Having produced the text of your first sales letter, the next thing to do is send it to someone. Since you have not yet put any of your own prospects on file, we shall go through the procedure for sending it to some of the 'sample' prospects which we placed on file for you prior to despatch.
Firstly, we shall print out the letter for just one individual whose name and address we shall retrieve from MARKETEER'S files. Then we shall print a batch of letters addressed to a group of prospects falling within a special 'target profile' which we set up as a demonstration within MARKETEER'S files before despatch.
FITTING THE SHEET FEEDER
Please take the Sheet Feeder attachment for your typewriter and fit it according to the instructions supplied with it. Place a half inch thick stack of A4 headed notepaper into the input hopper and release the bail bar. Place the stack of notepaper in the hopper so that it is upside down and facing away from you.
You will remember from the last chapter that MARKETEER holds up to 40 sales letters on-file at any one time. Please select Option 3 'Letter Creation' from the Main Menu. Then from the Letter Creation Menu itself select Option 7 'Select Letter for Output'. Then select your new sales letter for display in the text window. When it appears, enter the MAIL command (or press F3). A message then appears above the text window saying that the letter has been copied into the output file. MARKETEER'S Letter Printing sub-system takes the text of the current letter for printing as a finished letter or mailshot from this 'output file'. Now return to MARKETEER'S Main Menu.
Now select Option 4 'Letter Printing' from the Main Menu. The Letter Printing Menu then appears. Please scan through this menu using the up-arrow and down-arrow keys and read the explanatory text for each menu option as it is highlighted.
Because certain people's signatures become somewhat illegible, it is normal practice with business letters to type in the name and job title of the sender at the very bottom with the intention that he should place his signature above it.
In order that MARKETEER may do this automatically - whether for a single sales letter or for a specially targeted batch of sales letters - it is necessary to let MARKETEER know what the sender's name and job title are. Naturally, since you wrote the sales letter which is now on file, you want to ensure that it is your name and job title that gets printed at the bottom.
So now please select Option 5. A display appears on the screen which shows my (the author's) name and job title. Instructions on how to overtype these with your own name and job title are given on the screen. The same overtyping, cursor control, insertion and deletion facilities are available to you here that were available when you were entering letter titles in the last chapter.
Please type in your name and job title according to the instructions given. MARKETEER now stores your details in its appropriate disk file and returns you to the Letter Printing Menu. From now on, unless or until they are deleted or amended, your name and job title will appear on every sales letter produced by MARKETEER. On a multi-user installation, each user's signatory and job title is stored separately. The name and job title appearing at the bottom of a letter is therefore that of whoever logged on to MARKETEER (ie whose password was used) on the PC on which the letter is printed.
TO WHOM ARE YOU WRITING?
You are now ready to think of the addressees to whom you are going to send your sales letter. Options 1 and 2 offer you the choice of sending your letter to individually selected addressees or to all members of a target group. Please select Option 1 'Print Individual Letters'.
A blank name & address box now appears on the left of the screen and a kind of information box on the right in which is shown the title of the letter. Beneath are instructions for retrieving the name & address of an individual prospect from MARKETEER'S database.
Please read these instructions. Then type HELP and read the explanation which appears on the screen describing how to retrieve a prospect's name & address.
FINDING A PROSPECT
1) Tell Marketeer his abbreviated name (known as his NAMECODE). Marketeer then searches its alphabetic index for someone with that NAMECODE. 2) Tell MARKETEER whereabouts he lives (or works) by typing in his postcode (or as much of it as you know). For example, you may have forgotten his name, but you know he's somewhere in Blackburn, so you type BB. MARKETEER then searches its geographic index for people in Blackburn. 3) Tell MARKETEER his reference number (shown as 'Ref' on MARKETEER'S displays). MARKETEER then retrieves the prospect details held under that reference number.
Precisely what the NAMECODE and the Ref are, what they do and how they are used will be explained in detail in a later chapter. All we are concerned with here is using a prescribed NAMECODE as a means of retrieving the name and address details of a suitable target for your first sales letter without bothering at all at this stage as to what a NAMECODE is.
Just take it as read at this stage that the NAMECODE 'EBS' will cause MARKETEER to come up with a suitable company name and address from its files. So please type in the letters 'EBS' and press the carriage return key.
MARKETEER then goes through a search and load sequence as shown by the indicator 'lamps' after which the name & address details appear in the name & address box. A choice of commands: TYPE NEXT PREV QUIT HELP are presented. Please type HELP and read the explanations of what the other command words do. Then press the 'Esc' key to return to the original display.
TYPING THE LETTER
Now you are ready to 'send' your sales letter to this company. Please type-in the command word TYPE (or press the F1 function key). You are now prompted to switch on and set up the letter quality printer (ie the typewriter). However, MARKETEER checks immediately to see if the typewriter is on and available at this point. Since it is not yet switched on, doubtless an error message will be displayed on the 'Printer Msg' line in the box on the right of the screen. Not to worry. Switch on the typewriter and make sure that the pitch switch is set to 10cpi, the left margin is set to 10 and the line spacing is set to 1 as described in Chapter 7.
Feed the first sheet of paper from the sheet feeder using the insertion lever until it is almost all the way through. Then feed it through the rest of the way slowly using the carriage return key (on the typewriter's keyboard) until the automatic feed takes over. The next sheet is then fed in automatically and lined up correctly to begin printing the letter. Now put the typewriter 'ON LINE' as described in Chapter 7.
The prompt to switch on and set up the typewriter and the error message should both disappear and printing should commence. If an error message persists, press the 'Esc' key, recall 'EBS' again and then hit the F1 key again now that the printer is on and ready. If an error message is still present then the printer is probably set up incorrectly or connected incorrectly. Have you set the printer on-line?
While the letter is being printed, the text-stream passes along the Printer I/O line in the box on the right of the screen. This is to show that MARKETEER is actually outputting the text to the printer I/O port. It is helpful as a diagnostic aid in the event of a printer fault or when the printer is remote or when printing is re-directed to a virtual printer in a network installation. When the letter has been printed, a message is displayed to this effect above the name & address box.
Once the 'completion message' is displayed, the computer can be used again - even though the typewriter is still typing the last letter. This means that you can get on with finding the addressee for your next letter, or even return to the Main Menu and get on with something entirely different without waiting for the printer to finish.
THE FINISHED LETTER
However, on this occasion, let us stop now and have a look at the finished letter. The first line begins with the letter's 'Ref' (reference). The reference on MARKETEER'S sales letters is more complicated, but far more informative than the normal typist reference found on most business letters. It consists of an up to 4-digit number, a single letter, and a further 4-digit number.
The first number is the reference number of this particular prospect: that is, the number of the actual disk record within MARKETEER'S files where his details are recorded. But furthermore, within the correspondence filing system we shall discuss later, it is also the number of the drop-file within your filing cabinet where his correspondence may be found. This means that you can find his correspondence file instantly when, for example, he telephones you unexpectedly.
The single letter in the middle of the reference is the sales area within which this prospect is located. The last number is the serial number of the letter. All letters typed and telexes or electronic mail messages sent by MARKETEER are serial numbered in one unified serial number series.
Beneath the 'Ref' is the date of the letter (today's date). Then comes the name & title of your contact to whom you are writing, followed by the name and address of his (the prospect) company. Then comes 'Dear Rob,' followed by the text of the letter which you wrote earlier, 'Yours sincerely,' and your name and job title. Perhaps you would like to sign the letter now to see how it looks.
Although normally thought of as being brown and containing bills, window envelopes can be both labour saving and attractive for sales letters. Firstly, they alleviate the need for envelope addressing or the printing and sticking on of address labels. And in good quality white livery with additional artwork, they can be made to carry sales letters in fitting style.
Please mark two dots on the letter - one each side - 99mm down from the top. Then fold the bottom edge upwards to come level with these two dots. Now turn the letter over and fold the top third backwards so that the top edge of the letter is along the first fold. The letter should now be folded in three in a zigzag with the name and address facing outwards. MARKETEER positions the name & address so that when the letter is folded in this way, it shows correctly through a standard window envelope opening. A handy aid for folding letters in this way is a pencil line (or a couple of short lines) 99mm from the step between the return unit and the main part of your desk. You can then place your letter on the return unit, slide it up to the step, and the line will show you where to make the first fold.
