Your out of office message is probably the most hard-working colleague you have ever had: diligently answers all messages right away. It reaches the sender when their attention is high, as they have just sent you an email and happy to get the response right away.
Why let them down and waste this fantastic opportunity by sending a boring out of office message, that nobody really opens, (apart from quickly checking the return date)? Below you’ll get a bunch of cool ideas on how to make better use of this often overlooked communication tool.
First things first
Before you get too creative, don’t forget that the main goal of the out of office message is to let the sender know:
that you are not able to take their message, it’s an automated message
if there is any replacement, who helps them while you’re away (if it applies)
when you’ll be able to answer. (Be generous with yourself when committing to the date when you get back to the person, and leave some time after you return. Anything is better than ‘as soon as possible’.)
Use a friendly tone
The out of office message is part of your communication, so no need to use a more official style than you normally use when talking to your clients. Use the same tone you would otherwise, the sender should feel that even if you’re not there, you care for them.
“I can’t believe I’m missing your message, but I [insert here what you’ll do at your holiday].” You can be personal, and write about your plans for the holiday (anything is better than “I’m currently out of the office.”)
“I’ll be so happy to find your email once I’m back, and I can’t wait to catch up with you [insert here when].” (Obviously, it’s just an example, use a friendly style that reminds the sender of you.)
“If your question can’t wait, please do me a favour, and forward your message to [contact person] who will be happy to take care of you.”
Make your Out of office message work for you
The sender is faced with a disappointment as you’re not available, so it’s time to sweeten the pill and give them something exciting (while increasing the engagement with your business.) Find a few ideas below.
#1 Share your latest post, video, article
While the sender reads your OOO message anyway, that’s the best place to offer them a really relevant and exciting post, article, video you created. This can be the latest one you prepared for this occasion, or you can pick an earlier one, the most important is the relevancy. (Like a year planner or a checklist.)
“I don’t want you to leave empty-handed, so before I left I prepared this [insert here the content topic] for you to read while I’m away.”
#2 Ask them to sign up for your email list
You can grow your database while being away from the office, how cool is that! It’s only possible however, if you give the sender a very – very – good reason to do so. If you plan to send something valuable (a trend report e.g.) for your database once you return, it’s a good idea to increase the excitement and invite senders to be among the first ones to receive it.
“Right after I return, I finalise our [insert here the content topic], and send it to all the lovely people who signed up for our newsletter. If you want to be among the first ones to see it, please share your wish here: link.”
#3 Ask them to fill in a survey
If you have a survey anyway, or want to gather some info about your audience, you can also use the OOO message to do this. Remember to include a very simple survey with only a few questions.
“Even if we can’t talk right now, I’d love to hear your opinion about [topic of the survey]. It has five quick questions, and I’m happy to share the results with you: link.”
#4 Raise funds for charity
Yes, the OOO message can do that! Ask the sender to comment on a social media photo – or do something that is very easy to do – and you’ll donate £x for each comment. This increases the engagement of the sender for a good cause.
“Before you go, could you do me a favour, and with one comment help [name of the cause]. Once I’m back, I’ll donate £5 for each comment on this post (link) to [name of the charity].”
#5 Show how much people love you
Do you have a testimonial or a review from a client that you are very proud of? Would you shout out about it to everybody? Do it now, in your OOO message that gets to all the senders while you’re away. The best is to add a video, but if you don’t have that, you can add a written one.
“Even if I love being on holiday, I can’t wait to get back, as we have amazing clients like [name of the client who gave the testimonial] who [sum up the main message]. I’m so proud of this feedback, if you have a minute, please watch it here: link.”
Don’t forget the subject line
Instead of the boring Out of office subject line that is really impersonal, adjust the subject to the theme of the email. If you offer a valuable piece of content, you can write ‘I have something for you.’ or ‘I can’t wait to get back to you, meanwhile I have prepared this for you,’
Warning: the above is only recommended if it’s your dedicated business email. Be careful with the general and customer service emails. You can still use a friendly tone, as if you were talking to the client, but think of the potential messages, that might include complaints.
Have you picked up any of the above? Do you have any other ideas? Please get back to me and let me know, I will read it and reply to it (once I’m back from my holiday:) – firstname.lastname@example.org
The article was written by Timea Kadar, chief marketing advisor of Francis Cooper Marketing Consultancy. She has been in marketing for 21 years, and since then has planned and run thousands of campaigns for global enterprises and startup companies. If you liked it and want to get more of these kinds of things, ask for the weekly Profit and (G)Loss Statement about the marketing wins, losses, and lessons here.
There are several urban legends, tips, and word of mouth knowledge that is passed on about how LinkedIn works. And I’m the last to say I know better. What I can say though is that I tried and tested, several times, at several accounts, and I share my experience based on these tests.
#1 LinkedIn algorithm prefers comments that are added right after the post was published and will show it to more people
As I said above, I can’t say explicitly if it’s true or false – and nobody else can. LinkedIn doesn’t publish its algorithm preferences, and even if it did, these change. So anyone saying anything about what LinkedIn likes or dislikes is spreading an urban legend. My own research doesn’t show a correlation between the imminency of the comments added and the number of views the post reached. The below Halloween post I added on a Saturday afternoon, and comments started to come in the days after, and with only 9 comments it reached 1,481 views. The post on the right I published in the morning, it was commented on right away, and the reach is lower (1,212). This is not the only time when I see no correlation between the imminency of the comments and the reach. It’s great to have comments, no matter when.
#2 LinkedIn doesn’t like external links, so if you add it in the post, it will have fewer views.
The above belief makes people add links in the first comment, which becomes a hard-to-find comment once several comments are added. It’s the most annoying when I’m really interested in something the author talks about but I find out that they wanted to please Linkedin more than me 🙁
I decided to focus more on my readers and user experience than the algorithm, and it was rewarded with a 50% higher click through rate of the link versus when it’s in the comments. So even if this belief is true, I won’t make my readers look for the link in the comments. (Besides, I’m not experiencing fewer views when the link is in the post.
#3 LinkedIn is a professional platform, personal content won’t work there
There’s no platform on Earth (and potentially in the universe, but I have no proof of that) where stories wouldn’t work. People don’t wear suits and tie when reading Linkedin and then switch to pyjamas before turning to Facebook! In a lot of cases, they don’t even notice where they are. My posts with the highest number of views are all about my story or look at the one below (more than 10,000 views). It’s true however that the story has to make a point, and shouldn’t be just for the sake of sharing a story.
#4 LinkedIn is for B2B businesses
While the majority of the businesses are B2B, if you have your B2C customer on LinkedIn, you can reach them there. Remember that people don’t change their hats, they can be on LinkedIn as a business owner AND a busy mum AND a dog owner at the same time. Just two examples below whose posts I really love: Anthony takes us to wonderful places and shares amazing stories as a travel expert (non-business). (No wonder he retrained as a copywriter for the covid period.)
April’s posts are always popular, she is a permanent make up artist and anti-ageing therapist.
Whether you’re B2B or B2C, you are talking to people, and if you can impress them, you’ll do good on LinkedIn.
#5 LinkedIn Stories is a new feature that LinkedIn will show to a lot of people
It’s really new, but it hasn’t made it yet on LinkedIn. I tried several various types of content reaching 21-21 views, while the same content reached thousands as a post. This below is my first Tik Tok video. It had 170 views on Tik Tok (I have 6 followers).
I uploaded the same to Instagram Story: 30 views (4,300 followers.) Linkedin Story: 6 views (3,800 connections). When I posted it in the feed, over 400 views. The same way as one person doesn’t have to be good at everything, one platform doesn’t have to do everything.
Don’t try to impress the algorithm, the gurus, LinkedIn, but your audience. And while it’s recommended to keep track of numbers, don’t be lost in the count of views, likes, comments, but the quality of the connections you make
The article was written by Timea Kadar. She started the 30-day LinkedIn Challenge in January 2020 to help business owners get into the habit of using LinkedIn, build their strategy, and get quality connections and leads in 30 days. Read more about the Challenge here.
If your “payment” for your work is a bio at the end of the post and links within the article – which is the case in guest posts – you should make this work hard for you. I show you how and give you an easy to follow example.
