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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.
 

PR Enclosures Can Help You Win New Business

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Last week, Fire Enterprises (FEI) marketing maven Marka told savvy salesperson Zoot how offering inexpensive giveaways in FEI’s direct marketing promotions can lead to new sales opportunities. This week, Marka shows FEI Team Leader Org how enclosing public relations pieces in direct mailers can help persuade prospects to buy from them. Remember, fire = print.

One afternoon Org sauntered into Marka’s office holding February’s Fire Buyer’s Monthly. He opened the magazine and showed Marka a piece of expert commentary he’d written—“Ten Secrets to Longer-Burning Hearths”—that appeared in this issue.

“Look,” he said, “I’m a star!”

“More importantly, your name—and FEI’s—is being associated with useful information, and validated by a major industry publication,” Marka said.

“There’s that, too,” Org said.

“May I see that?” Marka took the magazine from Org. “Today I’m drafting a letter for our upcoming mailing to hearth installation businesses. Why don’t I have our intern make 100 copies—we can enclose one in each letter!”

“Sounds good,” Org said. “They’ll find this information useful—and so will their customers.”

“That’s a plus, but it’s not really my point,” Marka said. “A lot—if not most—of these prospects will miss the article in Fire Buyers. By including a reprint of this article, we’ll put our brand message of ‘reliable, expert fire solutions,’ validated by a reputable source, right in front of these hearth installers’ eyes!”

“I think I’m getting it,” Org said. “Say Harry from Harry’s Hearths is deciding whether to partner with FEI or Flintstone to offer ‘all-in-one’ installation-and-lighting kits for his customers. He needs to make sure whichever business he chooses is trustworthy, and knowledgeable—after all, he’s putting his valued customers in their hands. Who do you think he’ll choose? The company that’s been vetted by the fire industry’s leading publication? Or the other guy?”

“Exactly,” Marka said.

Marka mailed letters to 100 hearth prospects, stuffing a copy of Org’s article in each envelope. Each letter ended with “PS—I recently wrote an article—‘Ten Secrets to Longer-burning Hearths’—that appeared in Fire Buyers Monthly. I thought you’d find it interesting, so I’ve enclosed a copy for you.”

As Org predicted, before long Harry picked up the phone and placed an order with FEI. “By the way,” Harry told FEI’s CSR after he’d placed the order, “Ask Org for the name of his photographer. He’s got a great-looking mugshot in that article—looks way better than he does in real life!”

Next week: Marka and Zoot discuss how including low-cost “stuffers” in job invoices can help FEI win more business. 

Today’s FIRE! Point

Include reprints of trade articles, press releases, or other public relations pieces in your direct mail campaigns to boost your perception in prospects’ eyes and win new business.

FIRE! In Action: IIRC Uses Low-Cost PR Tactics to Increase Brand Recognition
Using press releases, by-lined articles, and many other inexpensive or free PR tactics, this business improved its brand recognition by 20 percent over 10 months.

Industry Centers:

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