Experts Speak
Experts Speak

Episode · 2 months ago

Personalize Your Message with Direct Marketing to Increase Your Response (with Nancy Barlow)


Direct response marketing specialist, Nancy Barlow, shares today how to make your message more personal and reach your ideal audience in a powerful way. She discusses fun and unique ways to mail just about anything, including books, trees, and even ransom notes. Learn more about Nancy and how she can help you at her website.

Welcome to the experts speak podcast with Michael de Lan. Each episode features a leading expert who shares helpful insights, practical tips and memorable stories that will inspire you, educate you and help you enjoy more success, freedom and purpose in your life. For the next few minutes, enjoy listening to experts speak with Michael de Lan. Welcome to another episode of experts speak on Michael Dlan, and today I am talking with Nancy Barlow, not Nancy. Thanks for thank you some time to be with me today. Well, thank you. I really appreciate this. Well, you're welcome. It's going to be a great conversation. Nancy and I connected a few weeks ago and she runs an advertising in design firm called borlow advertising, and she not connected really quickly because she loves direct response marketing, personalization. She's a strategist, and so after a really short conversation, I said, you know what my audience needs to hear from Nancy, and so that's what we're going to do today. So, Nancy, why don't you unpack for my listeners in viewers, what who you are and how did you get to do and what you do today? Okay, thank you you're my tribe, Michael, you're my tribe. So I've been in business for thirty years. Actually, November of this year will be my thirty one year. Actually, before that I was I was a marketing director for a publishing company in ellan noise, and they did direct marketing and I'll never forget when I got this job I took all this stuff home to show my family and my brother goes and see this is junk meal. I'm like yeah, isn't that great? Love Chunk Mel so, anyway, I got a great education from this company on direct mail and the cool thing I think about direct marketing is that its sales. Yeah, it really is. It really is. And you know, I talked a lot about Dan Kennedy because I've got almost every book he's ever written right and everybody knows his name, and that's really he was the king of that, of direct response marketing. You send a letter out and you hope to get a response on it later this week to pay the bills, right, and it is that. It is sales in a different form. It's not face to face, but it's still very personal, right, it is, and it's super strategic because you're trying to get that receiver to to make an action, right, to do something, to buy something? Yeah, to pick up the phone. Well, and it's funny because a lot of people, you know, they're too sophisticated for direct response. And I was in a Carrad crushop there day getting getting oil change and the TV was on behind me and there was this national company, well known company, and what are they doing on TV? Direct Response Marketing. Right, call or eight hundred number now, request your free kit. That's direct response marketing on a large national basis on a company. We would all know. It's not it's not outdated. It is used every single day. It's just small business owners get tied up into the social... marketing in the facebook and the lies, which are all well and good, but those aren't direct response the way you do it right, right. Can I show you something? I'll tell you a story. Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So, about twenty years ago I got a client. He was a exit planner and so he worked with small business owners and he had a he had a niche of the size of the business, that the age of the business, the age of the business owner, and he belonged to a an association of exit planners. Okay, and there was a gentleman that wrote a book. You know all about that, wrote a book about Exiting Your Business. And so my buddy Dave said, Nancy, what should I do with this? So I put together what we lovingly call the book in the box. Yes, and there was a tons of personalization. So I made him handwrite the label, put stamps on it, stamp it with confidential and he would send ten of these out a week. Has a message on the outside, messages on the inside, and then there was a there's a bookmark and he would write Michael, read Chapter Seven and I'll call you in a week. Ninety five percent success rate. It would send out ten of these, he'd made ten phone calls. He'd either get nine or ten appointments. Yes, yeah, we it's thrilling right, absolutely simple, personal and it's not over the top. It doesn't take a ton of time. Now, and the other thing, well, the other thing. Nobody else is doing anything like that. If my audience, who have the WHO have their books, would implement that what what we would call a simulated welcome and wow, kid, right, and just do it. You don't. It's just taking your top. You know a lot of people say to make a make your list of your top a hundred, your top fifty. Will you can make that list, but don't send them all out at one time, because you're not want to get over. I love that. Take ten a week and you can. You can do ten calls a week. Well, I think you get better and better at it every week. Right. Absolutely so. He told me. He said, if you give me exclusivity on this idea in Colorado, I will give your name out to other planners, exit planners, across the country. And you know what? They all worked exactly the same way, had exactly the same success. And then there was a gentleman in Cleveland that wanted to use a different book and he wanted to it was a book that he would wanted to send to wealthy Christians, and so I versioned it. The message was different, but I versioned it for him. Worked exactly the same way. Ninety five percent success. Right, and if you're listening to this and you've got a book, you can just replicate that whole thing without understanding all the intricacies. I mean there's a lot of intricacies in strategy that goes into that. Right exactly. But one of my...

