As published in Scotsman Guide's Residential Edition, July 2005.
Want a big boost in response and a quick payoff from your next marketing effort? Then take your marketing to the extreme. By extreme, I mean unconventional, break-the-mold, out-of-the-box, reach-out-and-grab-people-by-the-lapels marketing.
When you use “extreme marketing,” a lot of people will love it, and a few will hate it. But hardly anyone can ignore it. With a well-thought-out, well-executed extreme-marketing program, your presence will be known. In short order, you will close deals.
A case study in extreme marketing
In my field, I constantly work with clients seeking creative marketing tools. Recently, a leading vendor to the collision-repair industry put together an extreme-marketing program targeting collision-repair shops. The client used a three-step campaign aimed at 300 collision-repair businesses throughout the United States. Several tactics used in that campaign can be used in the mortgage industry to generate high-quality leads and close more loans.
Step one: Message in a bottle
The first mailer in the campaign was a “message in a bottle,” using a 32-ounce, squeezable water bottle. An eye-catching graphic, the company’s logo and complete contact information appeared on the outside of the bottle.
Inside the bottle, which also served as the envelope, was a letter. The letter’s headline read, “Thirsty for more repair orders? Get ready to drink up!” The letter detailed the many benefits of using the firm’s services. More importantly, the letter offered readers a free gift for talking with the company’s sales director and 13 months of service for the price of 12 if they signed up for service by a specific date.
Step two: Bank-bag mailing
A week later, the company sent a second mailer, which was a 5½-inch-by-10½-inch bank-deposit pouch imprinted with the company’s logo, contact info and the phrase, “Put more money in the bank.”
It was sent in a 9-inch-by-12-inch, full-window envelope with the imprinted side of the pouch facing out. Another attention-grabbing way of mailing this item is to tape down the zipper-pull and affix a mailing label and postage to the blank side.
Inside the pouch was a letter. Its headline read, “How to write more repair orders while lowering your overhead and improving workplace performance. And you can take that to the bank!” It went on to highlight three ways the company could help shops bank more profits, and the company reiterated its two-pronged offer.
Step three: Trash-can mailing
After each mailing, the company’s telemarketing staff made follow-up phone calls to book telemeetings with the company’s sales director.
After receiving two mailings and two phone calls, a number of people had booked a telemeeting or indicated they were not serious prospects for the company’s services. Each of the 208 companies in the remaining group received a third and final mailing: a miniature metal trash can mailed in a box.
Inside the trash can was a wadded-up letter with the headline “Can do? Yes! [Our company] CAN help you run a more profitable business.” An over- line — copy positioned after the name and address but before the salutation — read in part, “In case you’ve been throwing my letters into the trash, I wanted to do it for you this time.” Body copy in this letter punched up the key selling points from previous letters and once again highlighted the two-pronged offer.
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