A Tasty Direct Mail Example from Handy Mailing

Direct mail can be (and often should be) fun if you want your recipients to notice and engage with it. I’ve been preaching the benefits of high impact direct mail (as a matter of fact, for a limited time, you can get a copy of my High Impact Direct Mail training for 50% off here).

Some of the best direct mail pros, who create and send out high impact direct mail, are my friends over at Handy Mailing who recently got my attention with a tasty looking direct mail example worthy of your swipe files.  You can click on each of these images to see larger versions.

I am calling it the sandwich bag mailer and being a kid of the 70’s, it instantly made an emotional connection with me, reminding me of the lunches my mother used to pack for me for school in my trusty Gunsmoke lunch box.

Inside the standard plastic sandwich bag was a die-cut insert that looked just like a peanut-butter and jelly sandwich, along with a fun, creative message that my company and Handy Mailing go together like peanut-butter and jelly. For many folks, this metaphor paints an instant picture of connection and can probably be used by many reading this. NICE!

Then there was an old-school style napkin letter insert that was personalized to me and made a special offer for me to try out their services, including a guarantee. EXCELLENT!

Could I nit-pick and suggest they should have made the offer time-sensitive and somehow use the unused white-space of the napkin letter (maybe a photo of the Handy Mailing team eating holding up real PB&J sandwiches)?

Sure, but overall they did a great job and this is a fun, unique example of […]

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    Direct Mail Example: Does Your Marketing Cross the Goal Line?

Direct Mail Example: Does Your Marketing Cross the Goal Line?

I don’t know about you, but I enjoy getting my mail and looking through all the direct mail examples I receive, because each mailer is like a mini-marketing lesson… if you know what to look for. 

Recently, I received a direct mail example that is an excellent teaching moment because I am going to show you how to create direct mail (and marketing campaigns in general) that cross the goal line, instead of being stopped just short.  It’s a fact most business marketing will get somebody to a certain point in the marketing or sales process, and then not create the final and necessary steps to score (get the prospect to take action).

Since it’s football season, I thought a football metaphor made sense and in football jargon, it’s similar to getting to the five yard line and then not being able to get a touchdown.  All the work to get them to a certain point has been done, but not the necessary final effort to make the touchdown.

This particular direct mail example exemplifies this short-coming.  Let’s walk through both the letter and the envelope it came in. The blue notes are my notes to you to illustrate the good and bad points

When I first glanced at the envelope, it looked personal, except for the postage indicia which gave it away as something other than “me to you” mail.  The envelope contained real handwriting, taking it to the five yard line, but then the company used a postage meter and did not include a return address, which prevented the score.  I would prefer to have seen a real stamp used and some sort of return address information.  While many marketers like using “blind” envelopes with […]

3 Easy Ways to Engage Readers

In this quick and easy to read article, I want to share a simple, yet powerful strategy to engage readers of your books, newsletters and other printed marketing materials.

I call it the Go Get, Go See, Go Hear Engagement Trifecta.

In today’s business environment, marketers, authors and newsletter publishers face a mountainous challenge to get people to read, engage with and act upon their offline (e.g. printed) content.

25 years ago, there were only three media competing for our attention – print, TV and radio.

Now, we have a tidal wave of online opportunities to leverage (and compete with) and if you are still doing things the way you’ve always done, I’m sure you’ve seen diminishing results.

Offering just a single path to absorb your content is a mistake and depending on your specific market’s demographics, leveraging different media is critical to connect with your readers.

A simple way to do this is to use the Go Get, Go See, Go Hear trifecta to sprinkle in opportunities for your readers to actively engage with your content in ways such as:

Getting helpful content, tip sheets, exercises, templates, etc.
Seeing online videos, tutorials and webinars
Hearing interviews, podcasts and online radio shows

For years, smart marketers have been using this Go Get, Go See, Go Hear strategy to add value to their printed publications, and if you’re not doing the same thing, you’re missing out.

With my brand new Profit Automation Letter monthly newsletter, this strategy is a foundational part of the subscriber benefits and one I built the entire newsletter around.

There’s only so much value and engagement you can get with just the printed newsletter, so I decided to add even more value and learning opportunities by including additional, subscriber-only downloadable bonus content, a […]

Announcing the Profit Automation Letter

Profit automation is an important goal for all Main Street-type, bricks and mortar business owners.

If you sell your products or services face-to-face and have a physical place of business consumers visit in order to receive your products or services, then working to achieve profit automation in your business is mandatory.

Profit automation is about:

Creating sustainable, long-term marketing assets, which produce reliable results and automatic profits for you without having to re-invent the wheel every time you use the asset
Using effective marketing systems to extract more profits from your existing efforts WITHOUT spending more money on advertising and staff
Leveraging marketing automation technology to put ALL your profit automation efforts on auto-pilot, working for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year!

