B-to-B insights: Let’s Get Physical
In the good old days before CDs, I used to record speeches I gave on marketing and duplicate them as audio cassettes.
Whenever a prospect asked for information on my copywriting services, I'd send a brochure, client list, and samples of my work. But I'd also enclose one of the audio cassettes.
This inquiry fulfillment trick was amazingly effective. Often prospects would tell me, "I listened to your cassette on the way home from work, and it convinced me to hire you."
Why was enclosing an audio cassette such a powerful marketing technique?
My competitors were all sending potential clients envelopes with nothing but paper in them. When prospects got my envelope with a 3-dimensional object enclosed, it got their attention. The audio cassette added bulk to the envelope, which made it stand out.
What's my point? Giving the prospect something tangible is a field-tested marketing technique that we know works. When you go to the pet store to look for a dog for your kids, for example, the store clerk takes the puppy out of the cage and puts him on the floor for your children to play with. Why? The salesperson knows that petting, touching and handling the "product" is more likely to result in a sale than just looking at the puppy in his cage.
Yet in today's digital age, prospects receive fewer and fewer physical communications; instead, getting the bulk of their marketing messages via websites, email, online ads and social media. Therefore, adding physical marketing communications to your mix can help you gain attention and leap ahead of the pack.
Here are some recommendations on how to improve marketing results by making your communications more tangible:
Because of the low cost and quick turnaround times on campaigns, marketers are flocking to email as a favorite online direct response medium. Mailing to rented opt-in e-lists can cost $150 or more, while the cost to email your house file can be a tenth of a cent per name or less. That compares favorably with direct mail's cost of hundreds of dollars per thousand.
Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.