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Ten Tips for Creating Powerful Marketing Messages

by Cindy Daniels, CEC and Kathleen Watson, MBA
WordQueens, LLC

The harsh truth is this: Nobody cares what you do.

The profitable truth is this: Everybody cares whether you’re able to create the results they crave.

It’s truer than ever that “You only have one chance to make a first impression” in our world of photo opps, sound bites and those annoying 15-second, pre-video commercials online.

We have become used to deciding “delete/don’t delete” in a nanosecond—regardless of whether that snap decision is a good decision.

Some studies indicate readers will give only 4.4 seconds of attention to every 100 written words on your website, blog or e-newsletter. If your marketing message misses the bull’s-eye on your reader’s “What’s in it for me?” target, you’ve just gotten left-clicked. They’ll continue on their exploration mission, even if you’re the answer to their business prayers.

So, what to do? These ten tips will help you create powerful, results-oriented marketing messages.

  1. Focus outwardly. First and foremost, remember: As cool as you, your brand, and your company are…it’s not about you. Sorry. The focus needs to be consistently on your prospect. If your use of “I” and “me” and “my” overpowers your use of “you” and “your”, you get to adjust your focus—fast.
  2. Never assume. You may think you know what’s important to your prospects—but do you really? Ask your current clients what you do that makes them adore you, then take pains to share that message with your prospects.
  3. Listen. You’ll benefit greatly by using your ears and your mouth in proportion to the number of times they appear on your face. In other words, listen twice as much as you speak. This lets your prospect talk about his/her favorite topic (i.e., him/herself); it allows you to gather a lot of information about what’s important to your prospect; and it starts to build a relationship of respect and mutual benefit.
  4. Be strategic. Ask yourself “What’s the point of my marketing materials?” Keep your end in mind here. What is it you intend for your audience to do? Is your content meant to inform, entertain or create any action? It’s your job to earn the time and attention of your highly distractible reader. Write your copy to be relevant to the pain they want to disappear.
  5. Be easy to find. Intentionally incorporate key words into your copy so your ideal client can find you online in the first place.
  6. Be a solution. Make sure your content addresses a solution to your prospect’s problem. Pay special attention to important phrases such as your company tag line, the subject of a marketing e-mail or the headline of an e-newsletter article.
  7. K.I.S.S.—Keep It Simple and Stimulating. Unless you’re writing a “How to do brain surgery” manual, lighten up! Short stories and testimonials spark interest and encourage your reader to hang with you a bit longer.
  8. Be congruent. If your brand is fast, fun and light-hearted, your copy needs to be written in that same voice. If you’re all about slow and precise, you need to convey that to your reader through your message.
  9. Connect emotionally. Remember that you have to appeal to your prospects’ emotions as well as their intellect. People purchase emotionally, then justify their decisions rationally, so your marketing messages get to speak to both heart and head. Trust us: This is not “touchy-feely”; it’s a powerful marketing strategy used by successful business professionals.
  10. Have a heart. A number of studies indicate that 60 – 68% of customers who switch vendors do so because they don’t feel cared about by their current service provider. Bottom line: Focus your messages on how you’ll care for your client in a way your competitors can’t match.

We’re bombarded with great ideas all day long, and many of them bounce around your prospects’ brains without ever inspiring them to connect with you. When you’re able to get past talking about “what I do” to “what I do that gets you what you want “—that’s when you’ll be creating powerful marketing messages.

© 2010, WordQueens, LLC

Cindy Daniels, CEC, and Kathleen Watson, MBA, are the WordQueens. Their mission—which they have decided to accept—is to increase your revenues by writing compelling, results-oriented marketing copy for you. Call them if you love the sound of the ideas in this article but despise the thought of implementing them yourself. The Queens can revitalize your web copy, get search engines (and prospects) to beat down your door, take over the blogging that’s bogging you down, and generally make you shine like the star you are.