I’ve often spoken about the power of direct mail. It has critically changed my life on several occasions. I’ve rarely shared this story but I think it is another great example of the power of direct mail to change lives.
A while back now, my first business had just folded. I was in need of a pay check at the time, so that I could draw breath and plan my next move.
I wrangled up a casual job telemarketing through a family friend. Good deal really. It was 15 hours a week over 3 days. I was making enough money to cover costs with plenty of spare time to ponder what next.
It wasn’t long after this that I would go on to write copy for a living, but at this stage I didn’t know it was called copywriting, I didn’t know you could do it for a living so I didn’t have the ambition to do so.
I was there to build a mailing list. That was my job. Find the people to go and sell the company’s software to. So I did this for 5 hours a day. I called businesses get the name of the appropriate decision maker. Then when there was an hour to go I would to get the mailing organised and send it out.
After 2 weeks of this the sales team was so far behind on their follow up calls that I was on thin ice.
Nobody could quite believe my success rate on the phone.
After about a month I looked at the mailer being sent out. In a moment of arrogance I thought, yeah I could write a better letter than that.
So I gave it a go. It took me all of two hours. So I was paid like $60 for it.
We mailed about 100. Got three meetings. If memory serves they would make $500 per month from a sale at a minimum, plus consulting, plus ongoing training. So the guy who ran the business was pretty excited.
I think one of them went ahead.