Why Little Details Matter in Direct Mail Sales Success
Direct marketing is a business of little details.
The other day, I came across a great story of the importance of little details in copywriting and marketing… and how paying attention to the little details will have a huge positive impact.
In René Gnam’s Direct Mail Workshop, he talks about direct mail pieces he wrote for a steel storage container company.
This particular company made steel storage barns used on farms. They looked like gigantic corrugated road culverts that you could drive through in a forest-green John Deere farm tractor with big rimmed yellow wheels.
Anyway, the first year René just wrote the ad piece the way the steel company wanted. And results where so-so.
But later on, he fought back and insisted to the company executives they use pictures of the steel structure with holes poked in the sides with windows and curtains.
They balked and laughed at this. They joked about cattle needing to look out the windows. But René persisted. And the company did poke holes in the steel buildings. And they used pictures of the buildings that had holes with windows and curtains in ads.
And you know what happened?
Sales Shot Up Dramatically!
As a copywriter in the business of little details, René found an overlooked secret. Not even the people working at the company realized it… but it was hiding in plain sight.
He knew that in 80% of sales to farm businesses, women usually signed the checks.
René knew he had to appeal to the farmer AND the farm wife. And the ads of steel structures with attractive looking windows and curtains appealed to the farm wives who signed the checks.
It wasn’t just old man farmer making buying decisions for the farm. Left up to him, he’d probably laugh like the executives did and insist cattle didn’t want to look out the windows.
As a copywriter, I’m reminded of the importance of knowing and ferreting out overlooked golden nuggets of information from my background working in Information Technology.
In IT departments, purchases at and above a low four-figure amount are run up the flagpole for approval. It may need to be signed off by two or three people. The higher the price, the higher up the pole.
By the way, IT doesn’t have exclusive rights on the approval flagpole. It’s true of almost all business-to-business purchases.
Why should you care? Because little details make the difference in the efficacy of your marketing…
Don’t Commit this Fatal Advertising Sin
The language of the copy, selling points and benefits need to be conveyed differently to different people all the way up the flagpole.
For example… in many companies, IT reports to a Vice President or Chief Financial Officer. And frankly, these people tend to be black and white, bottom line oriented.
If you use a single marketing piece for all these different people — it would be a recipe for failure.
IT techs want to know about things like hardware and software requirements… how the doodad will make life easier. The CFO usually doesn’t care about gigabytes and programming languages… he wants to know about labor cost savings and return on investment.
And like the farm wife, the VP or CFO is probably the same person signing the checks.
It’s foolish, maybe even fatal to ignore him and his wants.
A savvy marketer would use three or more marketing pieces. One aimed at each role to help move and close a sale. A piece for the IT technician, one for the IT manager and yet another for the CFO or President.
Like we talked about last time, these pieces get pulled out of your big box for sales presentations.
Good marketing pieces with strong copy are guaranteed to break through the ocean of sameness used by all your competitors. They’ll help you close many more sales.
And if you’re in need of filling your toolkit with effective B2B marketing pieces that bring in more leads and close more sales, contact me and let’s discuss.