Seventeen years ago, a test was done using a direct mail campaign to invite high net worth consumers to attend a social event in Tampa, Florida. In this case, a financial advisor for a very large institution was expecting 4 to 5 couples to show up, as he and many others had tried similar offerings in the past. This time, however, things were done a bit differently.
Changes were made based on some very strong direct marketing basics; a highly targeted and specialized mailing list, a locally recognized and popular venue and a higher image invitation with some Hallmark-like design features. He offered 3 choices of dates, and utilized tested copy explaining benefits to create an emotional connection with the recipients. It worked! Boy, did it work… 300 RSVP’s in four days!
The format and formulas revealed an important discovery: if people are confused about something, like estate planning, and they are invited to a social event (not a lecture); they will gather in groups, seek advice, and consider hiring an expert in that field to help them afterwards.
The event format created a neutral site where prospects could socially connect with others that shared their same concerns and issues (in this case their retirement security). You see, what I discovered that day was that inviting folks to show up at a non-selling environment would give them safety and comfort being surrounded by so many others just like them to learn how to solve their problems.
These so called SEMINARS are actually social get-togethers where people want to listen-in, learn and be educated without a sales pitch. The ease of information exchange makes them one of the most powerful prospecting tools in our era. Be social, friendly, personable, and approachable; share your personal background, your family, your experiences in life and business. They need to get to know YOU. You see the social dynamics kick-in when you do things right. We realized that it was all connected. It still is.
Jorge Villar is President of Response Mail Express (RME), with more than 26 years of direct marketing experience, he is known in several industries for his ability to create mail packages that garner the highest response rates. He is responsible for the Seminar Success program that, for the last 17 years has accounted for more than 65% of the events being held in the nation with over 14 million individuals making reservations. Mr. Villar has also been very successful marketing to physicians and business owners regarding Success Planning and Asset Protection. Response Mail Express, and parent company DME, is a $100+ million marketing powerhouse, housing over 600 employees in their 2 state-of-the-art facilities in Florida. Their marketing ideas are presently being utilized by over 10,000 clients, including: top producing advisors, estate planning attorneys, large financial organizations, health care organizations, universities and many other industries. Mr. Villar is a frequent key note speaker at national financial symposium and training conferences.
Academy Guest Blogger
American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys, Inc.
6050 Santo Rd., Ste. 240
San Diego, CA 92124
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