By Jeffrey Dobkin, marketing consultant, author, and professional speaker
Let’s see, where were we…oh yes, you were complaining that your post card wasn’t long enough to sell your products, and I said you’re right – it isn’t. The ONLY job of the post card is to make the reader pick up the phone and call YOU, then, YOU sell your products. To do that, offer something FREE.
A FREE CAR is good, but wait–it’s expensive. A FREE Mont Blanc pen is nice–but wait, heck that’s expensive, too.
Hummm…if there was only something that we could pique the reader’s interest in so keenly and drive him to the phone. If there were just something we could describe in one or two lines, so that if he wanted it, needed it so badly that if he threw out the post card, he’d wake up in the middle of the night and come running down to get the card out of the trash and respond.
Oh, if there were only some information that we had, crucial information that he needed so badly that he would call and ask for it; critical information that…what? Wait. Wait a minute. Information? Did I say “Information?” “Information the reader needs?” That’s it! Information he needs. Information he needs badly! By Jove, I think we’ve got it!
We’ll offer information. An informational booklet! A FREE informational booklet. They’ll call for that, hmm…if we can just make it sound interesting.
Maybe if we write a catchy title–something our clients really, really want…and need. Certainly something they’d dive in the trash can to recover. More than that…Something they’d drive across town to find out!
Maybe…Information they’d need and want so badly they’d swim across the English Channel to get. Information they’d sell their spouse to acquire! Information so valuable they’d take my wife and keep her. You’d have to be crazy to…never mind. OK, maybe this last idea was a little much. But certainly information they need and want.
So, settled! We’ll offer information. Information about how they can easily resolve their wants, satisfy their needs. It’s a good thing your products and services can do exactly that. If only we could figure out how to make them pick up the phone and call…
But wait–I just had an idea! How about a booklet titled “How To Solve your Biggest Wants and Needs.” Nah…too general.
How about offering a FREE ‘Informational’ booklet? Yes with “FREE” written in all capital letters. Maybe a title with the number of ways readers can solve their most pressing problems?
“How To Solve Your 9 Biggest Headaches.” Excellent! How about “FREE BOOKLET Shows You 9 Ways to Solve Your…!” Yes, even better! Just fill in the blank part yourself–with exactly what your customers are looking for.
Solve a specific problem: “9 Ways to Cut Your Employee Payroll Without Layoffs!” Yes! “How to Increase Your Profit Without Increasing Your Sales!” Yes! “12 Different Ways to Instantly Find a Leak in Your Roof!” YES! “7 Easy Things to Check When Your Car Won’t Start…and 5 Ways to Get it Started!”
Just “Call Now for Your FREE Booklet!” (Don’t forget to tell readers exactly what you want them to do. “Call now and get…”)
Booklets are cheap to produce, easy to change, light to ship, and make excellent giveaways that your customers will hold onto for years if you provide valuable information. And they’ll call if you can hit the title on the money by offering information your readers really want.
You see, it’s the TITLE of the booklet that makes it valuable, irresistible for the reader, and makes him call. It’s not really the booklet itself–just the title. People call just because of the title. They don’t see the booklet until later. By that time, the booklet title, and the post card worked.
The best way to create a title for your FREE informational booklet? Yep…Same way you came up with your headline, The Jeff Dobkin 100 to 1 rule: (Remember the deal we struck-up from the first article–you were going to send me 5 bucks each time you used this?) Write 100 headlines, go back and pick out your best one. Best way to create the most irresistible booklet title.
1. Get your post card through the first round of Glance Readership by having a super-compelling headline, tightly written sub-headlines, and outstanding graphics.
2. Get the objective right: The objective of the post card isn’t to sell your product or service, it’s to generate a phone call.
3. Make the phone ring by offering something irresistible, for free. I mean for FREE (all capitals)!
4. FREE informational booklets work really well.
5. The title generates the call. The title owns 100% of the responsibility of driving the reader to the phone to make the call. The better the title = the more calls. When the phone rings, the card worked.
6. Finally, when the phone rings, YOU sell your product or service.
Glance Readership: The better your graphics, the better your headline, the more people read your post card. The more readers, the more opportunities you have to offer something for FREE. The better your free offer as determined by the title of your free booklet, the more calls you receive. The more calls you receive, the better the post card worked, the more business you’ll enjoy. Any questions?
—Source: This is the finale of “Glance Readership,” a 3-article series written by Jeffrey Dobkin. Jeffrey Dobkin is a copywriter, speaker, and direct marketing consultant. Call for his free instructional booklet of direct marketing tips: 610/642-1000 or visit his Web site at www.dobkin.com