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5 Marketing Lessons from a Fake “Delivery Company”

November 4, 2013

Moved into a new place a couple of months ago and have been getting some great marketing examples in the mail since then, including a cactus from a cigarette company, an invitation from a Baptist church, and lots of information from companies selling to new homeowners.

Take a look at this fake “delivery” notice I got from a company called DMC Services…

Dmc services

I knew it was BS, but I’m a marketing guy and always curious about this stuff, so I called and gave them the “tracking number.” The package they’d supposedly been trying to deliver was a bottle of Tide laundry detergent and it came with a non-optional (but free) water test because “the people in your area have been complaining about hard water” or something.

Not exactly a courier company, but there are some great (and not-so-great) marketing lessons you can use in your business…

Who Sent This Postcard?

According to their Facebook page, DMC Services (also known as Direct Marketing Concept) allows local businesses to introduce their services to homeowners. Basically, it’s a lead generation service for companies that want to sell to homeowners. DMC Services set appointments for a “free water test” (or whatever else they market) and the local company closes the deal at that time.

What Can You Learn About Marketing from a Fake Delivery Notice?

1. Sell the Mystery – Even if you’re in on the joke, like I was, curiosity is still very powerful in getting people to act. I knew there was more to the story, but not having all the details was enough to get me to call.

Every business can do this. At the very least, you can include a related “Mystery Box” bonus item with what you sell.

2. Free Works – “Free” is almost as hard for people to walk away from as curiosity. If you’re having trouble getting in the door with potential customers, test a free offer. Online, this is often done with free digital products, which are perceived to have a high value, but cost little to manufacture and almost nothing to distribute.

Do you have a book you can give away digital copies of? If you want to see an example of how this can work, my marketing book for musicians, Six-Figure Musician, is available free at MusicianBook.com with paid options of the same content available via Amazon and an audio version available at Audible.

3. Have a Backend – It’s good to have a backend option available to help cover marketing costs and increase profits.

Have you been to an electronics or computer store lately? Many times, more money is made on a “maintenance plan” for a product than the sale of the product itself.

A recurring backend, one where the customer is billed until he says stop, is especially good for revenue. The water system being promoted above probably does this via filters that need to be replaced every few months.

A recurring backend can be so profitable, you can lose money on the initial sale and still make a profit overall. Great examples of this are alarm companies that give away high-priced alarm systems and make their profits on monthly monitoring of them and phone companies that give away phone equipment and make their profits by billing for usage.

4. Know Customer Value – When you know how much your average customer is worth and what it takes to convert leads into paying customers, you can use companies such as DMC Services and other lead-generation options to bring interested people your way. When you can make the numbers work by bringing in more revenue than you’re spending on leads, this is the equivalent of printing money, because if you need more revenue, you simply buy more leads to convert.

As far as online businesses go, this is something most are missing completely, which is why so many worry about SEO and whatever Google is doing. When you can make money via paid traffic, what Google does doesn’t matter.

5. Don’t Lie – While DMC Services didn’t exactly lie by sending this postcard, their marketing, in my opinion, falls into a gray area. As noted above, I think “mystery” is great. I like freebies and making money on the backend. Causing confusion to get a lead though may hurt you when it comes to converting that lead.

May all your packages be successfully delivered…

ABOUT THIS SERIES: Every Monday, I analyze the good, bad, and ugly about the marketing behind a common business or famous personality. See other posts in this series here and, if you have a request for something (or someone) you’d like me to analyze for this series, contact me via Twitter.