Monday, January 21, 2008

Guerrilla Marketing Time Machine: Personal Letters

Note: This week we are examining "Old School" marketing techniques to see if they still have oomph. Jay Conrad Levinson's 1993 edition of Guerilla Marketing is our reference book.

Personal Letters
In chapter 10 Levinson says that:

"simple, personal letters -- is one of the most effective, easy, inexpensive, and overlooked methods of marketing."

In the age of email, I would have to agree. It seems what goes around, comes around. Virtually no one sends personal letters any more. No one even talks about sending personal letters any more. I did a quick internet search and couldn't find one solid article or blog post on personal letters.

This sounds to me to be a terrific new, old guerrilla marketing technique. Personal letters allow you to communicate truly personal feelings. And with everyone sending emails, you can reach a special place in the mind of the reader.

How To Do Personal Letters
Here are Levinson's instructions on personal letters:

  1. Include as much personal data as possible - Not just the person's name, but mention things about the person's life, business, car, home...etc.

  2. Write another personal letter within two weeks, then call the prospect on the telephone - Your second letter should contain new information, then use the phone to develop a relationship.

  3. Have a clear idea of your prospects "leading appeal" - What factors will influence the buyer's purchase decisions?

  4. Make sure the letter is personal and not "personalized" - Personalized letters are impersonal letters with the person's name and salutation in the body of the letter. The same letter is sent to many people.

  5. Make it unnecessary for your prospect to respond - Whet your reader's appetite, but tell them you will be telephoning them within a week to set up an appointment or firm up a sale.

  6. The letter should be about the reader and not about you - It should be in the reader's terms, about the reader's life or business.

Levinson's technical advice for personal letters:

  • Keep your letter to one page.
  • Keep your paragraphs short.
  • Indent your paragraphs.
  • Don't overdo underlining, caps, or writing in the margins.
  • Keep your letter from looking like a printed piece.
  • Sign your letter in a different-colored ink than it is typed in.
  • Include a P.S. and have it contain your most important point and a sense of urgency.

So are you ready to give traditional, personal letter writing a try?

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