Forget Email – Offline AutoResponders Is Where It’s At In 2010…

Not sure about you, but I use a tonne of email auto-responders in all my companies – and not just the online businesses. The sequential, set & forget marketing from the email auto-responders are killing it for my biggest real world company Infiniti Telecommunications.

See, I’ve been looking for a way to implement the same automated follow-up marketing offline via direct mail for about a year, and not a single direct mail print company (in Australia or USA) offered a solution. They all offered the ability to do a mail merge (variable data) print run, if I wanted to arrange a once off promotion, but nothing that even resembled an automated follow up sequence of post-cards and/or greeting cards.

Anyway, a friend ‘pitched’ a card sending business model to me over a year ago, which I completely blew off. It was an MLM business-model and he used the standard network marketing pitch as well – I had too many other projects on the go, didn’t want another income opportunity chewing up my time, and felt that I’d have to sell “snake oil”.

BUT, then after helping him out in a completely unrelated area, I got one of these cards as a small thank-you note… and the thing that stood out for me was:

The cards (and envelope) were printed in his own Handwriting – With a Local Postage Stamp !!

Yep, the platform they use to print these cards allows customers to fill out a form and have their handwriting uploaded as a custom font — blew my mind ! Just imagine how high the ‘open rates’ of these cards are – 98%+ ? (Puts the open rates of even the best email copywriters to shame.)

So, after a quick conversation I also learned that the platform allows clients all over the world, to not only send out single cards, bulk mailings, birthday/anniversary cards on pre-set date (which is cool in itself) …

BUT you can set-up an auto-responders style sequence, where clients can get a ‘thank you for buying’ postcard immediately, 17 days later a ‘hope it’s all going well’ two-fold card, then a ‘it’s probably time for a refill’ postcard 45 days later etc etc etc.

As I talk about in the ‘Preneur Hierarchy’ section of the book, the easiest people sell to are your existing customers, right ? Well, this is that follow-up, stay-in-touch, up-sell, back-end real-world marketing program on auto-pilot.

The thing that really annoys me, is they don’t really ‘pitch’ the auto-responder feature of their service – They are more focused on people sending one-off thank you cards to friends and family.

The other amazing thing is that it costs a lot less than $1 per card… and that includes postage!! (You won’t find hallmark anywhere near that price – and the quality is identical to me).

There library has over 10,000 card designs, but you can obviously upload your own designs (in under 2mins) for custom promotional mailings.

This is one of the best direct response marketing services I’ve ever seen…

Now regarding, the often dirty term ‘Multi-Level Marketing’ – Firstly, let me say:

You can become a customer of their service WITHOUT joining the MLM structure.

I wanted to make this clear again, because I am not trying to pitch you on ‘joining my downline’, I really do believe the direct marketing service they offer is a powerful one.

If you want to also have a opportunity to make some (good) coin along the way, great… They offer some very healthy sign-up commissions, plus a (residual income) $% of every card printed and sent from people (customers) in your downline. But, that side of things is all explained on a video over at their site.

Either way, I really encourage you to check out their direct mail services.

I’ve arranged a 7 Day Free Trial, so you can send 2 or 3 one-off cards to friends, customers or even yourself (to see the quality first hand) and trial their direct mail marketing platform.

Just visit http://bit.ly/7DayCardTrial, ignore the crappy site layout, and click the big banner at the top of the page, then follow the simple sign-up process.

If you have any questions at all, feel free to shoot me an email anytime – I’d really love your thoughts and feedback.

That link again is http://bit.ly/7DayCardTrial

Speak soon.

Pete

P.S. Did I mention that once you’re a client they upload your OWN friggin handwriting as a font – and include a couple of signatures too !!!

P.P.S. Direct Mail Auto-Responders = No Spam Filters + Really High Open Rates + Less Competition (no one get’s “handwritten” mail anymore, unless it’s a bill)

P.P.P.S. Go and visit http://bit.ly/7DayCardTrial

P.P.P.S. And yes… given that it’s an MLM model, when you sign up for an account and implement this offline auto-responder service in your business, I will make a few bucks. But if you join their entrepreneur program I’m more than happy to ‘coach’ and help you grow your MLM business.

