Which TV fall season premiers are you excited about?
Last week I heard people excitedly talking about “their” show starting back up this week… like Parenthood, The Voice, Glee, X-Factor, and Shark Tank.
I also overheard the comment, “I’d give up cable, but there are two shows I can’t miss each week.”
So I checked out the TV Guide site to see what shows were starting. A section on their site titled, “Returning shows: Where we left off,” made me think about storylines and how important they are when constructing your marketing messages.
Think about how they do it in TV shows. The fourth-season opener of ABC’s Shark Tank includes an update on a product from Season 3.
The show Parenthood starts, where it left off last season, with one of the family members about to go off to college. But imagine if you tuned into your favorite show and it didn’t resolve a conflict from the season before and skipped ahead leaving you hanging. Or if it was completely different and you didn’t know what was going on.
When it comes to the messages you send to your customers, sometimes they are put together too quickly. There is not much thought given to building a lasting relationship with the reader. Wouldn’t you agree?
Like a television pilot, you want to immediately connect with your reader and start building a relationship so that the viewers on your list look forward to coming back for more time and time again. And once they become seasoned followers, you want to leave them hungry for more with each message you send.
Here are four ways you can create that same hit TV series power that leaves your readers wanting more:
1) Write as an individual. What makes a TV show a hit? The characters. You start to identify with them and connect. You want to find out what’s happening with them. Write to your prospects and customers as an individual not as a company so they can develop a relationship with you. Sign off your emails, letters and other messages with a person’s name, never from your company name or “the XYZ Team.”
2) Make it personality-driven and worth reading. The reaction consumers have to a TV commercial is similar to the reaction they have to a marketing message that is purely pitch.
You know the kind I’m talking about, where you get a short email that says here’s a great product and you should get it now. While these do work, you are really limiting your results if that’s all you send.
Include useful informational in your messages. This builds loyalty and trust. People will open your emails, letters and messages if they grow to expect helpful information that will improve their situation, solve their problem, etc. They will shy away if they know it’s just another quick sales blurb and a link for them to click on.
Make your messages entertaining. Stories grab reader’s attention and communicate ideas in unique and interesting ways. They are interesting and engaging which makes people not only want to open your messages, but share them with their friends.
Combine entertaining messages with a down-to-earth voice and salesmanship rather than pure promotion for better results. For example, you can write a message that is entertaining, teaches a lesson and also promotes your product or service all at the same time. The key is to keep it interesting.
3) Deliver what people expect. Parenthood has subplots about typical family problems like trying to adopt a child, children misbehaving and work/family conflicts. You wouldn’t expect to watch the show and have a murder subplot because it would be completely out of character.
The same goes with your marketing messages. When a customer or prospect gives you his or her contact information whether it’s registering a product, signing up for your email, or purchasing your services or products, you have a small window of opportunity to make a great impression and make them want to come back.
Part of your impression will be delivering what you say you will. In other words, if you promise to send them useful information, make sure you deliver that and not just promotions. You also want to stay true to your company’s brand and voice so that it’s recognizable to your audience.
4) Fresh content. Imagine if all you had to watch was reruns of your favorite show. After awhile you’d get bored. Keep your content fresh by including timely news events, the latest research or studies, current events in your life, question and answers, opinions about other products or services, contests, stories from your past, case studies and more.
Remember, think like a TV show writer. The more interesting, useful and valuable your marketing messages are, the more consumers will open and respond to them. Follow these tips and your prospects and customers will look forward to reading your messages and grow into a loyal herd.
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