Steps|
|1. No $ bill Letter 1||Immediately|
|2. Postcard #1||Two weeks after letter #1|
|3. Letter #2||Two weeks after Postcard #1|
|4. Postcard #2||Two weeks after letter #1|
|5. Letter #3||Two weeks after Postcard #2|
|6. Postcard #3||30 days after Letter #3|
|7. New report #1||30 days after Postcard #3|
|8. New report #2||30 days after New Report #1|
|9. New report #3||30 days after New Report #2|
|10. Postcard #4||30 days after New Report #3|
|11. Postcard #5||30 days after Postcard #4|
|12. Postcard #6||30 days after Postcard #5|
Now, these are only two of an unlimited number of ways to test sequences. The actual pieces that go with these steps can be taken from the samples we’ve given you, or from anything you create, or both.
The key is follow up. Do it regularly, and do it often! As long as your material isn’t boring, you will see a whole new world open up to you very quickly, as long as your pipeline stays full!!
Don’t ever turn your marketing machine off, and you’ll never stop making deposits of commission cheques into your bank account!
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