We all know about lead lists. I’ll bet most of you do one of 3 things: Ignore it, Email blast it or send out a single post card. Suppose you did something outrageous instead?
It’s tough/expensive to do much more than the three things I just mentioned with a lead list of 500 to 2000. With direct mail, you have to put together a piece that will get noticed. How many postcards do you think brides get right after a bridal show? What is going to make yours stand out enough to even get noticed? Add to this, it is proven that you need multiple mailings of standard direct mail before you have any chance of the lead acting on it. So now it isn’t just about sending out 500 to 2000 post cards; it is about multiplying that by at least 5 to get the response you need. Now that is starting to get expensive.
Blast email can work with a couple of caveats. For one, you have to have permission to send them. Any reputable bulk mailer will require that you have gathered the leads yourself. That means that the list that you get from the shows or from bridal mags you advertise in are usually prohibited. What’s more, even if you found a way around the system, about half of those email addresses are bogus or are just junk mail dumping accounts. The second caveat is to get around the spam filters you really have to know what you are doing when you craft your email. That is particularly true in crafting your headline. If you start getting caught by the spam filters you may well find your email address or isp blocked altogether.
Of course at least these two options have a bit more of a chance than doing nothing. Unfortunately, that is what most people do with the lead lists.
Now suppose you really analyzed those lists ,compared a few different lists, pared them down to only the really juicy prospects, and separated them by wedding date? You may end up with maybe 3 leads some months, maybe 7 to 10 for others. Now that is a doable number. You could pull out all the stops to get their attention then, couldn’t you?
So now what? That is where your unique creativity comes in to the equation. How outrageous do you want to get and how much are you willing to spend to get a great client? I read something recently about a house cleaning service that would cherry pick their leads and send the ripe ones a DVD player with a DVD full of testimonials of happy clients shot in their clean homes. Now that is pretty dang outrageous, but if you get one out of 3 and stand to make a good bit of money on their weekly service, it was worth it. They did this once a month and grew their business by at least one or two new clients a month.
Now I am not saying you need to send brides DVD players but there are other outrageous things you could do. I spoke with a florist recently about sending out a small floral arrangement to 3 leads a week. She would just order a bit of extra flowers and deliver them herself. I can guarantee that she will be on that bride’s radar so much more that an email or postcard would have done. If you are a baker, how tough would it be to send out a few boxes of cupcakes a week? Hey DJ’s, how about a CD of the 15 Best First Dance Songs? Caterers, could you invite 4 couples to a tasting a month? Remember, you are only hitting the very best prospects, those prospects that your close ratio should be high on if you can get their attention.
I know a bridal salon that does appointment only champagne shopping on Sundays. There are signs posted and she tells the brides that come about it. How much more effective would it be if rather than waiting for brides that already had been in her shop to book an appointment she started sending out selective invitations to good prospects off of her lead lists. Maybe do a private fashion show once a week for a select number of girls.
Yes, all of this costs money; all marketing does. This kind of marketing is done on a small scale and is highly trackable. It is also so outside the box that you are bound to get noticed. Or you can keep doing what you have been doing and hope it works.