Direct Mail Approach That Brought Me 4-6 Appointments a Week
This is a step by step approach that can get about 20% appointments for your coaching/consulting business. And I’ve had some coaches tell me they got a lot more. Send 20 of these weekly, and get 4 appointments a week, 30 and get 6.
This is something I’m sharing in my new book “Secrets to $100K+ Coaching/Consulting Business: Get Clients Faster and Easier” but I thought I’d share it here for you that follow my blog.
I’ll give you the process, you fill it in with your “most wanted result with a huge value”. This process works extremely well when you put something in it that really attracts your clients. I’ll guide your through both the process, and the “client attracting” inserts.
Most of you have heard me say that there are simple steps in marketing, here’s one of the most important: A.I.D.A.
- Attention –if you don’t get their attention within 3 seconds, they won’t even read, or hear anything else you say. This is the first critical step. The following steps really get the attention of those receiving this direct mail.
- Interest — This is where you give them the information that they WANT. In the direct mail below we’ll provide them with some of your most valuaable how-to’s raising you to status of Advisor I need to meet.
- Desire — Even after providing the information/interest you have to increase the desire until they are like a kid in front of the Christmas tree, can’t wait to get that present open (you).
- Action, Call to Action — Even if you’ve done everything else extremely well, andyou have them prancing around waiting to get to you, sometimes it’s hard for coaches to understand that if you don’t ask for what you want them to do . . . it almost never happens. So each of these steps is critical.
The whole process I’ll show you from end to end follows the steps, get attention, give them very valuable information, build the desire higher, and then a call to action that gets you an appointment. That’s the wrap around the whole thing. However, we’ll use the A.I.D.A. approach inside of that. You’ll provide some very valuable information that builds interest and desire, and that will contain A.I.D.A. as well. We’ll send them some articles that have a great title that gets their attention. Contain great valuable information, build desire showing them just how valuable this has been for your clients with what they got, and a final call to action for each of those articles.
So let’s get started.
Get Their Attention
Actually, we are going to do something different than I usually do to get attention. Normally we put an eye catching headline, something about results and a huge value. In this case we are going to do a slightly different attention getter up front, but we’ll use the attention getter headlines in the articles we provide them.
In any case, we are going to send a series of 3 to 5 letters to your target ideal prospect, hand written. If you received a hand written letter from someone wouldn’t you read it all of the way through? Yep, most just HAVE to read it.
Usually a handwritten letter is a very personal letter, an important one. Most of them receive 100’s of marketing letters a month that get about 3 seconds of their attention while standing over the circular file. No not that one, no, no, nope, ,throwing each one away in 3 seconds or so. But your hand written letter, will almost be guaranteed to, first, be hung onto in that morning ritual, and be put ON THE TOP of their mail to be read first.
That’s exactly what any ATTENTION steps should be doing. Now, it’s important to deliver something valuable so you hold their attention. Your hand writing approach will do something else. As he reads it, he WILL REMEMBER you out of that whole pile. Of course, attention spans today are really short. So we’ll have to keep jogging his memory about you, and how valuable you are for quite some time. We’ll send him more than one letter until he not only remembers you, but will remember why he should get to know you, and maybe even hire you.
We will write a series of 3 to 5 letters, all but the last one will be handwritten.
But first, who do these go to? Your IDEAL, perfect client. I’ll cover how to find that ideal client in another blog post, and in my book. Just finding that ideal client could be a book in itself.
For instance, I’ve sent these to VP’s of $10M to $20M architectural firms. I’ve had coaches I’ve coached send them to their ideal life coaching prospects, business coaches sending to owners of small businesses and excutives in larger companies, career coaches sending to executives who are working and unemployed people. Pick your ideal client.
By the way, if you don’t have your own list to send to (I’ll help you build it later), then here’s a couple of really good places to get a mail list of ideal clients.
- Reference USA is a list of businesses, business owners, executives in companies of all sizes from $500K to $1B, and individuals, home owners. It has all sort of additional information such as how long in business, or how long at this address, how much they make, etc. Enough to get somewhat close to your ideal client. It’s available at most public libraries as an online resource. If you have a library card you can access it online, and download lists to your computer where you can do what you want with that list, such as set up an automated print list to address the envelopes.
- Another good resource is to call a list company, easily found on the internet (actually Reference USA does this to). For instance if your target is retired executives (for you life coaches, an ideal client because they usually have the money and the desire to use it to further themselves), then you can ask the list company for advice. How do I find retired executives with this amount of wealth? They’ll most likely tell you that they either subscribe to these magazines and provide you with a list right there in your area, or however big your target area, or they’ll suggest a buying pattern and another list of where they hang out.
In any case, lists are readily available for you to find your ideal client.
