Declutter Your Marketing, Get Better Results

This week, I want you think about excess.  Picture way too much of something.  Stacks of receipts to fumble through at tax time.  Walking into an ice cream store with way more than 33 flavors.  A field of tulips in every color you’ve ever imagined, rows of classic cars lined up on Pebble Beach, yadda yadda yadda.

Where do you start?  How do you make a decision with all of that ‘noise’?

It’s too much!  Your brain can’t handle it, your eyes don’t know where to focus, and your brain is telling you to move on, buddy!  Abort!

Now imagine your prospect has just opened their mailbox and your postcard is doing the exact same thing.  Too many words, the design is too in their face, and the message reads like you’re going to tell you EVERYTHING you always wanted to say RIGHT NOW!

They flip your postcard to the back of the stack and forget about it as they walk in the house, mindlessly paging through a swimsuit catalog before dumping the mail they don’t want into the trash.

When prospects are presented with too many options, that’s what I call the GM Over complication.  I’ll explain that in a moment.  What you need to know right now is that there are 2 easy ways to keep your target under complicated, engaged, and on message:

1.) Focus on ONE THING at a time – You’re not selling everything but the kitchen sink on a postcard to a prospect. You can’t possibly ask someone to consider having their lawn mowed, edged, plugged, fertilized, weeded, dethatched, winterized, mulched, landscaped, and debugged in one fell swoop.  You want them to focus on the fact that you’re in the business of taking care of THEIR lawn just like you’d care for your OWN lawn.  The benefits are bullets, not the main story.  Don’t overwhelm.

2.) Simple is always better – What that does not say is ‘boring’ is better. Unless you own a taupe store, and everything in it is taupe, you need a little flash to make your mailing stand out.  But by simple, I mean that the design and the language and the effort it takes to understand the ‘ask’, understand what you have to do to get what’s being offered, and feel like you can trust the seller needs to be simple.  It doesn’t matter if your postcard is neon green with swirlies all over it.  If the message you’re promoting has the reader scratching their head, the only thing that matters is that her trash will now have a neon green glow – and you’ll have lost the opportunity (maybe forever) to gain her as a new client.

Now, the GM Over-complication.  In the 70s and 80s, my father loved GM cars.  Before the Internet let you buy a car with your phone on your sofa and someone delivered it to you while you were in your pajamas, you had to physically go to a car dealership to make that kind of purchase.  Front and center, more often than not, was a large display of brochures for every model of car on the lot.

And those brochures were stacked with page after page of photographs; the back section featuring endless options.  Wheel styles, paint colors, fabric textures, roof options, radio choices, engine sizes, lions, tigers and bears, oh my!  There were too many choices, the combinations were too confusing, and people didn’t think the effort was worth the investment (of time or money). And I mean, 10 mpg? Really?

GM made buying a car over-complicated.  Consumers bailed on GM in large numbers, turning to Honda and Toyota who used a scaled down selection of options, and the promise of staggering gas mileage to support their investment. Singular focus. Simple messaging.

At Opportunity Knocks, we think it’s great to have choices – but we’ll help you narrow your focus and build a fantastic postcard that won’t overwhelm.  Call us at 1 (866) 319-7109.  Let us help you attract the right prospects the right way, and leave the sprinkles and 8-track players to your competition.