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Give your business_the_edge

  1. 1. How To Give Your Business An Edge Over Your Competitors! See inside for the best ways to give your business an edge over your competitors The 10 fatal marketing mistakes and how to avoid them Fourteen ways to keep your customers coming back and spending money with you The three most important fields in your database and how to use them to make more money . . .Plus more! Special Report by Michael Ross Copyright Notices Copyright © 1997−1999 by Michael Ross All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical or electronic, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Requests for further information should be addressed to Miros Designs Marketing, Suite 1, 144 Casino St, Lismore, NSW, 2480. Published by Miros Designs Marketing Suite 1, 144 Casino St Lismore, NSW, 2480, Australia. Ph: (02) 6622 2020. Email: First Published 1997 Printed and bound in Australia. 1
  2. 2. Legal Notices While all attempts have been made to verify information provided in this publication, neither the author nor the Publisher assumes any responsibility for error, omissions, lack of care, default, negligence or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein. This publication is not intended for use as a source of legal or accounting advice. The Publisher wants to stress that the information contained herein may be subject to varying state and/or local laws or regulations. All users are advised to retain competent counsel to determine what state and/or local laws or regulations may apply to the users particular business applications of this material. The purchaser or reader of this publication assumes sole responsibility for the use of these materials and information. Adherence to all applicable laws and regulations, both federal and state and local, governing professional licensing, business practices, advertising and all other aspects of doing business in Australia or any other jurisdiction is the sole responsibility of the purchaser or reader. The author, publisher and all distributors of this book assume no responsibility or liability for any loss or damage of any kind whatever arising as a result of any purchaser or reader of these materials acting on the opinions, advice and recommendation expressly or implicitly published here. We do not guarantee any results you may or may not get as a result of following our recommendations. You must test everything for yourself. Any perceived slights of specific people or organisations is unintentional. 2
  3. 3. Introduction The information contained in this book works. However it will only work, and increase your bank account, if you use it. This book can help you and your business in a number of ways . . . You will have more happy customers. Your turnover and profits will be higher. You’ll have more time and the freedom to do the things in life that you really enjoy. You won’t be at the mercy of the economy or fickle customers. You’ll never run ineffective promotions again. Instead you’ll only run promotions that work and get results. What this gives you is an easier and more enjoyable life because all the worry about making money has been removed and replaced with marketing systems that give your business an edge. I hope you use the information contained within these pages because it does work, and can make your business and life more pleasurable. I wish you every increased success in your life and business, and leave you with this one thought . . . • The society in which we live is based on selling. All of us are selling something at sometime. And we only move, or fail to move, in direct response to our sales efforts. • It does not matter what you are selling, if you present it to the right people, in the right way, you will have plenty of buyers. Finally, happy reading, and if you are unsure about anything, or you have any suggestions, give me a call, I’d love to hear from you. My number is 0414−726−271. 3
  4. 4. Chapter 1 The 10 Marketing Mistakes That Are Fatal To Your Business And How To Avoid Them The very first thing you must realise about marketing is that it is the bridge that allows your customers and your products to get together. Without marketing, your customers might never know about your products, and so the two might never meet. Because marketing is so vitally important to the success of your business, you must make sure it is doing the job it is supposed to do. And that simply is, to bring your products and customers together. Do you want more convincing? Statistics show that 80% of small businesses fail within the first 5 years. This failure is blamed on poor business sense. The businesses supposedly fail because the owners have no idea on how to run a business. I say that sounds like a load of B.S. If you can set up a business from scratch, building it from the ground up, than surely you are smart enough to run the business. But this is where the problem is. Yes, you know all about your business and how to run it. If you didn’t you wouldn’t have gone into it. But do you know how to market your business? The answer is probably ‘NO.’ Businessess don’t fail because of poor business sense or planning. Businesses fail because the owners don’t know how to market the business and its products. After all, businesses don’t close down because of too many happy customers. They close because of too few customers. And what brings your customers and your products together? That’s right, MARKETING! So businesses close down because the owners don’t know how to market their businesses. The following marketing mistakes are lethalto your business. If you are making these mistakes stop now! They are killing your business. After reading this chapter you will know what the most fatal marketing mistakes are and how to avoid them. And knowing that will enable you to streamline your marketing for maximum efficiency. What follows are the 10 fatal marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. Read them and see if you are making any of these mistakes. If you are, you have a little bit of work ahead of you. If you are not making any of these mistakes you are either not marketing, or you are very rich already. 4
  5. 5. The 10 Fatal Marketing Mistakes Marketing Mistake #1: Not Monitoring. Before you run any promotion whatsoever, the first thing you must do is have a way to monitor its results. This will allow you to see what kind of results your promotions are getting. Because if you don’t have a way to monitor the results of your promotions you have no way to know whether or not they are working. And if you don’t know whether or not it is working how can you improve it. After all... You can’t improve what you don’t measure Another way to look at it is, what you measure you can improve. Either way it means the same thing. Let me ask you, would pay for an ad in the newspaper and not even check to see whether or not the ad ran? No you would not. So why run an ad or promotion and not know whether the ad or promotion is actually doing anything? That’s like paying for something without knowing if you’re getting anything for your money. You must monitor all your ads, letters and promotions. There are no exceptions. Start off by buying a ring bind folder and inserting clear plastic pockets in it. In these pockets you put a copy of your ad, letter or promotion, and a copy of the promotion results analysis form on the next page. Then every time you run any kind of promotion you fill it in. No exceptions. You’ll imediately be able to tell if your promotion is working, and very soon you’ll see a big difference between your promotions. Eventually you will have a folder full of promotions, some good and some not so good. Remove all the not so good ones and put them in another folder. This will leave you with a folder full of promotions that work. Then any time you want or need more money you just select the appropriate promotion and run it. It’s just like having a money tap. That’s all very well, but I’m sure you’re wondering how to monitor your promotions. Actually it is very simple. Everytime you run a newspaper ad make it so the ad must be brought in to take advantage of your offer, or have a cut out coupon as part of the ad. Do the same with letter box drops. And when you send a letter, stipulate that the letter must be brought in, or send a voucher or certificate with the letter that must be brought in. 5
  6. 6. And finally, just ask people. Whenever someone rings up ask them where they got your number. Or whenever someone purchases something ask them if they are responding to the ad. It is very very simple. By monitoring all of your sales letters, ads and promotions you’ll be able to avoid . . . Marketing Mistake #2. Not Testing. 6