Alternatively, if you wish to enclose an A4 or A5 size brochure with your letter, you may leave your letter unfolded or fold your letter in half respectively. Suitable full A4 and full A5 window envelopes are available. These have their windows in the appropriate positions to present the destination name and address as printed by MARKETEER on your sales letter.
DEGREE OF FAMILIARITY
Notice that the name & title of contact appears at the bottom of the name & address box on the screen. Notice also that beyond the contact's name 'MR R J MORTON' is his first name in brackets '(ROB)'. If we had not put '(ROB)' in there, the letter would have been printed 'Dear Mr Morton'.
The brackets tell the Letter Printer program that the contact is to be addressed as what they contain. Otherwise it uses the formal name. If no contact name is present in the name & address box, the letter is begun 'Dear Sirs' and is terminated 'Yours faithfully'. Typing in these special details along with a prospect's name & address is discussed in a later chapter.
A UNIVERSAL FORMAT
MARKETEER centralises the actual text of the letter between the folds - ie in the centre third of the note paper. This leaves the bottom third for the 'Yours whatever,' and your signature. The result is a letter of pleasing appearance giving the impression of professionalism and credibility.
MARKETEER formats your sales letters in the style generally preferred today by typing schools and business colleges - ie with the reference, date, name & address, salutation and name & job title of signatory all hard against the left margin, with no indentation at the beginnings of paragraphs, and with a blank line between paragraphs. Because this is now such a universal standard, we have not complicated MARKETEER by building in superfluous facilities for altering it.
LETTER HEADING DESIGN
This letter format offers excellent opportunities to the letter heading designer for projecting your 'corporate identity' in that it provides a good 90mm square of space at the top right of the note paper for your company logo, name & address, telephone & telex numbers, electronic mailbox numbers and so on.
If the artwork on your present company note paper does not sit nicely together with this letter format, it may be a good time to think about a re-design or even of having a special design done for sales letters.
What designers often neglect is the possibility of using the 90mm square of space at the bottom right of the paper opposite the left justified signature! Because it centralises the main text, MARKETEER ensures that this lower square is also available for letterhead artwork. Apart from directors' names and company & VAT registration numbers, the lower square is useful for listing your company's products and services, and even sales promotion messages.
Think also about what happens when your letter is received. Some firms like to stamp a letter with the 'date received'. A prospect may also like to make quick notes on it either as a reminder to himself or as a message to a colleague to whom he may direct or pass on your letter. Such actions are good for you, so please have your letterhead designers leave some white space within the 90mm square at the bottom right so that your prospects have a convenient place to make their notes or use their rubber stamps.
You may already have headed paper on which the artwork encroaches into the standard area reserved for the name & address of the recipient. To allow you to use MARKETEER initially with such notepaper, Option 4 of the Letter Printing Menu is provided to allow you to lower the height at which MARKETEER starts typing the letter on the notepaper by up to 9 lines. However, the name & address will then no longer align with a standard envelope window and the letter will no longer have a balanced appearance.
SCANNING THROUGH THE PROSPECT FILE
You might now like to type in 'NEXT' or 'PREV' (or alternatively press the right or left arrow keys respectively) in order to scan through some of our 'sample' prospects in the records alphabetically adjacent to the one for which you printed out the sales letter. You may, if you wish, 'TYPE' sales letters to some of these people also - just as an exercise.
When you have finished, please press the 'Esc' key. You have now returned to the display at which you typed in the NAMECODE of the prospect to whom you sent the first sales letter. You could, if you wished, call up another prospect individually from MARKETEER'S database, but you would have to know his NAMECODE, POSTCODE or Ref first! Press the 'Esc' key again now to return to the Letter Printing Menu.
A TARGETED MAILSHOT
We must now introduce the concept of the 'profiled target'. This is a group of prospects within MARKETEER'S database who share a certain restricted set of key values. For example, they are limited in terms of where they are located (sales area or postcode area), they must have one of a specified limited set of possible business RELATIONSHIPS with you. They must be of a particular STATUS, and so on.
We shall go into detail on how to specify a complete 'target profile' in a later chapter. Let it suffice for the time being that, prior to despatch, we placed a sample 'target profile' within MARKETEER'S database specially for demonstration purposes. We shall now use this profile to target a batch mailshot at all the prospects currently on file who fit within it. You should end up with three of our 'sample' prospects out of the whole database. So please select Option 2 'Print Targeted Mailshot'.
AUTOMATIC PRINTING OF SALES LETTERS
The screen format for TYPing sales letters appears again, but this time, instead of a name & address in the box, there is a message saying that MARKETEER is ready to start printing the mailshot. In the right hand box at the bottom is shown the number of addressees in the target list and other details identifying the list. Hit F1. The rest is now automatic. MARKETEER loads the details of each prospect on the mailshot list in turn and then prints a sales letter addressed to him. As each letter is finished, it is ejected into the output hopper and a new sheet of note paper is set up for the next letter. When all the letters have been typed, a message is displayed telling you so.
In the event that you need to halt the automatic letter printing sequence temporarily, set the typewriter off-line. You may then set the typewriter on-line to re-start the sequence from where you left off. If you want to abort the sequence altogether, press the 'Esc' key. You will then be returned to the Letter Printing Menu on completion of the letter currently being typed.
Halting temporarily in this way can be useful in the unlikely event of your notepaper becoming jammed in the typewriter during a long run.
It is also useful if the telephone rings and you wish to stop the noise of the printer while you deal with the call. The abort option is useful should you discover that you are making a printout which on second thoughts you decide is not according to the profile you would prefer. The abort option is also useful if you wish to break off for lunch or to go home at night in the middle of a marathon mailshot printout. The next time you enter the Mailshot option, printing will automatically commence from the addressee following the last one for whom a letter was printed last session.
Please return to the Letter Printing Menu. After any mailshot print session, you can ask for a mailshot report which gives the text of the letter followed by a list of addressees for whom a letter has been printed and the date it was printed. For partly finished mailshot printouts, those addressees for whom a letter has not yet been printed have no date against their names & addresses. This report is invoked by selecting Option 3. Please select Option 3 now and follow the on-screen instructions for printing the report. When the report has been printed, study its content carefully. Normally you would file this report away for future reference as to who was included in this mailshot.
REMOVING THE SHEET FEEDER
At this point, it is expedient to remove the sheet feeder from the typewriter and put it away in a cupboard where it will be protected. Remove the sheet feeder by pressing the two black 'release knobs' each side of the feeder and lift the feeder off. Then replace the plastic paper support. The typewriter may now be used for printing out single sales letters again or for general office work.
THE TARGET PROFILE SERIAL NUMBER
You will notice that each of the letters in the targeted batch that has just been printed has an additional 2-digit number and 4-digit number inserted between the sales area letter and the letter's own serial number. The 2-digit number is the number of the Target Profile specification used to form the target list for the mailshot and the 4-digit number is the serial number of the target list itself.
How to set up a Target Profile is covered in a later chapter. Briefly, MARKETEER can hold up to 18 target profile specifications numbered 1 to 18. This is the extra 2-digit number. Each target profile specification can be used as a template for extracting a target list of prospects from those currently on file in MARKETEER'S database. Each time a list is extracted, MARKETEER assigns a serial number to it. This is the extra 4-digit number.
The Target Profile Number and List Serial Number, as they appear in a letter reference thus effectively tell you the sector of your market of which the recipient is a member, and hence, the mailshot of which the letter was a part. This is extremely useful when recipients respond by telephone unexpectedly. You are able to identify the situation quickly and respond to him more coherently than you would otherwise be able to do.
PREPARING LETTERS FOR POSTING
All that remains to be done now for a normal mailshot is to fold the letters and put them in their envelopes. You can put them in window envelopes as described, or you may instruct MARKETEER to produce a corresponding set of sticky address labels. We shall discuss the production of address labels in a later chapter.
AUTOMATIC EVENT UPDATE
Every time a letter is typed out for mailing to a given prospect, that event and the date when it occurred is recorded within MARKETEER'S Prospect Record for that prospect. Distinction is made between a one-off letter and one which is
part of a mailshot.
This completes your introduction to MARKETEER'S Letter Printer. Please use the procedures described herein when you come to do your real mailshots. Please press the 'Esc' key to return to MARKETEER'S main menu and then switch off your typewriter.