Archive for March, 2007

Look Before You Shoot: Tools without Tactics

March 26, 2007

How will you use your marketing toolsEven the best produced marketing video or a meticulously architected website will not work if no one sees it.  Build it and they will come is a hopeless fantasy.

To be successful you must first understand your audience.   Who are your ideal customers? What do they (not you) want?  Where can I find them (websites, networking events, etc)? If my prospects are responsive to the  marketing tools I am considering, what are some creative ways to get my prospects to interact with my marketing tools (tactics)?

Once you have these questions answered you are now in a good position to begin developing your tool kit.  As a matter of fact, your answers should be the driving force behind development of your marketing tools, dictating what you create and how you deploy.

Again, look before you shoot…How are you planning on using your tools?

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Creating Website Copy That Sells

March 23, 2007

Lisa Manion, Copywriting ExpertIn developing websites our goal is not to win design awards but to build sites that meet our client’s goals, most often increasing sales.  To maximize sales I know effective copy is essential, so I have tapped expert copywriter, Lisa Manyon of Write On Creative Marketing Services to teach us the ins and outs of web copy that sells.

Lisa, what are the elements of website copy that turn browsers into buyers?

Want to know the secret of increased website sales? Shhhh. Copy is the DNA of your marketing materials. (This brilliant revelation was shared by top female copywriter Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero) And, it’s true, strip your website of copy and what do you have? (In case you don’t already know, copy is the written part of advertising, marketing and promotional materials.) See, without words, it’s really hard to get your message out there! Copy counts and actually your sales count on your copy. Copy truly is what helps you make the sale.

Back to the question at hand, your copy must speak directly to your core audience. The most important part of copy is the headline and of course the body copy /offer must be compelling and move people through the sales process. Basically, your writing must be interesting; it must motivate your core audience.  Plus, your copy must request action. It’s also important to remember that the PS is the second most read section of copy. While this is true primarily for sales letters, I’ve seen this technique used very successfully in general web copy.

How does web copy differ from other forms of copywriting?

All copywriting really serves the same purpose, to motivate readers to take action and ultimately invest in products or services. When writing web copy, you must consider online factors such as search engine optimization and electronic formatting. A couple of great resources are Web Word Wizardry> A Guide to Writing for the Web and Intranet by Rachel McAlpine and How to Win Sales & Influence Spiders – Boosting Your Business & Buzz on the Web by Catherine Seda.

What are some common copywriting mistakes people make on the web?

As I mentioned previously, electronic formatting is something you need to pay close attention to. One of my pet peeves is using underlining on a web page. Most people realize that if a section of text is underlined on a website or in an e-mail, it’s a hot link. So if you’re underlining for emphasis, this can confuse readers because they expect instant gratification (i.e. redirect to more info) when they click on an underlined section of text.

Another common mistake is simply not asking people to take action and using a passive voice. You must make the web experience as simple and engaging as possible.  Don’t make people guess. Clearly tell them what’s in it for them and tell them how to get it.

Finally, and perhaps the most detrimental is not investing in professional copywriting services. Some savvy business owners choose to invest in training to learn the craft so they have the tools to create copy for their own business. This technique can work and at the very least, it arms the business owner with the information they need to effectively outsource their copywriting. Unfortunately, many business owners think they can simply write their own copy, without formal training and believe they will get the same results as seasoned professionals. Sadly, this is rarely the case.

Christopher Knight offers a great resource at www.ezinearticles.com. Be sure to check out The 7 Biggest Mistakes That Professionals Make When Writing For The Web with guest expert Dr. Pauline Wallin.

Can you identify some exceptional examples of web copy that sells?

Most of the web copy that speaks to me is written by well-known copywriting gurus. Bill Glazer is one of my favorite copywriters. In fact, I now have a rule when it comes to reading his copy. I insist that I have at least two cups of coffee in the morning before opening anything from Bill. I also hide my credit cards just to make sure I don’t make an impulse buy based on his copy. I know copy is really exceptional when I’m motivated to buy especially because, as an insider, I know the formulas that expert copywriters use. The writing style and the offer have to be really great for me to bite. Peter Bowerman and Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero have both written copy that prompted me to buy. Recently I happened upon Alice Seba’s web site and I really like her style, too.

