Customer Choice

Customer Choice

In business, the mantra is “give people choices.”  

But hold on a second. Are more choices still a good idea?  

My experience as a business owner and direct marketing geek, I know that sometimes less is more when it comes to choosing. In other words, choice comes with a cost. 

For example, if you are selling a new app every mother would want, you may be tempted to offer a variety of response avenues: email, contact us page on your website or a landing page, social media, and even a tollfree phone number. Just like my direct2customers marketing community. The logic is that everyone prefers a different method, so if you offer them all you increase the number of orders you get. Right? 

Not always. Sometimes, all those choices work against you because choosing between them may take an extra split second, which is enough to cause someone to put off responding until later. Once that happens, you may never get the answer at all. 

It may seem like a subtle distinction, but there is a difference between offering choices and introducing extra decisions. If the “choice” of response method becomes a “decision,” you can reduce the number of buyers and even orders. 

 For a reader-oriented medium such as a blog or content marketing, it is often best to offer a reader-oriented response and nothing else. That means forcing people to respond and provide no other avenue for response. Since there is only one way to reply, there is no decision to make.  However, your copywriting must be crisp and to the point of what you want them to do. 

If you own or work for a company that does most of its business online, driving people to a single contact link in your copy, makes the most sense. Again, there is no decision on how to respond, so there is one less hurdle for prospects to jump.  

Is this always the best approach? Yes and no, depending on what your marketing contacts prefer. The only way to be sure whether to offer one or multiple response methods, is to test. If you offer several ways now, look at your data tracking to see how many answers come in through each type. 

You might be surprised to find that one is favored to a much greater extent than the others. This could be the basis for testing whether one type of response can increase or decrease your total response. 

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com     800-251-3608 (USA only)

      

 

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Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

but pounce on them with an offer they cannot refuse.

Direct and digital marketing is a combination of words, pictures, and ideas. A great visual tool without compelling words often goes unnoticed. Great words without the ability to attract the consumer’s attention often doom those glorious words to oblivion. Great visual images without substantive words and ideas often diminish the result.

At times, your audience may not understand a visual. Many have heard of the Pareto Principle, but after seeing in use in a post or an article, it deserves a trip to Google to answer people’s questions.

Use another pause visual to slow or stop the reader to check it out. Make sure a post or solicitation opens in another company web page so the trip back for the visitor returns to the original location. Also, this is a clever way to explain the definition of a word or phrase.

Do you know your competitors, directly or indirectly? Find out before you read their product description after seeing their product in a photo or video. You may say, “Now, why didn’t I think of that?” Or, “this new product will kill us.”

Each example is important, but prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Producing “grabbers” work well with about any communication channel today.

The grabber for direct mail is the design. It’s the proper mix of color, shape, size, illustrations, photos, and typography.

I know what you are thinking. If you said your digital and social media communications could use a design makeover, you are correct. Try it. You won’t be disappointed.

A good headline accentuated with a photo or art is “a double whammy.”

Bright colors and bold graphics set your work apart. Illustrations are easily editable to fit your brand and can even be more universal than photography. Let Vector illustrations help your next project wrap up a punch.

Focus on creating a “how-to” or “why” or a “number series” while adding value and/or supplying entertainment in the form of a photograph, vector art, or even a short video or GIF.

As we learned in Direct Mail 101, the how-to is powerful because it engages the prospect on a deeper psychological level. It’s self-centered and most of us pay more attention when we hear “how-to and whatever follows after it.”

Try using a catchy relevant headline in the email subject line and see your open rate increase. Go a step further and add visuals with copy.

How to Reach a Qualified Target Audience… and motivate them to seek you out!

Momentum is not only a powerful force; it can keep people in motion. Eventually, when focusing on a segment of your contacts, such as once-buying prospects, you will learn how to qualify them.

The copy and the photo are enough to draw the reader in to the post. The copy can appeal to a human emotion.

Ask a question in the headline.

“What marketing communication channel delivers over 700 million messages each day?”

