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You Can't Hit a Target You Can't See

You Can't Hit a Target You Can't See

Ever dumped money on direct mail letters that got absolutely no response? Or perhaps you got a response, but from the wrong prospects… you know, the “price-shoppers” or those unable to finance who still find time to waste your time while “just checking around.”

There’s a one in three chance that you can find out what went wrong with your marketing, by answering this question…

Did you have a target and goal for the letter? Or was it the wrong letter for the wrong people at the wrong time?

Much of the success of marketing is about being interestingly persuasive to the right prospects. (Or at least that’s the intent!) Never run an ad or send a letter with fingers crossed. Define what you want out of exactly each group. The purpose and goal must be determined before you write the first word.

For now, let’s forget any failures from before, and let’s focus. These steps will help your direct mail campaigns become an investment in success.

9 Ways to Boost Your Marketing and Sales Results

1. Carefully Target Your Audience. Sales volume can be directly connected to your ability to accurately identify your most likely customers. If necessary, create different versions of your package tailored to each specifically targeted audience.

2. Help Your Customers Achieve Significant Goals. If you can clearly show that your product or service will make your customers' lives easier or better, your sales volume should shoot straight up.

3. Use The 4 to 1 Rule. Your sale copy should contain four "you's" to every one "I". Customers want to hear about their number one priority -- themselves. One of the best ways to convey that you understand your customers' needs is to use plenty of "you" language.

4. Share Some "Inside" Information. Direct mail offers a perfect opportunity to appeal to a person's need to feel special. An ideal way to do this is to share some exclusive information. If you have a house mailing list, offer a special price or introductory offer to your regular customers. Make it clear that this offer is being made only to them. Special "insider" treatment is often rewarded with an order.

5. Issue A Personal Letter From The President. People like to deal with the person in charge. Using this type of personal message builds confidence. A message from the President of the company can be used to great effect in either your main letter or as a lift letter. (Virtually all of the pre-made letters in our HVAC Marketing PowerPack are from the president for this reason.)

6. Use A Negative Fact To Make Your Claims More Believable. Although it's important to demonstrate the key benefits of your product, a negative element can help establish credibility. Here's how this clever technique works. Let's say you're selling new systems in peak season, but have discounted the price. Instead of the same dumb ol’ “$500 discount” or whatever, you need to illustrate a potential negative. You’d say that this sale is limited only to 3,4, and 5-ton systems. Even though this would apply to most of the systems you sell, you've used a negative fact to give reasonable proof of why you can offer such a good deal at this time.

7. Offer Multiple Versions Of The Same Product. Deluxe versions, full-featured models, basic features only models, and personalized versions are just four ways of getting extra mileage from the same basic product.

8. Make A “First Time” Offer. This approach is ideal for new products, service agreements or to new homeowners in the area. It gives a “newsworthy” slant and people love what’s new. For new homeowners, do not try to sell them on the first letter or you’re going in the trash like the other 15 offers they’ve already gotten just like it. (We’ve got 4 different letters like this in our PowerPack.) Give them something for nothing.

9. Ask Yourself This CRUCIAL Question. Based only on your direct mail package, would you buy your product or service? Be uncompromisingly honest. If your answer is "no", keep making the necessary changes until you can unequivocally answer "YES".

Adams Hudson is president of Hudson, Ink, a creative marketing firm for contractors.. For more information about the HVAC Sales Power Pack or to get a free copy of a 12-page booklet, “How to Double Your HVAC Sales in 90 Days,” call 1 800 489-9099 or fax the request on your letterhead to 334-262-1115. (Also see

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