Direct Marketing, Mail Order, and E-commerce News from the National Mail Order Association
Use Creative to Maximize Your Message
by Ray Jutkins
The creative process is what excites us. It is also where we have the most opinions, where our biases quickly surface.
Don't begin the "Creative" step of my Eight-Point Market Action Plan until you complete the five previous steps: Make sure you have first determined your objectives, set a timetable, established a budget, targeted your audience; and defined your offer.
The purpose of creative is to maximize the impact of your message in order to increase the action from your marketplace. Maximize the impact increase the action.
Always remember that "dull" is a four-letter word. "Interesting" is what your creative must be interesting to people because people, not companies, make buying decisions.
Experience has shown that people around the world react in similar ways. They give the same or similar answers to questions. The message may have to be presented differently, but how people will respond is almost predictable. Based on experience, here are some things I've learned about people. Consider them carefully as you prepare your creative message.
1. People procrastinate over "thinking" decisions. Anything requiring brain power is likely to be put off and people will probably have an excuse, rather than a reason, for doing so.
2. People are skeptical of new offers. For many, "new" is always uncomfortable.
3. People will, however, follow both companies and products they consider leaders in their field. You can create a leadership position and people will feel comfortable with you, if they believe you.
4. People are most comfortable with those similar to themselves. That's why we have neighborhoods of similar people.
5. Sometimes, people are just flat-out lazy!
6. People glance at more often than read what you present them. They take a quick look and decide what to do, so your mail must be interesting. Readers say they want to be in control. Yet they respond best to deadlines limited time offers which take control away.
7. People worry over any decision or change because they think, what if I make this change and it turns out wrong?
8. People will go to almost any length to avoid risks and threats. Yet they give incomplete attention to your message, which would, of course, help them in decision making and risk avoidance.
9. People ask questions about your offer they do want to understand. They inquire about benefits; they want to know "WAM" What About Me!
10. They also ask about guarantees they assume there is a product/service guarantee, but they also want a "comfort" guarantee: "What are you going to do for me if I'm unhappy?"
11. People want you to prove your statements. Saying something is so isn't enough; you must back it up with facts.
12.Yet, since people "glance" more than read, they will still generalize from what they consider "acceptable fragments."
13. People prefer less information and a little mystery so that they can make their own decisions. This doesn't mean, however, that you must supply less information. It means you must understand how people arrive at decisions.
14. People do want to trust you.
15. They want heart, warmth and soul. They want the emotion of the sales process it makes them feel comfortable.
16. People's responses are in direct proportion to their personal identification with you, your company and your offer. If they know you, they are much more likely to buy from you.
17. People have questions about the "next step:" What-comes next, what do I do and what do you do? They also question the timing: When will this happen and how long will it take?
18. People always want to be sought after; they want you to "A.F.T.O.:" Ask For The Order. This could be because people do not want to be sold yet at the same time, they do like to buy. So don't forget to ask them to buy.
About Ray Jutkins, October 3rd, 1936 — January 6th, 2005. Ray was one of the NMOA’s most generous contributors. Over the years Ray supplied the NMOA with hundreds of tips and articles for members. This is just one of many. Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa. Keep an eye out for more of Ray’s marketing tips and how-to articles in the pages of Direct Marketing Digest and the article archive on the NMOA website.
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