...favorite sayings. It came to me from one of my clients, is done beats perfect every time, and too many clients wait for perfect. But there is no perfect. Get the silly thing created, send it out and test it exactly, and that is the beauty about direct marketing. Yeah, you have to test well and you get rispect you get your responses back really quickly. Right. And in another thought, you know at the end of this we're going to have a linkedin Nancy's website. If you're if you've always wanted to do when these welcome and wild kids or something and you don't want to create, just connect with her at borrow advertisingcom. She's already done this multiple time. She can get it done and out the door for you in a really effective way. So just don't think you always have to do something yourself, because it's so much more efficient many times to pay somebody doing saying Ay, here's what I got, okay, go and you know and I in two or three weeks it'll be done. There you go. Now you can start really implementing and testing well, and you know I've done other mailings for other types of companies and use books and who doesn't like to receive a book. That's right, absolutely, but I know, I know, you know books are made from trees, right, and I know sometimes you actually sent a tree in a mail one time and why this is really cool. So tell us that story in you in a short fashion, because what I want people to understand is direct mail is great for personalizing your marketing and getting a response, in being powerful to get your message opened, read, respond to do so talk about how do email a treat. This one was really special to me because, I don't know, viewers of probably have heard of all the different fires that we have in Colorado and hands get destroyed and it's it's a really sad situation. And so I've actually worked on two fires up two communities, and this one happened to them near Colorado Springs, and the my client was a custom home builder, and so I go through, I have a creative process that I personally go through, and so I learned this is this is a prototype, but so it hang. If you're listening, if you're not watching, if you're listening, to get this big to this cardboard tubes, you just pulled out. What you just pull out of this thing? It was a birch sampling alive birch tree sampling. He's now I got a faith one so I could show the prototype. But through my creative process I learned that the Birch tree symbolizes new beginnings and cleansing of the past. Now these people that they've lost their homes and they lost their trees. So we mailed these out. I had to buy a list of all of the homes in the black forest and their values, because there was a certain value of home that he was interested in. And then I had there's always a list online of the homes that are destroyed. So when you pair those two criteria, I found out that there were like sixteen homes that fit his criteria. So we've actually struck these things and we mail them out with a brochure,...

...a very heartfelt letter to the homeowner, a lift note, which lifts response. And what that was as a testimonial from one of his clients who was wellknown in the community. And his phone rang and people said, we have been inundated in garbage from builders. This is the only thing that touched our heart. YEA, and therein lies that principle that I keep talking about over and over and over again when you reach the heart, you'll get the pocketbook, right, but you always mark it through the heart, through the emotions, because their response was it's they're making any emotional decision about a house. Right. He's the only one who reached their heart. He became the first one they thought of and the one they felt the best about. That's why they responded. It would take of them. I mean they lost everything. So you know it's a different kind of a sale, right. Right. So all of that mean if you if you're listening to this and you don't have a book yet, first call me and figure that out. But you don't have two mail books. What you need to do is think about marketing, think about how to personalize the message. And I love that last one because he really took into consideration the audience right as you crafted everything there. It had everything do that audience in the message match the audience in the response. was phenomenal. I think so many times business owner forget the audience. Well, they just want to throw up about themselves. Right, go on and on and on and to that out. Yeah, but West, why? What if people don't like direct mail or email or facebook or linkedin? Because it's all about me me, me, me, me, right, wrong, I'm wrong. So, yeah, it's a lot of fun, it's very rewarding. It is, it is well. So let's talk. Let's talk at some strategies for just normal small business oors, attorneys, financial advisors, corent pair shops, whatever you are marketing's marketing at one level, right, and you've got to have direct response. You've got to have that personal aspect. How do you, how would you help business owners give them some some strategies, ideas, tips of how to take what they've got in and go direct to their clients? Well, you know, it goes back to what we just said. You have to really have to analyze their prospect analyze their future customer and figure out what's going to interest them to make them feel like you'd be a good partner for them right, to help them. Yeah. Well, the other thing I want to come back to, and you know you do that to be people think, well, direct mails too expensive, and is in a look at what you put together there, with the tree and all that. That was probably not inexpensive to put together and mail and all that because of the tree and all that and that. But the response way right. More than paid for right and that's the beauty of good direct response marketing versus sing almost been fivezeros on facebook adds as month. Well, what have you spent? FIVEZERO dollars on great, targeted direct mail to your top two thousand and twenty five prospects. Do it in a different way. You to think maybe it's going to pay itself back, because...

