Don’t Shoot the Messenger

This is a common mistake that can cost you a fortune if you make it.

Everyone is familiar with newspaper ads, door hangers, business cards, flyers, brochures, direct mail letters, Cable TV ads, billboards, the phone, e-mail, posters, post cards, package inserts, window displays, signs, etc.

The elements I just named and many more like them are called ‘Marketing Vehicles.’ They are called vehicles because their purpose is to ‘deliver’ your marketing message to your intended prospects–just as a messenger is used to deliver a message to an intended recipient.

Each of those marketing vehicles can be a positive part of your marketing strategy if used properly. But it’s important that you understand exactly what their purpose is so that you can use them effectively.

Don’t Confuse Your Marketing Vehicle with Your Marketing Message

The mistake that many business owners make is in confusing these marketing vehicles–the messengers–with their messages.

Whenever I hear statements like the following, I know instantly that the speaker is probably confusing the messenger with the message.

‘I tried newspaper ads once. They didn’t work for us.’


‘Direct Mail doesn’t work for our company.’

As long as you have selected a marketing vehicle that effectively and efficiently reaches your target prospects and they fail to respond, it is your ‘message’ that didn’t work, not the vehicle used to deliver that message.

If you try sending your prospects your marketing message via a direct mail post card and you get zero response, and you are certain that your postcards reached targeted prospects with a high potential for responding to your offer then the following is a more accurate response:

‘I tried using postcards as my Marketing Vehicle to deliver my ‘message’ to my targeted prospects, but got zero response.

‘Apparently, my ‘message’ wasn’t very effective. I will have to improve my message before using that marketing vehicle again.’

While it’s important that you select an effective marketing vehicle to deliver your message, it is even more important that you craft your message in a way that guarantees a successful response. That’s where your focus should be.

That is the critical area that far too many business owners neglect.

If you aren’t getting the kind of results you need from you marketing efforts, you need to focus on improving your marketing message. Then it’s a simple matter of selecting an effective and cost efficient marketing vehicle to deliver your message.

But if your marketing message is weak or otherwise ineffective, then it doesn’t matter which vehicle you choose — it will fail…every time.

3 Sure-Fire Ways to Increase Your Marketing Response

Increasing your response to your marketing efforts is what it’s all about. Here are three ways to help you do that.

1. Use a headline

Don’t ever run a marketing piece without a headline. If you don’t use a headline your prospective customers won’t know that your message is for them. They won’t know why they should read your marketing piece.

Are you aware that most marketing pieces are never read? They are promptly put aside to be buried under a growing pile of other reading material that will never be looked at again, or they are immediately tossed.

A headline is your only chance of grabbing your prospect’s attention and saying to him, ‘Stop! Take the time to read this because it is vitally important to you!’

Look at the headline at the top of this tip. Didn’t it catch your attention and make you want to read on to find out how to increase your marketing response?

If you want people to actually read your marketing pieces, always use a headline.

2. Tell them what you can do for them

People only want to know one thing — ‘What can you do for me?’

So make sure you tell them from the start.

Explain what your product or service can do for them and why they should buy it from you. Tell them why they will be better off buying your product or service.

3. Use a clear Call to Action

Your Call to Action is where you tell your prospects exactly what they should do next.

Don’t ever assume that they will know what to do. If there is the slightest doubt in their minds, they will procrastinate, and procrastination is one of the biggest killers of sales.

If you want them to call you and place an order, then tell them to do that.

If you want them fill out your order form and mail it to you, tell them.

If you want them to click on your web site link and place their order on the next page, tell them.

Don’t ever leave doubt in your prospective customers’ minds about what to do next.

Copyright 2006 by Joe Gracia of Give to Get Marketing.

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