If you’re looking for more leads, appointments, and sales, there are six ways that you can improve your ads immediately in any type of marketing.
If you’re not doing these, it’s a safe bet that potential leads are slipping through your fingers and into the hands of your competitors.
Despite the number of books, studies, articles, and research available on good marketing and advertising, there’s an amazing amount of really bad, wasteful garbage that companies push out in an attempt to get more clients.
To fight the swath of ignorance and laziness in the marketing world, we’ve come up with a quick refresher on the fundamentals of direct-response marketing so you don’t get confused by all the wasteful advertising that’s all around us.
1) Clarity of the Target
Before you can even attempt to create and plan a good lead-generation, direct-response marketing campaign, you need to know exactly who you want to attract.
If you were dropped off in the middle of a forest and forced to hunt for your supper in a Survivor-style situation, given the opportunity to select one or two “weapons” from a handful of tools, traps, and bait from a pile, you’d first have to determine what type of critter you felt like eating that night before you could intelligently decide what to grab.
Obviously, if you wanted fish, you wouldn’t select a slab of meat as bait over the worms.
And if you wanted deer, better to pick doe urine – yep, gross but true! – to draw in a big ol’ buck over a block of cheese.
The type of client you want will determine the media you use – direct mail, Facebook, radio ads, networking events, etc. – as well as the copy you write and the offer you include.
Successful direct-response campaigns make it very, very clear for whom the ad, message, or campaign is intended. If a neutral third party were to read your campaign and could not instantly determine who this product or service was specifically for, the ad – or email, website, letter, etc. – is flawed!
There are two reasons why most marketing fails this test. The first is that the advertiser doesn’t know who they want. They lack clarity on who the most likely buyer is. Second, it’s because they are foolishly trying to be all things to all people so they don’t “miss” any opportunity. In doing so, they put the proverbial doe urine on the cheese, thereby repelling both targets and attracting a possum!
2) The Headline & Strong Sales Copy
The headline has always been one of the most important elements of a lead-generation campaign, and in the ADD 8-second-attention-span world we live in today, it’s hyper-critical. Inevitably, the recipient is going to skim the headline and make a determination as to whether they should keep reading.
Second, the copy needs to be extremely effective at catching and keeping the reader’s attention long enough to get them to take action.
If the headline isn’t effective at stopping the reader in their tracks to pay attention and the copy doesn’t keep them reading, it’s not going to be a successful ad. Full stop.
3) Be Very Careful Not to Be Cute or Obtuse
Writing effective copy to elicit a response is not easy, which is why you don’t see it very often. It requires you to be concise and crystal-clear about why the reader should pay attention and respond.
Some headlines are so vague that you cannot tell what the advertising company does or who they do it for, much less what they can do for you. Furthermore, if the images and design don’t adequately complement the story, the reader is left even more confused and unfulfilled.
Just because a particular message might be difficult to write is not an effective excuse for not executing it. It’s a sign of pure laziness.
The bottom line is that you can’t afford to be careless with your advertising dollars. Some big-name companies might be able to throw away millions on “branding” campaigns that don’t drive sales – but you can’t!
4) The Offer
You cannot call an ad, campaign, or other marketing communication “direct response” and expect it to generate leads unless it has an offer or call to action (CTA).
Whatever you choose to offer, it must be information that your specific target market would really like to know, instantly want, be intensely curious about, and feel that they must have and/or would be scared not to have immediately!
Here’s a “spring cleaning” exercise: go through every prospect-facing piece of collateral and check to see if you have an existing offer – whether it’s for a free consultation, a piece of content (video, report, checklist, etc.), an e-book, webinar invite, cost analysis, and so on.
Where to check? Your business card, the “About Us” and home pages of your website, trade-show collateral, your company vehicles, your LinkedIn profile, Google My Business page, Facebook page, etc.
5) Urgency to Respond
Whenever possible – which is, in almost every case – create an urgency to respond. Limit the number being given away, include a deadline when the offer will be withdrawn or taken down, or give some additional incentive for responding immediately (“First # will receive a free gift”).
6) Multiple Ways to Respond
Whenever you run an ad, be sure to include at least two – ideally, three or four – ways that the recipient can respond. Linking to a landing page on your website is good – but don’t only offer that! Include a phone number, a fax-back form (believe it or not, some industries still rely heavily on faxes), and a business reply card.
If you’re still unsure about how to get started with your marketing campaigns, HighClick Media is ready, willing, and able to help you reach your specific objectives!