Creating a compelling call to action for post card - critique needed

13 replies
I'm creating a post card to send out to small businesses.

The offer is a web and search marketing custom video analysis - this specific list is going to contractors. The front of the card has an eye catching image with pretty bold claims about business failure rates. I like the front of the card.

Side B is what i'm having some trouble with - actually closing on the CTA.

I would like to stick with simple - adding only the basic steps and information needed for the prospect to understand what to do - hand holding if you will.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-...NBaU5hOGFtaGJR

I saw this image (attached) and thought it stood out - and nicely outlined the easy 1,2,3 steps I want them to take in order to get the free video. However...my actual copy suffers as I am by no means a copywriter. I came up with a rough idea of -

"1. Call (phone number)
2. Receive a personal complimentary website & search analysis video in 24 hours
3. Follow our free tips and start getting more phone calls immediately"

*I will also include an expiration date graphic that will stand out

I know I know -- this is likely terrible. I can't seem to formulate how I want to say it. But the main goal is I want them to call me, answer a couple very basic qualifier questions, get their website info, and email address to send the video to.

I'm not pushing my main services right now, simply offering a complimentary service.

Hopefully I have given enough information.
#action #call #card #compelling #creating #critique #needed #post
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

    I'm creating a post card to send out to small businesses.

    The offer is a web and search marketing custom video analysis - this specific list is going to contractors. The front of the card has an eye catching image with pretty bold claims about business failure rates. I like the front of the card.

    Side B is what i'm having some trouble with - actually closing on the CTA.

    I would like to stick with simple - adding only the basic steps and information needed for the prospect to understand what to do - hand holding if you will.

    https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-...NBaU5hOGFtaGJR

    I saw this image (attached) and thought it stood out - and nicely outlined the easy 1,2,3 steps I want them to take in order to get the free video. However...my actual copy suffers as I am by no means a copywriter. I came up with a rough idea of -

    "1. Call (phone number)
    2. Receive a personal complimentary website & search analysis video in 24 hours
    3. Follow our free tips and start getting more phone calls immediately"

    *I will also include an expiration date graphic that will stand out

    I know I know -- this is likely terrible. I can't seem to formulate how I want to say it. But the main goal is I want them to call me, answer a couple very basic qualifier questions, get their website info, and email address to send the video to.

    I'm not pushing my main services right now, simply offering a complimentary service.

    Hopefully I have given enough information.
    Please correct me if wrong; you are offering to do a video analysis of THEIR Internet presence? Is this right? You are, basically, going to act as a potential customer and show them on your video what hoops they make you jump through to find them?

    Just an opinion Mitch, but you are going to have an extremely rough go of this. A picture and Bold claims about business failure rate...isn't going to catch their attention. In fact, most will never see it. Your card will hit the trash bin, before it reaches their desk.

    IF you can customize the card with their name and area where they have presence, you stand a much better chance. I think you are asking a postcard to do too much.

    FEW contractors return calls to SALES PEOPLE, and that is what they will see, someone trying to sell them something. And the something, is mystery and magic to most working contractors of the smaller size. BIG companies have staff for that.

    Also, you will find that they all think they are different, tell them 99% of all contractors (plumbers, roofers, electricians, etc.) FAIL and they will convince themselves, NOT ME.

    You can't scare these guys with stats of failure. MORE clients, better clients, faster jobs, payment on time...these are the things they want.

    How does your video help them get more work?
    Why does having a higher ranking web site translate into more jobs?
    And your CTA is asking for a miracle, for them to pick up the phone and call you? NOT going to happen, unless you really give them a reason, backed with some evidence or proof, such as a similiar contractor who used your service and increased business by 10% (at least).

    How many of these businesses have you called and talked to?
    You'll find as a group, they are hard to reach, not good at returning calls, and especially don't like salespeople.

    BUT, this doesn't mean you can't try. Focus on a couple of contractor types, and get small numbers of cards made up and TEST it first, before you waste your money on any sort of a shotgun approach to contractors.

