Seven Simple Steps for Powerful Results From All Your Marketing Communications
by Bob & Shirley Hanson, Hanson Marketing Group, Inc.
- One is to present a major benefit to your prospects:
A straightforward example you can adapt to your business is: 7 Ways ABC Company Can Save You Time And Money On Your Networking Solutions. Your letter, ad, or brochure then builds from the headline with benefits for your audience.
- The second technique is to call out to the people you want to halt in their tracks:
In a test one headline promised, Save One Gallon Of Gas In Every Ten. By adding the two words "Car Owners" to the ad -- words that flagged just those readers who would benefit -- the headline became Car Owners, Save One Gallon Of Gas In Every Ten and drew 20 percent more responses.
- A third type of headline is the news headline:
People have a love affair with everything that is new, and you can put this enchantment with the latest to work for you. Begin with a word such as Announcing or New and include the name of the product or the service you have added to your business. Or you can present hot new improvements in your products or services. Follow this with a benefit for your audience. An example is: Announcing The New PowerCode 6.1 To Query A Million Records in 0.98 Of A Second.
- The fourth suggestion is to use the "how-to" approach:
How To Win Friends and Influence People is a famous example. It suggests that you will succeed by helping your prospects accomplish their objectives and get what they want.
- Pick up the phone right now and call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
- Fax your response to xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Time and time again frustrated entrepreneurs reveal to us that their post card mailings, brochures, direct mail letters, Yellow Pages ads, or newsprint ads failed miserably. Has that happened to you? If so, here’s a proven path to more powerful marketing materials. For extraordinary results, follow seven steps which take advantage of fundamentals that have been practiced, tested, and refined over the decades. Step #1 - Be Certain Your Message Gets To The Right People You could be the world’s greatest copywriter, creating a magnetic headline, a sensational offer, and compelling copy. But your efforts will fail if your message doesn’t reach your target market. Before deciding what to say, clearly identify your target. Then, be sure your message gets to them. Think Location, Location, Location! Where do the "right people" congregate? Your answers will pinpoint publications, mailing lists, or other media that will boost your results. Step #2 - Write a Power Headline Spend a lot of time on this step. You can’t lavish too much attention on it. Successful copywriters often spend 5 or 6 times more hours on the headline than on everything else. Tests show that a great headline can attract a 21 times greater response than a poor one. The headline carries out two critical jobs. It attracts your prospects’ attention and it encourages them to read the rest of your letter, brochure, ad, flier, or seminar invitation. Here are four types of headlines for you to consider -- proven winners you can adapt to your unique situation.
What’s missing from our headline suggestions? You don’t see the use of a company name alone, a statement such as 12 years of experience, or empty words such as quality, value, or service. They don’t qualify as power headlines. *Here’s another valuable tip: Treat the first sentence in a letter as your headline. Step #3 - Choose The Best Offer Your offer motivates your readers to act. Without one, your readers are left with the feeling that they have nothing to do. Or they may be unsure about what steps they need to take to get the benefits you provide. If they are confused and have to guess, you can be certain very few, if any, will try to figure it out. Find the most irresistible offer that is practical. Think about what will tempt your prospects. The possibilities are nearly limitless. Once you get into the spirit and begin to generate offers, you may surprise yourself with your ingenuity. If you provide exceptional service, consider elaborating on your service as part of your offer. Explain in detail what you do for your customers. Never assume your readers understand exactly how you go the extra mile for them. One of our favorite offers -- one that is often overlooked and underestimated -- is a special report that adds value to the product or service you provide. Perhaps you can create a simple step-by-step guide that helps your prospects solve a problem. First, think of a problem you solve for your target market, then write down all the necessary steps to solve it. Make certain you are supplying valuable "inside" information on a subject that will appeal to your audience. Finally, to whatever you offer add a guarantee, either guaranteeing results or satisfaction. By the way, that happens to be the subject of one of our own special reports, How Guarantees Can Help You Attract More Clients And Make More Money...Guaranteed! Step #4 - Write Benefit-Rich Copy What do your prospects really want to know? They care about one thing, and one thing only: "What’s in it for me?" Your prime job, then, is to write copy that answers that question. And when you do, your copy will move them and get results. You don’t need to be clever, creative, or funny. You do need to turn your features into benefits. The words "we" or "I" in your copy become red flags. Stop right there and ask: How can I turn that statement about me or my work -- that feature -- into a payoff for my prospects? Think of your copy as if it were a photograph. When your prospect looks at a photograph, she first searches for herself. Make sure your prospect finds herself (or himself) in captivating detail in your copy. Step #5 - Call Your Customers and Prospects to Action Never assume your prospects will take the time to figure out what to do by themselves. They won’t. Indecision, inertia, and distractions will stop them every time. Don’t let that happen. The call to action explains exactly how you want them to respond. Keep it simple and make it easy for them. Examples are: