Careful Planning Produces Marketing Materials That Work!

Careful Planning Produces Marketing Materials That Work!

Flyers, brochures, cover letters, and postcards can be incredibly helpful tools for any carpet cleaning business. This month I will talk about the need to plan and do your homework when it comes to creating successful written marketing pieces. It seems the reason that most business brochures and cover letters don’t work as well as planned is because not enough planning goes into them. Writing compelling marketing material requires doing some careful planning. Many people hate writing and would rather get it over and done with as quickly as possible. Success in marketing requires that you never lose sight of your objective. That is what it takes to make each marketing piece profitable. Homework helps achieve this objective.

The first thing to consider when writing your marketing piece is your audience. Great marketing documents are really just conversations between two people. Think of it as a conversation between you and your prospective client.

For example:

#1) Is this prospect a residential or commercial client?
#2) Will it target a man or a woman?
#3) Is this going to be viewed by middle class or above middle class people?
#4) What age person will you be planning to target with this piece?
#5) Are you going after working families or retirees?

The list goes on and on. The point is to compose your marketing piece with the person in mind you are hoping to reach it.

I have read that:
“The single greatest reason why Marketing communications fail to get people to take action, is because those people don’t feel that what they are being asked to consider has anything to do with them, or doesn’t speak to them about what is really important to them and therefore does not motivate them to take immediate action.”

Fail to consider your client’s perspective in your marketing piece and your effort to reach the prospect is doomed to fail.

Here is an idea that will help you to create effective marketing material. Create your brochures for a single person, a person who represents your target market. As you write try to focus on this single individual. This will help you create just the right tone and style. In writing to this individual, ask yourself these questions:

1. What do they wish to achieve and how soon?
2. What specific benefits will motivate them to act?
3. What do they have to do to get these benefits immediately?

Another very important point to consider is to plan “great headlines”. You want the
prospect to stop in their tracks and say, “Hey, this is just what I was wanting!”. So, spend your time working up headlines that will draw your reader in. Your headline (which dictates your “positioning” in the mind of your prospect) is the most important message you convey in your ads, brochures, signs, direct mail, etc. If you do not capture their interest with this introduction, all the rest of your writing efforts will be wasted.

What should be included in what you write about? Let’s face it most of us are pretty
lazy. Even when we have problems, we are inclined to simply hope they will simply go
away without us ever having to exert ourselves. People respond when action is less
threatening and more desirable that non-action. A successful marketer will then want to identify and utilize his prospective client’s anxiety level.

For example:
The EPA has stated, “Until such time as the carpet fibers are cleaned, the potential for human exposure to health risks remains high.”

“Every time carpets and fabrics are emptied of their pollution build-up through professional cleaning methods, there is a health benefit.” In these two sentences we have shown the prospective client that action is better than non-action.

Now, consider these questions for a moment:

1. What is happening to your prospective clients?
2. What are they likely to lose if they do not take immediate action?
3. How believable can you make this loss?
4. Who is willing to testify that these things will happen?
(For example, I quoted the EPA above.)

This is the kind of information you need to use in your brochure and cover letters.

Remember, fear of loss is always a greater motivator than hope for gain. Your prospective clients know what they have now. Even if it isn’t what they want, they are still afraid of losing it. Be very specific. Do not be vague about them losing something by failing to act now. In short, make the anxiety you use, authoritative. For instance, give the reader an incentive to act before a certain date.

You want your brochures and cover letters to make your prospective clients react fast. To get this effect, you have to turn the “features” of what you have into “buyer benefits”. Features are things that pertain to what you are selling. However, these things are only important if they can be transformed into benefits that motivate an immediate response.

Do the following exercise.

#1) List all the facts (features) about your service.
#2) Transform them into benefits by starting a sentence about each one, beginning,
“You’ll get….”

A feature is merely a feature until you turn it into a client-centered benefit using a “You’ll get” sentence. For instance, the feature, “clean carpet” might be stated like this:

“You’ll get a clean carpet that will contribute to your family’s health.”

After completing this activity, you should have dozens of “You’ll get” sentences.
Now the “trick” is to prioritize them. Which are the most important to your prospective clients?

Which will most likely them to take immediate action? Remember that all benefits are
not equal. Some are more important to them than others. These are the ones you
should lead with and emphasize in your brochure and cover letter.

So, you see, with some careful planning and by doing a little homework, you can create marketing pieces that get results.

Well that’s it for this issue. Go get em!

Rick Gelinas

November 29, 2005 / by / in
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