    The best cta is one where LOSS is evident if they don't call, if they snooze, they lose and their competitor wins out because he used your most excellent service.

    GordonJ
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    • Profile picture of the author MitchHoward
      Originally Posted by GordonJ View Post

      Please correct me if wrong; you are offering to do a video analysis of THEIR Internet presence? Is this right? You are, basically, going to act as a potential customer and show them on your video what hoops they make you jump through to find them?

      Just an opinion Mitch, but you are going to have an extremely rough go of this. A picture and Bold claims about business failure rate...isn't going to catch their attention. In fact, most will never see it. Your card will hit the trash bin, before it reaches their desk.

      IF you can customize the card with their name and area where they have presence, you stand a much better chance. I think you are asking a postcard to do too much.

      FEW contractors return calls to SALES PEOPLE, and that is what they will see, someone trying to sell them something. And the something, is mystery and magic to most working contractors of the smaller size. BIG companies have staff for that.

      Also, you will find that they all think they are different, tell them 99% of all contractors (plumbers, roofers, electricians, etc.) FAIL and they will convince themselves, NOT ME.

      You can't scare these guys with stats of failure. MORE clients, better clients, faster jobs, payment on time...these are the things they want.

      How does your video help them get more work?
      Why does having a higher ranking web site translate into more jobs?
      And your CTA is asking for a miracle, for them to pick up the phone and call you? NOT going to happen, unless you really give them a reason, backed with some evidence or proof, such as a similiar contractor who used your service and increased business by 10% (at least).

      How many of these businesses have you called and talked to?
      You'll find as a group, they are hard to reach, not good at returning calls, and especially don't like salespeople.

      BUT, this doesn't mean you can't try. Focus on a couple of contractor types, and get small numbers of cards made up and TEST it first, before you waste your money on any sort of a shotgun approach to contractors.

      The best cta is one where LOSS is evident if they don't call, if they snooze, they lose and their competitor wins out because he used your most excellent service.

      GordonJ
      I understand -

      So you think I'm taking the wrong approach here.

      Perhaps I'll need to look into hiring someone for copy. Your response doesn't seem very optimistic and I'm ok with that lol. - It's actually what I was looking for to be honest.

      Id rather someone tell me it won't work before spending the money.

      I'm terrible with copy, But i figured pushing a free offer would get a higher response than actually selling a service via postcard. Which is where the video idea came from.

      What sort of CTA should I be looking for moving forward?
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      • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
        Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

        I understand -

        So you think I'm taking the wrong approach here.

        Perhaps I'll need to look into hiring someone for copy. Your response doesn't seem very optimistic and I'm ok with that lol. - It's actually what I was looking for to be honest.

        Id rather someone tell me it won't work before spending the money.

        I'm terrible with copy, But i figured pushing a free offer would get a higher response than actually selling a service via postcard. Which is where the video idea came from.

        What sort of CTA should I be looking for moving forward?
        I don't know if it is your wrong approach, having mailed thousands of postcards, and many times to contractors, this has been our experience, but it may be anecdotal.

        Which is why I suggest you test in small batches, 100 postcards targeting one such group might reveal the pitfalls to you.

        What exactly is your service? What do you have these contractors might want? Start with your value premise, and the marketing comes from that...may be a postcard, or may be a phone call or appointment and in person visit.

        It depends on what you are offering, and again, I don't have a definitive answer, only years of experience working with contractors and tradesmen TRYING to help them get more business. It can be a very hard TRY.

        We still don't know what you are offering to them which gets you a paycheck...what kind of money are you looking for per contractor, and what makes you think your service is worth that to THEM?

        GordonJ
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    How well do you really understand contractors of the type you want to target?

    Can you speak their language?

    Your "free offer" is transparent - you're looking to sell something, and most of the contractors I've worked with will see right through it.

