If you're looking for a great direct marketer, go to Rome

Every copywriter, every direct marketer, can learn something from the young American woman in Rome...

I was fortunate to visit Rome several years ago. On the last day of the visit, I went to the Colesseum then across the road to...well...it's not really a site like the Colesseum but more of a collection of ruins, rocks, and tourists like me who were wandering around trying to sort through the rubble. It's essentially the site of ancient Roman politics. It think it was the Parco di Traiano perhaps...anyway...it was a bunch of rocks and pillars to me!

As I was wandering around cluelessly, starting to think about dinner, a young woman came up and said that she would make a 15-minute free presentation explaining what went on here. She gathered quite a group, about 200, in fact.

Speaking eloquently to the group in front of one of the more distinguishable ruins, she brought the place to life, telling us about the ancient Roman politicians and even performing some Shakespeare...Caesar's speech just before he got done in, I think. This 'freebie' was brilliant and you could have heard a pin drop when she was speaking.

Just before the end of the presentation, she said, "Tomorrow, I'm giving a tour of St. Peter's and I'm going to show you places not on the normal tours and I'm going to tell you about the artists, many of whom were tortured souls who gave everything for their art...and the tour is just $30 and it's limited to just 20 people. Come see me now. It's first-come, first-served."

If I hadn't been leaving the next day, I would have paid the fee.

Looking back on this, what great marketing!

She went to a target-rich environment...hundreds of clueless tourists wandering around aimlessly wanting to know more...

She provided salient FREE information...what on earth are all these ruins?

Her presentation was totally flawless and she provided great information...it was a SHOW! You definitely wanted more.

And then her sales pitch for the "upsell" was perfect. Good price point. Exclusivity. More great information. Tease...BUY NOW!

It was textbook.

What can we learn?

If you're not getting a lot of people who want your information (or what you have to offer) to your website, get them through old-fashioned badgering, search, adwords, whatever. Provide some free information to prove what you have to offer is good/great and satisfies a need. Then provide the next step, preferably with some exclusivity.

I don't know if that young woman is there today but I'd like to take her tour of St. Peter's.


My new website, by hook or by crook, goes live tomorrow. For now, go to my Krop portfolio here.