Mind Capture News E-Letter
Sunday, March 9, 2008, 11:01 AMWhy are so many marketing messages online and offline ignored? I got this question a few times this week from a couple of clients and I dug into the archives to post a key reason: A weak or non-existent headline!
Let's explore how you can benefit by knowing several proven types of headlines and powerful words to include in them.
Stay with me for a minute and I'll quickly share a few ways that they can help revolutionize your business, career, and income.
Different types of headlines: To help you write headlines that get attention, let’s take a look at the different types of headlines you can use, how and when you may want to use them, and actual examples of headlines that were successful.
*The News Headline. If your product or service offers something newsworthy, announce it in your headline. Examples of this could the introduction of a new product or improvement of an existing one. A few words you could use in this type of headline: New, Announcing, Introducing, Finally, Just Released, Now, At Last.
“Now! Own A New Car The Easy Way…$50.00 Down And $99 Per Month”
“New Diet Burns Off More fat Than If You Ran 21 Miles A Week”
“Announcing…The New Camping Gear That Will Make Your Next Trip Easier”
*The Guarantee Headline. Guarantee headlines state a desirable benefit, and guarantee results or other benefits. If you offer a powerful guarantee, let your prospects or customers know by stating it in the headline.
“Play Guitar In 7 Days Or Your Money Back”
“If You Wait More Than 15 Minutes To Receive Your Meal – Lunch Is FREE!”
*The How To Headline. These two words – “how to”, are very powerful words. You can never go wrong using a How To Headline. (Over 8,000 book titles start out with How To) How To Headlines promise your prospect a source for information, advice, and solutions to their problems.
“How To Win Friends And Influence People”
“How To Get Your Resort Bragged About”
“How To Form Your Own Corporation Without A Lawyer For Under $50”
*The Reason-Why Headline. With the Reason-Why Headline you give your prospect specific reasons why they should read your ad. They are effective because they contain facts and specific numbers. Reason-Why Headlines don’t need to include the words “reason why”. You can use “38 Ways”, “7 Steps”, “5 Secrets”, etc.
“38 Fun And Easy Ways To Earn $500.00 Next Weekend”
“7 Steps To Financial Freedom”
“7 Reasons Why It Would have Paid To Answer Our Ad A Few Months Ago”
*The Testimonial Headline. The testimonial Headline is just what it says – it uses a customer testimonial for the headline. With this headline, you get your customers to sell for you by talking about the benefits they received.
“I Lost My Bulges…And Saved Money Too”
“How I Retired On A Guaranteed Income For Life”
“We Saved Over 37% On Our Bill Each Month And The Service Has Been Outstanding”
There you have it! Several types of headlines you can use for any kind of circumstance or market. Each headline type works well on its own or it can be combines with the other headline types.
Time’s up. Until next time, keep 'Capturing' minds!
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Sunday, March 2, 2008, 08:01 PMI’d like to share with you the powerful strategy of vertical marketing in your business or organization. To avoid any possible confusion, here’s my definition of a business vertical market:
“An identifiable group of businesses or organizations that are similar or exactly alike in relation to the products or services they deliver to the marketplace.”
To demonstrate, let’s use the example of a vertical market such as new car dealerships. You can find them and target them directly or via their local, state and national trade groups. If you get even more specific you may drill down and only be looking to reach a vertical market of local, domestic new car dealerships located within 30-miles of your business.
Why Should You Focus On Key Vertical Markets
The three primary reasons include time, better profit margins, and the power of association. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Time. It’s either your biggest ally or enemy related to your productivity and ability to serve others. By drilling down and hitting specific groups or vertical markets you save time by being able to find a list or group of similar prospects who are much more likely to have a need for your offering versus “spraying and praying” to the general market with unfocused and poorly targeted marketing messages. Think precise rifle shot marketing, versus a shotgun approach.
Better profit margins. In vertical marketing you get to choose which groups of similar prospects you want to go after. If you identify a vertical market within your business that sees greater value in your offering and produces higher profit margins, then simple math alone should tell you where to focus and direct your marketing resources. I heard it summed up best by fellow marketing guru and $5000 per hour marketing mind, Jay Abraham, a couple years ago at a live seminar in Detroit:
“There are clients who respect you and those who don’t."
Focus your time and energy on those who respect and value most what you do!
The power of association. Here’s a powerful statement related to human nature as it relates to marketing and association: We hate change! There it is. No sugar coating or fluff, simply the truth. In the influence and persuasion process you must quickly build what I call a buying or association bridge with the prospect. If you can demonstrate your expertise and credibility in the mind of a busy, skeptical, lazy (I’m not kidding) and overloaded prospect you make the idea of change or exploring a new option more feasible to the prospect.
Don’t be fooled, peer pressure doesn’t end after high school or college, it’s still very much alive and well, especially in the business arena. People in vertical markets talk, network and share ideas, and recommendations with each other informally and within industry related association and trade group meetings on a continual basis. Your goal is to have your marketing tap into and build awareness to these circles of influence by becoming “known” within in a given niche or vertical market.