When you write a guest post you obviously do your best to show your strength and expertise on the subject while giving the audience valuable insight into what you know. You are done, it is brilliant, you checked it several times – only the bio is missing from the end. You quickly look for an earlier bio to copy-paste or scribble down a condensed version of your CV to be able to send it by the deadline.
Well, until now! Your compensation for the whole article is the attention you get for your own site and activity, so give as much attention to your bio as to the whole post. To make it absolutely clear right at the beginning: the reader doesn’t care who wrote the piece they are reading. Unless they are writers themselves, or you are a celebrity (in which case you don’t need to worry about your bio), readers are not necessarily interested in the author. Even if they finish reading the piece, they are not obliged to go on to read the bio. This is the reason why you shouldn’t list all your previous achievements, publications, qualifications and degrees.
Instead, go through these three steps to make the article and the bio work for you
#1 Pick one single goal you would like to achieve when readers click through. This seems to be easy: you usually want them to get through to your blog, website or social media, but the fact is that the readers don’t just want to click through to see another blog. Therefore, narrow it down to a more specific goal which the reader can easily relate to and which naturally matches your guest post. It could be a specific article which has more info on the discussed subject, your TEDTalk on the topic, or even an e-book or a video series they should sign up to. Tailor your bio and the links to support this goal.
To avoid any misunderstanding: your article should be a useful and brilliant piece in itself, not just some trailer that you excel in the content behind the click. But as an expert, you must have loads of additional info about your topic and you should link to these instead of your general webpage.
#2 Once you have a specific goal, match it with one action you want your reader to take. This can be reading a chosen article, watching a video, following one of your social media channels (and the word “one” is important here) or signing up to your lead magnet. Resist the temptation to list many options here and stay focused on the goal. Choose a channel which matches the best the original article and gives the reader the most on top of what he has just read. Also, instead of listing your general achievements, show a result you reached in that specific area.
#3 The last step is to sum it up in a nice message you would like to deliver to your audience. The point is that your bio should not be about you (as surprising as it sounds!) but your reader, and you should be able to show them how they would benefit clicking the link you give in your bio. I give you a bio example at the end of this post (and there is my bio too).
You should add the link(s) to relevant place(s) in the post if the blog owner allows it. (To avoid misunderstanding and to build a fruitful relationship from the start, always read the contribution guidelines, and if it is not clear, ask the blog owner what you can link.) If you are not allowed to place links in the body of the post, you can still refer to the additional info readers can find in your bio.
Measure the impact of your guest post
To be able to measure how effective your guest posts are – and to be able to decide where to put more energy – include a trackable link. It is very easy to build with e.g. Google Link Builder and if you create a chart in Excel with your links and the visitors from them, you can easily keep track of how much it was worth to write the post. If you would like to go a step further, you can also measure how valuable visitors were: if they converted i.e. did what you asked them to do in the call to action.
It is important to note however that the number of visitors coming from an actual article/bio is not the only factor to take into account when deciding where to write. Writing guest posts is also a great tool for building your brand, have a reference and have your name appear more times in an eventual Google search.
Free Bio example for you to follow
To this end use your name the same way (must sound funny but there are people using their names in alternate ways, sometimes with the middle name, sometimes without), you can even think of using a unique author name. If you add a title, use one that is easy to understand and remember, and use it consequently in each bio. This could even be something that is different from the usual titles and therefore catches the attention. (Just to give you an example, a chef could be a Tastemaster if it is appropriate and matches the style of other activities.) Important to note that the structure of the bio is flexible, and you don’t necessarily have to start with your name and title.
If you can, add a professional photo where you are easy to recognize, convincing and can be associated with your profession. Use the same profile photo you use in social media and other communications to build your self-brand.
Finally, here is an example, that you are free to follow and adapt:
The sample bio is for an article written for mothers about how to make their baby fall asleep.
“Anna Eden, Expert of Babysleep, and Founder of www.babysleep.com, is responsible for the calm and silent nights of more than 550 families. Listen to her groundbreaking, 3-minute video of the major misbeliefs about baby sleep issues parents should immediately forget.”
While we experiment with new content marketing tools we shouldn’t forget those good old ones that always work and are a nice change of pace to our content flow. Here I selected those especially suitable for B2B marketing.
