Have you ever stood in front of a classroom full of middle schoolers and tried to teach them? It’s harder to do than you think. They have more on their minds than what you want to focus on, and getting their attention and keeping them engaged can challenge even experienced instructors.
Which, of course, is not unlike direct marketing. Unless your client, customer, or donor is actively seeking your products or services, your email, your direct mail package, or your social media update is just one more item or distraction competing for your target’s attention.
How do you command and keep attention in your marketing? Although exchanging chocolate for compliant behavior never hurts, we think the following three action items might just do the trick:
Make your message relevant, and make it obvious why it’s relevant. You want your readers to know “what’s in it for me?” within seconds of looking at your marketing piece.
Develop a history of trust. Don’t bombard your market with junk. “More” is not always better. Make sure every communication you share is targeted, well-written, and timely. Doing so ensures that your market will look forward to receiving your direct marketing, not dread it.
Always leave them smarter than you found them. People like learning and improving themselves—when the information is presented in an interesting way. By educating your audience in some way in your marketing, even if your readers don’t respond to a particular offer, they will be more likely to review your next one more closely if they know there’s something useable and practical to gain by it.
The most effective teachers aren’t the ones who scream and yell to get their students’ attention.No, the most effective teachers are the ones who take the time to get to know and connect with the very people they’re trying to reach.Happy teaching.