My advertising hasn’t done so well of late. What is the single most important thing for me to do? 

In life, when things don’t work too well, we generally only want to do one thing in order to make everything work.  If someone tells us to make half a dozen changes that can be most annoying.

But we’re approaching Christmas and I am in festive mood, so it seems to me this is a good time to offer one magical thing which, although it won’t be your solution to everything in terms of advertising, will with one simple change can help make your advertising ever more effective.

Here’s how it goes.

First, stop focussing on your product or service.  Instead imagine what it is like when you open up your email programme in the morning and find hundreds of emails, most of which are irrelevant.

So, remember how you feel when faced with lots of emails, and how you probably sit there deleting as many as you can, while trying to pick up the odd one or two that are somehow relevant.

Now think of that decision-making process – that moment of thinking “I will read this.”  Something makes you decide to read, and that “something” is the most important thing in advertising. It is the “attention grabber” and without it, everything else fails.

But unfortunately “attention grabbers” are not the same as “important things”.  If you sell furniture you know that the quality, price, choice, range, suitability for purpose, and a dozen other things are all important.

However, these are not attention grabbers because so many other people will also focus on them and announce them as benefits or features.  To gain attention your advert not only has to focus on what is of interest to the reader, but also it has to be different from the advertisements that your competitors send out.

If you can do this your advantage will be immediate, because most of your competitors will go into January writing

New Year Sale Now On!

and leave it at that.

With emails you get two chances to be different. One is in the subject line (for which you should use anything from three to six words) and then the headline (up to 15 words).

Quirky subject lines and open question headlines are still rare in emails to schools so at once your email will stand out.

By way of example, take the headline of this piece that you are now reading.  It asks an open question, suggests it will tell you how to do one thing to turn failing adverts into working adverts makes people read.

That is the trick – “the one thing”.  Write really engaging subject lines and headlines that engage people, and which no one else is writing.

And finally, to help matters along, if you book into either our 4-Email or 6-Email programme starting in January, before we close for Christmas / New Year, we’ll give you an extra email for free.

For the four email campaigns with one email free the prices are…

  • 4 Emails (plus one free) to Secondary School contacts – £43 each (total £215)
  • 4 Emails (plus one free) to Primary School contacts – £57.80 each (total £289)
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