2004 Volume 3 Issue 32
"How to be a Direct Marketing L O V E R" ...
...the Valentine "Rules"
of Successful Direct Marketing
In 2001 I made this presentation at the Arizona Direct Marketing Association. On Valentine's Day.
In looking at it in 2004, with only a few slight up-dates, the thoughts still apply. Every one of them. So, I share all with you. Oh, and have wonderful Valentine week.
In this Space Odyssey 21st Century Direct Response Marketing is truly "in".
Main-stream in stock exchange listed companies around the globe. With areal budget in mid-size and small organizations and associations. Accepted - if not understood - by our sisters and brothers in other disciplines.
Yet, as James Bennis says;
"Don't just learn the tricks of the trade. Learn the trade."
Because we are not in the information age ... we are in the knowledge era. We are at a time in business where we certainly do not need more information. Our in-boxes are full to overflowing. We're behind on our reading. 40 hour work weeks are history. For most of us the average is much more.
"Yes", we're in The Knowledge Era. At a time where what we know -and how we use that knowledge - IS important. i.e. learn the Direct Marketing trade. It is no longer an option. "Winging" it won't cut it this decade.
Ignoring DM is worse ... your competition won't and you'll be left at the gate. Not wondering what happened ... no. Instead wondering how to stay in business. Want proof? Witness the dot.coms of the year 2000.
So, what is the DM trade all about? Let's look at the Valentine "Rules" of Successful Direct Marketing. Through the word L O V E R.
The "L" in LOVER represents two words; Love & Loyalty. Love your customer ... and you will build Loyalty. . i.e., be your customers teddy bear ... all warm and cuddly. Nice. Kind. Friendly.
Be their security blank. Be there when they need you to be there. Hold their hand. Talk a stroll with your customer. Walk a mile in their shoes. Reach out and touch. Let them know you truly care. Really Love you customer.
There are 3 types of customers who require your attention;
1. Occasional ... you don't have all their business, they don't buy everything they could from you. And probably don't intend to, either! Thus, their loyalty level is low.
You have a big opportunity - and a big challenge with this customer. You certainly don't want to loose them. At the same time you usually can't afford to invest heavy or long to move them to your side. Still, without Love you will not even have a chance at Loyalty.
2. Loyalty & Frequency ... best illustrated with examples from the travel industry. The airlines. Hotel chains. Restaurant chains. Credit card companies. Rent-a-car companies. And expanded into nearly every field from retail to wholesale. Both business and consumer.
The so called "frequency" programs within travel are really loyalty plans. I can't fly much more than I do. I most certainly can be loyal to an airline. For some industries frequency is the key to loyalty. Restaurants, for example. And office supply houses. Day-to-day retailers, such as grocery stores. Still, every company can get more from their current customers. You begin by asking.
3. Evangelist, Advocate... often not your best customers. Yet, at the same time, those who truly "love" you. Word of mouth from them to their contacts gains you considerable business. They spread the word for you, as they believe in what you do, what you offer.
All of us are advocates. Maybe it's for a basic, such as a dry cleaners. Or an automobile mechanic, or computer tetchy, your favorite Thai restaurant. It could be a city or beach or resort where you like to holiday. It can be anything, any company, any service, anywhere.
Advocates are individuals. Not a group, or company, or organization or association. No, they are people. One person at a time. And you don't "buy" an advocate. It's more like branding - you earn it over time. No one has too many evangelists, too many advocates. No one!
Love and Loyalty have grown as a part of marketing at about the same rate databases have been built. As a database allows you to collect knowledge on your different customers. And use that knowledge to reach out and touch. To treat different customers differently - because they are!
Communication rules in Direct Marketing. A database allows for communication. The right message to the right customer at the right time. As all customers are not created equal. And all are not worthy of the same level of Love, nor Loyalty.
Next is The "O" in LOVER. It stands for -no surprise- Offer.
An Offer is a reason for a prospect to consider you. It's an incentive, a motivation, an "extra". It is more than your product, your service. And it is over and above features and benefits.
Sometimes your offer is all that matters. Because it S T O P S your prospect cold. In her tracks! It gets attention. Enough for a consideration. Which is all you need before taking the next step toward a sale. A consideration.
