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Sales + Inbound Marketing + HubSpot

From Teen Dad To Direct Mail Marketing Winner (Shaun Buck)

Posted by Wes Schaeffer | October 21

About Shaun Buck

19 years ago Shaun Buck was not known as The Newsletter Pro. He was a 16 year old high school kid that was about to become a father. If his life had spiraled out of control into a series of real life Country Western songs, nobody would blame him. But that's not what happened.

Hear how Shaun stuck with things, became a successful entrepreneur and is now the father of five boys and is winning marketing awards and helping other professional salespeople, sales managers, business owners and entrepreneurs grow their sales.

Rubber-Meets-The-Road Sales Tips

  • When Shaun Buck was 16 he was told “his life was over” when his girlfriend got pregnant.
  • He's now 35 years old, married with 5 boys, has 30 employees and has been self-employed full time since he was 21.
  • He bought a franchise via newsletter and was required to send a newsletter out every month back in 2002.
    • He sent “the world’s most boring newsletter for two years” then figured it out and has been pretty consistent since then.
    • In 2011 he started doing newsletters for others.
    • Owns his equipment. No financing.
    • Sends over 200,00 newsletters out per month now.
    • He has journalists on staff who interview the clients and writes the content.
    • "People are a lot more interesting than they realize."
    You're a lot more interesting than you realize"
  • Facebook is all about someone else’s life.
    • You can find interesting posts on anyone’s page.
    • Just pull out a few interesting posts and make the newsletter.
  • Content mix: imagine four sheets of paper.
    • The front page is the personal article. Shaun tells a personal story and ties it back to business. This is where you build the relationship. You want your readers to know, like and trust you. This is probably the most important piece of the newsletter.
    • Page 2: Who is your reader? How can you improve their lives? If you are a dentist you need to consider the wife who is the one making the appointments. She’s 30-45 so what’s she interested in? Maybe keeping her kids safe on Facebook or family-friendly activities.
    • Bottom of Page 2:
      • Maybe it’s an entertainment section. His accountant says he reads the “Meme’s” section called “Take a Break."
      • “Dumb Criminals” section.
      • If you’re in B2C you can use recipes. They work! Recipe Books are the top selling category in book stores.
      • Advanced Tip: make sure your contact info is included in the recipe so when they cut out the recipe they are thinking about you.
      • Have a referral contest.
    Interview a client and let the client “sell” for you by telling their success story.
    • Page 4: top is your address and postage section.
      • Also have an “Inside This Issue” with strong headlines. Your readers will sort their mail over the trashcan.
      • The bottom of Page 4 is important, too. You are using an 11”x17” folded twice so this becomes like Page 1 of a newspaper. (To be REALLY advanced don’t complete the article on that page. Use a “Continued Inside” to get them to open the newsletter.)
    • To start, send a newsletter to past and current clients to stay top-of-mind.
    • Most people won’t opt-in for a newsletter because they are accustomed to receiving boring newsletters.
    • Send them to prospects. You know how long to send it to them based on your sales cycle.
Send a newsletter to past and current clients to stay top-of-mind"
  • To measure ROI you can put tracking numbers on newsletters and also track retention. If retention improves you know it’s working.
  • You can also do offers to track ROI.
  • His clients get different offers than everyone else.
  • Prospects get the same newsletter with different offers.
  • About 40% of his own clients are dentists so he does an offer just for dental prospects. The advanced part is to NOT send an offer out for at least three editions. You don’t want to appear pitchy. When you do an offer, do it as an FSI - Free-Standing Insert.
  • He will scrape leads from places like Groupon so when he sees someone advertising there he sends them a cold newsletter.
  • Ideally you start with 200 names at least.
  • He can also do “bulky mail” and include CDs / DVDs, etc.
  • His largest client started with 1,000 to 2,000 newsletters per month.
    • They own pet stores. It’s retail so you wouldn’t think it would work for them but they were good at tracking their “A” clients.
    • They wanted to include more ads, which Shaun doesn’t usually like to do.
    • They included a 3-page circular and are killing it.
    • They’ve been able to cancel $500,000 in newspaper ads for an increase in just $10,000/mo in newsletter costs.
    • They can use variable data like their birthdays and anniversaries to give them special offers and messages.
    • Another client has an airsoft business and includes an FSI, which not only makes him money it covers all of his printing costs and more.
    • He usually works on a 6-month calendar with his clients.
    • He won the GKIC Marketer Of The Year award in March 2014.
    • You have to keep throwing spaghetti against the wall over and over to make the right stuff stick.
    • Only 35 people have ever cancelled. If you stick with this for 6 months you’ll see the results.
"Stick with newsletters for 6 months and you'll see the results"

Links Mentioned

Share your appreciation for this episode by letting my guest and me know on Twitter.

Thank you for checking out this session of The Sales Whisperer® podcast. If you haven’t done so already, I would love if you left a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below! It would be extremely helpful for the show!

Topics: The Newsletter Pro, Direct response marketing, The Sales Podcast, Entrepreneur, Podcast, Shaun Buck

Written by Wes Schaeffer

The Reassuringly Expensive, Ruthlessly Pragmatic pig-headed entrepreneur dedicated to discovering proven, transferable, effective tools for creating inbound sales so he can help you automate, integrate, and dominate your niche.

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