I will confess that I’m pretty proud of the fact that at my age, I can still stand on my head. I often use my head-standing skill as an example to the young girls that I help coach in rec league volleyball. I tell them that if I, a mayor and a mom, can stand on my head, looking a little silly to people, then they can be comfortable making the effort to hit the ball on the volleyball court. If they feel like they look silly because they’ve missed it or hit it in a funny direction, I tell them that people will be impressed by the fact that they even made the effort to hit the ball.
Marketing your business is not unlike standing on your head. Sometimes you have to simply “go for it” and do something different. In direct response advertising, like many professions, there are awards for excellence called the Echo Awards. And appropriately, there is a special award for campaigns that make an impact, called the Golden Mailbox Award. I am proud of the line on my resume that shows that I was part of a team that won the Golden Mailbox Award, but I am quick to tell people that the win wasn’t because our agency did things the right way. No, it was because we broke the “traditional” rules.
In direct response, getting your mail campaign to stand out is a difficult task — people are poised now to throw out what is termed as “junk mail”. That is because they anticipate what’s in the envelope. To get people to be intrigued enough to open the envelope, you have to stand out from the rest…. For one campaign, my team mailed a screen-printed pizza box to our target audience and for another target audience, a “National Enquirer” type tabloid. Our response rates and subsequent sales, broke records.
Be different. Break the rules. Do something out of character and get out of your comfort zone. If you love the business you are in and want to do well, show prospects that you enjoy what you do and your enthusiasm will be contagious.
Sometimes you simply have to turn “the rules” upside down to show your audience that you really want their business.