“It’s Not Whether You Win Or Lose But It’s How You Play The Game” -

“Winning Isn’t Everything But Losing Is Nothing” – Part 2

winning losing 2 “It’s Not Whether You Win Or Lose But It’s How You Play The Game”  In the first part of this article I talked about how winning and losing needs to be constructed in the context of playing a bigger game to reach your goals. Then having the ability to not take losing (Or winning) personally – which is a major barrier to reaching your goals and success.

And more importantly being able to understand that it’s not the number of times you win necessarily but how big you win when you do – and being emotionally okay with it. Mostly people are not okay with losing at all.

The second thing you need to be aware of is that you don’t want to go broke trying to win.

In both my and other people’s opinion, the inability to understand how to make compound interest or geometric growth work for you rather than against you is the single biggest obstacle to sustained success.

Is a 2% return any good?

One of our clients is getting about a 2% referral rate every month on his newsletter. In a past business life I was getting a 2% return on my direct mail, (that return meant I was making 2 grand in profit for every $100 spent.) I got depressed with 2% and stopped doing direct mail. Can you spell

‘B.I.G. M.I.S.T.A.K.E?’

Do you know what sustaining that response rate means? It means quite simply that our client’s business will grow 27% from new customers in the next 12 months.

Would that make you happy? 27% bigger this time next year.

All from a ‘piddly’ 2% response rate being able to compound for 12 months. 2 years on and you’ve grown 61%.

Unfortunately most people will get discouraged at 2% and just stop.

You can use compound interest in your favor or not. The choice is yours. But I can guarantee you that playing the long game is how most people succeed. I am yet to encounter a genuine overnight success. They all begin with long periods spent in obscurity, before the bloom into something massive.

As far as I can see everything unfettered in nature grows geometrically. The only place there is linear growth is in the world of jobs and employees.




“It’s Not Whether You Win Or Lose But It’s How You Play The Game”

“Winning Isn’t Everything But Losing Is Nothing”  – Part 1

winning losing “It’s Not Whether You Win Or Lose But It’s How You Play The Game” I probably heard the first quote from my mother when I first played under 8’s basketball. I heard the second quote from Mutant League Football on my Sega Megadrive when I was 12.

The first thing it is worth noting about any competition is that there are automatically winners and losers. In all but the most unlikely of circumstances you will end up with one label or the other. For those of you unhappy with labels there is only one option – life on the sidelines. In all likelihood working for the man, in either that depressingly massive bureaucracy – the government or a Dilbert Cube.

Unfortunately most of us feel that losing is nothing. It can be especially when you don’t learn anything or it’s not part a of deliberate strategy to win overall.

The hardest trophy to win in all professional sports is the Stanley Cup in the NHL. You play for best of 7 series, after completing a gruelling 82 game season just to make the finals. The commentators are fond of saying you have to win 16 games of hockey to win Lord Stanley’s Cup.

What never gets mentioned is that you can lose another 12 and still win – a 57% win rate. Wow! Those odds are hardly better than a coin flip. In this case a 7% edge over ‘chance’ and you become a grand champion – bathed in glory – your name etched on the cup along with every other person to have ever won it!

That’s what I mean about a deliberate strategy. One where the losses are factored in and accounted for as part of your plan for success. Not everything we’ve done here at Newsletter Marketing has been successful. Personally we can both share our share of hard luck stories. However when we’ve risked, we have risked small but the rewards have been comparatively massive.

We stack risk: reward in our favour!

So we can have lots of small losses and still come out ahead.

  1. Which means we don’t need that many winners to win.
  2. We keep using our winners until they no longer work – maximising our win.

We’ve been using a handful of control ads to do our lead generation in rotation for over 2 years now. They work like clockwork – month in month out they profitably  bring in new customers. It took a few goes to get it right but I couldn’t even begin to calculate the value of those winners to Newsletter Marketing.

Most people get stuck in the winning and losing is personal trap. I win means I am a winner. I lose means I am a loser. It means they have never see the big picture – success just doesn’t even mean winning more than losing. For many people it means when they win, they win so big that it cancels out all the losses and then keeps paying them.