Curiosity can draw many reasons to find an answer. A good copywriter will add more subtle information. Like, in…

Subhead. Hint. Something you do with marketing.

 The answer is 700 million of letters and parcels are delivered yearly by the United States Postal Service. When you decide to use the US Mail channel, it’s a good guess the contact will get what you sent.

Thinking of using direct mail?

When designing direct mail, many people tend to be overly concerned about the individual design elements in the piece. Such as:

  • How does the headline look?
  • Should we put a few bullet points here?
  • How about some added color here?

Stop! Always try to look at your design. Stand back from your thoughts and look at it as you would a cool piece of art.

Imagine the blocks of text, the headlines, and various color blocks and photos as design elements – squares, circles, rectangles. Look at what stands out and what doesn’t.

Summary

If you want to learn more about this communication channel, direct mail, visit our Direct2customers.com and visit the Library of Marketing. There are a variety of sample writings. If you have a specific need send an email to Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

Thanks for reading and please share with others – except your competition! Your time is truly appreciated.

Learning and doing, marketing and selling ideas, is what you’ll find at Direct2Customers community.

It’s what we do. It’s what we love to do.

Thanks again for reading. Questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com     800-251-3608 (USA only)

      

 

 

 

 

 

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Creating Effective Direct Marketing Copy is More Important Than Ever Before

Creating Effective Direct Marketing Copy is More Important Than Ever Before

The goal of writing great marketing copy is to get people into taking action. 

Like buy my product or service.

The more you address specific human elements that motivate your audience, the greater your chances of moving them into action, calling, e-mail or buying.

So, what moves people, besides a big truck?

  • People cannot resist a bargain. People seek pleasure and satisfaction. People like exclusivity. And some are even moved by greed.
  • People seek to improve themselves. They want to save time. People seek security and safety.
  • People seek power, stature, fame, flattery from others and inside information. They are often envious, revengeful and proud.
  • People want to make money, save money, save time, stay healthy, become more knowledgeable, increase their status, boost their prestige.

This is a never-ending list as we try to understand the human mind and how it relates to purchasing your products and services. You need not attempt to solve the human condition in every direct marketing copy you write. But it’s recommended to learn continuously about your customers.

What you need to do is think carefully about what you sell, to whom, and how best to make them want to act.

It’s a complicated activity and, at the same time, it is easy. Your direct marketing must lead people to consider worthy opportunities to improve their personal situations. Train your mind to react to them.

It becomes much easier when you take the time to keep learning more about your customers and provide products and services that exceed their expectations.

Some of those expectations may even be in the preceding paragraphs. It’s all about learning and doing.

Thanks for reading. Ideas or questions? Mdoc@direct2customers.com.

 

 

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BLOG – MarketingDoc

Teaching everything we know to help you earn a living using the proven concepts of direct marketing and solution selling.

In today’s marketing and selling, you need a better understanding of the way prospects and customers act. Always write down some of the actions you observe when you and the team are dealing with prospects and customers. Start to build profiles of your prospects and customers. Why? Not everybody responds in the same way. Everyone does not have the same problem. 

Be More Creative and Strategic in Marketing and Sales Promotions…

There are a variety of strategic names, such as a game plan or master plan. In my world of marketing and advertising, creativity is prominent.  The art and science of marketing tend to lead one to build creative strategies.

Customer Choice

My experience as a business owner and a direct marketing geek, I know that sometimes less is more when it comes to choosing. In other words, choice comes with a cost. 

Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

Prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Producing “grabbers” work well with about any communication channel today.
The grabber for direct mail is ???

Teaching everything we know to help you earn a living using the proven concepts of direct marketing and solution selling.

