What is Phone-Mail-Phone? And why is it so important?

PHONE - MAIL - PHONE is just that!

You phone people, then you send them something by post or email, then you phone them again. You should absolutely be doing this right now for some part of your marketing, so pay attention because you need to understand this.


You don’t have to do this yourself.
Some of our clients get their staff to do it; others employ a part-timer, a friend or someone they’ve met who just loves talking to people on the phone, or maybe someone who wants to work from home and can’t commit to a full time job.
You are NOT a telemarketer so you must not sound like one.
You don’t like talking to telemarketers so it’s no surprise that neither do your customers! But you don’t mind when someone from a local business phones you up and asks if you’d like some information on a subject that interests you. That’s who you are – someone from a business phoning up asking exactly that. To make sure you don’t sound like a telemarketer, write down the bullet points of what you want to say. Then practice it until it sounds like you’re just having a normal conversation with the person. Try it on your friend or partner until you’ve gotten over your embarrassment and can say it just like you were talking. Oh, and make sure you smile as you talk (it affects the sound of your voice), and get to the point quickly.
Don’t try to short-cut the process. For some reason, this approach always works best when you stick to the phone-mail-phone sequence.
  • First, you phone and ask permission to send them whatever it is that you want to send them.
  • Second, you send it.
  • Third, you call, ask if they got it, and whether or not they did (many won’t remember getting it), you explain what was in the mail anyway, repeat what the mail offered them and ask them if they’d like to receive that offer.
The ‘offer’ doesn’t have to be them buying something or some service. For instance, the letter might be inviting them to say yes to a FREE CHECK (of their hot water cylinder, their car tyres, their feet and their running shoes, their glasses and eyesight etc.). Or it might be inviting them to a customer evening.
Low-pressure selling generally gets a better response because it builds a relationship – and a relationship means they will keep coming back for more.
And that’s what you want isn’t it? Your customers are sick of people trying to pressure-sell them. But they do want help, information and relationships with people who can provide those things. At Holloway & Hudson, we always stick to this principle. You should too. Our marketing must help people - whether or not they buy from us. So your customer evening might not be a chance to look at all your cool new TVs. It might be how to know which TVs are best for your eyesight. It might sound silly to you, but companies who do that get higher sales. The more you help people, the more they buy from you. That’s true in your day-to-day dealings with your customers, and believe me, it will definitely be true if your marketing helps people (whether or not they buy from you).
Now, read through the following case studies and apply their approach for your own business. If you’ve got questions about getting started, let us know and we will happily help you out.
Small plumber
One of our clients is a plumber in a small town. As you can imagine, plumbers have plenty of advice to give home owners (from how to save money on heating, through to the benefits of conserving water).
Using the Holloway and Hudson formula of “helping people whether or not they buy from you”, we decided to send out regular newsletters and direct mail letters that would help everyday people save money on their water and power bills. In order to grow the amount of people this business could talk to, their team got on the phone and called local residents to ask them if they would be interested in receiving regular tips and advice from their local plumber.
After receiving a positive response to the initial call, we started sending out regular emails and letters which had great offers, like a free hot water cylinder check. After each letter, the team would call people and follow up on the offer.
Just about every time we do a direct mail letter following the phone-mail-phone approach, we have to stop because too many people take up the offer and the team becomes inundated with work. We know that phone-mail-phone works best because we have tried to take shortcuts and it never generates the same results.
Engineering company
A small engineering company who makes turf care equipment for bowling greens and golf clubs wanted to sell more equipment to more clubs all over the country.
We decide to use the phone-mail-phone approach as a tool to introduce this company and their products to over 600 bowling clubs across New Zealand.
These are the steps that this company took to undergo the campaign:
  1. They identified every bowling club in New Zealand using the Yellow Pages website.
  2. They created a phone list.
  3. They phoned every club and asked if they could send some information about how turf care could be made easier and more productive.
  4. They sent out a letter and brochure pack which had advice and product information.
  5. They followed up each club individually and asked if they were interested in any particular products.
  6. Results: they have currently sold over $80,000 worth of products as a direct result of this campaign and have approximately $100,000 worth of quotes awaiting approval. A good result, considering this campaign cost approximately $1000 equaling 20 hours labour.
Tyre company
Like most tyre companies, this one sends out reminders every month to a whole bunch of people on their database reminding them that their tyres are due for a check and that the company will do that check for free.
The tyre company contacted us hoping we would rewrite their reminder letter and somehow work a miracle. We told them it’s a lot simpler than that. Yes, we could rewrite the letter and probably we might increase the response by 10%, maybe even 20% if we’re really lucky. But there are much simpler things you can do all on your own without any help from Holloway and Hudson we told them.
Here’s what we got them to do:
  1. Phone the people BEFORE you send a letter. Think of something to phone them about of course. We suggested they phone and tell them they are about to send the reminder letter but wanted to check address details.
  2. Send the letter.
  3. Phone and offer a couple of choices of appointments because most people don’t book the tyre check for the simple reason that it seems too difficult to figure out a time that works.
Their results were spectacular. The first two days of phoning resulted in 11 bookings before they even sent out the letter. Now they receive around 22 bookings per month from the campaign.
This approach works for any type of free check.
Steffan Hudson
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P:  (07) 579 3645
249 State Highway 2,
  Tauranga 3110