Since the human brain seems to be able to focus on only one thought at a time, it's difficult to evaluate an advertising idea from the perspective of both a marketer and a customer. That's why it's necessary to use a two-step process when developing highly effective ads, sales letters, web pages, and e-mails.
The first step involves creating a rough draft of your marketing message, while emphasizing the strong points and best attributes of your product or service. Your message, especially your headline, should strive to capture your prospects' attention, focus on the many benefits they'll experience, and outline the important features and selling points. The first draft should include a call to action, as well as whatever contact information is necessary to get the prospect to follow through.
Navigate Through Expected Sales Objections
Possibly the most daunting obstacle to generating inquiries and making sales is human inertia, which is basically the tendancy to postpone, deliberate, and procrastinate. The best way to overcome that is to create a sense of urgency by imposing a deadline for taking action. Whether your supplies are limited -- or prices are about to go up -- or the prospect must act now "before it's too late", there needs to be a feeling of urgency conveyed if you are to be successful in overcoming the powerful forces of inaction and indecisiveness.
Other obstacles in the sales process that you need to overcome early on include skepticism, mistrust, and pessimism. The ideal marketing message would remove any doubt in the customer's mind about quality, competitive prices, ongoing customer support, and the customer's ability to get a refund if they're dissatisfied. One common mindset that many prospects have is, "It sounds like a good product/service, but it probably won't work for me." A strategy you can use for overcoming that negative attitude is to include testimonials of satisfied customers -- just like them -- in your marketing materials.
Bypass Your Ego to Connect With Buyers
Part two of this marketing process is often ignored by small business owners and even some advertising agencies, but it can spell the difference between success and failure. It involves stepping back and looking at your message from the standpoint of your target audience. Here are two important questions to ask yourself: "Are they going to notice the ad or the sales message at all?" and "If they do notice it, why should they care?" If you're not sure, then that's a clear sign you need to strengthen your sales message and gear it more to the needs of your intended audience.
In order to create a winning ad or marketing campaign, it's necessary to ask yourself these blunt questions, and have the flexibility to make changes in your headlines, ad layout, graphics, ad copy, or marketing strategy. Getting a second or third opinion from people who will give you the unvarnished truth (as they see it) can help you develop a winning, original marketing message that will generate a profitable response.
If your marketing efforts fail to rise above the clutter of all the hundreds of nondescript ads, emails, and competing offers that the public is bombarded with every day, then your marketing message will be about as effective as a whisper on the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Challenge yourself to produce compelling, high-impact marketing messages that will command attention and trigger a response from your target group.
© 2004 Optimal Marketing Communications
Joel Sussman, president of Optimal Marketing Communications and a writer/editor with 20 years experience, has developed on online resource called "Marketing Survival Kit". It features an array of hand-picked small business articles, choice marketing software, and instantly downloadable manuals. Visit http://www.marketingsurvivalkit.com