By Anne Holland, President
20 years ago, I put together my very first direct marketing campaign. The tiny publishing company I had just joined was in a cash crunch. This campaign *had* to work so we could meet payroll.
It was quick and simple. I wrote the copy and had the Kinkos around the corner print the fliers. Then, I personalized each one with sticky labels that I had printed on my little inkjet printer with our past customers' names and addresses.
As I folded and stuffed each flier into the envelopes, I found myself fiercely thinking to the imagined recipient, "You are so psyched to get this flier. This looks great. You'll respond right away. Yeah!"
Then I carted the campaign down to the local post office and held my breath.
Within two weeks, checks were rolling in. We wound up with a double-digit paid response rate and met payroll just in time.
Of course, the list and offer had nearly everything to do with that success. Past customers are great responders, especially when you offer them something directly related to their last purchase.
But, I've always suspected that my strong, mental visualization of success played a role as well. From that day forward, I've felt in the pit of my stomach that when I really believe in a product and in the benefits customers will get from it, then my campaigns always have better results.
The key is in really believing -- solidly, calmly and completely. Over-the-top hypey excitement doesn't work. It has to be centered in your stomach and dead honest.
I always suspected that top ad agencies knew this secret tactic for success, too, because they rule that account execs must personally use the client's product. You can't brush your teeth with Crest and write ad copy for Colgate.
This secret for success is also the reason why I suspect some B-to-B high-tech marketers create such horrible ads. They can't believe in the product from their guts, because they can hardly understand -- much less personally use -- the product. So, they throw a lot of buzzwords and BS-y happy talk around ("We're the leading blah blah blah") hoping to obscure the fact that they can't visualize the true benefits customers would get.
Anyway, the power of visualization and gut-level-belief is not a marketing tactic I've ever mentioned publicly before because, well, I was a little afraid I might get laughed at. After all, where's the science? Where are the A/B test results? What are the numbers?
As it turns out, there's a bunch of scientific data already out there related to this, as well as a big experiment under way that all of us can join in on to learn more.
I heard about it thanks to Sherpa Reader Steve Kayser at Cincom, who sent me a new book that's *packed* with science from highly reputable labs (think Harvard), all about how the human mind really does affect reality -- including marketing campaign results -- far more than we suspected.
Just published Jan. 7, 2007, the hardcover book, 'The Intention Experiment: Using Your Thoughts to Change Your Life and the World' is *not* new-age gobbledegook or get-rich-quick dreck. Instead, it's an educated, well-footnoted, review of the science -- especially quantum physics -- around your thoughts' power over reality.
The best part is: author Lynne McTaggart has issued a call for additional experiments. Her goal is to continue the science and add to the knowledge already collected on this topic.
I like that a lot. She doesn't just ask you to trust her research but to help extend it for the good of all.
If you're as interested as I am, here's where you can learn more about the book and how to participate in global experiments testing how the mind influences reality:
And, before you launch your next campaign, close your eyes and picture the legions of thrilled recipients. Trust the science -- it works!