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What you can learn from watching your inbox…

I found a surprise in my mail box this week. Something that I totally was not expecting. Before I share with you what I received, here’s a little more about my daily mail opening ritual that may surprise you.

You may think I’m crazy, but I actually SUBSCRIBE to “snail mail” marketing lists because I like to see the kind of things that companies will send people.

Why? Because these letters and offers contain valuable nuggets that I use on a regular basis.

Direct Mail Response Marketing is one of the oldest forms of advertising and it’s something that you can use to your advantage in everything that you do.

Here’s my quick 5 minute inbox review process:

1. What can I immediately throw away? (these are the things that fail to catch my attention and unfortunately is 50% of what I receive - POOR MARKETING!)
2. What pieces can I act upon? (delegate, open, and/or file – bills, invoices, and inquires)
3. What can actually make me want to buy, act upon or SAVE (coupons, promotions, helpful resources, thank you cards, hand written notes)

The last of my three step process is the MOST important and it’s those items that end up in a very special folder that I call my “MARKETING SWIPE FILE.”

The piece of mail that I received this week is certainly something that has marketing merit and is a classic example of an effective marketing strategy. So I might as well SPILL THE BEANS!

This week, I received a PERSONAL HAND-SIGNED LETTER from the President of the United States – Barack Obama.

While you and I could debate all day on if getting a letter from the President is a treasure or a travesty – I’m not here to argue about politics. Instead, I’m here to talk marketing.

The letter was not only personally addressed to me, it was hand signed by President Obama himself. In addition to the hand signed letter, he sent me a signed picture too!

I received the letter because I recently traveled to Washington, DC advocating for small businesses and had the opportunity to be speak to President Obama’s administration about the importance of job creation in rural America. (This is an issue that is VERY important to me.)

While this opportunity was special, what impressed me is that someone in the Administration took the time to follow-up and request that President Obama thank me for sharing my thoughts, even if some of them were contradictory to his Administration’s views.

You see, letters work. Why? You can build an important emotional connection with your clients where MOST of your competitors will not.

For example, you can send a personal “Thank You” note after each business transaction along with your bill or invoice. You can send a personal note along with a birthday card or an anniversary card.

These little personal notes will do wonders for establishing your relationship with your clients. It makes you a real person and gives you a “personal touch.”

And because most of your competition will send their bill, get their money and be on their way, without making an emotional contact, this gives you a tremendous competitive advantage!

So the next time you go to the mail box, think about what you are receiving and how you can act upon it and even more importantly, think about the power of writing letters and what it can do for your business.

Your friend in marketing,
Jason Duff

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