It’s the "effective message" piece where things usually go awry. I should know, I see it ALL the time! It’s part of my job. When clients come to me they often have messages they created before I began working with them. They offer them up for evaluation in the hope that they can be salvaged and still used. Sometimes they can. Sometimes they can’t.
Here are some examples of the kind of statements I see in these poor performing messages:
"Download the 2016 XYZ report now"
"Save Thousands on your XYZ now"
"There’s still time to register for XYZ summit"
"You have ABC. Are you fully prepared in the event XYZ happens?"
"I am a business development specialist from XYZ Corp, and I want to tell you about our ABC technology. Do you have 10 minutes for a call this week?"
Now you and I both know that these folks have the best of intentions when crafting these messages. They are trying to get attention and engage the prospect. However, there is one question that these folks fail to ask that, if they did, would dramatically improve the crafting, engagement, and response level of these messages. It is the question the prospect subconsciously asks as soon as they see the message.
The question is simple: "To what end?"
The prospect wants to know what the intended outcome is. If it is beneficial to them, they will say yes. If it is not, they will say no. If it is vague (like the examples above), they will simply be confused and ignore it. So you have to put yourself into the mind of your prospects who will be reading (or watching or listening to) your messages and ask yourself: "To what end?"
For example, let's say you’re going to put the headline, “Download the 2016 CEO report now” onto your advertisement. You expect that CEOs will see this and download it. Now let’s BECOME the CEO for a moment. Do they really think “Wow the 2016 CEO Report is out! I need it!” when you see the headline? It would be nice if you did, but the chances are slim. Nonetheless, that is what you want a prospect to believe when you write that headline.
In truth, CEOs are very busy people, with high amounts of stress, tons of problems to solve, very little time, and tons of people trying to reach them to pitch. Your message falls into that last category.
So let’s take our headline, add in our question, and provide some hypothetical responses. "Download the 2016 CEO report now."
*To what end? So that you can see what other CEOs think and do.
*To what end? So you can learn from them.
*To what end? So that you can get solutions to your problems.
*To what end? So that you eliminate some of your problems.
*To what end? So that your business is more efficient.
*To what end? So that it makes more money.
*To what end? So that you can tell the shareholders of your success.
*To what end? So you can keep your job next year and even get a raise!
Now THOSE will grab a CEO's attention!
So, let’s compare some headlines using vague versus specific and action- or results-oriented headlines that could be created by thinking about our question.:
"Download the 2016 CEO Report now"
"How would like to assure the board keeps you as CEO and gives you a bigger salary next year?"
They both lead to the same outcome: Downloading the report. But the second headline has gone down the “To what end?” path far enough to create an outcome that is visceral and grabs the prospect by the gut.
The same question can be used for crafting headlines, message content, calls to action, and more. So the next time you’re crafting your message to prospects, stop and ask: "To what end?"
And if you're interested in learning more about crafting messages that get prospects to respond, join my webinar, 3 Steps to Create High Conversion Lead Generation Messages, next Thursday, November 17th, at 10 am PT. We'll be covering why you should focus on activating prospects' gut feelings rather than their logic, why telling prospects what you sale can lose you the sale instantly, an ancient secret to guide your audience through your message, and much more! Click here to register for free!
Erik Luhrs is the founder of The GURUS Selling System and is known as “The Bruce Lee of Lead Generation." He is also the creator of Subconscious Lead Generation and the author of "Be Do Sale". Erik is also a Master Practitioner of NLP, and certified in The Silva Method and Accelerated Learning. His extensive experience and expertise in lead generation, demand generation, marketing, social media, and positioning have lent him many opportunities for professional keynote speaking and training on these topics. Erik has been featured by Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Fox Business News, Selling Power, and Chief Executive.