By Bob Leduc
I paid bills last night. After writing checks on the
business account I noticed a little sticky note on the next
check reminding me to get more checks printed.
My mail this morning included a sale catalog from an office
supply company I use. The back cover included a picture of
the same style business check I've been using. Printed over
the check was the following personal message: "Bob ...Don't
be caught short. Stock up now for the coming year and save
up to 73 percent." I immediately called them with my order.
This big corporation understands the value of personalized
messages. Their system "remembers" how often I order certain
items and produces a personalized offer on schedule. I'm
sure this personalization develops sales for them at a rate
many times greater than their nearest competitor.
Personalized messages offer an even greater advantage for
small businesses. Plus, it's an easy and inexpensive
procedure to implement.
The Most Important Word
What's the most important word you know? It's your name. The
most important word your prospects and customers know is
their name. It's a powerful magnet you can use anytime you
want to get their immediate attention.
For example, I always include my customer's or prospect's
first name on the subject line of my outgoing email
messages. It immediately attracts attention and guarantees
my message gets read. I do this manually. But you may want
to investigate some of the software developed to merge
different text into the subject line and body copy of each
You Need A Real Name
You already have the personal names of your customers.
You'll also have personal names when you compile or rent a
prospect list for postal mail. The name is part of the
postal address. But you may not have the personal name for
most of the prospects you collected online at your website
or from email requests. Often you have only their email
I discovered an effective alternative to use when I don't
have a person's real name. It's hidden in every email
address. It's the part of the email address to the left of
the "@" symbol. For an email address of "AB6@y...", it's
the "AB6" portion. I insert this part of the email address
where I would normally put the person's first name. It's not
as personal as the real first name but it attracts more
attention and produces a higher response than no
Make a habit of collecting and storing the real name of each
prospect in addition to their email address so you can use
it to personalize your messages to them. Look for it in the
header of the email message when the sender doesn't "sign"
Tip: You'll automatically get more real names in email
messages by revealing your real name first. I do this by
using my real name as my email address. Over 75 percent of
the email messages I receive include the sender's real first
Don't Overdo It
Use a person's name no more than 2 or 3 times in a
communication. Inserting it too many times annoys the reader
and broadcasts that the message is part of an automated mass
Sometimes you don't need much more than a prospect's name to
get results. For example, I send a lot of prospecting
postcards by postal mail to targeted lists. The only message
on the postcard is the recipient's name followed by a
benefit statement plus a phone number, email address or
website address where the prospect can get more information.
I always get a high response because each recipient is
attracted by their name and can't resist reading the rest of
my brief message. None of these postcards get tossed without
Start personalizing your communications to prospects and
customers. It will substantially increase the response you
get - without increasing your costs.
Turn Prospects into Buyers
It may take 4 to 7 visits before your web visitors buy from you. New information, regular changes, and updates keep visitors coming back to your web site. As your visitors develop confidence in you, they will be more likely to buy from your products or services.
Maximizing Your Sales Opportunities
Far too often we're so focused on the primary sale that we neglect the
opportunities to increase our sales and our profitability. But no sale
is complete unless the customers have been given every chance to
accessorize their purchases.
Why Aren't I Making SALES?!
When you are having trouble generating sales, you need to track all of your activity (and the activities of your visitors) to pinpoint where the trouble lies. Only then will you know where you need to make changes.