How to Use Words to Stimulate Action
by Robert Middleton
I love words. I hate words.
Words can get you attention, develop interest and build trust or they can alienate your prospects, cause confusion and push them away from ever doing business with you.
I'm talking about WORDS today!
Words have impact. They trigger reactions. They stimulate response, they arouse emotions and they initiate either action or avoidance.
Words are tools. Words can be weapons. So we need to be very careful about how we use them. But how do we use words in our marketing in a way that works for us, in a way that gets results?
Well, we need to look at words through the "process/results filter."
Some words describe a process and some words describe a result (there are other kinds of words, of course, but we won't focus on them in this article).
Let's look at the words you might use to promote a program. See if you can tell which paragraph below uses mostly "process words" and which one mostly uses "results words."
This is the opening paragraph of the promotion:
"Attend my webinar on social media marketing and learn more about the key social media tools, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You'll learn many secrets of how to successfully use these tools in your business and your marketing."
"Want to get more response to your marketing? In this special program for self-employed professionals you'll learn about three amazing marketing tools that will generate attention, stimulate interest and explode the response you get to any promotion."
If you haven't guessed yet, the first promotion uses mostly process-oriented words and the second uses mostly results-oriented words. Let's dissect them a bit.
Promo #1 asks you to attend a webinar. Webinar is a process word; it's something you do and there is no inherent benefit in it. Who cares if it's a webinar at this point? You can talk about the format later. Then all the social medial tools are also process words. Again, no inherent benefit in any of them. And learning secrets conveys no direct benefit either, other than that we can use them in our business. The whole paragraph is a big, "So What?"
Promo #2 is a whole different animal. It starts by asking the reader if they want a desirable result - more response to your marketing. Then it targets the audience - self employed professionals, and gives three very specific results they can expect from attending this program. This paragraph is the clear winner.
When you look at your words through the process/results filter it seems very obvious, right? But it's still tricky because, after all, in both of these promotions you are offering a webinar and you are focusing on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
So you have to mention them, don't you?
No, not in the opening paragraph! Eventually, yes. As you continue with your copy in Promo #2 you might say something like the following:
"The three marketing tools that can give you such great results are Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Surprised? You shouldn't be. These three common social media tools are powerhouse promotional tools if you use them the right way. We'll share the secrets that practically nobody is using to spread the word, get positive word-of-mouth, and take all your promotions to the next level."
Now we've taken the social media process words and explained how they can be used to produce desirable results. We realize that there is no inherent value in these words until we add that value with clearly promised results. Notice I didn't even mention the webinar yet. I can put that in later.
Isn't this a program you might be interested in attending?
Of course, but not because it's a webinar about social medial tools, but because it promises you'll learn secrets about using those tools that will give you a clear competitive advantage.
When you write marketing copy for a promotion, such as a teleclass or webinar or talk, put it though the process/results filter and also ask these questions to make sure you've nailed it:
- Is there a clear result or outcome promised? Is it about what you do, vs. what the client gets?
- Am I mostly relying on process and hoping people guess the results I'm offering?
- Would this copy move me into action to find out more, to enroll in the program?
- Am I telling how things work in the copy or promising them results if they take action?
- And finally... So what? If I get that result, so what? What's really in it for me?
Can you think of a promotion you did recently that fell flat? Take another look at it and ask if it was mostly process or mostly results and then take immediate action to make it better and increase its impact.
What do you do to make sure your copy is results, not process-oriented?
P.S. Here's an example of a results-oriented promotion:
How The Marketing Club Helps to Grow Your Business
The purpose of the Marketing Club is to give you the know-how and the tools to help you attract more of your ideal clients.
In the Club you'll learn how to market yourself with impact, develop attention-getting marketing materials, set more appointments, and close more sales with your ideal clients.
And that's just the start.
You'll learn step-by-step marketing strategies to get in front of the right people with the right message and get more attention, interest and response from every promotion.
And that's only the course materials in the Club!
You'll also get hands-on help in putting your marketing into action, ensuring you'll get results, instead of going in circles.
I personally give feedback and support to anyone in the Club who asks for it. Every day I help Club members get unstuck, move forward and take effective marketing actions.
If marketing has been a struggle for you or if you're not consistently attracting more of your ideal clients, the Marketing Club has what you've always been looking for, all in one place.
Learn more about the Marketing Club today at www.actionplan.com.
© 2013 Robert Middleton. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.
This article is by Robert Middleton of Action Plan Marketing. Please visit Robert's web site at www.actionplan.com for additional marketing articles and resources on marketing for professional service businesses.