  7. 7. Whenever you come up with an ad, letter or promotion you should test it first to see if it works. Too many businesses run ads and promotions that are at best pathetic.Yet they run these ads over and over and over again. Why? Because they feel they have to. They have budgetted for a certain amount of money to be spent on marketing and so they spend it. Also, they saw other businesses running similar looking ads over and over. And they thought ‘that ad must be working because we see it all the time.’ Unfortunately the owner of the ad they are copying from also copied from a useless ad, and so on. And the reason they keep running these useless ads? They figure that eventually it will come good. Itwon’t. If you ask them whether their ad works, or how many sales their ad brings, they probably couldn’t tell you because they don’t monitor. When you run an ad or promotion and monitor the results, then make a change to the ad or promotion and monitor it again, you will very quickly discover what is working. And testing those two, three or eight different offers enables you to come up with the best promotion. And because you monitored each test you know how much turnover each promotion brings. Then next time you want to earn $X you simply run the promotion that brings that much in. Let me give you an example: E.g. You decide you want to do a letter box drop to your local area of 15,000 addresses. So you go to the printer and get 15,000 flyers made up. Then you either deliver them yourself or use a delivery service to do all the work. Then you sit back and wait. And wait . . . and wait . . . and wait. And after four weeks you look at the number of flyers that were returned and you can’t beleive it. You see 8 flyers. That’s 8 responses out of 15,000 flyers, or a 0.053% response rate. But look at the next example. E.g. 2. You decide to do a letter box drop. So you sit down and come up with 5 ideas. You take each idea to the printer and get 1,000 flyers made up of each idea, 5,000 flyers in total. Then you get these flyers delivered and sit back and wait. After four weeks you count the number of flyers that were returned and discover that flyer number four had the best results with 180 people responding. That’s a response rate of 18%. So then you take flyer number four back to the printer to get another 10,000 flyers made up to cover the rest of your area. And you know, because 7
  8. 8. you monitored, that you are likely to get 1800 responses out of the 10,000 additional flyers (the response rate from the test multiplied by the number of additional flyers). In this case, testing on a small scale saved you a lot of wasted money, and, gave you the flyer that worked. This same example can, and should, be used when mailing to your database. Mail to a small section of your database first and monitor the results. Then work out what that would mean to your business if you mailed your whole database. Then test a different letter if you weren’t happy with the results of the first mailling. Then mail the rest of your database. But flyers and letters are not the only thing you should test. You should test everything. Your newspaper ads, the headlines you use, the way you greet people when they walk in the store, the way you answer the phone, your prices, your offers, the layout of your shop, the way you and your staff dress, everything. You should test everything, and monitor everything Because the only real true way to find out what works and doesn’t work is to put it to the test. Let your customers tell you by their decision to buy or not to buy. And who knows, you may find that a 10% across the board price rise doesn’t affect your sales, but it will sure increase your profits. And don’t say ‘the customers won’t buy if I increase my prices.’ Instead, put it to the test. I’ll say it again because it is so important. You must monitor everything and . . . TEST! TEST! TEST! Marketing Mistake #3. Changing Your Marketing Even Though It’s Working. The first thing you might ask is why do people change their marketing even though it is working? There are three silly reasons why people change their marketing even though it is working. 1. They don’t monitor their ads and other promotions and feel it is time for a change. 2. They have become used to the regular procession of customers coming in and the constant stream of money flowing through the register, and don’t realise it is only because of their promotions that business is so good. 3. They are sick and tired of seeing the same ad, letter or promotion day after day and week after week. Notice how all the reasons for changing marketing even though it is working depend on one little concept − monitoring. 8
  9. 9. Can you now see how important monitoring is to the success of your business? I hope so. What this means is, if you have any kind of ad, letter or promotion that is working you should stick with it. The only three reasons that you should change your marketing are . . . 1. You are just testing a new ad, letter or promotion to see how it goes. 2. You have come up with something better after monitoring and testing a few different ads. 3. It doesn’t work. It has stopped working. These are the only three reasons you should change your marketing. If your marketing is not working, drop the promotion like a hot potatoe. But if it is working . . . Don’t change anything! Don’t change anything! Don’t change anything! The only exception is, if what you change it for is better! Marketing Mistake #4. Listening To People Who Don’t Know. Listening to the advice from your family and friends is wrong wrong wrong. Sure they may mean well but the path to failure is paved with good intentions. And besides, are all the comments you receive from your family and friends supportive? Some family and friends can get very jealous, and being green with envy may just be enough for them to try and discourage you. And they will do this by giving you their unsolicited advice. I’m not saying all your friends and family want to see you fail, or rather, don’t want to see you get ahead of them. Or that they would intentionlly try to stop you from going forward. You may have super supportive friends and family. What I am getting at is . . . Never never never throw away any ad, letter or promotion just because a friend said they wouldn’t read it. You may just be throwing away a real gem Before you throw something away, test it. This is the only way for sure to know whether or not it works. 9
  10. 10. Marketing Mistake #5. Using Catchy Jingles And Nifty Slogans Instead Of Reasons To Buy. There is only one thing that catchy little jingles and nifty slogans accomplish. They stick in your mind. Sure ads are judged by how recallable they are, but that doesn’t mean they do the job they were intended for. And that is to make the cash register ring. Just because you can remember a slogan or a jingle doesn’t mean the ad is working. Unless all you wanted to do was make people remember your slogan or jingle. Every year there is a competition for ads. Do you know which ads win awards? The creative ones. The ones that can be remembered. Does that bring with it increased sales? In most cases, NO. On the other hand, the ads that increase sales and make the really big bucks hardly ever win an advertising award. Why? Because they didn’t have a lot of recallability, or they weren’t entertaining or funny. Did they work though? You bet your bottom dollar they did. You have to make a decision right now. Do you want to be entertaining, creative and original, or do you want to increase your sales? Because you definitely can’t have them both. Need more proof? Are the Demtel ads entertaining or funny? No they’re not, they’re just full of information. But do their ads work? You bet they do. You wouldn’t keep seeing them if they didn’t. Want even more proof? Just look at the late night infomertials (information packed commercials). That company has over 300,000 people on its database. Not bad considering their ads are on at 2 O’clock in the morning. At the time of writing this they were averaging about 273 new customers every day. And when you consider that their products are all above $100, you can see the benefits of advertising like they do. Their ads are full of information and give you reasons to buy. It doesn’t matter whether you like them or hate them, the only thing that matters is, they work. This brings us to the most important "Golden Rule" you must remember about all your advertising . .. The More You Tell, The More You Sell!!! The More You Tell, The More You Sell!!! The More You Tell, The More You Sell!!! 10
  11. 11. All of your advertising must be ‘salesmanship!’ Salesmanship in whatever form of media your marketing takes. Let me ask you, would you send your best salesman to one of your customers, or even a prospect, and tell him to "Sing our company jingle, say the slogan, mention our name and number, then leave"? I bet there is no way on this earth you would do that. So why do it in your marketing? The only thing that you have to keep in mind is . . . Yours ads and letters are your sales team So fill up your ads, letters and promotions with lots and lots of reasons to buy. And don’t worry about saying too much. You can never say too much, unless what you say is boring. And as for saying people will not read an ad or letter with lots of copy (text), don’t beleive it. Research shows that a newspaper ad that looks like an article will have a 500% greater response rate than an ad that looks like an ad. And besides, people that say no−one will read an ad with lots of copy are just too lazy or incompetent to write good selling ads with lots of great copy. Why then do the big advertising agencies come up with ads that are catchy but say nothing? Simply because it is four times easier, quicker and cheaper to come up with an ad that says nothing compared to an ad that actually works. The only thing you have to remember is . . . The More You Tell, The More You Sell! Marketing Mistake #6. Not Selling To Your Existing Customers. Most people like to buy the same products or similar products over and over. They do this because their want for what you have has not been satisfied. They want bigger and better. And they want more of it. It’s just human nature. Knowing this can make and save you lots of money. Your best prospects (people most likely to buy) are people that have shown an interest in your product or service. And who are the people that have shown an interest in your product or service? Your past customers. Consider this, it is up to seven times easierandcheaper selling something to your existing customers than selling to someone who is not your customer. So if you are not selling to 11
