Copywriting And Direct Marketing Master Class: Revelations From The Book Moneyball

“If you are going to pay these guys $150,000 a year to do this, we should at least know how good they are… “

Bill James

1977 Baseball Abstract.

“If you are going to spend $5,000 on a single trade journal ad, then we at least want to know how many responses we get.”

Zac Nelles’ direct marketing corollary.

That quote pretty much sums up why Bill James is so important to direct marketing. This isn’t new but it was the first time I was able to grasp just how powerful paying attention to the right information is.

Most of us have seen the movie Moneyball and are familiar with Billy Beane and the Oakland A’s ability to punch with the best despite one of the lowest salary caps in the league. What is not really covered in any great detail in the movie, are the men led by Bill James who make this possible.

When they are able to draft league leading hitters in the junk rounds of the draft, pluck pitchers out of ‘single A’ ball teams who are able to dominate at the Major League level, you have an unfair advantage. It is all done by knowing which stats reflect actual performance. The canonical stats used in baseball do not help – Beane and the A’s don’t use them and are able to beat better teams because of it.

By tracking your marketing you are able to punch above your weight.

You know that one version of an Ad will generate leads at $50 a pop while another at $25, when sent to the same list.

Which ad do you run and which do you scrap? Well you’d never know unless you pay attention to your stats.

All in all a simple thing to do but most of us blatantly ignore doing it. I just met with a client, who would tell me things like “we stopped doing ‘X’ because we weren’t happy with the results.”

“Why?”

“Just cos… “

No bothering with hard data, no rational decision – based on the fact that it increased costs by X and that was unacceptable.

Just an arbitrary decision. Many times, even though it is emotionally unappealing it may actually make statistical sense to do it.

Big data is just in its infancy outside of its own little world. The guy who can crunch numbers and pick statistical trends is more highly prized than the ad sales guy by many institutional marketers. Soon you’ll be competing against Moneyball operations with much deeper pockets than yours.

Then what could have been an edge for you will turn into a nightmare. People who know what they can spend to get a customer will bully the ignorant around.

You’ll still be able to create a better ad, you just need another skill before you can really take advantage of it.

What is Email Marketing?

The definition of email marketing is using the email to do direct marketing as a means of commercial communication with other businesses or individuals.

Email marketing can be used by businesses to improve a relationship with an existing customer. These campaigns usually consistent of regular newsletters or updates generally just keeping existing customers informed about what is going on or events or opportunities that may be coming up. The email could include a coupon or other incentive specifically directed at returning customers or maybe a satisfaction or new product survey or questionnaire to keep the existing customer engaged and aware you care about his opinions of your business.
Can be used to introduce your business, products or services to potential customers for the purpose of generating new customers and new sales. These campaigns are generally more product or services oriented and often contain a website link where new customers could find out more about your business, products, and services or order the product or service.
Email marketing can be used to advise existing and potential customers of new products, sales, and promotions in the hope of generating more sales. These campaigns are generally driven by the introduction of a new product or service or an improvement on an existing product or service or frequently are promoting a sale or other specific opportunity.
A successful campaign is all about the subscriber list. You can develop a great campaign but you have to have a good list of email addresses of interested subscribers to send the campaign materials to. This is relatively easy if you are interested in a campaign directed at existing customers and a bit more challenging if you are prospecting for new customers.
Once you have your list you need to select an software package or host solution. If you are targeting a small list of subscribers and sending something out once or twice a year then you may be happy with a hosted email marketing service. If you have an ongoing campaign to a large list or multiple lists of subscribers then you probably need an software package that you can self-host.

Email marketing software will allow you to get your campaign up and running fast and will make ongoing list maintenance and sending new campaign messages automatic eliminating many of the tedious tasks of past email marketing campaigns.

There are actually free basic marketing software packages available. Just type “free email marketing software” in your favorite search engine and check out the options. Many of the free versions are pretty basic but if you are just getting started they may have what you need.

You can purchase more sophisticated software packages to meet larger more complex business marketing campaign goals. When selecting an software packages consider not just the applications you will need today but make sure the software has applications you will need as your campaigns grow and your lists expand. You don’t want to get started with one software product now only to have to switch because you need different applications. That would be an expensive and time consuming mistake.

Why Postcards Save Marketing Dollars

Aren’t we all looking for inexpensive marketing ideas that actually work? With all of the available options and varying costs, it can be a scary task. Direct marketing is increasingly favored due to its targeted methods and measurability, and postcard marketing, a growing sub-set of the trend, is no exception. Many companies have abandoned the idea of sending sales letters. Postcards are now the premier choice when it comes to getting more bang for your buck, and here’s why:

Postcards are direct and detailed.
With postcard marketing, your message goes straight to your audience. Multiple mailings in one campaign can acquire even more awareness. The small space obliges your communication to be brief and concise, so it boasts increased visibility. Plus, direct mail recipients don’t have to open a postcard, or speculate who it’s from–The message is right in front of them, so they’ve basically finished reading it as soon as it’s in their hands. Pretty cool, right?

Marketing design, simplified.
Have you ever had to create your own marketing material from scratch? If you’re not a designer by trade or at the very least have a creative mind to begin with, this can be an extremely tough job. Today’s better part of postcard marketing sites offer free templates that can also be used to easily integrate your own artwork and logos. You can have your postcard created and ready to send in minutes!

No new ink cartridge necessary.
Those of you who have produced sales or marketing letters before and thought “It’s just a few hundred, I’ll save money and print them myself,” know this pain all too well. You’re changing your ink cartridge (or worse, running out to buy a new one) before the job is even done, not to mention it doesn’t look as nice as you hoped, and that printer takes forever! Smart marketers visit the one-stop-shop sites to get their piece created, printed, and sent with only one visit.

Target your ideal senders.
Top companies that offer postcard marketing services give the opportunity to upload your own list of current clientele, as well as provide list services to acquire new ones. You can choose the exact demographics and location for your postcard’s destination. Some even get as detailed as income rates, home values, number of vehicles, and the list goes on! These specifications will give you a much better return rate than simply dropping your message in any old mailbox.

Save on Postage
Back to the idea of sending postcards in place of letters-it makes perfect sense when, on average, postcards are around 20 cents less to send. In the scheme of one postcard or letter it may not seem like much, but do some quick math and multiply that by the number of pieces you’re mailing. You can save hundreds, or even thousands of dollars depending on the size of your mailing.

Time is Money
It’s a great cliche, we know, but one of the truest that ever was. But give some thought to how much time it would have taken you, or the employee you’re paying, to carry out the same tasks with a letter. The time it takes to design your piece, have it printed, fold the letters, stuff and seal the envelopes, stick on address labels (or-gasp! -writing addresses if you’re not label savvy), and put a stamp on every single letter. Whew! Fortunately, the technology that’s emerged in today’s marketing automation eliminates this work…so why not take advantage?

After discovering one of the best ways to deploy direct marketing without breaking the bank, it’s time to build your postcard and cross “marketing” off this month’s to do list!