Time and time again I see people send out marketing which just falls so far below par, that they are more than not engaging, they are shooting themselves in the foot. You get only ONE chance to make a first great impression, so if the impression you make is sub-standard, poor or downright shabby, then you won’t only lose that prospect, they will see you in a very negative light. Lousy first impression.
Here are just some of the critical factors you absolutely must ensure you have actioned before you send out a single marketing piece.
Remember that a marketing piece is not just a flyer
First and foremost, so many people forget that pretty much everything they send out (mail, give, show, email etc) is in some way marketing their business. A quotation, for example, is absolutely a marketing item – or at least should be thought of as one! As an experienced business coach, I’m regularly advising clients (and even prospects) to make sure their quotation (and their invoice) puts their best foot forward. It should have all the following traits (within reason) and not just the figures.
Don’t rush things
One thing which is commonly done is a last-minute rush. You might be putting an article in somewhere and you have a deadline. You’re busy, so it gets left till the last minute and becomes a rush. Allow time to ensure your material is at its best. I recently judged some business awards and some of the applications were fabulous and some well, clearly little time (or effort) was spent. An old favourite expression is “If you’re going to do something – then do it well.” Select your words carefully; you never want to insult or offend people, but rather entice, engage and compel them to consider your product or service.
Ensure you get everything proofread
Anything which goes out to a large number of people (perhaps as an email blast) or will be used frequently (ie a digital flyer or printed brochure) be sure it’s been proofread by someone else. The person who writes the piece often won’t see their own mistakes. Ensure your proofreader has a great eye for detail and a good level of English. I remember a very unfortunate incident myself where I’d written public speaker in a newsletter, expect the L in public was missed. Not good! That was my wake up call to get things proofread.
Include your branding in all your marketing
Absolutely every item which leaves your office or business should include your branding. People often forget other things, such as Facebook image posts, PowerPoint presentations, handouts at events and gosh even your invoice. Make sure your logo is included and is in your branded colours.
Make it look good
Within the scope of your branding, ensure also your material looks good or is eye-catching. You may use striking and contrasting colours to grab the eye (such as black with orange or red) or perhaps a design which is aesthetically pleasing and leads to relaxation. The message and your business type will influence this. Remember the expression “A picture says a thousand words” … this is true so be sure to be selective with your imagery. For this reason, you should ‘break up’ your text with visuals; artwork, graphics, imagery, photos etc to let the eye rest from all the text, and make the item look great. If art and design is not your thing (or will take you a chunk of time) then invest in the resources of a great graphic designer. I’ve just finished judging some business awards and the best applications have both great words AND awesome visuals.
Organise the formatting well
With any document particularly, format the document so that the pages are balanced and especially don’t allow a couple of lines (or a single paragraph) to go over the page. A little bit of tweaking, I’m sure, will get that couple of lines back onto the prior page – it just requires that little bit of care factor in your presentation.
Always include your details
Sadly, too many things get sent out without contact information. Assume your email attachment might get separated from the email, or potentially forwarded to someone else without the matching email. Ensure your contact details, email, website and phone number are absolutely on every single item. If it’s easier (and I frankly believe it is) have a few templates setup (professionally if needed) and then you can simply slot in the words as required. At least then you won’t forget to include. Wouldn’t it be awful if someone read your material, loved it but had no idea how to contact you? People are busy, they simply will rarely even look.
22 Touch Points in marketing
For years we were told that there are 6-7 touch points required on average before someone buys from us. About 18 months ago, I read that Google suggested the number of touchpoints was more like 22. That is scary, but also I believe true. However, every time you put your branding on something and people see it, that is a touchpoint. Done well, people will get the illusion ‘you are everywhere’ even if you are not.
Marketing message – less is more!
When it comes to your message, don’t confuse your audience. If you offer packages or options, the choices should be an absolute maximum of three. Too many choices and people become overwhelmed and then make NO choice. If you are selling a product or service, focus only on that one product or service. When people are speaking at networking events, they often get a quick ½ minute or minute to share what they do (especially if it’s a 60-second elevator speech) and the instinct is to prattle off to the room a long list of everything they can do. After about the third item, everyone has switched off and isn’t hearing it all. Instead, the marketing verbal message should be about one thing and one thing only.
Format – less is more!
On the same concept of minimalism, it’s often a good idea to provide less information, especially on a flyer or brochure. When it comes to websites, often less information initially is great, however the “read more” function is wonderful; as the person who does want to know more can easily drill down and get the specifics. Too often in marketing a page is ‘busy’ with too much crammed into the space. A good designer will allow ‘white space’ (which can be any colour) for the eye to rest.
Make it easy for the person to be marketed to
A good designer will also allow the eye to move naturally … for this reason I absolutely shun bulk content being centered text; it’s so incredibly hard to read. Also hard to read is white text on a black background, or a coloured text which is similar to the background. Don’t make it hard for someone to reach your marketing message.
PDF your documents when you send them over
If you are emailed over documents to be received, consider either a link to the information (although keep in mind that means that the other person must be online to read it) OR PDF the documents. Myself, I know that not everyone has Microsoft Word and the version I am using; but I know most people have Acrobat Reader on their computer or device, so a PDF document is the safest bet.
Call to action
Whilst last, but certainly not least, is the importance of your marketing message’s call to action. What do you want people to do next? Tell them, don’t have them wondering, unsure, or unclear. Your call to action can be as simple as mine now ….
If you need any help with your marketing or would like to know more about my business coaching services, then please give me a call today on 0411 622 666. I’d love to have the opportunity to help!
Read Discipline in Business.