When I owned a fitness club it was next to impossible for people to reach me. My staff and managers knew never to give out my phone number and if someone cold called me they were screened by two different people. No sales person stood a chance on the phone though many tried.
Then one day I received a letter in the mail. It was in a big red envelope with my name hand written on it. There was a lump in it and when I ripped open the envelope I saw that it was a Rubik’s cube accompanied by a letter with the headline “Are you puzzled about gaining customers?” I though it was clever but I scanned through it and dropped it in the trash.
A week later a second package came in the mail, this time in a smaller yellow envelope – again with a lump in it. This time it was a magnifying glass with the headline “We’ve been searching for you”. I scanned the letter again this time I noticed it finished with a free invitation to go to lunch at my favourite restaurant. I once again through it in the trash.
The next week I received yet another package except this time I knew who it was from. I knew this was Dan Kennedy type marketing but the funny thing is that my curiosity couldn’t help but want to open it. What would be the next object? I opened it up and it was a TUIT chip (which I had to Google what that was but it’s a circular chip you give to someone when they can’t get around to something). The headline read “Since you haven’t responded to my previous two letters, I’m assuming you’re too busy and haven’t gotten around to TUIT…”
This time I grabbed the letter and instead of throwing it in the trash I put it on top of a pile of papers on my desk. It stayed there for a few days when one day I was trying to figure out more ways of gaining customers and the letter was right there for me to grab.
I decided to give him a call. I went for lunch and since the letters had already pre-sold me, he ended up selling me on a six thousand dollar marketing system (which turned out to be a crappy cookie cutter system but that’s another story).
The point is that it was the first time I ever bought anything beyond a the price of a business book and it happened through “old-school mail”.
When you’re trying to reach customers you have to understand what the best way to reach them is. Don’t just assume, because getting that wrong will cost you a lot of money.
Also published on Medium.