If your marketing results are flat or declining, here is an important lesson:

FamilyLife is a nonprofit Christian organization dedicated to providing married couples and parents with tools to improve their marriages and home life. This is done through conferences, seminars, online resources and more.

Since 1978, more than 60,000 people have attended their flagship “Weekend to Remember” marriage conferences. But in the past two to three years, attendance stagnated. Conferences rarely topped 150 paid attendees.

A conference was coming up and they asked if my advertising agency, CDMG, could help.

I suggested three powerful secrets to turn their marketing problem around…

They were hosting a “Weekend to Remember” conference at the luxurious Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada—an idyllic romantic location. FamilyLife asked me to help recruit more paid attendees.

I had to overcome several major objections that prospects for these conferences typically have.

First, we needed to fend off skepticism and answer questions like “Is this really for me? Can this really help my marriage?”

Second, it was critical to speak to husbands in particular, as they are often the most resistant. The campaign would have to sell the many advantages of a trip to Banff, beyond the seminar’s content.

To accomplish this, my team developed a fully integrated campaign of email, targeted landing pages, direct mail and social media, especially Facebook.

We began with a 5-part email series to inform and persuade prospects to register.

Copy highlighted success stories of couples whose lives and marriages had been transformed by Weekend to Remember, using video testimonials featured in the emails and on our landing pages. Emails also outlined premium hotel services and outdoor activities available at the luxurious location.

And we created a powerful, irresistible direct response offer.

Part of the offer included an opportunity for prospects to earn free registration by bringing friends.

This helped us create a powerful “friend – get a friend” social media effort.

The other media were integrated into this schedule to support the email campaign and drive online response.

So, based upon using five powerful direct response secrets, we created a winner.

The 5 secrets:

1) Creating a powerful unique selling proposition (USP). We helped Family Life identify what made their offer unique … and better than the competition.

2) Persuasive direct response copy. We used only direct response copy to persuade prospects of the powerful, life-changing benefits of the Family Life conferences.

3) Only direct response art. Instead of focusing on using pretty images or beautiful photos for Family Life’s marketing campaign, we used direct response art – pictures of average-looking people – to get prospects to respond.

4) Creating an irresistible direct response offer. We created an offer that included powerful premiums and value-added pieces, making it irresistible to prospects.

5) Integrating email/direct mail/ landing pages and social media. Integrating your elements mean that the same prospects receive the same marketing message, significantly boosting response. We integrated all elements in the Family Life marketing campaign so that potential customers would see the offer in their email inboxes, mailboxes, social media newsfeeds and more.

Response was so overwhelming that FamilyLife’s block of rooms was completely sold out. They had to make arrangements at neighboring hotels and provide shuttle buses to get everyone to the conference.


“You increased the attendance at our conference by over 800%, an amazing job with the multimedia campaign.”

– Greg Leith, Host – Family Life Seminars


In all, more than 950 people attended Weekend to Remember in Banff—increasing participation by more than 800%!

Your company can also experience this kind of success with your marketing campaign. Call me at 310-212-5727 or email Caleb at caleb@cdmginc.com.


Here are the rest of this week’s articles: