Just recently several clients have talked to me about direct sales letters. It seems that email marketing isn’t working as well as it used to and people are returning to the good old sales letter as a means of warming up leads!

I want to look at a number of issues relating to direct marketing:

  • How a campaign works
  • Combining media for contacts
  • What makes a sales letter work

How a campaign works
Firstly, anyone who thinks a single direct sales letter will create lots of warm leads is probably going to be very disappointed.

The pull of even a good sales letter is usually measured at around 1%. So for every 100 letters you send you, you get one customer. The secret of a successful marketing campaign is more ‘touches’ (contacts).

This doesn’t mean you have to pepper people with endless sales letters; but you need to recontact them at least 5 times – some people say as many as 12 before they buy.

The more often you see a company’s name, the more likely they are to come to mind when you need what they’re offering. If you make a single contact and the target contact doesn’t need your services right now, but in six months time they find they do have a need, do you think they’ll remember that single letter? However, if you’ve made a number of contacts and added information of value, there’s a much better chance they’ll remember you and get in touch.

Combining media for contacts
Touches can start with the sales letter, but might also include a follow up phone call, email, sending a free report or a link to download this, a further marketing letter, a brochure, a small gift (tea bag with a quirky message, a pen, a coaster, a small packet of biscuits) to raise your profile even further.

Don’t hassle your potential contacts, but connect with them regularly over a period of time and you’ll be astounded at how many more of them become clients. It can take months or years, but it works.

What makes a sales letter work
A really good sales letter works very well – but the majority of sales letters simply aren’t great. I could talk at length about what does and doesn’t work, but I’d strongly recommend you get The Ultimate Small Business Marketing Book by Dee Blick, which is stuffed with brilliant advice and written by someone who has demonstrated these methods work again and again.

Of course, we’re always happy to talk to you about content and help you plan your campaign!
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