Eye-Stopping Headlines

If you want to get prospective customers excited about doing business with your company, creating eye-stopping, mind-grabbing headlines is a great way to do it! While the content of an advertisement is helpful for relaying information about your company’s products or services, it’s the headline that creates the initial relationship with the reader, and entices them to read about what your company has to offer. Here are six types of headlines that will boost inquiries about your company:

1.) The problem/solution headline. Readers are looking for products and services that will make their lives easier. By writing a headline that poses a problem many readers may have, and offers the solution your company can provide, you have created a situation that will most likely encourage the reader to take a look at the remainder of your advertisement.

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2.) The historical event headline. If there is something newsworthy about your product or service, such as it is the world-premiere, or a limited-time offer, it can prove to be an effective draw.

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3.) The testimonial. Providing a testimony from a person that has used your product or service encourages prospective customers to think, “If it worked for him, it can work for me, too!”

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4.) Product claims. Include statistics and percentages in your headline to increase a product’s credibility. It is important to credit the source of the information you use because it gives your prospective customers a piece of mind about using your product. Even if the source is not well-known by the public, it should be included.

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5.) Outrageous statements. The purpose of writing a headline is to provoke curiosity in your readers – making an outrageous statement relating to your product or service will almost force your readers to see what you have to say.

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6.) Questions. Posing a question to your readers allows them to take an active role in your advertisement. The key is asking a question that most people will feel compelled to answer because it is relevant to their lives. People will naturally want to know what their answer to the question has to do with your products or services, and will continue reading your ad to discover what your company can do for them.

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Headlines are a key component to successful advertising. Creating intriguing headlines will revolutionize your advertising and will have a great affect on your company’s success.

Go Where the Money Is

Are you wasting your time, money, and enthusiasm on people who sincerely aren’t interested in what you have to offer? Instead of looking for suspects who may have the capacity to buy your product or service some day down the road, start seeking prospects who are qualified to do so today. In other words, go where the money is. Here are some tips on how to find prime, qualified targets today:

  • list of clientsBuild a strong client list of names, addresses, e-mails, and phone numbers by placing customers on a preferred client mailing and announcement list. After requesting to add them to your client list, be sure to follow through and make formal announcements once you compile your client list.
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  • Use the Internet to search for other industries that have a similar target audience (those who are complementary versus competitive with your business). When you determine which other businesses would also sell to your client, contact them and offer to share or trade prospect names with them.
  • customersDon’t limit your prospecting simply to previous or current customers. A large number of high-quality prospects and leads can be turned into profitable clients through regular and strategic communication with them.
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  • Avoid general advertisements, letters, or promotions. Always make sure that your offers refer to a specific product or service. This way, readers with strong interests can easily qualify themselves and take advantage of your offer.
  • shake handsAlways focus your efforts on the markets, prospects, and activities that offer you the highest probability of a payoff. The less energy you waste on suspects, the more you have left for big, rewarding prospects.

 

Newsletters Are a Fun Way to Keep In Touch With Customers and Prospects

Newsletters have become one of the most popular ways for companies to keep in touch with their customers. A well-written, interesting newsletter can establish expertise and credibility, inform and educate, as well as increase sales and influence positive word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some tried and true newsletter do’s and don’ts:

newslettersPeople Like:

  • Interesting subjects
  • Short articles
  • Good visuals
  • Easy-to-skim designs
  • Bulleted lists
  • Content telling how to make money, save time
  • Clear organization
  • Calendars
  • Offers, benefits

People Don’t Like:

  • Intimidating pages
  • Disorganized information
  • Long, continuing articles
  • Overly frequent mailings
  • Irrelevant content
  • Impersonal tone
  • Receiving multiple copies
  • Chaotic page design
  • Too many pages

If you’re looking for unique ideas or expert advice on how to create a newsletter, or simply spice up your current newsletter, stop by our print shop. Not only can we provide you with inspiring ideas and printed examples; we can also help you create a powerful newsletter that will boost sales and stay within your company’s budget.

Focus Check — Focus on the “Buy”

Some marketing experts recommend that in creating a direct mail program, you should devote half your time to creating the reply form. Most clients are surprised, if not shocked, when they hear this very revealing rule. The rule is revealing because it suggests that most marketers spend too much effort on the sale and too little on the “buy.”

try it before you buyThink how often you have been virtually sold on something, but chose not to make the purchase because it was too hard to buy. The salesperson offered all sorts of options, for example, or made you worry about the value of an extended warranty. Perhaps they offered more complicated financing packages than you could intelligently choose among. The product was too hard to buy. Now, think of your opposite experiences. Something appealed to you a little, not necessarily a lot and the ease with which you could order, pay for, and receive the product ultimately led you to make the purchase.

