Get your marketing message right

In the age of Twitter and web 2.0 the power of the written word is fast becoming an underrated concept. The basic knowledge of how to craft compete sentences with engaging and effective messaging is a dying practice. Who was it that said, “The pen is mightier than the sword”?

So let’s dust of this ancient weapon and find out how to create a powerful message that delivers the desired results.

Make it fit for purpose

The nature of your message will often be determined by:

A) The recipient and the subject, i.e. appropriate language for the receiver
B) The specific channel you are using, email, direct mail, SMS, newsletter

Develop benefit based headlines

An engaging headline communicates “what’s in it for the customer” and effectively describes the value or benefit your customer will receive from your product or service. The headline fulfills an essential role as the ‘hook’ for customers to read on and find out more.

Sell the sizzle

When developing your sales message it’s always good to remember to:

Keep it simple – so it can be understood clearly
Keep it short – so it can be understood quickly
Stress the benefits – sell the ‘sizzle’, not the sausage

Stay customer focused

Define your benefit statements in terms of the customer. Remember it is about your customer not your business – Use “you” and not “I” or “we”.

Keep it legal, decent and honest – it’s the law and in the Code of Practice

Creating engaging and relevant copy

The primary goal is to communicate your message effectively in order for your customers to make an educated buying decision.

Don’t get side tracked by design and creative style – ultimately it’s the text that convinces your customers your offer is too good to miss. Imagery is of course important and supports you’re messaging, however using the right tone of voice and creating effective copy should be your primary focus.

Eye tracking research

The art of effective online and offline communication has benefited greatly from eye tracking research. The study of how the human eye registers and perceives visual communications has delivered some fascinating insights, especially on how we automatically filter the information. Take your communication to the next level with eye tracking research by Professor Siegfried Vogele of the Institute for Direct Marketing in Munich.

Using typeface:

Create effective messaging with the knowledge of how we scan and perceive typography and copy. The right choice of type face, use of colour and layout can be viewed in our article.

Using Imagery:

Our focus can be affected by the placement of imagery and graphic elements. The results of this study have real implications for the design of marketing communications. View this article.

A unique selling proposition

The USP is central to your message and to your overall communication strategy. How to develop an effective USP is covered in our developing a unique selling proposition post.

Free from jargon

Remember the golden rule of creating content that’s appropriate and relevant to your target audience. It is not uncommon for a business that specialises in a specific technical area to overuse jargon and technical speak. I recommend using an external copywriter to provide a laypersons viewpoint on the clarity and comprehension of the content. An external writer is more likely to interpret your information like a real customer and be able to ask the right questions.

Endorsement

Endorsements and testimonials increases customers’ trust and gives them confidence that your business is capable of delivering on your promise.

Reduce the barriers

Barriers to customer purchase or action vary depending on your product or service type. Reduce the barriers to improve your sales conversion rates. Providing guarantees, free phone numbers and support services can help to smooth the customer decision process. You may include:

- Additional information
- The enquiry process
- Purchase or business processes

Allow the customer to understand what is required of them and what the next step is likely to be.

Calls to action

Encourage the customer to take action or make contact with you. Include all relevant contact information in your call to action and double-check that the details are correct – there’s nothing worse for a customer to visit a website that doesn’t exist. You may also consider incentivising your customers to take action now. Time restricted special offers can be effective in generating increased demand.

If you address some or all of the above tools for creating powerful and engaging messages – you will be streets ahead of your competitors. You will also be more effective in achieving the results you want.