Here are the key elements of a marketing system:

1. A selected group of prospects (sometimes referred to as a “farm”, “farm area” or “target market”

The better the selection, the better the results.

For example, when you are able to analyze the response to a mailing list, you can identify those elements with the greatest chance of success and focus on those so that you get the best return on your money.

2. Appropriate media for best reaching those prospects

For some it might be direct-mail, and for some a big postcard; for others a personal letter in an envelope; etc., or it might be e-mail; it might be advertising in some newspaper, journal or magazine; it might be Valpak.

blog-post-12-26There is no good or bad media per se.

The question is always: how can we best cut through clutter and gain the attention of these particular prospects?

And, almost always, you want to avoid “one shot” marketing in favor of a sequence, often using more than one media.

3. A compelling message of strong interest to your chosen prospects

Get away from big, broad, sloppy, one-size-fits-all marketing messages…. and stop talking so much about your products and services; talk about THEIR interests, desires, fears and frustrations.

4. An “irresistible offer”

In getting new prospects to step forward, indicate interest, give you permission and an invitation to sell to them, this is often done by creating and offering ‘information’ of relevance to what you sell and of interest to the prospect.

5. A means of response and “capture”

Interested, ‘high probability prospects’ need easy, non-threatening ways to respond – you may use your regular phone number or a free recorded message line, a website, a fax-back form, a reply card, coupons; different options for different situations.

If driving people to a website to obtain the information you offer, be sure it “captures” as much of the person’s contact information as possible.

6. Multi-step, short-term follow-up

The information should carry with it a second “irresistible offer” – tied to whatever next step you want the prospect to take, such as calling to schedule an appointment or coming into the office, showroom or store.

Then a series of follow-up “touches” by mail, e-mail, fax, phone are tied to the expiring deadline of that offer.

7. “Maintenance follow-up” of unconverted leads

People who do not respond immediately – within your first few weeks of intense follow-up – may have many reasons for “maturing” into buyers more slowly.

There IS value in this bank of slow-to-mature prospects. They should continue hearing from you once to several times a month.

This is a “Rome that isn’t built in a day” for most businesses, and you may be too quickly tempted to think it sounds too complicated or like too much work or not well suited to your business.

But this is the path to liberty, so it shouldn’t be brain-dead easy or child’s play simple.

By ‘path to liberty’ I mean this – and only this – it can transform a business (and, yes, ANY kind of business) from those random acts and erratic results of endlessly repetitive manual labor, cold prospecting or wasteful advertising to a business running on system.


This is an excerpt from my book, “9 Rules For Business Prosperity in the New Economy”.  The book may be purchased in both printed and Kindle editions at: