Posted on 09. Oct, 2005 in Online Advertising
I received two postcards in the mail yesterday. One was cluttered with so much small text I had difficulty trying to read it. I gave up and trashed it.
The second postcard had a total of 48 words on it including a website address listed on the bottom of the card. The card announced a new book on one of my favorite business topics. Part of one chapter was available to read free at the website listed on the card. I did… then ordered the book.
The person who sent that second postcard was using the classic 2 step selling process:
Step 1. Generate leads – in this case traffic to her website.
Step 2. Provide the requested information – in this case provided online at the website.
This two step process is proving to be just as effective online (Internet marketing) as it has been for many years in traditional marketing.
WHY USE 2 STEPS?
It’s easier to generate leads than to sell products or services. You don’t have to persuade anybody to spend money. Therefore you can use simple and inexpensive methods of advertising to generate leads. You can also build a list of prospects who don’t buy now and use it for future follow up.
TIP: Always try to get the contact information from your prospects so you can communicate with them again in the future. Implement an automatic follow up procedure to periodically contact previous prospects who didn’t buy. (This one procedure alone can increase your number of new customers by 50% or more.)
KEEP IT SIMPLE
The purpose of a lead generating ad or message is to generate a large number of inquiries. You’re not selling your product or service (yet). You’re selling the reader on the action of replying to your ad. The most effective message I’ve found for generating the maximum number of replies includes only 3 things.
1. State the biggest benefit offered by your product or service. 2. Include a compelling reason for readers to request more information NOW. 3. Provide a quick and easy way to respond.
Keep your message brief. Most short ads I develop produce more replies than longer versions of the same ad. For example, one of the most responsive ads I ever developed has only 14 words. The version used on the Internet read:
Discover How To Build ANY Small Business FAST! Offer ends soon. Free information. mailto:email@example.com
The off-line version of this ad also included a phone number and postal address so prospects had 3 ways to request more information. I used it for classified ads in magazines and printed it on postcards and mailed them to targeted lists. Every version of the ad produced a large number of replies.
Many prospects responded out of curiosity. That was OK. I knew they were part of my targeted market and had a compelling need for what I was offering. I controlled that by circulating the ad where it would be seen only by prospects in my targeted market.
Follow this model the next time you develop a lead generating ad or message. Place your ad where lots of prospects in your targeted market will see it. The number of leads it generates from seriously interested prospects will surprise you.
Bob Leduc retired from a 30 year career of recruiting sales personnel and developing sales leads. He is now a Sales Consultant. Bob recently wrote a manual for small business owners titled “How to Build Your Small Business Fast With Simple Postcards” and several other publications to help small businesses grow and prosper.