Ad Basics

A Marketing Formula That Works

by Joe Gracia

Marketing is all about helping people get what they want, and you use marketing vehicles — ads, flyers, sales letters, telemarketing, face-to-face sales presentations, etc. — to let your prospects and customers know that they can get what they want . . from you.

With that concept as a foundation, here is a simple formula to help you create powerful and effective marketing vehicles for your business.

1. Headline:
Tell Them They Can Get What They Want

People are extremely busy and their lives are hectic. When they look through their mail, or look through a newspaper, or listen to a telemarketer or sales presentation, they are looking and listening for only one thing — “What do you have for me?”

If they don’t see or hear “what’s in it for them” within 15 seconds, they will respond immediately with, “Sorry, not interested!”

They are not going to dig through your sales letter, or your ad, or your verbal presentation to find out if you have anything of interest for them. If you don’t tell them immediately and upfront what you have for them, you will have lost them — in seconds.

If you are creating an ad, tell them in your headline at the top of the ad. If you are writing a sales letter, put it in your headline at the top of your letter. Yes, sales letters should have a headline just like an ad.

If you are talking to them in-person or on the phone, tell them upfront what you have for them. You see, even a face-to-face or phone contact should have a headline too.

It’s vital to ensure that what you have for them, and what they want are both the same. If what you have for them in your headline isn’t what they want, then you’ve lost before you’ve begun. That’s why it’s so important for you to know exactly what your prospects and customers want before you begin spending money on marketing. Test, don’t guess.

2. Sub-Head:
Tell Them They Will Have To Act Quickly To Get It

We all procrastinate. We put off taking action even for things we want for a variety of reasons. We get easily distracted. If you don’t get immediate action from your target group, there is a good chance they won’t come back to your marketing vehicle later. It will surely get lost or tossed. Out of sight, out of mind.

It’s up to you to help your prospects and customers overcome their tendency to procrastinate and take immediate action to get what you are offering. You do that with what is called a Sense of Urgency. Tell them the offer ends on a particular date, perhaps in a week or two. Or tell them that there is a limited supply, or that they will receive a special bonus if they act now, but they will miss the bonus if they put it off.

Like it or not, you need to use a Sense of Urgency if you have any hope of overcoming the universal human trait of procrastination. Start looking more closely at the marketing vehicles you receive every day, and you’ll begin to see that effective marketing always gives you a reason to act now.

3. Body Copy:
Tell Them The Details Of What They Will Get

You got your targets” attention with your headline, by telling them that you have what they want. Now it’s time to tell them exactly what they will get if they respond to your marketing offer.

Tell them exactly what is included. Tell them the specific features of your offer and how they will benefit from them. Tell them how others have been benefited. Provide them with specific numbers if appropriate.

Use bold sub-heads and bullets to make it easy for them to skim to the information that is important to them.

4. Call To Action: 
Tell Them What They Must Do To Get It

Don’t assume that your prospects and customers will figure out how to get what you are offering. They won’t do your work for you.

If they have to call to get it, then tell them to call. If they have to write or drop a post card in the mail, or fax something to you, then tell them clearly.

The point is to make it as easy as possible for your target to do what you want them to do. People don’t like to do anything that is going to take work on their part. Make it as easy for them to respond as possible, or they won’t.

5. Postscript:
Tell Them Again What They Can Get, How Quickly They Must Act, And What They Must Do To Get It

If there is room in the marketing vehicle, such as a sales letter, it is always a good idea to re-cap your offer in a P.S.

Very often people will skip down to the P.S. right after reading the headline. By repeating all of the specifics of your offer there, you stand a much better chance of ensuring that your prospects will understand your offer.

Tell them what they will get if they respond by the deadline, and exactly what they must do.

Here’s an example:

P.S. Drop the enclosed post card in the mail by Friday, March 30th, to receive your Free Information Packet!

See how easy it is to recap everything in just one short sentence?

Copyright (c) 2001, Joe Gracia – Give to Get Marketing 

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