"If you and I both owned a hamburger stand and we were in a contest to see who would sell the most hamburgers, what advantages would you most like to have on your side?"
superior meat? sesame seed buns? location? lowest prices?
"O.K., I'll give you every single advantage you asked for. I, myself, only want one advantage and, if you will give it to me, I will whip the pants off of all of you when it comes to selling burgers!"
"The only advantage I want," I reply, "is A STARVING CROWD!"
What I am trying to teach you here is to constantly be on the look out for groups of people (markets) who have demonstrated that they are starving (or at least hungry!) for some particular product or service.
Let's take an example: Suppose you want to sell a book on how to invest money and you have created a direct mail promotion designed to sell this book.
- We could mail it to people whose names and address we get right out of a telephone book. terrible idea. The only thing in common that people in the phone book have is that they all have a phone. Some of the people won't have any money to invest. Some of them never purchase anything by mail. Some of them are too busy.
- We could mail our promotion to people whose names and addresses we get from a phone book but only to those people who live in high income areas. This is a little better.
- We could mail our piece to a group of people Like doctors. Lawyers. Architects. Top executives. Accountants. Owners of Rolls Royce automobiles… at least have a chance. This group of people is certainly more likely to respond to our pitch than the first two groups.
- We could mail our promotion to a list of upper income people who are proven mail order buyers. mail order buyers of anything are better than almost any group of non-mail order buyers. that gives us a reasonable shot at success.
- We could mail our promotion to a group of wealthy people who have ordered some other investment book by mail. Now we're cooking. They are upper income. They are mail order buyers. And, they have purchased BY MAIL a product similar to ours.
- We could mail our promotion to a list of wealthy people who have purchased (by mail) a product similar to ours - several times! they are repeat buyers of this type of product.
- We could mail our promotion to a list of wealthy people who have purchased (by mail) a product similar to ours - several times AND WHO HAVE PAID BIG MONEY FOR WHAT THEY BOUGHT.
- We could mail our promotion to a list of wealthy people who have purchased (by mail) a product similar to ours - and who have done so repeatedly - and who have paid big money for what they purchased - AND WHO HAVE VERY RECENTLY MADE SUCH A PURCHASE!
- Same AND WHO OUR FRIENDLY LIST BROKER TELLS US IS WORKING LIKE CRAZY FOR OTHER MAILERS WITH PROMOTIONS SIMILAR TO OURS.
- THE BEST LIST OF ALL IS YOUR OWN CUSTOMER LIST! your own customers should respond far better than any other list you can get.