  12. 12. your existing customers then you are spending up to seven times more money than you have to. You should sell to all the people that have identified themselves as being interested and wanting your product or service − your existing customers. The best method for doing this is with a sales letter. The letter should offer them excellent guarantees, fantastic service, freebies, top deals, discounts and so on. Basically, what you are doing is giving your customers a little incentive to come and spend money with you again. It’s like bribing them to come back. Marketing Mistake #7: Thinking Your Customers Are Smarter Than They Really Are. Most people don’t have a high reading ability. And most people don’t understand big words. And your customers just happen to be like most people. Whenever you design an ad, letter or promotion, you must explain things in the simplest possible way. Never never never assume your customer will understand. Because if it is at all possible to be misunderstood, it will be. Just keep that in mind when you write any copy for yourself. The best way you can overcome being misunderstood is to use short small words, and short paragraphs. This makes your writing easy to read and easy to understand. And don’t worry that some of your more advanced customers will think poorly of you, they won’t. In fact they will really enjoy reading your copy because it is easy to understand. And that makes it easy to read. Just remember to keep it as simple as possible because your customers are probably not as smart as you give them credit for. Marketing Mistake #8: Forgetting That People Have Been Stung Before. Everyone at some time or another has been ripped off. And whether or not they went back and complained or not, they all have something in common. They never went back to ‘that’ store again, and they become wary. What this all means is that there are three reasons why someone that has money to spend won’t buy your product or service. And those three reasons are . . . 1: They don’t see a high enough value in your product to bother parting with their money. They want to hold on to their money more than they want to hold on to your product. 2. They don’t trust you. They don’t believe your guarantee. They don’t believe your 12
  13. 13. product will do what you say it will do. They may even think the whole thing is a gimmick. A con. 3. They do not want what you’ve got. This creates a problem. How do you convince them that you are genuine and that your offer is real? You simply give them details, and be specific. Don’t say over 1000 to choose from, say a choice of 1034. Give reasons why you are selling for the price you are. Even have testimonials from other satisfied customers. Explain everything in detail using short small words. Even bribe them a little with a free trial. Tell them everything. Then tell them more. Remember . . . The More You Tell, The More You Sell! Marketing Mistake #9: Not Using Headlines. Most businesses do not use headlines in their advertising. And yet 80% of the success of an ad is dependant on the headline. So you can see how vitally important headlines are. The purpose of a headline is to grab the readers attention and make them read the ad or letter. Newspapers are great at this. You will never see a newspaper advertise a story with a headline that says "Written by Joe Bloggs." No. A newspaper headline would go something like "Man Arrested After Killing Frenzy." So if they don’t advertise a story by using the writers name, why should you advertise your product or service with your name, or business name? Research has shown that headlines can increase the response of an ad by up to 1200% or more in some cases. And that is from ads that only had the headline changed. The rest of the ad stayed the same. An ad for your ad Your headline is an ad for your ad. People use headlines to help them decide what they are going to read. In fact five times as many people read headlines than read the copy. So you must use your headline to grab the attention of as many readers as possible. Just look at these two examples and ask yourself which one would get you to read the ad. Also ask yourself which type of headline do you normally use. How To Make $1200 a Week With Your Computer Even If You Don’t Know How To Use It 13
  14. 14. or . . . Joe’s Computer Shop If you thought headline number one would get more people to read the ad then congratulations, you are correct. Of course number one would get a higher readership, after all it’s offering something that all of us want − money. And, you don’t even have to know how to use your computer to do it. Headline number two on the other hand would hardly be read at all. It’s headline offers nothing, and no reason to look at the ad. Both ads could be for the same thing, a computer training course, but you wouldn’t read number two to find out would you? So ad number two would end up being a waste of money. Look at these next two examples. The first one is a typical ad or flyer, and the second is one that will work. One has a headline and other information that encourages you to buy, the other one doesn’t. Which one do you use, and which one do you think would work well? Could you use something like this in your business? You bet you could. You simply figure out what you could offer and go from there. But remember, before you run any promotion you must have a way to monitor it’s results. Then you can test it and analyse the results. Then test and analyse another one, and another and so on. And when you find the promotion that works the best, keep using it until it stops working. Don’t use it once then come up with something else. Not unless what you come up with is better. Anyway, here’s example 1, a typical flyer. As you can see, this flyer has no headline, or rather a headline that says Joe’s Cafe’. This flyer doesn’t do anything to make you want to go to the cafe’. It just lets you know the cafe’ is there. Are you using this kind of advertising and marketing? This second flyer is completely different in look and content and is something that you probably never would 14
  15. 15. have thought of. Or have probably never seen. Example number 2, an attention grabbing flyer. Which flyer do you think will have the greatest response? Number 2, that’s right. Of course the offer is different, after all, number one didn’t actually offer anything. Did the second flyer cost any more to get made up? No it didn’t. Both flyers are exactly the same size, would cost the same to get made up, and would cost the same to deliver. And if you’re going to spend the money anyway, why not spend it on something that will work, like flyer number two? Well by know you are surely wondering what to put in a headline to make as many people as possible read your ads, letters and other promotions, that ultimately lead to more sales and more money. Well, to make your headline effective it must offer your reader a benefit, the biggest one about your product or service. This lets the reader know what they will get if they read further. A benefit is something that your reader will get from your product or service. As opposed to a feature which is something your product or service has or does. Remember the computer headlines? Headline number one was telling the reader that if they read the ad they will find out how to earn $1200 a week with their computer even if they don’t know how to use it. That’s a benefit. A benefit that you will have if you do the training course. You could also sum up your offer in your headline. An example of summing up your offer could go something like this . . . FREE $80.00 Outfit. Buy any jeans plus polo and get a FREE $80.00 jeans and polo outfit 15
  16. 16. If you notice, this is the same as 50% off, half price or two for one, but it is far more effective because it uses the word free. You could even use your headlines as opening lines for your sales staff. E.g. A shoe store could ask ‘How would you like to get rid of sore feet forever?’ then follow up with ‘Here’s a shoe that looks good, is extremely comfortable, will reduce foot odour and is the most comfortable shoe you will ever wear.’ Do you think it would be a hard sale after that? Here’s another example of how a headline for an ad can also be an opening line for your sales staff. If you sell shaving gear why not get your staff to ask every man that walks in ‘How would you like a closer shave without nicks or cuts?’ All you need to remember is, your headlines must offer a benefit to your reader, the biggest one you can think of. You should also make your headlines easy to understand. Don’t be tricky or so clever the reader has to guess what you’re offering. And don’t design the headline so that the reader has to read the rest of the ad to know what your headline means, because they just won’t bother. And don’t worry about how long your headline is. If it’s good, it will get read whether it’s 4 words long or 18 words long. Some good words to use in your headlines are, You... Your... New... Now... How to... Attention... Amazing... Easy... Money... Sex... 14 Ways to... 14 Reasons why... Save... and the best word of all FREE! The reason you and your are so good as words to use in your headlines is because they speak to the reader. They make the headline personal. It makes the headline talk just to you instead of an impersonal appeal to the masses. Why not try a headline in your next ad? Marketing Mistake #10. Not Asking For Help. You should ask the advice of other successful people as often as you can. You just may be surprised at their willingness to help. It gives them a chance to ‘show−off’ their knowledge. Also, all successful people know that what goes around comes around. They know that to give is to receive and they will love to lend a helping hand. If you can’t figure out a problem or marketing approach, ask someone, me. You must realise that you are not alone, and that every problem you have has already been encountered and solved by someone else. But you’ll never know unless you swallow your pride and ask. You could say something like ‘I have a problem and I need your help.’ And who knows, it may be the start of a mutually beneficial business relationship. 16
  17. 17. Chapter 2 Fourteen Ways To Improve Your Customers’ Loyalty And Keep Them Coming Back Again And Again To Spend More Money With You! Most business owners spend all their time going after new customers. In the process they ignore the person that just spent money with them. This makes the person that just spent money feel used and unappreciated. They may not actually think ‘they’re only interested in my money’ but that is the feeling that imprints on their subconscious mind. All the customer knows is for some reason they don’t like that business, or shop, and will never go back. So to make sure that your customers keep coming back and spending more money with you, you must earn their loyalty. You must become a friend to them. After all, wouldn’t you rather have customers that are your friends as well, instead of just customers? Well, the solution is really really simple. If you want your customers to be your friends you must treat them like friends. And that means being friendly. You see, all your customers are people who are just like you. They probably enjoy the same things as you do, and may even have the same problems as you do. They may even own a business just like you do. So it stands to reason that they would like to be treated in the same way that you would like to be treated. As a friend. When you treat your customer as a friend they will become more loyal to you and your business. And the more loyal your customers, the more money you will make. Because as you now know it costs up to seven times less to get your existing customers to buy from you., then getting a stranger to buy. But guess what, the more loyal your customers the easier and cheaper it becomes to get them to buy again. So go on, treat your customers like friends. Have fun with them, joke around and make it pleasurable for them to spend money with you. And guess what? Before you know it, they will be your friends, and they will come back and spend more money with you. But there is another bonus as well. They will talk about you to their friends. And their friends may become loyal customers as well. Then they will tell other people and so on, and so on. See how the good word can spread. If you treat your customers like dirt, the bad word can spread just as quick. So why not treat your customers with the friendship and respect they deserve? After all, your customers are your lifeblood, without them your business would die.But 17
  18. 18. don’t go overboard with friendship and friendliness because it will come across as insincere. Just be genuine and you will have no problem coming across in the right way. 14 Secrets Of Customer Loyalty And Increased Sales 1.Send Lots And Lots Of Thank You Letters: The very first thing you must do after someone has purchased something from you is to send them a thank you letter. Thank them for their purchase. After all, they just parted with their hard earned money and gave it to you, so why not send them a nice thank you letter. It’s the least you could do. You can use one of the letters at the back of the book Also send a thank you letter if your customer refers someone to you, pays their bill on time, gives you their business, sends you a testimonial or passes on the name of someone that you can get supplies from or something like that. Basically you should be thanking your customers for everything you can think of. 2. Make Thank You Phone Calls: Thank you phone calls are just a variation on the thank you letter. Instead of sending a letter to someone thanking them, you ring them up and thank them in person. You or your staff could spend a few minutes each day ringing up and thanking your customers. You could say something like . . . "Hi (their name), it’s (your name) from (the name of your business). I’m ringing because I just wanted to say Thank You for . . . etc." 3. Make How Are You Going Calls: This is just a variation on the thank you call. But instead of picking up the phone to thank the person, you pick up the phone just to see how they are going and whether everything is fine. You could say something like . . . "Hi (their name), It’s (your name) from (your business name). I was just ringing up to see how things are going?" 4. Send Your Customers Birthday Letters: You like to be remembered on your birthday; so do your customers. So send them something to show that you are thinking of them. The easiest and cheapest thing to send them is a birthday letter. You could send them a little gift or a gift voucher along with it. 18
  19. 19. If you don’t know what to write just use the letter at the back of the book. 5. Send Your Customers Christmas Greetings: Every year people send out heaps of Christmas cards and eagerly wait by their post box to receive cards from others. They then put these cards with all the others they have. So if you send a card to your customers it will end up in the sea of cards with all the others. You must do something to make your Christmas greeting stand out. The easiest and cheapest way to send a little good cheer to your customers is with a Christmas letter. You could send a letter with a piece of tinsel, or Christmas paper, attached to the top. You could even include a little bag of lollies, or just one lolly. It will certainly make your card stand out. Do you think your customers will remember it? You bet they will. They’ll even show their friends, and before you know it that goodwill snowball is rolling again. You can use the Christmas letter at the back of the book if you don’t know what to write. 6. Ask Your Customers For Their Opinion On Your Performance: Because your business is totally dependant on your customers, you must remember that . .. Customer Perception Is The Reality! It is what your customers think of you that matters, not what you think. Just because you think that everything is fine doesn’t mean your customers will. And if your customers are annoyed, then you may lose them. The only way to know for sure whether or not you are doing a good job and whether your customers are happy with you is to ask them. Every six to twelve months you should be sending out customer questionnaires, or feedback forms. And based on the answers that come back you will know what areas of your business need improving. To get the most useful information simply ask the following five questions or use the letter at the back of the book. 1. What do you like the most about our products? 2. What do you like the most about our service? 3. What do you like the least about our products and service? 19
  20. 20. 4. How can we improve our service to you? 5. What can we do to help you in your business? (if you are dealing with other businesses) Once you have this information you must analyse it. If there is a recurring comment, and the comment is bad, you must act upon it immediately. Because you obviously have a problem. You should try and act on everything you possibly can. That way when a certain customer comes in and sees that you have acted on their suggestion, they’ll be delighted. And remember to send thank you letters to everyone that returned their questionnaires. This will encourage them to fill out the next one you send them. 7. Send Your Customers Awards: Everybody likes to be appreciated. And everybody likes to receive things as a token of appreciation. Because it’s one thing to say well done or good job or thanks for being a customer who spends heaps of money, but it is another thing to receive something for your good job and for spending lots of money. So why not send your customers awards and certificates for shopping with you. You can use the letter at the back of the book It’ll make them feel good. And it’ll make them feel appreciated, and show that you really do care about them. 8. Hold Functions For Your Best Customers: This takes the award certificate one step further. You can put on a breakfast or lunch, maybe even a dinner, for your top customers. You may even hold a seminar with a guest speaker that will talk about something interesting. You can even turn it into a little award ceremony, but make sure that everyone that is invited gets some kind of award. Ask your customers to bring a friend. Then send a thank you letter for attending the function and offer their friend a little bonus or free trial of your product or service. This can lead to a lot more business because your customers’ friends probably have the same interests as your customers. And that means they will probably relate to your product or service instantly. You can hold the function for free, or charge a large or small amount of money to cover the costs. And you can use one of the letters at the back of the book to invite your customers. 20