#1 Challenge your leads
This is a great tool for collecting leads, activating the existing ones, and reaching out to the clients. We all face challenges, why not to help your audience achieve these. Challenge them to collect 1,000 leads in a month, build up their social presence, set up a motivation strategy or make sure they have a safe IT environment (obviously something you can help them achieve). Sark eMedia has a blogging challenge for 30 days with a closed Facebook group and special offers for members, a very engaged audience.
You send a task to complete every day until the challenge runs, and your audience can improve step by step. In your emails, you can add the link to blog posts and videos you created earlier and it will give you a continuous traffic on your earlier content.
Apparently, most people will not be able to meet the challenge every day, so make sure you include catch-up days, motivate and reward them. But all in all the main point is that you can show your expertise, engage clients and it gives space to several touch points with them. You can contact those who are struggling, to offer your help.
#2 Carry out an ‘audit’
We all want to know where we stand in the industry and versus competitors. So why not to offer an audit to your audience, asking them to fill in a questionnaire so that you can show them where they are compared to the other companies you have on file. This requires some previous data you have from other companies which you can get via a survey and you should have full disclosure about the procedure (i.e it is not an in-depth audit.).
I used this when I recruited guesthouse owners to a booking database. These guys are faced with an unbelievable mass of insult from various companies to advertise with them. So even an awesome offer wouldn’t have been enough to catch their attention. But offering them to show where they stand in the industry opened the door.
I also found this tool dramatically efficient to find out the biggest pain my lead has and then tailor the offer accordingly. Makes it easier to push that red button.
Interviews always make a nice change of pace in your content flow as the dialogue form helps you get through messages easier, but in the B2B communication, it is especially effective. Interview the industry-leading companies what they think about certain issues you all face, how they solve these, what their plans are.
Alternatively, ask authorities about hot new or upcoming legislation in your industry. In your interview, you can help interpret these regulations so that it is clear for your audience. If you can be the first one with this, you can get a very high quotation and referral rate in the press. (Sometimes you even get the interviewee distribute the interview.)
Testimonials can also turn to great interviews if you ask your existing clients how they use and benefit from your service or product. If you can present a well-known client, even better, like in this interview by Campaignmonitor where they asked their client Virgin Experience Days to talk about their success, and then advertised this piece. (Sadly this interview lacks the real facts case studies require, I assume Virgin ED and Co didn’t agree to go into more details.)
It is good to have a network for interviews but you shouldn’t think it is so impossible to get through to the big players. It requires some investigation, following and commenting their activity – which you probably do anyway – and being bold to contact them with a well-written proposal. It is also an opportunity for them to expose their thoughts to an other audience, and many of them are passionate to talk about their profession. (I asked the then CEO of Booking.com for an interview on LinkedIn and the next day he said yes :-)).
It is crucial to have good questions, though, simply ask the real questions your audience is interested in, and be careful not to end up with a nicely polished PR piece for the partner.
Interviews give credibility to your message, you can refer back to them later as a reference, and you will be the source of essential information for your leads. Who wants more?
If there are success stories why couldn’t be failure stories? Because most companies are reluctant to reveal their failures. And exactly this is why it is a good idea to do it because you stand out. Showing what we screwed up earns the attention and also the admiration of the audience for being brave enough. At the same time, we can show how we stood up after the failure, what we learnt from it, and how we can help them come out of similar issues.
It is a great argument that we already spent the money on failures so that the client doesn’t have to. You can also present case studies of pitfalls of other clients – if they agree.
#5 Combine all the above
Feel free to combine the above tools. You can start a challenge and interview the members, present success and failures based on their challenge. You can offer an audit for them as a reward. Then prepare a study with infographics on the data you collected and distribute it.
If you send your leads a mail with an invitation to any of the above, it will attract their attention much more than a neutral ppt about your offer.
Sitting at the counter at Three being served by a very eager assistant, I had to stop him just to take a photo of this signboard behind him (and the very same board hangs behind each assistant). A very good way of suggesting that I made a good decision sitting here to show that this company is by far the best – supported by an impartial body showing the competitors score. Using the Trustpilot scoring builds credibility. A little roast of the competitors: their bad ranking is displayed as opposed to the good ranking of Three.
