Marketing Secrets Of A Mail Order Maverick

Buy Marketing Secrets Of A Mail Order Maverick

This is my third review of a Joseph Sugarman book (previous reviewed: Triggers: 30 Sales Tools You Can Use To Control The Mind… and Television Secrets for Marketing Success). Simply put: the author has a wealth of experience that he shares freely. He paid attention to the details of what works, and explains his methodologies. While the book describes the basics of mail order, the principles are very similar to online businesses. Here are my favorite points from the book:

The Role Of Typography and Layout describes the results of a research scientist who studied the effect of typography had on a reader. While I’m curious if the same studies translate to web sites, the researcher’s conclusions were:

  • Use serif type for copy (common serif type includes: Georgia, Times New Roman, Times). Serif type is 5x more effective.
  • Always use a black headline. Solid black headlines are 5x more powerful than headlines using a very bright color.
  • Right and left justify your lines of type. A totally justified column of type is 2x as effective as a column with left-justified and 7x more effective than right-justified.
  • Use serif type for long headlines and sans serif type for short headlines (examples of sans serif: Arial, Verdana, Geneva, Helvetica).
  • Use a roman typeface over italic. Pure roman typeface has a slight edge over italics.
  • Use a standard layout. Readers scan (in English) left to right, and top to bottom which is 2x more effective than making the reader’s eye jump around.

He shares Gary Halbert’s experience on mailing list effectiveness:

  • A mailing list from a phone book (poor response)
  • A phone book mailing list from a high-income area (better)
  • Target just professionals (of a certain type) from a high-income area. (still better)
  • Buy a list of buyers who are wealthy. who bought a similar type of product, purchased several times, paid big money each time, recently purchased and the same list has worked well for other companies (“a strong track record”). (almost best)
  • Your own customer list. (best)

He notes that during an economic recession people stay at home. They make fewer trips (saving gas) and more targeted trips (saving money). However, since they’re at home more, this translates into more time to read catalogs and browse online. Use the opportunity to bring the shopping to them.

If you buy ad space in media, he suggests these money-saving tricks:

  • Form your own ad agency. Ad agencies typically get a 15% discount from publishers. You’ll need an insertion order (make sure to add a special notice: The word ADVERTISEMENT is not to appear on this or any other of our advertisements in your publication. If this request is not adhered to, it is understood that the undersigned will refuse payment of this order and will not be under any obligation to pay for this advertisement).
  • Contact a space broker. A broker can save you from 25-50% off of the rate card price, and you can still apply your agency discount on top of it.
  • Last-minute closing opportunities. Sometimes your broker may have an opportunity for a quick-turnaround. Having ads ready-to-go can save you a lot of money.

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