BLOG: Eye-Popping Tips

From Karen Saunders

Your Branding, Marketing & Self-Publishing Coach

Capture Clients With Words That “Hook” and Graphics That “Kick!”

Do the marketing pieces you send out lack pizzazz and personality? Are they capturing the clients you want to work with?

As your company’s in-house graphics person–perhaps more by default than by intention–you’re pressed to be a jack/jill-of-all-trades. You want to do a great job of producing promotional pieces, but you have little time to learn advanced design and marketing skills. Your ongoing challenge is learning to do a little more to get a lot better results–quickly and painlessly. How can you improve them?

What Techniques Can You Apply NOW?

Take these 5 design/marketing tips to heart. Using them consistently will save you time in the long run and attract more customers.

#1 Develop a brand identity and stick with it

Branding is an all-encompassing concept that brings together your business’s product mix, pricing, ambience, promotions, identity, and much more. From a graphics point of view, it’s your logo, stationery, business card, website, and flyers that create a graphic personality. Your descriptive tag line bonds these pieces with added pizzazz. Think about familiar brands like Nike’s. You know what it offers instantly when you see the logo (the Nike swoosh) and tag line (Just Do It!). You want that kind of instant recognition for your company.

The results? Your messages get noticed because you’ve built credibility and recognition into your brand through consistent use of graphic identity techniques.

#2 “Hook” customers with persuasive writing and a “call to action”

Make a habit of doing these two things: Use persuasive words that “hook” their interest, and include a well-defined call to action in every piece. When writing marketing pieces, what can you do to make them more effective? Apply these basics:

— Know who you are writing for and keep their preferences in mind as you write each word.

— Put your message in terms of “you” rather than “I” or “we.” People don’t care about what “we” offer; they care about how your product or service can make their lives better.

— Make it clear what your readers should do, think, or believe as a result of reading the information you present.

— State your intention as a command–known as a “call to action.” It can be as simple as “Call Today” or “Order It Now.”

The results? The whole point is to encourage your prospects to take action! Whether it’s to send an email or pick up the phone and call you, using precision wordsmithing persuades your prospects to take action…now!

#3 Use digital photography and illustrations to add “kick” to your marketing pieces

A ho-hum marketing piece generates few calls. What a waste! Learn the ins and outs of working with digital photography and illustrations–so much easier with Internet resources galore to choose from. A few quick tips:

— Place your strongest image in the top half of the page where it will get the best visibility.

— Using one large picture makes a stronger impression than several smaller ones.

— Group several small pictures so they collectively form a single element.

— Juxtapose a small picture with a larger one for contrast.

The results? Photos and illustrations help you add the “eye” appeal that translates into “buy” appeal.

#4 Jazz up your layouts so your most important points stand out

Break up monotonous lines of text with attractive “pull quotes” or “call-outs,” which make critical information stand out on the page. To create a pull quote, just copy a provocative or challenging statement from your text and paste it into a different position on the page using large, contrasting type. Add decorative quotation marks, border it with lines, or place it inside a box to jazz it up.

The results? The points of interest you’ve added draw the reader’s eye to the exact point you want them to remember.

#5 Prevent production problems BEFORE your graphic files go to print

You need to get a marketing piece you’ve designed to the printer pronto—a hurdle you’ve never jumped before. You call a few printers you know. They talk about the technical specifications that go into preparing files for printing. They hit you with terms like registration, trapping, dot gain, ink names, bleeds, fonts, graphic file formats, width of spine, line screen, and resolution. What the *** are they saying? Don’t get stuck in the terminology and feel frustrated. Turn to “a design pro” that’s available 24/7—that is, an ebook called “Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal: How to easily transform your marketing pieces into dazzling, persuasive sales tools!” (available at www.BuyAppealmarketing.com). Consult this resource first, then apply the techniques where you need them, whenever you need them.

The results? By having this quick reference at your fingertips, you cut short your technical learning curve. Keep applying the tips in “Turn Eye Appeal into Buy Appeal” and you’ll free up your time for the myriad other projects you have to do.

Use this easy-to-follow reference and add new “hooks” and a “kick” to your marketing pieces. When you do, your customers will do more than say “Wow”—they’ll call about your company’s products and services. You’ll get the results you want and make your job easier, too.

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