Next comes, “writing the letter.” Here’s an example of the first one to go out. Feel free to copy this one exactly, except for the “what you do” part. I’ve played with a lot of different approaches, but the important part of this is, handwritten, and keeping it from looking like any old advertising letter they get. So, for this one, we’ll downplay a bit. You’ll get to strut your stuff in the stuff that comes in the next series of letters.
We’ll be sending a letter a week. After the first, introductory, letter, we’ll send 3 or 4 letters with an article you wrote, either published somewhere, or just wrote and printed out for this. Better to used published ones, but either can work. The published ones establish you even more as “an expert”, and “recognized”. Sometimes I used prepublished articles, and sometimes I may actually write those articles just for this series of letters and go place them on something like EzineArticles. It takes 1 to 2 days to get them published, so if you started writing 3 to 4 of these as you wrote your first introductory letter, they’d be published long before your next letter goes out. Or even if you write one a week as they are needed for the next letter.
Basically the letter goes something like this. NOTE: the brackets are my comments.
I’ve been working with local ________ (name the type of person, business that they are.) Helping them get ________ (name the measurable result, can be how many times, how many dollars (but make the dollars fit the size of this client) like you for _____ years (if you don’t have much experience, then leave this out, or just say “for some time now”.)
I’d like to share some things that have impacted other businesses I’ve worked with over the next 3-5 weeks.
I’ll send you ways to grow your business (or whatever it is you do). Watch for them. (this is your call to action).
DO NOT put your contact information at the top like normal. This is to be kept ABOUT THEM. You will place your contact information only at the very bottom.
By the way, handwriting these letters can be a real pain. We’ll be doing about 20 to 30 of them a week for 3-5 weeks. So, I suggest that you write the letter like a form letter. Hand write the body of the letter, leaving room for the TO address, name your are sending to, today’s date, and anything else that is personal to THIS ONE target client.
Then make copies. As long as your copies are good and look as close to a personally hand written letter as possible.
Then, for each target letter, hand write who you are sending this to on each letter and date.
The ONLY thing typewritten on this page is the footer with your contact informatio
Letters 2, 3, and 4, and maybe 5
Every week you’ll send follow up letters that have your most impressive articles attached. Keep in mind, what works is RESULTS, and HIGH VALUE. So don’t discuss such things as coaching, processes, who you are.
Those don’t really impress anyone UNTIL they know what kinds of high valued results you produce. That will impress them.
We’ll get to how to write your articles later.
For now, let’s write letters for the follow up that each have another article attached. All of these letters are the same except for the article.
This is the ____ (number) of the series of letters on “how to ___________________ (name what they will learn how to, make it results, high value, DON’T USE A PROCESS here)?
I hope you enjoy the attached article I published, and please make sure that if it fits with what you do, feel free to just use it, and let me know how well it worked for you. That’s the only thing
I ask for sharing this with you”
Do this just like you’ve done the others. Hand write the body, make as many copies as you need, (I’d even suggest that you file away a copy that you’ll use for another mailing later, and for the other 2 to 4 in this series). Then for each copy, hand write the name of the person you are sending to, his address, date. And hand address the envelope, and hand stamp it.
Don’t try to short cut this by printing the envelope. Hand writing is a key to the attention getting part. We want this opened. And, on by the way, on the return address on the envelope, send it from you personally, not from your company.
How many of these follow up letters with attached articles should you send? I’d send a minimum of 3 (that’s about the smallest, and you will get more positive responses for every one you send, as long as they are REALLY good.), and about 5 as the most.
Be sure to keep a log of what articles you sent, how many you sent, and how many appointments you got that way. You’ll see, from experience just what works, what content of articles works, how you wrote them, and how many.
I mentioned that I’ve got 20% setting appointments, I’ve had clients that got a LOT more. It all depends on what you say, and how many times you said it. So if you get less than 20%, look back to see if you followed the rules at every step, it’s not about you, your process, your company . . . it’s about what they want, results, and HIGH value. Increase results and higher value, the responses go UP big time. Talk about you, or don’t talk about something this client really wants and the response plummets.
Learn from what works with this target market as you go.
I hope the articles I sent to you on “how to ____________________” helped you achieve at least some part of that improvement, or even better.
I’d like to call you on Tuesday about 9:00 a.m. to see how well this worked, or if it connected at all with anything you are trying to achieve. Or if there is anything you’d like to ask about.
There will be no sales pitch. I just want to know how well my processes are working for others so that I have that information for others that use it. This will be to see if it worked. Did you use it and get results? How big, how much? Or is this something you think would be helpful in the future.
I’ll call Tuesday at 9:00, unless there is a better time. If the time doesn’t work let _______ (call his executive assistant by name) know what will work so she can let me know when I call.