Every DM message must contain an Offer. Why? Well, because customers expect one. That's how it has been for decades, is today, and will be tomorrow. And the need for an offer is not changing – at least not in the early years of this millennium.
What's your option? You don't have one ... you must make an Offer. This point is undebatable. It is a fact. Period! So do it. Make an Offer.
The "V" in LOVER is that key word we began to learn in the '80s -Value. Customers buy Value. Quality and service, options and convenience are all important. Price enters into every buying decision - yet, the bottom line is Value. Meaning what your total product and service bring to the customer.
Value includes your guarantee and warranty. Value is your level of quality ... meeting the needs of the customer. Value is 24/7/365 service.
Value is multiple ways to do business with you;
- by phone
- by fax
- on line
- with e-mail
- at your physical location
- at a remote location.
Value is also different ways to buy and pay. In advance, or delayed. By check or bank draft. Credit card. On a payment schedule. Even cash! Or a combination of ways. Whatever works for the customer - that is the Value they expect.
It is almost an oxymoron - with more options available than ever before - to say "Simple Sells". Yet, today there is an explosion of simplicity in the marketplace. For some, returning to the options of only small/medium/large, or only red/white/blue is enough.
Simplicity is Value, too ... especially when it is offered at max efficiency.
The "E" in LOVER is another double; Emotion & Engage.
Yes, effectiveness and efficiency are not enough ... necessary, yet, not enough. Not today. Emotion is necessary. Even with what we might normally consider a rational buying decision, Emotion plays a part.
For example, we've learned buying a new family automobile is more Emotion than logic and reason. The buying process is Emotion. Oh, and the paying part - now that's where the thinking comes in.
Ditto on the B-2-B side. Office supplies. Almost boring. Yet, when a bite of "spice" is added to the creative or offer mix, the buyer is more likely to decide the 'fun' option over the 'standard'.
So, as you prepare your marketing message the challenge of how to get your prospect involved ... i.e., Engaged plays a huge role. What you do with words and graphics to share your Value Offer in an Emotional and Engaging way. As, that is what it takes to move a suspect to a prospect to a customer. And later to an advocate for you, your product, your service.
Emotion &Engage are sister actions in Direct Marketing. They work as a team.
The last letter in LOVER - "R" - is Relationships. Profit comes when you build ongoing customer Relationships.
Still, know this; sometimes the customer does not want a Relationship. For some there is just too much "love". Some just want the product, and to be gone.
Yet, rare is the business where one sale to one customer one time is profitable. That's not how it works. So, they build with Relationships. And we've learned Relationships are built with repetition. It's safe to say single shots are sure shot failures.
Relationships are like family ... in that in a Relationship you meet customer needs. Sure, you're the leader in the buying and selling process. Yet, you do more. You fulfill your promises. You share your expertise - knowledge and experience. The decision your customer makes depends a large part on you. And on the Relationship you have built.
So, the Valentine "Rules" of Successful Direct Marketing ... LOVER;
L = Love & Loyalty
O = Offer
V = Value
E = Emotion & Engage
R = Relationships
A Buddhist proverb, quoted by the Dalai Lama, is a good way to wrap-up;
"Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly."
. . . and one more loose thought
Friend Ernie Schell brings you this message.
Direct commerce order management systems have changed a lot recently. The Annual Conference of the eCommerce & Catalog Systems Forum will showcase what's new.
Designed for CEOs and CFOs as much as CIOs and IT Managers, the Conference features Case Studies, Best Practices, Fraud Prevention, attendee roundtables, and an Exhibit Hall. If you want to "compare notes" and "network" with your peers, this is the place to be.
For more details, see www.ecsforum.org. PLUS - get a $50 discount (off the posted price) for each attendee. Just put "RAY" in the "Reference Code" box when you sign up.
A Big Bonus Offer
Full time I'm consulting. Writing. And speaking!
So, now is a good time to tell you about my special BONUS:
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For details and to place your product order, OR to book Ray to speak
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Products. Or fax 1+810+815-2520. For questions on quantity orders
phone Ray at 1+928+785-9400.
In the between time you may find a visit to my speaking web pages worthy
of a few minutes of your time. Surf to Power
Direct Marketing.com and take a look around. A visit to ItISwhatsNext.com
might also be interesting to you. And ... then let me hear from you. Let's
work a deal!
