Over the years, I've read some pretty horrible promotional copy all written by photographers who I know were passionate about what they were trying to say. Sadly, passion in itself isn't a communication skill. One photographer, who I've known for years, I offered to proof read anything he wrote if he just promised NEVER to send anything out by himself again.
I found this post in Marathon's archives from my good pal, Mark Weber; it couldn't be more timely as many of you start to plan your fall and holiday promotions. I love the points Mark hits but want to expand on one key area, which many of you ignore.
Too often small businesses, especially photographers, create short-term promotions that are knee-jerk reactions to a drop in business. It's not a perfect world, and there are times when there are no other options. However, the more planning you can put into a promotion the more potential it has to be a home-run.
So, before you start writing up a special promotion, spend some time thinking about what you want it to do for your business. Obviously you're trying to increase revenue, but just increasing gross sales if you don't have control of your expenses means virtually nothing. Just answer one question before every promotion: "What do I want to accomplish?"
When it comes to writing copy, most people freeze up because they are not born copywriters. As photographers, our words come through a visual media instead. So where do you start? Let’s take a look at the key elements for successful back copy and break them down.
Everything starts with a great headline. You need to grab your potential customer’s attention. Look at magazines at the checkout counter in the grocery store. Have you ever noticed what they use to get your attention? Look on the internet at Yahoo News for another good example of attention-getting headlines. Just make sure your headline is relevant to the over-all content!
Be specific with this. Tell people what they are buying and what their investment will be. Sell only one thing at a time since too many choices can confuse the customer.
Show the Value
How much are they saving? If it’s an extreme savings, you may want to avoid listing the amount since it can have a reverse effect. People may see the discount on the offer and think that it’s too good to be true or that they won’t be able to afford your regular prices.
You don’t have to say too much in the body of the description. A brief paragraph or bullet points that describe the session or services is all you need. If possible, add information about what makes your studio unique. Just be sure to keep it brief.
Use Your Website to Say More
Add the extra copy you wanted to include on your printed piece to your website. You can go into greater detail and use it to support your message.
You want people to pick up the phone and call and that’s exactly what your material should inspire them to do. Make your number easy to see and read.
Create a sense of urgency by setting a deadline for 30 days after the offer is sent out. Your ustomers will want to call right away to take advantage of the special offer.
You can create additional incentive to schedule early by offering a special bonus. For example, “10 Holiday Cards free with the purchase of 20 cards when you call by October 20th” or “Be one of the first 5 people to book your appointment and receive 10 free Holiday Cards with your order of 20 cards”. Always tie the bonus with a purchase, don’t just give it away for free.
I just came back from attending my first MAP Getaway and have shared a couple of posts about the event. MAP (Marketing Advantage Program) is your key to getting the help you need to create exciting promotions and help build your brand, revenue and business. Find out more with a click of you mouse below.