Three Simple, Direct & Highly Effective ‘Mind Capture’ Tools To Use When Targeting Vertical Markets
#1: Specific industry testimonials. Testimonial letters are my #1 favorite marketing weapon because they build instant credibility with prospects who are extremely resistant when approached by a new company or firm they’re unfamiliar with. A good testimonial letter from a well known company in a vertical market opens many doors and helps establish that you’re reliable and can be taken seriously. In my expert opinion testimonials are 1000 times more believable than anything else in your marketing mix!
#2: Client lists. This is a one-page list containing the names of several firms you work with in a particular vertical market and it often times presents a powerful visual to ignite the power of association in a prospects mind. You’re providing several references up front to show that you have a track record of success with their peers, competitors and other people within their trade or industry groups. This also telegraphs to a prospect that you know what you’re doing and often lowers the perception that you’ll waste their time and present a safer buying option if they see a need for what you provide.
#3: Positive industry related articles. Positive press about your product, service or company helps build strong positioning and credibility in the eyes of skeptical prospects. A feature story or article in a trade publication is still infinitely more believable than the best written advertisement you can come up with.
Fellow Captured Mind newsletter (www.ACapturedMind.com) faculty member and publicity guru Mike Van Norden says it time and time again and it’s worth repeating,
“Publicity is a powerful and smart form of positioning that helps you clearly differentiate in a crowded market.”
Here are two big things to remember related to using positive press in your marketing arsenal:
1. A well written article or story is a great way to draw people into learning more about your company, organization, product or service. I heard the statement years ago, but it’s now truer than ever: Facts tell – stories sell!
2. Getting featured in your local market or trade pubs in not as difficult as most people think. Most local papers and in particular, trade newsletter editors, are always on the lookout for story or article ideas. They need good and interesting content for their readers/members on a continual basis.
Keep focusing on the best vertical markets by using the strategies contained in this article and you’ll quickly be amazed at the positive impact it will have on your bottom line and several other aspects within your organization.
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Friday, February 29, 2008, 08:30 AMThe only thing that is constant in life is change. In the business arena things change quickly due to a wide range of reasons including competition, new ideas, regulatory change to new product and service offerings, with the primary goal being to stay ahead and grow profits within the challenging market place. I firmly believe that those who can best get what I call ‘Mind Capture’ in the crowded, noisy universe known as marketing will have a clear advantage as the landscape gets more and more crowded. With the intense proliferation of marketing messages, ranging from 1500-2000 per day for the typical North American, prospects we seek to win will continue to put up walls of resistance towards the marketing and information chaos.
The definition of repurposing :
“Taking an existing product, service, or offer and making it available in new format or combination to extend the life cycle, and add value to the customer with the end goal to differentiate and increase profits.”
What industries do it ?
Three groups of businesses that come to mind have had to adapt to changes and incorporate repurposing based on a combination of competitive pressure, consumer wants and breakthroughs in technology.
The recording industry . The evolution of the music industry is the latest business under going massive repurposing. Just a few short years ago the two primary formats available for purchasing music were the audio cassette and CD. Today, people barely remember cassettes, and the same is quickly happening with CD’s. The new format of choice is digital downloadable music. We’re a mobile society these days and Internet technology is standard issue and common place within most civilized countries. The recording industry has been forced to repurpose and reinvent itself quickly, or frankly see sliding profits and changes in demand make it extinct.
The movie business . The first big repurpose for Hollywood was the birth of the home video in the early 1980’s. Now your favorite movie could be watched in your home as many times as you wanted, without having to go the theatre or waiting for it to appear on television. The business model changed based on innovation via new formats, technology and in the last 10 years in particular, the huge increase in entertainment options fighting for ‘Mind Capture’ and discretionary income.
Now a movie hits the theatre and within a few months it’s quickly repurposed into special double, DVD sets complete with outtakes and extras to add fresh sizzle to the steak. The focus is to repurpose it with a few extra bells and secondary marketing push to capture those who missed it in the theatre or simply waited to rent it or buy the DVD version.
Publishing . A very near and dear industry to me. It used to be that you begged,prayed and hope to land a book deal. Then the process was to spend the next 12-18 months pushing it through the editing, proofing and pre-marketing process. Often times, an incredibly slow, painful and inefficient process.
My how things have changed. Now with the Internet and advances in digital technology you can write a book quickly and have an ebook put into digital format and for sale on your own website, and Amazon.com within a matter of days, if not hours. You can also repurpose the ebook or physical book into an audio version and allow it be purchased in CD format or via digital download.
Here are the three learning lessons these three industries teach us about the power of repurposing :
First , you must be aware of the changes in technology and how it can give you a marketing advantage if possible. To ignore it is to risk putting your organization on the path to flat lined profits and possibly the edge of extinction due to apathy, laziness or denial. Repurposing content or product packages is a smart strategy to be thinking about and implementing within your organization.
