You’re flipping through a competitor’s ads and notice they’ve landed a new client who would also be a great fit for your publication. Of course you’re going to take a photo or screenshot of that ad and add it to your prospect database, but there’s more you can accomplish while you’re adding that prospect to the CRM, with zero extra effort.

Instead of just attaching a new prospect’s ad in a competitor as a note in the CRM system, I recommend sending an email through your CRM with the ad attached. You still get a copy of that ad in your CRM, but it’s stored in a sent email instead of a note.

Once you get in the habit of emailing competitors’ clients while adding them to your prospect database, you will discover that sending a well-written email to prospect that is advertising in direct competitor can be a highly effective strategy to start a conversation with that prospect.

Following is a sample of a templated email I created to send to competitors’ advertisers:

Subject : Renewal by Andersen – Your Home Mag Ad

Dear Chris,

The attached Home Mag ad looks great and likely drives significant calls and sales for Renewal By Andersen.

Using the same strategy that I assume is currently working for you, I would like to talk with you about driving even more leads, sales and ultimately profits for Renewal by Andersen by adding XYZ Direct Mail to your media mix.

The XYZ Direct Mail envelope, mailed to the 150,000 highest income, single-family homes in the Austin area, has proven its ability to sell home improvements for advertisers who diligently track where their customers and sales come from.

They continue to renew their ads for the same reason you likely continue to renew your Home Mag ad: after doing the ROI analysis, they couldn’t afford NOT to.

I would love to work with you on creating a similar long term win/win marketing partnership between XYZ Direct Mail and Renewal by Andersen.

Your thoughts?

David Flash
XYZ Direct Mail

The Subject Line

The subject line should refer to their ad and their business. This gets them to open the email. The first line of the email should compel them to read further be being relevant but not too revealing. It should communicate that the email applies to their business and was not sent by a robot. It should not come off like a sales pitch.

The Opening Sentence

The first sentence should be the truth, that you are emailing about the attached ad. However, make the prospect read further to find out what exactly you want to say in reference to that ad. Getting them to open the email and read the first line gives you a much better chance of having your entire email read and getting a reply.

The prospect will continue reading if your first line only indicates you are emailing them about their ad and does not get too specific. For all they know after reading a properly crafted first line, your email could be to alert them to an error or typo in their ad. They will read further.

Offer Praise Before Promotional Pricing, Conserve Margin

Praise for the prospect’s smarts in running their current program ad, like “the attached Home Mag ad looks great and likely drives significant calls and sales,” accompanied by information on how your medium would also be a great investment is sometimes all it takes to drive an inquiry that becomes a new ad deal.

Contacting the prospect in this manner, before sending more traditional demand generation emails, letters, and postcards that new client promotions and discounts will conserve margin. You won’t be offering discounts to new prospects who may be eager to place more ads in similar media that reaches audiences similar to those they are currently buying ads to reach. Why offer a discount to someone who may get your email, check out your website, and reply with a request for more information, a meeting, or even full-price ad order?

Photo by Tianyi Ma on Unsplash