Just when you think that marketers have tried every trick in the book, you come across another innovative idea which gives you that push to think outside the box. This is just one of those cases of sheer genius that we just have to share with our readers. Dubbed the ‘most expensive direct mail campaign’ back in 1999, Business Wire published an article on how Frankenfeld.com frustrated with the difficulty of getting the attention of their personal injury lawyer prospects had to come up with a campaign that could make their target audience stop in their tracks to hear them out.

  • What did they come up with?
    • They decided that since lawyers charge per hour, Frankfeld would pay for their time they would take to read their direct mail letter.
  • How did they do this?
    • Simple. They decided to go to the bank and withdraw a few thousand dollars in crisp $50 bills each month and enclose them with the letter which contained the main message offering their marketing services to personal injury lawyers.
  • What was the effect on the lawyers?
    • Well, to quote the company president Don Frankfeld himself “”Lawyers charge by the hour. I compensate them for the time they take to read my letter. Instead of being an unwanted intruder I become a welcome guest.”
  • What was the result of the campaign?
    • They had a response rate of almost 50%. In short, stunning!

I feel the punchline to this campaign was not really the $50 plus cost of each letter which makes it an expensive direct mail campaign but rather the effect it had in turning them from the annoying salesperson who is knocking on your door trying to sell you something to someone who has compensated you for your time and you now owe him the same attention you would give a customer. A customer who you might just end up buying from. It’s the effect a salesperson would want from taking a prospect out to dinner, only in this case the prospects are on a mailing lists and the expenses come out of the marketing budget. In any case, with the results Frankfeld got, it seems like money well spent. Any thoughts?

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