Sometimes you’ll make more sales when copy is only PART of the picture. This episode is how copy “plays well with others.”
If you’ve ever bought a direct mail list, you can get a typical compiled list for as little as 10 cents to 25 cents a name. Sometimes for even less than that. A compiled direct mail list is usually put together from publicly available records. It doesn’t tell you anything about the desires or behaviors of the people on the list.
For that, you might want a response list. For example, magazine subscribers. Seminar attendees. Product purchasers. Response lists are made up of people who have demonstrated their desires through behavior. That is, they have bought something. And buying is a behavior that shows a desire.
The people who sell these lists know that the names are a lot valuable. And so, with a response list, the price can climb steeply. You might pay $1 a name… $5 a name… even $10 a name.
But then there’s a still higher level of pricing, and that’s where you buy qualified leads for prospects who are interested in making high-dollar purchases.
For example, here’s an interesting fact: 85% of all new salespeople in the insurance industry wash out within two years. It’s not necessarily that they’re all such terrible salespeople, or even that they all hate selling insurance. It’s that it’s so hard for most of them to keep getting enough qualified leads to stay profitable.
The people who sell qualified insurance leads know this, and you can pay astronomical prices for highly qualified insurance leads from mailing list brokers and lead brokers. Remember we started at 10 cents a name with compiled lists. Insurance leads can run as much as $60 apiece… which is 600 times more than 10 cents! Maybe even more, depending on how qualified the lead is.
Why? Because in the right hands, a $60 insurance lead has the potential to create a four-, five- or six-figure commission for the insurance agent. And in very rare cases, a skilled and lucky life insurance agent can make over one million dollars in commissions for selling just one policy to a lead like that!
Now, what does all of this have to do with copy? Am I suggesting copywriters go into the business of writing copy that produces highly qualified insurance leads? It’s not a bad idea if you can figure out how to do it, but that’s not what this episode of the Copywriters Podcast is about.
I tell this story – from 10 cents to $60 a name – to make this point: In an insurance sale like I described, the million-dollar commission does not come solely from copy, but the very expensive name is one part of the traditional direct marketing process.
And if you use copy to solve a big sales and marketing problem – which may be only one part of the larger sales process, and could be something other than getting qualified leads – you can really boost the bottom line of a business, or, if you negotiate a good deal, make a lot of money for yourself.
So, here’s the point: You don’t always need to use copy to close the entire sale. A lot of people think that’s the only way to use copy when you’re using copy to sell, but it’s not. Today we’re going to explore some of the other ways copy helps you get more business, when it’s only part of the process.
But first, here’s some copy many listeners have grown to know and love: