This podcast transcript covers how to use direct mail effectively.
Stephen Oliver (00:00):
Hey, we’re going to talk now about direct mail and using direct mail. It’s fascinating that … I don’t know how many conversations we’ve had and people say, “Oh, snail mail. No, I never use snail mail. That’s outdated. I just email them,” or they say, “That’s too expensive,” or I don’t know what the other the uses are, but it seems like part of what the way I feel about it is people made a move to digital, mostly didn’t understand it very well, and thought that that means all other previous media were dead. Right?
Greg Moody (00:35):
Stephen Oliver (00:35):
So we know TV’s not dead. We know newspapers are pained, but they’re not dead yet. It reminds me of the Monty Python movie. Right? You don’t remember?
Greg Moody (00:47):
I don’t know which one you’re talking.
Stephen Oliver (00:48):
The Holy Grail. “I’m not dead yet.”
Greg Moody (00:50):
Oh, “Not dead yet.”
Stephen Oliver (00:51):
“Bring out your dead.”
Greg Moody (00:54):
Hopefully, everybody gets that reference.
Stephen Oliver (00:55):
Well, “Bring out your dead.” There’s a YouTube video. I’ll share it with them.
Greg Moody (00:59):
“I’m not dead yet. I’m feeling better.”
Stephen Oliver (01:01):
But anyway, there’s a lot of media choices. Now, some have become more difficult, right? TV has become more difficult, infomercials have become more challenging, etc. But direct mail is as strong as it’s ever been.
Greg Moody (01:16):
Well, it’s also easier now, because in some ways, there’s much less competition. It used to be that was one of the only media forms. You had radio, TV, direct mail, beat the streets. There weren’t a whole lot of different media forms. Now, there’s a lot of different media forms, and a lot of people have abandoned direct mail, and a lot of your competitors have abandoned direct mail. So you’ve got ways to use it, and we’re going to go over the right ways to use it and the wrong ways to use it. And if you use it wrong, it doesn’t work. So in that regard, I think that’s where people get confused.
Stephen Oliver (01:51):
And most people do it badly.
Greg Moody (01:52):
Yeah, yeah. Most people do it badly, and they did it badly before, but I think before, it was the only way. They didn’t have many choices. When you only had five choices and you couldn’t do TV and radio, maybe you did a lot of direct mail, and you said, “Well, it worked then.” Well, it didn’t really work then either. You didn’t do it very well then either, but it was the only choice, so you did it. And now, people are thinking it doesn’t work. Well, we’re going to go over how to do it correctly, so that it does work, and it can work like crazy.
Stephen Oliver (02:23):
Well, and maybe to start with basics of direct mail, and this would be the same with any medium. But the first thing, the first priority on whether direct mail is going to work is who you mail it to. It seems obvious, but people think, “Well, I’m going to do like every door direct mail and draw a radius around my office,” as if that’s the important criterium. But the first thing is the list, and where we always start with direct mail is with existing clients for nurture, for relationship building, and for various other purposes. And then we move next to a prospect list, and people who have shown interest. Maybe they made an appointment to meet you, and they didn’t make it to the appointment. Maybe they met you and didn’t move forward with you, but for whatever reason.
Stephen Oliver (03:15):
But we go from existing clients for a variety of purposes, to invite them to a client appreciation event, for instance, to send them five tickets for their friends, to mail them the latest book we’ve come out with to pass along to their friends, to send them the new special report on the new tax plan or whatever it might be to pass along to their friends. And then we use direct mail for prospects, and prospects at every stage, prospects who maybe they’ve been in our database for six months and we’re still nurturing them and developing them, and maybe they just opted into the website or they opted in off a Facebook ad. But based upon on the qualification information we ask, our prospect is worth spending money on. Right? And what we do is we don’t discriminate. We should discriminate from the standpoint of some prospects, maybe we shift them off into somewhere where we don’t give them anything else again.
Greg Moody (04:18):
Yeah. You can discriminate based on assets under management, maybe we’ve asked them some questions about that.
Stephen Oliver (04:25):
Greg Moody (04:26):
Yeah, or maybe they’re a prospect that has responded, and we know they live in a certain neighborhood where the houses are $10 million. That might be something. There’s different ways you can determine whether or not they might be better, whether you could spend more money on them, whether you would send them more direct mail, and we can stratify who we’re going to send information to.
Stephen Oliver (04:47):
But the most common is just on an opt-in page asking them how much assets do they have that need to be managed, what age are they, what’s their time horizon to retire? Questions like that, yet give you a sense of what their value’s going to be for you, right? But going through with list, as we start with clients and do things for client nurture and for client referrals, we go to prospects, and I usually start with recency. In other words, the one that just came in is going to get things the quickest, and then people that we’ve been nurturing for a while, if they still look like a good prospect, the best we can figure it out, we’ll continue to drip on them and nurture them.
Stephen Oliver (05:32):
And then the third would be going to a cold lead or go to a cold prospect. And I was working through one of the big company’s marketing materials just recently, and all of their resources were all Data Axle, which used to be called SalesGenie, and various other programs, which great resources. I can go through and pull every dentist in Denver, Colorado. I can go through and pull every chiropractor, or I go through and pull every car repair shop, whatever it might be. So if I’m nicheing, it’s a good start, because I can get a pretty decent list of businesses, I can get names, one thing or another.
Stephen Oliver (06:13):
But there’s at least two to types of list to make it as simple as possible. There’s what you would call a compiled list, and there’s a response list, right? And a compiled list would be something like what you get from Data Axle, because they’re going to give you just all the listings of any type of business that’s there, or they’re going to give you consumer listings based upon the value of their house or their income level or whether they have kids or don’t have kids or maybe based on an age range. But those lists, even once you have them, you got to figure out what are you going to do with them, right? And spam, it’s legal, but you’re going to get blocked by the ISPs, and it’s very unproductive. While we do a lot, by the way, from email addresses, of course, we upload them into Facebook and we upload them into Google and they do the retargeting ads, right? But what you want-
Greg Moody (07:06):
That avoids the spam issue, because now you’re sending out essentially billboard advertisements online to them. But back to direct mail.
Stephen Oliver (07:14):
Yeah, yeah. But see, with direct mail, let’s say that I’m nicheing, and I’m going to be, let’s pick our example we keep using that’s probably overused and over beat up, but dentists, like our friend Michael Phelps, is if I was going to go after dentists, well they have their own trade magazines. I could go to subscribers of the trade magazine, and oftentimes the trade magazines for subscribers, they have a more complete list, right? So we could go find their trade magazine, and I could direct mail to a subset of their subscriber list. In fact, I could do display ads in the magazine and I could direct mail at the same time. We do a lot of that where they’re getting the same message from two different media.
Greg Moody (07:59):
Yeah. So we can buy the names and the list from the magazine or through a service, or buy or rent, and then we can direct mail to those names. And now you know that you’re marketing to exactly the kind of people. Now we call them suspects, because they haven’t what we call raised their hand, they haven’t done anything. They don’t know us, they haven’t done anything to respond to us, but we’re going to market to them because they meet our target niche or our avatar client or our persona that we want to work with. So you hear those terms kind of batted around that are for different reasons, but they’re exactly who we want to work with.
Stephen Oliver (08:38):
And frankly, in many cases, fairly successful advisors already, if we just add direct mail and better follow up systems at this level and this level, it makes dramatic results. And that’s not even going after the broader cold list. That’s doing a better job with their prospects, because again, most advisors, if somebody raises their hand, right?
Greg Moody (09:03):
Again, the prospects are the ones that have raised their hand, they’ve responded in some way. So they know about you. They’re just not current clients yet.
Stephen Oliver (09:09):
Yeah, they’ve called, they’ve opted in. In some way or another, they registered for a webinar, they’ve asked for a free report, whatever it might be. But if we just go after the prospects more aggressively and separate out the ones who are ready to make an appointment today versus the ones who didn’t take that as first option and also qualify, see, you might find an awful lot of minnows but a few whales, and the whales are worth spending a lot of money on to follow through because of the lifetime value of them, and the initial value is going to be very high. And so you differentiate, discriminate between different ones based upon assets or age or profession, whatever your criteria is. And then the ones that you know are high value to you, you go after aggressively, and you don’t let direct mail, I mean email just do the work. We didn’t talk about that number. What’s the current number of how many emails a day people are getting [crosstalk 00:10:11].
Greg Moody (10:11):
Yes. To about 211 emails a day on the average that people are getting, and people like you and me, we’re getting more. If you tend to be on the computer-
Stephen Oliver (10:18):
Well, I have an auto responder with me pulling my hair that basically says, “Screw off. I don’t use email.”
Greg Moody (10:23):
You probably still get about 200, even with that. So if you tend to be on the computer a lot and subscribe to things, you’re probably getting more than this, but the average number of emails, again, the average person gets is 211. So number one, if you’re emailing them and not emailing them frequently, you’re getting lost in the shuffle there. Number two, deliverability rates are only around 20%.
Stephen Oliver (10:47):
They’re ending up in the spam filter.
Greg Moody (10:49):
Stephen Oliver (10:49):
So Google really has two spam filters. They have the spam spam folder, and then they have the commercial email folder, so two different places that most people aren’t going to look if they’re using Gmail, which a lot of people do. AOL is, by the way, worse, just because I don’t know if it’s incompetence or intentionally.
Greg Moody (11:06):
Well, Yahoo too.
Stephen Oliver (11:08):
[crosstalk 00:11:08] a ton of stuff. But that’s being delivered, but put in a place that they’re just instinctively not going to go look at, right? And then you have all the ones they just ash can it and don’t get it to them. That’s what you’re talking about is the ash can and don’t get it to them at all.
Greg Moody (11:24):
Yeah. We’ll do another segment on how to properly email, but that’s why direct mail circumvents that. 100% of direct mail, well, other than post office dropping a few of them.
Stephen Oliver (11:35):
The occasional fraud.
Greg Moody (11:39):
Yeah. But 100% of you should expect that 100% of your mails going to the place, and if it doesn’t, if somebody’s got a bad address, if you set it up right, you’ll get returns, so you’ll be able to curate your list a little bit, but you’ll get the direct mail delivered. And if you do the direct mail piece right, which is what we can talk about next, then the response rate can be very high, especially when you add on. Now this is where adding on email to it, adding on text messaging, adding on top of remarketing and other things, retargeting other things you can do on top of that, the response rates can be really high.
Greg Moody (12:15):
But again, as Steve said here, just dealing with your current clients, which is a pretty small list, so the cost, when people talk about, “Oh, it’s so expensive.” Yeah, but if you have 200 current clients, that’s not that much. And then maybe you have a thousand prospects. Well, if you have a thousand prospects, I’d be jumping for joy if I could direct mail to them on a regular basis, because every one of those prospects is worth a lot of money, even if you just got one appointment.
Stephen Oliver (12:43):
And by the way, we automate all this stuff, so it’s not like you’re actually putting a stamp on the letter.
Greg Moody (12:48):
Yeah, you’re not physically doing that.
Stephen Oliver (12:51):
But before I forget, the idea of 200 emails a day is offset by the fact that the average person is getting four pieces of direct mail a day. And so you’re competing with four pieces of something tangible versus 200 messages that keep getting further down the stack, because new stuff keeps coming in. I don’t know about you, every now and then, I open something that’s so compelling, I print it out, put it on the desk, put it on the refrigerator to be referenced later. Most of the time, even if it looks interesting, even if I think I’d like to, I go, “Well, okay. I’ll get to that later, because it’s not like this very minute I’m going to pick up the phone and call XYZ financial planning.” And then what happens is it goes to the bottom of the list, and it’s gone, right? The number of people who look at email from yesterday, much less from three days ago-
Greg Moody (13:51):
Much less from an hour ago.
Stephen Oliver (13:52):
Yeah, yeah. Which is why you email to them once or twice a day, not once a month, right?
Greg Moody (13:57):
Yeah, which we’ll go over in our email segment, but direct mail, when you check your mail, even if it’s every few days, you kind of have to go through it, because you’ve got bills, you’ve got things, you may have a letter from your crazy grandma, so you go through it.
