Most of your advertising won’t find quite as targeted an audience as a Yellow Pages ad or Google ad, where people are hunting for a specific product or service. In most cases, your offer will be delivered to people who were not expecting to see it. For this reason, you must understand a basic concept: People divide all the advertising they see into three categories.
The easiest way to explain what I mean is to ask you to visualize three piles of mail. Call them the YES pile, the MAYBE pile, and the NO pile.
The YES pile is what you have to look at immediately. If, for instance, you are waiting for the results of a medical test, those results would be in the YES pile. Same thing for your child’s report card.
The MAYBE pile is mail that you think you might be interested in, but you’re not sure. So you set it aside for later.
The NO pile is mail that you have absolutely no interest in at all.
Most marketers think their advertising can fall into only two of those piles… either YES or NO. But the truth is that much of our advertising can fall into the MAYBE pile as well. Unfortunately, the MAYBE pile is often overlooked by marketers. And it costs them a bunch of money.
Not me. I don’t overlook it. In fact, I use it to my advantage.
Yes or No — or Maybe Later
Advertising that falls into the YES pile includes information that your prospect wants and needs. He can’t ignore it. He feels compelled to look at it.
Advertising that falls into the NO pile is the exact opposite. As soon as your prospect sees it, he knows he is not interested. If, for instance, he recently had new gutters installed, he is not going to be at all interested in an advertisement for gutters.
However, your prospect’s decisions are not always unequivocal. Sometimes no doesn’t mean no. It just may not mean yes. It may mean “Let me think about it.” OR “I need more information before I can make a decision.” In other words, it may mean “Maybe Later.”
And though you don’t make the sale with either a “No” or a “Maybe Later” response to your offer, there is a huge difference between the two. Because a “Maybe Later” represents an opportunity to make the sale.
Of course, this means first recognizing the possibility of “Maybe Later” as a response. And that’s a challenge for any marketer who doesn’t understand the basic psychology of a customer — EVERY customer: They are afraid of being sold.
So what smart marketers do is include, in every one of their ads, a way for “Maybe Later” prospects to become “NOW” customers. This is done by giving them a way to receive more information… without making them feel obligated to buy.
For example, you can provide them with:
- A website where they can go for more information about your offer and company
- An 800 number to call for a pre-recorded message with more information about your offer and company
- An 800 number to call in order to speak to a “live” human being and get more information about your offer and company
- An invitation to attend a tele-seminar or webinar where they can get more information about your offer and company
Are you getting the idea? All four of the above possibilities (and there are lots more) give prospects a way to receive more information about your offer and company so they can decide whether or not to do business with you.
When the clients I work with include options for their “Maybe Later” prospects to receive more information, it often doubles their response rate. (And it can make the difference between a winning ad and a losing one.)
REMEMBER… as I said, everyone is afraid of being sold.
And though there’s a good chance that a prospect who’s interested in your offer will act impulsively and immediately, the first impression you make on him is not your only chance to motivate him to buy.
Just by understanding that the “Maybe Later” pile even exists is a start toward figuring out what to do with it.
Once you realize that you can move people from the “Maybe Later” pile to the “Yes” pile, you can discover amazing ways to leverage your position. By simply not ignoring this option, you are ahead of 90 percent of all marketers who think only in terms of “Yes” and “No.”