Almost every potential customer who puts your mailing aside until “later” is a dead loss to you.
“Later” usually means “never.” So it is to your advantage, marketing consultant Apryl Duncan writes, to cue advertising recipients to buy right away by using one or more of these nine proven call-to-action tactics:
State a deadline for ordering.
Specify a drop-dead date by which your prospect must place his order or lose out on a bargain price, a freebie, an upgrade, or similar benefits. Try to make your cut-off date in the same month you make your offer.
Specify a date when your price will increase.
Stress a trial or introductory offer. State an extra service, special price, or other deals for an order received by your cut-off date. Make sure to burn in the idea that your offer is risk-free.
Offer a free gift for early birds. Say that the first 100, 1,000 or other number of purchasers will receive a high-perceived-value gift at no extra cost.
Make your offer an exclusive. Underline “product not available except through this offer” in your advertising.
Offer a valuable free accessory. Computer manufacturers, for instance, have found that including a freebie like a printer at no extra cost for desktop or laptop orders received by a certain date works wonders.
Use active language. Pound home that your reader should “Call now toll-free” ... “Place your order 24/7 online” ... “Send no money now” ... “Your absolute satisfaction guaranteed” ... “By (Date), mail special saving certificate in the accompanying postpaid envelope” ... “Fax response to (Number).” Make sure never to use passive phraseology such as “You know how to contact us” or “Call us when you’re ready.”
State your deadline early and often. Do not assume that your prospect will scrutinize every word and phrase in your advertising. Flag his attention as many times as you can.
Never be chintzy. Despite what your lawyer or accountant may say, give your customer a little leeway. For instance, if your offer deadline is May 15, and you receive orders on May 22, honor them with all perks without quibbling.
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