Don’t worry; I’m not going to start talking about some Lynyrd Skynyrd song (although that is a pretty freakishly awesome song). I’m talking about a systematic approach to marketing your business to your prospects. It’s been called many things by many other firms I’m sure, but I’m simply calling it the 3 step letter campaign. And here’s how it works.
Have you ever received a letter from a bill collector? (I know, it’s embarrassing to talk about) But honestly, have you ever received a letter, or letters, from a bill collector? They are relentless in their pursuit aren’t they? In their relentless efforts to getting one to pay one’s bill, there is a lesson to be learned from them.
The first notice received will say something to the effect of, “hey, this is such and such company, we value you as a client and we noticed that you owe us money. Please pay us our money as soon as possible, blah, blah, blah.” That’s pretty basic stuff, nothing new there.
However, the second letter is different. Even the envelop is different, it usually has something like SECOND NOTICE on it. Then it reads like this, hey this is such and such company, thank you for being a client, however since that last time we mailed you we still have not received payment. You have until such and such date to pay before we charge you late fines.”
By the time the third letter comes, you can tell they are peeved. Even the envelope is different. It’ll say something like THIRD AND FINAL NOTICE. And the inside will be short and sweet. The letter will say something along the lines of “Mr. or Mrs. so and so, we have contacted you two other times about your outstanding debt and still we have not heard from you.
This letter serves as your final warning. If your debt is not paid by (insert date) we’ll charge you extra money and send this to collections” or something like that. Now, unless you’re a bill collector, you may be wondering what this has to do with you and your business. Well, allow me to explain.
The first letter (yes I said LETTER) you send your prospects will be pleasant, tell a short story, explain the offer then invite them to take action. Not everyone will take action though. That is normal and that’s where the second letter comes in. Like the bill collector, you’ll send them a second letter. Stamp on the envelope the words “SECOND NOTICE”.
Then start your letter telling them you mailed a letter to them (reference the 1st letter) and you have not heard from them. Restate the offer then ask them to take action. Sign off, then add a p.s. that restates the offer and deadline.
By this time, people (if they read it) will be thinking “hmmm, interesting.” They will do one of two things, throw the letter away or take the appropriate action. However, no matter how awesome your offer is, some people won’t respond. Some will, but some won’t. The ones that don’t respond get the third letter (like the bill collectors).
However, this time the outside of the envelope will read “THIRD AND FINAL NOTICE”. The letter will explain how you’ve tried two times to contact them and have not heard back. Restate the great offer you have and restate the hard deadline for the offer. Then close your letter. Again, add a p.s. that restates the offer and deadline. Again, some will respond, and some won’t. The ones that respond will be customers for life, if you treat them right. But what happens to the ones that still did not respond?
The prospects that did not respond to your initial three offers will simply go into another marketing campaign called a “drip” campaign. I’ll talk more about them in another post. I mainly wanted to address the fact that you need to mail to your prospects more than once if you intend to close the sale.
So many times small business owners will pay a local ad agency to mail a letter or postcard for them, and it’s a one shot mailing, bad idea. Odds are the person receiving your message might not have ever heard of your before or they might not need your services right now. And if you only mail them once, by the time they need your services they’ll probably have forgotten about you and hired somebody else.
The 3 step letter campaign helps you avoid that mess. It keeps you at the top of your prospects’ minds. It also shows that you are not some fly by night company and you take your business seriously.
The 3 step letter campaign is a great way to farm new neighborhoods and earn the right to do business with new prospects. If done effectively, you could gain lifetime customers with one direct mail campaign. I know for me, personally, I had customers in my firm for nearly 10 years just from one direct mail campaign.
Don’t under estimate the power of direct mail. And don’t under estimate the power of the 3 step letter campaign. If you are just starting out or if you are farming new neighborhoods, then the 3 step letter campaign can give you results that all the social media kids could only dream of!
To your success,
P.S. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always had. Try something out of your comfort zone today and start working on your 3 step letter campaign now.