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  • Writer's pictureSteve Pieroway

Direct Mail #1: Will it work?


I'd say "I hope so" but then you'd say, "Hope isn't a strategy, Steve."


Very true.


So let's break down my first mailer to see the strategy behind it (the why) and how I created it (the how and what).


Here’s the direct mail piece I just sent to select brokers across Canada.



Version A


Version B


Letter Inside



Ideally, a recipient will receive either envelope, be intrigued by the message on the outside, open, read the letter, scan the QR code and download the guide.


It's too early to tell if it will work, and I questioned the timing a bit (first week of July is when a lot of people take vacation).


But that didn't matter as much as getting the piece produced and out the door.


So here's the strategy behind the mailer.


Let’s get started.


THE STRATEGY


I’d already zeroed in on a problem: producers struggle to build funnel with quality leads. Really, it’s a problem as old as sales itself.


So really that’s not the problem; it's more like a symptom.


At Policy Works, John Eastly (cofounder and president) frequently used the 5 Why’s approach to getting to the heart of issues. And I love it.


Initial problem: producers struggle to build funnel with quality leads.


WHY are producers struggling to build funnels?

They’re not standing out.


WHY are they not standing out?

Because they don’t have a differentiated offer, brand or approach.


WHY don’t they have a differentiated offer, brand or approach?

Because they haven’t been trained on creating a marketing system to escape commodity fuelled Sales Churn.


WHY haven’t producers been trained to create a marketing system to escape commodity fuelled Sales Churn?

Because I only just created it.


Okay, that last call and response was a bit dramatic (was just watching Nobody on Netflix, so feeling kind of daring).


But you see where I’m going here. The broker distribution channel is built of off the 10%ers who just got out there and ‘sold’.


And this is what’s being projected onto the entire insurance sales force. Today’s producers are expected to follow the same sales-driven approach that their principles' followed as producers, and the principles before them likely followed, too.


ICEBERG LEVER

I’m a marketer. To me, every sales challenge is a marketing challenge. It just can’t be any other way.


So having worked with a few producers, I thought, “let’s assume that if these producers have a marketing problem, chances are good many other producers have the same problem, too”.


(When I'm tight on resources, like money and time, the Iceberg Lever is the model I use to make assumptions about the market. I'm not recommending it for you, it just works for me.)


And the problem, as indicated above, is that producers don’t get marketing training. They get tons of insurance training, yes. Likely some sales training, too.


And a brokerage may have a marketing team. Sure. But ask yourself this: is that team focused on promoting the BROKERAGE or each individual PRODUCER?


Because if it isn’t the producer, it's probably a waste of time. (Unless it’s for home or auto, then a broader generic approach can work to pull in leads).


So the strategic assumption behind my campaign, and offer, is this: many producers struggle to stand out in a crowded market (and ultimately build a healthy sales funnel)


The challenge, then, was to create something tangible. A product I could share.


Ta Da! The tried and true eBook. Guide. Framework.


My approach to services marketing has, in part, been guided by the idea of adding value. Sure, there are many ways to gain attention (humour, stories, fear, etc). But like ‘adding value’.


So, I created a guide outlining the steps I’d use to build a marketing campaign for a producer.



The result: WHY YOU! Marketing System for Producers.


You can grab it here if you're interested in seeing it: https://www.benevolentmarketing.com/free-content


The intent here was to create something:

  1. useful for a producer but not giving away everything,

  2. help establish me as knowing something about marketing, and

  3. encourage a principal or producer to take the next step (enrolling in The System, of which Brand Build is course #1).


Next week I'll share how I created the WHY YOU! Guide (idea structure, writing, designing, etc. ).


Coming up after that:

  • Building the letter

  • Designing the landing page

  • Entire campaign cost

  • ROI (once there's enough time to see some results)


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