Building a “House List”
Whenever you do a direct mail piece, the quality of your mailing list makes a huge difference. An average written sales letter with an average offer MAILED TO A “HIGH RESPONSIVE” LIST will always out-pull the best written sales letter and the most incredible offer that is mailed to a poor, unresponsive mailing list.
With that in mind, we need to make sure we get our hands on and mail A LOT to “highly responsive lists” of prospects! And what’s the best strategy to do this? How about make your own list!?!
You know better than any “mailing house” what your target market wants, where they live and what their normal patterns are. So it only makes sense you could come up with “something” this target audience wants so they would be willing to give you their name and address in exchange for that thing, right?
Well, I just told you how to make your own RESPONSIVE mailing list. You do it through “lead generation” advertising.
Here’s how it works. You run an ad offering a “widget” (something you put together that your target audience would want). It could be a free report, an audio or video tape or whatever you like. You could run a classified ad saying:
WARNING: Before you file your taxes this year, read this Free Report! “STOP FLUSHING YOUR CASH DOWN THE “IRS” TOILET: 9 Ways To Stop Overpaying Uncle Sam, With No Fear On An IRS Audit!” Call 1 (800) STOP TAX or write Box 000 Taxville, 12345 etc.
Now only qualified prospects are going to take the time to call and get their hands on your free report. Now you’ve their name and address so mailing this group of prospects and pitching them on using your tax services has a much higher chance of being successful!
Wouldn’t you want to continue to mail your sales material pitching your tax service to a list of these kinds of prospects rather than a regular “cold” list that you bought from some mailing house? (I thought so.)
And by the way, if you go through the trouble of getting a few selected taxpayers’ names and addresses, don’t give up on them early. Just because they didn’t respond to your first sales piece doesn’t mean they aren’t going to respond later.
Test multiple mailings over a period of time. This person IS interested in possibly using your tax services. But the timing might not have been right.
And don’t give up on “old” leads. (Periodically you can go back and do a special mailing just to those who responded to your free report over a year ago, but haven’t used your tax services yet.)
You will be surprised how many “old” and maybe forgotten leads you can resurrect.
How To Build That List – Easier Than You May Think
Important “money-making” marketing opportunities are wasted every day in your business if you don’t have a “name capture” system in place when your phone rings (especially during tax season).
Think about how many people (non clients) call your tax office in a given year “inquiring” about the different tax services you offer. What if you could CAPTURE most (if not all) of the names of those people inquiries? What if the normal procedure for answering the phone in your office was that after you answered whatever question they had you said, “Would you be interested in a Free Report on this subject?” (Or a free audio CD that explains the topic you are asking about in more detail.)
Then you could say, “We even include free discount coupons for our services and other related tax services in the packet of info you receive.”
Then assume the sale by asking, “And how did you spell your first name?” Then go ahead and take all of their information and get them on your mailing list. You could capture hundreds and even thousands of names over the course of one year’s time. You can split test offers and see what kind of person is more responsive to different kinds of offers.
You can even advertise “other” widgets to this ongoing database, too. Do the same kind of lead generation advertising as we talked about before and offer a free video tape targeting a low end market. They may not want to read a 25 page report, but they would want to watch a 30 minute video on how they can get their refund money back faster!
This way you are constantly trying to break down your database into little “niche” markets, each desiring different kinds of tax services from you. You are doing the same thing with your external advertising, but the difference is this “name captured” list is going to be more responsive than a COLD market that has not called your tax offices before and has NOT asked to receive information from you.
I just want you to see how this DOES make a difference. Dan Kennedy says: “A business without a mailing list isn’t a business.” Simple and very true. (What are you doing with your business’ mailing list?)