...most of the time and direct mail, you only need one or two really exact it right, pay for the whole thing right. It's your is for the home builder, he only needed one, one, yeah, yeah, he probably got more in that and I think that that's how most people are, when most business owners is you need one good client out of whatever marketing you're doing. But you're doing what everybody else is doing. And that's the thing I love about what Nancy does it. She cheat does it a different way. She takes your message to your audience in a different way. This more personal and it is more direct because it's coming through the mail and you knew other things for people, right as you're not just a malehouse now, but but it's it's so powerful, so different, and that's what I love. Especially if you have a physical something like a book or a whatever but you they are all kinds of ways you can use mail outside of just an envelope or a postcard, and those work, but that's what most people think of when they think direct mail. You're taking it to a new level of adding dimension and personalization to it, and I think that is really important. Just think about going to your mailbox and finding something that you would never have expected, right, yes, thrilling for all of us it is. It's like Christmas morning, right, and in too many times most direct males barry and that's why people just you know, they shuffle of them out over the garbage can. Well, if you get a big tube like that in the mail, yeah, they do. If you get a bottle tooth like that or all I tell clients to mail their books and big gold envelopes. You know, there are personal life and people. You get this in the mailbox, I assure you you're opening it right, absolutely, and I've sent in the past. I mean I've sent a plastic garbage can in the mail it just like that. We've sent so many fun things because it it's I always go back to the principle. It's how to disnify Your Business. What's the difference in Disney and six flags. They're both amusement parks. One just happens to have a phenomenal experience. Yeah, that causes you to tell other people and keep coming back. That's how you want to do your marketing. It's not that hard when you've got somebody like Nancy on your team and you can reach out to and say, Nancy, here's what I'm thinking about doing, and she's a part of everything else that you're doing right. Well, and for more than thirty years I've seen people make a lot of mistakes. Yeah, so I help my clients not do that. That's right. Yeah, and if you can come to Nancy and say here's what I'm trying to make happen, here's the here's the idea, what you got, and that's a whole lot better. What I find working with people then saying okay, Nancy, here it is, here's the design, here's the this, here's the this, go ahead and execute it's like that's not really what I can do that, that's not what I do. Use People like Nancy to say this is the barrier I'm trying to break through. How, what do you think? And then let her come back to you with five or six ideas from her thirty years of experience and go look, it's right. Have you thought about this? Have you thought about going offline with some of your marketing?...

I mean that's shocking, that's blasphemy right now, this day and age. Nancy, did you know that everything has to be online? Now it actually doesn't. You can use I call it combined media. A good strategy has both online components and offline components. Absolutely they work together, and so that's exact marketing mix. It is and it's really old fashioned, but you don't hear it very often, but really it's bringing your marketing down to clarify your message, simplify your marketing so you multiply your results. And direct mail is really simple when done well. You had some components in there with the ladder, the testimonial, all the lift, all of that plays into it, but at the end of the day you understood your target audience and you had a really cool way to personalize a piece to them. That's an and it doesn't have to be. You know it's not. Most people think. I think in directly you have to send out tenzero pieces. I don't he send out twenty. I just got to have a good list, that's all. Yeah, and you can help people get that, because most business owners they don't know how to get that. And there's a there's a whole methodology around that. Absolutely, there's a lot of bad data out there. Yes, yeah, and so you make marketing simple, you make marketing more fun and really more profitable, because direct response marketing, when done well, is highly profitable. Right. And so you don't don't get scared away thinking you've got a mail out ten or twentyzero pieces. You target it and get the message right and then you can scale if you want. But really, if you're a small business owner and you're a Solo Preneur, you have a small team, you really can't afford to get a response, to send out tenzero pieces and get, you know, eight Tho people responding to you. It'll put you out of business. Now, and you know, with this dimensional stuff, I encourage my clients to start out with fifty pieces. Yeah, that's manageable. Absolutely. And if you're only going to send ten out a week, yeah, in five weeks time I guarantee you have a customer. Yeah, without question. When it's done well and and and you you're going to get a lot of word of mouth from them, a lot of referrals because you're doing something differently. Right, Yep, and it's just in really, when you put the strategy together, that piece should be one piece of a multi touch sequence, right, so they get something in the mouth, they've got a phone call, they've got an email, they've got a whatever, right, and when you do it that way you're going to really multiply the results in a way that is as we are. You know, everybody says scalable. It's got to be scalable. I'm getting tired of that word, but it's it's something that you can do on an ongoing basis and when you're consistent with it. So, yeah, make your list of your top one hundred or your top fifty, but break it down to say I'm going to...

...send out five or ten a week because that's what I can manage, and put on your calendar. Next Tuesday between ten and noon, you're going to make five phone calls, whatever it is, to make sure that you're following up, because if you just send them out, well, it can work, but it's much better with some follow up. And that's that's, you know, and in our strategy to mail books out to prospects and things. We have a four step process that you follow because it takes some time, it takes engagement and you're always wanting to position yourself uniquely in the eyes and the heart of your audience. Incredibly. Yeah, you've done a great job with that. Thank you. Any other tips or tactics that you've learned that are great for small business owners when it comes to direct response? I think I just I think it's just it's comes down to your list. Make sure that you have a good prospect list. Even if you're just manually creating your list, especially with dimensional you could do that, because you don't have a large number right, right, yeah, and you know, everybody who's around me knows that. I believe your list is your number one asset in your business. Right your prospectulist or client list. Start there and then, when you find them, the message that resonates. Nancy, can help you run, you know, model or clone that list by buying another list to go out. I want to go out to another market. Here's how you do that and do it affordably. You because once you dial in your market and your message and it works, now you're in position to scale to take it to a new level, both online and offline. Absolutely, but making those two work together the right that that's really the key fact. But that comes back to strategy, and you know, Nancy's been doing strategy with business owner for years and years and years, and that's that's why I wanted you on the show, just to expose my audience to Barlow advertising and Nancy Barlow, because it's just she's not the new shiny object that's out there. Right rights, this is tried and true. This is old school marketing, but done in a really fun way. It's not the number ten envelope that's going to get mailed out necessarily. That will still work. They do. But when you when you put when you add dimension to it, sending a tube, sending a tree, sending a trash can, sending a book, sending a you name. It could be wine glasses, it could be cheese, it could be food. I mean I see in direct mail every month with food in it, right to people. Right you do, yeah, and and it gets great response. People love it. One of the best marketing things I've ever done. I'll tell you one more quick story. Sure. So years ago we decided to do a dimensional Christmas card, and so we had a small box and inside that box was a crumpled up piece of paper, White Paper. It was a typed letter. It was a ransom note.

Someone had kidnapped Santa Claus, and so we went down to the local goodwill and we bought a Santa's beard and I cut a little chunk of the beard off and taped it to this ransom note and we sent this out. Our phones blew up from our clients. So one it was just, yeah, really a fun thing to do the and that's good and in people love that, because marketing gets so boring, but doing things like that are different, they're fun, they make people laugh, it's emotional and then they respond. And the challenge with that, Nancy's that's not very professional, Nancy, and, as I tell people, is like get over it. Yeah, I don't want to work with you. That I r no serious of I mean I love a ransom note because we've taken Santa for hostage. I love that idea because people would open that, they read it, they'll remember it, they'll be talking about it. Yeah, on the boy say barlow advertising's creative, right, that's right. Yeah, and that's how you get more business. And so let me just encourage people to reach out to you, Nancy, at Barlow Advertisingcom, and just have a conversation. Look what she's done with different people. The websites great. You can reach out to her, she'll have a conversation with you. Just open your mind to direct response marketing through the mail in a different way to hell help your marketing. So if you're doing seminars, either in person or webinars or whatever you're doing, doesn't matter. What you're trying to do is get your message to a prospect in a way that is compelling, fun, memorable, engaging, responsive, and I think Nancy can help you rategize how can you add this into your marketing mix in a way that's going to be profitable, powerful and in really fun. So, Nancy, thank you, thank you for sharing this. Thank you you. You were so welcome. This is so cool. So we're going to have all the links to your website everything in the show notes. But it's really simple. Barlow advertisingcom just like it sounds. Reach out to Nancy and see how she can help you grow your business through direct response marketing in a really fun way. Nancy, have a great week. Will Talk to you soon. You too great to see a Michael. Thanks for listening to experts. Speed with Michael Delong. If what you've heard today was helpful to you, reach out to our expert guest and see how they can serve you to bring you more success, freedom and purpose in your life.

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