Yeah, but what’s in it for me?

Dear Reader,

If you own a small business, and are having trouble getting more customers, or keeping the ones you have, then you may be suffering from “aren’t I just the greatest” syndrome.

You see, your customers won’t be yours much longer if all you do is talk about yourself all the time. Because it’s not “all about you.”

It’s all about them, and they want to know, “What are you going to do for me?”

The secret to an outrageously successful business.

If your advertising isn’t making an offer every time it goes out, then you’re wasting money. Throwing good money after bad.

What kind of offer?

I’m glad you asked.

How about what you can offer them that is better, easier, simpler, more cost efficient, higher quality, we do all the work so you don’t have to, etc…. just make it easy for them to give you the money. Don’t make them work to get what you have.

For instance, customer service.

I have, in just the last week, been confronted with some of the worst customer service on display.

Man, what does a guy have to do to get some service in here?

How long will I have to wait to pay you and get my stuff? I’m leaving. Is any body paying attention? Hello, management, are you seeing what is happening here?

Now, on the other hand, I had to go to the Apple store the other day, and the difference in customer service from you ordinary big box store was striking to say the least.

The customer service people there were bending over backward to help me. My new laptop was giving me trouble with logging in. It turned out to be something not well known, but known.

So what happened? Did I have to go through the usual tech support rigamarole? Did I have to reboot my laptop over and over while making silly changes to some strange part of the inner workings of the software on the machine? Was I treated like I was lucky to have someone help me and would I please leave and soon?

Not a chance.

The solution was given quickly and proficiently. I was informed this was a infrequent issue but it was known about so, what was going to happen was, I was going to get a BRAND NEW LAPTOP!!

Not a refurbished, or returned or repair or_________… you fill in the blank with your worst experience.

So what did I get?

It was a brand new MacBook Air with the latest revision of firmware.

I even got an upgrade with no additional cost. A huge, whopping grand over-the-top upgrade and no questions asked have a very nice day sir, response.

I was bowled over with all the attention. This is something truly amazing.

More importantly, I am sold. I am now a dedicated Mac guy. My future computer purchases will be Apple oriented.

You see, it doesn’t take much to get my business. It just takes a little attention to detail, a little show of concern, and some action. Put it all together and you’ve got me.

And do I love to buy things when the service is great. I will definitely be back to that store, in Town Square, to buy something in the future.

Now, if only everyone did business that way. With that kind of enthusiasm and friendliness.

You definitely wouldn’t see so many businesses going out of business.

What you would see is some serious competition. Competition that is healthy and drives the quality that this country used to be known for. Worldwide.

So, as my headline above asked, “What’s in it for me?” I’ll tell you what I want in it: offer me something I don’t have to bend over backward to get, and give it to me with great service, and you will have a customer for life.

That’s surely something to chew on, isn’t it?

Regards,

Andrew

How not to keep customers… And why it matters.

Dear Reader,

Recently, I made a large purchase from an online retailer of auto parts.

The purchase was in the several thousand dollar range. I’ve also made purchases from this company in the past that have added a few more thousand to their bottom line.

You’d think I’d learn by now that this company, who I will not name because it would just be free advertising for them, doesn’t really want my repeat business. They have never once offered me a further incentive to do business with them.

Now, I’m not asking for anything free. And I’m not complaining I didn’t get what I paid for.

If anything, the service was quick and efficient. I received my products and everything is OK.

But… and this is a big but for those of us who live by selling our services as copywriters and marketing consultants… there has never been any follow up from this company, on my purchases.

Why you need to keep contact with your customers.

Now that I’ve come to realize this particular company is not going to offer me anything in the way of an incentive for my past business, I’ll look elsewhere for my future purchases.

After all, this is a commoditized business. They don’t sell anything I can’t buy somewhere else. And if they don’t differentiate themselves from all the other also ran, I have no reason to stick with them.

You may be asking at about this time, “So, what do you expect them to do?”

And that is a very good question. Here’s my reply:

What they could have done to get more of my precious mullah is, immediately after the sale, offer me, or any one for that matter, a 10% discount coupon on the next single item purchase.

Is that a lot to ask? It’s standard operating procedure in the direct marketing world.

10% won’t break the bank and it shows good will to a customer who has obviously spent quite a sum of money, and therefor time, with them.

Do you make similar mistakes when marketing your business?

If you’re being short sighted as the company I’m talking about above is, then you may be leaving boat loads of money on the table.

This is not rocket science, after all.

But there is a certain level of science to the process. It’s the science of human nature and needing to feel appreciated.

If you can keep your customers interested by offering them continual small incentives to buy from you, you will be seen as “The One” business to do business with.

Next time you have a customer/client spend their hard earned money with you, remember that they could have gone somewhere else to do it and show them “some love.”

Regards,

Andrew

What are you reading and what does it mean for you?

Dear Reader,

I like to read.

I read a lot.

It comes with the territory so it’s good that I enjoy reading.

What I don’t enjoy learning though, is how many Americans rarely if ever read books, aren’t interested in reading a book and have no plans of reading a book this year, or the next if they can help it.

I borrowed this chart from an article in the online version of The Atlantic written by Jordan Weissmann on January 21, 2014.

It may be out of date by a year, but trends just don’t change that fast, so I would bet it is still representative of what’s happening right now.

It doesn’t bode well for those of us who work as writers in whatever medium, but predictions of American abilities and tastes have been wrong before and may be again. Either way, you have to take note of this when designing your marketing.

Who will pay attention and read what you have to say?

The good thing about the reading public is, the people who make more money tend to also read more. This is something you need to know in order to market to the affluent among us. It’s where you’ll find the biggest returns on your marketing dollars.

Just for a perspective on my reading, I’m listing below what’s in my current reading corral.

1. No B.S. Ruthless Management of People & Profits Second Edition by Dan Kennedy. ( I’ve read everything he’s written and continue to re-read when I have time.)

2. The King Of Madison Avenue. David Ogilvy and The Making of Modern Advertising by Kenneth Roman. (A great book on the original “Mad Man”.)

3. The Law by Frederic Bastiat from the Ludwig von Mises Institute. (Historical writing on law and personal liberty. Great for perspective on where we are and where we came from to get here.)

4. The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. (Self explanatory, kind of.)

5. No B.S. Sales Success In The New Economy by Dan Kennedy. (You may see a trend developing here. I love the way Dan writes and it appeals to my mid-western sensibilities.)

6. Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy. (Actually re-reading again.)

7. Write Everything Right! by Denny Hatch. (I’m a constant student of copywriting and marketing, in case you couldn’t tell.)

Not to mention the few books I have going that are sitting on my nightstand. Everything from Ray Bradbury tales to Stephen Kings book on creative writing. Also, I’m slowly cracking Murray Rothbard’s Man, Economy and State. Quite the serious book.

Whatever it is, you should be reading as well to keep your mind sharp and your business on track.

How does reading keep you on track?

More on that in tomorrows post.

Here’s to bigger responses through smarter marketing.

Regards,

Andrew

 

 

A Stormy Economy and What To Do About It.

Dear Reader,

Just a quick blurb today.

I’ve been seeing, and hearing, a lot how the economy is not “cooperating” with this or that business. And that it’s near impossible to keep the doors open for the average small business.

We all know how the big box stores are doing. You can read about it in any newspaper or hear about it on TV. Although, even Wal-Mart is having some issues today.

But a small business with a sole proprietor is something different.

You need a different kind of advertising and marketing.

If you’re not engaging with your customers, and on the hunt for new customers, then you are most likely not doing as well as you could be.

What I’m talking about is: Direct Response Marketing

This is not rocket science, but it is very scientific.

You see, direct mail or direct response marketing is scientific in nature.

Using it you can predict, with almost pinpoint accuracy, what you’re bottom line will be tomorrow, next week and sometimes months ahead of time.

But if you’re doing the old traditional mass media marketing like everybody else, then you can only expect what every one else is getting.

There is no differentiation there. Only “me too-ing”.

So, it’s up to you.

The same-old, same-old?

Or something only you can provide and show in your marketing materials to be the one thing your customers love to hear about. From you. Personally.

Regrettably, many will not take the time or small extra-effort to do this right.

And their results will be the same as they’ve always gotten.

Average to less.

Regards,

Andrew

If Your Confused About Marketing Your Business, Then What You’re About To Read Could Be The Best Information You Get All Year..

Dear Reader,

Most businesses these days seem to be completely and utterly confused about marketing. If you ask them what their ROI is from their marketing, they’ll most likely give you a blank look and mutter something about being creative and, “what do you mean by that?”

You see, your business may be about hair, food, auto’s, music, entertainment, hardware, specialty items, etc… but that’s not really the business you’re in.

You’re in the satisfying wants and desires business. Your product is just a means to that end.

And if you’ve been advised by the local ad agency and are now part of the simple “get your business name in lights” crowd, then you’re really missing the mark.

What you may have missed, and no one can blame you for it what with all the noise in the ad market, is that marketing is as simple as 1,2,3 and A,B,C.

You need a system.

But I would bet you a trailer full golden tickets you haven’t been shown anything like this but instead have been sold a “let’s make you a big beautiful logo and get you branded” crock of bull poo.

Here’s a list of 5 things you must be aware of when marketing your business. These things are not in any particular order of importance. They are all important together.

