We see a lot of marketing and sales material that just doesn’t get the job done.Somebody scribbled a few words (probably copying what they saw elsewhere)….a graphic designer made it look “pretty”……but no one asked the two most important questions about all those flyers, brochures, websites, print ads, fact sheets, and postcards:
1) “Will this attract potential customers?”
2) “Will this move potential customers to the next step?”
This guide helps you grade the business impact of your marketing materials so that you can answer those two essential questions.
Below, we’ve identified fifteen factors that exist in every successful marketing piece. Use this guide to identify what needs improvement.
To use the guide:
1) start with your most frequently-used marketing piece
2) assign a grade to each success factor using the guide below
3) revise as needed, starting with elements graded D or F
4) use the same process to grade and revise your remaining marketing materials
For each marketing piece, grade each success factor A, B, C, D, or F:
A – meets all criteria. Highly effective. True to the spirit of your business.
B – meets most but not all criteria. Factual but dry rather than persuasive and engaging. May copy some elements from competitors.
C – meets some but not all criteria. Lackluster, does not draw attention; heavily influenced by competitor’s marketing materials.
D – meets few criteria. Not original or interesting. Generally ineffective.
F – does not meet any of the criteria. Completely ineffective. A waste of time and money.
Success Factors – Grading Sheet
|1. Headline||The headline grabs
Boring or uninteresting.
NOT the name of your business or a bland fact
“Chocolate!”, for a workshop on chocolate’s
“Subtract your way to freedom”, for a meditation
“Nutrition Classes At ABC Wellness Center”,
|Explain why customers experience your business, product or service as
markedly different from competitors
|Don’t list YOUR
Give the reasons your actual customers mention.
“Open 24/7″, for a card-access health club
“Yoga Alliance-registered instructors” for an
“Women’s health experts”, for a
outcomes of your program or services that are measurable, material,
physical or concrete
|Don’t jump to
conclusions. Not all women want a “bikini body”. Not all guys want
“Set a new PR”, for a masters swim coach
“Knock ‘em dead at the reunion”, for a bootcamp
“Lower your cholesterol
without drugs”, for an osteopathic physician
“Stop back pain – without surgery”, for a
outcomes of your program or services that are not measurable, material
|Focus on feelings,
“Enjoy playing with the kids again”
|5. Emotional “hot
|Consider the top
emotional triggers that motivate most consumer buying decisions
|Don’t jump to
conclusions about customer motivation.
Desire for control
Fun is its own reward
|6. Call to action||Spell out what you
want readers or viewers of this marketing piece to do next.
|Answer the 4 Ws:
What do you want them to do? (i.e., register,
How do you want them to do it? (i.e., phone or
When do you want them to do it (i.e., by a
Why will they want to do it? (i.e., limited
Call 111-222-3333 to register by Fri., 6/1 -
“Click to download our “Corporate Wellness ROI
“Contact us for more information”,
|7. Product details||Highlight key
aspects of the product or service AND why they matter
|Don’t dump an
endless list of features and benefits
“Personal attention: never more than 10 students
“No treadmill tedium! – Twenty different ways to
|8. Solutions||Explain the health
& wellness problem you solve, or opportunity you help customers
|List only those
characteristics of your business, product and service that help make
people’s lives better.
“USOC-experienced coaches cut minutes off your
“Defeat Diabetes teaches you non-drug strategies
“We’ll teach you all you need to know about
|9. Written content
and text layout
|Good use of white
Short words, sentences, paragraphs
paragraphs with no breaks
Illogical or no organization
Unimportant trivia about your business
Difficult to read
Marketing gobbledygook (“world class service”)
Extensive use of light text on dark background
Text obscured by background image
|10. Images &/or
|Use photos of your
real business, real customers, real classes, etc.
Make sure background images don’t obscure text
Choose relevant images – don’t promote a group
|11. Business name &
key contact info
address if you have a storefront, telephone, email, web address.
|Your business name
should not be the most prominent element
Don’t put it in the headline or plaster it
Omit fax #
Can often skip web address if it obvious in your
|Design for the
location where this marketing collateral will be displayed, read, etc.
people will be sitting at a desk with great lighting when they review
Don’t assume that your materials will be
|For example, flyers are usually viewed from several feet away, so a very
large font is often effective for the headline and sub-heading.
The lower half of a rack cards is usually hidden
|13. Authenticity||Choose a look, feel
and tone that truly represents how customers experience your business
style marketing in a high-touch business
Blindly copying marketing themes and concepts
Dry-as-dust content for a high-energy business
Use of super-fit images when you target normal
|14. Interest &
|At first glance,
your marketing collateral must create that spark of curiosity -
otherwise, no one will bother reading further
Your business name as headline
Content you are excited about that is not important to potential
“We’re positive we’re ANTI – anti-gimmick,
“Family owned and operated” from a personal
Raw data on square feet, number of pieces of equipment, total poundage
Guides them through the content in logical order
Points them to the call to action
|No light text on
Avoid tiny text
Use of enormous images and logos that sharply