This 3 minute video from Jim McCord shows how he was able to get a Fortune 50 CEO to call him. The company was Bank of America, # 23 on Fortune’s list of the biggest companies in the US.
We have helped thousands of businesses get set up with the Send Out Cards system to do this, so if you would like to get influential people to call you, this is an awesome way to make that happen – for only a couple dollars . . .
I used this technique 5 or so years ago to contact the CEO of Kinko’s to propose something to him and I got a response from him as well. But, as Jim mentions in his video, you have to make your message personal and relevant to the recipient.
Sending cookies of brownies definitely helps.
So, who are you trying to reach? Who would you like to get an audience with to sell your products or services? This strategy works and very hardly and money.
Just so you know Jim’s and my examples are not “one-offs”, another guy who uses the same system sells jet planes to billionaires.
He had a dozen or so clients but had never met or talked to the billionaires themselves, only to their agents.
He decided to send thank you cards to each of his customers along with a couple dozen brownies. Guess what happened?
Three of the billionaires called him personally to thank him for the brownies and the card – it was the first time he had ever talked to them personally.
Whether you are wanting to reach a Fortune 50 CEO or just the owner of a local business you would like as a customer, sending cards and gifts definitely works to build relationships and that’s what we all need to be doing these days.
Call me anytime at 720-890-8760 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like some help doing this kind of marketing in your business.
Buy mailing list – it all starts by understanding data cards – what they tell you and what they don’t. If the headline to this post seems weird/not grammatically correct, it’s because that’s for the search engines;) If no one ever sees it, what good is it?
This post, along with my post about the questions to ask your list broker will give you a good start to this sometime confusing area.
Here is a list of some of the terms used for buy mailing lists and what they mean. In the video I go through some actual data cards, but these are some commonly used terms. Combine this post with my earlier post on how to buy a mailing listand that will be a good start.
The Terminology You Need To Know To Buy Mailing Lists
ACTIVE SUBSCRIBER An individual who is a current subscriber to a particular magazine or any other type of goods and services. Active subscriber lists are a very targeted way of reaching customers.
ASSIGNED MAIL DATES Usually with subscriber lists the list user has to have prior approval for a particular mail date. This is to avoid overlaps in mailings from other users.
CATALOG BUYER One who has purchased products from a catalog
CARRIER ROUTE The mail carrier’s delivery area
CARRIER ROUTE SORTING This process arranges the mailing list in the order of the postal carrier’s delivery route. The US Post Office gives additional postage discounts for this sorting.
CHESHIRE LABEL This type of label is a print out that is usually 4 names and addresses across by 11 names down. A special Cheshire machine must be used to cut, apply the glue and affix the label to the mail piece. Check with your mail house to make sure they can use this format.
COMMISSION When buying a mailing list, a percentage of the sale of a mailing list paid to the broker or list manager for the usage of the list.
COMPILED LIST Any list created from the compilation of public sources such as phone books, deed information, directories, newspapers and courthouse records.
COMPILER A company that puts together various pieces of information to form a list of individuals that has similar characteristics, such as age, income and buying habits.
CO-OP MAILING A mailing in which multiple offers are included in the same envelope. This can cut costs for all of the mailers.
COUNTS This is the number of addresses that fit a certain criteria in the target market.
DISKETTES A 3.5″ floppy diskette is one format for which your mailing list can be provided on. The standard format is ASCII Comma Delimited, which is IBM compatible.
DECOY A unique name inserted into a mailing list to track the usage of the list.
DEMOGRAPHICS Information concerning socioeconomic characteristics pertaining to a geographic unit.
DIRECT MAIL ASSOCIATION MAIL PREFERENCE SERVICE A service that enables individuals to have their name and address removed from mailing lists
E-MAIL An electronic format in which you can receive your mailing list information
EXPIRE Individuals who have let their subscription to a publication expire
GALLEY LIST A method of printing mailing list information line by line. Also called a manuscript
HOTLINE The most recent names added to a mailing list, usually defined in 30 day increments
HOUSE LIST A list compiled of those who have previously purchased from your own company. This would be your customer base.
INQUIRY A list of those who have only inquired about your services, but have not actually purchased. This is great prospect information but not as good as buyers. Keep that in mind when you buy mailing list.
KEY CODE A code, such as letters, numbers or markings that are added to the mailing label to accurately test response rates and list quality.
LIST BROKER A specialist who makes all the arrangements for one company to rent the mailing list(s) of another company. You usually receive better pricing from a list broker because the list compilers base pricing on the volume of business.
LIST CLEANING The process of updating a mailing list by correcting and/or removing a name because it is no longer correct.
LIST EXCHANGE A bartering system by which companies will trade the use of a mailing list for another list, product or service.
LIST MAINTENANCE The process of keeping mailing lists up to date
LIST MANAGER This person is the agent responsible for the use of the mailing list by others. This person would update and market the list to those wanting to buy mailing list.
LIST OWNER Someone who has compiled a database of names that have common characteristics.
LIST RENTAL When a mailer purchases a list of names the list is for 1 time use unless purchased for additional usages.
LIST SELECTION One can further define a mailing list by targeting by additional selections such as age, income, homeowner etc.
LIST SOURCE The media that is used to compile the names on a mailing list
MAGNETIC TAPE A storage device for electronically recording and reproducing defined bits of data
MAIL DATE The date on which a user has the obligation to mail a specific mail piece from list agreed on by the list owner
MAIL ORDER BUYER One who orders merchandise or services through the mail
MERGE Combining two or more lists usually in a predetermined sequence
MERGE-PURGE Combining two or more lists while simultaneously eliminating duplicate names
MULTIPLE BUYER One who has bought two or more times from the same company
NTH NAME SELECTION A fractional unit of selection that is repeated in sampling a mailing list
NET NAME ARRANGEMENT An agreement between the list owner and the list user in which the list owner agrees to accept adjusted payment less that the total names shipped.
NET-NET NAMES An agreement between the list owner and the user to pay only for names that survive a given screen
NIXIE A mailing piece returned by the Postal Service because of an inaccurate or undeliverable name and address
OFFER The product or service that is being sold or promoted
ONE TIME USE OF THE LIST List rental agreement in which it is understood that the mailer will not use the names on the list more than one time without prior approval of the list owner
PACKAGE TEST A test between one mailing piece with another
PREMIUM An item offered for free to a buyer as an enticement to purchase or obtain for trial a product or service offered via mail order
PREMIUM BUYER One who buys a product or service to get another product or service that is usually free or offered at a special price, or who responds to an offer of a special product premium on the package or label of another product
PRESSURE SENSITIVE LABEL A mailing label printed on a peel off sticker that can be affixed to the mail piece
PROSPECT LISTS These are single-line listings including the name, address and phone number mainly used for telemarketing or follow-ups to a mailing.
PSYCHOGRAPHICS Any character or quality attributed to the lifestyle or attitude of a customer.
RESPONSE LIST A list compiled of people who have responded to an offer either by mail, phone or through other means of mass communication.
RUNNING CHARGE The price charged by a list owner for addresses run or produced but not used by a specific mailer. When such a charge is made it is usually made to cover extra processing costs.
SAMPLE MAIL PIECE An example of the mailing piece being mailed by the list user that is submitted to the list owner for prior approval before release of the list.
SECTIONAL CENTER FACILITY (SCF) The first three digits of a zip code area
STANDARD INDUSTRIAL CLASSIFICATION CODE (SIC) A numerical classification of businesses as defined by the U.S. Department of Commerce
SPLIT TEST Two or more samples from the same list considered to be representative of the entire list.
TAPE DENSITY The number of bits of information that can be included in each inch of magnetic tape (1600 BPI, 6250 BPI)
TAPE DUMP A printout of the data on a magnetic tape used to check for accuracy and readability
TAPE LAYOUT A map of the data included in each record and its location
TEST PANEL A term used to identify each of the parts in a split test
TITLE LINE An additional line of copy added to an address to aid in deliverability.
TRIAL BUYER One who buys a product for a limited time with the understanding that the item may be returned before paying for the item
TRIAL SUBSCRIBER One who subscribes to a publication on the basis that the subscription may be canceled, purchased at a lower rate or there could be a delay in payment option.
UNIQUE NAMES After a merge purge has been done the names that have appeared on one list only, not a duplicate.
ZIP SEQUENCE All mailing lists are provided numerically by zip code unless otherwise requested.
Here are the insider secrets to get the best deal and get the right list for whatever you are selling.
The first recommendation I have for you in learning how to buy a mailing list is to work with a list broker who knows your market.
A good list broker will know which lists are working in your market and their advice can be invaluable. They get paid by the list owners, so brokers don’t cost you anything to use.
Keep in mind that even if you have the best headline, the best copy and an irresistible offer, a mailing selling steaks to vegetarians is just not going to work.
The first thing to keep in mind is not to believe the rate card that gives you information about the list. A rate card is a sales document, and many people who don’t know much about lists or about renting lists, look at that and that’s all they read. They make a decision about whether to rent the list, or not, based on the rate card.
That’s a big mistake.
You’re not finding out what you need to know to learn how to buy a mailing list. Furthermore, some of the things on the rate card may just be flat out lies. They might say they have 50,000 mail-order buyers, when in reality; they only have 10,000 mail-order buyers, and 40,000 who inquired, but never bought.
If you don’t know the right questions to ask about how to buy a mailing list, then you’ll get taken, so here are 15 questions to ask your broker before renting a response list:
1. What is the size of the list and the cost-per-thousand? The reason this matters is you want to know how many names are there to roll out to if you do a test and it works. Think about it. If you have a list of 10,000 names, and you’re going to test 5,000, the typical minimum order, your only roll out is the other 5,000. That list, all things being equal, is not as attractive as another list that has 100,000 names you can roll out to if your test works.
2. Is it related to your offer? Are the customers, on the list you’re renting, buying something similar to what you’re selling? Don’t try to sell steaks to vegetarians. Make sure it makes sense.
3. How recent are the names? This is called “recency,” meaning how recently have the people bought? This factor is so important that, normally, the lists are categorized by how old the names are. Names can get tremendously out-of-date, and the response can drop in half, after they become a year old. So that’s why they categorize the list by how old segments of it are. If you ever hear the term “RFM”, that means recency, frequency and monetary value. Many direct marketers consider those three the most important criteria.
4. What did they spend (monetary value)? One of the most important questions about how to buy a mailing list is that of monetary value. If you want to sell something with direct response, don’t buy a list of contest entrants who didn’t buy anything but are considered a response list because they responded to a direct response offer. If you are trying to sell something, a list of buyers of that thing is better than a list of people who entered a contest to get it for free… Don’t rent a list of buyers who spent $20 if your product sells for $300.
5. Are the names buyers or inquirers? If all the names are lumped together to make it appear that they’re all buyers, then you need to ask about this. Make sure they really are buyers, not inquirers. Odds are, there are some of each and that’s okay. You’re definitely going to want to test with the buyers though, not with the inquirers.
6. Where did the names come from? Are the names direct-mail generated, or did they come from another source? When you are learning how to buy a mailing list, make sure you are getting a response list, meaning it was direct-response generated. If the names are not all direct-response generated, then the list is not as good. In addition to wanting to know where the names came from, it’s best to know how the names were collected. This is important because, even if the names were direct response generated, you want to know if it was a free sweepstakes they responded to or a catalog where they bought something.
7. Are they multi-buyers? Multiple buyers are people who have bought more than once. The list owner may have multi-buyers, but can you select by multi-buyers? They may not have that many of them, so they may not be segmented out. If they can be segmented out, then you want to buy the most recent names that bought the amount you are selling, and also bought more than once. As you are learning how to buy a mailing list remember to test multi-buyers first, because, if the best people you can test don’t work, then the others aren’t going to work either.
