The Magical Power of “Grunt Work”

I had an interesting recent call with one of my Private Client Group members who asked for my input on how he should proceed with a specific marketing campaign. One to a very small, but very influential audience.

I think my answer may have surprised him a bit.

I told him he needed to write a very specific type of letter (and not hire somebody else to write it).

He needed to personalize it to each recipient (not some generic, one-size-fits-all letter) and hand-sign it.

And he needed to literally stuff the envelope, put the stamp on it and put it in the mail.

I then told him he needed to make sure he followed up. Personally. With each person. Himself.

I instructed him to promise me his virtual assistant would not do this for him and that he would literally take his time (valued at a least $150/hour) to do what many would consider “grunt work.”

I think he thought I was nuts. But as I explained to him for this particular marketing effort, I wanted him to make this campaign as “hand-crafted” as possible and I wanted him to personally own it.

Maybe you think I am nuts for suggesting this, especially in light of the fact there are $2.00/hour virtual assistants available to do pretty much everything for you, but hear me out.

I am a firm believer in getting one’s hands dirty once and awhile and doing the so-called grunt work in your business. I think it’s important to stay grounded and not remove yourself so much you forget what and who your business is really about.

Just this week, I sent out a small batch of about 25 personal letters. I printed them. I signed them and I put […]

Use This Stress Card Marketing Idea to Get Attention

Are you stressed out trying to come up with your next effective marketing idea?

If so, I have a powerful idea and one you may have not seen used before.

I call it my stress card marketing letter and it’s adaptable for any type of business – including yours!

Now before I share the details, I have to give credit where credit is due. I first saw this stress card marketing letter in a Gary Halbert 1988 newsletter.

As soon as I saw it, I loved it because of its unique approach and the fact that it shouldn’t add any additional weight to your direct mail piece.  So you can the BANG of  interactive, dimensional mail without having to pay lumpy mail postage.

I am not sure if Gary came up with this inexpensive marketing idea, but it sure is different and it does a great job at one of the most critical jobs of any marketing piece – to get the attention of the reader.

As soon I saw an opportunity to use the stress card in a direct mail campaign, I contacted my Private Client and trusted promotional marketing expert, Phil Brakefield, who found me a full-color, plastic stress card which I could customize with my information and logo for less than $1.00/card.

I then crafted a four-page letter and attached the stress card to it.  As of the posting of this article, my response rate to this specific letter has been 36%!!!

Using a customized stress card in your marketing (like a direct mail sales letter) is an attention-grabbing, “get the reader involved” marketing idea that works in any business or niche for many different reasons, including:

It allows you to use teaser copy on the envelope to tease the […]

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    Infotail 2014 – Marketing Systems & Tools for Retail Business Owners

Infotail 2014 – Marketing Systems & Tools for Retail Business Owners


If you own a Main St. style retail business, one where you have tangible products or services purchased or delivered when customers walk through your front door, and you’re looking for PROVEN and EFFECTIVE MARKETING SYSTEMS to generate new business and leverage your existing customers more profitably, then you must join us for the first-ever marketing systems and automation training event dedicated to retail business owners – Infotail 2014!

I am co-hosting Infotail 2014 with two retail marketing experts (and retail business owners), Jeff Giagnocavo and Ben McClure and during this exclusive two-day training, we’re going to dive deep into thespecific marketing systems, EVERY retail business owner must have in place in order to thrive and prosper, including:

Long gone are the days of doing things the way you’ve always done them.  Today, if your NOT using marketing systems and marketing automation tools to build your business, your leaving substantial money on the table!

Infotail 2014 is not an academic, theory-only type event!  You’re going to see first-hand proven strategies and tactics that are working in today’s economy.  Visit, download our free report “10 Commandments of Infotail™ Customer Attraction and Sales Success” and secure your seat for this amazing business-building event!

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    Marketing Quiz: Can You Identify This High Impact Marketing Strategy?

Marketing Quiz: Can You Identify This High Impact Marketing Strategy?

Here in the U.S., we’re heading into the end of summer and many folks are getting in last second vacations and gearing up for a new school year. With this in mind, I thought I would pose a fun marketing quiz and see if you can identify the rather smart high impact marketing strategy in this display ad from Harbor Freight (click to enlarge).


This particular strategy can be used by ANY business owner in the marketing of ANY business and it’s something of a “game-changer” in its technique.

I’ve got three very cool High Impact Marketing grab-bags I am going to send to the first three winners of this marketing quiz. These valuable grab-bags include a bunch of nifty and valuable tools, gifts and more for those who appreciate my kind of marketing.