  21. 21. 9. Let Your Customers Know How You Do Things: You could produce a little booklet that lets them know your procedures on certain elements of your business. E.g. A hairdresser could hand out a little booklet that details what a perm involves. If you have an office with lots of staff you could show your customers around. You can explain what some of the duties of your staff are as you show your customer around. When you present a bill or send an invoice explain how you arrived at that amount. Explain why the bill is the amount it is. You will find that the more and more you explain things to your customers the happier and more trusting they will be. They won’t question you or your bill. They will be happier with you and won’t even bother to look elsewhere. 10. Educate Your Customers: To build up your customers’ confidence in you, you should educate them. This will show them that you know what you are doing. And it will highten the way your customers think of you. It will establish you as the expert, in their eyes. Your customers will trust you more. And they will trust your products, service and advertising more. You educate your customers by providing them with information. Stacks and stacks of information. You could produce a newsletter, write articles for the local newspaper, write reports and send them information letters. You could even hold a seminar and invite all your customers − for a fee. Your information letters could just explain all about some new product or breakthrough. E.g. A nursery could send a letter that just explains about a new grass seed and how it was developed etc. Although, if you’re going to send a letter anyway, why not include some kind of sales effort, as well as the information. But these aren’t the only ways to educate your customers and make them happy. You could also . . . 11. Become An Information Centre: This takes the education process one step further. You simply become a source of information on all sorts of topics that affect your customers. You may even become a small scale library and have books, videos, audio tapes and reports etc. E.g. A health food store could develop some small booklets or reports on things that 21
  22. 22. effect the majority of their customers. They might produce a booklet on how to have healthier skin using products from nature. Once you have these products you can lend them to your customers. Or you may want to sell them for a small fee. If you manage to get a really really good deal on a book or something similar, you may want to pass on the savings to your customers. And if a customer rings you up and wants help solving a particular problem, you could send them some information for free − or charge them. It depends on how much information they are getting. Or you could give them the information over the phone. Whether you give all your information away or charge for it, is up to you. The purpose of having this information is to create a dependency. Make your customers dependent on you. Then they will turn to you always. And you will have a regular stream of income. 12. Give Your Customers Recognition: The idea is to flatter your customers and get them to talk about you to their friends. And in the process build your credibility which in turn will lead to more sales. The first thing you must do is get testimonials from your customers. Testimonials about the results your customers got from using your product or service. You then put these in your sales letters, your reception area, on the wall of your shop and anywhere else that your customers might see them. When the customer that wrote the testimonial sees it they will feel flattered and talk to their friends about it. And this will build great goodwill. It will also increase your credibility which will lead to more sales. Because new customers can see that people use you and your products or services and are happy. This works very well because everybody has been stung before. And showing a testimonial tells your new customer that you can be trusted. How do you get these testimonials? You Ask For Them! You can ring your customer up and say something like this . . . "(their name), It’s (your name) from (your business). I’d really like to get a photo of you and your business, and a testimonial if possible. If they turn out well, we may even put them up in (our shop, reception area) where people can see them, (and promote your business at the same time. − if dealing with another business)." 22
  23. 23. Or you could ask them to send you a photo of them using your product or service. You could then display that in your shop or reception area. You can get them to agree by running a competition and entering them in it when they say yes. You could ring them up, or send a letter, and say something like this . . . "(Persons name), It’s (your name) from (business name). I’d like to tell you about a really special competition we have going. (explain the competition). All you have to do to go in the draw to win (whatever they can win) is send us a photo of you using our product. It can be zany, wacky, totally way out or serious, and all entries will be displayed in (where you will display them). If you don’t have a camera or film don’t worry. Just let us know and we’ll come around and take the photo ourselves . . .etc." You can use similar approaches to get written testimonials. Run a competition. To enter the draw all your customer has to do is write a testimonial. When you display these, your customers will come in just to see them and they will feel flattered. They will almost feel famous. Give it a go. You’ll be surprised how willing your customers are when you ask them. 13. Give Suprise Gifts: Everybody likes to get gifts and suprises, even your customers. So why not make their day and surprise them. Next time you make a sale include a little something extra. It may be a little gadget or a small bag of lollies or something. It doesn’t matter what, as long as it is something. You can also instruct all your staff to do the same. Whenever they make a sale, take an order, do a delivery etc., they should include a little something extra. You could include a small bag of lollies (one of those small ‘not for retail sale’ bags that you get in bigger bags) with a note that says . . . "I thought you might like these, they are my favourites." or "Here’s a little something I thought you might enjoy." You just willnot believe the positive impact this will have on your customers. Man, will they be impressed. Will they remember you? You bet they will! 14. Get Your Staff Involved: After all, they are part of your business as well. Ask your staff for their ideas. Ask them how they think the customers could be served and looked after better. But that’s not all. 23
  24. 24. Give them recognition for their ideas. Develop some kind of incentive scheme that encourages your staff to put in that little bit extra. You can let them have their own personalised little notes that they give out with surprise gifts when they make a sale. Make your staff feel like they are part of something instead of someone that’s just getting paid to do ajob. This will actually make them happier and they’ll work harder. They’ll be more willing to please the customers (because they get recognition for it). And in turn your customers will be happier. All the ideas in this chapter willwork. But you must do them. You must put them into action. You can even make one of your staff responsible for making sure that whatever you decide to do actually gets done − everytime. These fourteen ways to improve your customers’ loyalty are not the be all and end all. I’m sure that you or your staff can think of your own unique ways to make your customers feel special and appreciated. And I’m sure you and your staff can think of ways to make your business more fun and enjoyable. So just do it! More interesting information on customer feedback. Most unhappy customers tell about 9 or 10 people about you, your business and why they are unhappy. Nine out of ten unhappy customers will not complain to the business they are unhappy with. They will just never come back. For every customer that complains to you about something, 26 other customers have the same complaint but don’t say anything. Over three quarters of customers who complain, in person or over the phone, will continue to come back if you fix up their problem. If you fix up their problem really quickly, without making a big fuss about it, 95% of the complaining customers will come back and do business with you. When you fix up your customers problems quickly and without fuss, they are so impressed that they will immediately tell an average of five people about it. This is because no other businesses treat their customers with the respect and appreciation they deserve. To help improve how you relate to your customers you and your staff should write down everything you don’t like about other businesses and how they deal with you. Write down things like; "Don’t like shops that want to look in my bag." "Don’t like being asked − can I help you − cause all I’m going to say is, no just looking." "Don’t like sales staff that just hover around you, looking over your shoulder." "Don’t like waiting 24
