Writing a Marketing Letter

Let’s start with what makes up a marketing letter, before discussing how to write one. It consists of a headline, a promise of a benefit, a call to action, and a postscript. Headlines should grab your reader’s attention and include a benefit. Following the headline’s promise of a benefit is an elaboration of how the prospect can benefit from your offer/solution. Next, comes a call to action that gently directs him or her to take the desired action. Last but not least, a good sales letter includes a postscript. Research reveals that this improves response rates.

That’s it in a nutshell. Now, let’s look at how to write a marketing letter that includes these elements.

Marketing Letters that Get Read Have Attention-Grabbing Headlines

Letters typically don’t have headlines, but many do have subject lines. Treat this as your headline. Your letter must have a headline that stands out. You’re competing with hundreds of direct mail letters flooding everyone’s inbox. So your sales letter has to arrest your reader’s attention. Otherwise, it’ll get lost in the sea of direct mail letters.

So how do you do that? I follow a simple formula that works time and time again, the 4 U’s.

· Useful: Your headline must be useful, otherwise why would your prospect read your letter.

· Urgent: Show the importance of acting now – not later – to improve response rates.

· Ultra-specific: You letter must be relevant. The more specificity, the better.

· Unique: Differentiate your offer from the competition, starting with the headline.

A solid headline includes at least three out of these four elements. You’ll find this may take some effort. But top copywriters spend more time crafting their headline that they do on the rest of the letter. After all, if your sales letter isn’t sorted and picked-up from the bulk mail, it won’t be read. That’s why you need to start with an “attention-grabber”.

Oh, if your letter has sub-heads, apply the 4U’s to them as well. They help keep your reader engaged.

Winning Marketing Letters Hold Your Reader’s Attention

Once you have your reader’s attention, you have to keep it. You have to keep her engaged. To do that your lead must tie your offer directly to your headline. It’s a logical link that runs from the headline to the offer.

What will hold your reader’s interest? You must address “What’s in it for me” or “WIIFM”. This ensures usefulness and specificity. That’s two of the 4 U’s.

Show your prospect (don’t tell him) how your offer benefits him. Show your reader using your solution to his benefit. Set a scene in which the prospect sees himself using your solution to make his job faster, easier, better. Doing that ensures you address urgency and uniqueness – the remaining 4 U’s.

With a solid lead, you can now write the rest of your letter as you would any other letter. One caveat: don’t forget to cover the emotional aspects of your offer. Besides writing to the rational brain, you also have to write to the “lizard” brain – the one that reacts and makes decisions based on instinct. It’s a fact that we make decisions emotionally and only then justify them rationally.

Effective Marketing Letters Have a Call to Action

You’d be surprised how many direct mail letters drop the ball here. They fail to have a clear, concise and relevant call to action. One way to avoid this is to start your letter with the call to action in mind. What do you want your prospect to do after reading your letter? Call you? Email you? Return a postcard requesting a white paper?

Focus only on the desired action you want your prospect to take. Keep the offer simple and focus on the essentials. Don’t clutter it with anything else. When you write a call to action, ensure it is clear, concise and engaging.

You also need to make it easy for your prospect to take action. First, keep it short. Aim for brevity to keep your prospect engaged without distraction. Additionally, give her a variety of ways to respond: mail, email, fax, telephone, website landing page. You get the picture.

Marketing Letters with a Postscript (P.S.) Generate Higher Responses

This one’s not tough to do. You should include a P.S. or even a P.S. and a P.P.S. Readers tend to want to get to the bottom line. Consequently, they’ll find themselves reading the P.S. because they expect a nutshell of valuable information here. So give it to them.

Your P.S. can do several things.

· Entice a response – Offer a free giveaway to entice a response.

· Reinforce urgency – Emphasize urgency with a limited time offer.

· Remove or reduce risk – Highlight a rock-solid guarantee associated with your product/service.

· Underscore uniqueness – Explain your key point of differentiation that separates you from the competition.

Successful Marketing Letters Focus on Your Prospect

You can write each one of these elements separately, at different times, but your letter must follow this sequence. It’s a logical flow, but it also emphasizes the potential customer rather than your company.

It begins with your headline, and the 4 U’s help keep you on track with that. Notice how the lead focuses on the prospect. You write about WIIFM. And the call to action is customer-focused as well, as you gently direct him to take a desired action. Then it wraps up with a P.S. that makes it easy for your prospect to take the desired action.

These techniques have developed and perfected over many years. You’ll see improved response rates when you follow these steps.

Don’t get your fingers burnt: preventative maintenance for fire safety systems

If the recent fire at South Africa’s parliament building has taught the preventative maintenance industry anything, it’s that you can never take the risk of skipping a maintenance job. The day the fire broke out, the sprinklers weren’t activated, and the fire alarm system didn’t work. If the building’s fire safety system had been working, the local fire department would have been alerted sooner to control the fire.

It’s a cautionary tale for all preventative maintenance companies, one that illustrates why your customers’ fire safety systems should always be ready for an emergency. If your company is responsible for fire safety system maintenance and there’s a fire, your client could hold you liable. To reduce the risk of fires and fire damage, you need to stay on top of your preventative maintenance jobs.

