For those of you who are marketers, or if you’re a business owner or solo practitioner who acts in a marketing capacity (and who doesn’t), here’s a few things I’ve picked up over the years – they don’t have anything to do with social media, channel support, SEO or anything to do with a particular media.
10) If you’ve worked hard to evoke an emotional response to your product in an ad or direct mail piece, for goodness sake give people a way to actually buy it! Make the response mechanism obvious, it avoids delay in responding.
9) Put your address and phone number on your website, in an obvious place – not everybody trusts everything they see on the internet, and sometimes you just want to send somebody something or talk to an actual person. Why make me work at it?
8) ASK for the order. Don’t assume that the audience will understand what you want them to do, no matter how obvious you think it is.
7) Take the offer seriously in your ads and direct marketing communications – the audience will, and they will hold your feet to the fire for every possible interpretation you can imagine. The more transparent and clear you make the offer, the less confusion you’ll receive from the audience, and confused audiences tend not to buy things.
6) Treat your house list like the gold that it is – you’ll never find a more receptive set of eyes and ears for your message than someone who is already predisposed to hear it. Respect the power it represents, and the people behind it.
5) You can never know too much about the people you’re trying to reach – but you can interpret data incorrectly. Trust but verify, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, and vet your data with real people and anecdotes – you’ll be glad you did.
4) Make your copy simple enough that your 80-year-old grandmother can understand it. People’s attention spans are increasingly short, and they don’t have time to analyze your obtuse copy to extract your message.
3) Sales letters should be long enough to compellingly tell the story, and not a word longer.
2) Lists, design, artifice and devices don’t sell products and services, feelings do. Evoke an emotional response in your audience and you’ll move the needle.
1) A target audience never bought anything – PEOPLE buy goods and services – whether it’s online, through the mail, over the phone or from a billboard. Reach out in an accessible, human way, meet a need or solve a problem, and the sales will follow.
Seems like basic common sense, but ignore such simplicity at your own peril. You’d be amazed how many top flight professionals can’t apply these basic tenets to their everyday work and score a good number.
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