Direct mail marketing has long been a tried-and-true method of advisors. Though do-it-yourself approaches can be intriguing to some, others prefer to let the organization handle the details. For Aaron Shelden of New York Life in Westchester, N.Y., this approach has resulted in measurable success. Below are his suggestions for how to make the most of headquarter resources:

  1. Start small, think big. Shelden maintains a list of roughly 100 prospects and he uses New York Life’s “LTCI print on demand” program to promote his long-term care sales efforts. “I don’t believe that volume gets results,” he says. “It’s the quality of the list, and the highest quality consists of people with whom you already have a relationship or who recognize your name. It’s also the quality of the company that is represented in the mailing, and it’s the quality of the message.”
  2. Be prepared for the give-and-take. It’s a straightforward arrangement: Shelden provides the list and the home office handles compliance, production, and mailing. Together, they get the job done.
  3. Perfect your message method. Postcards have been particularly effective at getting Shelden’s message across. “Postcards are an effective tool, because to a certain degree, a picture is worth a thousand words,” he says. “People want to get information quickly today. If you send a postcard that has a little bit of information, it gets people to think about the subject, rather than long letters with a lot of verbiage that I think people don’t bother reading.”