By Ivan Levison
What do software marketers covet and crave? Leads! High-quality leads that can be poured into the sales funnel and transformed into profitable sales. If you want your marketing to generate a lot more leads, here are six time-tested ideas.
- INCLUDE YOUR OFFER IN THE HEADLINE.
Whether you’re sending an email blast, creating a web page, or producing a direct mail package, readers are scanning quickly and won’t stick around waiting for you to get to the point. If you want them to take advantage of an offer, say so right from the get-go:
Announcing a FREE software trial offer for accountants who manage fixed assets!
And by the way, don’t try writing cute, teaser headlines. Stick with benefits, and you won’t go wrong. As John Caples, the father of direct-marketing advertising, advised many years ago: “Avoid the ‘hard-to-grasp’ headline — the headline that requires thought and is not clear at first glance. Remember that the reader’s attention is yours for only a single involuntary instant. People will not use up their valuable time trying to figure out what you mean. They will simply turn the page.”
- CONTINUE EXPLAINING THE OFFER IN THE SUBHEADLINE.
There’s no law that says you have to write a headline and then jump directly into the body copy. A supporting sub-headline can flesh things out for the prospect:
Here’s your chance to try our award-winning software without paying a penny! No obligation. No credit card needed.
- EXPLAIN THE OFFER EARLY ON THE PAGE.
It is a big mistake to wait until the end of the email/web page/letter before explaining the offer. Again, it’s a fact of life that readers want you to get to the point quickly, so let them know what you’ve got to offer immediately:
I’m writing with a free offer that can help you solve some of the toughest ISP management problems you face.
If you contact Anonotech immediately, I’ll send you a copy of our fact-filled ‘Complete Guide To Effective ISP Management’ absolutely free.
This must-read 12-page document shares the vitally important lessons we’ve learned. . .” etc. etc.
- STRESS THE FACT THAT YOUR OFFER HAS NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
Very important. Your readers want to know that if they respond, they won’t be hounded in the future. So be sure to let them know:
“Please remember that there is nothing to buy and no risk or obligation of any kind when you download our Executive Report. And you don’t need to leave a credit card number to take advantage of our free offer.”
- INCLUDE AN IMAGE OF YOUR OFFER.
If you’ve got a product shot, a white paper, a report, an executive summary, an information kit, a free anything, hing, by all means show it. An image of your fulfifillment piece makes the offer real. The picture can appear on a web page, email, envelope, letter, reply form, etc. The image tells the reader what they’re going to get and why it’s worth requesting the offer!
- GIVE YOUR OFFER A COMPELLING NAME.
Whatever you do, don’t make a bland offer. Give your offer a name and sell it!
- WRONG: Get our free report now.
- RIGHT: Get our free report, “Five Ways to Defeat Hackers and Keep Your Precious Data Safe!”
- WRONG: Request your free Information Kit.
- RIGHT: Don’t miss our free Information Kit, “How To Choose An ERP Solution — A Practical Guide For IT Managers.”
- Make it a "limited-time" offer.
One of the ways to get your readers to act is to create a sense of urgency. Give them a deadline. You can always contact them later and say that due to incredible demand, you're extending the deadline. Your offer can be good for a week, two weeks, or a month, but don’t go out too far or you’ll weaken the urgency factor.
- Handle product pricing the right way.
If your SaaS company offers different pricing plans, it makes sense to create a page that lists your deals. However, if you’re a B2B software company it might be better to avoid providing product prices. You want people to find out more about your software, maybe schedule a product demo, or check out your software’s specs. In my experience, B2B software sellers lose leads if they state their prices too early in the game. This is something well worth testing.
Ivan Levison is a direct response freelance copywriter who specializes in writing motivating emails, landing pages, lead-generation letters, and more for software companies. CLICK HERE for a partial list. Ivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org