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#60 Oppenheimer SCOPE Fund
From:
Denny Hatch -- Marketing Expert Denny Hatch -- Marketing Expert
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Philadelphia , PA
Tuesday, July 02, 2019

 

Issue #60 — Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Posted by Denny Hatch


Get Used to It.  Direct Mail Is Sexier Than Email.


The brilliantly inventive Mt. Kisco, NY, freelancer Barbara Harrison (alas, now retired) was commissioned by Howard Potter of Oppenheimer & Co. to announce a new short-term fixed income fund.
     It was to be touted as a steady, safe investment. When the market was up, it promised to make money. In bad times it was designed to weather financial storms and maintain its value.
     Harrison’s assignment: get the lead generation effort past secretaries and directly into the hands of CFOs, VPs, investment and pension fund managers of corporations, banks, insurance companies, brokerage houses and the like.
     These wholesalers would then retail this new fund to individual investors.
     Harrison’s sales pitch had to physically get to the desks of busy and important people. A postcard or simple letter and prospectus would not cut it.
     Email? Fuggedaboudit.

Harrison’s Drop-dead Brilliant Campaign
This was no ordinary copy assignment. Mere words cannot take a boring-as-dirt investment vehicle and make it come alive. 
     When you think of a new mutual fund, no exciting image pops into your head—such as a shiny new BMW, Carnival cruise or stack of golden Bisquick pancakes with maple syrup. 
     Harrison's horrendous challenge was to come up with something more than a dreary prospectus full of numbers, percentages, returns on investment, lawyer-written promises of safety and a page of gray, mouse type warnings and exclusions.
     Harrison aced it! She dreamed up an elegant three-dimensional mailing with a dazzling gift—a high-quality gold-plated gyroscope—one of those toys that children love to play with endlessly.

The key copy in Harrison’s letter and the brochure:
The gyroscope is a precision instrument that seems to defy the forces of gravity to maintain its orientation in space. As a model of stability and space-age navigation, it is a fitting symbol of SCOPE, the managed portfolio that protects your principal from market gyrations while guiding your investment toward enhanced income.
     The best gyroscopes are still made by hand.
     Like SCOPE, some things depend on the expertise of individuals to maintain their advantage.

As a result of her creative efforts, Oppenheimer named the new fund "SCOPE" with a gyroscope logo.
     By that that August, Oppenheimer had mailed 2,500 packages, staggered in time so that their individual reps could follow-up with sales calls.
     One salesperson walked in to a prospect’s office and discovered him happily spinning his gyroscope on the conference table.
     "If your fund is as good as your gyroscope," he said, "I'm interested."

Takeaways to Consider
• Launching a highly complex financial product such as SCOPE Fund—or, for example, marketing a multi-million-dollar Gulfstream corporate jets—requires a longer sales cycle than a wham-bam-thank-you ma’am great offer that can be paid for with a credit card.

• In most cases, a number of people will be involved in the buying decision.

• The answer: Lead Generation Marketing with a series of carefully orchestrated steps.

• The objective of every step is not to make a sale or confuse the prospect by force-feeding a lot of information. You simply want a yes/okay to go on to the next step.

• Barbara Harrison did not involve the prospect in the nitty-gritty and pro’s/cons of the investment. The only object: get the prospect to say yes to seeing a salesman.

• Seattle direct marketing guru Bob Hacker has said if you spend too much money on the first step—first lead generation effort—the program cannot make money.

• The three most important words in direct marketing: “Arithmetic. Arithmetic. Arithmetic!”

• Lead Generation Effort must be tailored to the size and capabilities of the sales department. An avalanche of responses all at once could bury the reps. Too few and they would seek solace at the nearest gin mill. The object is to keep the sales reps very busy, not overwhelmed.

 Hats off to Barbara Harrison for her copy and design wizardry!

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Word count:632



At age 15, Denny Hatch—as a lowly apprentice—wrote his first news release for a Connecticut summer theater. To his astonishment it ran verbatim in The Middletown Press. He was instantly hooked on writing. After a two-year stint in the U.S. Army (1958-60), Denny had nine jobs in his first 12 years in business. He was fired from five of them and went on to save two businesses and start three others. One of his businesses—WHO’S MAILING WHAT! newsletter and archive service founded in 1984—revolutionized the science of how to measure the success of competitors’ direct mail. In the past 55 years he has been a book club director, magazine publisher, advertising copywriter/designer, editor, journalist and marketing consultant. He is the author of four published novels and seven books on business and marketing.

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