by Yuwanda Black
If you've ever done an e-campaign and received no response, maybe you overlooked one of the top four elements: timeliness, consistency, benefits and a call to action.
Timeliness: It's the holidays. Do you have new, relevant products for the season? I know it appears that you'll just be one of the herd, but there's a reason Christmas is the shopping season.
"But," you opine, "I offer a service, not a product." Then tie in your service with the season. For example, holiday bookkeeping. Send a tip list of things that clients should be paying special attention to this time of year; offer the old standby - a seasonal discount; offer to help them "relax in the new year by getting their books up to snuff now!"
No matter your product or service, you can always find a slant to make it work with the season.
Consistency: In-boxes are full of hit and run advertisers this time of year (or any special occasion for that matter). As a small business owner, you should be in contact with your customers year round.
It's human nature to patronize those establishments that you have done business with in the past. So, start building a relationship with your customers in January. Come December, it'll be that much easier to make the sale.
Benefits: This has been said ad nauseam, but it bears repeating - sell the benefits of your product/service, not the features. In other words, tell the customer what's in it for them. Too often, this point is overlooked.
Every time I sit down to write a postcard, newsletter, brochure, etc., I have to "switch" into a customer mindset. As the entity behind the product/service, you are too close to it. Take a mental break and approach it from the other side. The difference in your presentation will shine through.
Call to action: You've written a timely sales piece that proudly touts all the benefits to the customer - but, you forgot to tell them what to do. Call today, fax in your order for an additional discount, 48-hour special -- all of these are calls to action.
Human nature is to put things off. Put a sense of urgency behind your piece. Let your customers know exactly what they need to do to take advantage of your wonderful offer. Otherwise, it may get filed away, never to be seen again.
Yuwanda Black is an Author/Instructor/Speaker,
and small business expert who advises others on how to achieve the
dream of working for themselves. She has written and published
numerous small business articles and press releases
in promotion of
her ventures. Her current venture, EthnicVendors.com is an
online shopping portal and catalog distributor for ethnic goods and
services. It is a subsidiary of EthnicHomeDecor.com.
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