Note Marketing: Two Out of Three Isn’t Bad

Note Marketing Two of ThreeActually, it was the topic of a speech that I gave years ago, but as I revisit it in my mind, it seems that nothing has changed much.

The premise is simple.

When creating and executing a marketing campaign, you have three choices.

  1. Speed – How fast you want to get to market (or react to current topical trends).
  2. Cost – How much (in dollars) the marketing will cost you (including the creation).
  3. Quality – How great the note marketing piece will look.

Every one of them is very important, but here is the catch…

You typically only get to choose two of the three.

Note Marketing Example 1

Let’s say you want a direct mail campaign for mortgage notes. You want it to look good AND you want to mention something that just happened in the news so “quality” and “speed” are important.

You can spend a lot of time working on the letter or postcard (and remember “time” does have a cost as well).

You can also hire a good graphic artist and make sure your postcard, letter, brochure, or other marketing piece is top-notch.  Or maybe you do it yourself (again, that does have a cost factor…in that it will take you “time”).

The downside is “cost” gets left behind. It costs money to mail a direct marketing piece.

Note Marketing Example 2

Maybe, instead of direct mail you are going to use an email marketing campaign.

The “cost” aspect is great. You have probably been creating an email database from your website…and that costs practically nothing.

“Speed” might also be of the essence. So you rush to get the email out there…trying to capitalize on something that was just announced.

The downside is… “quality.” You will make mistakes. Your copy will have some errors, maybe, being in such a hurry, you will actually mail to the wrong database. (Trust me…this happens!)

In any case, you can see that out of our three target areas in marketing, we really only get to pick two.


I know. There are some people out there reading this right now that think I am categorically wrong. They feel able to pull off all three things with hard work and putting their nose to the grindstone.

They believe that, given enough effort, they can write great copy, produce a solid marketing piece quickly, and come in at a reasonable price.

I would argue that IF you think you have accomplished all three, you didn’t really get “speed.”

How long did it take you?

Remember your time is worth something.

It took me years and years to realize that…

Most of the time an 80% effort REALIZED action is better than a 100% action that takes too damn long to pull the trigger.

Now I am not saying do things half-assed.

No, I am saying my catch phrase over the last several years is related to OUTPUT.

How much can I output? Because actual execution of an imperfect plan is better than no execution of a perfect one.

My catch phrase can be summed up as…

Is it good enough?

Is it good enough? Will it get my message across? Will the person reading it have enough info to make a decision and take the desired action?

This is easy enough when I back up to the simplest of all points…

What is the goal?

The goal in any marketing, not just notes, is for the person to take action. In our case it is for the person to pick up the phone or fill out our online note submission sheet.

That’s it.

That is all there is to it. I don’t want to over educate them. I don’t really care if they are impressed with the photo that I chose or that I have a really cool font.

I want the note seller to take action.

Take a look at all the marketing pieces you have around you right now that are not in play (or the many that you have not done because they are “not ready”).

Ask yourself one question…

Is it good enough?

Speak Your Mind