If you’ve been reading my email tips for a while you’ve seen other examples from Doc Nielson. Doc Nielson is an absolute marketing master who’s been doing what we preach for a couple decades. The #1 thing Doc Nielson does is take what he has seen in other industries and applies it to his Chiropractic practice.
One of the most popular ways to use the trash can letter is the last step in a series of mailings and the third step of a three step series is how it’s used most. But there really is no magic in three steps. Answer this: How many steps should you have in your direct mail campaign? You should continue to add steps until the mailing becomes unprofitable.
When Does 2+3=1?
But let’s go back to the three step direct mail campaign. When does 2+3=1? The answer… when you use direct mail. I have yet to see this fail. If you send three letters to the same mailing list with the same offer the results you get for the first letter will match the results you get from the next two letters combined.
Here’s an example from Dr. Gregg Nielsen of Waterford Chiropractic. This is the third step in his sequence. Sorry for the quality of the scan. It has been sitting in a trash can for six months, waiting to be shared. Let’s say you mail letter 1 and get a 10% response. If you send a second and third letter to the same list with the same offer but just different wording the total response will be another 10%.
As you can see, Doc Nielson uses the headline:
“Let’s Be Honest – You’ve Thrown Away My Two Previous Letter… Now It’s My Turn To Throw This Letter Away To Get Your Attention!”
Here are a few other headlines you might use for the last step in a mailing campaign:
“Since You’ve Thrown Away My Previous Two Letters I Thought I Would Save You The Effort.”
“Last Chance, Don’t Throw Away This Incredible Opportunity”
“Previous Attempts Have Ended Up in the Trash, So I Thought I Would Save You Some Time Today”
The trash can could also be used in a one-step campaign or as the first step.
Lots of people have used the trash can in one-step campaigns, or as the first step of a multi-step campaign. I often get calls like this, “Hi Travis, I’m Bill Smith with The Smith Company and I sent you a letter a couple days ago. Did you get it?” My response 99% of the time is, “I have no idea whether I got it or not, good bye.” Total conversation killer, total turnoff, total waste of time. Compare that with, “Hi Travis, I’m Bill Smith with The Smith Company and I sent you a crumpled up letter in a plastic trash can a couple days ago. Did you get it?” At the very least you have a conversation starter.
Let’s look at a few other things Doc Nielson did right and the ideas you should steal (ethically, of course).
He’s using clip art and Copydoodles to catch attention, such as the arrow pointing to the telephone to “Call Now.”
The letter has a picture of a woman with the trash can. The picture of Miss Marie is great and also helps tell the story. All this helps to tell the story and add a little creative entertainment. Let’s face it. Everyone is bored and Doc is adding some entertainment to his client’s day.
This is a biggie that Doc Nielson knows: one of the most read parts of any sales letter is the caption to pictures. Notice that Doc cleverly tells the story in the caption alone!
Deadlines are your friend. Many businesses see deadline as a negative. The truth is deadlines are the marketer’s best friend. An offer without a deadline is not an offer. Let’s face it, we’re all procrastinators and deadlines get us and our clients, prospects, etc to act. Deadline should be big bold and in your face.
The P.S.: Doc is a master and Doc knows that the P.S. is the second most read part of any letter (#1 of course is the headline). But Doc also knows that multiple P.S. usually out pull and single P.S. and that he should include enough information in the P.S.s that someone could make their decision based on reading them alone… and Doc Nielson know that if you have multiple deadline your biggest point should be in the second P.S. Notice the importance Doc places on the deadline.
Blog Readers Only Special
The trash can is one of our top producing products we offer. And there’s no guessing why, it just works! If a mini trash can were to show up in your mailbox, you’d have to open it. This is one item that has to end up on the top of the pile. I’ve yet to find anybody who can stack their pile of mail on top of this thing. And right now you can get 30% off your order when you use Promo Code trash30.
Here are a few sample letters you can use:
You don’t even need a box for this item. Just tape down the lid and put your address label and postage directly on the outside of the can. I’ve mailed thousands of these and they arrive great each time. You can see a short video where I explain how to mail the trash can right here. This is perfect for a second, third or fourth mailing to a list of prospects who have not responded to your previous offers. No one can resist opening this and reading your letter.