  25. 25. to be served whilst the person behind the counter just chats to someone else about their personal and social life." "Don’t like it when the sales staff keep asking if you’re right, do you need a hand, how’re you going in there etc., when you’re in the change room trying something on." Do you get the idea? Once you have this list of dislikes, analyse your business and see how many of these you or your staff are doing. When you find some, stop doing them imediately and change to something else. E.g. Instead of saying "Can I help you?" and getting the standard "No I’m just looking." Why not say "Have you been to the store before?" That is only a minor thing but research shows that this small change can increase sales by up to 16%. Why go to all this trouble? you ask. Because if there is something that you don’t like, what makes you think your customers will like it? And besides, friends don’t treat each other that way, do they? Chapter 3 The 3 Most Important Fields In Your Database And How To Use Them To Make More Money Every business, and that means yours, whether large or small should have a database. A database is a list of customers. But not just a plain ordinary list of names and addresses. What makes a database so special is all the extra information it contains, plus being able to select customers using this extra information. Extra information such as what your customer has bought from you in the past, how much they have spent with you, when they bought, their birthday, the birthday of family members, aniversary, favourite colour, shoe size, dress size, favourite meal etc. So what’s so good about having this information? You can section off your database for target marketing; you can market to the people most likely to respond; save money by avoiding mass mailings; save money on your marketing costs; your competition never knows what offers you are making to your customers; and when it comes time to sell your business you have solid proof of good will. 25
  26. 26. However, a database is only as good as the information you have in it. And how clean that information is. You database is said to be clean − and therefore efficient − when it is . . . 1:accurate . . . 2:current and up to date . . . 3:free of duplicate names . . . 4:maintained with complete data. And to keep your database clean you should regularly ask your customers if the information you have about them is correct. You do this by sending out questionnaires, ringing them up and asking them, or asking them whenever they come into the shop. Your database should contain as much information as possible about your customers. Firstly you will need their name and address. This is so you know who they are and where they live. After all, you need to know their name and address so you know who to send your sales letters to, and where to send them. But names and addresses are not the only bits of information you want about your customers. You’ll also want additional information. Information such as, when they first became your customer, when was the last time they were sent a sales letter and what it was, their birthday, spouse’s birthday, childrens birthday, hobbies and leisure interests, income, occupation, property info such as type of car − lowset/highset house etc., and anything else that might relate specifically to your business. Such as shoe size for a shoe store, bra size for a lingerie store, favourite meal for a restaurant etc. Plus. Your database must have a field for Frequency, Recency and Monetary Value. Because it is these three fileds that will decide how valuable your database is. Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value are the three most important fields in your database! Without these three fields your database is worthless. Before I explain what Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value are you’re obviously wondering what ‘field’ means. A field is simply an area of your database that stores a certain type of information. E.g. The field for ‘first name’ contains your customers’ first name. O.K. lets move on. So what information do the fields of Recency, Frequency and Monetary Value contain? 26
  27. 27. 1: Recency: Quite simply, recency means the last time your customer bought something from you, or responded to your offer. This could simply be a date that shows when they last purchased. It shows how recent their purchase was. 2: Frequency: As it’s name suggests, this field contains information that shows you how frequently your customer has bought since becoming a customer. Or the number of times they have bought in the last twelve months, or six months, or whatever time period you decide on. 3: Monetary Value: This field shows you the amount of money your customer has spent with you since becoming your customer. Or in the last twelve months, or six months, or whatever time period you decide. I would recomend you keep track of their total lifetime purchases instead of a set time frame. Or keep track of their lifetime purchases as well as their purchases over a set period of time. So now you know what to put in these fields how do these three fields to determine whether a customer will buy again? The more recently a person has spent money with you, the more likely they will again. This is because you are still fresh in their mind − and they are in a buying mood. The more frequently someone spends money with you, the greater chance they will again. They develop a buying habit with you. And generally speaking, the more someone spends with you, the more they will continue to spend. They obviously like your products and they like dealing with you. As you can see, these three fields, recency, frequency and monetary value, go hand in hand with each other. However, all three are not equally important. The order of importance for these fields is − recency; frequency; then monetary value. This is because the more recently someone has bought something the greater the chance they will buy again. They are in a buying mood. E.g. Someone buys a computer. For a while they will be looking for programmes to install, printers to buy and other equipment. And the best time to sell them this stuff is as soon as they have bought the computer − even better, whilst they are buying the computer. 27
  28. 28. On the other hand, someone that bought a computer 2 years ago isn’t as interested in the new programmes because they are used to what they have, and they get by with it. So how do you use these three fields to increase your profits and sales? Firstly, to make sure you can use the information efficiently you need to store the information in the right way. The field for recency should contain a date. The date your customer last purchased something from you. The field for frequency should hold a list of dates. The date of each time the customer bought something from you. Or you might just want to have a number − representing the number of times your customer has spent money with you. And the field for monetary value should contain the amount − in dollars − of your customers’ purchases. And what they bought. You then combine frequency and monetary value to have a list of dates that show what was bought and for how much. Even have a section that shows the total amount spent with you. Organising your database this way will enable you to use your database for maximum efficiency. So how does it work? You decide to run a promotion. So, being a smart business owner you decide to market to the people that have already shown that they are interested in your product − your existing customers. You come up with a great idea. But before you rush out and mail your whole database, you check it out to see who is most likely to respond. What you find is that only half your customers would be interested, and so you mail only to them. If you had 2000 people on your database you have just saved yourself the cost of mailing 1000 letters. That’s over $450 you just saved. Let me give you a few examples: E.g. 1. You own a local restaurant. All of your customers are kept on a database on your computer. Your records have their names and addresses, the date they were last mailed to, the date they were last here and what they had, when they had it and how much it cost − over the last 12 months. As well as whether it was a credit card payment or cash. You decide that you are going to have a special theme night in two weeks. It will be a Middle Eastern night with entertainment provided by a Belly Dancer, Harem Girls (waitresses in disguise) serving the food, and a set menu of Middle Eastern dishes. 28
