Direct Mail Sucks!

by Pete Godfrey · 9 comments

Direct Mail Sucks!

Direct Mail Doesn’t Work! If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this B.S statement, I’d have enough money to buy myself a fancy dinner with wine included. It’s one of those statements we on the inside of Direct Response hear weekly.

Those who believe Direct Mail doesn’t work generally fall into two categories.

One, they haven’t tried it, so it’s new to them so they automatically deny the possibility of it working.

And two, those who have tried Direct Mail and failed because they left out crucial elements in the marketing equation.  Instead of blaming themselves, they blame the media… much less confronting and no looking in the mirror is required.

Look, this is like baking a cake without any flour and then being mystified and pissed off when instead of a cake; you’re left with a clump of goo. Not only that, you start bitching and moaning that baking cakes don’t work.

Sounds silly right?

But it’s the same damn thing. You see when you dig a little deeper it’s obvious what went wrong.

They tried shortcutting a tried and true formula;
making up their own recipe as they went along.

Anyway, as always there’s a lesson in this here ramble that does concern you and your business profits. In fact, I can feel a BIG lesson coming on, bubbling away in the depths of this Wizard’s illustrious brain, ready to unleash itself on you, my trusted reader.

Okay, phew, I’m back… here’s something to take on board:

Copy doesn’t live in isolation. You’ve gotta get your strategy right first to give your copy the chance it deserves to be successful.

That’s where being a marketer, being a great sales person comes into play. To be a great marketer, you don’t have to be a great copywriter. However, if you wanna be a great copywriter, you better make damn sure you got your marketing chops honed to a razor’s edge.

Case in point: I had feedback from a Member recently telling me Direct Mail doesn’t work; that it’s a waste of money.

Upon quizzing this member I found out she made many rookie mistakes that slashed her response. There are several lessons for you here; so pay attention, there’s money to be made. Okay, she made many mistakes that space doesn’t allow me to elaborate upon; however here’s a big mistake and how to rectify this appalling situation.

SIDE NOTE: Keep reading to find out this great strategy to doubling your Direct Mail profits…but also… this strategy is a perfect fit for product launches as well… and I’ll show you how we are using it for our upcoming Masters of Conversion launch.

MISTAKE : It was a one shot mailing. There was no set-up preceding the mailing and no follow up after the mailing.

Here’s what I found out. She had never mailed her customers before so her relationship was weak. Now, picture the scene. Her customers haven’t heard a thing from her since they had last seen her in her retail shop. There had been no follow up, no thank you, no effort in continuing the relationship. Now along comes this member’s one-off mailing and she expects outrageous results. Amazing! As I keep saying, folks have unrealistic expectations!

HERE’S THE STRATEGY TO FIX THIS: When you have little or no relationship with your Tribe, or maybe you haven’t contacted them for a while, do a set-up mailing first before you begin a promotion.

Basically a friendly “we’re still here” and “we miss you” kinda letter will do. It doesn’t have to be world class; just get the damn thing mailed. (This could be a full-on reactivation letter as well; however, a softer, lower-key letter will do much better in setting up the upcoming promotion.)

The lesson here is simple and it comes down to
thinking like your customer, not like a seller.

If you haven’t contacted your list for a while and you go straight for the jugular, that is, straight into a sales pitch, good chance your response will be low. Best off to set the mailing up before hand.

It’s the same online. Sometimes I get all caught up in the real world, I forget I’ve got a few thousand people on my online list who haven’t heard from me. So to get back into their good books, I send an email or two each week for a few weeks just to let them know I’m still around. Usually it’s a story with a lesson… and many times I get a stack of emails back saying how much they missed my emails and thanks for sharing some more good stuff. This lets me know I’m doing the right thing. This lets me know I have a solid relationship with my list. Now doing this is just good manners, but it is also savvy marketing.

So I suppose the big lesson here is to have empathy for your customers. Put yourself in their shoes for a change. Build a relationship and don’t just treat them as if all they are is a source of income.

This is where true success lies.

