My friend Peter Britton is a great copywriter. He has been doing this longer than I care to imagine and I really enjoy the creative ways that he looks at problems and develops solutions that develop strong calls to action.
Here is a recent post Peter wrote. I thought it was on-point and decided to give him another opportunity to shine.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
You CAN use Data to Increase ROI!
June 17, 2013
Big Data – Little Data: Use it or Lose It.
Have you seen all the blog posts, feature articles and general who-haw about BIG DATA lately?
Well, if you are a copywriter, you probably are asking yourself one question, “What does that mean to me?”
Well, whether it’s big data or little data, your job as a copywriter is to use it to increase the power of your copy! So, for all of you who write any type of direct response copy that allows for variable personalization – an email, or a direct mail package – this is a big data (and little data) is a BIG DEAL!
Someone somewhere has put in long hours to gather data on prospects and customers, the least you can do is figure out a way to use it to punch up your copy.
Let’s look at five simple data capture examples that can put power in your words and increase response.
- Name. The most obvious piece of data you can grab and use. If you can personalize your sales message and talk directly with your prospect, you have made the major leap ahead of all those letters and emails that start “Dear Friend.” Just don’t overuse that name. Put yourself in your reader’s shoes. If you just met someone, and they asked for your name, and then that stranger repeated your name back to you at the beginning of every sentence, you would end the conversation as quickly as possible. In the body of your letter or email, the MAXIMUM number of times you should use the name of the reader is three. Instead, write in the “You-niverse.” Use “you, your, you’re and yours” in place of that name. Your readers will love knowing that you are writing directly to them.
- Address. This can be a street address or city name. Here’s a simple example of how to add the power of personalization for a reader who lives in Jolliet, IL. “When you place your order today for this widget, you will move to that elite circle of the smartest and hippest people in Joliet!” Do you ever watch the wrestling shows on TV? A “good guy” wrestler will do an interview in the ring and say how happy he is in <place city name here.> The crowd goes wild. (In wrestling, it’s called a “cheap pop.”) Everyone likes to see his or her city or town name in front of them. And if it makes them feel good, you are closer to a sale!
- Date of Birth. There’s a way you can use a birth date, without mentioning the day or month or year, as long as it happens in the next 30 days. I bet you would get a warm and fuzzy if you read a letter or email that included a line like, “and we just wanted to add out voice wishing you a Happy Birthday next month.” A word of warning: if you decide to wish the reader good wishes on a specific birthday, don’t do it for the 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, etc. It seems people don’t like to be reminded their next birthday commemorates another decade!
- Date of last purchase. Those smart people down in marketing, product management or IT probably figured out a way to capture the “date of last purchase.” So, as a great Direct Response copywriter, you should be able to figure out a way to add that data into your next message to that customer. “Thanks for your purchase of last May12. I’m sure you’ve enjoyed hours and hours of great play on that vintage 1919 All-Metal Kazoo! Did you know that we are just now releasing a new vintage 1942 All-American Kazoo, resplendent in Red, White and Blue patriotic colors?” Use the data you have and ask yourself this: what else and what next?
- Type of last payment. Did your customer use a credit card to make their last purchase? Did they pay by company check or even by PayPal? Well, a smart DM writer knows how to use this information as a benefit and generate the next sale. “Last month you purchased the Class 4.1 Super Accountant Software package using the company credit card. I just wanted to reconfirm with you that, for your complete security and confidence, we deleted all the credit card details from your file: we don’t keep the number, expiry date or even the brand of card you used. That’s why, when you make your next purchase – have you seen the latest release of Accounting for America 5.1 – you will be asked to resubmit your credit card information.”
I hope this generated some brain activity on your part, either as a writer or a direct marketer, to look at your data – BIG DATA or little data – and uncover the benefits you can use to increase ROI!
I welcome your comments on this posting, or any other you see here at Marketing Myths & Magic on TheWriteAnswers.com. Just hit that “comments” button below and tell me what you think… Also, feel free to pass along the link to this page, or include any of my posts in your work, just please remember to give me some of the credit…
Peter T. Britton, Resultant