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2010-08-30 22:13:08

Marketing Pieces That Work

The last thing you want in this fragile economy is to not get a strong return on your investments. These days you can’t afford to waste a penny. But one area where I often see agents and brokers toss loads of pennies (and big dollars) down the proverbial toilet is with their marketing pieces. 
I regularly see flyers, brochures, postcards and door hangers fraught with serious problems that render them useless and a waste of cash. Simple basics and the more intricate nuances of persuasion are plainly and routinely ignored.
Here are five tips to help you squeeze out every cent from your marketing pieces:
1. Get specific and omit all generalities. One of the most common errors I see in marketing materials is a lack of specificity. On one level, I can’t tell who the piece is meant to reach and on another level, the copy is too generic. The old saying in marketing goes, if you aim to reach everyone, you won’t reach anyone. I know usually, agents are looking to save money by only printing a one “catch-all” tool, but that’s a mistake. If a piece doesn’t scream to a specific person in a very select demographic, it might as well be kindling for your fireplace. The first problem: a generic target, leads to the second problem: a generic message. So at the start, be specific with who you want to reach, and then use the copy to talk directly to that person’s most important needs and wants.
2. Make sure your headline grabs people’s attention. We all know we only have a few seconds to make either a favorable or poor impression on those we meet. The same holds true in marketing. Flip through a magazine and test the ads—they either grab you immediately or leave you turning the page. Now think about the ones that do get your attention. Why did they? What’s speaking to you? Now think about your target (your very specific target from tip number one above) and consider what’s going to grab them by the lapels and speak directly to them and give them a reason to keep reading. When you do this, you’re getting close to a marketing piece that will yield big dividends.

3. Think value.
Once you catch your prospect’s attention with a powerful headline, the next trick is to keep them reading. Take time to explore what your target values with respect to what you can do for him or her. You’ve probably know what WIIFM stands for: What’s In It For Me? Folks want to know what they’re going to get. Your copy should tell them clearly and powerfully.

4. Tell readers what to do.
This may sound pretty basic, but you’d laugh at how many times I see pieces that have omitted this one vital element. It’s like leading a reader down this wonderful path, telling him everything he wants to hear only to leave him standing there at a fork in the road scratching his head. What do you want him to do? Call? E-mail? Visit your website? Tell him what to do and how to do it or lose him forever.

5. Remember the letters AIDA.
These letters sum up a good marketing effort: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Get their attention, capture their interest, arouse their desire and give them an action to take.

Let me hear from you. Have you polished your marketing pieces lately? What’s working best for you? Do you have a sample you can share? I’d love to see them. Please send them to me, along with any comments or questions you have about this article, at

Bob Corcoran is a nationally recognized speaker and author who is founder and president of Corcoran Consulting Inc. (, 800-957-8353), an international consulting and coaching company that specializes in performance coaching and the implementation of sound business systems into the residential or commercial broker or agent’s existing practice.
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