I’m in the process of running a very unique marketing campaign at the moment – you may have never heard of anything like this before (but if I can pull this off, I’m expecting an open-top bus parade around the town of marketingville).
Allow me to explain …
One of our biggest challenges with Scribble Mail (the mailing house that I founded) is getting in front of the right kind of companies.
Our ideal client is a company that is already sending 100,000+ pieces of direct mail per year.
If we can get 5-10 of the right sized companies, we’ll hit valuation and be able to sell the business much quicker.
But once you actually go through the numbers, you realise that the companies that are sending these large quantities of mailings are well-known brands (Sky, Virgin, etc.) and advertising agencies.
The problem is, often these companies/agencies are not open to working with new businesses – they have their little black-book of contractors that they’re “allowed” to work with and they’re incredibly stubborn.
So, trying to run any form of “marketing” to these companies is very difficult – even running massively unique campaigns often fall on deaf ears.
So, what do we do?
Well, most would give up.
But instead, I’m in the process of building a TROJAN HORSE.
If you’re not familiar with the old greek tale, here’s what supposedly happened (stolen from Google):
To break the stalemate of the long and bloody Trojan War, wily Odysseus comes up with a sneaky plan. Most of the Greeks will pretend to sail away, while a few hide inside of a giant wooden horse. Despite the arguments of the priest Laocoön and the seer Cassandra, the Trojans drag the horse inside the city thanks to the lies of a Greek named Sinon. That night, Odysseus and the rest of the Greeks inside the horse sneak out, open the gates for their buddies, and finally lay waste to the city of Troy.
Our plan is to create our own mini-disguise to get through the door with these big companies/agencies.
Now, I’m not planning on hiding in a wooden horse and DPD’ing it to these companies (although that would certainly be unique)…
… but I am planning on getting appointments with these people in disguise (sort of).
Let me walk you through the plan …
The Direct Mail Association.
I’ve decided to set up the ‘Direct Mail Association’ – a specialist association for businesses that send direct mail.
It will have free membership, a website that shares industry news and we’ll print a quarterly trade journal that will contain news, information, interviews with experts and a few adverts (ironically, all for Scribble Mail … and our rates for other mailing houses will be bloody ridiculous).
But setting up this association has two key benefits.
Firstly, it will allow me to build an audience of businesses that send direct mail – through paid traffic and by sending invitations, we’ll be able to get businesses/agencies taking free membership and receiving our free trade journal.
This will be like shooting fish in a barrel.
Because the agenda of the trade journal will be that handwritten mail is the new way to send mail, and our ‘Scribble Mail’ adverts will give them the solution.
We control the media, we control the message, we control the association.
But that’s not the best part of this strategy.
That’s because the second benefit to us is that this Association will allow me to get an appointment with almost anybody.
That’s because, if I contact the Marketing Director at big company XYZ and I ask them if we can interview them for the ‘Direct Mail Association’ about their brilliant direct mail campaigns …
… what will the answer be?
His/her ego will jump at the interview.
They’ll probably book out a meeting room, put tea/coffee on and tell their wife/kids about the privilege that it is being interviewed by an Association for their incredible work.
I’ll walk straight past the gate-keeper, sit face-to-face with this decision maker and control the conversation.
I’ll be able to cut the shit and ask questions like:
“What’s the typical response of your direct mail?”
“Who do you currently use to fulfil your direct mail?”
I’ll then be able to probe.
“Do you send any form of special direct mail for your premium customers?”
“No? Hmmm … that’s a surprise!”
“Do you send any form of handwritten direct mail?”
“No?! Wow – I thought you’d have jumped on this earlier – it’s getting some huge results at the moment”
I can explain that I’m also part of a handwritten mail business, explain the benefits and ask if they’d be interested in running a trial.
This approach will allow me to sit down and speak to practically anybody – because I know that with Scribble Mail – once I get our message in front of them, they’ll likely become a client (or at least run a test through us) as we have a superior product.
Of course, I’ll take this interview, publish it in the trade journal and ensure that is run like a separate business.
But this Trojan Horse approach will completely flip the “advertising” of our services and have these decision makers approaching us, rather than the other way around.
This approach is certainly unique – but this “out of the box” thinking could be the ticket to get the right meetings and convert the right kind of clients.