We’ve identified some of the benefits of regular fire safety system maintenance for your customers and created an action plan your business can use to manage preventative maintenance jobs successfully.

Keep your customers’ assets and employees safe

A working fire safety system is crucial to keep your customers’ assets and employees safe. Accidents often happen when you least expect it, so your clients can’t go a day without a functioning system. A fire that’s out of control could have profound implications for your customers. Besides the potential damage to their buildings and assets, their employees may get injured. If they have to pay compensation for occupational injuries, they may hold you responsible. To avoid this, check fire safety systems regularly to make sure they’re always working.

Increase the lifespan of their assets

Regular fire safety system maintenance can increase the lifespan of your customers’ assets, protecting them from irreparable damage. With a working fire safety system in place, you can reduce the risk of damage to their office equipment and the need for them to replace assets. The system will alert the local fire department quickly, and there’ll be a better chance for you to protect their assets. It’s also crucial for your technicians to keep an accurate record of the maintenance done for clients to ensure that a thorough check is done every time.

Good for customer productivity

If there’s a fire and a customer’s safety system isn’t working, their assets may be destroyed or damaged. If this happens, there may be a loss of productivity, as their employees won’t be able to work until the building has been cleared and equipment has been replaced. If you provide an excellent preventative maintenance service, you can reduce unnecessary downtime for your customers and guarantee customer loyalty and retention.

Be prepared with a preventative maintenance plan

Keep your customers happy and make sure every fire safety system you maintain is in working condition all year round with a comprehensive preventative maintenance plan. The most effective way to implement a maintenance plan is with Preventative Maintenance Software. You can create and schedule recurring maintenance jobs and keep a record of asset maintenance to ensure every fire safety system you’re responsible for is in working order.

Niche Marketing Explained – Understanding All About Niche Marketing

What exactly is niche marketing?

Niche marketing is marketing to a select group of potential customers inside a much larger customer base. This is often done because there is a need that is not being addressed by providers who target the larger customer base. In other words, there is a demand for something that isn’t being supplied. If you can satisfy that demand, you have a potential market waiting to pay you for what you can offer them.

The Internet Marketing niche has many sub-niches

For example, inside the target market of Internet marketing, there are many niches, including search engine marketing, PPC marketing, Google AdWords, article marketing, bum marketing, and more. Those who write eBooks on just Internet marketing don’t directly address these niches.

You could further refine those to include even more specific niche markets. For example, you could fill the niche market of PPC marketers who just use Google AdWords or just use Yahoo Search Marketing, etc.

As these niche markets have grown, so have their desire for information and resources that they can directly use for their businesses, which are not satisfied by those who just target the large Internet marketing market. Those businesses that primarily focus on article marketing are not going to be very interested in PPC marketing, just like those who primarily use Google AdWords are not going to be very interested in article marketing.

That’s why there are marketers who market directly to niches – they can better satisfy what those niche customers are asking for because those niche marketers directly address the problems facing the niche target markets.

The over saturation of a niche

Niche marketing has become one of the primary ways to market over the last few years because many are starting to realize that Internet marketing is becoming over saturated with Internet marketers and their products. This makes it much harder to earn profit from the large Internet marketing market. Those who are new to the Internet marketing world will have an even harder time breaking through into the Internet marketing market because there are many established Internet marketers who have very loyal customer bases that trust those specific marketers and their products.

New Internet marketers can better compete or even dominate a niche because there is little to no competition in that niche. The more you can target a specific niche, the better the chance you will have of carving out a profitable piece of that niche and/or even becoming the main provider to that niche. This is how new Internet marketers especially can make it big online.

Niches can be discovered in just about every market

Many Internet marketers make nice sums of income online by targeting different niches, some not even related to each other. They’ll do the necessary research to determine whether a profitable niche market exists for a product/service they can supply, select a domain name, build a website, and start marketing it to the niche target market.

However, niches don’t have to deal directly with marketing. Niches can be carved out of almost any possible market, whether it would be dogs, cats, plants, electronics, writing, cars, etc.

For instance, talking about electronics, you can have niches that involve computers, stereo systems, televisions, MP3 players, DVD players, etc. Furthermore, you can narrow those niches down even further; for computers, you could have desktops and laptops. You could break those down even further – with laptops, for instance, you could have whether they utilize Centrino technology or not, as well as what computer brand they use and what processor powers them.

You can also limit niches to other factors involving the target market, such as age, occupation, income, place of residence, etc.

For instance, you can target teenagers who want MP3 players. You can make your offer more appealing to that market by including free music downloads of the most popular young artists today when they purchase the MP3 player from you.

Research your way to discover new niches

As you can see, virtually any market can be broken down into smaller markets, or niches, by way of the product, the target market, or both. The key is to finding out what needs are not being satisfied by companies and websites that are already out there and then providing a valuable offer that that niche target market will be eager to purchase. With an almost unlimited number of niche markets, and more appearing every day, niche marketing will likely not become saturated anytime soon.