Here is some copy from a classic business-to-business print ad from
the late 1950s
An imposing looking executive sits in his chair with a scowl
on his face. His hands are folded together in front of him, and his
elbows rest on the chair. To his right run these eight lines of copy:
I don't know who you are.
I don't know your company.
I don't know your company's product.
I don't know what your company stands for.
I don't know your company's customers.
I don't know your company's record.
I don't know your company's reputation.
(Across the bottom, this single line of copy drives home the selling
Now -- what was it you wanted to sell me? Sales Start Before
Your Salesman Calls
Salesmanship And Repetition
Anyone who has built the sales in a company knows gaining worthwhile
new business takes a repeated and concerted effort and lots of contact
with the decision-maker. This is all the more true with salesmanship
in print (or across the airwaves, phone lines and other forms of
Repetition is fundamental to the success of any advertising program.
The marketplace proves out this fact, as does scientific research.
Several years ago, a group of researchers at Harvard University was
asked, "How many times must prospects see a marketing message to
take them from a state of total apathy to purchasing readiness?" After
a year-long study, the researchers responded with a definitive answer:
Important note: Do not assume that your prospects will see, hear
or otherwise experience your advertising every time you expose them
to it. Ample evidence exists that in the din, noise and clutter of
today's over-communicated world, your prospects will miss or ignore
your marketing message two out of every three times you communicate
That's why, in print advertising, if you have the budget to run either
six full-page ads or 12 half-page ads, it's almost always better
to go for the 12 exposures. Another approach is to run a full-page
ad in the publication's biggest, most popular issue(s) and smaller-size
ads in other issues.
Cost-effective Ways To Use Direct Mail To Repeatedly Communicate
Your Marketing Message
Direct mail's two biggest benefits are:
* Direct Mail allows you to pinpoint communication with your target
* Direct Mail allows you to to deliver a full and complete sales
presentation of any length
This makes direct mail a highly effective way to repeatedly expose
your prospect to your salesmanship - the repetition requirement.
Here are three direct mail marketing strategies (as opposed to single-shot
mailing ideas) that virtually any business can put to work to achieve
1. Hit ‘Em Again & Again
Repeatedly mail the same letter or direct mail package to the same
people If your sales letter or direct mail package is generating
an acceptable number of orders or leads, don't hesitate to mail it
again and again to the same list. The basic premise for recommending
this strategy can best be summed up in five words: "People quickly
forget," and "Things change."
The average person is exposed to well over 500 sales, marketing,
and advertising messages every day. And the vast majority of these
messages do not even so much as register a blip on the mental radar
screen. Of the handful that do register, most are forgotten within
Your prospects' lives and the requirements of their businesses are
constantly changing. The envelope they throw out today could be the
one which is of great interest to them in a eek’s time.
How frequently should you do your mailings? Quarterly is probably
a good idea to begin with. But, as with everything else in advertising,
marketing and promotions, test to determine the optimum frequency
and don’t be afraid to try something new.
2. Send a Series of Deliveries to the Same Prospects
Sales is a process of communication, not a single event. That's why
it's a smart move to plan and budget for a series of mailings and
factor this into your entire sales promotion and marketing efforts.
In business-to-business direct marketing and "big-ticket" consumer
purchases, a follow-up mailing program to prospects gained through
your lead-generation efforts will help you convert a substantially
higher number of sales and dramatically increase the return on investment
of your mainstream marketing activities
Before starting a program like this, give careful thought to what
you want to say and how you want your campaign to unfold. For example:
In your first letter, you might highlight the three biggest benefits
of the product or service you are promoting.
In your second letter, take the strongest these benefits and amplify
and expand on it, or focus on the benefit which would be of most
interest to the recipient
Ditto, letter three
And don't stop with just three letters. Depending on your sales cycle,
seasonality, how bad you want that business and the potential value
of the client you may want to send an endless stream of communication
including product reviews or magazine articles. With every mailing
give a reason and a method for responding and ask for some kind of
As any successful salesperson knows you've got to stay in front of
your prospect through repeated contacts. Whether that's in the mail,
by phone, in person or, as is most likely, a combination of activities
the more often you try the closer you are to success.
And direct mail is one of the most cost tools any business has at