4 Ways to Drastically Improve Your Marketing Right Now

It’s Guest Post Monday and Frank Klesitz of Vyral Marketing is giving us a recap of the Glazer-Kennedy 2011 Super Conference.

I just returned from Dan Kennedy’s Super Conference in Chicago, Ill., where I learned quite a bit. In this post, I’ll share with you the best tips I picked up plus a few recommendations to improve your video blogging and marketing results.

It’s refreshing to attend a true marketing-only event that’s not industry-specific. These people sell mainly in print, TV, radio, outdoor and direct mail — not face-to-face.

This is in stark contrast to the many real estate sales-specific seminars I attend (where selling is done on the phone, at the kitchen table or in person). Selling in print gives you the ultimate leverage of your time and it’s a skill I push myself to master.

So let’s get down to my 4 best take-aways….

Take-Away #1: Be the MARKETER of what you do, NOT the “DO-ER” of what you do.

“Where’s the money really made in business?” was the first rhetorical question Dan threw out to the crowd. The key to business GROWTH, he says, is when you make the jump from being the “do-er” of what you do to the MARKETER of what you do. The money, he explains, is in selling your product or service, not performing your service or delivering product.

This was such a profound moment for me at the conference, and I’m sure it will make you think, too. Are you a master of selling your services — or simply providing them? Mastery of the former is the key to your growth. For example, it’s one thing to PROVIDE bookkeeping services, but you’ll make more money SELLING bookkeeping services.

How much time do you devote to mastery of your salesmanship? Most business owners WRONGLY view marketing as a one-time event (“Quick… send a postcard out! We need more customers now!”)

Rather, profitable marketing is a continuous process that’s tightly integrated into the daily, weekly and yearly operations of your business.

For example, we strive to make “X” number of qualified contacts a week, and then follow up with a12-week email drip, 2 video emails per month, 1 monthly newsletter, 4 quarterly special offers, daily Facebook updates, 2 “check-in” phone calls per year plus birthday and anniversary cards for our clients and their office assistants.

We invest 10% of our monthly revenue into marketing, preferring to use this money to attend conferences and masterminds; we then follow up consistently with the people we meet. Do you have such an operational calendar for your marketing processes? If not, it’s a great time to start.

Take Away #2: A monthly PRINT newsletter is your most powerful marketing weapon.

If there was ONE improvement you could make in your marketing to get the BEST results and the highest return on your investment right now, what would it be?

According to Bill Glazer, Dan Kennedy’s business partner, it’s a monthly print newsletter, written in a personal tone, sent by first class mail using in a large envelope to your customer, client or warm contact list. The newsletter contains 40% relevant content and 60% semi- and non-relevant content with all advertisements or special offers kept separate that looks entirely like personal correspondence.

How that’s for an answer!

E-newsletters are great for short, simple content (and of course video) but a print newsletter is by far superior to develop and keep a relationship. Print is also the preferred delivery media when there’s a LOT of content to cover.

When you’re mailing to companies, always be sure to include the company name in the address to ensure deliver-ability. We learned this the hard way when a good number of one of our newsletters were returned, even when basic addresses were printed correctly.

Here are important semi-relevant topics to have in your newsletter:

Welcome new customers, customer spotlights, employee spotlights, Q&A, testimonials, photos that DEMONSTRATE consumption, what you missed from the last newsletter, demonstration of referrals and show what else you do.

When it comes to non-relevant content, include trivia, calendar items, photos, charity tie-ins, contests and quotes. And, of course, for your relevant content, which should be no more than 40% of your publication, that’s your actual educational article just like you’re reading here.

So why not a 100% educational newsletter with pure, factual relevant content? Put simply, it’s your other “stuff” that’s more interesting and builds the human relationship. More people read my newsletter to see who my new clients are, see who’s featured in the client videos, and who’s referring who, plus where I’ve been and what I’m doing now.

I keep my writing in a personal and conversational tone, laying down the words on paper just as I speak, telling a story of what’s happening in our business. I write my newsletter once a month, due on the 15th to my editor and mail it by the 25th. I budget about $1.00-1.50 per newsletter. I recommend you do the same in your business.

Take Away #3: Your direct mail advertising MUST be OUTRAGEOUS and FUN!

If you had one last chance at direct mail, and if it did not succeed you’d literally be BEHEADED, who would you mail, how would you mail and what would you offer? Quick, you’re facing the guillotine! Off with your head!

In the past, every time I think about direct mail, or a client for that matter thinks about it, the discussion revolves around “how much does each mail piece cost?” That’s a terrible question to ask, but I find myself falling into this trap often.

Rather, you must first determine the LIFETIME value of a customer or client, from which you can then derive how much you’re willing to spend to acquire one.

For example, if your average customer spends $500 a year, and they are likely to stay a client for 5+ years, what’s the net present value (NPV) of that cash flow? Personally, I’m willing to risk 30% of that number, or $750, to get that customer. Working those numbers, you’ll take a loss in year one, but you’ll make it up in sequential years by providing excellent service and keeping the customer.

Also, don’t forget to factor in any quality referrals you receive from your newly acquired customer as well. If you ask 99% of business owners how much of their money they are willing to risk to get a customer, few have answers, but you will now be different!

