Learn Direct Marketing Now or Perish!

A Little Knowledge Is a Very Dangerous Thing

This kind of mistake is amazingly common, because nine out of 10 Internet marketers don’t know the first thing about the science of direct marketing.

The wonderful thing about direct marketing is that you can precisely measure response and predict — with statistical certainty — the outcome of your future efforts.

The Internet has made testing much easier and quicker. And that is one reason why Internet marketing is perfect for direct-response marketers.

But the Internet is also the reason why there is so much ignorance out there about how our business really works.

And that is why, if you don’t truly know the game, your business is in jeopardy.

The Illusion of Temporary Success
The Internet was such a hot medium for nearly a decade that almost anybody who stuck their hand into the World Wide Web bowl came out with a golden apple.

A Challenging New World
Gone are the days of easy pickings.
The bubble was huge. And now it is rapidly deflating.
Response rates are crashing Refunds are rising. Bad debt is soaring. Sell-through values are plummeting.

Problem is, everybody and his mother-in-law have gotten into Internet marketing. They learned how to knock off successful Internet businesses by taking courses proffered by those young “experts.” And Google (and a thousand companies that service Google) made the process easier by providing them with hundreds of tools for monitoring their competitors.

But what they learned were “outside” tricks and techniques that have nothing to do with the valuable “inside” knowledge necessary for long-term success — knowledge that can’t be gained by using the plethora of Google tools out there and the latest gimmicks touted by upstarts who never bothered to learn the fundamentals of direct marketing.

Those young whippersnappers don’t know the fundamentals. And what they don’t know, they can’t teach. As a result, their “students” have no idea of what really matters: how to build a strong relationship with your customers so they come back to buy from you again and again.

What You Need to Know Now!
To be successful from now on, you will have to develop expertise in direct marketing. And that means mastering the following skills:

* Statistically valid testing
* Creating “irresistible” offers
* Structuring price, term, refund, and premium tests
* Determining the true lifetime value of every new customer
* Calculating “allowable acquisition costs”
* Measuring responsiveness by media source
* Figuring the “doubling date” or “half-life” of new offers
* Creating “gauntlet” and “pummel” programs for new customers
* Purging unproductive prospects
* Discovering your “optimal selling strategy”
* Brainstorming for the “Aha!” idea
* Understanding the “architecture of persuasion”
* Using the “four-legged stool”
* Implementing the Rule of One
* Using archetypal leads
* Designing effective “peer reviews”
* Efficiently managing the “CUB” procedure

If you don’t have these skills — or if your key people don’t have them — consider your business to be in trouble. The market is tough now, and it will be much tougher as every month passes.

Source: ETR 28/09/09

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