Here’s the good news: You have a choice to keep growing by staying current, reading newsletters such as this, sharing best practices with peers and finding additional resources to aid you. In the age of Google you can find just about anything 5-10 minutes. You don’t have to do it all on your own.
Second , these industries are forced to think and listen to what the market place and their customers are saying. Yes, the lost art of listening to customers is thankfully alive and well. They know if they don’t gather feedback, watch the competition and make new options, or combinations available via repurposing that they stand to lose customers, repeat business and the reward of profits that come with it.
Third , their repurposing strategy is built on the customer’s obsession with convenience, time savings and speed. The saying in the travel club or time share business is “There is no tomorrow”. These industries repurpose quickly and know that the forces of intense competition, rapid technological change, impatience and fleeting attention dictate that they must embrace repurposing as not only a smart marketing strategy, but a requirement to maintain profits and relevance.
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Thursday, February 28, 2008, 09:20 AMIf you had any chance of missing the fact that Starbuck’s nationwide would be closed this past Tuesday from 5:30-8:30PM for employee training, the media made sure you knew they’d be closed by pouncing on it and making it into a huge story. The media’s reaction to Starbuck’s training move teaches us several publicity lessons.
1. If you’re the lead dog the media loves to build you up then tear you down. The reports were in local, regional and national media outlets and the consistent theme and tone was “How in the world could they possibly close their doors?” I laughed because most of the articles made Starbuck’s look like a huge villain and that customers would plunge into despair and woe because of this injustice. I admit I choose Starbuck’s as my drink of choice on many occasions but I also stop at my local coffee shop as well.
2. This was a home run for independent coffee shop retailers and chains. My local paper featured an interview with a regional chain of coffee stores that gave away free drinks during the time Starbuck’s closed. In media circles they played the piggybacking strategy to perfection. They jumped on the news of Starbuck’s closing and gained free exposure.
3. Be prepared when the media calls or is looking to build on a story. Some of the smaller coffee shops picked up thousands of dollars in free publicity while a much larger number of them missed this completely and read about Starbuck’s three hour shutdown yesterday which was too late. Timing is everything in the age of instant information and reporters will not wait. If an opportunity or phone call comes in from a reporter that makes sense to your business or organization you must be prepared to act immediately.
If I’m the Director of Public Relations at Starbuck’s I’d have a press release ready to hit the newswires on Monday thanking customers for their patience and giving them a free cup of coffee, large discount or free pastry over a three hour period during their busy AM drive time next Thursday. This probably wouldn’t pick up as much media traction, but it would certainly have customers buzzing. Yeah, the CFO and Board of Directors would fight this tooth and nail, but at the end of the day I’d quickly remind them that the customer is the most valuable shareholder and word-of-mouth sales team around.
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Monday, February 25, 2008, 10:06 AMI want you to imagine that every time you create a marketing offer or message that produces Mind Capture the prospect is thinking in their mind, Why in the world should I believe a damn thing you’re saying! As I point out in live seminars and in consultations I want you to imagine that when you meet a person for the first time, especially in a sales setting, that when you’re talking about what you do that the prospect is glancing up and reading a message written on your forehead in bright red lipstick that reads:
B.S. – Prove It!
Folks, we’re an incredibly skeptical society. In relation to advertising we’re for the most part jaded, burned out and tired of hollow messages by people and organizations that all claim to be the best, provide superior service, lowest prices, blah, blah, blah.
An easy question: Would you ever plan a trip and attempt to drive the whole way with a flat tire? Absolutely not! What’s this have to do with marketing? Here’s the connection point. If we know that prospects are incredibly jaded in relation to marketing messages, what will you do differently to help overcome the mental concerns and objections they have when considering switching their buying habits or exploring a completely brand new product or service?
Ignoring prospect concerns and not making proactive changes to your marketing to address potential objections is like voluntarily jumping in the deep end of a swimming pool with a 100 pound bag of bricks that you tied to your back and then wondering why you can’t float. While obviously dangerous and dumb it’s nobody’s fault but your own.
A Few Mind Capture Guarantees To Study and Learn From
*Hot, fresh pizza delivered to your door in 30-minutes or less or it’s free
*Try it for 30-days. If you’re not completely satisfied, simply return it and pay us nothing
*The home of the 10-minute oil change
*Your home sold at a price acceptable to you within 180 days – guaranteed – or I’ll buy it
*If you have any problem within the first 12-months we’ll fix it or replace it for free
*Your satisfaction guaranteed or we’ll double your money back
*You’re gonna like the way you look – I guarantee it
I’m amazed that so many businesses are afraid to use a guarantee. If you remove most if not all of the risk a prospect has in doing business with you greatly increase the number of leads you’ll attract and send a powerful message to your target market that you back up your claims. In a world of advertising noise and confusion, this is a very smart marketing strategy to help you stand out from the clutter.
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