Increase Your Response: Pass the “So What!” Test

David G. Johnson Get Strategic, Small Business Marketing 2 Comments

Here’s the 4th of 5 Ways to Increase Your Response just by changing the words you use!

Bored Customer

Bored Customer

Pass The “So What!” Test

One of the biggest contributing factors to the dismal results that small business marketing tends to get has to do with the value and sequence of your content. Again… it doesn’t matter what medium you’re using (direct mail, e-mail, print, radio, TV, etc.), your customers simply don’t care until you catch their attention and answer their question, “What’s In It For Me?!”

So… to get practical right away: Put all your best benefits right up front. You managed to get their attention with a bold promise written directly to them about them in your headline. Now keep it up.

It’s your job to prove to them that they should continue to pay attention.

Some people think you should “save the best for last” and give ’em some great stuff at the end of your ad. The only problem with this is that the vast majority of people will never make it to the end. They already said, “so what!” and moved on.

Pretend that the reader/listener/viewer of your ad is a 5th-grader with ADD/ADHD whose Mom forgot to give ’em their Ritalin today. This forces you to keep their attention. I’m not saying you should treat them as though they’re ignorant (or worse: stupid!), but just assume they have as much to do today as you do.

But That Takes Work!

Yes it does. This means that you need to sit down and focus your efforts on knowing enough about your prospects and customers to really understand what they care about. (Hint: there’s most likely difference between what you think they care about and what they really do, in fact, care about.)

It also means that you need to invest the energy into categorizing, prioritizing, and re-phrasing the benefits of your product or service until you’ve found a way to push the top benefits out in front of your audience first and foremost.

Remember: marketing (even in the “conversation” of Web 2.0) is largely a “broadcast” art & science. This means that you can’t pretend to be a lawyer making an argument in front of a jury and try to finish with the big key point at the end. The lawyer has the advantage of seeing the whites of the eyes of the jury and gauging their reactions and adjusting accordingly. You must come right out and play your Ace right up front.

Bottom Line: Don’t be boring. You can’t afford it.

Up next in this series, we’ll be taking a lesson from Don Corleone. Subscribe right now so you’ll get it first… and get yourself a free gift!

About the Author

David G. Johnson

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David G. Johnson is Co-Founder and Growth Engineer at Grow The Dream, where he advises and trains business owners, entrepreneurs, and small business teams on revenue growth strategies. You can also find him co-hosting the Grow The Dream Show. »» Full Bio

Comments 2

  1. Pingback: Increase Your Response: Make ‘Em an Offer They Can’t Refuse — Strategic Marketing

  2. Good post and I agree – it’s better to be direct and up-front when selling products and services. I’d reinforce an underlying point that your products top benefits should of course be tied into solving the customer’s problems.

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