I hear so many sales persons tell me that they never get a good response rate from their direct mail. When I ask them what they have been sending it is anything from seminar invites to product offers to “form” letters describing how their company works and why it would benefit the reader to work with them.
Well let’s think about why direct mail doesn’t work…because it doesn’t, at least not the way it used to. How many times is the average American hit with a marketing message on a daily basis? I’ve seen anywhere from 500 to 3,000 times mentioned by reliable sources.
Some scoff at these numbers but think about it. Just driving to work today, how many marketing messages were you exposed to? Well let me take you through my morning from the time I got up until the time I arrived at work.
5:45 a.m. – Worked out. Had my Ipod on so only one message…IPOD
6:45 a.m. – Eat breakfast while watching the morning news and reading a magazine. Exposed to 10 commercials. The news show actually promoted 2 products. In the magazine as I thumbed through, I counted 72 ads. The cereal box, Milk carton and frozen blueberry bag are all covered with marketing Messages.
7:15 a.m. – Showering and dressing while listening to news radio. Exposed to another 18 commercials.
7:45 a.m. – Spend 15 minutes watching cartoons with my kids. Exposed to another 8 Commercials.
8:10 a.m. – Drive to work while listening to the radio. Exposed to another 6 commercials (I’m lucky, I have a 15 minute commute). I drive past about 60 retail stores all trying to entice me inside with their signage. I drive past 5 different vehicles that have their marketing message painted on them. I drive past 11 bill boards proclaiming their message. Heck, I even drove by a corner with an actual human being holding a sign for a furniture sale!
So how many marketing messages is that? 197 marketing messages before I step out of the car to walk into work. How many of you would have guessed that many messages in the first couple of hours of the day? And had I stretched even a little I could have come up with another 100 messages…from bumper stickers to the branding of every item I touched or saw.
Now how many of these messages actually registered with my brain? Maybe 1%. I’ve become immune to them. If you and I had not learned to tune out this assault on our senses, our brains would explode!
So how do you as somebody that has a message that you want to get out to the masses avoid becoming noise? How do you make sure that people are not tuning your message out? Two words, be different.
Different how? Any difference is better than none at all. Build a bill board 3 times bigger than all the others…that’s different…that would work…that is illegal.
I could make a long list of ridiculous ways to be different but in deference to you and your busy day, let me suggest one way to be different that is cheap, effective and accomplishes a lot more than just being different. Try a handwritten note. People rarely get them. It makes them stop in their tracks and read what you have to say. It is not only different in how it affects your prospects but it tells them that you are different as well. It says that you are not treating them as the masses but instead, you are treating them as an individual…and that means the world to your prospects.