1. Leverage Your Mailing Lists And Advertising Media
I’m going to cover this point first because lists and media are the most critical components of any campaign. I don’t care how great your product is, how powerful your offer is, how low your price is, how well written your copy may be, or how striking a layout you’ve used. Mail to the wrong list or advertise in inappropriate media and all of your time, effort, and money is completely wasted.
Here’s the hard, cold truth. A mediocre piece mailed to precisely the right people or run in the right media will get significantly better results than the most powerful piece sent to the wrong list or run in the wrong media.
Leveraging your list and media usage isn’t difficult. Here’s how to do it. For mailing lists, always use a list broker. In fact, use 3 to 5 list brokers. Once you have your package together, send it to 3 to 5 list brokers and ask them to recommend lists they think will respond well. To start, test those lists that are recommended by more than one broker. Once you’ve had good results with a broker or brokers, test other lists they recommend.
For advertising, always use media brokers exactly the same way I’ve advised you to use list brokers. Just keep in mind that media brokers usually specialize by the type of media rather than by type of business. Print, radio, and television are usually represented most effectively by different media brokers. But I’ve also seen good brokers who handle more than one type of media. As with list brokers, media brokers’ fees are paid by the media, so they cost you nothing.
List and media selection are time-consuming, sophisticated activities. A good broker keeps a finger on the pulse of what’s working. Take advantage of list and media brokers’ expertise to amplify the results of your ads and mailings.
2. Leverage Your Credibility – The Key To Making More And More Sales
After the right list and media, credibility is the next most significant factor in selling more of your products or services. If your prospective customers have never heard of your company or your product, you face a tough, uphill climb.
You see, people are generally creatures of habit. Once they’ve found a product and become comfortable with it, it’s difficult to budge them out of their comfort zone.
Think about it. How many different restaurants do you go to on a regular basis? How many different brands of cars have you bought? How often do you change your brand of toothpaste? If you’re like most people, you tend to stick to a fairly limited range of products.
Secondly, most customers are naturally skeptical. Everyone has been burned more than once by products or services that didn’t perform as promised. When neither your company nor product has any credibility with your prospects, the amount of education and persuasion it takes to get them to buy can kill you.
One of your major tasks as a marketer is to increase your company and product credibility By the way, of the two, company credibility is more important to have than product credibility. If people know and trust you, they’ll usually take a chance on a new product that you’re offering. But you’ll encounter much more buyer reluctance if people know about your product but have no basis for trusting your company.
Here’s how you get the credibility that’s vital to your business:
Offer a powerful, money-back guarantee. Make it unconditional and make it cover a long period of time for six months minimum, but preferably a year. The longer your guarantee period, the more serious you appear to be about your products. Also, tests have conclusively proven that the longer a customer has your product, the less likely they are to return it. So a short guarantee period can actually increase your returns!
Give your prospective customers testimonials from other people just like them. Get specific testimonials from your satisfied customers that tell what benefits they’ve gotten or what problems were solved. “We cut our taxes by 13% annually using your advice”, is much more believable and effective than, “We saved a lot of money on our taxes”.
Also, get permission to use a satisfied customer’s full name, job title, and company name whenever possible. Specifics compound your credibility.
If you don’t have any testimonials of this type, drop a short note to some of your better customers. Tell them exactly what you want. Ask them to give you a specific testimonial and permission to use it in your marketing. A great way to increase the number of testimonials you get is to offer some type of reward. For example, offer a discount off their next order, a copy of a special report, or extending a warranty period are all effective ways of showing your appreciation.
“Borrow” another company’s credibility and use it to sell your products. This is a tremendous way to eliminate much of the risk of launching a new product or a new company. If you don’t have much credibility, go to a business that sells related products to your market and strike a deal to sell to their customers.
Here’s how this works. Let’s say you sell hand-made gourmet chocolates by direct mail. A great way to increase your sales and profits would be to contact a business that sells fine wines by mail and suggest a joint venture. In return for a percentage of the profits, the wine seller would send a letter to his customer list endorsing your chocolates and offering a special deal to try your product.
Because his customers know and trust him, the likelihood of them accepting his endorsed offer is high. You would “borrow” the wine seller’s company credibility to make far more sales than you could by mailing to outside lists.
The percentage of profits you’d offer would vary depending on how much you make on each sale. Usually, it would be from 15% to 30%. The key is to make the deal very attractive for your joint-venture partner. Your increased sales will more than compensate for the costs of the profit sharing. Plus, you gain a lot of new customers who you can turn into steady, repeat buyers.
Also, I recommend that you pay all costs for the mailing. You’d have to pay to mail to an outside list anyway, so there’s really no additional expense. Actually, your expenses will probably be reduced. Mailing an endorsed offer to 20,000 house customers is nearly always more profitable than mailing cold to an outside list of 100,000 prospects.
Finding the right coaching can be a challenge. If you want to learn how make your business more profitable and provide more free time for other activities then watch this free video from online marketing and Blog expert John Curran to find out more. Its a great resource for selecting the right coach to drive your business to greater profitability. Hope you took some great value out of this post today!