Use surprise to get people to read your mailshot

Junk mail and spam are the two words most used by customers and prospects to describe the unsolicited mail that arrives by post or e-mail—the poor old salesperson calls it a mailshot or a fax shot. We know that most of it ends up in the waste paper bin and that it is very difficult to get recipients even to read the title before putting it there. Using surprise here generally means encouraging the prospect to respond because they are intrigued by something that is on offer.

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Using surprise here generally means encouraging the prospect to respond because they are intrigued by something that is an offer. A company that sells machine tools sent out many mailshots to production engineers. Knowing the nature of the animal receiving the letters, they made up an inexpensive working model of a machine in kit form. When the engineers put the machine together from the bits in the kit, they discovered that there was either a bit missing or that they had made a mistake. This made large numbers of them contact the company to find out the truth or complain about the deficiency. The response was much better than other attempts to get the name and number of engineer prospects. Notice how this is also an idea that depends on the ability of the salesperson to understand what makes their customers tick.