For the first time in quite a while, I’m writing a marketing article, and a very specialised one at that. This will probably interest only the very serious students of marketing. Ready? Here goes…
Marketing should never be haphazard. All your marketing efforts should be as defined and as targeted as possible. Each advert you put out has to have a purpose. Some adverts have a call to action that require the prospect to visit the place of business, while others want him to call. Some adverts’ purpose is to increase awareness with no specific call to action. Still, other adverts have the purpose of generating leads. This is the type of advert I want to talk about today.
But first, some general definitions; Let’s start with the word “prospect”. A prospect is a potential customer for your business. Someone you want to do business with. A “lead” on the other hand, is someone who has expressed interest in your company; by contacting you in some form or other. This could have been by phone, email, mail or social media. Leads are the best prospects to follow up on as they already contacted you, which means they are interested – at least on some level.
So, how de we generate leads for our business? By using lead generation advertising. You can see one here for the DreamBody Centre, which appears in the Yellow Pages in Bahrain.
The concept is simple, in your advert you try to entice the prospect into contacting you by offering a free but valuable – and highly desired – “gift”. It could be a free report, an audio CD, a webinar, or even an app. In order to get the free gift, the prospect has to call, email, or login to a website, thus turning himself into a lead.
Let’s breakdown my advert so I can show you how it works. The advert is not selling anything; it’s just encouraging the reader to get the free body fat report from the website. The advert has no other purpose. And the report cannot be downloaded without giving an email address first, which we will use to follow up with.
Notice that the advert is targeted towards people who are overweight; this is done with an attention-grabbing headline (“How to Starve Your Fat Cells”) and a photo of a scale and measuring tape. Notice that the headline is dramatic and in bold type. This increases the chances of someone paying attention to it, and hopefully then reading the rest of the copy (words).
The headline is followed by a sub-headline talking about the free report, and it has several, powerful key words like “FREE” (who doesn’t like something free?), “reveals” (gives the impression that something valuable has been kept from you), “secrets” (us humans love secrets, and are brought up to covet them) and of course “burning fat” and “losing weight” which are magic words for any overweight person.
The first sentence of the advert focuses on the reader’s pain (“Are you frustrated with your weight?”) Here’s a big secret, if you want to make your advertising and general marketing effective and powerful, you must connect to people’s emotions! And you should start with reminding them of the negative ones they are going through at the moment. The advert talks about frustration, annoyance, depression and shame. The copy goes on to talk about how the reader probably didn’t get results in the past from trying different diets, and then finally offers a solution; the free weight loss report!
The advert then starts to explain all the things the prospect will learn from reading the report. And it reminds him that the report is free, with “no gimmicks and no tricks.” Notice the style of writing is simple, conversational. A good copy writer should speak directly to his customer, and always in singular form, not plural. Also, you can use tag questions like “right?” Or “make sense?” because we actually use them in day-to-day conversations. Also, they are a powerful technique to get people to to agree with you. Know what I mean? :p The call to action is to visit the website and get the free report “now.” Remember to always tell the reader what they should do next!
My advert has two flaws, one which I was aware of, and one which I noticed only later, after we submitted it. The first flaw is the website, ideally, a pure lead generation advert should not have any hint of branding, which I did well – except for the website. The website is a bit of a give away. I could have created a special URL for the prospect to visit… something like StarveYourFatCells.com or something similar. But I was rushed and the deadline was close, so I could not be bothered to go to such length.
The second mistake was not actually mentioning the title of the FREE report, which is Body Fat Secrets Exposed. I’ll make sure to fix that in the next edition. But remember, don’t add your logo and don’t brand your lead generation ad.
Anyway, you can do something similar. You could write a 3 or 4-page report about your area of expertise, and then offer it for free download. You could also record an audio or even a video slide show and offer than as a free bonus on your website, in return for the prospects contact details. Then write a similar advert to the one here (do not copy it word for word, it is copyrighted!), promoting your free bonus, thus generating leads for your business.
Hope you found that useful. Will follow up with another marketing article soon.
PS For more on how to write adverts, read the following blog posts
1) The importance of direct response advertising (how to commit small marketing suicide)
2) How to write advertising headlines that can make you rich.
3) How to pointlessly burn your advertising money.
4) The phenomenal power of copy writing. How to write proper advertising copy.
5) Millionaire secrets to creating killer advertising photos.
6) The missing puzzle piece to any advertisement