Profit automation is an important goal for your business and each month I want to help you achieve it.

Introducing the Profit Automation Letter – a paper and ink, monthly newsletter published by bricks and mortar profit automation experts for face-to-face, bricks and mortar business owners.

The Profit Automation Letter is a monthly paper-and-ink newsletter dedicated to helping bricks and mortar business owners, discover smart, effective and efficient ways to:

Stand out and stand above your competition
Create better informed and educated customers who spend more, buy more frequently and refer to friends and family
Create a unique follow-up environment which treats your leads, prospects, customers and fans like a dearly-beloved family member
Build profit automation assets (tools, campaigns and systems you create once and profit from over and over again)
Leave no follow-up profit opportunities to chance
Automate your business with proven systems and technology

The Profit Automation Letter is loaded, Loaded, LOADED with actionable, relevant and timely profit automation strategies, tips and ideas.

Every issue of the Profit Automation Letter is […]

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    Using a Book Promotion Postcard to Sell Your Book (or Special Report)

Using a Book Promotion Postcard to Sell Your Book (or Special Report)

The simple, eye-catching book promotion postcard can be an effective media strategy to promote a book or special report you’ve written easily and cost-effectively. Many business owners have either written a book or special report and fail to use direct mail to promote it and depending on your target audience, a postcard could be a smart way to generate response.

Over the past few months, several have arrived in my mailbox and I collected them to share in this article because in every case, they caught my eye (and one even got me to respond J).

Personally, because I am an avid reader and book lover, the biggest attention grabber in each of these postcards is the 3D book image. For some reason, these never fail to catch my eye. On a side note, hands-down the BEST 3D image creation tool I’ve found is http://CoverActionsPremium.com. Yes, you have to be able to use Photoshop, but if that’s not an issue, this website is AWESOME.

With each of these book promotion postcard examples, click to see a larger version.

The first example is from Ron LeGrand and is promoting a free book and CD combination. This was the largest postcard of the one’s I’ve received measuring in at nine inches wide. In this postcard example, I like Ron’s use of:

Eye-catching testimonials
3D images on both sides
A powerful headline on the copy side
Engagement with the survey
Bulleted benefits list
Use of handwriting fonts

The only thing I found interesting is that Ron only offered one way to respond, by leaving a voicemail on his phone system. Not exactly sure why he’s doing this, but I do know Ron is a very smart and successful marketer, so I am sure he is doing this intentionally.

The […]

Yellow Printable Sticky Notes Get Attention!

I love easy and effective marketing ideas and in this article I want to share one that has worked for me (and others) over the years and is a super-simple way to get attention easily and without a lot of expense.

It’s the yellow printable sticky note which you can print in your office on your own laser printer. These easy-to-personalize notes are designed to look like the ubiquitous 3M Post-it® note. By adding them to your offline marketing efforts, you have an effective and simple way to get attention because we are conditioned to look at these types of yellow notes.

Typically, I like adding a printable sticky note to a mailing I am doing and if it’s a multi-page letter putting them right on the front page so they have to be removed to read the letter. Remember, the more you can get somebody to notice your marketing and interact with it, the higher your response will be.

However, the most unique use example I’ve seen was while staying at a hotel during a recent softball tournament for my daughter. These two pre-printed sticky notes were placed on the bed, letting us know everything was clean and fresh. Neat idea!

I’ve used the yellow printable sticky note for years and they make creating attention-grabbing notes a breeze. What I like most about them is the ability to create personalized notes to every recipient using the Mail Merge feature to create a one-of-a-kind attention-device that is sure to stand out and get read! This means you can stick a personalized sticky note to “Jane” or “Steve” or whoever you’re sending it to right from your own office – in minutes!

You can also add CopyDoodles® to these yellow […]

Sell Them What They Want, Give Them What They Need

As a marketer of your business, I am sure you’ve heard about the importance of aligning your product benefits to your ideal target customer.

Your goal is to address his or her specific wants and needs and show how your product can fix their pains. A great adage and reminder for all of us is to “Sell them what they want, give them what they need.”

The more you can laser-focus your marketing message to a very specific “who” and specifically focus on their needs/wants/pains, the more profitable your marketing will be.

I’ve written about this and taught it for years. This is Direct Response Marketing 101 stuff, yet I would venture to say it’s something a lot of business owners miss the target on. Rather than trying to weed out a majority of people, these business owners create generic messages that try to be all-inclusive.

The result is bland, boring marketing that misses the target completely.

Recently, I saw a powerful illustration of how one big company aligns its products to its ideal customers and I found it so interesting, I wanted to share it here as a relevant metaphor for your business.

As you read the rest of this article and view the examples, consider how you can do something similar in your business marketing.

For the past several years, I’ve been working out with kettlebells and from time to time, I will tweak a muscle in my neck or back. If the pain were bad enough, I would visit my local pharmacy and visit the pain relief section and be presented with a variety of possible solutions for my aches.

There’s generic aspirin, Ibuprofen and racks of other pain relievers, but the one that catches my eye is the […]

The Power of Intentional Marketing

I recently attended a conference in Orlando where one of the keynote speakers was from the Disney Institute.   Part of his presentation was about the reasons why Disney was so successful and then he popped up the following slide.

In case you cannot read it, it says,

“Disney’s consistent business results are driven by overmanaging certain things that most companies undermanage or ignore – and that is a key source of what differentiates us.  We have learned to be intentional where others are unintentional.”

This slide has an important reminder for all business owners about the power of being intentional, specifically when it comes to your marketing and sales efforts (as a side note, I wrote about how to sell like Disney a few years ago – here).

What does it mean to be intentional as a marketer?

You are purposeful in words and actions.
You have given forethought to various aspects, details and outcomes of your business and marketing which other owners ignore.
You consider the needs and wants of your leads.
You consider the needs and wants of your prospects.
You consider the needs and wants of your customers and fans.

Being intentional about the smallest of details and marketing efforts is what has made Disney so successful (so much so, several books have been written about their tools and systems – one I highly recommend is Inside the Magic Kingdom by Tom Connellan).

It’s my opinion that being too casual and lackadaisical in your business and in your marketing can kill your profit potential.

There’s a certain feeling held by many average business owners that “good is good enough.” I disagree. Your prospects and customers have plenty of opportunities to spend their money elsewhere. You cannot rely on being average.

Extraordinary entrepreneurs like Jeff […]

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    Jim Connelly’s Two Questions Which Can Radically Improve Your Business

Jim Connelly’s Two Questions Which Can Radically Improve Your Business

Every so often in life you get a chance to meet somebody who has profound wisdom and life insights – not the kind of pseudo-stuff you see all over the Internet and at various events, but true, real-world, been-there, done- that wisdom and experience.

One such person is a remarkable gentleman, author and business consultant you will not soon forget. I know I didn’t when I first met Jim Connelly back in 2006, through a mutual friend, Nina Hershberger.

During one of our first conversations, Jim shared a very powerful business strategy which I am going to share with you in this article. In this 30 minute insightful interview, Jim was gracious and shared the two specific questions that he considers to be the most important secrets to his amazing success story. I remember when he first shared these questions with me and the strategy behind them with me back in 2006. I immediately took them and used them to create the most successful GKIC chapter in the world for a number of years. This is definitely no ordinary interview!

I am giving you the audio interview and the word-for-word transcription. Learn and use these questions and I guarantee they will have the same impact on you as they had on me. Enter your first name and email below and I will email you the link to download.

More about Jim Connelly

Jim is a businessman with a distinctive business background and his Rolodex of who he calls friends and colleagues is a “Who’s Who” of noteworthy men and women, including Frank Sinatra, Paul “Bear” Bryant, Lou Holtz, Kirk Kerkorian, Jack Welch, and Regis Philbin.

Early in his career, Jim rose to the level of General Manager of the Beverly […]

Can You Spot the Smart Strategy in this Advertorial?

If you ever wanted a great example of how to design a full page advertorial-style advertisement, the example I am showing in this article should be at the top of your list. For those not familiar with advertorials, they are an “old school” strategy to make an advertisement not look like an advertisement and more like an article.

While I am not a customer, with a little bit of research I realized this company is a big-time advertiser with several different ads and advertorials in a single issue of Rider Magazine. Reviewing several months’ issues resulted in many ads throughout the year. This tells me their ads are probably working quite well for them and worthy of your study.

This particular advertorial does a BUNCH OF SMART THINGS that can be used by anybody reading this in their own advertising and marketing, but there is one unique thing that really caught my eye and something I have not seen in quite a while.

Do you know what it is?

Click on the above image to enlarge the ad so you can read it easier and then leave a comment or two below listing the smart marketing strategies you see in this ad (as I said there are a lot of them).

Later this week, I will compile all the responses from readers and update this article and see if anybody identifies the unique strategy this advertorial exhibits. The first person who correctly identifies it will win a book of their choice (I will follow-up by email).

To play along, simply type in your answer(s) below and check back this Friday. Good luck!
It’s very satisfying to see that so many smart marketers read my articles and like to play along.  It […]

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