Identifying prime prospects for your product, service or expertise can be like searching for a needle in a haystack. But that’s an easy challenge to overcome when you employ “Packaged information offers” in an effective manner, writes Robert Clay of Marketing Wizdom.
Packaged information offers are one of my all-time favourite low-risk/high-return strategies for generating an avalanche of high quality leads at low cost. Essentially, it is the concept of offering information as an inducement to get your prime prospects to raise their hands and identify themselves to you.
This will typically be the same information that you give away free of charge every day of the week when prospects call you, contact you, interact with you in person or go to your website. It’s information that demonstrates that you know what you’re talking about and that you have expertise in your field. That information can easily be packaged into a booklet, audio CD, DVD, special report, bulletin, guide, white paper, e-book … or indeed many other forms.
This information is probably common currency in your business, which means that it costs you very little to package it. At the same time it is likely to be very valuable and useful to your prime prospects, who probably know little about your product, service or expertise. When they’re in the market for what you offer they’re seeking guidance to ensure that they make the right choice, deal with someone they can trust, who is competent … and can deliver to them the outcomes they’re seeking.
Once you’ve packaged your information, you should advertise or promote it. This is a very effective way of generating qualified leads. Generally, the only people who will raise their hands and send for your information will be those who are in the market right now for what you are promoting.
In other words they’re qualified prospects who are seeking answers right now to a problem or need that you can potentially satisfy. By responding to your packaged information offer they’re communicating a keen interest in what you’re offering and that they’re ready to do business now or in the near future. These are the very people you need to focus on right now to maximise your chances of success … and they’re raising their hands and identifying themselves to you. It doesn’t get much better than that!
One of my clients was a recruitment company who specialise in finding jobs for the cream of the 16-24 year old school and college leavers. They were short of good candidates at one time, so rather than advertise each individual job, we persuaded them to offer a packaged information booklet titled “How to win at an interview.” The headline of the ad was “School leavers guide to success” and the body of the ad explained why the booklet would be valuable to any school or college leaver who wanted success. Instead of their normal 3-4 responses per ad, this ad generated 160 enquiries the first week it was placed … and continued to generate similar respones each week it ran. And everyone who responded was a school or college leaver who wanted success.
Another client, a photographer, uses a packaged information offer in his Yellow Pages ad. He offers a “Free guide on how to get the most from your portrait sitting”. Who is likely to respond to that offer? Right … someone who is in the market right now for a portrait. So when they respond he knows who they are and exactly where to focus his attention and future marketing activities.
As a result of that offer, for the first time in his business history, people started booking portrait sessions over the phone, without first visiting his studio and taking up his time. Not only that, but his average sale increased from £110 to £498 in a matter of months. He ended up doing twice the business at almost five times the price. Nearly ten times what he was achieving before.
When we promoted a packaged information offer by direct mail for the UK’s most successful financial adviser, we achieved over sixteen times his normal response. A single mailing achieved over 1,200 responses, every one of them a prime prospect for his services.
The recipe for effective packaged information
The first step in creating your packaged information is to identify precisely who you want to target. Who has the capacity, desire and motivation to buy your product, service or expertise right now? Who already uses or is familiar with your type of product or service? These will be your prime prospects.
Next, identify what information these prime prospects are seeking. They want to make an informed decision, so they’re very likely seeking information and hard honest facts that will give them unbiased answers to their fears, frustrations, concerns, issues and uncertainties about buying your product, service or expertise. Your packaged information should satisfy that craving.
As such, it should contain, in an easy to read style, all the questions and answers a prime prospect would want to ask. It should also contain all the thought provoking questions they may never have considered. It should be completely unbiased and packed with solid answers. It should explain how to avoid potential disappointments or disaster. It should educate your prospects on the vital issues in their decision making process, and alert them to things they wouldn’t otherwise have known, thus positioning you as an authority in your field, and someone who is on the customer’s side.
Consider adding a key questions checklist so that your prime prospects can compare competitive offerings. Don’t lay it out as an ad for your product, service or expertise. People are astute. They can see through a thinly veiled ad a mile off. When you give people an unbiased, factual, thought-provoking package of knowledge, they value it. It should be so useful to your prime prospects that they will want to keep it, use it and refer to it well into the future.
Isn’t that exactly the sort of information you crave when you’re in the market for a product or service? If someone offered you information like that, wouldn’t you be much more drawn to them than you would be to their competitors? That’s why this is such an effective strategy.
Never forget that whilst what you know may be everyday currency to you, it could be of immense value to your prime prospects. So even if you offer this information for free, I recommend that you put a monetary value on it. That will make the information even more desirable and stimulate even greater response.
The benefits of using packaged information correctly are immense. It is a terrific lead generation tool. You can use it to dramatically boost response to your ads, sales letters and email campaigns. It qualifies and flushes your prime prospects out of the woodwork. It tends to produce better quality leads at a fraction of the normal cost. It rapidly builds a database of names, and not just any names, but the names of prime prospects who raise their hands because they want what you offer.
As well as educating and informing your marketplace, it positions you as an authority in your field. It also induces the law of reciprocity, which states that when you give something useful and valuable to people they feel obliged to reciprocate.
Correctly done and positioned, it can put your business ‘on the map’ as never before. The media can often be persuaded to share your knowledge and expertise as public service information. They will sometimes do free write-ups on your business that would cost you £ thousands had you bought the same space as an ad. It can even result in you becoming an industry spokesperson, invited by the media to comment on issues relating to your industry.
Packaged information is therefore one of the most powerful marketing tools you’ll ever use to create immediate results. We use it all the time with clients in every industry you can imagine. Done correctly, it always works, and if you’d like to explore how to use this strategy effectively in your business, please contact us now.
Please share your thoughts and add your questions to the comments below. I’ll try to provide as many answers as possible in my future online videos, seminars, workshops, masterclasses and blog posts.
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