3D Mail Case Study: I’m NOT Nuts

By Travis Lee

I get a lot of requests each month to highlight “case studies” of my client’s successful mailings using 3D Mail. I’ve been doing this for years in my Monthly 3D Mail Inner Circle Newsletter. You can see more here at this link.  Here’s the next installment for you, my marketing tips reader. We’ll cover this one over the course of a few tips.

We created How to Explode Your Car Count and Profit in Your Auto Repair Business Using 3D Mail so that auto repair shops could explode their car count and profit…duh. The system has about 70 different letters using 18 different 3D mail products. It has stand-alone one step letters, and 3-step campaigns to acquire new clients, reactivate lost clients, and move customers into a loyalty program. The loyalty program auto repair shops use is part of “putting an iron cage around your clients, patients, members, etc.”

When these auto shops get customers into their loyalty programs they not only have them for life, they have them for every service and maintenance they have done to their car(s). Getting customers into this type of loyalty program is as close as an auto repair facility can get to printing money.

In this particular success story we used the bag of peanuts, and it came from an unusual character, J. Squirrel. You can see the actual letter right here. It will open as a PDF. I don’t know what it is about J. Squirrel, but I love the little guy. OK, I do know what it is I love about J. Squirrel, he’s made me a lot of money. As you can see, in this letter, I enjoy writing from the perspective of a squirrel (OK, I admit that does sound really weird).

Again, I don’t know what it is about J. Squirrel, but over the years I’ve found that when you expand on the J. Squirrel story your results skyrocket. With that said, even without a great “back story” J. Squirrel with the peanuts is a campaign you should test in your business.

Here’s what I mean about expanding on the story. The typical J. Squirrel letter has the headline just like the one in the letter here – “’Name’ is not NUTS” or “You’d Be NUTS to Ignore this Offer”. Then it says. “Hi, I’m J. Squirrel, the squirrel that lives behind “business name”. I snuck into the office the other day and heard them talking about ‘insert your offer’’ and I thought I would send you this letter…”

In most of these letters it looks to me that the writer is using the 3D Mail to get the letter opened and then moving the reader to the offer quickly. As I said above, there is nothing wrong with this, and you can get some great results with it… but I find your results skyrocket when you actually finish the story about the fictitious squirrel.

In most cases, when someone opens and reads your 3D Mail their reaction should be, that’s clever, or humorous, or entertaining, or amusing. We’ll stop there for today. Next week, we’ll finish off The case study, and reveal the results, which I think you’ll really like!

The Nutty Results

We say 3D mail will do two things for you:

1. Get your letter opened
2. Get the headline and the first few sentences read.

If you screw up after that with a boring letter, with a crummy offer, to the wrong list, 3D Mail will fail just like any other mailing. But when you add clever or amusing 3D Mail to a good list and a good offer the results are amazing. Offers that previously were ignored are acted upon. This is a great example.

List – Start with a great list. The auto repair shops have the names and addresses of current and past customers who are not members of their Car Care Club. They mail this offer to that list.

Offer – They have a great offer. Read the offer. It’s awesome. I wish my auto repair shop had this program.

The results on this letter used by Robert Jackson from Clark’s Service Center in Mountain Home, Arkansas were in his words “Phenomenal”. In preparation for a presentation I was making to a group of auto repair shop owners, I called Robert to ask what his results on his campaign were. His reply when I asked him how it went was. “Phenomenal, we didn’t have a winter.” Winter is Robert’s slow time and after implementing this campaign he didn’t have a slow time last winter and he’s chosen to not participate in the recession!

He implemented our 3-Step Car Care Club series in June. He started with 1,000 of the first letter and as people responded he removed them from the list so they didn’t receive the 2nd and 3rd letter.

Robert got 385 new members into his Car Care Club. His revenue from these new members in the first few months was $54,963.79 and now, most of them will never go anywhere else for auto service and maintenance.

Another classic way to use J. Squirrel is as a letter in a multi-step marketing campaign. After the customer hasn’t responded to a great offer you ask, “Are Ya Nuts” Here’s how we used it in 2005 to get 800 people to a retail boot camp. In this case our prospects had received four letters with an incredible offer. This was the 5th letter. See exhibit #1 for the first page of this letter. This can be found in the packet included with this newsletter.

Another J. Squirrel letter we’ve used at American Retail Supply can be seen in exhibit #2. Notice this letter refers to “the conversation going on in the customer’s mind” by referring to the Atkin’s diet that was popular at the time. Notice on the enclosed Car Care Club letter we refer to global warming, Obama and George Bush… again, entering the conversation going in the customer’s mind.

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