Good marketing must focus on the buy. How clear is your offer? Can the prospects sample the service, thereby reducing their risk? How clear is the price? How easy is it to buy?

Save your customers some hassle and make your product easy to buy.

Guerrilla Marketing’s Golden Rule #6

A customer is a very special person. Of the billions of people on planet Earth, only a tiny fraction have chosen to do business with you. They have selected your business on purpose. It is your constant obligation – though it should be a pleasure – to do what you can to improve the lives of these people: with valuable advice, reduced prices, and reviews of new products and services. The only way to do this is by staying in touch.

Customer reverence is felt by the heart and planned by the mind. Show your customer how much you appreciate them by sending:

  1. A thank-you note within 48 hours of each purchase, although 24 hours is more impressive and memorable. Anyone can send a thank-you note. Guerrillas do it ASAP.
  2. An offer of an item related to their purchase, tendered about 30 days after the purchase. The offer can be for a product or service.
  3. A questionnaire. Send each new customer a questionnaire to learn more about them and their interests.
  4. A birthday card. Use the questionnaire mentioned above to learn each customer’s birthday — month and day, not year. Then, send them a card when their birthday rolls around. Later, you can expand this tactic by sending graduation cards to the customer’s kids, anniversary cards to the customer and spouse, and postcards from your next vacation. Don’t overwhelm your customers, but continue to acknowledge their existence.
  5. A newsletter, sent monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly. If it’s created with customer reverence in mind, it will give more than it asks, provide valuable free information, and still make offers to sell something.
  6. A catalogue of your offerings, sent only to customers or sent first to customers, then to prospects, postcardsif your customer list isn’t long enough. Customers will especially appreciate a catalogue that clearly communicates it is for customers only.
  7. A fact-of-interest postcard, sent in the purest sense of customer reverence. Give data that can help your customer, without trying to sell anything. Keep it brief, and customers will actually look forward to your mailings — a dream world for most, but the standard situation for guerrillas.

Here are some of the more popular and creative ways to use postcards:

  • Thank you cards… have a picture of your business or organization printed on the front.
  • New product announcements… place a picture of the product on the front.
  • New employee announcements… feature the new employee’s picture on the front, with their contact information on the back.
  • Card pack inserts.
  • Customer follow-up mailings designed to create loyalty.
  • Low-cost direct mail marketing.

If you don’t stay in contact with your customers, somebody else may win them away from you. By constantly fanning the flames of love and loyalty, you will prove beyond any words that you revere your customers, while at the same time safeguarding against apathy.

Secrets of Power Presentations

Maintaining Their Attention
Getting your audience’s attention is only the first step to a successful presentation. Once you’ve captured their attention, your next challenge is maintaining it. Typically, adults have short attention spans that shift constantly. Here are some tips to help you out.investment education

  • Provide handouts that outline your presentation. Ask your printer to use a heavier, 60 lb. paper if you have copy on both sides of the page. It will prevent a distracting show-through of your copy on the backside of the sheet.
  • Use colorful overhead transparencies with bold colors and large type. Use no more than seven words per line and seven lines per overhead. Letters should be one-fourth of an inch high and limited to one or two typestyles and no more than three colors.
  • To increase interest and keep people a little more alert, pass out one or two handouts during odd times of the presentation. Color photocopies of a product or graph are always effective, as are mini-catalogs, brochures, or postcards that contain your website address and contact information.

Trade Show Sales Tips

Trade shows typically produce lower-cost leads than other communications strategies. They’re the best vehicle for a new company to attract its first customers and the most cost-effective way for small manufacturers with specialized products to find prospects.

Many times, small companies lack the resources to discover which companies need their product. At a major industry show, hundreds, if not thousands, of people will walk by the manufacturer’s booth. Those interested in the company’s products or services will probably stop.

Businesses that sell exclusively to a regional market might want to consider regional trade shows instead. Like their national counterparts, these trade shows attract potential buyers within an industry, but the cost for travel and booth space is often significantly less.

Most industry trade magazines contain information about both national and regional trade shows, so check yours every month for the most recent and relevant listings.

Local, company-promoted specialty shows, such as bridal fairs, equipment shows, home and garden shows, and boat shows, offer another popular option. If you’re a member of the local chamber of commerce, you might even consider hosting a booth at the next business after hours event.

Whatever trade shows you decide to attend, make sure you have plenty of handouts to go around. To save money, have a special one-page handout designed specifically for trade show use. Use it to highlight your competitive advantage, and provide a way for prospects to contact you to request more information.

Designing Direct Mail That Sells

If it sells, it is creative. This, in essence, is the first rule of direct mail design, according to legendary designer and author, David Ogilvy. But what sells? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your next direct mail marketing piece: furniture land direct mail

  • The basics are in your mailbox.
    When you need inspiration, just go to your own personal direct mail idea vault… your mailbox! You probably receive tons of good direct mail each year. Set aside packages that catch your eye. The companies mailing these have spent thousands of dollars researching the best methods. Why not learn from their research?
  • Always try to beat your previous response rate.
    Play around with the design before sending the mailing out again. See if minor changes make a significant difference in the response rate. Send out different versions of your design to similar groups in your database, and test to see which one results in the most responses. Whatever you do, test it, and then test it again!
  • Use words that grab the reader’s attention.
    Here is a recent list of “Words that Grab Attention,” produced by Starch INRA Hooper Research Worldwide:

    Announcing / Discover / Easy / Exclusive / Free / Guarantee / Health / Help / Immediately / Introducing / Know / Learn / Love / Money / New / Now / Powerful / Profits / Protect / Proven / Results / Safe / Save / Secret(s) / Today / Trust / Understand / You

As you design the mailer, remember… have fun!

Four Foolproof Ways to Create a Great Company Logo

Have you taken a close look at your company logo lately? Does it look like it came straight out of the 1980s, or have you kept it up-to-date? An outdated logo can make you look stagnant and stale in the minds of prospective customers. To combat this effect, many companies redesign their logos every few years to keep them fresh. If your company is considering a logo update, here are some tips to help:

  • Choose a logo that looks good large or small. This will allow for more variety in your ads and other printed materials.
  • Keep it simple. Your logo doesn’t have to look fancy to grab attention. Just look at IBM and Apple. Their logos are simple but memorable.
  • revolution data systemsLimit yourself to two or three colors of ink. Having too many ink colors in your company’s logo will put an unnecessary strain on your printing budget – and might actually look distracting, rather than distinctive. A nice-looking, two-color logo will give you the professional look you want at a reasonable price.
  • Use standard ink colors. Custom-mixed inks cost more, and many standard ink colors offer just as unique and professional a look as their more expensive, custom-mixed cousins.

For more great logo ideas, visit our print shop. We can help you develop a distinctive logo at an affordable price. If you already have a logo in mind, we can show you how to use it more effectively on your printing.

Four Keys to More Meaningful Customer Relations

Companies lose an average of 10 to 30 percent of their customers each year. Much of this loss can be attributed to poor service. Companies that focus on customer retention tend to see profits grow anywhere from 25 to 100 percent annually. Nonprofits that focus on customer retention often see reductions in turnover and better results. In business, we all strive to provide outstanding customer service. Unfortunately, we don’t always live up to those ideals. Here are four keys to unlocking richer, more meaningful relationships with your customers:

key 1 Learn your customers’ names. Everybody appreciates being recognized when they walk into a place of business, particularly if they visit that company frequently. As the theme song to Cheers puts it, “Sometimes, you want to go where everybody knows your name.” Make a concerted effort to learn the names of the people you come into contact with regularly, and greet them by name whenever possible.
key 2 But start with last names first. Of course, before you start addressing customers on a first-name basis, make sure they’re comfortable with this practice. Some customers might find it disrespectful or “too” personal to have you greet them by their first name. Follow the customer’s lead, if possible, or try starting with “Mr. Johnson,” before calling your customer “Bob,” particularly if they are not your peer.
key 3 Show genuine appreciation. Let your customers know you’re glad to see them every time they walk through the door. Make an effort to greet people with a warm smile and an enthusiastic hello. Then back it up with outstanding service and a “can do” attitude. Thank your customers when they buy from you, and keep in touch to let them know they’re on your mind… and appreciated for everything they do.
key 4 Avoid judgments and negativity. We’ve all heard the adage, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” The same is true of people. Strive to approach each new or prospective customer with an open mind and positive attitude. Don’t rush to judgment based on a first impression. Many times, those initial reactions and snap judgments don’t hold up to the test of time.