Originally Published and Syndicated in the Atlanta REIA Newsletter, June 2013
Has This Ever Happened To You?
You spend a good chunk of time writing what you think is a KILLER ad.
You’ve picked where you’re going to advertise (Offline? Online? Both?)
You set aside some marketing money, and hope that it works out by bringing you back some leads, which should turn out to be a deal or two.
Then you place the ad. And wait. And wait some more. You stand by the phone – or look at your inbox to see when those leads will come rolling in… And THEN what happens?
Nothing! Nada. No calls. No email submissions. No love. Sound familiar?
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you’ve been there. It sucks.
No leads. No phone calls. Money down the toilet.
Worst of all: No Leads = No Deals. And No Deals = NO Income!
WHY did that happen? And what can we do to FIX it so it doesn’t happen again?
Well, there’s actually a lot of different things that could have made this marketing disaster.
Here’s a couple example of some of these things may be beyond your control:
1. Bad timing (Example: It was a bad time to be an air travel agent right after 9/11);
2. No market for what you’re selling; or
3. Excessive, Superior Competition.
But let’s not focus on what we can’t control. Chances are, there’s always something that you can do better to have success – MOST of the time.
Here’s ONE obvious thing you should always check:
Accuracy: Is the right Phone Number, Website, or Hyperlink in your ad? We’ve heard stories of people who have put out a proven, winning ad to a responsive, targeted list, then wonder why they got no phone calls… only to discover that the WRONG phone number was on the ad!
That could be a bad day, so be sure you proof-read your ad one last time before committing it.
Assuming it is correct, it’s now time to look at:
“The Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Their Lead Gen Marketing:”
Yeah, I know that’s the title of the article. I’m saying it again for emphasis!
So Here it is: The Biggest Mistake Most People Make in Their Marketing is:
Trying To SELL To The Prospect!
Wait… what? “But I thought that marketing was the same as selling?! I don’t get it!”
Right… That’s why you’re reading this article! 🙂
So Let Me Explain…
Unless you’re sending out a full sales letter,
The Purpose of an AD is NOT to SELL The prospect anything.
There should be nothing for them to BUY.
Confused? Good. Keep reading.
The Purpose of an AD is to Target a Specific Market, then Arouse enough Curiosity to Get the Prospect to “Raise Their Hand” and Request More Information – by taking a certain, specific ACTION, such as making a phone call, or filling out a FORM, etc.
(Back in the Flintstone age – before the internet – people used to actually MAIL stuff in!)
If you can do THAT – Get someone to Call You and/or request more information, then you’re giving your sales process the chance it needs to succeed. The idea here is that you don’t want to give your prospect too much information in an ad that they can make a decision – because most of the time, they’ll think they already know enough, and their decision might be ‘No.’ (Not good)
Action Tip: So, for your next ad, try writing it so that you don’t “Sell” your prospect on anything… except why they should pick up the phone & call you to get more information about HOW you can help them.
Once they call you, THEN you can engage them in your process – ask them questions, see what their needs and goals are, so that you can then ‘Make ‘em an Offer They Can’t Refuse.’
HOW do you get them to take action? It all starts with your headline. Your ad’s headline should first Identify & Target your prospects. The more specific, the better.
Example: “Attention: Atlanta Homeowners Behind On Your Mortgage…”
That headline targets a specific market. Obviously, someone who rents an apartment in Oakland, California wouldn’t even notice an ad like that. And that’s exactly what you want.
The next part of your Headline should offer your prospect something desirable, that arouses curiosity, and compels them to keep reading. Continuing with the above example:
“Shocking Video Reveals the #1 Way
Atlanta Residents Can Avoid Foreclosure –
WITHOUT Bankruptcy, Guaranteed!”
Depending on what type of ad you’re using (Bandit Sign, Craigslist, Newspaper, etc.), you can either sprinkle in some benefit-laden Bullet Points, or just cut straight to the Call to Action (CTA) – Get them to DO what you want them to do, like call you on the phone number you provide.
Or fill out the form when they go to your website. You get the idea. But ALWAYS have that CTA.
And there you have it! The biggest mistake most people make in their Lead Gen Marketing is that they try to SELL the prospect on trying to make a BUYING decision too early in the process, rather than simply arousing enough curiosity to compel the prospect to ‘raise their hand’ and Take Action to get more information.
So don’t make that mistake anymore, and you’re well on your way to making a much higher Return On Investment (ROI)with your marketing money, doing more deals, and having more FUN when you run your ads from now on!
Make sure you read this column next month, when I’ll talk about a couple more common marketing mistakes most people make, and how YOU can avoid them.
Until then, I’m…
Wishing You Success,