Get your message right
In the age of Twitter and web 2.0 the power of the written word is fast becoming an underrated concept. The basic knowledge of how to craft compete sentences with engaging and effective messaging is a dying practice. Who was it that said, “The pen is mightier than the sword”?
So let’s dust of this ancient weapon and find out how to create a powerful message that delivers the desired results.
Make it fit for purpose
The nature of your message will often be determined by:
A) The recipient and the subject, i.e. appropriate language for the receiver
B) The specific channel you are using, email, direct mail, SMS, newsletter
Develop benefit based headlines
An engaging headline communicates “what’s in it for the customer” and effectively describes the value or benefit your customer will receive from your product or service. The headline fulfills an essential role as the ‘hook’ for customers to read on and find out more.
Sell the sizzle
When developing your sales message it’s always good to remember to:
Keep it simple – so it can be understood clearly
Keep it short – so it can be understood quickly
Stress the benefits – sell the ‘sizzle’, not the sausage
Stay customer focused
Define your benefit statements in terms of the customer. Remember it is about your customer not your business – Use “you” and not “I” or “we”.
Keep it legal, decent and honest – it’s the law and in the Code of Practice
Creating engaging and relevant copy
The primary goal is to communicate your message effectively in order for your customers to make an educated buying decision.
Don’t get sidetracked by design and creative style – ultimately it’s the text that convinces your customers your offer is too good to miss. Imagery is of course important and supports you’re messaging, however using the right tone of voice and creating effective copy should be your primary focus.
Eye tracking research
The art of effective online and offline communication has benefited greatly from eye tracking research. The study of how the human eye registers and perceives visual communications has delivered some fascinating insights, especially on how we automatically filter the information. Take your communication to the next level with eye tracking research by Professor Siegfried Vogele of the Institute for Direct Marketing in Munich.
Create effective messaging with the knowledge of how we scan and perceive typography and copy. The right choice of type face, use of colour and layout can be viewed in our post.
Our focus can be affected by the placement of imagery and graphic elements. The results of this study have real implications for the design of marketing communications. View this post.
A unique selling proposition
The USP is central to your message and to your overall communication strategy. How to develop an effective USP is covered in our developing a unique selling proposition post.
Free from jargon
Remember the golden rule of creating content that’s appropriate and relevant to your target audience. It is not uncommon for a business that specialises in a specific technical area to overuse jargon and technical speak. I recommend using an external copywriter to provide a laypersons viewpoint on the clarity and comprehension of the content. An external writer is more likely to interpret your information like a real customer and be able to ask the right questions.
Endorsements and testimonials increases customers’ trust and gives them confidence that your business is capable of delivering on your promise.
Reduce the barriers
Barriers to customer purchase or action vary depending on your product or service type. Reduce the barriers to improve your sales conversion rates. Providing guarantees, free phone numbers and support services can help to smooth the customer decision process.
You may include:
- Additional information
- The enquiry process
- Purchase or business processes
Allow the customer to understand what is required of them and what the next step is likely to be.
Calls to action
Encourage the customer to take action or make contact with you. Include all relevant contact information in your call to action and double-check that the details are correct – there’s nothing worse for a customer to visit a website that doesn’t exist. You may also consider incentivising your customers to take action now. Time restricted special offers can be effective in generating increased demand.
If you address some or all of the above tools for creating powerful and engaging messages – you will be streets ahead of your competitors. You will also be more effective in achieving the results you want.
Stay tuned for more direct marketing insights from The Bridge
If you are new to our direct marketing best practice communication you can review previous topics via the links below.
1. Data is #1
2. Who is your customer anyway?
3. What is your proposition?
4. Get your message right
5. Creative design
6. A creative brief
7. Relevance is everything
8. Which methods and why
9. Conversion and success
10. Why measure?
11. Systems and support
12. CRM for you
13. Your next steps
Each topic is posted on our marketing blog and linked above for easy reference.
Let us take care of it!
Let us produce your next successful direct marketing campaign. Contact us to discuss your marketing programme requirements or visit our website.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 at 9:01 am and is filed under Communication Design, Content Best Practice, Direct Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Research, SME Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.