Stephen Oliver (14:12):
And that transitions us into Gary Halbert, one of the great copywriters of all time. In fact, he did the [Halbertsing 00:14:21]. It was the thing that you get a letter about your last name. “We’ve researched the family history of the Moodys, and we found your family crest. If you’d like the family crest, maybe you get a coffee mug and all that.”
Greg Moody (14:36):
If you’re old enough, you’ll know what that is. But when you get these letters, they’re super compelling, and you think that, “Oh, my gosh.”
Stephen Oliver (14:43):
That’s one of the most mailed letters in history. But his concept was A pile, B pile mail. In other words, you know my routine. I’ve got a long-ass driveway. So I pick up the mail at the end and pull the Porsche in the garage, and I have a trashcan before you get actually in the house. And so I kind of go through it, and all the crap I’m going to throw away never makes it in the house, and the stuff I’m going to keep makes in the house. Right?
Greg Moody (15:11):
People sort the mail over the trash can, and the stuff that’s obviously trash just gets thrown away.
Stephen Oliver (15:16):
And by the way, what’s obviously trash for me today might be really valuable information next week. We’ll talk about that too. So I go over that, but A pile, his description of that was the letter from grandma or whoever it might be. And so A pile is hand addressed, live postage stamp, not obviously a return address from a business. A lot of times, we’ll put my name, address, and have it handwriting or look handwritten, address to a person.
Greg Moody (15:54):
Not a mailing label, not a mailing label, not a Pitney Bowes stamp, like a number 10 envelope.
Stephen Oliver (16:00):
Well, the return address could be one of those cheesy little return addresses that-
Greg Moody (16:05):
Stephen Oliver (16:06):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. That still looks personal. But look hand addressed, live stamp, and then when you open it up, now you don’t want to spoil the effect. You want to still have it feel personalized and individualized, but A pile mail is that, right? B pile mail would be obviously commercial mail. And so it’s coming from, who mails to me all the time? The window guys, so it’s coming to me from window guys or the siding guys, or the various home improvements.
Greg Moody (16:39):
Do an epoxy on your garage or-
Stephen Oliver (16:41):
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. A blacktop. We got a couple blacktop companies that always mail to me at the beginning of the year up there, because it’s big jobs, right?
Greg Moody (16:51):
Stephen Oliver (16:52):
Exactly. So one way to think about this is A pile, B pile. Now in contrast is, what we’re seeing now is what’s working. A lot of people are using postcards. Now, in most cases, a postcard isn’t this obviously or likely A pile mail that’s a letter from grandma, but you can get the compelling sales message out there on both sides. So a compelling headline, a compelling photograph, a compelling offer.
Greg Moody (17:27):
Because they don’t have to open it to get to the message.
Stephen Oliver (17:29):
Greg Moody (17:30):
It’s not in a package, like a Manila envelope or something. If it’s got a mailing label, it’s clear, “Oh, that’s trash. We’ll just throw it out.” But the postcard, then they see your message right away.
Stephen Oliver (17:43):
Well, in this industry, probably the most common is the steak dinner postcard, and so you get the picture of the Ruth’s Chris filet or whatever, and you’re invited to the dinner. We’ve talked about that in a different segment. It has pluses and minuses. There’s a lot of things I don’t like about that strategy. But if you think of direct mail as either using an A pile, B pile, a postcard that’s compelling, and the mission is to get the message to them and not get into the trash can. Or what we like a lot, and we did a separate section on this, is what could be called lumpy mail or 3D mail, and 3D mail, that was the segment we did with Travis Lee, is 3D mail would be your mailing an actual bank bag as the envelope, and you’re putting a label on it, or you’re [crosstalk 00:18:34]
Greg Moody (18:33):
Yeah. It looks really interesting and compelling, because it’s weird. You get in your mail an actual bank bag with a mailing address on it.
Stephen Oliver (18:42):
“So what the hell is this,” right?
Greg Moody (18:44):
Yeah. You’re going to open this thing.
Stephen Oliver (18:46):
Or a trash can or an aspirin bottle. There’s all kinds of really interesting things they can do for less expense than you would think. In fact, we just did a big mailing with an Olympic gold medal. It was really a cheesy Olympic gold medal, and one with a bank bag, and then another one with, God, I forget. But-
Greg Moody (19:08):
When you get the envelope and the Olympic gold medal’s in it, you feel it. When you pick up the envelope, there’s no way you’re not going to open that, because clearly something’s in this thing, so it’s going to make you open it, which kind of turns into this A pile idea that it’s going to make it interesting enough that you’ll open it and see what’s going on in the mail.
Stephen Oliver (19:26):
Yeah. And the guys that do the personalized pens do that a lot, but the problem is it’s so obvious what it is. I don’t know about you, but I usually open it, take the pen and then throw everything else. So think in terms of 3D dimensional mail, where something interesting can actually be the mailer. Lumpy mail, where you feel the envelope and there’s something in it. It could be a Hot Wheels car or the gold medal in this case, something where you’re like, “Well, what the hell is that?” so your curiosity. And then there’s what would be called a grabber. And going back to my favorite on this one, Gary Halbert, is he pioneered the dollar bill, actually it was done by somebody else, but the dollar bill letter. And the dollar bill letter was actually you open the envelope and there’s a one page or a four or eight page, whatever length of letter, but attached to it was a dollar bill.
Greg Moody (20:21):
A real dollar bill.
Stephen Oliver (20:22):
Yeah, yeah, yeah. A real dollar bill, and it could be a Mexican peso, it could be a fake million dollar bill. In fact, it could be a hundred dollar bill. If I was trying to the CEO of Vonage, I might have it delivered in a FedEx envelope and have a hundred dollar bill stapled to the top, because I’m chasing-
Greg Moody (20:43):
Well, I think everybody ought to hear that message. If you’re going for a whale, for somebody you’re really going to make a lot of money from, putting something in a FedEx envelope with a hundred dollar bill attached, it’ll cost you $110, let’s say. Yeah, but you’re going for somebody who’s got a hundred million dollars in investible assets, or you’re are trying to work with their whole company to do some work and do presentations to their entire company, it’s worth sending 10 pieces like that.
Stephen Oliver (21:18):
Well, and it’s worth being creative, right? I’ve heard stories of the letter is in a full size trash can, the letter is attached to an oar. Now you got to make up some logic.
Greg Moody (21:30):
And the letter might say some copy, like quit throwing away your money.
Stephen Oliver (21:33):
Yeah, quit throwing away my stuff. So you have the 3D type of stuff with the interesting thing being the envelope or the delivery vehicle. You have lumpy, so you’re putting something in it that it’s like, “What the hell is that?” And then you have a grabber, so something on the top that sucks them into letter by going, “What the heck? They mailed me a dollar. They mailed me whatever it might be.” And then you want lead in with the … Halbert’s classic line was, “As you can see, I’ve attached a dollar bill to this letter. Why have I attached a dollar bill? Well, for two reasons. One is I wanted to have a very important conversation about your money. I wanted something that would tie to that. And number two, frankly, I just wanted to get your attention.” So something like that. But you give them the rationale. I’ve seen an aspirin packet attached to the top of the letter and, “I can solve all your headaches about your retirement planning,” for instance.
Stephen Oliver (22:39):
But when it comes to direct mail, go back to where we started, is you start with a list, and you start with a list that’s first your clients, one that helps with retention and helps with referrals. Number two is you focus on your prospects, so people who have raised their hands. And the more data you can collect, the more you can differentiate between the ones that are the most valuable and the least valuable from a standpoint of likely long term development. We’ll have campaigns where they come to a page and we ask one question and we sort them out, and then we ask a couple more questions and then we sort them out. And the ones that are super valuable get a massive campaign. We’ll mail them Mrs. Fields cookies and we’ll mail them popcorn and we’ll mail them a big box of what might be called a shock and awe package. And then we’ll put them on, they get a postcard a week for 12 weeks, and then they get another what looks like a personalized letter.
Greg Moody (23:41):
And we’ll never give up on these guys. So we hear some people say, “Well, after a … If you send them-
Stephen Oliver (23:46):
29 days I give them.
Greg Moody (23:47):
Yeah, 29 days, the famously somebody we talked to recently, after 29 days of emailing, which is not even direct mail, not even other stuff, if they didn’t respond, they must not be interested, which is a complete fallacy.
Stephen Oliver (23:59):
We had a meeting recently, what did we have? 40 people on the Zoom meeting. This was a live meeting, and I used that example. And without me asking, we had our clients, one of them said, “Oh, yeah. You were sending me stuff for seven years before I made a decision. You were sending me stuff for three years. You were sending me stuff for five years,” and it’s like …
Greg Moody (24:21):
It proves the point.
Stephen Oliver (24:23):
Greg Moody (24:25):
But direct mail, to add that onto the plan, to your system is really critical. And again, number one, one objection is it’s expensive. Well, the cost per your return on investment is minimal. Number two, in terms of labor, you’ve got to set the systems up. So if you’re going to send the bank bag and the letter and the dollar bill and the thing and the thing and the thing, once you set these things up, you can make 200 copies of them, depending on how many you’re going to do. And then just have them queued up and ready to go. So you’re not printing a new copy every time you have a new prospect and packaging it up. You just have them all ready to go.
Stephen Oliver (25:10):
Well, with the right CRM, you can automate all this stuff.
Greg Moody (25:11):
With the right CRM, you can do it and/or the right fulfillment house, depending on your scale. You can have a company to do it for you.
Stephen Oliver (25:19):
Going back to that other question, remember Sean Harvey? We were having a meeting, I forget if you were there or not, but we’re in the Orlando, whatever hotel it is, it’s in the Orlando airport. Right?
Greg Moody (25:31):
Right. There’s only one.
Stephen Oliver (25:31):
So there’s whatever that was-
Greg Moody (25:33):
I think it’s a Hyatt.
Stephen Oliver (25:34):
There you go. Whatever it is. And they have this conference room with this big round table. It reminds me of Dr. Strangelove, the war room they have, this big round table, and we’re in the middle of some topic, I forget what I was talking about, but our elite team of clients were around this table. And I see diagonally across, he lives in Bermuda, he’s calculating and he’s got the phone or the calculator out, and he’s making notes, one thing or another. You see this kind of frustrated look on his face. We’re not talking about anything that you would need to calculate. And finally, I’m watching him do this while everybody else is like listening and engaged.
Stephen Oliver (26:15):
And he finally goes like that. And we’re like, “Sean, what the hell’s going on?” And his dream was, by the way, to have a penthouse condo in Miami with a garage, so he could have a Lamborghini because he wanted a Lamborghini, but what the hell difference does it make in Bermuda? So he wanted someplace, and I say, “What the hell difference does it make in Florida? You want to drive to the mountains or something.”
Stephen Oliver (26:45):
But he wanted to have the penthouse in Miami and the Lamborghini, and he gets up, and I say, “Well, what’s going on?” He goes, “Oh, I was just calculating. You know how I want the Lamborghini.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.” He goes, “I cost myself the Lamborghini by waiting to sign up with you guys.” I was like, “What do you mean?” He goes, “Well, I figured out the first year I worked with you, I was up by a quarter million net. And that’s the Lamborghini.” I just read on the seven year thing reminded me of that, because it was the funniest thing. And even the setting, we’ve got it on video somewhere. We got to pull it out just for entertainment. But see-
Greg Moody (27:21):
That would be good for …
Stephen Oliver (27:24):
But see, that’s the norm in many cases is you’ve been educating them and dripping on them for a year, in Sean’s case, in seven years, like Marni, and three years, like Ken just a couple days ago were reporting, and there’s a couple of others who were like, “Oh, yeah, yeah. Five years and whatnot.” So you don’t give up on them, and again, you got to know what the lifetime value, you got to know what the immediate value, you’ve got to track ratios on a long term basis.
Stephen Oliver (27:53):
And by the way, if somebody in Pakistan in the middle of the night fills out a form that has 22 cents to their name, I’m not going to be sending them FedExes with hundred dollar bills on it. But if you have good data and you’ve got a good prospect, then you ramp up the level of attention. And nowadays, it’s so easy, right? We have systems where the data source, like Data Axle, will do this now where the data source is linked to the CRM, and we can go in and pull the data together, look at what the profile is of the person, pull them up in LinkedIn now, and know enough information to know this is a 12 year old in South Asia somewhere or something versus it’s a C-suite executive.
Greg Moody (28:42):
Yeah. It’s kind of scary that we know that much information, but from a business point of view, we love it.
Stephen Oliver (28:47):
Oh, and by the way, you can Zillow their address, so you know the value of their house, when they bought it, when it was last sold. There’s all kinds of data that you …
Greg Moody (28:55):
Yeah. So you have access to this information. You want to take advantage of it so that you can do the best job you can for all these things. But using direct mail in these cases is critical for your success, and you can’t ignore it. Well, you can ignore it, but you’ll be missing out on a lot of leverage that you will get a lot of results from. And what you said a minute ago is knowing the client value that you have, which we covered in a different segment, is what’s critical. A lot of times we talked to advisors and this objection about direct mail being too expensive is what’s a misunderstanding of their own business. If you’re going to make, let’s say, $5,000 the first year and maybe $100,000 over the lifetime value over 20 years from a client, spending a few, even a thousand dollars or a couple thousand dollars or more yeah, we spend more money than that.
Stephen Oliver (29:48):
But if you spend a thousand dollars to get them, you have a 500% return the first year. And most advisors we work with would be jumping up and down and doing the hula hoop if they’re getting their clients 10% or 11% annual return.
Greg Moody (30:01):
Stephen Oliver (30:02):
And so maybe to wrap up on this is anytime you’re thinking about follow-up systems, anytime you’re thinking about an effective way to communicate either to an individual or to a group, we know that face-to-face is the best, but in many cases, you’re not going to do that frequently enough with a client, or you’re not going to be able to, or maybe want to get in the car and go drive to somebody’s home and knock on the door and say, “Hey, you visited our website.” And on the phone is second best, but then you end up with text messaging, direct mail, email is down the list, in my opinion, like a long way below those two, and then you have retargeting, Google and Facebook, and there’s automated voicemail.
Greg Moody (30:48):
And there may be some other ones that come up in the future, but you’ve got to make sure you include all these in your repertoire.
Stephen Oliver (30:52):
Messenger, Facebook messenger.
Greg Moody (30:54):
Yeah, exactly. It doesn’t mean you don’t use email, but we’ll cover that at a different time.
Stephen Oliver (30:58):
Yeah. But the final thing to keep in mind is differentiate lists, start with the ones that are already engaged with you, either they’re a prospective client or they’re a current client, and then look at cold list. But within those lists, differentiate real clearly, because just mailing to that neighborhood over there, where there are three-car garages and that they’re on the golf course, it gets you a little bit, but it doesn’t get you very far. And as long as you know the numbers, then you’ve got to craft the mail piece appropriately. But the most important thing is to get it open, and then it’s the offer that’s in there. And again …
Greg Moody (31:40):
Get them to respond to it.
Stephen Oliver (31:41):
Every now and then, I see even a big financial company do a halfway decent job getting me to open it. And of course, I keep them all anyway, but to get me to open it. But then the offer is impotent, right? It is, “Oh, and if you find this interesting, give us a call.” “Okay, you’re putting me to sleep.” If you want this free gift, if you want to come to this seminar that’s coming up in seven days, if you want to come … It’s got to be something that is perceived to be valuable.
Greg Moody (32:12):
Perceivable value has a time that either there’s a deadline or there’s some kind of reason why I should call them now.
Stephen Oliver (32:16):
Greg Moody (32:17):
Stephen Oliver (32:18):
Yeah. We’ll wrap it up on that. But it’s a good primer to begin with with direct mail. Obviously, it’s a big topic, and I think I could classify us as experts on the topic.
Greg Moody (32:32):
Stephen Oliver (32:32):
On copy and lists and so forth. But we can help you with all of that, and anything that’s out of our expertise, I’m not sure what it would be, but we can point you at the right people.
Greg Moody (32:41):
Well, we can help you outsource it, so that you don’t have to do the whole job.
Stephen Oliver (32:45):
Well, and the automated.
Greg Moody (32:47):
And get it automated.
Stephen Oliver (32:49):
Okay. Well, thank you very much, and we’ll wrap this up.
Greg Moody (32:52):
All right. See you next time.