It’s not whether you win or lose but how big you win and being able to stay in the game long enough to actually win. When you see the bigger picture the losses are just part of the bigger game.

“Why On Earth Should I Buy From YOU?”

why should i do business with you “Why On Earth Should I Buy From YOU?”For most of us that is the hardest question we can answer. It happens to be one of the foundation questions for making a sale.

Interestingly a bunch of people have just written about this in their marketing newsletters. Considering the UNPRECEDENTED levels of commoditisation (and rising) that are out there in more and more industries, every business needs a crystal clear Unique Selling Proposition (USP).

The USP was originally coined by Rosser Reeves in ‘Reality In Advertising.’ I have my copy. I hope you’ve got yours. For some reason unlike ‘Ogilvy On Advertising,’ ‘Scientific Advertising’ and ‘Tested Advertising Methods,’ ‘Reality in Advertising’ hasn’t stayed in print.

It is on its way to becoming the next ‘Breakthrough Advertising’ (which sold for $900 used on eBay until it was reprinted). At the moment ‘Reality in Advertising’ will only set you back a couple hundred bucks.


Developing a USP that actually works for a single product should allow you to sell much more than a couple hundred dollars worth of your product. In fact one of the criteria of a successful USP is that it can sell millions.

The advice in that book is absolutely priceless.

Now a lot of people have actually taken the term USP and pirated it into something else. A USP is not a slogan or a tag line but it can be.

The most famous USPs like that are probably :-

‘Fresh, hot pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes. Guaranteed.’

‘Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.’

What is A USP? Dammit!?!

The USP is really much more than a slogan – at its essence is actually a boiling down of your sales message to a handful of pithy points that differentiate you from your competition and answer the most critical question: “why should I buy from you right now and not your competitor next week?”

The day you can answer that question your life changes. If you are never able to answer that question your business is doomed to be middle of the road at best.

The reason so few businesses have a USP is that nobody in the business took the time with the right tools to sit down and create a breakthrough USP.

The Secret Behind Footy, Cricket And Netball’s success And How You Can Use It To Find Your Best Customers.

afl feeder system The Secret Behind Footy, Cricket And Netball’s success And How You Can Use It To Find Your Best Customers.There is a marketing success secret lurking just within our vision – in any professional sporting competition, from cricket to netball to rugby to NRL to AFL.

They all use a feeder system.

There are layers of competition below them aren’t there?

In the AFL you have the SANFL, VFL, WAFL, the NEFL. On top of that you have the junior competitions, not just the local footy clubs’ Seniors, Reserves, U18, U16, U14, U12, U10s all the way down to Oz-kick. There is also the elite under age competition – where future talent is identified and sent to.

Now there are some 800 odd listed AFL players (808 available for selection in supercoach).  My guess would be that the VFL, SANFL WAFL and NEFL probably has 4 times more players between them.

afl The Secret Behind Footy, Cricket And Netball’s success And How You Can Use It To Find Your Best Customers. Then you go down to the level of the seniors at local footy clubs and there are at least 4 times as many again.

Then how many kids play at their age level?

It forms a feeder pyramid. Everyone aspiring to get to the next level. With the best players rising to the top.

Your customers do work the same as well. The fewest best should be at the top, giving you the most money, then there is the next tier, good but not quite as good as your best. Then there are some middle guys who might move up a level one day but are otherwise solid citizens. Then there is the rest who should aren’t customers yet, but might become customers one day.

Commonly called ascension – this can be engineered into almost any business. We are currently building into ours.

Most of your revenues can and probably do come from your fewest and best customers (this is 80-20 principle.) Many businesses try and operate outside of this and ignore it. You need to find ways for your best customers to spend more with you. They can and they will.

graph The Secret Behind Footy, Cricket And Netball’s success And How You Can Use It To Find Your Best Customers.The amount your customers spend with you should look like this – few spending a lot, many spending some. A whole lot spending not much. That is a business operating in accordance with nature.

