Just look at the numbers. The average response rate for email is a measly 0.12%. In comparison, the average response rate for direct mail comes in at a staggering 4.4%!
While emails are certainly cheaper to send in bulk, the average American receives 121 emails a day. You have to work REALLY hard to cut through all that noise. By contrast, 40% of Americans look forward to receiving physical mail. So if you’re not currently incorporating some form of direct mail marketing, you are missing a trick.
With that said, you can’t just merely send a business card in the post to several potential clients and hope for the best. You need to stand out and grab attention.
With that in mind, I’ve compiled a list of five of the best strategies I’ve seen during my time in the speaking industry that have been proven to land speaking gigs.
#1: Send a Postcard
A postcard is a perfect direct mail solution for several reasons. Firstly, it’s an inexpensive item to send, allowing you to stretch your direct mail marketing budget further. Secondly, postcards tend to be bright, colorful, and crucially, not inside an envelope, making them much more likely to be read by your prospect.
Remember, postcards are not something someone receives every day. When someone comes to their mailbox at work or home, it will jump out immediately from the rest of the plain addressed envelopes.
#2: “Lumpy” Mail
Lumpy mail may sound funny. But, laugh as you might, this is a direct mail tactic that WORKS. In short, you print off your killer one-sheet, put it in a brightly-colored envelope with a hand-written address (always a good idea as it shows you have taken time over your gift).
However, rather than leaving it at that, include a “lumpy item.” Something they will feel through the envelope and then be curious to open it up and find out what’s inside. I suggest including something (complete with your branding) that they will use or keep around their desk.
You could go for a pen, but this is very common. Why not think about something more unique, such as a custom-designed paper-weight. Or perhaps fire a freelancer on Upwork or Fiverr to draw cartoons or portraits of your prospects and frame them up to add to their desk art collection.
#3: Swag Boxes
Taking the lumpy mail idea one step further, you could bump up your gifts into an entire box of swag. Yes, this is obviously more expensive, but if you are only targeting twenty or so individuals, this may be a strategy that stands you out from the crowd and secures you a lucrative speaking opportunity.
Not only will your box of goodies really impress your prospect, but the rest of the office team will immediately ask about where those items came from and who sent them, getting your name out to the entire organization. For the goodies, I would focus on small things that will make their everyday life easier. The more specific they are to the client, the better.
#4: Content Kit
Content kits are relatively new on the block and bank on the idea that, despite the digital age in which we live, many people still prefer to hold content in their hands rather than reading from a screen.
So, print off your most popular resources and bundle them all together into a helpful content kit. These resources could be anything from reports you’ve authored, press releases, case studies, books, and even a compilation of your blog posts in a physical format.
Having your best content in the hands of an influencer or decision-maker helps them to better engage with your ideas and positions on critical subjects within your industry. As a bonus, if they like what they see, they can even pass on your content kit to other key stakeholders to sell you as a speaker for their event.
#5: iPad Giveaway
No, that’s not a typo. And no, I’m not crazy. This is a very clever idea that was pioneered by the food company Heinz. The premise is simple. You send your prospect an empty iPad box with a note that says:
“I know your time is super valuable, but if you’d be willing to come and have a conversation with me about why I should be speaking at your next event, I’ll hand over the iPad that was in this box.”
Now I know what you’re thinking, the iPad is a $500+ item. Isn’t that a small fortune to drop on a potential meeting? Yes, it is, but not as expensive as you might think.
Let’s say this is a decision-maker for a national conference within this industry. Or they run an event with 5,000 audience members and usually pay their headline speaker $5000. How does that initial upfront investment look now?
Running with the first scenario, if you’re a product speaker, you could launch your product in front of a nationwide audience (with potentially tens of thousands watching online and in-person), potentially making $20,000+ in product sales.
Or, for the latter example, that one $500 iPad could secure you a $5,000 speaking gig, which you could then leverage into two further speaking opportunities at similar events that pay roughly the same amount. Suddenly, what initially seemed like a huge upfront investment now appears to be a no-brainer.
Yes, of course, this all depends on your ability to convert the decision-maker at your meeting. But if you’ve already spoken at plenty of events and back yourself to make the step up to the “big leagues,” this clever direct mail tactic might just be for you.
Capture Attention and Convert More Leads into Speaking Opportunities with Direct Mail
So there you have it, five creative and engaging direct mail strategies that will help you stand out from the crowd. With all methods, I recommended doing your research and narrowing your mail targets right down. Yes, even for the cheaper direct mail methods. You don’t want to waste your valuable time chasing up mail that was never going to convert anyway.
If you want to discover more interesting methods that have worked for those looking to grow their speaking businesses, head over to our free Facebook Group – Grow Your Speaking Biz. It’s chock-full of talented and successful speakers sharing hints and tips regarding direct mail and other similar marketing strategies.
We are looking forward to seeing you over there!