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Key Idea: Win Customers with Multiple Mailings

You can turn strangers into customers with multiple communication pieces.

Key Question:


Buy lists of prospects and reach out to them with email, physical mail and telemarketing.

Search for more on the topic of motivation.

Think about it

How do you find new customers?  Are there databases of potential customers you can buy?  Can you mix email with phone and physical mail contacts to win new business?

Clip from: Community Insurance

Chicago: In 1962 Milton Moses thought about going into television, but there were few places for African Americans. Instead, he joined Community Insurance Center and was made President in 1968. 

Today his firm is one of the largest African-American owned insurance agencies in the Midwest. Like millions of other small business owners, he has created jobs for decades. He established his company as an institution in a quiet neighborhood and is always looking for ways to empower the next generation.

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Community Insurance

Milton Moses, CEO

526 E. 87th Street
Chicago, IL 60619
773 651 6200

Visit our web site:

Office: 773 651 6200

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1962

Win Customers with Multiple Mailings

HATTIE: (Voiceover) While in Chicago to meet Milton, we stopped by Carsten's. This company manufactures record-keeping systems for hospitals. Carol Flebee explains how her company uses direct marketing to find new customers. Right. But to win a new customer, to take a prospect and turn them into a customer, what have you learned from your research and from your mail?

CAROL FLEBEE: That it takes five to six mail pieces to get a customer interested in your product.

HATTIE: And how much time is there between mailing one, mailing two, mailing three, etc.?

CAROL: Approximately six weeks, six to eight weeks. We try to get our mail pieces to hit in the middle of the month so that we don't hit them right on the beginning of the month, when it's really busy. We try to schedule it so that it's not at a busy time in their day.

HATTIE: So they have enough time, at least, to look at it.

CAROL: Right. OK, this would be the first piece. It would be a postcard with a fax back. And if you fax back, that's great, and if you don't, that's OK. But it's something they don't have to do anything. Just their name is going to be preprinted. All they have to do is throw it in the fax machine. It's easy, and that's what we've noticed has worked for us.

HATTIE: So then what happens after I get this?

CAROL: After you get that, you'll get our second piece, which is a letter, self-addressed, with a bottom tear-off. Business reply card.

HATTIE: OK. Again, you're always asking me to take action. This is faxed back. This is tear out. And it's postage paid. Everything's done for me.


HATTIE: Simple, simple, simple. Then what happens next?

CAROL: Well, then you'll get our self-mailer piece, which is more detailed. And, again, it gives you everything you want to know and more.

HATTIE: So then in this series, where's the fourth piece?

CAROL: It would be whichever worked out of these two pieces the best. We'll mail you the exact same pieces again.

HATTIE: When you say worked, you mean, got the most responses. So if you got the most faxes, you'll send this again. If you got the most return cards, you'll send this one again.


HATTIE: Then what happens the fifth time?

CAROL: It would be the same thing. The best two would go out again.

HATTIE: Ahh. So I don't have to spend money redesigning, redesigning, redesigning. So you basically do the three pieces and mail two of them twice.

CAROL: Right. And whatever's left over is what we use for our salespeople to mail to their customers on their database.

HATTIE: And it used to be the third time's a charm. Now it's the fifth time is a charm.

CAROL: Yes. Yes.

HATTIE: You can get more marketing ideas by exploring our web site. If you're a great salesperson, that's good, but it's not good enough. Building a business takes more than selling skills. We'll see you next week.

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