Customer lifetime value is critically important to understand so you put the necessary money and effort into your advertising to get results. That’s why, if you have only one  shot at the perfect direct mail piece (or you get beheaded), here’s what I recommend, according to Bill Glazer:

A 3-step, sequential mailing campaign with a special offer and reason to act now, that’s mailed in something entirely non-traditional, such as a bank bag, small trash can, or with a “grabber” such as a whoopee cushion or a bag of popcorn. Sure, such a mailing campaign will cost more, usually $3-5 PER LETTER, but your response rate will be successful, especially if you’re mailing to a targeted house list of warm contacts.

If you’re selling to the affluent or B2B, send your mailing by FedEx or Certified Mail so you skip the gatekeeper and arrive in the A-pile, not the trash with all the other cheapskates. You can also do a USPS flat rate envelope for $5 postage, which I use to send my Marketing Kits. Check out www.3dmailresults.com for outrageous direct mail marketing ideas.

So, after learning these strategies at the conference, we’re applying them with a dentist in Omaha. Every month we craft a unique offer for a premium service such as veneers, crowns, whitening, etc. My client selects his patients most likely to respond to his offer, then we send a mailing. This month it’s a “bank bag” (You can take whiter teeth to the bank!) that includes a sales letter and offer to request pricing and information on veneers.

The key is we’re mailing to existing patients with an exclusive one-time only offer that expires soon, that’s limited to the first 3 patients who respond. I’ll cover the results of this campaign in my upcoming newsletters; we have 12 dental offers to mail over the year. With its success it will become our exclusive dentist package.

The bottom line — marketing must GET ATTENTION and TELL A STORY with PERSONALITY. When you use 3D or outrageous mail to capture attention, then tie in the item with acompelling story and special offer, plus use personality in your writing or pictures. You‟ll double, triple, or even quadruple your response rate. That’s the essence of outrageous advertising and it’s how you’ll keep your head off the chopping block.

Take Away #4: STOP offering a “Free Consultation” in your marketing.

At one point of the conference, the speaker asked us to draw the lifeline of a lead or a prospect. So, on a white sheet of paper, I drew my website, linking to a free consultation, then to a sale. Then, it hit me: I don’t think one person has EVER called me to “schedule” their free consultation, ever. Not once.

So why was I wasting valuable space on my website and in my personal print marketing offering a useless free consultation? Obviously, if people want to talk to me, they can call the phone number, but putting “free consultation” next to it doesn’t improve response. I guess the only reason I offer this is because (1) it’s what everyone else does and (2) it does not require much thought to create.

There’s a red flag if you’ve ever seen one…

Rather, I adjusted my lifeline of a lead (also know as your sales process) as follows: First, interested parties request a FREE video on my blog, “10 Steps to Grow Your Business With Video Marketing.”  They then receive an email to attend a weekly $49 pre-recorded webinar to go “behind the scenes” of LIVE client video and social media campaigns. They are then offered a 21-Point Marketing Optimization Audit ($200) by telephone upon webinar competition.

So, in all of my future marketing, you’ll find a call to action to visit my website to download your free video, which of course you’ll need to provide your email address to get access. Next, you’ll receive an email invitation to attend my webinar for free if you register within 2 weeks.

Then, at the end of the webinar, you’ll get a limited time offer to receive a free 30 minute 21-Point Marketing Optimization Audit, only after of course completing a survey to pre-qualify your needs and to determine up front if you’re a fit for our Vyral Marketing program.

That’s WAY more powerful than a boring “free consultation” offer, isn’t it?

It’s essentially the same sales process Tony Robbins uses to sell $3,000 home-study courses. They purchase radio time offering free information when you call their 1-800 number, they email it to you, and then you’re up-sold to a $200 webinar (free if you register now, of course), after which you’re then sold a $3,000 coaching program after a 3-hour education-based sales presentation.

That’s much better than offering a free consultation to “learn more” or even selling the $3,000 home-study program directly on the radio! Call now, only 3 easy payments of $1,000!

Take a moment to draw the lifeline of your leads. On your website, what’s your CLEAR call to action? At the end of your seminar, what do you tell people to do? What’s the call to action in your direct mail? When you leave a voicemail, why will people call you back?

What’s the FIRST STEP your prospect will take to start a relationship with you? For me, it will now ALWAYS be “go to my website to download your free video” on How to Grow Your Business with Video in 10 Steps. That’s it.

The sales process will start automatically, with the webinar scheduling pre-qualified consultations. Such clarity is amazing, and this is by far my most powerful take-away from the conference. You’ll see these changes in my marketing in the upcoming months, so for the time being, think about a free video (or audio CD, report, e-book, course, etc.) of high perceived value that you can offer in your marketing (in exchange for an email address) to “lure” your perfect prospect into your sales process.

In real estate, your offers can be as simple as “Search for Homes” and “Get a FREE Home Value Report.”

Visit www.GetVyral.com for more information on how to grow you business with GREAT marketing ideas.

Frank Klesitz is a sales and marketing professional. Self-employed since 18, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Nebraska where he earned Entrepreneur of the Year in 2006 and 2007. An Eagle Scout, copywriter, graphic designer and salesperson, Frank was named as one of the “40 Under 40” by the Midland Business Journal for starting Vyral Marketing in 2009 to help professionals use web video and social media to grow their business. Frank lives in Omaha, NE. Visit www.getvyral.com, call 1-800-323-9974 or email frank@getvyral.com for speaking and hiring requests.

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