1. Big Dumb Ad Agencies. Avoid them like the plague unless you are Coca-Cola and have a multimillion dollar ad budget. They thrive on big themes and wasteful, untrackable ad campaigns that will never work for the small business entrepreneur. Your bank account will be long gone before you will see any results from something like this.

2. The High Cost of Throwing Mud Up Against the Wall To See What Will Stick. This is another bad idea. Mass marketing to whoever will pay attention is a sure sign of desperation and will only lead to bankruptcy.

Target marketing to your ideal customer and matching it with the correct media is the only accurate way to know if your money is being well spent. When you get this right, you’ll know exactly what to do next and who else wants what you’re selling.

3. No Accountability In The Advertising Medium. If you’re using a high priced ad agency or worse, letting some ad selling desk jockey advise you on your marketing, you’re probably throwing good money after bad. A well targeted and tracked ad campaign will tell you exactly, with precision accountability, what’s working and what isn’t. You’ll know how best to use your limited funds to get the biggest returns on your ads by systematizing your marketing.

4. Using the Right Media To Match The Market Is Crucial. With direct response marketing at your disposal, you’ll be able to quickly and efficiently determine if your ads are getting results or not. No more full page ads in the local newspaper, with minimal words and big flashy pictures can match the results of a well planned target marketing campaign. Pictures can be remembered but what they represent will be gone as soon as the reader turns the page.

Which leads us to the best and biggest part of your ad, which is…

5. It’s The Headline of Your Ad That Brings Them In. A well crafted headline targeting your customers will stick in their mind. It’s the real key to getting their attention and bring them into your sales message. How many ad agencies do you think will spend any time on writing a headline that works just for you.

Crickets.

These five points are by no means all there is to producing wealth building marketing. They only scratch the surface of a finely created and dispersed marketing campaign.

Your business deserves the utmost attention when you want to make it successful.

If you haven’t found the right fit for your marketing yet, there’s still time to get it right by following these historic methods to sure profits.

You only need contact me, and we can craft a finely tuned lead generating, money making marketing machine to satisfy your sales needs.

Regards Until Tomorrow,

Andrew

 

 

George Carlin On Advertising — A short lesson on direct response action words.

Dear Reader,

Although I find this following bit by George Carlin quite funny, it is a testament to the phrased and words used in direct response selling.

Not only are these terms used over and over… they are still effective today.

Why? They are action words and they are also familiar to anyone who is exposed to advertising in their life. Common estimates are we are exposed to some form of advertising between 250 to 5,000 times a day.

So needless to say, these words and phrases are well used and well cemented into the modern day psyche.

Therefore, familiar.

So, without further ado, George Carlin on advertising….

George: “I call this piece… advertising.”

“Quality, value, style, service, selection, convenience, economy, savings, performance, experience, hospitality, lowest rates, friendly service, name brand, easy terms, affordable prices, money back guarantee, free installation… free admission, free appraisal, free alteration, free delivery, free estimates, free home trial and free parking.

No cash… no problem… no kidding, no fuss, no muss, no risk, no obligation, no red tape, no hidden charges, no down payment, no entry fee, no purchase necessary, no one will call on you, no payments ’til December, and no parking.

Limited time only though, so act now, order today, send no money, offer good while supplies last, 2 to a customer, each item sold separately, batteries not included, mileage may vary…

All sales are final, allow six weeks for delivery, some items not available, some assembly required, restrictions may apply…

Shop by mail, order by phone, try it in your home, get one for your car, all entries become our property, except in Indiana…

So come on in, come on in for your free demonstration, and a free consultation with our friendly professional staff, our courteous and knowledgeable sales representatives will help you make a selection that’s just right for you, and just right for your budget.

Say, don’t forget to pick-up your free gift, of classic deluxe custom designer luxury prestige high-quality premium select gourmet pocket flashlight. And, aaaand if you act now, we’ll include an added extra complimentary free bonus gift , a classic deluxe custom designer luxury prestige high quality premium select gourmet leather style wallet. With detachable key chain and pencil holder… it’s our way of saying thank you…

And, if you’re not completely satisfied, you pay nothing. Simply return the unused portion for a full refund, no questions asked. It’s our way of saying thank you. Keep your free gift.”

The Power of Familiar and Well Used Words

If you haven’t heard or read at least one of these lines in an ad in your lifetime, you have to be living in a cave. And that’s no where to be if you’re goal is to be a successful small business owner.

The classics of advertising make this a well worn book that has been downloaded million’s of times.

Why do they work?

Because they instill a sense of familiarity and promote a no risk, can’t lose opportunity making it comfortable for your clients to open their wallets and spend with you.

If you aren’t offering your clients an easy way to spend their money with you by taking the risk out of every transaction, then you should take a look at how you’re doing business and think about maximizing every sale to bring more and bigger profits through direct response advertising.