To win one of the valuable grab-bags, you must be one of the first three people who identify the specific strategy and reason why the strategy works so well below. Again, in order to be a winner, you must identify and post in the comments section below:

The specific marketing strategy
The reason why it works

Incomplete or half-answers are not eligible to win one of the grab-bags. So dust off the summer cobwebs (or winter doldrums if you’re in the other half of the globe) and see if you can identify high impact marketing strategy in this ad.
CONGRATULATIONS to Jeannette and Stacey for identifying the high impact marketing strategy I wanted to illustrate in this example.


Here are my insights:

This ad from Harbor Freight does a number of things really well and I want to congratulate and thank everybody who posted their thoughts below. You all had very smart and insightful comments.

Without a […]

Is Your Marketing Based on a Big Idea?

Last night, my 10 year old German Shepherd, Zoe, reminded me of an important marketing concept recently and I want to share it with you today.

It all started when I had to give her some medicine and realized we were out of the Pill Pockets® she likes so much (now there is an invention I wish I had thought of). As a quick replacement, I went old-school and wrapped her medicine in cheese. If you have a dog, you know one of the easiest ways to get them to take medicine is to wrap it in cheese.

As Zoe gulped down the pill, I realized her response is the same type of response we want as business owners marketing our business. Specifically, Zoe:

Was intently focused on my “offer” because she found it irresistible.
Enjoyed the experience.
Would definitely come back for more.

In return, I got the call-to-action I wanted (she took her medicine) in a way that made is pleasurable and enjoyable for her.

What business owner wouldn’t want the same type of response and results with her marketing?

One of the smartest ways to do this is to literally take a page (page 16) from famous copywriter and ad-man, David Ogilvy’s book, Ogilvy on Advertising (If you click on the image, you can see a high-resolution scan of this page).

On this page, David asks the question, “What’s the Big Idea?” and then goes on to deliver one of his most often quoted “laws”,

“It takes a Big Idea to attract the attention of consumers and get them to buy your product. Unless your advertising contains a Big Idea, it will pass like a ship in the night.”

Now while David was focused specifically on developing a “Big Idea” for his […]

A good bricks and mortar direct response advertisement

I love it when I see local bricks and mortar business owners create extraordinary marketing and the example I want to share with you here, is a very good one – worthy of your study.

(On a side note, creating great marketing is what I help my High Impact Marketing Members do each month, via my High Impact Marketing Report newsletter and High Impact Marketing Superhero interviews. Click here to get a trial issue).

This direct response advertisement comes from two local chiropractors who I don’t know personally, but whose marketing I have seen for years (and a number of their pieces have a permanent place in my swipe files).

This ad was run in my local newspaper and as soon as I saw it, I clipped it out to share with you.

There are at least 14 smart things these doctors are doing in this direct response advertisement and if you click on the image below, you can see my notes relative to these various points, which I thought would be beneficial to give you (click on the image below to enlarge).

1 – The headline is “personalized” and speaks to a very specific person, with a specific need.

2 – The ad is wrapped around a “big idea” that appears new and different.

3 – The ad contains a short “back story” to help introduce the docs to folks who don’t know them.

4 – A powerful testimonial from a local patient.

5 – Excellent use of a photo with the patient. Makes the testimonial even more real. I’ve been harping on the use of photos in your marketing. This article gives some tips:

6 – Nice use of bullets to articulate benefits in an easy-to-read way.

7 – Addressing the “elephant […]

High Impact Marketing Report – July 2014 Preview

The July 2014 High Impact Marketing Report is now available to all High Impact Marketing Club Members.

This month’s High Impact Marketing Report is jam-packed with useful money-making marketing tips and ideas for:

Bricks and mortar business owners
Professional practice owners
And any business owner that has face-to-face contact with prospects and customers

Here’s just a quick sample of what High Impact Marketing Members are getting this month:

On page 2 – this month’s Free Surprise Inside! is a very special interview with the extraordinary Jim Connelly who shares the two questions that can radically and dramatically improve your business forever! You may have never heard of Jim, but he has worked with some of the most notable business people and entrepreneurs on the planet. The two questions Jim shares in this interview changed my life back in 2006 and it’s my honor to bring them to my Members.

On page 3, I share two must-read books, an example of a very good guarantee and the one simple thing that has a dramatic effect on webinar attendance.

