Tag Archives: useful tips

How not to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

A couple of times recently I’ve been on the verge of buying something. Actually ready to hand over cash or credit card when the seller has said or done something to change my mind at the last minute. I was wondering how often this happens? Probably more times than we, as business owners, realise.

How to recognise the signs of “buy out”

There has been a lot of talk about getting “buy in” but it seems to me that we are often more concerned with this than recognising the tell-tale signs of what I’ll call “buy out”. So what are the signs? I think there are two main categories of signs. There are the ones that you must recognise in yourself that are going to prompt the action in the buyer and then there are the ones in the buyer that are telling you they’re about to change their minds.

Our actions that put off buyers

  • talking too much after the buyer has offered to buy (what used car dealers used to call “buying the car back”)
  • not knowing the product well enough, being unsure of what exactly it can and can’t do
  • vacillation – whether in possible appointment times, availability of product or delivery dates
  • using the wrong tone of voice or turn of phrase ( usually related to stating something from our point of view rather than being customer centred)

Signs the buyer is cooling off

  • no longer making eye contact
  • use of phrases like – “perhaps I’ll think about it”; “don’t bother now, just let me know when you can get it”; “I want to discuss it with my spouse”
  • you are doing all the talking, the questions have stopped.

There are many more and perhaps you have some you’d like to share. Feel free to comment.

What to do about it?

  • know your product inside out
  • listen to the customer
  • be aware of the non-verbal cues customers give you
  • be customer-centred
  • if you can’t avoid some vacillation then preface it with a phrase that shows you understand their position e.g. “I realise this isn’t ideal and you need to know when we can deliver so you can organise your day but I’ll find out as soon as I can and let you know at the earliest opportunity.”

Most of all we need to be aware that it is possible to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Be aware that we can successfully sell our product or services and then scuttle the deal by failing to notice the signs in our actions or those of our customers.

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Easy to understand product and user manuals

“10 good reasons why your product or user manual should not be written by you!”

Many people think that because they know their product inside out that they, or one of their employees, are the best person to write the user manual. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here are 10 good reasons why you should not write your own product or user manual:
  1. You know your product too well. This causes you to assume a certain base line knowledge which others may not have.
  2. You tend to think in terms of features not benefits and although this is not a sales pitch you need to come from the same headspace as your customer and they want to implement the benefits your product offers.
  3. You see the bigger picture and not the smaller steps that may be needed.
  4. It’s difficult for you to be objective about your product the way your customer will be.
  5. A professionally written manual will save you money due to a reduction in customer help enquiries
  6. A well-written, easy to understand manual can reduce warranty claims due to the fact that your customers, use, store and maintain the product correctly.
  7. Great product manuals yield satisfied customers because they don’t get frustrated trying to use the product…
  8. … and that leads to valuable word-of-mouth product endorsements and the likelihood of increased sales.
  9. A well-written, authoritative manual adds to the status of your product as a professionally produced product that can be trusted.
  10. A well-written manual enhances customer satisfaction and promotes brand loyalty.
Save money on reduced enquiries and warranty claims and let The Copywriter Online write your next product or user manual.

Contact us for a quote.

Noticeable Newsletters

Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers and stay “top-of-mind”.

All savvy marketers use newsletters. Why? Because they can help to build relationships with customers and potential customers. A regular newsletter from you will keep your business in the mind of the customer so that when they come to the part of the buying cycle where they’re ready to buy, they’ll think of you.

What’s more, because all newsletter lists have to be “opt-in” lists, all of your subscribers are qualified leads so you can target your message more easily.

The down side

There is a down side to sending regular newsletters. In fact there are two. The first is that they are labour intensive. Someone has to spend the time thinking of something to write and then they have to write it.

The second is that if the content is not relevant, clearly written and interesting, it won’t get read. It’s a real challenge to send a regular newsletter with fresh, interesting content.

The solution

The solution is to engage a professional copywriter to write the copy and to advise on new and interesting topics to include in the newsletter. Newsletters are wonderful marketing tools so don’t throw away your investment in managing your list by sending out a humdrum publication that no one is going to read. Make the most of this opportunity to speak to your target audience. Contact The Copywriter Online to talk about your newsletter today.

Paper vs email newsletters

There are pros and cons to both. On the pro side, e-newsletters are cheap to send and cheap to put together; the major con being that they won’t reach customers who don’t have email.

The pro side of paper newsletters is that you can reach people who don’t use the internet and paper is easier to read than a computer screen. The major con here is cost. They can be very costly to produce and also to send.

A few e-newsletter tips

Make sure you have a great phrase for the subject line. “My company newsletter Issue No 4” just won’t cut it. Take the lead story and use that in your subject line. If you don’t, your newsletter may just go straight to the recycle bin!

Don’t make your newsletter too long. People don’t mind scrolling a bit but don’t make it longer than a full screen page and a half and don’t send it too often. We’ve received many interesting newsletters. Some which we really like to read but they come everyday or every week and we don’t have the time. In our view once every 3-4 weeks is an ideal frequency.

A few paper newsletter tips

Don’t make it too thick. People don’t have time to read another magazine. Many businesses think they are “adding value” by putting irrelevant, general interest items in their newsletters. They’re not. What are they are doing is making the relevant information harder to find and increasing the likelihood that it won’t be read.

Put an easy-to-follow table of contents on the right of the first page. Put some advertisements in for your own products or services as well as the articles and include response devices in them.

Take the pain out of your next newsletter and improve its response rate by letting The Copywriter Online write it for you. Contact us today!

Telling it like it is – the art of public speaking

Everyone knows that speaking in public is challenging…

Some people find it exhilarating and others just want to curl up and die. Either way, it is easier to do if you have a well-written, well-rehearsed speech.

As a past president of a Toastmaster’s International branch,  I am well-placed to help you, not only with your speech but also with a few tips and tricks to overcome nerves and increase your confidence.

The audience wants to hear what you have to say

Unless you’re on the hustings or you’re a PR Manager in damage control then it is important to realise that most of the audience starts off by wanting to hear what you have to say.

Engage their interest

If you can engage their interest and a build a rapport with them in the first few minutes then the rest should be plain sailing. This is where a good speech writer can be invaluable. A strong opening to your speech will set the tone for the rest of the delivery.

What makes a good speech?

Good speeches have several features in common. These are:

  • They are not overlong
  • They establish a rapport with the audience quickly
  • They are not read
  • They have been well-rehearsed
  • They are interesting
  • They use language the audience can understand – this means that for a generalist audience you would not use jargon or technical terms without explanation.
  • They have a beginning, a middle, and an end
  • They leave the audience with something to ponder – it could be a challenge, a joke or a new way of looking at something.
Make a memorable speech

Whatever the occasion, make your next speech memorable and ask The Copywriter Online to write it for you. We can help you with Business Presentations, Luncheon or After Dinner Speeches and Information Events. Contact The Copywriter Online to talk about your next speech.

You can choose to have a well-written website…

or you can choose one that ranks well with search engines…

or one that sells…

If you want all three we can help you, but it’s your choice.

There are several factors that decide how well your site ranks with the search engines. One of them is search engine optimised (seo) copy. So, if you’re looking for well-written copy that assists with search engine ranking AND that sells, then we can help.

1. Don’t sacrifice effective selling copy in order to rank well – you need both!

Some seo copywriters sacrifice the selling effectiveness and communication component of their copy just to get a good search engine ranking. Don’t do it! It’s a waste of time and money. There’s no point having thousands of visitors to your site if you can’t convert any of them into customers. Make sure you hire an seo copywriter who can write to sell as well.

2. Get ahead of your competition

With professional seo copywriting your website can be an effective tool for gaining more business; for communicating with your existing and potential customers; and for selling more of your products and services.

3. Ask us about other seo strategies…

At The Copywriter Online we can advise you on other techniques and strategies that you can employ to legitimately raise your search engine profile. Contact us today and ask us for a quote to write seo copy and web content for your website. Read our testimonials to see what our customers think of us.

Is your website actively selling your products or services?

The content of your website is more important than the way it looks!

Don’t get me wrong! It is important that your website looks professional and attracts your target audience. However, it’s even more important that your message is clear, interesting and persuasive. The New Year is a great time to take a look at your site and see if it’s really performing the way you would like it to.
Many businesses spend thousands of dollars on fancy looking sites that don’t sell well. Why? Because the content is poor. It doesn’t engage with the website visitor. It doesn’t interest them, it doesn’t tell them what they want to know and it doesn’t encourage them to stay.

Amateur vs Professional

No company would pay thousands of dollars for a double page spread in a glossy magazine and then let an amateur come up with the concept, the copy and the design. So why do they do that very same thing with their websites? Writing copy for the web is an art and a science. I have done a lot of research into what works and what doesn’t and I can help you to make the most of your investment in your site.

Your website is a promotional tool

A website is a promotional tool. It shouldn’t just be a “presence”. Most businesses invest large sums of money in their sites and they don’t see a return on that investment. Let me help you to communicate with your customers by writing web content that is clear, easy-to-read and relevant.

Don’t throw thousands of dollars of web investment away for the want of a few hundred dollars worth of professionally written content.

Know when and where to spend your business dollars

There are places where you can save money by doing things yourself and there are others where you need to call in the professionals. Make sure you know which is which. If dollars are tight but you know that you need professional copywriting then do some of the legwork yourself to reduce your costs. If the copywriter has to do a lot of research then the job is obviously going to be more expensive than if you give them a full, properly written brief. (If you don’t know how to brief a copywriter click here for details.)

Happy New Year! Make it prosperous with a website that really works!

Commonsense Marketing

Despite what some people will tell you, marketing isn’t rocket science! If you use commonsense, perseverance and diligence then you can implement a marketing system that will work for your business.

Target, measure, evaluate and refine. The four most important words in marketing!

Do you know which of your marketing initiatives work and which don’t? Do you know how well they work and do you know how to capitalise on them?

Too much to do, too little time!

This is the problem most businesses face these days. They are so busy running their businesses that they don’t have the time to market their businesses well or consistently. That’s why it’s often useful to employ a professional marketing communications consultant to do the work for you.

Targeting

Many small businesses have a hit and miss approach to marketing. They spend time, money and effort on direct mail and other marketing campaigns yet they don’t put enough care into targeting them properly. Consequently they experience poor to indifferent results.

Measuring

There are several ways of measuring the success of a marketing or advertising campaign but they should all involve the dollar value received vs the dollars outlaid. Many businesses will just note how many enquiries they got from a particular campaign rather than how much revenue the campaign generated. This information is vital because it tells you how accurately you are targeting your communications.

Evaluating and refining

Evaluating a campaign is important to allow for fine tuning. It is important to refine either the message, the medium or the offer in light of what your evaluation reveals.

Follow up

This is an area where many businesses fall down. They go to a lot of expense and effort and then they don’t follow up their leads properly or enough. There are lots of examples where companies have run campaigns, people have responded asking for sales information and yet they never receive it!

Marketing system

This marketing system is based on the perpetual feedback loop of target, measure, evaluate and refine. At The Copywriter Online we can help you to implement it, or we can implement it for you. You are in control at all times.