Gaining a competitive edge against your competition isn’t difficult when you know more than they do. You don’t have to dump a bunch of money into a marketing campaign to get ahead. You just have to follow the rules of marketing that they’re ignoring.
Luckily for you, most businesses ignore effective marketing principles because they’re hypnotized by internet marketers selling gimmicks that promise them quick results. If you want to get ahead, skip the gimmicks and do what your competition isn’t doing.
1. Describe what you do in ways your customers understand
Have you ever landed on a website and didn’t understand what services were being offered? Too often, businesses use jargon to describe what they do and visitors don’t understand.
The Free Dictionary defines jargon in two ways:
- “A specialized language of a trade, profession, or similar group, especially when viewed as difficult to understand by outsiders.”
- “Nonsensical or incoherent language.”
While jargon is useful within an industry, it’s not a good marketing tool. Business owners should know they’ll never create an avalanche of conversions by stringing together words their customers don’t understand.
For instance, a business might publish the following on their homepage, “we are leaders in innovation that stands the test of time, helping business owners streamline their assets, accelerate growth, and increase productivity.”
That sounds good, but what does it actually mean? Who would benefit from their services? Everyone who wants growth? Investigating further might reveal that the company sells team collaboration software. Oh, who knew?
The problem with publishing jargon is that it doesn’t work as well as you think. The way you describe your products should reflect what the customer needs to know. Your website isn’t a creative writing assignment, it’s a marketing tool that will make or break your sales.
Avoid jargon in a jargon-filled industry is possible
The legal system is known for its jargon; legal documents are written in English, but it’s not really English. When people say contracts are written in “legalese” they’re not joking!
On the web, few lawyers explain what they do in terms visitors can understand, however, personal injury lawyers Marks & Harrison do it well. Instead of just highlighting their recoveries and case wins, they appeal to people facing specific situations.
Most injury lawyer websites group every injured person together and say, “if you’ve been injured, call us.” Being that general misses the fundamental principle of marketing that requires appealing to a specific group of people to be effective.
Whatever business you’re in, you can’t over-explain what you do. You don’t need to be wordy, but if your services or products appeal to different situations and circumstances, say so. Spell it out for people so they know your service is designed for them.
2. ABS: Always Be Segmenting
How intricately have you narrowed down your target market? How many segments do you have for your email list? Did you stop segmenting once a contact signed up? If you’re not continually capturing information from your existing contacts, you’re not leveraging the power of segmentation.
The reason professional marketers send out emails in a drip-feed isn’t to promote themselves. They’re fishing for information. They’re asking contacts to voluntarily “raise their hand” to identify what else they’re interested in. Every time a contact clicks a link, they’re added to another segment that further defines who they are. If you’re not doing this, your marketing power is deflated.
Think about the last time you received a marketing email you weren’t interested in. Ten minutes ago? You probably dump a lot of emails in the trash. Now, imagine that’s what some of your subscribers are doing with your emails for the same reason.
Segmenting your list on a continual basis is important. Never stop collecting details about your list. It’s the only way you’ll be able to target your customers with precisely what they want.
For instance, if you sell clothing and want to run a 50% off sale, you could send out a general email announcing your sale. That’s what everyone does. Or, you could send separate emails to men and women and link them directly to the men’s or women’s clothing section on your website. Now they don’t have to do any work. If you know who owns a pet, you could even send a special email to pet owners announcing your sale on jackets for dogs.
Sending out a general email is effective, but a specifically targeted email will always generate better results.