On page 4, I show my Members a super-simple and super-effective way to spread the word about your product or service.

On page 5 is this month’s 5 Minute Marketing Letter and it’s all about the power of tip sheets, how to use them and how to create them.

On page 9, I share 3 ways you can show off your customers using photographs.

High Impact Marketing Members get all this and more this month’s High Impact Marketing Report PLUS a private webinar where they can ask me their most pressing marketing-related questions.   My High Impact Marketing Club is the perfect marketing resource for bricks and mortar business owners looking to stand out from the competition and […]

Marketer’s Alert – New Domains Available!

Imagine if you had the foresight you now have as hindsight, back in the late 1990’s when buying Web domains was a new experience. By simply being a bit visionary and picking the right new domains back then, you could have been a multi-millionaire today. Don’t believe me? Check out the top 10 most expensive domain-only sales: $13 million (2010) $9.99 million (2008) $9.5 million (2007) $7.5 million (1999) $7.5 million (2006) $5.5 million (2010) $5.1 million (2009) $4.9 million (2008) $3.0 million (2006) $3.0 million (2009)

Sadly (and not surprisingly), sex and gambling-related domains are the biggest money makers.

However the wild west of new domains registration is not over and for some time the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been preparing to introduce a whole new range of generic top level domains you can purchase (or should I say invest in).

I wrote about this last year and it’s time for another profitable reminder. I recently jumped on this availability and secured a few of these new domains, including:



And I have one or two more up my sleeve.  I’ve been trying to get all my Private Client Members to secure potentially valuable domains and suggest everybody reading this do the same.  Think outside the box and maybe you can get the perfect new domain – one that sounds like a big benefit.  For example…





You get the idea.  Now I have no idea of the above are available, which is why you need to check with your domain registrar. Since I use GoDaddy, I can sign up to be alerted when these domains are available for registration. According to GoDaddy, there are over 900 new extensions soon to be available.

As a favor […]

Mediocre Marketing – How to Fix It

In my previous article, I showed you a direct mail piece a new local pizza shop sent out that is a classic example of what I call mediocre marketing. The type of marketing that does little to get a business owner new customers and keep existing customers.

As a matter of fact, I laughed when I read one of my reader’s (Danny) comments that said, “The creative doesn’t capture the essence or explain what the product is. They just mailed out a Chinese food “take out menu”, rather than using the mailer to explain their product and differentiate it from their competition and giving you the unique selling proposition.”

In a case you missed the article, you can read it here.

In the article I also held a contest to see if my readers could identify three big mistakes this business owner made with their mailer.

I am happy to report I have a lot of smart readers and many of you go the right answers. Nobody got all three, but a few got 2 out of 3 (Pat Flynn, Eric, Mike Root, etc.). Thanks to everybody who participated!

I will be sending the following readers a gift box in the mail. If one of these is you, please send me your mailing address so I can send it to you.

Greg Payette
Andrew Mazer
Liza Reekie

So here are the top three mistakes I believe this pizza shop owner made:

Big Mistake #1: The name, Inside Out Pizza, is interesting and sounds like a BIG IDEA, but this mailing piece does nothing to advance the story or concept. They hooked me and got me to notice it, but left me hanging.

Same with reader Eric who said, “Missing the story of what the inside […]

What Mediocre Marketing Looks Like

It pains me when I see a local business owner miss the mark with their marketing efforts and create mediocre marketing that does little to get them closer to their business and financial goals.

If only they spent a few hours reading a few key marketing books and perused web sites like this one, they could dramatically improve their marketing and ultimately their bank account.

The example I want to share in this article is worthy of your time and input since it’s a very typical example of what many business owners consider “marketing.” Had this new business owner read my High Impact Marketing Manifesto, there’s a good chance they would have never made the mistakes they made.

The lessons I am going to share in this article and the follow-up article are instructional (and important) for EVERY business owner.

A few weeks back I noticed a local pizza shop, that had been around for years, was no longer in business. A new pizza shop opened in its location, which is off the beaten path and serves a large, affluent residential community.

As I drove by, the name – Inside Out Pizza – caught my eye, however it wasn’t until I received the following Every Door Direct Mail™ piece did I think about it a second time (click to enlarge).


When I had a free moment, I read the piece with several expectations, which were quickly and disappointingly dashed. What I was expecting (and should have been sent) was not sent and in its place was a typical menu mailer.



Within a few seconds I identified three BIG missed opportunities with this mailer and several minor marketing mishaps and the reason I wanted to write this article and share this example […]

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