What financial marketers and advertisers must know to profit from the senior market
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Direct marketing could be a college major. It's any effort to speak directly to the consumer. The most important word in this arena is YOU. Here we'll touch on the most significant elements of direct marketing so that you can explore the details most pertinent to you.

Direct marketing systems for financial advisors and financial institutions

Those new to direct marketing most often underestimate the power of good copy. In fact, they don't even realize that copywriting is part science and skill that can be learned and part talent. If you don't have the talent, then hire a copywriter. Whether it's US mail, e-mail or a telephone script, the right words can make a 500% difference in results. Therefore, the mastery of language, having the right copy is paramount.

To get a feel for this, take a look at any major catalog and read the product descriptions carefully (e.g. The Sharper Image). To start your own education, get a copy of Dan Kennedy's The Ultimate Sales Letter.

Direct Mail
Most direct mail gets tossed in the trash because direct mailers ignore "envelope science." You must get your envelope opened. That means you cannot allow your recipient to prejudge the contents. If they think they know what's inside the envelope, they won't open it. If the return address is "Merrill Lynch," they will assume the envelope contains a solicitation for investments and if not interested, they toss out the envelope unopened. I estimate that 40-50% of financial services mail is thrown away unopened because the mailer allows the recipient to pre-judge the contents. Other issues for effective direct mail have to do with when the item is mailed, the addressing, the postage (use a stamp) and of course, the offer. (Teleconference- "How to Make Direct Mail Work")

Advertising works well when the offer is something that meets the criteria below ("the offer") and it is consistent with the prospect's agenda. It must also match the prospect desire as the prospect's needs are irrelevant (plenty of people need to lose weight but they only go on a diet when they desire to lose weight). For example, an ad that offers a booklet via an 800 line about "stocks that will increase the most for 2006" is good, as it will attract those people with a desire to make money in the market, is non-intimidating and makes action easy for their investor or insurance buyer. An ad that calls for the prospect to call a broker is not effective. Additionally, an ad that trumpets just one stock is clearly in the seller's interest. It is of less interest to the potential clients because he wants to know how to make money in the market and wants the booklet about all the stocks that will increase (i.e. his objective is making money, NOT buying a particular stock). How to Write Ads that Generate $100,00/year in commission

The offer
The offer must be easy to take, must be non-intimidating, time sensitive, and address the prospect's agenda. An offer is easy when it requires calling an 800 number or completing a very brief coupon. It is more difficult if you ask the prospect to switch "modes" and go to a website. It's best if you offer multiple options --call an 800 number, or e-mail the coupon or download from the website. The offer must be non-intimidating which means you cannot say "call for a free consultation." How many prospects feel comfortable calling to meet with a stranger to talk about their money? If they first get something (a booklet, a quote, a report), it warms them up and then the meeting is less intimidating.

Cold Calling
Largely a waste of time. Prospects with money usually won't talk to strangers on the phone. However, if you have lots of low paid people, then having them make tons of qualifying cold calls for your direct marketing effort is fine (note--call centers in India are good for this).

E-mail Marketing
see e-mail marketing

WebSite Marketing
Website marketing

Keywords critical to this subject: direct marketing, direct mail, e-mail, cold calling, cold call, envelope, postage, advertiser, advertising, consumer, buyer, investor, prospect, client, prospecting, copy, copywriting, telephone script .

Resources for Specializing in the Senior Market:
Marketing tools to attract seniors
Senior Investment and Insurance Leads
Books and Tapes

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