Make Your Messaging Hook the Reader!

50 Cent once said that he wants the listener pulled into his song in the first 10 seconds of the track. I’m pretty sure he said that, but don’t quote me on that. But, even if I am crazy, isn’t that a genius way to look at writing music? Immediately hook your audience and make them yearn for more. Listen to your favorite artist and ask how often their first 10 seconds captivates you?

Does the same theory and method work if you’re listening to a new artist you’ve never heard of? How much time do you give them? What are you listening for to make you continue to listen? What is pulling you in and making you want more?

Now, replace the song with your postcard in the mailbox of someone who has no idea who you are. How do you captivate your prospect in the first milliseconds they’re holding your company and offer in their hands? What does it take to keep an existing client reading?

  1. Strong Copy Grabs Attention – There’s a fine line between shouting on your postcard and being assertive. Don’t hide behind the dreaded ALL CAPS font. You want the language to be easy to understand, easy to digest (don’t need big words) and easy to apply a sense of value to when they’re mentally comparing you to your competitor.
  2. Be Detailed & Specific – Get to the point, give specifics about your offer and the positive impact you’re in a position to provide. Don’t make the client ‘do the math’. You want the client or prospect to flow easily across your postcard, not getting tripped up on discounts or trying to decipher what you meant by vague language or strange wording.
  3. A Great Offer Goes A Long Way – I’ve said many times that I’m not always in favor of a give-away or a freebie. But if you’re going to do it, make sure it’s quality and that it corresponds to the product or service you’re trying to entice the prospect into buying or sampling. If you can’t afford an offer based on your ROI…wait until you can. A quality offer to a limited pool of targets is better than offering junk to a huge pool. You never want to be associated with anything sub-par, and that includes what you’re giving away to try and get new business.
  4. Features vs. Benefits – With limited space (two sides of a postcard), it can be tough to say everything you want. Given the constraints, sometimes it’s better to list the features and not the benefits, and vice versa. What will it take to stand out to your target? Conventional wisdom has you listing the benefits, which makes sense in some cases. But what if you’re selling a riding lawnmower or a Wi-Fi-enabled HVAC thermostat? The benefits of those items are pretty clear: you can sit down while cutting your grass and you can adjust the living room temperature from your easy chair. But what specific features make those products enticing?
  5. Test Your Copy – This goes with my favorite subject, overall: testing. Small details in the way the postcard is worded, focusing effort on different phrasing or placement of the copy, all of the little things that make people pay attention and move across your postcard to your objective of the Call-to-Action…all of that is important and plays a role in your success. Testing combinations of copy is just as important as changing the design or the target audience or the offer.

The average length of a song has decreased over the years, moving from around four minutes, down to about three minutes and thirty seconds (2019 stats). Do you see how important it is to hook the listener in the first 10 seconds? We don’t have nearly that much time to hook a reader, highlighting how critical it is to grab them early and not let go.

Give Opportunity Knocks a call today. Our Success Coaches may not win the Grammy for Best Rock N Roll Collaboration. But they’re experts at making sure your postcard campaign uses the best cover design and amazing lyrics to quickly grab the reader for a great first impression.