Of course the Internet small business has many formats to choose from when advertising its products and services.
I believe using a variety of methods is generally preferable to always relying upon just one format.
Your customers may tire from the same looking message received repeatedly.
One of the most effective selling formats is the personal letter from you (the small business owner) to the customer.
It’s a proven strategy that often works better than any other because it’s:
(1) personal – most of us are much more likely to buy a product that is personally recommended than one we have no human tie to;
(2) intimate – we feel that a personal letter is not something that would be shared with lots of other people, hence we view it as tailored to our own needs or geared to our own circumstance (even though that may not be the case since the same “personal” letter might be sent to thousands of prospects);
(3) not interruptive – a letter from a friend is usually the first piece of mail opened . . . certainly we are more anxious to receive it than we are to get credit card offers or other junk mail;
(4) easy to understand – a good copywriter can be very effective in putting together a personal sales letter that has all the elements of a super powerful direct mail marketing piece.
Letters are easy to read, it’s simple to understand what they are about, and it’s kind of informal, like chatting with an old friend.
The customer is able to relax and not feel that he is under pressure being “sold” (even though that is the author’s intention).
Here are some examples of different formats (all personal letters) that the business owner has at his disposal to frame a personal letter to his customer.
Any or all of these formats can be used, but obviously, the messages should be changed and modified for each format.
Since personal letters are never repeated (each one is always unique), it would be counterproductive to disguise the same copy under several different forms going to the same person over time.
Customers are smart and would see that kind of laziness as spam or as a sales trick – either way, they won’t appreciate the attempt to take advantage of them.
Format #1: a letter of introduction. Such letter could come from the company president (you) or the product creator (again, you) or the marketing director (again, you) or any other title you give yourself in your solo business. You simply send a personal invitation to your preferred customers to “be one of the first to learn about this amazing new . . .”
Format #2: a heads-up or hot tip. A personal letter could be sent by the CEO that simply refers the customer to the fact that a product is soon going to be released, or is going to be experiencing a price increase, or whatever – but you “can still get it for the old lower price if you act immediately.”
Format#3: a unique event or story. Your personal letter could be explaining to the customer why you can offer him your product at a 50% discount.
Maybe you ordered 100 products from the printer, but he sent you 200 and you don’t have anywhere to store them. Or you decided to do a marketing “special” to test your price at different points and this is the first and lowest price you’ll test for the next two days.
Format #4: point out how your customer’s problem will be solved with your product. Prospects make purchases to ease their pain, save time and money, or simplify their life.
Explain the most common problem that plagues most of your niche’s prospects and personally recommend your product which others have used to get rid of this same problem.
Format #5: a special free gift with no strings attached. Send your prospects a special gift (related to your product and of perceived value) for registering with your business or simply asking for further information.
As you explain the reason behind the gift, you can add pertinent sales copy about how your product can be used in conjunction with this gift to be of great value and benefit to the customer.
Format #6: a thank you. Think of all the reasons you’re grateful that the customer is your friend, subscriber, member, etc (depending upon your business relationship) and express that sentiment in a personal letter.
Let the customer know that you value the relationship and want to do something special to continue your association so you’re making this special very limited offer available only to your . . . (best friends) . . .
Each of these formats is a little different, but they can all be very effective sales tools because they are all personal (and prized) letters from one friend to another. Give any of them a try . . . today!
To your online business success!