As a consumer, how many times do you delete an email newsletter you subscribe to or throw-out the many pieces of direct snail-mail (DSM) that are delivered to your home? How about that one email or direct mail that you don’t delete or toss? (for now, let’s ignore the fact that one strategy is considered an opt-in approach and the other is mass marketing approach).
As a business owner, have you ever wondered why you didn’t delete it or throw it out? I love theorizing and experimenting (that’s why I’m a big fan of the TV-show CSI – the original), so, I decided to conduct a simple experiment.
I subscribe to about 14 email newsletters covering a variety of topics and I won’t even try to guess how many pieces of DSM I get (I settled on one week’s worth: about 23). The experiment was to determine if any of the marketing campaigns, email or DSM, had a strong call-to-action in a prominent (e.g. above-the-fold) location. Here’s what my experiment concluded…
Email Newsletter – 50% (7 emails) had a strong call-to-action
DSM – 22% (5 DSM) had a strong call-to-action
Are you surprised? I am! Especially because some of the newsletters and DSM I get is from well-known companies who have large marketing departments – most of them didn’t make the cut. This is a basic principle for email marketing and DSM. Now, of course, this experiment is not scientific and it is subjective, but really, I wasn’t looking for much!
So this got me thinking of how important it is to have a strong call-to-action on any marketing piece you send out: email, web or DSM etc.
In these types of marketing campaigns, timing is everything. You can’t predict where in the purchasing cycle your consumer is, so, you always need to grab their attention or someone else will! You can’t risk that. A good call-to-action also needs to be creative, so, keep this mind as well. And of course, be sure to have some sort of system in place to measure results, the importance of website analytics cannot be overstated!
Here are some very simple but effective examples of how you might generate some leads with a strong, creative and prominent call-to-action…
1. Free Pricing Quote
Consumers want to be educated before they make a decision. If you are service provider then this is a great way to show your prospects you are knowledgeable and experienced. Some businesses operate with always providing a quote for free, if you don’t and you are doing it as a promotion, be sure to add a time-frame to it, for example, this month? This week? This season?
2. Coupons or Coupon Codes (for eCommerce)
Everyone loves a discount but it needs to be enticing. Attractive discounts are dependent on the product you are offering. For example 10% cash back on an automobile is more enticing than a 10% discount for a burger-combo.
3. Value Add
If you can’t offer a price discount on your product or service, add an additional product or service to your offering. For example, a one-night stay at a Country Inn might include a $100 spa voucher? A complimentary dinner for two? In this case you are taking advantage of economies of scale and overhead, so, in the end, it won’t be a big dent in your operations.
4. Sign-in Up Contest
Your marketing objective might be that you want your prospect to sign-up for a specific promotion or, for DSM, you may want to drive them to your website. Give the prospect something back that is enticing and relevant to your business because you’ll know your prospect has a greater interest in your future offerings and it is a better chance to build a relationship. For example, everyone would love a free iPhone – if you are selling landscaping material, giving away an iPhone may not be a good strategy. To some, this goes against conventional wisdom. I say this because any “Joe” could sign-up and win just for the sake of the iPhone but has no interest in landscaping. What if you gave away a Landscaping Services for the season or $200 in landscaping material? At least you know the prospect might return to do more business.
Call your prospects to act. Be a smart Marketer. Be Real.
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