Adjust the time to what fits for you. And, as far as knowing the executive assistant’s name, you could call a day or so before asking for your target person and probably will be handed to the assistant and get her name. Or, call the switchboard and ask who is this person’s assistant. That way this executive assistant KNOWS about you even before you call. You’ll get a totally different treatment than someone calling out of nowhere.
How to Write the Articles to Make Them Want You
As I said earlier, you can write an article and print it on your own printer, or publish a series of articles on the internet or somewhere else. EzineArticles.com is a great place to publish. Just sign up for an account, and publish on their site. Then print the article as it sets on their website.
You will get a triple benefit here.
- You will have the articles you will use for your letters as a “published expert”.
- You will get traffic from your article back to your website. (Even if you don’t have a website, publish here anyway).
- The links from EzineArticles to your website will be seen by the search engines, which tells search engines that you are a valuable author, and give you better search engine positions to your website.
Follow the A.I.D.A. structure for writing.
Attention –Write your title with a specific and very valuable result. It might read something like, “How to Get 5 Clients a Week” for a business coach, “How to Achieve Your Wildest Life Dreams Before You Retire” for a life coach, or any number of things you actually deliver. Just remember this isn’t about “coaching” or about “you”, it’s about results that your ideal client wants, and a value that they just couldn’t pass up. This attention getter will get both readers on the ezine and your target that receives the letters with this article attached.
Interest — This is likely what you’d tell they anyway. It’s the information, the basic “how to”. Make it anywhere from 600 words to 1,200 words. Just make sure to say what is needed to deliver on those valuable results.
Desire — After writing the information. Spend a little time building their desire about how valuable this is. You could say something like, “I once had a client” who struggled with this exact problem, and followed this principle. He reached another $100K, $1M, or resolved this horrible problem in just 1 month when most take years. Just remember, make it a measurable outcome, some measurement of how big, how good, how fast. I’m not asking you to hype up these numbers. This is about an honest result you have gotten with a client, or if you havent, someone has, ,another coach an article you have read. But this is a very valuable how-to for your target client.
The more value you deliver in this article, the more they will want to talk with you. Thats what the “desire” part does for this article. We want them prancing around like a kid in front of the Christmas tree begging to open the presents.
Action, Call to Action — No matter how excited, or much desire you’ve built in them, If you don’t ask them, or tell them what to do, most won’t do it. This is a critical step.
The action IS NOT anything like, buy my services. It is about what your prospect wants. For these articles, it could be as simple as “If you want these results” or “this big of a result” write down on your calendar RIGHT NOW when you will implement the steps above.
NOTE: We’ll follow these up with an even better call to action when you meet with them later. Right now the only outcome we want them to do is USE IT, or at least seriously contemplate it, or maybe if this is an executive at the top, hand the letter down to someone who can and will use it.
You could follow it with another call to action, something like “If you need additional info, or help, feel free to call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx any time. If this is in EzineArticles you won’t be able to put your phone number there, only a link to your website but that will work too. You could add this at the end of your letter.
Be sure to keep a log of the articles you used, and the general “what was said” along with the number of letters sent, and how many responded. Your goal is about 20%. But you actual result will be based on what you say and how well it connects with your specific target market. Get it right and you’ll be up to that 20% or even higher. Get it wrong and it still doesn’t work. Anything in between is your grade card showing you how well you connected with your audience.
Scheduling Your Letters –Marketing Calendar
First, decide how many appointments you want. Let’s say that you want 5 appoints at the end of this series of letters, and assuming you’ll get 20%. That means that you should be sending this series of letters to 25 people. If, after your first series of letters you do get a different percentage, more or less, simply use that percentage from now on and design the number of appointments you want with that new percentage. Over time you’ll get better and better at writing those articles and you percentage will naturally go up anyway.
Create a monthly calendar showing when your letters should go out. It might be something like, sending the first one on the first Monday of the month, and each of the other’s on Mondays of the following weeks. Write letter 1, letter 2, etc. on each of those Mondays until you are at the final letter.
Sometimes I have more than one series going at a time. So I may start one on Mondays, and another on Tuesdays, etc. Now it’s even more important to have a marketing calendar showing that this Monday is series 1, letter 2, and Tuesday is series 2, letter 1, etc.
This can be a handful but it will create a steady flow of appointments for you.
If you want to close a lot more, get the book, “Secrets to $100K+ Coaching/Consulting Businesses: Getting Clients Faster and Easier” where I’ll show you how to close 5 or more times sales.
Speaking of that call to action, if you’d like to have help writing these letters, feel free to give me a call at 816-415-8878, or email me at email@example.com . I’ll help you get clients.
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Helping coach/consultants reach another $100K to $1M within months and to stop thinking small when attracting new clients
Author of the upcoming book “Secrets to $100K+ Coaching/Consulting Business: Get Clients Faster, Easier”