  • http://www.blogandlearntoearn.com Robert

    certainly looks like an interesting service, wish it was here in the UK. If you’re good an online marketing, mirroring these activities offline becomes easier and the offline autoresponder probably isn’t knew but it seems fairly low cost.

    • Pete Williams

      Robert – I just got confirmation that they operate in the following countries:

      United States, Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland, Singapore and New Zealand.

      Hope that helps.

      Pete

  • Pete Williams

    @Robert – I’ve just shot an email off to my contact to see if/when their are opening services up over there…

  • http://www.gardenshedsonline.com.au Damian

    @Pete – Thanks for the post this exactly what I have been looking for. I have just signed up and sent a card to my address in Australia. Will be very interesting to see how long it takes to get here.

  • Pete Williams

    @Damian – Awesome man, was it through the free trial ? If so, shoot me an email and let me know your thoughts on the whole process etc etc.

    Pete

  • Pete Williams

    @Robert – I just got confirmation that they operate in the following countries:

    United States, Canada, UK, Australia, Ireland, Singapore and New Zealand.

    Hope that helps.

    Pete

  • http://www.gardenshedsonline.com.au Damian

    @Pete – Just got my first test card through. It took three working days. Not bad. I will definitely ba having a closer look at this service.

    Thanks

  • http://www.blogandlearntoearn.com Robert

    Thanks Pete, I’ll give it a go and let you know what I think.

    Thanks again

    Robert

  • http://www.davidjenyns.com David Jenyns

    I’ve been on the receiving end of this service for a while now – nothing quite like it. Can’t wait to sign up myself. What’s more there’s loads of opportunities here… I know Pete’s even thought of selling this as a service to offline businesses.

    Could you imagine if you’re a car salesmen and you automatically send out Birthday, Valentines, Christmas… whatever… all on auto piolet. Joe Girard (google it) eat your heart out.

    Cheers
    Dave Jenyns

  • http://www.twitter.com/jamesspittal James Spittal

    Looks like an interesting service! Going to give it a try for sure. Great idea. Do they have an API? That would be amazing!

    • Pete Williams

      It’s has definitely blown my mind..

      I literally just sent 3 birthday cards out to friends in different countries all for under a total of $3.

      I also used it this week to send out about 80 invites to a party at the end of the month.

      There interface isn’t the greatest, and NO API yet (but I am pushing them for one), but the outcome/product/platform you get is unmatched.

      I actually saw a TV commercial for http://www.hallmarkcards.com.au/ which are offering a ‘send a single card’ via a web interface type thing; but each cards is min $3.95 and they don’t offer the personal handwriting, bulk mailings, ability to upload your own designs, postcard style etc etc

      Anyway.. let me know your thoughts on the service.

      Pete

  • http://twitter.com/CarolineStancza Theron Sutten

    Excellent blog, i dont know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. I used google translator

about-pete
Pete Williams is an entrepreneur, author, and marketer from Melbourne, Australia.

Before being honored “Australia’s Richard Branson” in media publications all over the continent, Pete was just 21 years old when he sold Australia’s version of Yankee Stadium, The Melbourne Cricket Ground For Under $500! Don’t believe it? You will! Check out the story in the FAQ section (it really is our most asked question).

Since then, he’s done some cool stuff like write the international smash hit ‘How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality’ (+ the upcoming ‘It’s Not About the Product‘) and he’s created a bunch of companies including Infiniti Telecommunications, On Hold Advertising, Simply Headsets and Preneur Group.

Lots of other people think he’s pretty good too! He’s been announced as the Global Runner-Up in the JCI Creative Young Entrepreneur Awards for 2009, the Southern Region Finalist in the Ernst & Young 2010 Entrepreneur of the Year, and a member of SmartCompany’s Top 30 Under 30.

Download Pete’s First Book For FREE!

“Now that I've got the rights back from the publishers, if you enter your email address below, you can instantly download a free audiobook version of my first book, How to Turn Your Million-Dollar Idea Into a Reality.” - Pete