Let’s say you’re sending out postcards to your first-time customers, to encourage repeat business. Your goal is to get them to take action (buy from you again, sign up for your latest program, upgrade to the next level of membership, etc.). But what you’re really trying to do is get them to pay attention to, and understand, your message — because only after they’ve “heard you out” would they even think of lifting a finger.
While this effective communication is pretty much required for living and working, we all know it’s not an in-bred skill. It takes effort, and finesse, to get it right (and even then, nothing is perfect, and there is always room for improvement the next time around). If you want to be more effective at moving your customers to action, it helps to keep these three steps in mind:
- Grab Attention: Depending on how receptive your customers are to hearing from you, you may need to employ tricks of the eye or mind, like bright colors, curiosity-invoking headlines, or you don’t-want-to-miss-this teasers, to get their full attention.
- Deliver Message: It goes without saying that your message itself needs to be sufficiently enticing, to pique their interest. Holding their attention, while communicating what is so fantastic about your offer/business/sale/program, is the key to moving them towards action.
- Encourage Action: Say it, but don’t spray it. Definitely tell them what you want them to do (Visit www.ourwebsite.com/program for more info!), but don’t shove it in their face. In most cases, a soft call-to-action is not only more encouraging, but is less of a turn-off than a hard sell. Not every person who hears your message will want to act on your offer, but those whom you’ve genuinely interested will jump on it like a cat on a mouse. And a soft sell will ensure that you don’t alienate those folks who were already about to pounce even before your call-to-action.
No matter what medium you’re using (website, paper and pen, or even your Facebook page), always consider these steps when you’re trying to get a certain message across or elicit a specific outcome. When you look at the steps backwards, your customers won’t take action until they’ve received your message, and they won’t listen to your message unless you’ve grabbed their attention in the first place. Make sense?
About Barbara Austin
As the graphic designer & founder of Sweet Dreamz Design, Barbara loves working with women entrepreneurs to brand their businesses. She shares a variety of small business advice and anecdotes here on the blog. Check back every week for new tips, inspirations, and how-to articles, or subscribe to get regular updates in your inbox each week!