WHY ARE YOU WRITING THIS BROCHURE OR SALES LETTER?
A great deal of money is wasted each day putting out useless sales and marketing material. Material that was written for the wrong reason or the writer forgot its purpose after he started writing it or fell in love with his own words.
The single purpose of any marketing communications is to get the reader to take action. That action may be to request additional information or to phone in or send in an order. Before you write any marketing document be sure you are clearly focused on this point. As you write each sentence and each paragraph, constantly ask yourself whether what you are writing will get your prospect to act.
It is easy to get sidetracked but don't fall into this trap. . Your purpose is not to tell the readers how clever you are or how great your company is to try to entertain your reader. Your only objective in writing this material is to get your prospect to:
1. Send in or call in an order. 2. Obtain more information, if that is your intent.
So, before you write your material, write down its purpose and then stick to it.
The focus should always be on the prospect, not the writer!
All of us are barraged with direct mail pieces every day. Have you noticed how many of them, even in the opening paragraph, miss the point which is you the reader and your needs.
Here are two examples. Both were written by magazines with the purpose, I assume, to get the reader to spend advertising dollars. You decide which one is doing the job.
I. Avertiser's Introductory Special
The XYZ Magazine is a monthly national mail order newspaper which is circulated by mail. . . Our readership of 1,000,000 are mail order responsive subscribers, Opportunity Seekers, Investors, Salespeople, etc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2. Looking For A Fresh Start?
Millions of Americans have a dream, and that dream is to become rich and successful in an exciting, lucrative business of their own - What better way than to start through classified advertising.
When you receive a sales letter or brochure that focuses on you, don't you take notice and get further into the material?
Make it a practice, at least until you become more experienced to scan each and every promotional piece that is sent to you. You will quickly establish the difference between effective and ineffective material.
Some Research Will be Helpful
Writing the right material but directing it to the wrong person is fatal. Don't you get annoyed when you get addressed as married when you are
happily single? Don't you hate it when you get material for homeowners when you live in an
apartment? When customers get material that has absolutely nothing to do with their needs or interests, it gets thrown out.
Know who you are writing to and what that person wants. How can he benefit by what you have to offer. One way you can accomplish this is by picking out those classified or display ads that resemble what you want to sell. Then send in for more information. You soon learn how the product is being marketed by different companies.
The very best way to write material that reaches the prospect is by writing to one person rather than writing for mass appeal. It will keep your style easy and friendly.
Lethargy is human nature and overcoming it will be one of your greatest challenges. Most of us are lethargic by nature. If we can do it tomorrow or nest week, why not. People feel if they don't take any action they cannot make a mistake. Every marketer has the formidable challenge of overcoming theses “Non-action Tendencies. "
The anxiety/fear syndrome can be effectively used to overcome the above. For example: “This is a limited offer. " This offer must be exercised by date. Be believable in what you are saying. Consider using testimonials, government studies, well known research, etc. to aid you in making your point.
For example, research pertaining to the start of any enterprise indicates that before any business can be started, someone initially has an idea and then at some crucial moment takes the first step. It is when he translates the mental commitment into a physical act. This may be the purchase of a book, report, franchise, distributorship, going out and looking for a site for a retail outlet. etc.
This is why you see so many marketing documents how the marketer uses this fact in trying to overcome the resistance of inaction. There are many other ways you will think of in overcoming this resistance.
Features of you product or service such as how fast you deliver something, what color it is, , how it can be assembled are far less important to the buyer than benefits are to him.
The benefit of sitting on you new outdoor furniture, on your patio on a warm summer evening and enjoying a cool beer are far more important than the fact that this outdoor furniture is constructed of the finest material, , comes in four different colors, is delivered in 10 days and has a 30 day money back guaranty.
All you have to do is to watch the car commercials, of the manufacturers, not the dealers. What is the last time you have seen one that gives you much, if any information on the car. What do you see in many of these T. V. car commercials? Beautiful women, healthy looking young men, a beautiful sunset on the Pacific Ocean, and wonderful background music. The shiny new car, of course, is part of the scenery. But none of it really has anything to do with what a car provides, transportation, reliability, performance, etc.
There are many way in which you can turn features into benefits by carefully weaving it all together. The fact that this lawn furniture you are selling is delivered in just 10 days brings the benefit of sitting on it, on a summer evening so much faster to your buyer.
Making an Offer and Asking for the Order
It is a mistake to leave it up to the prospect to take action and when to take it. If you leave it up to your prospect what to do and when to do it you may never get the order. He will have many distractions after he puts your offer down. The more time goes by the less likely he will send an order. So give him a reason why to take action NOW. You have already told him why he will benefit by your product.
Your prospect already has decided that he needs what you are offering because of the great benefits to him. Now, give him a compelling reason why he should act, now.
Making the Various Pieces of Your Material Fit
Your sales letter, your brochure, etc. must fit. Since you wan t to do a better job than your competitor and this takes time and effort, chances are very good that whatever you create is worked on over a period of time. The brochure may be created one week and the sales letter a few days later. Make sure that it all fits and complements each other. Stick to your original outline which should be written down before you ever get started.
Some Final Thoughts
After it is all done give it one more review. Wait a couple of days and read it again. Then ask these questions: Is it directed to the prospect or is it about me. Is it of benefit to him? Am I making my strongest benefit. Research indicates that the recipient of a direct mail piece takes about 8 seconds to decide whether to read on. So, give it your very best shot right at the start.
You are satisfied it is the best you can create. If you have come to that point it is important you get someone else confirm that for you. This should be someone who does not have a material interest in your offer.
When you create great marketing piece and it gets you the results which you planned for - more orders, more revenue and more profit- you will feel very good. Getting there is half as difficult as it may seem. All it takes is a little practice and a little more practice. . . Don't forget patience!
Copyright 2004 by DeAnna Spencer
DeAnna Spencer is a virtual assistant that helps entrepreneurs run a successful business by providing affordable administrative help. She also publishes a blog for small business owners. Visit this small business resource today.