On a recent road trip, my good friend and I chatted jovially about our husbands. We noticed that both the fellas in our lives had a similar bugbear about us:
We asked them to do the same thing again and again.
Do you relate? You know what I’m talking about:
- “In the wash basket my lovely, not ON TOP of the wash basket”
- “Could you just keep your clothes off the floor?”
- “Why do you never wash the cheese grater when you do the dishes?!”
- (Okay, probably a less common one that just befuddles me in my household – why is my husband so afraid of washing the cheese grater?)
We chuckled as we walked through the same requests that were seen as “nagging” by our other halves.
“You know why we nag, don’t you?” My friend said.
“Because they don’t do what we asked the first time around!”
You can see where I’m going with this can’t you?
In marketing, it’s well known that you often have to ‘touch’ or make contact with a prospect around 6 to 7 times before they decide to buy.
And that poses a challenge if you are a business owner who wants to improve your marketing copy.
Because let’s say that you send out an email announcing the launch of your new product. You get a few bites, but you also notice a big chunk of people didn’t decide to buy.
What do you do?
Well for a small business owner the next action often falls into 2 camps:
- Don’t email again about the launch – you don’t want to annoy people and hey, if they really wanted it they would have bought it first time right?
- Email them and let them know about your product again
You need repetition in your marketing
Option 1 is not a good option. Your prospects only turned down an invitation.
If you invite a friend to a party and they decline does that mean you NEVER invite them again? I would hope not (and feel free to send party invitations my way).
However, if you call me up every day for a week and give me the same invitation (that bit in bold is important, hence the boldness) and I’m still saying no, you are definitely going to get on my wick.
Repeat the contact, NOT the message
You don’t want to invite a customer once and then never again if they decline that initial invitation. As I mentioned, some people don’t make up their minds until they’ve heard from you a handful of times. Sometimes they’re not able to take you up on your offer because of not enough time, or money or not needing what you have at that particular moment.
But if you’re simply saying what it is you said last time, there’s a specific part of your customer’s brain that will actually learn to ignore it.
You need to know about Broca (before it kills YOUR marketing)
There’s a region in your brain called “Broca’s Region” and it deals with the processing of language. Now, not to go too far into it, what you need to know is that if it sees the same things too many times, it tells your brain:
I’ve seen this before, I know what it means, ignore it. I’ll give you a shout if anything changes
Which is why as soon as I mention about laundry going IN the wash basket, not ON top, my husband automatically tunes out. He’s heard it
a thousand a few times before and his brain is simply saying: “Nothing to see here, we’ve done this all before.”
If your marketing message are all pretty similar, those people who may have been interested before but weren’t quite persuaded to buy, probably won’t be reached by your follow-up messages.
If they’re not seeing anything new, they’ve no reason to tune in.
In last week’s Copywriting Lab we were looking at writing persuasive sales pages and landing pages. One of the submissions for a “Hot Seat” review was from Kip Kitchen. The team from Kip Kitchen wanted to know how to improve their landing page for their eBook sign up and the solution was a classic case of ‘waking up Broca.’
There were multiple messages directing people towards the download, but each message was too similar. And similar messages are easy to ignore.
Instead, I recommended that Kip Kitchen focus on one main message to drive people to the sign up, with more details about the value of eBook.
So how do you shake things up?
In the case of my domestic laundry-placing requests, I’m honestly not sure – any suggestions, please let me know in the comments! (Side note, I did once read a book on training your spouse using the same techniques to train killer whales. It was okay but my husband objected to being submerged in the bathtub as I stood on his back and threw fish at him.)
In the case of your marketing, I do have some recommendations. Repetitive marketing messages often happen when you try to sit down and write your emails, landing pages or promotional blog posts off the top of your head. What’s likely to happen, is that the same key thoughts are going to come to you.
Repeating the same sentiment as your last message, could then condemn your brand new marketing message to the bin of ‘being ignored.’
So here’s what you do:
- List the different value points of your offer
- Focus your messaging on a different value point each time
You’re still promoting the same product, but your marketing is going to sound new and fresh rather than like a nagging spouse.
For example, let’s say you are selling a new web design service. During your initial launch, you might split out several email marketing messages on the following topics:
- How to know if you need a new web design
- What a bad web design could be costing you
- Case studies of people who have used the service and loved it
- How a professional design can elevate a business owners ‘expert’ status
You should be able to come up with a list of at least 10-20 strong selling points about your product, and then you have some variety for shaking up your marketing so you’re not writing about the same issues again and again.
How will you shake it up? (Help awaits in the comments)
I’d love to know how you can shake up your own marketing messages. If you’re not sure how this would work for your business, tell me a bit about what you sell and I’ll happily brainstorm ideas with you in the comments below.