“Win customers 10-20x faster than even pro marketers” – how?

book-cover2016! And here in London, it’s already making 2015 (a busy year) look like 2014.

A blatant plug first: my wife Lynne won our race to publish, and her brilliant cookbook Lynne’s Month of Meals is available from Amazon and bookstores, RRP £14.99. If you like exotic Indochinese food you can cook without being a whiz in the kitchen, take a look; she’s already sold enough copies to be in the top 1% of all indie authors. (Which puts a bit of pressure on me.)

But back to the blog. And a sentence that’s caused me some aggro. It’s in my home page blurbets:

  • Win customers 10-20x faster than even pro marketers!

I’ve had some blowback from pro marketers protesting it can’t be right. Pro marketers, by definition, get better results than random freelancers, surely?

Not always. To see why, let’s go where the pro marketers are.

Imagine you’re on an advertising agency’s direct marketing team, and your paying client wants a one-to-one marketing campaign.

Even for bigger agencies, DM is a bit like local radio: that distant cousin you don’t really spend much time with. (Odd that the most accountable medium of all is seen as more arcane than broadcast TV, but I don’t make the rules.) And client budgets tend to reflect this. For a fresh campaign, excluding production and postage, £20,000 would be high; figures like £5,000 are more common. And that money has to buy a copywriter, art director (yes, even plain letters need designing), print pro, and account handling expertise. For one DM letter there might be 7-8 people on the team.

Now, how much of their time does £5,000 buy?

Persuading an agency to spend just two weeks on your campaign’d be a stretch. Ten man-days, max. That’s not much time to understand your customer. Little chance to pinpoint that salient selling point that deserves A/B splitting. And definitely no list-building; they’ll have to buy it in.

Contrast that to the 100 Days approach. Where developing the perfect List and Letter to deliver your offer to the market is the main goal of three month’s work. A few distracted ad agency employees scrabbling around on deadline can’t compete.

And that’s why you can win more customers, much faster.

None of this disses old agency hands. Can you compete with a pro marketer… on a level playing field? No. But the field’s not level. In 100 Days, you’re spending three months working hard, following tried-and-tested rules, with the motivation that every penny of return accrues to you. That’s a resource that lets you understand what your market really is, hone your offer with precision, write from the heart so you’ll close the emotional sale first time. You have a far bigger “budget” to invest in yourself than most clients allow their agencies.

It’s why my campaigns for myself – like this DM letter – reach customer acquisition rates of nearly 20%. (100 Days aims for 1%.)

Which brings this blog full circle. Because to test the 100 Days methods, I’m doing another campaign for myself this month, the first in two years. Yes, I practice what I preach. There are countless marketing agencies out there, including thousands of good ones, but when it comes to marketing yourself your first option is you.


One comment

  1. Mark

    I’m 45 years old. Not quite old school, but I’m a big fan of direct mail. And so are some of my mentors Dan Kennedy and Alan Hewitt.

    I’ve used direct mail with great success in the past to generate leads, to fill seminars and to ‘sell’ manuals straight from the letter.

    Thanks for sharing Chris and breaking down the 19% to cold list letter.

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