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Seven Marketing Lessons We Can Learn From TV
Infomercials! I hate to share this, but I love watching infomercials. And I've ordered more than once from them! Everything from cosmetics to a cell phone accessory. When pressed, my friends admit the same. If you sniff around most people's homes, you'll find SOMETHING ordered from an infomercial, whether it's the Ronco Rotisserie or Victoria Principal's skincare.
You may think of these often annoying programs as "trash TV", but think again. Did you realize that they use many of the exact same strategies that we should? Now, I don't mean you need to scream at your customers or flash "$19.95" in blinking digits on your website! Those are gimmicks. But what most people don't realize is that many of the STRATEGIES that sell the kitchen doohickey gadget are the same ones that can also sell your products and programs.)
Here are 7 of my favorites:
1. They grab your attention. Infomercials air on the most challenging medium there is out there: television. You're just a second away from your prospect clicking their remote to the next channel. So they do their best to get your attention right away and KEEP it for as long as possible. That's why infomercials give bold statements and emphasize how this doohickey will change your life. You should do this too -- stop beating around the bush and make it clear to your prospects how your products and services will change *their* lives!
2. They give tons of real-life testimonials. You'll see that TV infomercials have evolved greatly since years ago. It used to be one or two people talking to a camera for the entire time. These days most typical 30 minute spots are over 80% customer testimonials! And that's for good reason... they are the hands-down BEST way to gain instant credibility. A great example is for one of those home exercise machines. I noticed years ago they just showed the super-ripped guy using it on the infomercial. Now they show that guy, PLUS dozens of before and after testimonials from real-life guys with beer bellies and real jobs who used the product with success. That was a great move on their part, because c'mon, I just can't believe that super-ripped guy got that hot looking using it just 30 minutes, 3 times a week!
3. They use personalities. The most successful infomercials now use celebrity guest hosts. They know this gets people's attention more than practically anything out there. Pro Activ uses Jessica Simpson. Youthful Essence (a skincare product I love) uses Susan Lucci. Even NutriSystem is now using Dan Marino in their commercials to target men. You can do the same in your marketing. You can either hire a star, or even better, make YOURSELF the celebrity... by sharing stories, being personal, and having fun with your market.
4. They give an irresistible offer. It's rare these days to see an infomercial asking for you to pay for something in full. You'll mostly see things like "3 payments of $19.95" or "4 payments of $39.95". Why? Cash-crunched Americans are always more concerned about cash flow than the total price. They'll even happily pay much MORE in the end in order to gain a lower monthly payment! You can do the same. Offer a payment plan for your products, courses, workshops, and coaching. You'll be AMAZED at the increased response, and it's easy to do with marketing-savvy shopping cart systems.
5. They give a strong call-to-action NOW. These folks know that as soon as you change the channel, you're going to forget about their product. So they make it very urgent that you pick up the phone and call them now or visit their website and order. They usually say something like "If you call in the next 10 minutes you also get..." and they list a few great bonuses. This isn't just specific to TV. Everyone would rather put off ANY decision these days, we're all so busy and overwhelmed! So you need to give people a good REASON to act now, whether it's a discount that expires, a payment plan that expires, a limited number of products or seats, a special bonus... you get the idea.
6. They sell on continuity. What's "continuity"? It's when you make ONE sale that results in multiple charges over and over. For example, because my friends have been raving about I.D. Bare Minerals natural makeup, I recently ordered a kit from their infomercial. Now, every 2 months, I receive a fresh supply in the mail, and my card is charged again. I love it because I don't have to remember to reorder. They love it because they only had to make ONE sale, and how they've got me as a customer forever until I cancel! Hear me now... continuity will change your life! Consider how you can use this principle in your business. Could you convert some of your current offerings into a monthly membership? Or instead of doing one-shot teleseminars, create an ongoing monthly program? (I did this with my Marketing & Motivation Mastermind.)
7. They repeat themselves. And repeat themselves. And repeat themselves again! Smart marketers know it takes an average of 9 TIMES for someone to see/hear your message BEFORE they will even consider purchasing! That goes for you too. So many of my clients complain that advertising doesn't work when they only ran one ad ONCE. Or published ONE newsletter and it didn't get them results. Remember it's the ongoing exposure and repetition that breeds familiarity and trust with your prospects! And that leads to more sales than you've ever imagined.
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