Millions of dollars are spent annually on creating and sending brochures and cover letters. Most of these dollars are wasted, because these marketing materials don't do what they're supposed to do: get a prospect to act, either by requesting further information, picking up phone and making an appointment, or actually buying something. These are sole purposes of marketing documents.
If brochure and cover letter you create don't do one of these three things, they have failed. Completely. Which brings us to first rule of this game: brochure and cover letter you produce must have a purpose. And since only real purpose of any marketing document is motivating immediate prospect action, purpose of what you create can only be one of three things above.
Your brochure and cover letter exist either to:
. get prospect to request more information; . call up and arrange an appointment, or . buy something, by either filling in an order coupon, or walking into your establishment.
Prominently post purpose you have selected before you write your brochure and cover letter. Everything you put into this brochure, this cover letter must work towards achieving this single objective. Nothing else must be allowed in.
The truth is, when most marketers create their brochures and cover letter they get off track. They forget what they're doing... and why. Don't be one of them. There's a very easy trick to seeing if your brochure and cover letter are correct: after you write each sentence, ask yourself if it's helping achieve your overriding objective. If it isn't, it's wrong. And that's a fact.
Focus On The Prospect, Not Yourself
Everybody supposedly knows that all marketing documents ought to be about your prospect, not about you. Sadly, vast majority of brochures and cover letters fail to achieve this objective. Take a brochure I received in today's mail: on mailing panel it simply says, "Instrument Calibration and Repair. Calibration: Standardizing a measuring instrument." That's it.
Now, I ask you: are these words about sender, or about recipient? It's obvious, isn't it! Lines that are about marketer rightly elicit this response: "So what!" "Instrument Calibration and Repair". So what! What does this have to do with me, your prospect?
Lines that are about prospect, most important person in every brochure and cover letter, get this response: "Aha!" The prospect is interested in knowing one thing and one thing only about you: "What can you do for me?" And when that question is answered, he's interested in these questions: "When can you do it?" And "How much will it cost me"?
When you're writing a brochure, do this simple test. Read each sentence and ask yourself if it's about you or your prospect. If it's about you sentence will feel incomplete, because it won't have persuasive information prospect wants. No wonder! Your prospect is saying, "So what?" to it. But if sentence is focused on your prospect, offers him honest, believable benefits, and motivates him to take immediate action, it's finished.
Doing Your Homework
The big reason most people's brochures and cover letters fail is because their creators don't do any homework before writing them. Most people hate writing; their objective is to get it out of way as quickly as possible, right or wrong. But not your savvy marketer! He may hate writing as much as next person, but he never loses sight of his objective: that each marketing piece will either make him a profit, or be a dead loss. And that if he's to achieve former, he needs to get other people, his prospects, to act... NOW! Homework helps achieve his objective.
What You Have To Know Before You Write
The first thing you've got to know before you can successfully create any brochure or cover letter is who you're talking to. The best marketing documents, even if millions are sent out, are conversations between two people... you and just one prospect. You have to know who this prospect is and have to understand what he wants, when he wants it, why he might not take action to acquire it, and how much he can afford to pay for it. All these points must be dealt with in your marketing materials.
Without a doubt, one of greatest single reasons why marketing communications fail to get people to take action is because those people don't feel that what they're being asked to consider has anything to do with them... it doesn't speak to them about what's important to them and, therefore, doesn't motivate them to take immediate action. In marketing, this is disastrous.
Hint: don't create brochures and cover letters for a mass. Create them for a single person, a person who represents your market. Make yourself focus on this single individual, perhaps someone you know; certainly someone you know about. This will help you create just right tone and style. In writing to this individual, consider what he wishes to achieve, when, what specific benefits (in priority order) will motivate him to act, and what he has to do to get these benefits... NOW!
Fashion The Components Of Your Brochure And Cover Letter
Creating a brochure and cover letter is rather like making a quilt. You need to fashion each individual square before you knit whole together. Start with Anxiety Component.
Using Anxiety Information
People act when action is less threatening and more desirable than non-action. Most of us are pretty lethargic; even when we have problems, our inclination is simply to hope they go away without us having to exert ourselves. This is one of major problems each marketer must overcome. Identifying and utilizing prospect anxiety helps us achieve this objective.
What is happening to our prospects? What are they likely to lose if they don't take immediate action? How believable can we make this loss? Who is willing to testify that these things will happen? This is kind of information you need to use in your Anxiety Component.
Remember: fear of loss is always a greater motivater than hope for gain. Your prospects know what they have now... and even if it isn't what they want, they are still afraid of losing it.
Be specific! Don't just vaguely intimate to your prospects that they will lose something by failing to act. Be specific. Tell them how much they'll lose, when they'll lose it, why they'll lose it. Use numbers... and names of real authorities. In short, make anxiety you use authoritative.
Turn The Features Of What You Produce Into Benefits
If you want your brochures and cover letters to get fast prospect response, you've got to turn features of what you produce into buyer benefits. Features are things that pertain to what you're selling... color, size, weight, payment terms, delivery information, etc. But these things are only important insofar as they can be transformed into benefits that motivate immediate prospect response. In other words, fact that your widget comes in blue is no necessary advantage; it's merely a feature whose significance you must establish and sell to prospects.