  29. 29. Plus, you will be selling the set menu for $50 per head. And that just happens to be $20 per head above the average price − even though it won’t cost you $20 extra per head to put the night on. So you go to your database to see who dined with you within the last two weeks and spent $50 or more, per head, on their meal. And whether they regularly come to the restaurant. You find that 100 people that regularly come to the restaurant have spent $50 or more per head within the last two weeks. So you mail your promotion to them. And presto. You have just targetted your marketing to the people most likely to respond − past customers who regularly spend a certain amount of money with you. This means they are used to spending that amount of money and so would think nothing of it to spend that amount again. This type of idea was used by a restaurant on the Gold Coast. They sent out 20 letters and gave 100 leaflets to people dining in the restaurant 10 days before the night. The result was, 41 people booked at $30 per head ($8 above the average sale per head). And 21 people were turned away at the door. And everyone that came asked when the next one was. The letters and leaflets cost $50. E.g. 2. You own a hairdressing salon and are having a special on perms for next month. You go to your database and find a list of regular customers who have had a perm and are due to have it redone. You mail your promotion to them. E.g 3. You own a carpet cleaning business and are having a special on carpet cleaning and pest control. You go to your database and find a list of past customers who have dogs and cats. To them you send your promotion for a combined carpet clean and pest service. And you sell them on the fact that it is Summer and flea season is here. In each case you can see that by going to your database and looking for regular customers that have spent close to an amount that you want them to spend, or have purchased something identical or similar to your offer, you have targetted your marketing to the people most likely to respond. Better than trying to get your whole database to have a perm, don’t you think? But that’s not the only way you can make money from your database. You can rent your database to other businesses. You may charge $100 or more for every 1000 names on your database. Of course you would make sure that you only rented your list to non competitive businesses. E.g. A hair salon might rent their list to a clothing store. Or a health food store might rent their list to a gym. I’m sure that you can think of a business that might be interested in 29
  30. 30. your customers.How to get names for your database the quick and easy way. If you already have a database you can market to your customers now. But what if you don’t have your customers on a database? How do you get them on to your database? Ask your customers to fill out a questionnaire, like the one at the back of the book. Hand one to everyone that comes into your store. To encourage people to fill it out and give you their details run a competition with it. Every questionnaire goes in the draw to win something. Place an ad/coupon in the newspaper to win something. All you do is fill the ad/coupon in and put it in the box in the store, or send it in. And suddenly you have a whole list of people that are interested in something from your business. I’ve seen this ploy used by new restaurants. And everytime without exception they get flooded with letters to win a free dinner for two. And you know what happens after the promotion. You hardly see an ad from them again. Not until they run the promotion again. Why? Because they are sending sales letters to all the people that entered the contest to win a dinner for two. They offer them deals and give them reasons why they should come in and eat. And the best part is that . . .your competition never knows what sort of offers you are making to your customers. It may be years before they find out. Another way is to produce a small report or booklet and give this away through a small ad in the paper. For instance, a landscape business could produce a booklet "The 12 easy ways to keep your grass lush and green during summer" or "The all natural chemically free way to treat your grass for grubs" They could advertise this FREE booklet in the local paper and send it out to anyone that asks for it. They then have a list of people interested in lawncare. They can then market to these people. Another way to quickly and easily get names on to your database is to rent somebody else’s list of customers. Because you are renting the names you cannot just put all of them on your list, that’s illegal. But you can market to them. Then anyone that responds to your promotion can go on your list. They are now your customer. Marketing using your database is smart marketing Because when you regularly ask your customers to buy from you, they eventually will. Plus, when you realise that it costs up to seven times as much to get a new customer to buy then to sell something to your existing customer, you can see why marketing to your database is smart marketing. 30
  31. 31. If you don’t have a database yet I’m sure you’re wondering what you should include in it. You should include: date they first became your customer, their name and address, phone number if possible, date they were last mailed to and what it was, date of their last purchase, every purchase they have ever made − when they made it and how much it was, their birthday and other family members birthdays if possible, plus anything else that relates to your business such as shoe size, bra size, favourite colour etc. The first thing you should do when you get someone’s name on your database is send them a thank you letter. Thank them for spending money with you. It’ll knock their socks off. You should mail your customers atleast8 times a year. And you should have no problem doing this because you can use the letters at the back of the book. Plus, it will only cost you about $4. Certainly not a lot of money to spend. Especially when you consider how much profit that $4 could make you. Chapter 4 Direct Mail Guidelines To Follow To Increase The Response From Your Promotions Direct mail, or direct marketing is marketing directly to your customers and prospects. While that sounds easy enough, be warned. If you do a direct mail campaign the wrong way you will lose your money. How much money? Well, each sales letter you send will cost you 45c for the stamp, 3c for the envelope, plus the cost of the letter itself, plus the cost of grabbers (grabbers will be revealed later). So all up you are looking at a cost of atleast 48c for each sales letter. So you would be looking at a cost of $48 minimum to market to 100 people on your database. Now you might be thinking "I can reach a hell of a lot more people with a $50 ad in the local paper." Yes that’s true. Your ad will be seen by more people. But you can’t say as much in a $50 ad as you can say in a sales letter, and most of the people that see your ad aren’t interested in your offer. So you’d actually be wasting money advertising to people who are not interested, in the hope that your small market will see the ad. On the other hand, when you market with direct mail, you are sending sales letters to the people that are most likely to respond. Your past customers. And because they are your 31
  32. 32. customers and therefore up to seven times easier to sell to, you can quite honestly expect a good response to your letter. But before someone can respond to your great sales letter they must open it. Now I know you’re thinking "what a stupid thing to say" but wait. What envelopes do you throw away without opening? That’s right, junk mail. Or anything that looks at all like junk mail. So obviously you don’t want your sales letter to look like junk mail. The Envelope and how to make sure it gets opened The following seven steps are concerned with the envelope and how to get it opened. Because if your envelope does not get opened the offer won’t be seen. If it is not seen, it won’t be read, if it is not read it won’t be acted upon, and if it is not acted upon you won’t make a sale, and you know what that means. 1: Use real lick and stick stamps, or peal and stick stamps. Avoid using a postage paid symbol as it immediately identifies your letter as something cheap and not important − probably junk mail. And if your customer thinks that, they’ll probably throw it away without opening it. 2: Hand address all your mail. Use blue female writing if possible. Because in general, female hand writing is a lot neater than male hand writing. The only alternative to using hand writing is to direct address your letter − type directly on to the envelope. Your computer may even have a font that looks like hand writing. Never nevernever use address labels. Because it screams at the person receiving it "JUNK MAIL!!!" And they’ll probably throw it in the bin. 3: Use the person’s name. Every time you address the envelope you should use the recipients name. Avoid using only their title and surname. You have their full name in your database so use it. 4: Avoid using graphics on the outside of the envelope. The last thing you want to do is make your envelope look like some kind of carnival. If your envelope has pictures on it or teaser copy (writing designed to get the person to 32
  33. 33. open the envelope, such as − see inside for the quickest way to get fit), it will alert the person receiving it to the strong possiblity of junk mail. And so they are likely to toss it. 5: Use envelopes that can’t be seen through, and use white paper inside. If the person receiving your letter can see through the envelope and see a headline or coloured paper, they will instantly know it’s junk mail, and may toss it. 6: Put the return address on the envelope only, no name or business name. And when you do put the return address only, put it on the back or top left on the front. You avoid putting your name or business name with the return address because if they know who it’s from they may not open it. Because if they know who it’s from they may think it’s a sales letter and so toss it. 7: Use an envelope large enough to comfortably handle your letter. Don’t try and squeeze an eight page promotion into a tiny envelope. And don’t use a huge envelope for a one page letter. Use an envelope that is just right. You’ll probably find the best envelope is one that can take A4 paper, folded twice. These DL (110 x 220) size envelopes are available everywhere. And most mail seems to go in this size envelope. Which is good, because it means your mail won’t look out of place. The whole idea of addressing an envelope this way, is to make it look like it came from a friend. Or at least somebody that knows you. The last thing you want to do is make your sales letters look like junk mail. This way of addressing the envelope is the best way to make sure your letter gets openned. The next most important step is the letter itself, and your offer. The Offer and how to make sure it gets read The letter, and the offer it contains, is designed to bring the customer back to spend more money. But just because they opened the envelope doesn’t mean they will read the whole letter. So you have got to entice them to read the letter. And you can do this in a number of ways. One way to get your customers to read your letters is to use grabbers. Grabbers are small items that you attach to the top of the letter that relates to your opening paragraph. E.g. You could attach a coin to the top of the letter with the words . . . "I’ve attached a coin to the top of this letter for two reasons". Firstly I wanted to grab your attention. 33
