It is an unfortunate fact of life that many of the customers we undertake work for as a mailing house and email company come to us after they have sent out an advert that simply doesn’t work.
When this happens these companies naturally want two things: to know why it didn’t work, and to know what to do to make it work.
There can, of course, be many reasons why an advertising campaign doesn’t work, so this list is by no means complete. But it is a list of the most common reasons as to why campaigns do sometimes fail to live up to expectations.
1: The email or letter doesn’t grab attention
If your readers look at your email or letter for a second and hit delete, you’ve lost everything. They never get to see your offer, so they never buy.
This is why we spend so long thinking about subject lines and why we also always add a headline to our advertisements. They are both there to encourage the reader to read.
But it is not just a case of having a headline – it is a case of having the right headline. Headline writing doesn’t mean shouting something out at your audience, nor that you have to boast that you can cater for all their needs in your area of activity. What it means is that you must say something that is different and attractive to the individual to whom you are writing.
That individual will have seen “50% discount” a thousand times. They will have been told that this is a “family business” which is famed for its “friendly approach” to business a million times.
Grabbing attention means being genuinely interesting, and different from what others are saying.
2: The website doesn’t follow on from the email
Most email adverts end with a link to a web page, and time and again we find that the email is indeed sending a lot of people to the web page, but then nothing is happening.
This is usually because the web page is just the website of the company rather than a page specifically written to follow on from this specific advert. Of course going to the general page can work sometimes – but often it simply does not.
If your statistics show that a lot of people are going to the website but you are getting no sales then you need to ensure that you study the page you are sending people to. (If you do come across this problem, by all means email me and I’ll take a look and give you my thoughts – no charge, no obligation.)
3: The writing style throughout is dull, there’s no sense of excitement
OK there are some things that you can’t make exciting, but solving a problem (which is what most adverts try to offer) ought to be made the core of the advert and web page.
The notion, “you have a problem, and this could be the solution” should be exciting and invigorating – all one has to do is find the reasons and set them out in a believable way.
4: Trying to sell lots rather than one
There is always a feeling that one should advertise everything in an advert. After all the customer might want x but you are advertising y, and so nothing will happen.
But contrary to common sense, advertising a lot of products in one go actually reduces response rates, unless you are in a business in which people know who you are and what you do, and expect you to have a catalogue of products.
However, even here the best way forward is to highlight a product that is new, upgraded, discounted, or changed in some way, and then add the fact that you sell everything in this field.
The above four points are, of course, just the four that we notice the most. However there are many other things to consider, and in relation to this we’ve produced a new short document, “How to create a web page that sells (and get the email addresses of the visitors who don’t buy)”.
If you would like a copy please just drop an email to Chris@hamilton-house.com with the phrase “A web page that sells” in the subject line, and we’ll email it straight back to you.
Or if you would prefer to talk, give me a call on 01536 399 000.