Create a Headline That Gets Attention

by G.B. Oliver

I was looking through Craigslist the other day and a headline really stood out to me. It wasn’t because it was in all caps or using asterisks (although sometimes that does help). It stood out because of what it said. It was for a wedding photographer and the headline read:

“DO YOU WANT TO LOVE YOUR WEDDING PHOTOS?”

Pretty grabby headline, mostly because the photographer is addressing a need it knows its customers have. Brides (and grooms) want to LOVE their wedding photos. By doing a headline like this, it makes it obvious to me that this photographer gets “it”. They have already convinced me that me loving my photos is their top priority. Very effective.

news-headline-300x198

Looking through Craigslist further, I saw another grabby headline. It said:

“NEW APARTMENT? HIP ARTWORK FOR SALE”

Again, the poster is reaching out to a potential target market, the new apartment dweller who is probably young and hip and doesn’t have much money. But the point is someone reading this, who does answer “yes” to the question “New Apartment?”, will be drawn to it.

Sometimes a headline can just make you curious enough to click over, even if it is not what you need or are looking for. Again, on Craigslist I saw the following headline:

“FUN, FUNKY & FABULOUS BIRDHOUSES”

Now I’m not in the market for a birdhouse, but I was curious how you could make one fun, funky and fabulous so I did click over to see it was an Etsy shop called, MikeMerritArt. Now, I am not sure if this headline gets tons of traffic for Mike (or better yet sales) but it got my attention. Maybe if he were to add:

“GIFT IDEA FOR THE NATURE LOVER: FUN, FUNKY & FABULOUS BIRDHOUSES”

By adding the “Gift Idea” part you have created a need. So while I may not need one, I am at least now thinking is there someone else I could buy this for. You could ask it in the form of a question, which is also effective:

“NEED A GIFT FOR A NATURE LOVER? CHECK OUT THESE FUN, FUNKY & FABULOUS BIRDHOUSES”

Basically, the best and most effective headlines are when you directly try to answer a customer’s need. Another example:

DO YOU WANT TO MAKE MORE SALES ONLINE? Then my marketing ebooks are a must-have if you want to effectively promote your shop and make more sales, with new ideas for today’s marketplace that you won’t find anywhere else! (see how I worked that in? But seriously, my ebooks really do work!)

Is Price the Reason You’re Not Selling?

by G.B. Oliver

When people come to your site and don’t buy, what is the first thing you assume is wrong? I bet you think it’s your price. Maybe. The truth is you have to think about what makes people buy, and price is not always a factor.

How-to-price-products

There are many reasons people aren’t buying from you. Some include:

1. They don’t need your product.

2. They don’t need your product right now.

3. They don’t see the value in your product.

4. They are unsure that you will deliver what you are promising.

5. Your price was too high compared to similar competitive offerings.

So if you really feel price is your problem, then here is a way to test it.

Don’t lower your price permanently but instead offer a one-day only special with a coupon code for 50% (or pick a percentage in which you will still earn a profit – don’t take a loss).  Make sure customers know it is TODAY ONLY. If even at 50% off they are still not buying, then you know it’s not your price.

Do you know that too low a price can hurt you as well? If someone really loves or wants an item, and you have created that must-have feeling in the customer, price usually isn’t an object (unless it is obvious that you are completely overcharging). Sometimes too low a price makes the customer feel the product is cheap and of poor quality. So trying to undercut everyone will not always work in your favor either.

Do you know what makes people walk away from an online sale more than price? Shipping charges. Especially if you live in one country and you are buying from another. There have been cases where the shipping ends up equaling the price of the product. So sometimes it is better to offer FREE SHIPPING and buffer the cost into your product price. When a customer commits to your price and then gets to the checkout and sees it has doubled due to shipping, this is not the same exchange anymore and they WILL change their mind.

FINAL WORD: So, offer a fair price based on what it costs you to make your product and allowing for a profit, compare it to your competitors’ prices, test it with your market, and then make sure your customers understand the value that comes with this price.

Pet CoverIF YOU ARE NOT MAKING SALES, I can help! My new marketing ebooks will tell you everything you need to do to successfully sell online, whether you are established or just starting out. The early reviews have been great! Click HERE for more information.

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© 2012 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

 

Do Guerilla Marketing Words Still Get People to Buy?

by G.B. Oliver

One of my all-time favorite marketing books is Guerrilla Marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson, first published back in 1993. In the book, Jay talks extensively about advertising and the power of words.

He references a list of the 12 most persuasive words in the English language (words that might get people to buy), from a research study done by psychologists at Yale University in 1970. Jay recommended using these words in headlines, signage and any other forms of your advertising.

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So, in no particular order, these words are:

  1. YOU
  2. MONEY
  3. SAVE
  4. NEW
  5. RESULTS
  6. HEALTH
  7. SAFETY
  8. EASY
  9. LOVE
  10. DISCOVER
  11. PROVEN
  12. GUARANTEE

Now this study was done over 40 years ago, so maybe things have changed. Therefore, I thought I would take a look at some current print ads in popular magazines and see how many companies are still using these words to get you to buy their products.

