By Dawn Josephson
Whether you’re creating a sales letter, brochure, direct-mail piece, newsletter or any other business promotional piece, you need to write in a way that not only explains your self-storage service but compels prospects to contact you. Unfortunately, many promotional pieces miss the mark. Outrageous claims, weak calls to action and boring text are the common mistakes that plague most people’s writing. Such errors accomplish only one thing: They destine your piece for the trash. They also show prospects that you’re lazy, uncreative and possibly incapable of delivering quality work.
To entice self-storage prospects to contact you based on your promotional mailings, you need to keep your writing lively and factual. The following guidelines will help you write promotional pieces that even your toughest prospects can’t resist.
1. Write a Headline That Gets to the Point
You have less than five seconds to convince your self-storage prospects to read on. The first thing anyone reads is the headline, so craft a compelling headline that immediately conveys why this information is important to the reader. Here are the four headline formulas that work:
How to: “how to” + verb + product/service/noun + benefit
Example: “How to Effectively Pack Your Stuff Before a Move”
New: “new” + product/service + benefit
Example: “New Packing Bundles Save You Money”
Power verb: “power verb” + product/service + benefit
Example: “Pack Belongings Safely and Easily”
Free: “free” + product/service + benefit
Example: "Free Advice From an Expert Reveals Packing Tips”
Since your headline determines if the prospect keeps reading, craft yours wisely.
2. Keep Hype to a Minimum
Many people think they must write something outrageous to get others to read their promotional piece. To some degree, this is true. Saying something shocking is a great way to generate interest, as people naturally love controversy. Plus, if you can stir things up, you’ll get lots of exposure.
The thing to remember, however, is you must be prepared to answer questions or prove everything you write. So if you want to write something just for sensationalism but can’t back it up, don’t. You must be able to support everything you print.
3. Go Easy on the Posturing
While you may offer the most unique services in the world, that’s for your prospects to decide. Every superlative you use in your promotional piece will reduce the prospect’s trust in what you say. So instead of telling prospects your self-storage facility is “the best in the market,” show them why. Give the benefits of renting at your facility as they pertain to your prospects’ lives so they can determine just how extraordinary or revolutionary you really are.
4. Evoke Images
As you write, evoke more than one of the five senses. Paint a picture with your words so prospects see, hear, smell, taste and feel what you’re describing. Contrary to popular belief, the best promotional writers think in pictures, not words. They see the image they want to convey to prospects, and that’s what they write.
Self-storage tenants want to know their belongings are safe at your facility. They want convenience and a solution. Paint them a picture of how your facility solves their problems.
5. Have a Compelling Call to Action
What do you want the person reading your sales letter, brochure or other promotional piece to do? Call you for more information? Visit your website? Stop by your self-storage facility? Whatever action you want your prospects to take, state it clearly. Too many promotional pieces ramble on about all the features and benefits of a service or product, but never tell the prospects to actually do anything.
For example, you could write, “Please call our office immediately for more information on how we can help.” A direct-mail piece could say, “Bring in this card for 25 percent off your first month’s rent.” In a newsletter you could write, “Visit our website to reserve a unit today.” Tell prospects precisely what you want them to do.
Make Your Promotional Pieces Work for You
When your promotional pieces present your information in the most compelling and factual manner, your prospects will find them and your company irresistible. As you write future sales letters, direct-mail pieces or other promotional pieces, keep these guidelines in mind. When you do, you’ll create a promotional piece that delights prospects and makes them eager to do business with you.
Dawn Josephson is a ghostwriter, editor and writing coach who helps business leaders and professional speakers create engaging and informative books, articles and marketing pieces. For more information, visit www.masterwritingcoach.com .