Crafting a Compelling Message Part 4 - Master Your Practice

Crafting a Compelling Message Part 4

So, what else makes up a compelling message? First, a quick review of the earlier parts. You must answer these questions when crafting your compelling message.

Who is the Market?

Who are you?

Why should I choose you versus every other option?

What is your proposition?

What is your practice promise?

What proof of claims?

Offer?

Urgency –deadline or limited number?

Once you have all these, there is still a bit more.

Even when the message has hit on all cylinders up until now, your message can fail to compel if lacks these next two.

Risk Reduction

It is part of human nature to seek safety and security first. If your message contains even a hint of risk, you must address it.

The most obvious of risks is the risk of “losing my money” if I take you up on your offer. This is one reason why free offers are so attractive – they eliminate the risk of monetary loss. They cast the widest net. And when you have a big net, you will catch some unqualified or unwanted fish and shells and garbage and other un-wanteds. If you can tolerate those and filter them out, the totally free offer can be a winner.

The proofs you give in your message are designed to reduce the sense of risk that your prospective patient can experience. More proof given equals more risk reduced.

The totality of your message from the standpoint of concept, design and copy also serve to assure your prospect. Done well and risk is reduced further. Done poorly, and the sense of risk can be enormous.

Risk is relative. Too much is a deal killer. When risk is seen as non-existent, droves of your targeted prospect can respond.

So how can you remove more risk beyond the proofs given in your message?

Guarantees

The most under-used of compelling message tools is the guarantee. The bigger the guarantee, the better. The longer the guarantee, the better.

One does need to carefully check the state regulations regarding guarantees and abide by those. Some states may prohibit the use of guarantees for dental care. Check it out where you live. Get competent legal advice.

Long guarantees reduce your risk of having someone invoke it. One year is better than seven days or one month or three months or six months. Why? Because the longer the guarantee period, the more likely that your user will relax about it. Two things happen: 1. They are so relaxed that they forget about the guarantee or think they have plenty of time. 2. The fact that you are guaranteeing beyond the normally expected time frame shows your confidence in the validity of your offering. That goes a long way in reducing risk for your buyer.

Even when you manage to include all of these principles in your message, other factors influence the success of the message. I will confine this to four additional points.

“How do I respond?”

Clearly showing how to respond is an oft-neglected part of the message.

If your marketing message is a lead generation one (and it generally should be), then you should have multiple ways to respond. This means a web site landing page with a specific web address to direct your prospect there. This web page should have a mechanism for capturing the lead’s information and then continuing the messages with a series of automated emails, reports, etc. If the prospect leaves full information, then a complete offline as well as the online series should ensue.

Ideally, you would like to grade the lead from cold to warm to hot.

A local phone number to call is an obvious, and sometimes neglected part of the response mechanism.

The point here is that making how to respond easy and obvious is important. And these days, the web address is a required part of it all. We are finding most of our best patients expect a dynamic web site chocked full of information. Your web site needs to become one of the major cornerstones of all of your marketing. Going cheap on a web site is just dumb.

 

Mechanics and Creative

Any message can be mechanically correct and still be less effective than it can be if the artistry of how all of it is put together is lacking.

What you say and how you say matter.

This is the reason that top copywriters command such large fees. Marketers know copy makes an enormous difference. Moreover, design has become more important as a differentiator as the society gets more sophisticated. Good copy with great design is more effective than good copy with poor design. The only reason ugly ads are successful is that the copy is so good and most well-designed ads have poor copy. Get both right and you have a winner.

 

Media

Even a well-designed, well-written ad can fail if it goes in the wrong media.

What constitutes wrong media? Any media that does not reach your intended target is the wrong medium.

One must be careful with choosing media because it can appear that a particular medium is the right one, yet for often quirky reasons these can fail utterly.

See who else is using a particular medium? This gets back to the who part of the compelling message: what do they read, watch or listen to? The key is tracking the response so you can measure the success of an ad or message.

 

Perfection Paralysis is Death

Given that most messages are sorely lacking in at least a few of the components of the compelling message principles, you have two imperatives:

  1. Do the best you can using these principles without taking forever to get compelling message together.
  2. Do something, please and get it out! Your competition is largely blind and inept when it comes to effective marketing. Even if your message is not perfect, compared to most of your competition you will be light years ahead!

 

Best,
Charley