After looking at over 50 ads, for everything from food products to cosmetics to cars to books, here is what I found:

Still Commonly Used Adjectives

  • New
  • Results
  • Easy
  • Save
  • Proven

The word safety seems to have been replaced more with peace of mind and reliability.

New, Popular Adjectives

  • Ultimate
  • Best
  • Special
  • Excellent
  • Tasteful
  • Perfect
  • Bold
  • Dazzling
  • Powerful
  • Hot

Grand phrases like must-have, essentialbreakthrough, unprecedented, industry-leading and revolutionary are also very common in describing products.

Still Commonly Used Verbs

  • discover
  • expect
  • delivers
  • learn
  • dare
  • defy
  • helps
  • improve  
  • find

Surprisingly, I didn’t see that many companies offering a guarantee, but I did see the word promise a lot.

Other Words

One really interesting fact I did notice was that not many ads used the word “you“. Copy was written in very general terms, and, for the most part, no pronouns of any kind were used. Your was used a lot, such as your family, your home, your health, your safety, but not “you”, in the sense of “you’ll love” or “you need”.

The words money, love, health and safety were used, but only specific to certain types of products.

FINAL WORD: So are words that were effective in a study done 40 years ago still effective today? Do certain words work on men and not women, and vice versa. And what about teens? Do they care about health, safety or saving money?

Think of who you are selling to. Then find media, such as magazine covers, that target this age and gender group and see the words they are using on the covers.  Those should be the words you use in your product descriptions and advertisements. They’ve done the research, so they know which words work, and you can benefit from that.

Need Help Marketing Your Small Business?

G.B._Oliver

I offer a variety of DIY Marketing Services (I tell you what to do, you do it) that makes it very affordable for small businesses to get professional marketing advice – that works! Contact me to discuss at attentiongetting@gmail.com or use the contact form below.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

 

Traffic is Not Sales

by G.B. Oliver

Do you ever see marketing promises that say, “We’ll get you tons of traffic”. Well, that’s very nice but traffic is not a guarantee of sales.

For example, say you sell jock straps. If one day 500,000 women visited your site, how many jock straps do you think you would sell as opposed to if 500 men visited your site? Exactly, if they have no need for your product, they’re not going to buy it.

Having lots of Twitter followers doesn't necessarily mean sales
Having lots of Twitter followers doesn’t necessarily mean sales

Another offer you’ll see is, “I will tweet you out to my 200,000 Twitter followers”. Well who are these followers? Are they just other companies who wanted a follow back, so the person reading your tweet is their Web marketing person (who is not reading tweets, just sending them). How many of their followers are actually still active on Twitter (people do get bored with social media and take a break). Don’t be lured in by high numbers. Again, if they are not who you are selling to, it is not going to make a difference.

What You Want is Traffic That is Your Target Market

So if you sell wedding products, for example, and someone says they will get you in front of 200,000 brides, that is reliable traffic…maybe. How long have these “brides” been on their blog, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.? A woman plans her wedding in 12 to 18 months so if she first joined their blog 2 years ago, she is married now and not interested in wedding products. She just hasn’t taken the time to unfollow. So, it could be only 60% of these 200,000 brides are still potential customers. Which is still good, but remember numbers can be overestimated.

Same thing if you are selling maternity clothes, for example. Women are only pregnant 9 months, so if they’ve had the baby, they may still be on that person’s email list but have no need to buy your products.

FINAL WORD: So go find where your potential customers are really hanging out online, at this moment in time, and that is where you will find the traffic that will buy from you. Now, how do you find this out? Simple, ask them. If you are selling to 13-year old girls, you must know a few – family, neighbors, friends’ kids. Ask them where they go online and that is where you’ll find your traffic that will lead to sales.

Pet CoverOnce you find this traffic, how do you get it to your site? Well I can’t give away everything on my blog, I have to sell too! But you can find these answers, as well as other ways to get attention, in my marketing Ebooks, available HERE.

© 2013 G.B. Oliver. All rights reserved.

How to Target Your Products at the Lucrative Baby Boomer Market

by G.B. Oliver

There are currently 80 million baby boomers in the U.S. This is the population aged generally in their 50s and 60s who, according to MediaPost, hold 70% of the US disposable income (i.e. they’ve got money to spend on stuff!).

baby boomer marketing tips

Is Your Business Targeting Baby Boomers Properly?

The economy is not great right now, and yet Baby Boomers still have money to spend. The majority are still working, kids’ college is paid for, houses are paid for, if anything they are downsizing, which is putting more money back in their pockets. So if they are the people spending right now, why aren’t you targeting them?

Other Interesting Baby Boomer Facts

  • 71% of baby boomers go online everyday
  • 53% are on Facebook
  • People over age 50 spend $7 billion online annually

How Can You Target Them Based on What You Sell?

