If you’ve never heard of the term “shock and awe package”, it’s credited to Dan Kennedy who has been a proponent of instructing business owners to create an impressive package of stuff that is sent to people who want more information about your product or service.
Whereas most business owners do as little (and cheaply) as possible when somebody requests information from them, shock and awe marketing takes it to a “whole ‘nother level.”
The concept behind a shock and awe package is to create a benefit-laden package or kit that is so unique-looking and full of useful content the recipient has no other choice but to notice it and (if done right) engage with it.
Personally, I’ve used shock and awe packages for my own businesses and for those of private clients and while Dan Kennedy is a proponent of creating lavish, often expensive packages, I’ve been able to get great results without spending lots of money.
[NOTE: If, for example, you’re selling a $2,000,000 home, you can afford to spend some money on a decent shock and awe package for your home listing. The goal is not to spend as little as possible, but to understand what your potential return on investment is and budget accordingly.]
If you’re new to this concept or on a tight budget, this month I can help you create a cost-effective shock and awe package. I am going to focus on creating a physical package that you can mail or give to somebody (next week, I'll cover what you need to do to create an online shock & awe package).
There are two obvious ways you can use a shock and awe package in your business. You can create one that is designed to be sent when a person requests information about your product or service or you can create a kit that is sent when a person becomes a new customer/client/patient.
Let me offer some insight on each…
Shock and Awe Packages for Lead Generation
Hopefully everybody reading this is a student if direct-response marketing and the principle of getting people to raise their hand and give you permission to market to them.
For years, business owners have offered all types of “carrots” to get people to respond to their advertising and marketing. Often times what they send in response is weak and unimpressive.
Instead, consider how you can create an information kit that is unlike any other. One of the first things I would suggest is to give it a cool name and use this name in your marketing.
This is what I did for an information technology client several years ago during a lead generation marketing campaign I created for them.
We sent a multi-step direct mail campaign offering them the opportunity to receive a free “Disaster Prevention Kit” (whose picture we featured prominently throughout the campaign). The kit (as you can see below) was sent in a Priority Mail box and it contained a custom-branded attaché case full of client-focused information to help them choose my client as the premier choice in information disaster recovery.
This particular kit included, among other things, a testimonial book, a guarantee certificate and a special response offer to try out the system. It also contained a sealed bubble envelope that was only to be opened in case they felt disaster recovery was not a critical issue. Inside it there was another letter and a flashlight and deck of cards (to be used “when the power goes out”). All told the entire kit cost less than $30.00.
Over the course of the campaign, we sent out over 100 kits that resulted in a number of new clients for my client. The kit was a huge success!
Another client, a local dentist who was on a much more limited budget, used a shock and awe package as a carrot in his print and radio advertising. In his particular case, he created his Safe Dentistry Health Kit, which included a custom pocket folder (www.folderprinters.com) in which he inserted a number of helpful items, including a report, a trio of tri-fold brochures, a testimonial booklet and an audio CD of a radio interview where he was the featured guest.
NOTE: Simply sending a shock and awe package doesn’t guarantee a sale or success. It’s just part of an customer-oriented marketing process. Effective follow-up is key!
In these two examples, the kits were sent by mail and depending on your campaign, it might be worth the money to hand-deliver your shock and awe package like my friend Kellene did, when she had her kits delivered by a guerilla…
Shock and Awe Packages for New Customers
Another opportunity to employ a shock and awe package is when a new customer/client/patient comes onboard. Again, this is a great opportunity to delight and surprise folks and uniquely position your business.
In this case, the package can be a part of your product or service where a person expects it (just make sure to include some unexpected bonuses and fun gifts) or as a surprise package they had no idea was coming (could be as simple as a box of homemade cookies and a handwritten thank you note).
Here's an example of a kit designed to position someone in a very positive light and every single item (down to the custom imprinted hiliters) was included for very specific reasons:
• Copy of a book you wrote
• A “greatest hits CD” featuring guest speakers presentation recordings
• A nifty pocket guide
• A voucher for a free book when they came to their second meeting (involvement device)
• A guest pass for them to give to a friend
• A fun luggage tag identifier
While you could easily send a digital welcome kit via email, sending a package in the mail has a higher perceived value.
I guarantee there are not many websites that send stuff in the mail so... if you want to differentiate and position yourself as different - consider it.
Remember what I said back in the beginning of this article… effective marketing is about doing a lot of little things right (and constantly keeping your prospect or customer’s needs in mind).
13 Tips For Your Own Shock & Awe Package
Here are 13 tips to help you as you think about your own shock and awe package. Remember, this is not about simply loading up a box of “stuff.” It’s about creating a package that contains customer-oriented information that makes the case for buying/trying your product or service (you can download a printable checklist in this month’s content).
Give it a unique and interesting name
Include cover letter and thank you note
Include product or service brochures
Include reports, articles, white papers, books, etc. written by you
Include reports, articles, white papers, books, etc. written about you
Include Audio CDs or Video DVDs of presentations or interviews you've given
Include Frequently Asked Questions about your product or service
Include testimonials and testimonial books (with pictures if possible!)
Include customer success stories and case studies
Include a guarantee certificate featuring your guarantee in an important-looking way
Include involvement device to get them to take further action
Include fun gifts like food, pens, luggage tag identifiers, t-shirts, books, etc. If they are related to your business niche even better!
Create cool packaging or delivery method