Audio Version 8’30” or get it on Spotify
What Implausible Marketing Fantasy Is This?
When did you last get a thank you note after you sent a marketing mailout?
Here’s a response my friend Dan got from a prospect, which made me very happy.
More importantly, that prospect plans to start using Dan’s company.
He sent out ten of these ‘very compelling parcels’ in the last month or so, and his hit rate is 80% meetings and 50% wins.
WOW WHAT’S IN THAT PARCEL you ask TELL ME TELL ME TELL ME.
Patience grasshopper first you must understand the context.
Dan’s Pivot Out Of Web Production Hell
A few business owners I know catch up for chats on the business-owner life.
Dan’s business used to build corporate websites. That game is a nightmare of profit-destroying scope creep and time wasted quoting clients who all have a friend who can build it for $299 using wix.com. Our chat group has been helping navigate him out of that swamp.
Over the last three years he’s pivoted his business into Conversion Rate Optimisation (CRO).
CRO analyses high-traffic sites and uses a bunch of clever processes to tweak them so people buy more. More clicks, fewer abandoned shopping carts, that sort of thing. After a few months they can lift sales by at least double digits. It’s a near-guaranteed, quantifiable ROI win for major sites.
It’s also a marketing challenge, because most of the people who need CRO have never heard of it, and don’t understand what it is. They think it’s SEM, SEO, or any of the other web services hustled out of a thousand offshore sales boiler rooms.
Prospects Have No Time For Your Quick Coffee
Whenever Dan can get to someone senior enough to understand the ROI benefits, they are usually very receptive. The problem is getting access to people who get 50+ emails a day from people “wondering if they’ve got time for a quick coffee”.
“If I can get the meeting, I can usually win the client,” Dan said. “I was wondering if sponsored LinkedIn emails might get me in there.”
Lol as if anyone busy has ever opened one of those. We talked through it and floated the idea that instead of spamming out low quality messages to lots of prospects, Dan should select his Top 20 fantasy league prospects and go epic. A vague marketing mailout idea was forming in my head.
(I don’t do marketing work any more but do the odd pro-bono project for friends, including Tinder profiles but that’s another article.)
What’s In The Box?
Armed with materials from my local Hot Dollar discount store, I made up this prototype:
Ooh it’s a exciting gift box! I don’t care what level of senior executive you are, the instincts to unwrap an interesting-looking package have been hardwired into you since you were a tiny child.
It’s guaranteed to get through to your target prospect. It looks like a personal gift, so only they can open it. It can’t be screened and binned by their executive assistant.
Plus the physical act of opening it delivers a guaranteed amount of concentration and involvement. Particularly when it’s a multi-step experience that doesn’t give the answer away until the end.
Nobody feels much of a sense of intrigue or anticipation opening electronic marketing material, they’re just tapping away at the constant stream in a dreamlike state. That message you had four meetings about is gone before anything has even registered.
So they open up the mystery package:
Hmm, what the hell is this about? They pick it up, and the chocolate cash falls straight through. Because that net is full of holes.
What the hell does that mean, they wonder? Wait there’s a note underneath:
The whole CRO concept explained pretty simply right there. And a clear indication of the revenue increase you can expect within a few months: 10-42%.
You have that revenue right there for the taking, and you’re letting it slip through the net.
Dan can fix those net holes for you.
The concept came out pre-Coronavirus, you wouldn’t eat the chocolate coins now but you shouldn’t eat them any time. They’re a terrible waxy chocolate and best used as a prop only.
The final benefit of the intriguing package approach is that if they’re thinking about responding, the sizeable physical object in their office acts as a reminder to do that. It doesn’t slip below your screen horizon like all those emails you meant to respond to.
What’s The ROI?
Cost per package is roughly:
Components – $30
Labour – an ideal task for children, so if they’re yours it’s legal to budget $0.
Dan has landed five clients of various sizes. I’m not revealing his revenue but it’s all ongoing monthly retainer work. So much better than his previous world of one-off projects.
Marketing Is About Being Different Duh
This story isn’t some elaborate piece of branded content for Dan (though his product is really good and I wish I had the traffic you need to make CRO worthwhile, it’s like 30-40K+ visitors a month). It’s to remind you of the entire point of marketing.
In 2020, so much marketing is just following a process everyone else uses, and that’s why everything looks and feels the same. It’s using the same visual tools, the WordPress templates, the same stock photos, the generic Mailchimp look, same same same.
You’re trying to get noticed.
The. Point. Is. To. Be. Different.
In this case, it’s using a marketing mailout technique that’s been around since the first cave got an address number. It’s not particularly clever, it’s just a basic visual metaphor for a product that’s a bit abstract to understand quickly. Any decent advertising creative could come up with this before lunch.
Why not hire one of them instead of trying to do it yourself? They’re quite affordable these days, and really … do you do your own dentistry?
More case studies? Though it wasn’t a marketing mailout, my daughter and I used a similar approach to get an ASAP response from the manager of one of the world’s biggest bands for her school project.
And if you’re new here, drop your email here to get new stories every Tuesday. Maybe one day I’ll send everyone an exciting ribboned package if you’re all good.