Make a note of the headline: instead of the usual “What our clients say” they display a huge Thank you! It is not only an eye catcher but puts the emphasis on the clients and on themselves.
How to maximise the power of testimonials in your business
There is no point in burying nice feedback just on a page of your site (if at all). Use it at each stage of the customer journey and via each possible channel. Try to find testimonials which reinforce the clients’ decision about that particular product or service, about the price (“it would have been worth twice as muc.”), about the speed of the service (“I sent my order, and in 6 hours I had my new sunglasses on.”), about the venue (“Both the venue and the catering were well above the usual conference standard.”)
Our clients are sometimes the best copywriters
Pick the best strap lines from testimonials (and not the whole bit) and spread it all over the website, in some cases it makes a good headline, or can be the title of a blog post! Use these lines as a delicate spice in your communication, and this way it is not only you talking to the client. When brands talk to people they unconsciously raise some concerns, and you immediately answer these with a confirmation from their peers.
Even if you don’t have Trustpilot (which is a good brand, and sends the message that the opinion is reliable), you can use Google and Facebook reviews, display the stars, use screenshots of the reviews to show credibility. Obviously, you can – and should – also ask direct feedback from customers, right after the service: in a video or in writing. They will be more inclined to give it to you then and their positive impression will still be fresh. In case of a conference, course, or training you can ask them to fill in a short form, and you can direct their thinking with some questions. These should focus on what their problem was, what they expected from the service, and how it solved their problem. These will be very helpful for you to use the feedback at exactly the right stage of the journey. (And by the way, a very useful way to find out more about your audience).
It is crucial that testimonials should be specific. If it says: “It was brilliant.”, however positive it is, it hardly helps someone. It should say how exactly it was brilliant, how exactly it solved a problem. Then the next clients will see they have the same problem and will see exactly how it is solved.
Display testimonials everywhere
It is not only for the website! You obviously share them in social, but look at the example I started with, at Three. You can use printed verson of this invaluable feedback at the customer service, at the reception where your clients are waiting for you, or where guests are checking in. You can frame them and put them in meeting rooms, or paint the best straplines on the wall!
In Venice, I saw a restaurant, where one feedback was engraved in a nameplate outside, so if you had no idea which places to choose for your lunch, this was a big help. Five Guys displays the quotes about them offering the best hamburger outside their place.
A final thought: testimonials are good feedback about what we do. But these should be all about thanking our clients for their trust and helping our next potential clients with their decisions.
Author: Tima Kadar, Head of Content at ContentBonum
If you find a good ad, send me it to email@example.com, and I will write about it.
Well, women all know the feeling before waxing – the main wish is to get through it as rapidly as we can, with as little pain as we can. And this is what this billboard promises with the very clever use of “on and off”- instead of saying it will be fast and painless.
Demonstration is better than description
In sales writing one of the challenges is to demonstrate and explain processes, services, results with words instead of showing it. If people can observe something it is always more powerful than reading or listening to an explanation about it. In the above example, if I go to the salon, and see how quick it is, I would be impressed.
Picture made of words
Fortunately, words can also do that: with expressions which make us feel the impact instead of understanding and analysing it. If I say fast, it can be anything from 1 second to a few minutes or an hour depending on what process I am talking about. But expressions like ‘with a click of a button‘ imply that you just push a button and it happens, A more powerful way of saying ‘You can order online fast and easy’.
The same thing happens with ‘the blink of the eye’ – we all know it is one second and unconsciously imagine this blink and fell the speediness. The ‘on and off’ example just does the same: in one second the was is there, and in the other it is not.
As easy as 1,2,3
‘As easy as 1,2,3’ or ‘as easy as abc’ are again great picture-expressions: as we read them we feel how fast it is, and feeling is always stronger than any other understanding.
Be careful: it is not the same as idioms. If I say ‘as easy as pie’ – which is a widely known idiom for being easy – nobody will think of an actual pie, or nobody will feel the easiness. Idioms are also great elements in writing, but in this case, will not have the same impact of showing a picture in our head.