Let’s say you sell baby and kids products for exampleare you currently just targeting moms and dads, who are busier, have less money to spend, are probably too tired to think? Why not target grandparents, who do have the money to spend and love buying gifts for the grandkids. Plus, grandparents are not up on what kids want the way parents are, so you have an opportunity to convince them that kids really want your products!

What if you are selling jewelry or fashion. Baby boomers don’t necessarily feel comfortable wearing the latest youth-oriented trends. So why miss out on this market even if it is not your style. Create a more traditional line of products, or a more mature line, that you could section off in your shop just for this market, the same way you see a regular store and a plus size version of that store.

What about home products? Baby boomers love nostalgia, so research style trends from the 1950s, 60s and 70s and seen how you can incorporate it into a “Baby Boomer Line”. Also, were there cool products from this era that you could revamp for today’s market, making them both modern and vintage at the same time.

Baby boomers don’t just buy a lot for themselves and their grandchildren, they also buy for their grown children who have less disposable income due to being new to the workforce or owning homes and raising kids. So if you have items strictly aimed at the 20 to 30 year old market, those non-necessity but nice to have items, convince mom and dad to buy it for them! Would make a great gift guide, “What to buy for your grown children besides gift cards”. In fact, encourage customers to make a wish list just for them to give to Mom and Dad.

small business marketing consultant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2012-2014 G.B. OLIVER ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

5 Marketing Ideas for Small Business Saturday

by G.B. Oliver

Saturday November 24th is Small Business Saturday where consumers are encouraged to buy from small local businesses. It was an initiative started by American Express and it always takes place on the Saturday after Black Friday (which is the day after the US Thanksgiving holiday).

marketing ideas small business saturday

Now, while online businesses benefit from Cyber Monday two days later, you can still take advantage of Small Business Saturday with your local market even if you only sell online.

How Online Shops Can Take Advantage of Small Business Saturday

5 Marketing Ideas to Try:

1. If you sell on a site like Etsy or Artfire make sure you have entered your city and state/province in your profile if you haven’t already, as customers can search for shops this way. Maybe even put it in your shop title and description, if just for this Saturday. For your regular website, this is a good opportunity to mention your city somewhere on your main page, again, if only for Small Business Saturday. It reminds visitors as well.

2. Email the editor of your local newspaper (do it this week or you’ll be too late!) asking if there are doing any articles on local companies offering specials for Small Business Saturday and mention a special you will be offering (make it worthwhile, like 30% off today only). Even better if they will consider doing a separate article just on local businesses selling online. Can’t hurt to put the idea in their head!

3. Offer a special just for customers from your city. For example, “Today we are offering 25% off for everyone, and 30% off for customers in the Boston area in support of the Small Business Saturday initiative”.

4. Pair up with a few other online vendors in your city who sell complimentary (but not competing) products and ask that they mention you on their website/online shop if you mention them on yours. Kind of like a blog roll of local shops to check out on Small Business Saturday. Again, you only have to keep this on your site for the week prior to, and the day after Small Business Saturday.

5. And of course fire off some Tweets using the #hash tags #SmallBusinessSaturday, #SmallBizSaturday and #SmallBizSat are the most popular ones, but add your city at the end to get to your local market i.e. #SmallBusinessSaturdayBoston (make sure your Twitter profile lists your city).

 If you think I give good advice on my blog, then you should know that I save the best ideas for getting attention in my E-books, available HERE.

3 Uses for Pinterest’s New Secret Boards

by G.B. Oliver

This week Pinterest launched the ability to do “secret” Pinterest boards. Users are given three secret boards and they control who sees what they PIN on them. In other words, these are boards you create for invitation only.

Pinterest Tips Secret Boards

So how can these new secret boards help your small business? If you sell products online it can help in a ton of ways if you are creative enough.

3 Ways to Use Pinterest “Secret” Boards

Here are a few of my ideas for using “Secret” Pinterest boards:

1. If you currently send out a newsletter or email promotion, now use a secret Pinterest board instead. You could post photos of products you are having a special on that is for customers only, and just delete the PIN when the special is over. The customer is alerted by email when you PIN something new on the board and they can choose whether or not they want to join, so it is not as intrusive.

2. Because you can REPIN from these boards, it is a great way to ask your customers to spread the word about your products without it being as obvious as when you post on a public board. You can PIN a new release and nicely ask them to “like” it and “REPIN” in exchange for a percentage off their next purchase.

3. You could do a Pinterest board for your customers only that is really more of an inspiration board and PIN complimentary products from other vendors that would work with your products. In return, ask that complimentary vendors do the same for you on secret boards for their customers. This is a great way to cross promote and get in front of more buyers, and it serves as a value added service to your customers who may not know which shoes to wear with the dress they just bought from you.

Now, what would have made these secret boards even more valuable to online sellers is if Pinterest had given you the option to enable/disable the REPIN feature on these boards. Then you could have used them to give sneak peaks of your new products and offers to customers before they are made public, polled customers on new products to get their feedback (like having a focus group) and showcase how other customers have used your products without having the world see their private photos.

Want more advice on how to use Pinterest to Get Attention!? Then please see my E-books, available HERE.