What is “contact marketing” and why does Stu Heinecke think it’s like a superpower?
“It’s a fusion of marketing and selling,” explained Heinecke, “that produces or uses sometimes or often audacious means, but certainly micro-focused campaigns that are used to create contact with the ultra-important VIP prospects or accounts.”
Heinecke is author of the book that introduced “contact marketing” to the world, How to Get a Meeting with Anyone, and last year’s follow-up book, Get the Meeting! The American Marketing Association has labeled him the “father of contact marketing,” and since 2012, he also has been an editorial cartoonist for the Wall Street Journal.
“Becoming adept at getting meetings is almost like taking on, let's say, a superhero kind of power,” he told Freedom Media Network founder Curt Mercadante. “You can change your life.”
Heinecke said you can use contact marketing to get meetings with “the people who have the power to change the scale of your business or your career, or ultimately your life.”
He said “contact marketing” was born early in his career when he was trying to land marketing gigs with magazine publishers.
“When I first started I knew I wanted to work with magazine publishers, and they were the biggest users of direct response,” he recalled. “I wanted to marry direct response with the unbelievable power of cartoons and personalization. And so I convinced my prospects, who became my clients, at Rolling Stone and Bon Appetit to test, how to test this out.”
Heinecke continued, “What that meant was they would pay me to create a new direct marketing or direct mail campaign. And my campaigns always had a cartoon on the outer envelope or somehow on the outside of the piece, whatever format it took. A cartoon with a typeset caption. And so, there are data insertion points for first and last name. Each one shows up in the mail and there's a cartoon on it, and it's about each recipient.”
He said his “cartoon” direct response campaigns beat his prospective client’s “controls” -- meaning they were more effective than any other campaign they had ever done.
“It was like a rookie walking on the field hitting a grand slam home run two times,” Heinecke said. “So I thought, ‘Okay, great. This is my entree to the rest of the publishing industry.”
So he put together his own contact marketing campaign to land new clients.
“It consisted of an 8 x 10 print of a cartoon personalized for each recipient, and a note saying, ‘Hey, this is the device I've just used to beat the controls for Rolling Stone and Bon Appetit, and we should put this to the test for your titles as well."
That campaign received an incredible 100% response rate.
“And then all of them became clients. So it was also 100% conversion,” he said. “And it all stemmed from a campaign that I sent to about 24 people. These were VPs and directors of circulation at the big-time publishers. I only had to reach about two dozen people to have a full penetration in the publishing market.”
Heinecke added, “I spent about a hundred dollars to do it and it was worth millions. I mean, it launched my business. So that was my first experience with contact marketing.”
Watch Heinecke’s full discussion with Mercadante here: