Lesson Learned From Inventor/Direct Response Marketer McIntosh On Staying On Top

Here are 10 key factors that Rick McIntosh follows to ensure he is successful in Direct Response Marketing: Market what people want to buy not what you think they should have! Rick talked about how early on he had an invention that he invested well over $17,000 that went nowhere. He currently says that ONE out of 150 products he looks at has the potential of going national.

Make sure the product you have is demonstrable, meaning it can be demonstrated and has a wow factor that makes people want to buy it!

The more simple and direct the USVP, the better! When marketing a product you need a one line Unique Selling Value Proposition or simple.com name that gets the point across quickly and simply!

Don’t hang out with Cry Babies!!! Rick has many contemporaries in the business cry that the economy is tough and there is no money to be made. He quickly made a decision not to be a part of that group and proceeded moving forward. He now has the #1 product in the country with the fushigiball.com.

It’s not usual for an invention that Rick creates to be inspired by another invention. For example, in the case of the Snuggie, he created the Dreamie. So don’t be afraid to be inspired by others ideas and create a variation that fills the needs of the consumer.

The changing effect of the Internet: Rick markets his products on TV. However it’s not unusual for products to go viral through the Internet creating a higher profitability than originally thought. Such is the case with the Fushigi Ball. He literally cannot supply enough to keep pace with the demand!

Different channels of Distribution: For every one item sold through TV direct marketing, Rick and other Direct Response marketers get 6 sales through venues like Walgreens, CVS, Target, Walmart etc. Different channels of distribution increase the profits exponentially.

Focusing on what you know: Rick was asked why he doesn’t sell info products (ebooks etc…) and his response is that he is focusing on what he knows.

In order to make money in the direct response marketing industry you need to have 6 time mark up to profit on a $19.99 price point.

Rick will always do a test on any product to know that it truly is a winner. In one instance, he had kids calling his sales hotline and hanging up costing him thousands of dollars in call center charges! This has allowed him to change up the marketing message to avert this possible career ending disaster!

Lesson: Fill needs that people want, not what you think the want and focus on your core business relentlessly. Rick attributes the book 7 Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra as one of his guide books to success.

The Power of the Business Card in Direct Sales

It can be said best by saying direct sales is a “numbers” game. Anyone in direct sales, especially commission sales, knows the more sales you make, the more money you make. This discussion will evolve around the real estate profession. However, the technique using the power of the business card may be applied to any direct sales industry.

In order to sell a product or service, the customer must be aware that you have a product or service to sell. There is an old adage, “You cannot sell a secret”, and it holds true in almost any industry.

New sales people may find selling a product or service even more challenging. They have not built a reputation and usually do not have the marketing dollars to spend on marketing and advertising. It also becomes very costly to market or advertise in publications, magazines, or newspaper ads.

The following story will amaze you. Twenty years ago when I first began my real estate career, I received tickets to the Super Bowl game. When I arrived at the game I sold my $75 ticket for $1000. I could not resist! I did not want to return home so I went out to the trunk of my car and pulled out a box of 1000 business cards. I returned to the long lines and started passing my cards out. In a few hours I passed the entire box of cards out to fans. Over the next 10 months, I quadrupled my sales and made over 6 figures, just from those 1000 cards.

It then dawned on me; the more people that know what you do for a living, the better your chances are of people requesting your services. I added this to my goal setting list, whereby I decided to pass out 1000 business cards every quarter.

Now let’s analyze the numbers for a minute. 1000 business cards will cost you around $100. If your goal was to pass out 1000 cards every 3 months, that is only 10 cards per day. It is said your ROI (Return on Investment) should be 7%. Let’s be a little more conservative and say our ROI is 1%. This would turn 10 new customers into clients every 3 months or 3 new clients per month. You could go as far to say this would generate 40 new clients a year. Wow!

Pass your business cards out to everyone, and I mean everyone. Your waiter when you go out for dinner, the Dry Cleaners, the shoe repair person, the teenage working behind the Taco Bell counter (Hint: His parents might be in need of your services), and the cashier at the grocery store.

The cost of business cards is lower than any other marketing or advertising cost and should be taken advantage of. This is the fastest and most cost effective way to generate leads and referral business. Add this to your written goals and watch your sales skyrocket.

B2B Direct Marketing – Is it the End of the Road For White Envelopes?

Unless you work in accounts and you are looking for payment cheques there is absolutely no joy to be had from receiving mail in a soulless white envelope; particularly one with a black “cheapmail” frank. You just know that it is likely to be some pointless junk mail. So why do B2B direct mailers persist with sending out their expensive promotional print in bland and unimaginative envelopes when they themselves treat their own morning mail with the same disdain?

The answer is, of course, that white envelopes are one of the cheapest options and sending via the new “cheapmail” operators saves even more money. The fact that their own B2B direct marketing looks like everyone else’s doesn’t appear to matter – just as long as it’s the cheapest option.

Hours and hours will have been spent in meetings with the design agency to get the graphics exactly right on the promotional piece. Creative types will have agonized over the text and everyone in the decision making chain will have contributed their own two-penn’orth to try to make sure that nothing has been missed. Discussions will have taken place over the paper stock. Management will have taken hours to decide on the right mailing list. You don’t want the mail to land on Monday or Friday or near a Bank Holiday so when should it go out? So much time and effort will have been spent on getting the promotional piece exactly right.

And then they go and send it out in a white envelope that looks 100% like almost every other piece of mail that is going to land on their customer’s desk. Incredible!

It is well documented that what the American’s call “dimensional mail” generates a far greater response rate than “flat mail”. There is definitely a feeling of anticipation in the air when a packet or parcel arrives with the morning mail and it is quite likely that packets will be the first items to be opened and therefore gain the lion’s share of the customer’s attention. However, not every promotional mailing can be sent out as a big package – but how about making a small one?

Let’s start at the beginning. First of all, do you really want to send an A4 leaflet, folded twice and inserted in a white DL envelope? If you do then that is your choice. However, if you want those leaflets to be read by your customer then you need to think very carefully about what you really need to send.

There are lots of alternatives to leaflets. Promotional pocket media products are a very good example. Z Cards took the world by storm when they were introduced some 15 years or so ago, giving birth to the pocket media revolution. The genre is even more popular today with many more ingenious designs on the market in the UK. Well known products such as Starburst folds, U Cards, Hidden Books and Foldilocks Cards all provide an excellent alternative to an A4 leaflet or you might just want to produce a pocket sized booklet.

Whatever your choice or promotional product, it has to be better than a plain old A4 leaflet. But how to send it is the next question. Well, how about getting your agency to design a custom made mailing pack. Maybe something the size of a CD case would be a good idea so that it would seem like something interesting when your customer comes to open it. I realise that it seems like an expensive option but as your other method has a very good chance of going straight in the bin that just seems like throwing money down the drain.

Your agency can design a pack but there is no need to go overboard as something dead simple like a sleeve with a slide-out tray will do the trick. Most printers will be able to make this for you but if you need to see examples, one company in the UK, Whitney Woods Ltd, is already offering this service and features photos and videos on their website.

Sending out your promotional mail in the form of a small pack will dramatically increase the chances of it being opened in a positive manner. Making your literature pocket-sized and with an interactive element will help your promotional piece to pass the “3 second test” and should ensure that the mailing has a much greater chance of success than the original option.

In B2B direct marketing, maybe the fate of the white envelope is sealed!