From a great night to goodnight
This Uber ad is displayed on the tube and aims to draw the attention to their better and quicker alternative for late night party-goers. And as discussed above it plays with the “great night – goodnight” word-picture, much much better than “get to your bed in 18 mins”. The good-great word couple can be used the other way round in slogans, headlines: ‘good for you, great for your children‘. Or ‘good people, great results’. Or an actual slogan of Eden Eco Solutions: ‘Good for your business. Great for our world.’
Note, by the way, using a non-round number (18) as the length f the journey. We pay attention and believe more numbers which are not round, so it becomes more credible. Even if in the example it is completely hypothetical, just wants to suggest a very short period.
We take only ‘Wow’ as an answer
If you provide services – like we do with content – we all know there are three types of reactions from our clients when we show them our work. They either say – hopefully in a very rare case – ‘no, this is not something I wanted’, or they say, ‘Fine.’ And the best is when they are impressed, and say ‘Oh wow, this is better than I imagined.’ Instead of writing on our website that we work until our clients are satisfied, why couldn’t we say: ‘We work until you say Wow.’
Use a few of these word-pictures in your copy and it will be more powerful and will clearly demonstrate what you are saying.
Words and photo by Timea Kadar, Global Head of Content at ContentBonum
Not because it is a secret but because they are so overwhelmed by pitches and emails and their daily work that they don’t have the time to tell you this. Having written for various magazines for 5 years, and having pitched successfully many others including Forbes, I can tell you what editors never tell you.
If you ever tried or thought of trying to send an article pitch to an editor (but this is true for any cold email) and it was never answered, you might have made one of the below mistakes. But don’t worry, these are easy to avoid, and you will have a much higher response rate.
#1 Too much ado about you
It is obvious that in such an introductory email you would introduce yourself or your company to justify your expertise and why they should listen to you. However, this should not precede the fact that they are interested in your idea. So even if overall politeness and chronology tell you to introduce yourself first, in a pitch to the editor this should come only after you have their attention. And even then a brief intro is enough.
#2 They have just written about your topic
You don’t necessarily have to be a fan of the paper and read everything about them, but it is nice to have an idea about the types of articles they publish and check back a couple of months what they published to avoid repetition. Look for some niche area they don’t talk about and you could.
#3 You sent a full article
It might seem obvious to show that you can write well and send the whole article they just should publish. In reality (1) editors don’t have the time to read full articles pitched and (2) they prefer to be involved creating the piece. So better to send a few bullet points about what the article would include, or you might want to write a lead.
#4 “I can write about anything that is important for you.”
In most – if not all of the – cases this often used sentence just delegates the task of finding the idea to the editor. And this is exactly they would be happy to have help with. The best help if you come up with specific ideas and show how you would write them. If you have a blog or Facebook with similar topics, you can justify the interest in them.
#5 Sending too much information
It is tempting to attach all your previous work, achievements, blogs and websites, but the editor will surely feel overwhelmed by all these and will never take the time to find out from your blog who you are. On top of that heavy attachments could block their already stuffed email box. It is always nicer to offer in the email that you can send high-quality photos, a presentation etc if they want, and it is your job to make them want 🙂
# +1 Following up
Some editors would call it crazy chasing what some writers do. Following up on FB, Linkedin etc right after sending the email if they have seen your message is not the best way to make them reply. Some experts advise following up frequently using all channels, but I would say you should keep away from that. It can easily happen that the editor misses your first email, so a reminder can be helpful, but I prefer to wait for some time and to tie it to some additional info and then use the opportunity to ask about their opinion.
This ad targets a very specific audience; those who spend 20-40 minutes commuting on the tube and would need some entertainment during this time. It is clearly articulated in the ad that it is going to be short, and both the copy and the picture makes the impression that these books are impossible to put down.
The star of this ad is not a specific book but the fact that any item of the series is a good choice for commuters. What we can learn from it is to target bravely. This ad clearly doesn’t target real bookworms – probably even annoys them – but this doesn’t matter. Doesn’t matter until they have a very strong, easy-to-recognise message sent to their target group, and a unique selling proposition they can point out.
How to find the right target audience for your business
These are your ideal clients, you would like to attract and talk to, so get to know them as much as you can. The best is to set up a so-called buyer persona, i.e. the profile(s) of your target group (sex, age, profession, family status, financial status, hobbies, likes, dislikes etc.).
What are their issues/problems that they look to solve when looking at your business? What are their desires you can fulfill? What is the USP (Unique Selling Proposition) of your business they are attracted by? You can either do a market research with an online survey, or interview a few of your clients. Look at the your customer service complaints and questions, and search for keywords in google and on social media.
By talking to a niche you gain more sales instead of missing out
What kind of misbeliefs do people have about your industry and specifically about your business? During networking try to talk about your business to as many people as you can and listen to their reactions. How do they misunderstand it? What are their questions? Look in the news, media, Facebbok groups and forums dedicated to your profession, what people normally ask and what kind of opinions they share.
As soon as you find out the answers to these questions, you will be able to create your buyer personas and talk only to them. Use their language, write about their problems, and desires, and address them specifically.
Don’t worry losing some of the audience if you are not talking to ‘everyone’. You are more guaranteed to get the attention of your real target group as a reward.
IKEA is often cited in marketing blogs for its marketing solutions and the legendary catalogue which many of us can hardly wait for.
This time I’d like to point out how they inject the essence of their mission during the whole customer experience. This time in the store while we are wandering around with the huge blue shopping bag – and potentially the family – on our side. IKEA’s core mission that they put a lot of thought into each product to make it an absolute star of our home, while at the same time making it very useful. This‘confession’ by the designers displayed next to the product just does that: we learn how much energy and effort they put into this piece. Mixed with some exciting backstage info it highlights precisely in which ways it will serve the customer the best.
Mission statements are not for the CEO’s office
They stress the fact how many different viewpoints are taken into account before the customer is delivered the beautiful end product. It is much better than a simple product description, and tells us a story, makes their mission tangible and approachable.
A mission statement is not something that should be posted in the CEO’s office with some vague sentences nobody remembers. It should be a very down-to-earth articulation of why we go the office every day, why we work for, and it should be very clear to all our clients, partners and vendors.
Start by adding background info on how you come to an ‘end product or service’, how much effort you put into it to make sure the best outcome reaches your client. This kind of content is also great to be posted on social media, as it has a high engagement. People love supporting companies who care.
Probably none of the books about raising a child talk about how in fact parts of this procedure are like convincing your leads to buy from you. But while you can always bin the bad leads, and look for new ones, well…with kids all is left is to try harder.
Concise and repeated call to actions
I quickly learnt that the polite “It would be great if you could get dressed and we could leave in 10 minutes.” has a way less conversion rate than “Get out now.” And the more times you repeat the CTA, the better. The same way: no conditional in marketing call to actions, unless you want readers to contemplate what if NOT… and don’t suppose they will notice that one and only big red button – if it is there just once.
“Tell us a story! Tell it again. Tell an other.” Kids need stories like they need air and food but my sons listen only until it is absolutely engaging. If I want to get off with a very simple one, or it is not exciting enough, I can see their disappointed face and/or they tell me it was much worse than the previous one. They will wait for a new one, but your customer will not.
Give them a reason
The parenting books and articles often emphasise how effective it is to add a reason to our requests and indeed it works from an early age. Just like with adults! Still marketing materials so many times lack the argument and justification why our customer should do what we ask, why it is good for them. This, on the other hand, should not result in a very long and explanatory call to action.
A basic rule in parenting. If I promised them that we go to the adventure park during the weekend, they don’t care if it is rainy, if I have an urgent work to finish, if it is closed. They will not let me escape it, because “You promised it!” This tends to be valid for your target audience. So if you promised them a blog post each week, a pdf right after the exhibition, a Facebook live each month, keep it. It is no excuse, you are busy with product development or you are on conferences. The consequence in communication is a must.
Listen to your heart
There are several books and articles about parenting and millions of pieces of advice from the family, neighbours, school etc on how to raise them. But nobody knows in advance, nobody can guarantee anything. You just have to wait and see what works and what doesn’t. Do what you believe in and keep trying. Am I still talking about the kids or is it now about marketing?