How to get a meeting with anyone: the untapped selling power of contact marketing… by Stu Heinecke, a Wall Street Journal cartoonist, marketer, and author, who has been working for decades on what he calls contact outreach campaigns with phenomenal results.
As business owners and marketers become increasingly frustrated by the questionable results of cold calling, emailing, content marketing, and social media, the author offers an alternative of laser-focused campaigns targeting the few people that can really impact your business.
When the author started his marketing agency, there were only a dozen or so major clients in the industry that he needed to reach out to. With a budget of $100 he produced 24 large prints of his cartoons, personalized for each potential client and framed, and he mailed them out. That campaign had a near-100% success rate with each client paying up to $25,000 per engagement!
What is contact marketing?
Contact marketing involves 3 steps:
- Researching a short-list of your VIP clients, who can have a major impact for your business.
- Crafting a highly personalized message for each of them.
- And delivering the message through an intriguing ‘device’, which can be anything from an oversized cartoon print to a sword blade or a remote-controlled helicopter.
Even though you’ll be spending significantly more per person than any mass campaign, your overall marketing budget will be insignificant compared to mass marketing campaigns, and your ROI can be astronomical. Because you’re only targeting a small audience with a very high anticipated success rate, often north of 50%.
Putting it into action
The author has a complete flow-chart and numerous examples of campaigns to demonstrate how you can put contact marketing into action for your business, with costs ranging anywhere from $10 to $10,000 per contact.
One example from the book is the campaign by NoWait, a restaurant app. They sent an ipad preloaded with a video to each of their 35 VIP clients – COOs of large restaurant chains and franchises. They invested $35,000 on a single campaign but they knew they’d get the attention of exactly the people they needed – and it worked!
So if you’re tired of the ‘spray and pray’ mentality of mass marketing campaigns, contact marketing is a novel approach to outreach. Who are the handful of people who can change the course of your business? Instead of boiling the ocean to increase awareness, there’s a more effective way to build meaningful partnerships and win large accounts.