“I’ve been looking over our company’s marketing materials and I think I understand why they haven’t brought us much new business. They’re not awful, but to be honest, they’re boring. Any advice?”
The promotional and sales materials you create for your business are important tools for your success. You really need to think about them and understand how they will support your branding and overall marketing plan.
Early on you’ll need to decide if you want your new marketing piece to generate a sale by itself, or function as part of a larger, two-part sales process. Step one is to get something free and create a relationship, and step two is to get the sale. At Prime Concepts Group we always design marketing materials that get a prospect to take whatever specific step we want them to take in the buying process.
In order to get prospects to take the next step, there are a number of essential copy components to include when creating new materials. Here’s a list of them, along with brief definitions and usage suggestions.
Kickers – A kicker helps qualify your prospects and draws them into reading your headline. Think of it like a headline for the headline.
Headlines – This is no-doubt the most important copy element. I could write for days just about headlines. Take time to consider as many variations and approaches as possible; at Prime Concepts Group it’s not uncommon for us to come up with 30 or more headlines before we settle on the top two or three that we want to test.
Subheads – These build upon the interest created in the headline, and carry your reader right into the main body copy.
Body Copy – Make a list of all of the benefits and features of your product or service. Benefits are powerful because they are based on emotions–so lead with them. Validate your benefits with features, which are the facts about your product. I like to use 3×5 cards, or just type them up on a master list when you brainstorm. Be concise, clear and creative.
Testimonials – These are third-party endorsements from your satisfied customers. Usually they are free for the asking, so ask! Using testimonials helps prospects feel more confident about you and your product.
Your Offer – Believe it or not, I’ve seen plenty of slick and expensive marketing materials that include everything EXCEPT an offer. An essential part of your message must tell prospects what your proposition is; what problem do you solve and how can they get it?
Add Value – Consider special pricing, up-sells, and product/service bundling to make your product more appealing and offer greater value.
Address Credibility – do not forget to tell prospects why you’re the best choice. Like everything in life, you need to offer them an RTB – “Reason To Believe.”
Pricing Strategy – Don’t blurt out the price until you’ve established the value, unless the price is the most compelling reason for prospects to act. This isn’t usually the case, so I recommend using other benefits first.
Risk-Reversal/Guarantee – You’d better have one. Some companies are afraid to state guarantee for fear that customers will make too many returns—but if you test, you’ll find that guarantees usually have the opposite effect—you’ll get more sales.
Include A Specific And Measurable Action Step – Put a big red star beside this one, because it’s that important. An Action Step tells prospects precisely what you want them to do and how they should go about doing it. Don’t just put “for more information…blah, blah, blah…” at the bottom of your brochure because people don’t need more information, they need solutions to their problems. They want to increase pleasure or reduce pain, so say something specific like… “Find out how we can help you____________.” (You fill in the blank with something compelling).
So there you have it–the essentials you need in order to create great copywriting. Good luck with your new marketing materials!