A week or so ago, I conducted my first large direct mail campaign to 200 companies. I believe that all marketing channels should be used and the old-fashioned letter has its place in the mix. People are more accepting of direct mail letters than email with its sensitivity around “spam”. I know I quite like to see letters on my doormat – especially as there are fewer of them these days. It means I can read them at my leisure and I don’t need to be seated at my pc. So I researched my target market, put together my contact database and got to work. My learnings from my first exercise?
1. Spend time in planning and preparation. I used Microsoft to do a mail-merge and realised that my database did not have a separate column for Mr or Mrs. This was solved by typing in “For the attn of….”. I did need to add a column for the First Name to merge with “Dear…..”. I also forgot to include the contact number in my final database which I needed for subsequent calls. This meant I had to revisit the master database and copy all the telephone numbers across. So, planning does save time, reminding me of my Grandmother’s saying “A stitch in time saves nine”.
2. Another time-saving tip was to scan my signature and then include it in the letter rather than signing 200 times.
3. Finally, I, along with thousands of other people, do not like cold-calling, even to follow-up on letters. It is important, however and so I have two strategies. Firstly I have hired an expert telemarketer to do the follow-up calls and secondly, I have already prepared an article that I can send as a follow-up. It is important to continue the contact after the initial letter. Not everyone wishes to purchase first time around. Staying in contact refreshes their memory until such time as they may require your services.
And the results so far? Well an email requesting more information and a very polite “no thank you letter”. Will keep you posted!
The Week: Received this link for the video I produced for helpmenow.biz on Skillfair http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMXZEZl5Qm0.
I have spent the week “up North” in Warwickshire, attending the Train-the-trainer programme for Leadership Coaching run by the International Coaching Federation accredited Forton Group www.fortongroup.com. A great week which means I will soon be licencsed to train managers and leaders on How to Coach, a skill leaders find invaluable in motivating and enabling success. I also went to an interview and joined the Coaching Pool of the EEDA (East of England Development Agency) Coaching for High Growth Programme for SMEs planning for 20%+ annual growth by 2012.
Recommended Reading. I have a long list of books recommended to me this week and have this one down on my shopping list. “A whole new mind – why right-brainers will rule the world” by Daniel Pink. A look at globalisation and its affect on the Western labour market. A theory I am keen to read and ask myself if I agree.
Lighter Reflections. I do believe that there are only two or three days in any one month. For example, in March, the only dates are the 15th March and the 22nd March. Why? The 15th March is the first date that I have been asked to 1) deliver a training course, 2) attend a Board Meeting, 3)invitation to an important networking lunch and 4) attend an interview coaching assessment centre for a coaching consultancy. On the 22nd, I have been invited to two network meetings, an all day EEDA preparation day and I have the London Highflyingdivas Forum in the evening. I have this happy vision of my flexible, creative week comprising a day of consulting, some coaching, delivery of my Director in a Cupboard and a day or so for writing and marketing. Vision indeed. All three of services seem to be required on one day! So, do I clone myself, hire a planner/PA politician-style or adopt a “fish and chip shop style, first come first served” approach? Let me know if you want salt & vinegar on that.
You can find more at http://ccconsulting.org.uk/
Follow me on Twitter:-
Follow me on Facebook: