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WARNING: Do NOT try to sell anything else until you see this ...

WARNING: Do NOT try to sell anything else until you see this ...

March 31, 2011

Use this checklist BEFORE you do another promotion, mailer, sales call, website, ad, brochure or any other type of marketing pitch! These are the best-tested and proven strategies for making money with direct marketing from my personal files.

This list is a gold-mine of ideas that you and your marketing team should have with them at all times. Whether you're developing a new promotion or trying to turnaround an existing one, use this checklist to help guide you.

Using the tools in the picture above, you're guaranteed to get a much bigger return on your marketing and advertising. Read on to see how you can put them to work for you.

Here are the biggies:

1. CATER TO YOUR HUNGRY FISH: Make sure you're targeting a specific group. Speak only their language. It's okay to turn others off. Be specific, i.e. 'attention, left handed golfers'"

2. ATTRACT THEM WITH IRRESISTIBLE BAIT: Give them an offer they can't refuse. Remember the Godfather (but be nice). Make a great offer for a response. Pile on bonuses ' use FREE gifts and FREE reports.


  • LIMIT THE OFFER ' Create scarcity, exclusivity and urgency. Create artificial limitations then stick to them. Limit the number available, time to respond, special pricing, number of people invited.
  • USE THE WORD 'BECAUSE' ' Why should anyone believe you? Add the word 'because.' Give credibility specifics and testimonials (use pictures, audio, video). Show real results, avoid squishy endorsements such as, 'they're so good.
  • BE SPECIFIC ' Use numbers like 43.5% increase, 211 people, 36 years or $67,214.53 profit.
  • SELL THE STORY ' Tell a story. I call it 'infotain.' Illustrate a person with a problem and show how they solved it.
  • OFFER THE PROMISE OF AN OVERT BENEFIT ALWAYS (POOBA) ' Here's where you get tough and promise a big benefit or your hungry fish get their money back. Examples: Domino's Pizza, '30 minutes or less guaranteed,' FedEx, 'Next day delivery guaranteed.' For my direct mail company, Lumpy Mail, 'Double your response guaranteed.'
  • SHOW YOUR WARTS ' If you have a weakness, flaunt it. Turn it into a positive. (Avis: We're #2 so we try harder.)
  • REDUCE THE RISK FOR THE CUSTOMER ' Remove the risk of doing business with you. Give a big, bold guarantee. Be specific. 'Earn an extra $22,000 in 45 days or get a full refund plus $100 cash

4.USE EMOTION: Employ the PASS Formula. (1) Talk about the Pain your hungry fish are going through. Agitate the problem by explaining if they continue to do nothing. Solve the problem with your offer. Share Stories of how others have benefitted.

5. USE THE LAW OF RECIPROCITY: Give away freemiums (free gifts that you give upfront) in the mail. Free stuff makes your prospects feel warm, fuzzy, interested and obligated. My mom called it 'guilt mail.'

6. REPEAT: Let me say it again ' REPEAT. Send a series of mailings, not just one. Best response comes after the 5th contact based on research.

7. Create a BIG ZIG: While everyone else is zagging in the market, you want to create a Big Zig that will stop people and make them take notice.

General Strategy

Once you've gone through the checklist above, the next step is implementation. Here are are the key questions to ask so you make sure your marketing gets out on time and so you get the best return on your investment...

  • What's your time frame? (Determine when it needs to be in the mail, and then work backwards.)
  • How many mailers will you send in a series? Most successful direct mail is part of a series. Many use 3-4-5-6-7 and more in a series. Send over time to the same audience. Remember, 81% of all sales occur after the 5th contact. Constant contact is your best way to increase your response. Please do it. You'll be glad you did!
  • Use the Power of Emulation. Is there anybody you can borrow ideas from? In the beginning you don't have to recreate the wheel!
  • What are your basic elements? Carrier (envelope, tube, box), lumpy item, letter, brochure, testimonial, picture of premium on separate insert.
  • What is your break-even point, and worst-case scenario?
  • Finally, test! test! test! It's the only true way to determine what's working and why.

 You can have far more sales, inquiries and store traffic for the same money just by testing different headlines, formats and copy. So be sure you have a clear method to track your results and to determine whether a promotion was successful.

Using the same strategies I just described, we've been able to increase responses by up to 700%. My hope is that these strategies will help you too.

Always taking you from where you are to where you want to go,


Jon Goldman, President