9 Critical Mistakes That Can
Destroy The Sales Effectiveness
Of Any Marketing Piece
1. Mailing your marketing piece to the
There are thousands of different kinds of lists you can
purchase and the world is full of mailing list brokers desperate to sell
them to you. A good list broker can be worth his weight in gold, but a
bad one can cost you a ton of cash.
It is important that you know that there are three basic kinds of
A.Subscriber Lists: can be
These are people who subscribe to different magazines,
newsletters or other periodicals. You can usually get these
sorted by a variety of data fields including geography, past weight in
subscribers and current subscribers. There is also a field called
hotline subscribers. These are the newest subscribers and these
gold, but a
are important because they have an active interest in their bad one
chosen topic now. can cost
B. Purchaser lists: you a ton
These are people who have purchased from a particular of cash.
supplier. For example, I might ask for a purchaser list from
Nightingale Conant, of people who have bought business
related programs. As with the subscriber list, the recent
purchasers are the best.
C. Compiled List:
For most companies, this is the list they are most familiar with.
This is generally a list of companies or people complied from
different sources. So… you might simply want all the
accountancy firms in a particular area or all companies with
revenues over $5 million.
In marketing, people talk about “message to market match”. It
has to do with the correct targeting of your message to the most
likely buyers. To illustrate this let’s take a ridiculous example.
Imagine I have designed the world’s worst marketing piece for
fishing rods. It’s scribbled on crumpled paper… but it does say I
have stock available which I can dispatch immediately at a
reasonable price. My target market is a group of Eskimos who have
had all their fishing rods stolen. How successful do you think I will
be? I’d invest money in that campaign!
Now let’s say I take my profits and get a New York agency to
design an award winning marketing piece for me. I mail this with the
same offer to a group of desert nomads. Would that be a fast way to
get rid of a pile of cash?
You can creatively use mailing lists to your great advantage.
Carefully For example, if you are selling personalized luxury vacations, you
might buy a list of Lexus and Mercedes buyers.
Carefully target your market so you have a strong “message to
your market match”!
you have 2. Not targeting your best buyers
a strong Every market has one group of buyers that spend way more
than everyone else. Using the 80/20 principal, these are the 20% of
message your market that will spend 80% of the money. They have the
to market potential to dramatically increase your revenues.
Not only must you target them carefully, but you must
creatively market to them sequentially.
3. Not marketing to your own customers
The easiest person to sell to is one you already have a
relationship with. They already trust you. They know what you offer
and are willing to give you their money.
Unless you market to them, 33% of your customers will leave
you in the next five years because of perceived indifference. You
must market to them all the time.
You should have a monthly marketing calendar with different
promotions to continually entice them back to your business.
4. You have not checked that your
contact details are correct
A number of years ago I worked in a company who invested
thousands of dollars printing a series of new full color brochures.
When they arrived back from the printers, the phone number was
wrong. You need to discover that before it is too late.
I’ve seen another example where an advertised web site did
not work. These are silly and avoidable mistakes.
5. You have not sent a sample
Whenever you are sending direct mail, you must always send a
sample first. I’ve witnessed samples where the piece did not arrive in In marketing
the anticipated state of quality. Envelopes got jammed within the I’ve seen only
postal system, ink got smudged in the posting process, the inserts one strategy
were placed in the envelope incorrectly. Send a sample piece to that can’t miss
yourself first! - and that is to
market to your
6. You have not put your contact details
on everything best prospects
second and the
I see examples of this nearly every week. Just yesterday, I rest of the
wanted to subscribe to a magazine, but could I find a subscription world last.
form, contact phone number, web site or email address? No! That’s
Your best piece of advice is to put your contact details in a
variety of places. If you have separate items in your promotion, make
absolutely sure you have contact details on everything.
I regularly throw away or lose the main piece and have only an
order form or second testimonial letter and it won’t have a contact
number. That’s money going down the drain when it should be going
into your bank account.
7. Failure to test
This is a BIG one. You must test. This takes effort but it is well
worth it. I recently mailed a series of four postcards to different parts
of a list. Two of them out performed the other two by a factor of
five. Isn’t that useful to know for the next time?
You can and should test different elements. Test your offer,
guarantee, P.S., headline, price, opening, color of paper, type of enve-
lope, grabber (the little gimmicks you stick in the envelope), date you
mail and what ever else you can think of. TEST! TEST! TEST!
8. Don’t try to be too clever
Here’s a simple rule. Don’t try to be clever in your marketing
pieces. Most of your prospects won’t get it. They don’t have the
same sense of humor, intellect or background as you. Being too
clever costs you money. Keep your clever stuff for dinner parties.
I know half 9. Failure to have a sane civilian check
the money I your masterpiece
By the time you have gone through your promotion for the
advertising 67th time, you have lost ALL objectivity. You are now far too close
is wasted, to what you wrote to read it effectively.
but I can
What you wrote and what you intended to write can easily end
never find up being miles apart. Here are a few delicious blunders that Clayton
out which Makepeace revealed in a recent newsletter.
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