8. What selections (or sorts) are available? Depending on the size of the list, the selections, or sorts, may vary. Find out what selections they allow, like the person’s job title, income or salary, other demographic or geographic criteria. The rate card may not even show all of the available selections or sorts, so ask. Do they have psychographic (lifestyle factors) sorts? If your target market can be better targeted using things like religion, politics, hobbies, things people like to do
9. Does the list have a high dupe rate with your house list? That means, if you already have a customer list (your “house” list) and you do a merge-purge, which is to combine two lists and see how many duplicates there are, is the amount of duplicates high? You might think that that might be a bad thing. But it isn’t, it’s a good thing.
If there’s a lot of duplication between your customer list and the list you’re renting, that’s a good indication that the list you’re renting is the same type of person as your customer list, and that’s great. In fact, if you have a choice of three or four lists, then I’d pick the one that had the highest duplication with my customer list, and test that one first.
10. Does the list have a history of repeat mailers? Who else has rented this list? Ask them. Who are the mailers who have rented this list? Did they test it? And then, did they roll out their tests? Did they then do it again? Did they repeat mail? Find out. Call other mailers and ask them how the list worked for them.
11. Do your competitors rent the list? There again, unlike what you might think, that’s a good thing. If your competitors have rented it, and especially if they have rented it more than once, then that’s a sign it works. If it works for them, then it can work for you.
12. If the list is a “buyers” list, how did the people pay? Did they pay up front with a credit card? Or was it one of those offers where you pay nothing until next year? Obviously, your better prospects are the people who just put it on a credit card, as opposed to people who aren’t going to pay for two years, and then maybe default then.
13. What is the rollout potential of the list? I mentioned this before, referring to a test of 5,000, on a list of 10,000 leaving only a 5,000 rollout. Meanwhile, a test of 5,000 on a list of 100,000 has a 95,000 name rollout if the test works. All things being equal, the one with the larger rollout potential is the better list.
14. When was the last time the list was cleaned? “Cleaned” means database updating. The statistics are that one-fifth of the population moves each year. Which means, if the list is a year old and hasn’t been cleaned, 20 percent of the addresses will be outdated and not deliverable. In the case of business addresses, especially with individuals at business addresses, 50 percent of that list can be obsolete after only a year. And that’s not so much the businesses moving, but the people moving.
15. What formats are available? There are many different formats for lists. You can get them on magnetic tape, disks, labels, labels with adhesive, or labels without adhesive, called “Cheshire labels.” One of the formats that you need to be careful with is when you’re going to do a mail merge. You don’t want the list to come in all caps, the post office preferred format for automation mailings. You’re going to want to have upper and lower case lettering.
Because if you’re doing mail merge and the person’s name is printed in all capital letters in the middle of the letter, then it will look really obvious that it’s not a personal letter. You’ll lose the whole effect. So, if you intend to do any personalization, make sure the list can be sent in upper and lower case.
To learn more about how to buy a mailing list, direct marketing, copywriting and the other skills need to really make this work for you, join our team here and get my personal help whenever you need it!
Would you like to increase response rate without changing what you mail? Whether you are doing online marketing by email or direct mail marketing in the postal mail, the techniques to increase response are the same.
It’s all about the list.
While it’s obvious you wouldn’t try to sell steaks to vegetarians, you might be doing similar in a more subtle way now.
By doing a bit of customer and list profiling, it’s actually relatively easy to double or triple increase response rate.
Database companies are very sophisticated about how they can do this these days. They can “append” hundreds of characteristics to your customer records and then do a complicated analysis to determine which of those characteristics are predictive.
If you have a large list and acquire new customers by direct response methods it’s probably still worth it. If by profiling your customers and then targeting those characteristics in your customer acquisition mailings, you could get a 10 times better response.
While using database companies to do this for you can be quite expensive, if you have a small list, you can do simple levels of this yourself using criteria like state, age, sex, or income level.
I once had a mail order catalog company called Expressions, and we sold children’s premiums to medical offices and hospitals.
By calculating how many customers we had in each state as a percentage of the number of medical offices in each state, we were able to identify our best and worst states. Going forward with our prospecting in our best states only better than tripled our response in prospecting. That was a huge money-maker!
Checklist To Increase Response Rate
1. Start collecting more data about your customers
2. Have a database company do some basic appending or additional characteristics to your customer file
3. Look yourself for any obvious things your best customers have in common
4. Have a professional profile done by a database company – prices vary widely depending on size of file and complexity of the profile. Contact me if you’d like help.
Resources Mentioned In Video To Increase Response Rate
Standard Rate and Data – they publish a comprehensive directory of all the mailing lists on the market you can rent. The resource you are looking for is called the Direct Marketing List Source. They have both a BTC and a BTB version.
If you have ever been in an MLM and not made money, or just don’t like MLMs, check this out!
To make money in an MLM you need to build a big team who need to continually buy the product and not quit.
What I am going to tell you about here is completely different and is a totally new concept launched only 3 weeks ago.
It’s a One Level Affiliate program.
Now, affiliate programs have been around online forever, but not with a structure like this one.
It pays 100% commissions!
When I watched their first video, it seemed like hype to me and I also wondered how they could ever afford to pay out 100% and exist themselves.
But, after watching all their videos, now I understand and will explain all the details to you if you like.
What really convinced me to join is that a friend of mine, Rob Fore, joined 2 weeks ago and has already made $17,000.
Now, he had a list to promote to so I don’t expect to duplicate that and neither should you.
So what is this and how does it work?
It’s a done-for-you viral marketing platform that includes done-for-you marketing and up-selling funnels.
You can join for as little as little as $25 per month. You get your own marketing funnel and web sites and you could promote this without ever going online just by telling people about it and giving them your URL.
Find one other person who likes it too and you make $25 per month.
But, you can make much more – watch the video here to get the details:
The company, the Empower Network, has only been open for three weeks and they have already paid out $858,000 in commissions and had 7,000 people join.
People are now joining at the rate of 400 per day.
Opt in at my landing page here (you will have one just like it), watch the video and let me know what you think.
PS The conversion ratios in their marketing funnel are insane! 25% of people who watch the first video join. 50% of those accept the $100/month upsell, and 30% of those take the second one time $500 upsell.
PPS As of a few days ago, they now set up internationally so anyone can participate anywhere in the world.
PPPS Because I never recommend anything I wouldn’t buy myself, just know I bought in at the highest level.
If you are going to spend money to get new customers, it’s pretty important that you know what they are worth to you.
Do you know what a customer is worth to you?
There is a calculation called “lifetime value of a customer” that I’ve used extensively with consulting clients and in my own businesses to find this out.
Lifetime value of a customer tells you how much profit you earn from an average customer over their lifetime as a customer of your business.
This number is crucial in the direct marketing industry as it is extremely rare to acquire new customers at a profit or even breakeven – so we need to know what we can afford to pay to get a new customer.
If your average lifetime value of a customer was $3,000, it would make sense to “buy” as many customers as you could if you could get them for $300 wouldn’t it?
Well, this is how the direct marketing industry works, but it makes sense for every other industry too. Without this information you could be making some big mistakes.
Let’s say you ran a marketing campaign to get new customers and you made $10,000 in sales but the campaign cost you $15,000. You probably wouldn’t do it again because you’d consider this to be a failure, wouldn’t you?
But, what if that $10,000 in sales came from 20 new customers? And, if your lifetime value of a customer was $3,000, those 20 customers are worth $60,000 to you in profit and only cost you $5,000 ($250 each) to get!
That’s a huge success, not a failure!
You can see that not knowing this number for your business could cost you thousands of dollars of lost profits and cause you to make the wrong decision about your marketing and advertising programs.
I’ve had clients who stopped programs that were extremely profitable because they didn’t understand how to interpret the results. (the example just mentioned is one example)
Here’s how to calculate this important number for your company:
1. Divide your annual sales by your number of customers to get the average annual sales/customer
2. Multiply this by your average gross profit percentage to get the average annual gross profit/customer
3. Estimate how many years you retain an average customer. (You can calculate this if you know how many accounts you lose each year – divide that number into your total number of customers to get the number of years an average customer stays with you)
4. Multiply the profit in step 2 by the number of years in step 3 to get your estimated lifetime value of a customer.
If you have multiple product lines or services, you should have a different LVC for each. Some of your product lines or types of customers might be much more valuable than others and it pays to know.