A couple of Nudges ago, I said this; “I’ve been asked to write some stuff that the most basic of reads through my material would have enabled the client to do for themselves”. In Nudge No 38, I was eluding to lack of initiative. This week I’m issuing a documented ‘prod’ to those of you who deserve one! And that’s YOU if you’ve spent your hard earned money on one of my educational packages, but then obviously can’t be bothered learning from it! Judging by the number of poorly crafted advertising pieces I get asked to critique, there are LOTS of YOU out there!
Effective, results orientated ADVERTISING is a learned skill. It’s a scientific formula and all you need do is follow it! Don’t lose this Nudge and you will never again have an excuse for writing something only fit to generate flames in a fire, rather than the $$ in your bank account it SHOULD be generating.
BASIC PRINCIPALS OF A SUCCESSFUL AD:
#1: A Functional Headline: There’s a simple stand alone test to see if your headline cuts the mustard! Separate it from the rest of the ad and run it all by itself as a classified ad or mail it on a postcard with a number to call or your location – and see if you get loads of calls or visits! Resist the urge to dive into unchartered waters; stick to modifying tried and proven effective headlines!
#2: Testimonials: I feel like I must be talking to people who literally don’t speak the same language! What someone ELSE has to say about you is at least 10 times more believable than what you say about yourself!
#3: Good Testimonials: OK so you used a testimonial. Only it was so damn BORING and with only an initial after it, there’s no reason anybody would believe it! Use real people with full names and any other identifying information you can include, such as business name or phone number. And the testiminal itself needs to be GLOWING! Don’t bother to even use it if all it says is that you’re adequate or good. Use MEANINGFUL specifics. If I’m told “sales increased by 32% in 42 days”, I’m interested. If not ….(yawn), so what? After that, your testimonials and your market need to be in synch. Be strategic about matching the testimonial to the target market and the objections and problems that market is likely to have.
#4: An Exciting Offer: I GASP with incredulity, almost every time I open my mail box or pull out my Critique folder to see how many plain, old, common-as-muck, BORING offers I see! Just because you sent them a postcard or paid for an ad, people are NOT obliged and certainly anything BUT inspired to respond. TO the contrary, most people are doggedly glued to their seats, with eyes that don’t see and minds that feel fried and their wallets are stuck between their backsides and the glue on their seats! Give them a reason to MOVE!
#5: Call to Action: I feel like a broken record, but PEOPLE WANT TO BE LEAD BY THE HAND! Even if they want what you’ve got to sell them, unless you TELL them to get off their backsides and come and GET IT, they might start off with some enthusiasm, but ….. never quite make it to the phone or your business to place an order. Tell them that unless they order by a certain date or are one of the first 17 clients to respond, they will miss out! So many people fail to close the sale and getting people to respond to your marketing is still a sale. If you’re not comfortable about it, get and READ Zig Ziglar’s book Secrets of Closing the Sale. The first time you try something that’s outside your comfort zone, you might feel a bit shaky. But when you understand what you’re doing, your initial fear will be replaced with a feeling of accomplishment!
#6: Fear At the end of the day, two things motivate people to buy. Fear or personal gain. In my experience fear is the effective way to go. Articulate a penalty for NOT responding and incentive for responding.
#7: The Envelope If you’re trying to get your advertising material read and you run it through the barcode ‘meter” you might as well include a big red stamp that says “JUNK MAIL – PLEASE DITCH ME”! Think about it. What impression do YOU get when you get an envelope like this? DUH!
I’ve had my little spit. And my liver feels better already.