In today’s marketing and selling, you need a better understanding of the way prospects and customers act. Always write down some of the actions you observe when you and the team are dealing with prospects and customers. Start to build profiles of your prospects and customers. Why? Not everybody responds in the same way. Everyone does not have the same problem. 

read more

Customer Choice

My experience as a business owner and a direct marketing geek, I know that sometimes less is more when it comes to choosing. In other words, choice comes with a cost. 

read more

Visuals attract and make the reader pause…

Prospects and customers will overlook the best words and most monumental ideas unless something grabs their attention. Producing “grabbers” work well with about any communication channel today.
The grabber for direct mail is ???

read more

BLOG – MarketingDoc

I started writing the MarketingDoc blog in 2010 for small business and b2b companies. Marketing and sales are two business functions that are not as easy to create revenue success as one would suspect. When I write, I strive to teach a reader something about either or both business functions, I bear in mind, both impact lead generation. It’s a methodology I call “learning and doing.”

read more

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Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

Data is GOLD found within your customers, sales prospects and any other marketing lists…

but you must mine your lists and categorize each to get the shiny gold you want!

Today’s customers, prospects, sales leads and so-called contact list of maybes can be reached using a ton of tactical marketing channels daily. 

The glaring question most people search an answer for “Which marketing channel is the best one for us to use?” The best answer may be all of them. What channels do your customers respond to? All your contacts in your databases control the marketing communication they use in their company. 

Trying to look for gold in a stream by your house or office is probably crazy. Sending a message using a marketing channel your contact does not respond to, email for example, is like waiting for a sunrise on a stormy, cloudy day. Time wasted is lost. 

Fortunately, today’s databases can process a host of data, using a variety of options to reach the right customer using their preferred channels of communication.  In addition, there are a variety of niche segments to consider, so an open mind may be your best option. 

Here is a list to help you get started and to assure your team is headed in the right direction.   

IDEA: Put a value on your corporate database so it is not viewed as an expense.   

  1. Match your products or services to customers’ and prospective customer’s wants/needs. You want your data to give you a summary of your customers’ buying patterns. Knowing customer data will help you customize offers for use in any marketing channel. If you’re looking for an increase in answers, you may find gold in these channels.
  2. Select new list purchases that fit the profiles of existing customer data. Use your Website landing pages in conjunction with an email newsletter you send regularly. 
  3. Maximize personalization in your customer channel selection communication and more than one offer. This is a proven method that increases response. Address your customer by name, title and add additional data from their last purchase date. You may want to add a discount or another offering that will pique their interest.
  4. Provide ongoing interaction with customers, especially the ones receiving your email newsletter. Out of sight is out of mind. Your goal is to stay in touch with your customers to learn their preferred communication channels. Be careful. Too much too soon could shut down the lead spigot.
  5. If there is no preferred communication channel, start the conversation using direct marketing mail. Make an offer of value on a landing page on your website. You want to gather some additional data, creating an awareness that triggers consideration and beginning to build your brand awareness and customer loyalty.
  6. Pinpoint timing and frequency of promotions. See who responds and at what time of the year. Use the results to spread offers to your customers and your prospective customers. Make sure to collect the results and add it to your data. Some large companies with a diverse customer base use a special customer event once or twice a year to help fill the sales pipeline.
  7. Measure response and be responsible for results. Direct marketing mail is measurable. More than any other medium, it can be evaluated for its impact on a specific goal. When results are not satisfactory, go back and learn what went wrong.
  8. Collected customer data will help to determine offers to share with others in your lists. If a customer makes a request about your marketing enter it into your company data fields. As you test different offers and promotions, compare the responses of each to see if some produce better results than others. Most important, listen to customer suggestions for future deals!
  9. Demonstrate that your customers are valuable assets. Check your customer data and customer service data for ideas such as having a workshop, personal presentations of new products, or a customer rewards/sales incentive program. These programs have a history of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
  10. Show customers you care about their opinions. Conduct a customer satisfaction survey through direct marketing mail. Add an offer to increase the rate of surveys. If you hear back from inactive customers, you can tailor an event or promotion to bring them back to active status. If you have a sales team, train them to ask questions and learn what you want to know 

Always remember that a clean customer database is a quality database. Quality customer database results are valuable business tools that in turn is a quality asset for your business. When you communicate us.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate comments and ideas for future articles.

Marketingdoc      Mdoc@direct2customers.com

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