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The 3 Keys to Better Marketing

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The secret to increased marketing campaign response rates has been kicking around in direct marketing circles for decades. Knowing how to apply that knowledge to your marketing programs can double, triple or even quadruple your program’s response rates.


First things first. For businesses which sell complex products or services – typically involving sales leads, a sales team, and a longer sales cycle – all marketing should be response marketing.

What does that mean? It means that every marketing program you run contains some form of call-to-action that inspires your prospects to put up their hands and say “Hey, I might be interested”. Even your brand advertising (if you’re lucky enough to have any) should have a response mechanism built-in.

Why do we care? Because if we can’t see the hands going up, we have no way of measuring whether the hard-earned dollars we’re spending on marketing are really working. What’s more, if we can figure out what’s working (and what’s not), we’re in a much better position to double-down on what works, thereby achieving success more quickly.


Marketing Response RatesThe 40-40-20 Rule

If we want our marketing programs to cause more hands to wave, we would do well to examine the most basic rule of direct marketing, proven-out over years of market experience: 40 percent of your campaign’s success is based on your offer (that which makes your prospects want to put up their hands – offering them a webinar, for instance), 40 percent of your success is based on your targeting (how well you’ve identified your best prospects), and 20 percent of your success is based on your creative or messaging. It’s known as the 40-40-20 Rule.

While the 40-40-20 Rule will never be perfectly predictive, it will provide you with directional information that can improve your marketing strategy and focus. The 40-40-20 Rule explains why a simple, typed letter, featuring a relevant, compelling reason to take action, dropped into the hands of the right person, will produce a desired response.

By tweaking and testing each of your offer, targeting, and creative, you can double, triple, or even quadruple your program’s response rate without really breaking into a sweat. Needless to say, if more, high-quality sales opportunities come in at the front-end of your program, your company will be in a much better position to meet or exceed its sales objectives out the back-end.

About Drew Williams

My name is Drew Williams. I’m an author and marketing entrepreneur. “A what?”, you say. I call someone who’s passionate about building businesses a marketing entrepreneur. So that’s me. Full Profile | Google+

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