How to Get 5 Times the Internet Revenues by Going Offline

Several months ago, one of my favorite clients asked me to create a Web-based promotion for a new investment advisory. But instead of beginning with a series of e-mails – or even a new Web page – I promptly sat down and wrote a 24-page DIRECT-MAIL package.

Once the long copy was finished, I knew the rest would be easy. I could simply excerpt sections of it, over and over again, to create a multi-step campaign…

STEP #1. Pick the low-hanging fruit – cheap.

A respectable chunk of my client’s customers love him to death and will buy just about any product he recommends. For these wonderful folks, I created an extremely simple, low-cost e-mail promotion that we sent out immediately.

STEP #2. Get fence-sitters to a “tipping point” website.

I used about half the long direct-mail copy I had written about the product to produce an “Urgent Special Report” that could be accessed via a little website we created online. And in week #2 of the campaign, we began sending e-mails to the client’s customers urging them to click a link in order to read the free report.

STEP #3. Exploit other low-cost or free media.

Then I simply took the 12 pages of copy from the little website I’d created… wrote a new headline and opening copy… turned it into a printed special report… and had it inserted in the next issue of my client’s print newsletter.

STEP #4. Show up where they least expect you to.

Two weeks after the newsletter insert hit our prospects’ mailboxes, we hit them again – with the full 24-page direct-mail package I had initially created to promote the product. This time, it was formatted as a free special report – a “thank you” bonus for loyal customers.

STEP #5. Get tenacious.

Two weeks after the 24-pager hit prospects’ mailboxes, we stuffed it into an envelope, added a one-page letter from my client asking “Why haven’t I heard from you?” and dropped it into the mail.

The combined effect of e-mail, the website, the inserts in the print newsletter, and two direct mailings had a multiplying effect on response.

When the dust had settled, our multi-channel marketing campaign had sold more than $5 million worth of subscriptions to the new service in just five weeks – about five times more than we would have sold through an e-mail promotion alone!