P.S. Lisa Manyon specializes in POWERFULLY communicating business messages to get results. Her work has been featured by the National Association of Women Writers and her article Nine Ways to Network More Effectively is slated to appear in Bob Bly’s upcoming networking guide. Manyon acted as a team leader for Lorrie Morgan – Ferrero’s Red Hot Copywriting Bootcamp. Manyon’s eBook is now available and you can learn more here http://writeoncreative.com/blog/biz/ Be sure to sign up for Manyon’s Musings to receive savvy marketing insights delivered right to your in box www.writeoncreative.com/WOC-Ezine.html Write On ~ Creative Writing Services, LLC. ®

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When Perfection Ruins Good

March 21, 2007

Lessons from the book Selling the InvisibleAs perfectionists, my clients and I often struggle with seeking the absolute best in our projects.  Perfection is, well, perfect for personal projects but in marketing your business it can hurt you. 

Harry Beckwith, teaches us in his book, Selling the Invisible, that in seeking this unattainable height you often increase the implementation time of your marketing tool (website, video, direct mail piece, ad, etc) or delay the launch of your product and inevitably increase your cost.  Even worse, your prospective customer probably won’t notice the difference between a rank 8 execution vs. a rank 10 and even if they did see some distinction they are probably not likely to pay extra for it or wait any longer for delivery. 

In marketing always keep your target customer in mind and deliver exactly what will motivate them to move.  If good will satisfy your prospective customer’s need, don’t let perfection tie you up.  Post your thoughts as comments below.

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Creating the World’s Greatest Guide to Explosive Business Growth

March 19, 2007

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The Ultimate Guide for Growing Your BusinessAs a business owner, I am sure you have felt the pain of getting new customers and clients.  I understand your pain so much so that Eastonsweb Multimedia has teamed up with video marketing expert Steve Yankee’s Video Business Advisor and a host of the country’s leading video production and multimedia marketing authorities, to create the ultimate guide to exponential business growth!  The guide will provide entrepreneurs with proven tips for using video and multimedia to drive sales through the roof.

What’s better is that this new guide is going to be built right before your eyes at this blog. Our team of experts is submitting proven techniques as comments to this blog posting and you are privileged to watch the creative process at no cost as it happens.

This elite team has created and implemented some of the most innovative video-based marketing tools and strategies available today –strategies and tools that have generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for companies just like yours.  Just sit back, relax, and read our Dream Team’s tips as they are submitted. I guarantee an idea that could change your business for the better will be in there!

Experts Submit Your Tips To the Comments Section Below.
(Contributors include in your comment your company’s name,  location and website address)

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Board Memberships: Marketing Nirvana

March 16, 2007

Enlist Fellow Board MembersAs a successful entrepreneur I am sure you are a member of or have been approached to join one or more corporate, non- profit or other boards. You probably do this to support the local community but also to build relationships with influential people. There is a way you can exponentially grow your business while serving the community.

Because corporate boards naturally attract some of the most prominent people in their segment, converting the members into supporters (I call them evangelists) of your business will equip you with perhaps the most powerful sales force available.

Once you get to know your fellow members well, be sure to educate them about your business; the services you offer, the types of customers you target, etc. Once educated, give your evangelists marketing material so they can be more than just a mouthpiece. One of the most powerful sales tools you can offer is a strong marketing video. Like no other tool, a marketing video will “Show” prospective customers why your offering is critical to their success.

You are probably saying, makes sense but how do I give board members my video? Delivering your video on a business card sized disc is an incredibly efficient option. The discs are small enough to fit in a wallet and all your associate has to say to a prospective customer is, “I know someone you should meet…here, watch this”.

Email newsletters are another great tool for distribution by your fellow board members. At the click of a button your newsletter can be forwarded to a large audience of prespective customers. A simple business card in the right hands can even be an effective communication. Give five or six to each board member.

The bottom line is, don’t just work on the board. Empower the board to work with you. Approached respectfully, they will be more than happy to help.