    There has to be a benefit to your web presence video that makes sense to them, not just for what you might want to sell. If you were cold calling rather than mailing, you wouldn't get the phrase "better rankings" out before you heard the dial tone.

    Now, if you can scale down your promise and relate a benefit they can get behind, you might have a shot.

    For example, you might restrict the offer to a single landing page and offer to show them how they can use that page to filter prospects so they get more of the easy to work with and pays on time customers and filter out the looky-loos, *PITAs and slow pay artists.

    They'll still know you're trying to sell something, but the way you frame it might make some of them bite. Especially if they are in the midst of a project with one of the previously mentioned PITAs.

    "PITA --> Pain In The Ass
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  • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
    The video analysis is a means to an end, the end (from the customer's point of view) being getting more customers.

    So why not develop an irresistible offer that is much more closely tied to what your prospects really want. For example:

    More Ideal Customers Calling to Hire You - or You Owe Us Nothing

    The rest of the postcard needs to briefly explain the offer and say why you feel so confident making this offer. Make it super-risk-free.

    Then prospects who really do want to grow (not everyone does) will respond.

    Marcia Yudkin
    Signature
    Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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    • Profile picture of the author MitchHoward
      Thank you all for your replies.

      I'll be honest, I don't do the fancy sales tactics. I have built my client base by very simple marketing.

      I cold call and email. Thousands of them. I'm not really a salesman. I just ask if they have work for me.

      Call me crazy but it's been working for a couple years and allowed me to create a pretty good foundation of contractors.

      So direct mail isn't my niche.

      It sounds like I should drop the video?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

        It sounds like I should drop the video?
        Not necessarily. A short, 3-5 minute, narrowly focused video properly positioned could be a very effective lead magnet. It's short, easy to consume, and if you do it right, gives the viewer a quick win.

        It's just a matter of making the offer more compelling.

        If you've done okay with cold calling an offer consisting of "do you have work for me," just imagine what you could do with a better offer for essentially the same thing...

        You are talking about customized videos for each prospect that takes you up on your postcard offer, right?

        If you're talking about a generic, one size fits all video, maybe you should stick to cold calling.
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        • Profile picture of the author MitchHoward
          Yeah. The video is personalized to them. And it has my face. The video converts well.

          I use it calling for people that give me objections. I just tell them I made them a video and ask if I can send it to them since I spent the time to make it.

          From there they're put into my email and follow up funnel.

          I essentially want to use it the same way with direct mail. I'll be calling, and emailing all businesses I send direct mail to.

          So I just need to reword my offer, in contractor terms. I understand that. And yes...BETTER customers that pay faster is what they generally care about in my experience.

          Very good suggestions from all of you.

          Is it advised to test pieces against each other?
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    Hi Mitch,

    John and Gordon are adding good practical advice; follow and test, to see what vibes with you.

    When you focus almost exclusively on the needs of the contractor - and giving almost no thought to *your* business - you cut through skepticism and guarded energies, common to most humans and yep, especially common to contractors.

    You'll find the cold calls and emails and videos yield a better response rate. When you make it 100% about serving their needs, helping, and detaching a bit from your business, you cut through and release doubts and awkward feelings you're experiencing now....and the contractors pick up on your vibe, and work with you more frequently.

    All our business fears point us to a simple, clear, successful solution that we refuse to see until we open up and focus on the needs of our clients, not asking for anything.

    Seems counter-intuitive but it works so darn well it'll make your head spin

    Ryan
    Signature
    Ryan Biddulph, Blogger, Author, World Traveling Digital Nomad
    Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging at Blogging From Paradise
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

    Is it advised to test pieces against each other?
    How can I say this?

    Abso-freaking-lutely!

    Even when you find something that works, you should always be testing new stuff against your control. Even big guns like Agora still play 'beat the control' looking for improvements in response.

    Even seemingly minor improvements in response can make a big difference in results.

    For example, if you mail 1,000 pieces and get a 1% response, that's 10 solid leads per mailing.

    Increase that response by just 1%, and you get 20 solid leads from each mailing. Double the results.

    I picked these numbers out of thin air because the arithmetic was easy, but you get the point...
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    • Profile picture of the author MitchHoward
      Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

      How can I say this?

      Abso-freaking-lutely!

      Even when you find something that works, you should always be testing new stuff against your control. Even big guns like Agora still play 'beat the control' looking for improvements in response.

      Even seemingly minor improvements in response can make a big difference in results.

      For example, if you mail 1,000 pieces and get a 1% response, that's 10 solid leads per mailing.

      Increase that response by just 1%, and you get 20 solid leads from each mailing. Double the results.

      I picked these numbers out of thin air because the arithmetic was easy, but you get the point...

      Thanks for that John,

      Back to your idea of the landing page from the postcard. - Would you say from your experience, I would have better conversions if I directed them from the postcard to a landing page - where they would only put in their email address - then receive the video?

      Do you think this would yield a better response than asking them to call me?

      It took me a very long time to build this video as a lead magnet - but I have been getting good results from it. It really weeds out the tire kickers and it allows me build my sales funnel by capturing emails. I feel like I finally have a decent, solid offer that is risk free to them.

      Now I just have to relay it correctly on a postcard, which seems daunting. - I don't mean to turn this into a sales thread but I honestly don't think I should try to do the copy on my own. For someone in my situation - do you have recommendations on where I might look for someone to hire for something like this?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
        Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

        Thanks for that John,

        Back to your idea of the landing page from the postcard. - Would you say from your experience, I would have better conversions if I directed them from the postcard to a landing page - where they would only put in their email address - then receive the video?

        Do you think this would yield a better response than asking them to call me?

        It took me a very long time to build this video as a lead magnet - but I have been getting good results from it. It really weeds out the tire kickers and it allows me build my sales funnel by capturing emails. I feel like I finally have a decent, solid offer that is risk free to them.

        Now I just have to relay it correctly on a postcard, which seems daunting. - I don't mean to turn this into a sales thread but I honestly don't think I should try to do the copy on my own. For someone in my situation - do you have recommendations on where I might look for someone to hire for something like this?
        Give them a choice. Put the lander url and your phone number on the card.

        Maybe a call to action like:

        If you want to learn more, you can access a free video at this url. Put the video right on the landing page, and offer a PDF summary of the video in exchange for the email.

        Add you phone number (probably as an image so the robocallers don't scrape it) asking people who are ready to talk to call you.

        There's been so much focus on online copy the last while that I'm not sure who the postcard copywriters are any more. I would tend to stay away from the various job boards and places like Fiverr. You may want to look into a listing on a site like directresponsejobs.com.

        Look for people who specialize in short form copy. If you can't find someone who does postcards, you may do well with someone who has a good track record with Facebook ads.

        If I think of anyone, I'll PM you.
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      • Profile picture of the author sasukhram10
        Originally Posted by MitchHoward View Post

        Thanks for that John,

        Back to your idea of the landing page from the postcard. - Would you say from your experience, I would have better conversions if I directed them from the postcard to a landing page - where they would only put in their email address - then receive the video?

        Do you think this would yield a better response than asking them to call me?

        It took me a very long time to build this video as a lead magnet - but I have been getting good results from it. It really weeds out the tire kickers and it allows me build my sales funnel by capturing emails. I feel like I finally have a decent, solid offer that is risk free to them.

        Now I just have to relay it correctly on a postcard, which seems daunting. - I don't mean to turn this into a sales thread but I honestly don't think I should try to do the copy on my own. For someone in my situation - do you have recommendations on where I might look for someone to hire for something like this?
        Mitch,

        IMHO, if the video works well for weeding out tire kickers, you may want to put it at the front, then have interested people give you their name and email address. That way, the ones who actually give you their email information will be that much more serious and they are likely to give you a real email address. Congrats on having a great video that works so well!

        Suzanne
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