Over the years, I have had the chance – occasionally agonizing – of seeing many diverse small business marketing campaigns. I have seen pictures of letters that seemed as if they were typewritten in the Truman administration. I have witnessed terrible pictures of business owners that would scare off Canadian geese. I have seen presentation materials done with such worthless ink that a light rain would turn them into a toddler’s art project.
But I’ve also seen some truly memorable campaigns. I evaluate a successful sales push by not only examining how pretty it is or how well-crafted it is, but what type of results did it get? Today I want to address what makes an impressive campaign – one that gets results. What are the common pieces of a effective marketing piece?
First – a strong headline. Marketing experts have known for over a hundred years that the most essential element of a good advertisement is the headline. This is the make-it-or-break-it part that hooks the reader into the entire ad. You should always presume that your reader is busy and won’t automatically read the advertisement – but a headline is something that they can consume in a peek.
The second rule is to only send material that you are an expert upon and you want to be recognised as an expert on. This is a frequent error that I see many businesses make. Pick the area that you would like to specialize in and send information on that specific subject. This means that if you are a carpentry service, you’re not mailing out cooking recipes and soccer game schedules. When you concentrate on what you would like to be known for, people start to remember you as the expert, the professional for that sort of information.
You must develop an expert look. Quality does count. If you haven’t taken the time to make yourself look like a true businessperson, what message are you communicating? You’re saying to the world that you are not serious. Get your business branded and your outreach printed professionally.
Include your contact information on all your outreach. Give your buyer the liberty to choose how they are comfortable contacting you. There are customers out there who will never call your telephone number, which prefer to only use email. The opposite is just as true. Always make it as easy as possible for your customers to find out more about your services and products.
Finally, include a good image. In most businesses this is just required. If you’re in a person-to-person business, your picture communicates your interest, expert appearance, and unique energy through your materials. Clients do business with companies that cultivate a sense of connection to their wants. An image is the most direct way to start this process in your marketing materials.
To put this all together – imagine you have an advertisement from two different real estate consultants. One agent’s neighborhood mailer has a strong headline. It’s printed on stand-out glossy card-stock with unique real estate branding. It includes current market numbers and commentary aimed towards couples who want to live near the action of downtown. It includes a website address for more information, email address and telephone number and an image of the agent or a representative property. Now, hold that piece of marketing up against the typical, bland, corporate-branded, cheap paper advertisement that delivers a sports schedule like what many agents mail out. If you’re the potential customer, which one are you going to remember and feel comfortable contacting first? That’s the exact effect that you need your marketing to have.
The founding partner of The Lones Group, Denise Lones brings over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry. With expertise in strategic marketing, business analysis, real estate branding development and real estate coaching, Denise is nationally recognised as the go-to for all things “real estate.”