Sales and Marketing Advice for Florida business
The art (and science) of effective marketing materials
There’s no better feeling than looking a potential customer in the eyes and telling your company’s story. It’s personal and interactive. You can instantly judge people’s reactions and answer questions on the spot. Your conviction and energy comes across loud and clear.
Too bad you can’t be everywhere all the time. When you can’t stand in front of prospects, your marketing material has to speak for you. And let’s be honest here, it’s a struggle creating your website, brochures, and emails in a way that grabs the reader’s attention and pulls them in.
Most businesses don’t have the luxury of having seasoned copywriters on staff. Instead, you create promotional materials yourself or hire an outside firm that really doesn’t know your products or services, and maybe more importantly does not understand your company’s personality.
Many times in the zeal to get heard there’s a tendency to stuff too much in. Your material ends up coming across as cluttered, confusing, and flat.
So how do you write clear and compelling articles, emails, executive summaries, landing pages, banner ads, white papers and more that differentiate you from your competition?
Make a 1-to-1 connection. The most powerful and effective marketing is 1-to-1, speaking directly to the reader as if your ideal customer is standing in front of you. Get personal and use the number one most persuasive word to move your reader -- “you”. This makes your company’s message more personal.
Tell your prospect’s story, not your story. Too many companies start with “we” or “I”. This is the opposite of 1-to-1 marketing. And that will render your marketing materials instantly ineffective. Repeat after me, it's never about you or your company -- it's always about your prospective customer.
Sell results, not processes. Write (and speak) in the language of results. Outcomes that actually mean something to your prospective customers will get immediate attention and interest. Don’t confuse features and process with benefits. You offer solutions to specific problems that your audience has, so let know that up front.
Headlines grab attention and motivate people to keep reading. Along with images, headlines are the first things people see. You’ve got seconds to tell them why they need to keep reading. Encourage them with hooks into the main copy such as, “3 Steps To …”, or “How …” and “5 Reasons Why …”. Also use sub-headlines to break up large blocks of text and that compel the reader to keep on reading -- plus sub-headlines help spark the interest of people who quickly scan material. Headlines should emphasize key outcomes the reader wants and prompt people to continue reading your marketing material.
Cause and effect. Help your reader link what your product or service does with the benefit to them with transition phrases and headlines. Use natural and logical bridges that place the reader in the picture. Examples are, “As a result”, “Which means that”, “For this reason”, and “Imagine”. These are normally used at the beginning of a sentence or headline and refer directly back to the previous paragraph statement without repeating the subject.
Your marketing literature is a magnet that attracts new customers to your business. Prospective customers don’t want brochures. They only want valuable information. More specifically, information that answers the questions they have right now. Give it to them!
As a result you’ll get more customers faster and drive more revenue -- while reducing your stress.
Ron Stein is President of FastPath Marketing (www.marketing-strategies-guide.com). He works with small business owners, helping them to energize their marketing and sell more of their products and services. Ron has developed his own highly successful 7-step approach to winning new customers as a result of his experience as a small business owner, corporate CEO, marketing and business development executive, salesman, and mentor at two nationally recognized business accelerators. Ron offers one-on-one and small group mentoring, conducts seminars, and consults. He can be reached at 727-398-1855 or Ron@FastPathMarketing.com.