... a loose thought
Crazy Fads of 1940s
The 1940s was the time of "the last great war" , WWII.
Of course, that has not been the case. Many of the fads of that era are long gone. And a few of them are still bouncing around.
One of the major happenings was not so much a fad, as an event. There was a great change in where people lived. The Suburbs were created... thanks to the expanded highway system and the baby boom.
Without a doubt a fad was Swallowing Goldfish. This fad actually started in 1939 but carried over into the early 40's. Swallowing live goldfish became very popular among college students and drew crowds and crowds of spectators who wanted to witness this unusual sight.
Kilroy was here. The message appeared mysteriously all over Europe and the Pacific during World War II. It was scrawled on desolate beachheads, notable landmarks and the walls of buildings. Often discovered by the first American Troops entering an area that had been occupied by enemy troops. Supposedly made by an American, it delighted American troops; it added a touch of levity to a brutal war, yet intrigued. Who was Kilroy and how did he get there before everyone else? No one knows.
Silly Putty. Chemists at General Electric working with silicone stumbled across this material that can be kneaded, bounced, and stretched. In 1949, Peter Hodgson thought it would make a great toy. After an investment of $150, Hodgson sold 1-ounce bags of putty in plastic eggs. It was an instant success. Millions of eggs of Silly Putty have been sold and continue to sell to this day.
Slinky. When he was 26, Richard James of Philadelphia invented the Slinky. It consists of 87 feet of flat wire coiled into 3-inch-diameter circles and stands about 2 inches high when stacked. The Slinky's ability to "walk" down stairs and open and close like an accordion made it a favorite the during the 1950s, and it is still popular today.
Pea Shooters. Kids loved them and adults became very irritated over this fad. The shooters were about the size of a writing pen and used as a blowgun with dried peas. Recently a high-tech company featured them in a television commercial. Which I'm not certain was such a creative idea.
"It IS What's Next!"
It's become known as "the story".
I've shared it with a number of health care organizations, a database
marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a publishing organization,
a DM association
- and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit
It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-60 minute program, I'll give you this
different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation.
If you want a half-day
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At any place. At any time. For any reason.
It IS What’s Next! is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special
program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
Interested? Visit the web site @ It IS What's
And E-mail me Ray@RayJutkins.com
and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you. Soon.
... and one more Idea
An eon ago Burt Dubin came into my life. And has stayed. We continue to
One area of common ground is we're both speakers. And, Burt is a "teacher" ...
working with professionals helping them grow to masters - as well as new
comers just breaking in to the speaker business.
To learn more about what Burt might offer you, visit his exclusive resource
and most interesting web site. Plus, you may wish to opt-in for
his FREE E-zine. It's easy - surf to www.SpeakingBizSuccess.com and take
Or send an E-mail to email@example.com.
Eat. Sleep (some). Work. Eat. Sleep, if time. Work.
The pattern for many.
Or, like the domestic cats in my life, eat and sleep. And crave attention. Not sure what's wrong with that lifestyle. Except, of course, the world would be filled with drones.
Yet, this from Anonymous, can be woven into every lifestyle.
"All of the animals, except man, know the
principal of business of life is to enjoy it."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection
from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/.
There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
... another Idea
New business friend Gerry Sacks of Houston, Texas sent me here. It turns out
this leading information
resource from the financial world offers a
collection of marketing & sales ideas. Still, no matter your business, you
will find good material here. Offered by 80+ experts (including me!)
... visit ProducersWEB.com
Magic Marketing Minutes
Timeless Copy Appeals
Because copy is " king" in Direct Mail, here are several ideas that get your copy
Without outstanding copy your mail will not be as successful. And, your mail will be most successful when it is personal. One-on-one. From one person to another person.
When writing good mail copy think what your audience wants. What are they looking for. Do they want to gain:
- Praise from others
- An improved appearance
- Security in life
- Personal prestige
Or, do they want to:
- Satisfy their curiosity
- Win others' affection
- Acquire or collect things
- Or maybe improve themselves
- Or express themselves
Does your audience want to save:
- Risks and Threats?
Or, maybe they want to be:
- "First" among their friends
- Or, Good Parents
No matter, learn what your audience wants. And then write to it.