It is a fact universally acknowledged that words have power. In fact, the power of words can be almost magical, especially online. The right words, in the right place, at the right time have the power of life and death … and that is as true in your business relationships and communications as it is in your personal relationships and communications.
Imagine having the power to invigorate your business at will … or the power to let your pipeline die off from neglect, just by couching your carefully considered appeal in the right words!
The Feast or Famine Syndrome … We’ve All Experienced it!
You know how you get so busy with work – cash coming in – projects piled high … and then suddenly there is quiet. You relish the respite briefly, but then you start to panic and rush about generating another flood of business and the cycle runs again.
I think you’ll agree that this is no way to run a business, or your life, in the long term. So what is the solution?
The solution is threefold: –
- A Communication Plan;
- Execution of Your Plan;
- Automation of Your Plan;
If you get this trinity right then your pipeline will stay full with minimum effort, but it all begins with the power of words – the right words, not just any words. We talked about Editorial Calendars in an earlier post, but this goes beyond merely your website communications to your emails, direct mail campaigns, and even phone calls. You need to stay in contact with your prospects and clients, and you need to provide the answers they need to the questions they are asking.
Are You Turning People Off Your Product or Service?
Before you dismiss this as one writer’s arrogant fantasy, let’s look at some famous outcomes where words have directly affected business outcomes negatively:-
“The wrong advertising can actually reduce the sales of a product. I am told that George Hay Brown, at one time head of marketing research at Ford, inserted an advertisement in every other copy of the Reader’s Digest. A the end of the year, the people who had not been exposed to the advertising had bought more Fords than those who had.
In another survey it was found that consumption of a certain brand of beer was lower among people who remembered its advertising than those who did not. The brewer had spend millions of dollars on advertising which un-sold his beer.” From
Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy
What Do You Need to Change?
I have found that changing as little as 5 lines of copy can dramatically affect the sales you generate (assuming that you are measuring your outcomes, which I highly recommend). In a recent 72 hour sales campaign designed to sell $15,000 worth of product, a major direct response marketing company panicked: 24 hours in they had sold only $1,600 worth. After changing just a few crucial elements in the copy they went on to achieve $30,000 worth of sales in the next 48 hours. You could dismiss this as coincidence, but this company monitors carefully, and based on historical results they knew they had a problem when the initial response was so low.
Sometimes you may be using the wrong appeal, sometimes you may be phrasing that appeal wrongly for your target audience. Either of these problems can destroy your results – and your business with it. Dan Kennedy, one of the highest paid, and most effective, direct response copywriters alive today knows that you can never take your outcomes for granted. You need to monitor, tweak, and keep your finger on the pulse at all times if you have an interest in getting a great outcome for your clients.
This is why ‘controls’ can be beaten, and this is the difference between a copywriter who follows a formula, and one who takes the time to research the audience and monitor results. There is no single formula for winning copy, but there are principles and guidelines that can set you up for successful communication … and then there is testing and tweaking that can consolidate that success. Because words do have power – and you can use that power for your business, or against it!