PS: You can use this strategy for online launches as well. Check out the video below. It’s a teaser video for our upcoming Masters of Conversion Super Conference launch. Its sole purpose is to build a bit of buzz and lay the groundwork for what’s to come.

PPS: If you liked the video, can I ask a small favour? If you are on facebook could you please share this video with your friends. It’s simple all you have to do is click like button below. Thanks 🙂

About The Author

Copywriter, Sales Strategist - Pete GodfreyPete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael Yardney July 22, 2011 at 8:06 am

Great blog Pete
One great point you made is keeping contact with you list and giving them value – like this post rather than just selling them – I quickly unsubscribe from lists that just promote and sell, but I’m happy to receive occasional promotions from people who also educate and inform me


Pete Godfrey July 22, 2011 at 10:48 am

Hi Michael, excellent point on education versus selling. I call it the emotional bank account. Some folks keep on withdrawing, forgeting they have to keep making deposits as well. Love your work Michael, cheers Pete


Farhad Khurshed July 22, 2011 at 10:31 am

Offline, online, video, webinars, whatever DM method one uses it’s all about following the formula. Stick to it and you win. Pete your Last Ever Copywriting and Marketing Class said it all. Keep it going Pete. I may not respond to your posts all the time, but keep on reading them.
And thanks also to Michael yardney. I enjoy your facebook posts!


Pete Godfrey July 22, 2011 at 10:50 am

Hey Farhad, great to see you’ve got the old Last Ever Master Class and it’s working for you. And yes, I hear you about responding… the main thing to me is you’re reading the posts and getting value… but thanks for posting this time mate…Pete


Alistair Gray July 22, 2011 at 11:33 am

Good post as usual Pete. Anyone thinking Direct Mail doesn’t work has got to have rocks in their heads. A critical success factor is the quality of the list and targeting the right prospect. I have just done a test mailing with a 14 page sales letter to the restaurant market where you would expect them not to look at a long letter. Interesting was the quality of the response. People are quoting back to me what I have written. This is telling me they have read in detail what I have written. I don’t believe you will achieve this to the same depth with other media. While the process still needs refining I have definitely got their attention (Been using a “secret” Halbert/Polish Strategy). Getting the right follow up sequencing and process on a continual basis is the challenge. Also finding using a mix of media to keep interest is critical for these strong relationship buyers.


Pete Godfrey July 23, 2011 at 7:44 am

If they are quoting it back to you Alistair that means they are reading it and it’s making an impact. Great stuff… and oh, if you’re using the Halbert/Polish strategy that I’m thinking of, then you’re sticking with a proven model.


Christina July 23, 2011 at 1:44 am

Hello 🙂 That is so very true! I remember when Joe Sugarman was talking at the Mal Emery seminar, and Joe Sugarman said that it is like him going up to a girl who he doesn’t even know, and saying to her “will you marry me?” without building up a relationship with her first. Of course she will say no he said. He said it’s the same with your customers, you have to build up a relationship with them first and then ask them for a sale.

To demonstrate his point, he went up to a lady in the audience who he had never met, and he said to her “will you marry me?” But in a very big funny she said yes. Joe Sugarman said “you’re not supposed to say yes, I’m trying to prove a point” What a laugh! He made his point though, and very well indeed 🙂


Pete Godfrey July 23, 2011 at 7:46 am

Christina, I remember that seminar well…got to hang out with Joe a lot, had a couple of dinners with him etc… very funny and brilliant guy… I remember looking around the table one night, there was me, Mal, Ted Nicholas and Joe Sugarman and I thought man it doesn’t come any better than this!


Scott July 24, 2011 at 2:28 pm

Thanks Pete.
Just started work on a direct response web piece with no list and now I’m wondering how I can create a relationship with raw traffic. Oh wait I got it…

…I can give away some of the knowledge packaged with the hard product. Then there’s a kind of familiarity when they receive the product (should they choose to buy). Auto-responders to people who need more trust can be break downs of some of those points (with testimonials). And the info is high value.

Warm Regards


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