 

Regards,

Andrew

 

Who else needs a Freelance Marketing Consultant/Copywriter to put their business on AutoPilot?

Dear Reader,

The above question should get you thinking. Thinking about exploding your lead generation and following up with overwhelming sales.

If your business is mired in a thick sludge of complacency… and you have that nagging feeling you may need some outside help… then the list below might help you to brake out of your hazy thinking when it comes to getting your business to “wake up!”

Are you:

1. Someone with a business that is stuck in a rut and can’t get out?
Even the best of businesses go through hard times now and again. But solutions are easy to come by when you have the knowledge and ability to put that knowledge to it’s best use.

Sometimes, it’s just a matter of getting started. Or, knowing where to start.

It’s not always easy, and often times a fresh set of eyes are all that’s needed.

A well versed Marketing Consultant/Copywriter can be the difference between floundering on the shoals of no sales and swimming with the big schools of buyers.

2. An online marketer/retailer who is looking for an increase in ROI?
When you take a look at the online numbers, you can easily be discouraged at what you see.

And it may be you’re just stuck in a rut.

If you don’t do something to get out of this rut today, then, when will you?

3. A person with a marketing problem in search of a solution?
Marketing is not for the faint of heart or the distracted mind. If you’re going to do the marketing for your business, then you have to pay attention and not let all the distractions of your business get you down.

Fortunately, you can hire an outside marketing specialist to do the job if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Or, you can consult with someone in the know to get new and fresh ideas. Even if the new ideas are old concepts its often the oldies but goodies that get the job done. With a twist of modern thinking.

4. A small-business owner looking to get more customers and keep them longer?
There’s no secret to getting customers: Offer them something they desire and create a compelling case why you’re the best choice to provide it.

But, once you find your customers and sell them what they crave, do you follow up on the sale? Or do you drop them like a hot potato and say, “Next”?

What I’m asking is: Does your marketing end with that first sale?

If so, you have a lot of missed opportunities piling up in your losses account.

You see,  it’s just the beginning of the relationship. Like a marriage or romance, you have to keep the magic going with continuous offers and reasons to keep coming back for more.

A neglected customer is an unforgiving one. A follow up thank you or an offer for future deals is easy to do and can smooth the way to increased sales and a fat bank account.

5. A medium sized business owner who hasn’t got time to do the marketing and doesn’t know where to start?

As a business owner, it is your job to attract customers to buy your product. If you’re not keeping old customers and continually bringing in a trove of new customers, you’re just treading water.

And if you want your business to keep on growing, it has to be grown with more and more sales. Right?

Hence, more customers who buy more often.

The marketing of your business is a serious business in and of itself. It can’t be left to your daughter or nephew who took a writing class in college and “really enjoys working with graphics.”

Do you see yourself in any of the simple questions above?

If so, then you should pick up the phone and call me today for your very own personal marketing/copywriting consultation.

I can be reached by phone or email. The important information is available on my about page linked at the top of this page.

I look forward to talking to you and discussing your needs and marketing projects.

Sincerely,

Andrew Jensen
Henderson, NV
Marketing Consultant/Copywriter

 

 

Why you don’t want to confuse your customers.

“Good writing is the skill of expressing
compelling thoughts clearly.”
-Mark Ford

Dear Reader,

It should go without saying that when you do your marketing, you don’t want to confuse your potential customers.

But if you watch any commercials on TV or look through your local newspaper, you may find yourself asking, “OK, what was that all about?”

I know I do.

You see, when writing an ad, you have to ask yourself many questions about your audience. You want to make sure you know who you are writing to.

I mean, what message are you trying to convey?

Is it that your product is better than product B? Or that it will save you money? Or, it’s really easy to use?

Or could it be your product/service is in someway far and away something like they’ve never seen before?

It’s the words you use and how you use them that will determine the results you achieve. And whether or not you in business next week, next month or next year.

No big multimedia event can match the power of the written word.

You can try, but I wouldn’t advise it.

It surely can win some awards though. Or so I’ve heard. In the meantime, you’ll be standing in line at the unemployment office wondering what happened and why an award didn’t add up to sales.

More on this tomorrow.

Regards,

Andrew

 

Hello, and welcome to a new but old blog.

Dear Reader,

This is my first post on my new blog.

It’s going to be a short one because I have more writing to do for work.

I just needed to write something to get started.

And there… I just imparted a “big secret” of writing for a living.

Most times the hardest thing to do is get started. The blank page is a daunting view. What I’ve found is, it’s best to just write something.

Anything.

Anything at all to get your fingers working and your thoughts humming.

So there. I did it.

I got started and now I feel ready to do more.

Be back tomorrow with words of “wisdom” on copywriting and online marketing.

Until then,

Regards,

Andrew

P.S. The Headline above will be explained in due course. I’m not new to this but I have been ‘away’.