How To Boost Response Rates To Your Existing Customers: Even when you thought they all bought.

how to boost response rates How To Boost Response Rates To Your Existing Customers: Even when you thought they all bought.One of the sad things about marketing is that not everybody who should respond to an offer does respond. You also get people who do respond, who perhaps shouldn’t but that’s another kettle of fish.

The most successful industry at getting people to pay is the collections industry. Think about it… Collections agencies are have to get money out of people who in all likelihood have no money to begin with.

Marketing at it’s best is about selecting people who can pay for your services and also want your services. Collections agencies have neither of these advantages, yet they still are profitable.

What’s Their Big Secret?

They send a SEQUENCE of letters to people asking to pay what they owe.

This is the general gist of how the sequence goes.

Letter 1: First notice – you owe money, pay up by the date below or suffer the consequences (which includes phone calls and unwelcome visitors).

Letter 2: Second notice – usually this is sent a 2-3 weeks after the first letter and it is a little more terse. And reminds them that we are closer to the deadline than we were when letter 1 went out.

Letter 3: Final notice – this is sent just before the deadline and basically says pay up in the next couple of days ‘or else.’

This is more effective than a single letter for the simple reason that repetition has an effect on people. It reminds them to do what they should have done the first time they received the letter and then promptly forgot.

3 letters has a higher response rate than 3 single shots. So if letter 1 had a respond rate of .5% you’d expect a response rate of 1.5% for three single shots. I’ve done a lot of these sequences and every time I see compound growth. I’ve had a .75% response to letter 1 (you’d expect 2.25% response to three letters) and the campaign pulled 7%.

So when you are marketing to your own customers the same rule applies. You should naturally get a higher response rate compared to marketing to new clients but the repetition of multiple steps in the sequence means that it works on your existing customers too.

So if you have a featured product in your newsletter then you should also be following up with additional email and mail and anything else you can think of.


The Most Important (And Hardest) Task In All Of Business. (And why we are not for start ups)

important task in business The Most Important (And Hardest) Task In All Of Business. (And why we are not for start ups)There is one task that will determine if a business goes from idea on paper to profitable enterprise. Without it you’ll scrap and fight for existence, struggle one month to the next in order to pay all the bills and meet pay roll.

It is foundational to business success.

If you get it right your business can often go on for years very successfully. The drawback being that you never fully take advantage of the other opportunities this one skill generates for you. Success with it can blind you.

If you are halfway serious about marketing I bet you know what it is…

Drum-roll, for the uninitiated.

To be able to buy a customer, cost effectively.

The reason I say ‘buy’ is because you buy customers either by having salesmen on the ground pounding on the pavement or dialling for dollars (You either pay commissions or salaries or both). That is the real cost of a sale right there.

You pay for it in media and in follow up if you are a marketing driven business.

That cost of sale has to be absorbed either by being able to cover the cost in the first transaction or else by paying for it over multiple sales.

If you can’t affordably get customers in the numbers that you need, then your business is toast. However, when you do get it right then nothing can stop you growing your business to the size that you want.

If you haven’t already become proficient at getting customers, it is really hard to be able to generate referrals, you need existing customers to get referrals, you need customers to buy from you once, before you ever get a repeat purchase.

This is why we can’t help a business that is a start-up. To me a start-up is where you hammer out your customer acquisition system. Be it with brute force and a team of salesmen, be it with marketing. However you get there, you need to be getting customers and making initial sales before you’ll ever have a shot at a second sale.

That is your first challenge in business, getting customers. Once you are proficient at that then your next challenge is maximising their value to your business. That is where Newsletter Marketing Systems does its best work.


Why We Can’t Take On A Client Who Won’t Do A Newsletter For 12 Months

roi Why We Can’t Take On A Client Who Won’t Do A Newsletter For 12 MonthsSome people can be impatient! I know because I’m one of them.

The other week I was conducting an existing customer opportunity audit with a business and we discovered that in their specific situation, there was a really good business case for doing a newsletter. I was confident that the newsletter would deliver the conservative results that we discussed. They were completely sold on the idea and ready to get started, but then they said “We’ll try it for 3 months, and only if we see a return during that time, we’ll continue.”. – I had to stop them right there and say “If you can’t commit for at least 12 months, we can’t take you on as a client”

And there is a mathematical reason why we wont! So I thought I’d show you the ‘maths’ behind how a newsletter makes you more money. – It’s not like other forms of advertising where you get a new client with whom you can immediately and easily track the return.

We’ll use a hypothetical business… lets pretend it is a car mechanic, and they have 300 current clients.

This particular business has an average sale of $300, and on average a client gets their car detailed once every 9 months, and currently clients stay loyal for about 3 years. And on average about 1 in 4 clients will make a referral over their lifetime.
By implementing a newsletter, there are some key factors we are likely to change:

1.) Increase the transaction size – by educating customers and building trust you can usually up-sell customers, and cross-sell additional products and services to your clients which increases the transaction size. Let’s say this happens and the average sale increased from $300 to $330. a mere 10%

2.) Increase the frequency of how often they purchase – by encouraging and educating customers about the importance of servicing your car every 6 months, they can easily increase the frequency, not everyone complies, but lets say it moves from every 9 months to every 7 months (or said another way, from 1.33 times per year to 1.71 times per year)

3.) Increase how many years they stay loyal for. – By staying in touch every month, nobody will ‘forget’ you, they will stay connected with you and the likelihood of leaving will decrease a lot. For this purpose lets say we manage to increase the time they stay loyal from 3 years to 4 years.

4.) Increase the referrals you get. – By always being in front of customers, you will be top of mind, the perfect place to be to garner referrals. By implementing a referral programs alongside your newsletter it will increase it even more. In this instance we change it from 1 in 4 clients to 1 in 3 clients referring. (or said another way, from 0.25 referrals per client to 0.33 referrals per client.)

All these numbers don’t really mean a lot on their own, but lets crunch some numbers.

Currently with no newsletter, here is the current “lifetime value” of their current customer base (including the referrals those customers bring in):

300 x $300 x 1.33 x 3 x 1.25 = $448,875

If we achieve those projected changes, look what happens:

300 x $330 x 1.71 x 4 x 1.33 = $900,622

A 200% increase in what those customers are worth to your business! While this looks impressive to do as an exercise, and the numbers are a good estimate, Their is a gradual increase to those changes, and the ‘increase in loyalty doesn’t really kick in until a few years time! I’ve demonstrated below an example of the cost and return involved in this particular case. You’ll see why we don’t think that judging the success of the newsletter after 3 months is a wise decision.

Accumulated Income from existing customers
(no newsletter)

Accumulated Income from existing customers
(with newsletter)

Accumulated change income

Investment for newsletter

Additional Profits from Newsletter

Return On Investment

3 months







6 months







1 year







2 years







3 years







4 years







* This figure is unchanged because by year 4, the existing customers have already left.

There is a 50% chance the world will end…

5050 There is a 50% chance the world will end...I mean the Large Hadron Collider will either create a massive black hole to destroy the earth or it won’t.

Oh! I mean you are either a success or a failure.

No way known to man that you are either a success or a failure.

I know I spent a lot of time dealing with this idea. I wasn’t successful so I was a failure. I can over simplify things – Pobody is Nerfect.

With time and perspective I can see how limiting that belief is. However, when it is an omnipresent demon in your head, it isn’t helpful at all.

I spent the best part of a decade dealing with those demons. I don’t know where they came from, how they got there, but they were there. Gnawing away at my confidence, my ability and my effectiveness every day.

The downside of a good memory is the ability to replay every failure in your life over and over again, from a missed tackle in a hockey grand final that cost us the premiership to every time I botched a sale. I can recall them all with enough accuracy to bring my mood down.

For a long time, a part of my mind decided that they should be on a continuous loop. Not exactly the positive thinking material we are all told to focus on if we want to be successful.

