5 Lessons Every Internet Marketer Needs to Learn From Direct Mail Experts

I am an avid information “glutton.” I have read most of the marketing courses out there, and have gotten ideas from almost every one of them.
Too many Internet marketers are limited in their viewpoint. They only want to read and see information which has been produced especially for the Internet. Well, I have news for you. I have learned more about Internet marketing through mail order and direct mail courses than I have through 90% of the Internet marketing products out there.

Mail Order has prospered for decades and it still continues to prosper even during the Internet revolution. You still receive sales letters in the mail. You still see ads through magazines you are reading. If you will open your eyes you will see that the “Death” of mail order has been greatly exaggerated. It is still alive and well on planet earth.

Mail order has withstood the test of time and can teach you how to create a profitable Internet business…if you let it.

Mail Order Lesson #1: Everything isn’t profitable to sell by mail.

You will see many people online who are trying to sell products that could have never made it through a mail order approach. The sales letter is too poor and the concept behind the product just won’t fly. Plus, many of them are trying to sell products which can be picked up at any local store such as Wal-Mart.

These types of web sites would never have stood a chance if they tried mail order. The expenses that went along with it would absolutely destroy their business – the postage, the ad costs, the fulfillment, the order lines, etc. They have chosen a hard road to travel.

The reason they have never realized that they have picked such a hard product to sell is the fact that they have never compared it to a mail order approach. Through the Internet and the free advertising available online, they are able to make money from even the most difficult products and the worst sales letters.

Even though they are making some sales through free advertising online, what they don’t realize is that their time could be used much more productively by selling the “right” product to the “right” market. They could be making 10 to 100 times as
much money by putting forth the exact same amount of effort if they had applied a few mail order ideas to their Internet business.

How does a mail order business choose the right product? The first test they put it through is that it must not be available reliably locally. It shouldn’t be something people can run down to the store and pick up. It should be something unique or something that can presented in a unique way (if it is available locally).

The second test they put it through is that it must be easy to target the best potential prospects and buyers. People do not start mail order businesses and try to sell to everyone. They would go broke. The product needs to be something that appeals to a specific niche market (such as gardeners, model train owners, mothers, etc.).

Mail Order Lesson #2: Target Your Specific Market.

Successful mail order and direct mail businesses target their market like a laser. They don’t just go through the phone book and try to send a letter to everyone listed. They
seek mailing list managers who can help them find specific lists of people who:

  • • Have Money.
  • • Bought a Similar Product by mail.
  • • Spent The Same Amount or More.
  • • Did all of the above recently.

They go after buyers of similar products. In other words, most successful mail order companies don’t create a product and try to find people to buy it. They find people who WANT to buy something. Then, they create something to sell them.
Most Internet marketers have the process backwards. Creating a product and then trying to find people to buy it is the HARD way. Finding people who are ready to buy and then selling them what they want is the EASY way. You may be able to make money the HARD way, but why should you when you could be making so much more money the EASY way.

Mail Order Lesson #3: Use a Proven Sales Process.

Too many people have jumped on the Internet bandwagon and have led us to believe that anything goes online. “You never know what will work,” they will tell you. The way some “experts” talk you would never be able to figure out what creates successful Internet businesses.

Well, I have news for you. People have been selling products and services by mail for decades now, and every single one of them has something to teach you about creating a successful sales process. Some will teach you what to do. Some will teach you what not to do.

The same rules which have applied to mail order advertising still apply to Internet advertising. For example:

1. Mail Order advertisers have told us for years, “The more you tell, the more you sell.” Yet, Internet advertisers have tried to tell us differently. They have said people won’t read long copy online. They have said people are too educated to be convinced by a sales letter. They have said that you don’t even want to use a sales letter on your site. Guess what? THEY are wrong.

The mail order advertisers had it right…after decades of testing their hypothesis again and again. People will read long copy. People just won’t read boring copy. If your sales letter educates the customer and tells them more than the competition, then you will make sales online. Good effective ad copy still works today just as it always has.

2. Mail order advertisers have told us to use a headline on every sales letter. Yet, Internet “experts” have forgotten to tell us to use headlines on all of our web pages. No mail order marketer would even consider sending out a letter without a headline. So, why would you even consider having a single web page without a headline?

Mail order advertisers have also taught us an easy method of increasing our response rates by an immediate 27%. All you have to do is put quotation marks around your headline and your response rate will immediately go up, because people believe the quotation marks show that you are saying something extremely important.

3. Mail order advertisers have told us to write our sales letters like we are writing them to our best friends. Internet “experts” have told us to present a more professional appearance. Sales Letters which have been proven to work time and time again are those which are written in a friendly tone. They use underlining to emphasize key points, shorts words, short sentences, and a personal signature in blue coloring at the bottom.

This same process of writing winning sales letters still works online. You don’t want your visitors to think of you as a big corporation. You want them to get to know you personally and to bond with you. Then, once they know you, they will buy from you.

Mail Order Lesson #4: Keep Detailed Records Of Everything.

A successful mail order business is always testing everything that they do. Nothing is set in stone until it has been proven in the marketplace. They track how much they spend for ads, how many people respond, and how many of the responders actually purchase their products or services.

Every new ad will be tracked in the exact same way. If they don’t keep the records and haven’t done their math, they won’t be in business for long. Just because much of Internet advertising is currently free does not give you any excuse for not tracking even more specifically.

Mail Order Lesson #5: Develop a Control and Keep Testing It.

When you hear mail order advertisers talk, they always speak of a control piece. This is a scientific word which refers to the sales piece which has already been proven to sell. The goal of every mail order business is to continually test this control document and try to outsell it with another piece. Then, once they find a piece which has been proven to outsell the first one, they will replace it as the new control. Then, the process of competition between the pieces begins again.

Do you have a control web site for your product? Have you tested a web site again and again to prove whether it is effective at selling your products or services? If not, then as soon as you are finished reading this manual the first time, start testing your piece.

Once you have a site that is making sales, then it is time to create a mirror page where you make some minor changes such as a new headline, a different picture, a different price, etc. Then, test that new page in the same type of medium as the first page. Compare the results. Then, test some other sites.

You should never be completely finished in testing your selling process. There is almost always a way to make it sell a little bit better. Think about the difference in profits if you find out that a certain product sells better with a $10 higher price. What if you sell twice as many by dropping the price 10%?

The marketers who are usually talked about as “Geniuses” are not any such thing. They are just people who have tested every possible method until they eliminated everything that didn’t work. All they are left with is the BEST way to sell their products or services.

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