Monday, September 26, 2011

8 Tips For Improving Your Marketing Communications

My older son, Jeff, is Executive VP at ARTCO and regularly distributes useful marketing hints on the internet based on his long experience in the printing business. Below is Jeff's most recent marketing counsel that could be helpful to small business owners and others.

8 Tips For Improving Your Marketing Communications

In this era of mass communication, taking the time to personalize a thoughtful selling proposition is a surefire way to stand out in a crowded marketplace. A carefully worded sales letter can open doors like magic.

Be warm, genuine and personal. Advances in printing technology have made personalization a surprisingly affordable option. If you don’t have resources to build a customized database, be as specific as possible (e.g., “Dear Business Owner”).

Get to the point. You only have seconds to grab a reader’s attention. Use your first sentence to make a compelling statement. Follow up immediately with benefits, testimonials, and a call to action.

Present the offer on page one. Some writers use a headline or Johnson Box to present the offer, but these techniques can make the letter look more like advertising. Another option is using boldface type. Whatever approach you use, make sure it’s on page one and persuasive enough to keep your prospect reading.

Watch the page count. If you can say everything you need in one page, fantastic! Refer the prospect to inserts containing additional detail. If you must use more than one page, end the first page in mid-sentence. This appeals to our natural sense of curiosity, encouraging the reader to turn the page.

Eliminate the risk. Is your offer too good to be true? Take skepticism out of the mix by assuring the reader there is no obligation; guarantee what you say.

Create urgency. Make a logical case why the reader must respond now. Maybe it’s a limited time offer, supplies are limited, or a price increase is expected.

The end is as important as the beginning. The person with the highest authority relevant to the reader should sign in blue ink. The postscript (P.S.) is one of the most-read parts of a letter, like a headline at the end; use it to restate your offer or response deadline.

A prospect is worth the cost of a stamp. Don’t count on the reader to connect to your website to request additional information. Include a postage-paid business reply card.

Writing a sales letter is thought by many to be an art form, so consider outsourcing to a specialist. If you choose to write the letter yourself, include these basic elements to make customers magically appear.


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