Last week I read a funny cartoon about the election …
“The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee” cartoon shows Orville Edison running for the White House.
An assistant tells him he has a call from Mr. Jones from the industrial polluters association. Edison takes the call and says, “Bob, for a small campaign contribution we’ll see to it that the EPA leaves polluters alone when we take office.”
Edison hangs up the phone and his assistant says, “Oops…sorry. Mister Jones is on line two. That was the Sierra Club.”
Oops is right. That’s a costly mistake—and while the cartoon is funny, businesses often make a similar mistake when creating lead generation campaigns.
At GKIC, we teach the marketing triangle. This system is based on the three components of marketing—market, media, and message—for anything, anywhere, and at any time, at any price, under any conditions. (More about this in Dan Kennedy’s The Ultimate Marketing Plan and in your Income Explosion Guide that comes with your Most Incredible Free Gift Ever package.)
Matching the right message with the right market is powerful and can elicit a much stronger response when you get the “who” right. And while my Orville Edison cartoon example seems so obvious, somehow, sadly when it comes to lead generation, businesses often get the “who” wrong – and it can be extremely costly.
It’s what Dan Kennedy calls “Blind Archery.” It’s when you simply shoot your message out to a lot of people and hope it will reach enough of your ideal customers to make it worthwhile.
Here are five steps you can do to get your marketing ready so that more prospects say “yes” to what you have to offer while avoiding this costly mistake:
1) Identify your WHO. In our cartoon example, Orville failed to accurately identify who he was talking to. Don’t make the same error. Before you write a word of copy or pick out your media, take time answer the following questions:
- Who do you want to respond to your message?
- Who is your ideal customer?
- Who is your current customer? (If you can’t answer who your current customer is, then do some research to find out.)
The more accurate you are at identifying your ideal prospect, the more impact your marketing will have.
2) Find out what’s important to your reader. When Orville answered the phone, he was thinking about his priorities—to raise money for his campaign and get votes—not his constituents.
Too often businesses have this same failing. Ask yourself, if you were in your prospect’s shoes, what would make you buy, give money, sign up, respond to, etc. whatever it is you are offering.
If you do not fit your customer profile in your niche, you will need to do some work to understand your prospect and customer’s desires, fears, and motivations. You can do this by doing things such as reading industry publications and visiting forums. (For a full list of how to get inside the mind of your customer when you are an outsider, take a look at page 19-20 in The Ultimate Sales Letter.)
3) Ask your list broker for the data card. If you are renting mailing lists from a list broker, you can ask to see the data card. This will provide you with information about your prospect’s age, gender and types of products they’ve purchased in the past.
For example, if you are selling financial services you might ask for a list of people who have previously bought financial programs, magazines, or newsletters or other financial services through the mail.
4) Use your product or service as a consumer would. Take your product or service and use it exactly as a consumer would. Open your packaging, read the instructions and labels. Use it as instructed. Test it. Take it apart and put it back together. If you provide services and it’s difficult to use your own service, consider hiring a secret shopper to give you feed back.
5) Examine what has “sold” in the past. Do you have a promotion that was particularly successful or is there something you say in face-to-face sales that works well and has a good closing ratio? Studying what has worked well in actual selling situations will help you avoid making incorrect assumptions about your WHO.
Unlike Orville Edison who had the advantage of knowing exactly who he was talking to—had he asked—when you are sending direct mail out, you can’t speak with your prospect to get direct feedback from him or her. However, when you take the time to use these five steps to get to know WHO your customer is, you’ll not only create a more successful campaign that connects with your prospects giving you better results, but you’ll make prospects want to be your customer—and a loyal customer at that.