In the end what got me through was the following realisation. Possibly from Dr Glenn Livingston for the sake of attributing it to someone.

Success is more like a process of removing anchors. If you are held in place by even a single anchor then you won’t make much progress quickly, especially in the eyes of an outside observer. However, you are making massive progress every time you remove an anchor.

Most importantly you won’t move freely until all the anchors are up.

One less anchor, holding you in place means you are a step closer to success. Once they are all removed then you have the happiest thing you could possibly want – largely unmitigated success the rest of your life.

“Life isn’t fair,” we all have a different anchors, and different numbers of anchors holding us in place. There are things holding us in place that aren’t a problem for others, and some people never seem to have had any problems. Our main task in life is to remove those anchors. Most people don’t, they remain anchored in place their entire life.

I know pulling up even one anchor is hard, dirty work. And if there is no breaking free then there isn’t reward either. The good news is once you are free, it is an incredible feeling.

The sooner you start to enjoy the process the easier it is. And how you feel about the task is actually entirely up to you – it’s just another anchor to pull up.

The Art of Effective Cross Selling.

cross sell The Art of Effective Cross Selling.Very early in my marketing days, I was reading the Gary Halbert letter. It is a brilliant crash course in marketing and copywriting. Go though the entire archives written by Gary at www.TheGaryHalbertLetter.com

It was one of the first things I ever did and I don’t regret it.

I was reading about Sir Gary’s early days in the Coat Of Arms business.

He was talking about how he used to send a catalogue of all the products you could purchase with your family’s coat of arms on them.

Into that process, he realised that there were three big selling items from that catalogue. So he crafted sales letters for those products, and then he would send them. And sales of those products went up.

So now the question becomes when promoting your products and services to your clients how do you promote them?

Like with solo promotions like Gary did with his sales letters?

Do you send a catalogue?

Recently we put together a printing catalogue for our existing customers at Newsletter Marketing Systems – so for those products we’ve gone the broad approach there.

However with some feedback – we will start taking a more focused approach. It makes sense to focus on what your market wants.

Where you have high margin products make the investment to develop high quality marketing for those products.

It will pay off over time.

Where you aren’t sure what’s going to sell or need to hedge your bets, go broad, to find a clue on what to focus on.

That is how to cross sell.


What Are The Non-negotiables in your business?

not negotiable What Are The Non negotiables in your business?There are certain things that have to be done. Every month, every week and every day. Interestingly, they do vary for each business.

For us, we need to get our own newsletter out on time every month. It’s kind of hypocritical if we are telling other businesses that we can make this happen for them and we can’t do it for ourselves.

We are also the only business in the world who produces newsletters for other businesses and eats our own dog food. Nobody else who can do it for you actually does their own newsletter – the way they tell you to do it.

There is an ever expanding list of things that you should be doing. I don’t know why this is. But I do know 80% of your results are going to be tied to 20% of your effort. Isn’t best just to identify what the 20% is and then focus on that. You are going to be working less – 20% of what you currently do and still getting 80% of the result.


There is an inordinate amount of rubbish thrown around about work and rewards. The two are not as linked as we like to think. I think this all stems from the dollars for hours mentality most of us are brought up with. Every hour is worth $20, $30 or $50…

It becomes like a sickening cancer that ruins ours thinking about how the world works.

Success can be had by focusing. After I finish this article I’ll have about 45 minutes to prepare for a sales meeting.

IF I get that right – then Newsletter Marketing will have a new customer. If I get it wrong then we don’t. Time and money well spent in order to tackle a high value task. If I spend a day on this it will be time well spent. It’s a 20% activity that yields 80% of the result.

The most effective among us at business are the ones who take their 20% effort tasks that yield 80% of the results and they focus on doing them as well as they can to the EXCLUSION of all others, to maximise their business results. Those tasks are the non-negotiable ones.

Do them poorly and your business will suffer. Do them well and your business will thrive

That is how you maximise your efficiency and effectiveness. Be good at the vital few tasks.