Message & Media: How Many Ways Can You Say It?
In addition to saying the same thing in different ways, the sheer heft of the 16-page self-mailer undoubtedly added to its credibility in the eyes of this audience and its success. Even though the same memo design was used on all three versions, the 16-pager looked and felt more important than the 4-page direct mail piece. And yes, the 16-page version won hands down, even after factoring in the cost of the additional paper and postage.
Techniques for Offers, Too!
Applying the same technique, I learned from direct marketing all-stars Bob Stone and Denny Hatch that it pays to talk about key offer benefits in different ways in the same marketing message. Again, you never know which one of these will offer the highest perceived value to your reader:
- You pay just $2 (reg. $4)
- Save 50%
- Buy 2 for the price of 1
- Buy 1, Get 1 Free
- 50% off
And here's proof you can use this technique across channels: In a mailing I recently received for the book "Complete Photography" from National Geographic, the letter alone used 39 different words or phrases to describe the book.
The same day I received this direct mail piece, I also received an email reminder for Direct Marketing Day @ Your Desk. While this email was much shorter than the letter from National Geographic, it included six different references to the event—virtual conference, expo, virtual show, educational sessions, networking opportunity and archived show. Some people go to conferences, others prefer attending shows or expos. But by including them all, there was more opportunity to connect with more people.
Now it's your turn. How many ways can you say the same thing about your product's key benefits? Make a list of attributes, then list five to 10 different ways to talk about them. Use your thesaurus, synonym finder, Google and whatever else inspires you, including brainstorming with your co-workers. The result will help you write copy and content that engages more readers.