I love Rodale Press. They publish a great set of lifestyle magazines and operate a mail order and book publishing empire that every internet marketer can learn from.
Why? Because they “get” that their success is about the relationship “they” have with their customers. They talk a lot about benefits and only a little about features. Their model works and is just as applicable to the landing page designer arbitraging paid advertising as it is to the blogger making money off of ads as it is to the big, bad, 800 pound guerrilla magazine powerhouse.
If you want to sell pepper spray you don’t do it with (just) an ecommerce page that has an image, price, and 100 word description. You do it by telling a story – appealing to you avatar’s fears and hopes.
Avatar – that’s a fancy name for “ideal customer.” You need one. No matter what kind of marketing you are doing you need one. Maybe two or three even.
(Go here for a great example of how to define your avatar through ‘empathy maps‘ – whiteboard not required)
Ever wonder why Amazon pioneered online personalization? Why they publish reviews of products?
Because people want to identify with others that are in the same situation as they are.
Because it’s not always just about the datasheet. When they’re ready to buy with the credit card out… THEN the datasheet rules more or less.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to be the “world’s biggest store” and have an ideal customer profile other than “[Alice] buys things online.” I mean if you’re selling $0.99 ebooks and $136,743.75 Bibb Diamond Necklaces (save $77k !!) you have to find a way to appeal to a broad audience to say the least.
Personalization – buyer reviews, related products, wish lists and what not let Amazon do this in what would otherwise be a boring catalog website with a good user interface.
OK – and here’s the punch line…
When you do this – when you connect with your visitor – you get letters like this:
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read The Newbie Chronicles and wondered if Marc Parent was reading my mind. The latest installment (“The Heart Don’t Lie,” July) is no exception. My Garmin heart rate monitor is also still bubble-wrapped, daring me to give it a whirl. Parent using his monitor for the first time finally gave me a reason to take it for a run. -APL5005, via runnersworld.com
Runner’s World magazine, Sept. 2011, page 15
Talk about greasing the shoot! How hard would it be for Marc-y-Marc here to monetize that Tribe of his? How hard would it be for you?
Here’s the take away – you want letters like this. You only get them when you communicate to a specific individual. TALK to them like they are in the room and you’re having a chat.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re using copy or video. Make them feel like you’re in their head and you will kill it.
This isn’t a license to manipulate and be a douche. It’s just a fact.
The last word comes from Blair Warren:
“People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions and help them throw rocks at their enemies.”