  34. 34. And secondly, because what I have to say concerns how you can make more money in your business, I thought that attaching a little financial eye catcher was especially appropriate." You could attach a tea bag to the top of the letter and underneath . . . "Sit back, relax, and have a cup of tea on me" You could attach a $10 gift voucher with the words . . . "My bank manager will probably close my account when he/she finds out I’m giving away something that’s as good as a crisp clean $10 note hot off the press" I’m sure you get the general idea. But if you can’t think of a grabber to attach to your letters why not ring me up and ask me. I’ll give you a couple of suggestions that should help. When you use grabbers it makes your letters stand out more. It commands the readers attention. And encourages them to read the letter to find out why you’ve attached something to the top. And once they start reading they just continue, right till the end. Another way to get your customers to read your letters is to add headlines to them. E.g. A nursery could send a letter to their customers with the headline . . ."How To Have The Most Beautiful Garden In Your Street!" A fishing tackle shop could use . . . "How To Catch The Really Big Fish And Make Your Friends Jealous!!" And to make your headlines even more effective you can personalise them. "How Joe Bloggs Caught The Really Big Fish That Made All His Friends Jealous!" "What Made Joe’s Garden The Best In The Street!" Or you can combine the grabbers and headlines together. You could have a grabber at the top of the letter (lets say a $10 gift voucher). And underneath in big bold writing "My bank manager will probably close my account when he finds out I’m giving you something that’s as good as a $10 note hot off the press" I’m sure you get the idea. Try different grabbers and headlines in your letters. You’ll be amazed at the difference something like this can make to your response. Now that the 34
  35. 35. top of the letter is taken care of, and your customers are starting to read, you need to figure out what to say to them. And how to say it so they won’t stop reading. The most effective way to keep your customers reading is to make your offer easy for them to read. And you make it easy for them to read by writing the offer in everyday plain English. And that means using little words. And write it as though you were writing to a friend. Or as if you were telling someone about it across a table. One to one. Write how you speak If you have trouble writing this way, then tape yourself talking about the offer to someone. Then transcribe your recording onto paper. Just write your letters as if you were writing to a friend. Also, try and keep each paragraph to four lines or less, just like this page. If you have to go over four lines, go over. But try to keep your paragraphs to four lines or less. And throw out all the rules of writing you were taught at school. Start sentences with AND and BUT. And don’t be afraid to throw in sayings like . . . "cold as ice" etc. Because this is how people speak. And don’t worry about having a flush right margin. Leave that to the professionals like Doctors and Lawyers. Just leave your right margins ragged like this page. You can even indent the first line of each paragraph if you want. Or leave it flush. Try out both ways. Monitor the results. Then go with what works the best. The purpose of writing like this is to make it easy for your customers to read it. And to make sure the letter doesn’t look intimidating. By having short paragraphs that are not lined up on the right, the letter looks easy to read. It almost invites reading. After your signature at the bottom of the letter always include a P.S. Two if possible. In the P.S. you should remind them again of your offer. And restate any time limits you have. This just encourages them again to take advantage of your offer. When you send this offer don’t send it to your whole database. Instead test it out on 100 or 200 customers and see if the offer works. If it works − great. If it doesn’t, you just saved yourself a whole heap of money. When it does work you can mail your whole database. But before you do, make sure you can handle the estimated response. You can estimate your response by multiplying the test response rate by the rest of your database. 35
  36. 36. E.g. Your test response rate from two hundred customers was 17.5%. Or 35 customers. If you have 2000 people on your database and you mailed them all at the same time and got the same response, you’d have 315 people knocking on your door. That’s 17.5% of 1800 − remember we tested 200. So you’d better make sure you can handle that many people before you go ahead and mail your whole database. As you’ll see in the example letter that follows this section. One of the letters got such a great response that the shop owner lost business because people couldn’t be bothered waiting to get served. He mailed 4700 letters and took in over $65,000 in two hours. He also estimated that about $20,000 worth of business walked out because the people got sick of waiting. Don’t let this happen to you. Simple maths tells you his investment in the sales letters of around $2350 got him a return of 2770% on his money. Better than any bank − don’t you think. But you know what the best thing is about using direct mail to market to your customers? The best thing is that your competition will never know what sort of offers you are making and so they can’t copy. They will just scratch their head and wonder why your business is doing so well. After all, your best customers are your existing customers. And direct mail is the best way to reach them. It is also the most economical form of marketing because you can target your advertising dollar, and promotions, to the people most likely to respond − your own customers. Part Two − Letters The letters that follow can be used to get your customers to come back and spend more money with you. They are all based on successful sales letters that have worked. The only difference is that these have been made general so you can easily adapt them to your business. As you look at each letter you will notice that next to the word ‘Your Letterhead’ is another word − just like the word ‘Letters’ above. This other word is the file name that the letter is stored as on the floppy disk. Also, at the bottom of each letter you’ll see writing like this. This isn’t part of the letter but gives you some tips on how to use the letter. 36
  37. 37. Before you mail your customers with these letters make sure you have a way to monitor the response. Otherwise you wouldn’t know whether or not they were working. Anyway, I’ll leave you know to have a look at the different letters that you can use to get more business and increase your profits. And when you do use them, make sure you don’t make the mistake of the $65,000 letter below. That could so easily have been avoided if only he’d tested. If you have any questions about any of the letters, or how to put them into action, just give me a call. My number is 0414−726−271. Or Email me at You can download all of the letters that are below in RTF format that can be read by Microsoft Word or WordPad by Clicking Here 37
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  54. 54. Summary The information and techniques contained within this manual work. And they work well. However, they will not work unless you use them and put them into action. Sure this information is great. And sure it can make you more money. And sure it can reduce your work load. And sure it can do it all in the blink of an eye. But increased profits and turnover will only come your way if you use the information. So use the information and the letters in your business. Give your customers little bags of lollies. Thank your customers for their business. Monitor and test everything you do. Find what works then stick to it. Just do it and watch your business grow. Then give yourself a pat on the back for getting the information that made you all that extra money. And when you have made all that extra money, and turned your business from a money drain into a money tap, give me a ring. My phone number is 0414−726−271. Ring me up and tell me how well things are going for you. I love to hear stories of success. Or if you are having any difficulties putting the strategies into action give me a call. I’d love to help you succeed (you can email me at This is not some idle comment. I really want to hear how things are going for you. So give me a call. And remember . . . You can succeed! 54