To boost response, beef up the description of your offer
I once shared a professional lunch with John Francis Tighe, whose claim to direct marketing fame was inventing the "Yes," "No," and "Maybe" stickers in magazine subscription mailings. He would charge $25,000 or more to write a direct mail letter ... contingent upon his out-performing the current control mailing.
"You look at a current mailing and know that $25,000 depends upon your beating it," I asked him. "Where do you start?" His immediate response: "I look for ways to strengthen the offer."
"That's what the 'maybe' sticker was all about," he explained. "It was the exact same offer as the 'yes' sticker -- a trial subscription with payment due after the first issue -- but it put added emphasis on the no-commitment nature of the trial."
So if you want to boost the impact of your marketing communication piece, look for stronger ways to dramatize what's in it for your reader.
Just for Fun
What is it with women and yogurt?
In this video, Sarah Haskins considers how marketers have turned yogurt into the official food of women. (2:52 min.)
In a Word
Use negatives to make strong statements less provocative
Last issue, I recommended turning a weak negative (e.g., "that's not all") into a stronger positive ("there's more"). But there are times when you want a negative to soften your statement.
For example the intro, "Many organizations experience difficulty with [insert problem here]" could provoke skeptical readers to argue, "I'm not so sure about that."
Using a negative can make that statement less provocative, as in, "It's not unusual for organizations to experience difficulty with...."
Lively Writing, on Time and on Target
When you message needs to engage and persuade, be sure to approach it from the Write Angle. Udi Shorr writes marketing and sales-training presentations for live audiences, video, print, and the Web. You benefit from years of marketing experience with Fortune 500 clients.