If you haven’t worked it out, we’re proper marketing geeks. I assure you, our wives love our long conversations about response-rates and call-to-actions.

But my favourite part of marketing is the ability to buy clients through effective direct mail.

Now, most companies don’t seem to get their head around this, but essentially; if you know how much a new client is worth to you and you’re prepared to invest, you can go out and buy new clients whenever you want.

If your strategy is successful, and cash-flow dependent, you can then do this at scale.

Amazon are a great example of this – during Google’s Adwords earlier days (where it was a majorly under-priced platform), Amazon were one of the world’s biggest buyer of ads.

They were buying customers, at a loss to begin with. Because they knew that if they can get a client, then the lifetime value of that client would be superior. And they’ve been proved right with their 2017 sales being $177.9bn with $3bn of profit (they’re a truly incredible company).

But let me give you a practical example.

For us as a business, advertising agencies are our ideal clients. We know that the right agency is worth at least £50,000 per year to us.

Because we know how much they’re worth to us, it means that we can invest in order to buy these kind of clients.  This is why we’re running a campaign at the moment where we invest £80.00 per lead, in order to get us a meeting with them.

We start by sending a mobile phone in a box with a covering letter that asks them to call us if they want help to increase their clients direct mail results.

We then follow this up with a plastic foot with a letter asking, “What does it take to get our foot in the door.”

Followed with email & phone call follow-up.

This strategy is expensive – it’s nearly £1,000 for every 12 leads that we target.

But we know that if we can get one meeting for £1,000, and we can convert one in five meetings to new clients – then we’ll be able to grow our business very quickly, as we’ll keep re-investing into this strategy.

Now, most business owners would wince at the idea of investing £1,000 to get a meeting, or even spending £80.00 on sending a lead some interesting stuff.

But when you run the numbers, investing to buy clients is clearly one of the smartest marketing strategies for consistently and predictably growing your business.

In this article, I want to share THREE unique campaign ideas that you can use to “get through the door” with whoever you want.

1. The Padlocked Box of Sweets 

You’re going to love this – it’s by far one of my favourite direct mail strategies.

Essentially, you send a big clear plastic box that contains handfuls upon handfuls of sweets and chocolate.

You then close the box and slap a big padlock on it that requires a code to open.

You then send the box to the company that you’re trying to target with a covering letter that says that you’ll give them the code when they agree to have a meeting with you.

Now, the box will cost a good £100.00 to send – but if you can spend, say, £500 to acquire a meeting with an ideal client that has the potential to give you £50,000 over the next five years – is it worth it? Damn right.

2. Annoying Flowers 

Although I’m not recommending this strategy per say – it may make you think a little more creatively.

I heard a story about a guy – and I can’t remember his name or his line of business – but he was desperate for a meeting with a specific person.

The traditional approaches of calling/emailing didn’t work – so he decided to send a huge bunch of flowers to the prospects office, with a card that said he’ll send a bunch of flowers every day until he gets a meeting.

He sent the first bunch. Nothing. Day two, he sent the second bunch. Nothing. Day three … you get the idea.

He got to day eight, he had spent a small fortune on flowers and still nothing.

But he stuck by it and on day 16, the prospect called him and invited him in for a meeting (mainly to stop him sending so many flowers).

Does this border on weird and annoying? Almost definitely – but it’s another example of investing in order to get a meeting.

3. Research & Buy 

Probably the most ethical way to use unique high-value direct mail to buy new clients is to research and buy gifts.

For example, if you knew that I was your ideal client and you desperately wanted to get a meeting with me – then you’d do some research and learn that I’m a huge Morrissey fan.

Now, if you went on eBay and found a signed Morrissey poster or album sleeve – or some merchandise that had some real value – you could probably buy it for £50-£100.00

If you then sent it to me and asked for 20 minutes of his time – I’m pretty sure that the offer would be irrefutable, and you’d get your wish.

By researching your ideal clients, finding out what they’re into and then buying them a highly relevant gift – you’ll instantly be their favourite person and get a meeting.

This may mean buying a yoga mat, it may mean buying football tickets or it might just have to be a bookmark from their hometown – whatever they’ll highly appreciate.

Of course, this requires time investment and cash investment, but if you know how much you can buy a lead for, then it’s a great way to buy new clients at scale.

Your Take-Away Message 

I see a lot of companies that just run inbound marketing (trying to attract leads to them) and just hoping it works.

They have no idea what a client is worth to them or how much they’re spending to acquire one – it’s a game of hope.

But if you can be smarter, understand that you can outspend your competition and directly approach ideal leads with an opportunity that they can’t refuse, then you’ll have control of your client acquisition and rate of growth.