What marketing tools
don't work for you?
We ask this question when we welcome subscribers
to our zone. Their answers are consistent: "We sent out
a mailing and got no response," they may say. Or they
tell us, "Our letters, postcards, or brochures failed."
What went wrong?
You may be surprised. The reasons you find here
may not be what you suspect. You may be thinking, "Direct
mail letters (or other marketing communications such as a
Yellow Pages ads, brochures, newspaper ads, etc.) just don't
work for someone in my business."
Because you and your 3-fold brochure, sales
letter, or other marketing message are not in front of us,
we can't pinpoint exactly why it fell short. We can, though,
give you five of the most common errors that may be shutting
the door on the results you want.
And just by reversing these mistakes your marketing
communications can become winners!
Costly Error #1
- Not Precisely Pinpointing Your Target Market
One of our clients, a leading networking company,
relied heavily on seminars for its sales. To boost attendance
at one seminar, it placed an ad in the local newspaper inviting
anyone and everyone to attend. With its wide-open y'all come
approach, the ad attracted students looking for information
and a free lunch.
Instead of desperately trying to fill seminar
seats, the company would have done better to more precisely
identify its target -- the information technology managers
and executives who make decisions about networks.
Even if your message is the greatest, it will
fail if it doesn't reach the right people.
Costly Error #2
- Spending Money On The Wrong Marketing Medium
A new video producer we interviewed for an article
told us this story. After creating a video about dog training,
he developed a marketing strategy -- to place a $600 ad in
TV Guide. After all, he reasoned, there has to be a pack of
dog owners among its 20 million readers. Perhaps. But only
one of them ordered the video.
He would have a greater chance of success by
trying out an ad in a publication geared to dog lovers or,
perhaps, purchasing a list from one of these publications
and testing a mailing.
The better you can describe and understand your
market, the more likely you are to find them. And the more
you zero in on exactly where they hang out in groups (such
as readers of specialized publications or newsletters), the
less you risk choosing a time-and-money-swallowing marketing
Costly Error #3
- Putting a Fog Around Your Message
Sometimes business people write marketing communications
with the belief they should, above all else, be clever. (Or,
worse, they pay others to concoct these witty or whimsical
messages for them.) As a result, their main message becomes
clouded. Another frequent fault is to obscure their message
Or they may bury their message beneath a display
of sensational verbal or graphic fireworks. Think of the number
of Web sites you've seen where the message is submerged or
Be alert! Don't let anything come between you
and the message you want your prospects to remember and respond
Costly Error #4
- Relying On Image And A Brochure To Carry The Day
By image we mean marketing communications with
the sole purpose of creating an image and awareness of your
firm, product, or service. They attempt to be a work of art.
Watch out! Sometimes they take the form of a glossy brochure
with slick photographs and attention-grabbing layout.
The problem is they do not produce measurable
results, nor do they provide feedback to guide you in improving
your marketing message.
If you have $10 million to spend on marketing,
your image brochure (or ad) may work for you . . . some day.
It's unlikely that it can prompt your prospects to act now.
Read on to find out exactly what goes in your
brochure or ad to grab your best prospects and urge them to
respond at once.
Costly Error #5
- Not Acting On The Power Of Marketing Leverage
What is marketing leverage?
Controlled studies by successful advertising
experts have measured the impact of headlines, offers, copy,
and graphics. By testing -- changing these elements one at
a time and comparing results from direct response ads -- the
experts discovered the following differences between responses
to the best and worst versions of each element.
The champions, please...
Headline: a response that was 21 times greater
Offer: a response that was 10 times greater Copy: a response
that was 5 times greater Graphics: a response that was 5 times
greater How can you take advantage of this information?
If your marketing communication does not have
an offer, develop one. If it has a lackluster offer, make
it irresistible. If your marketing document does not have
a headline, create one. If it has a humdrum headline, generate
one that grabs the attention of your prospects.
How about you? Do you suspect that one or more
of these errors caused your marketing messages to fall short?
By avoiding these expensive mistakes you will
improve your chances of success. Put these errors behind you
and produce marketing communications that get attention and