Why Giving Clear Instructions Can Increase Your Marketing Response Rate

Why Giving Clear Instructions Can Increase Your Marketing Response Rate

Direct Marketing. Most people are well-conditioned from infancy, in every environment, to do as they’re told. Confused or uncertain consumers do nothing. And people rarely buy anything of consequence without being asked. People don’t like not knowing where to go or even what is expected of them.” In-store signage, restaurant menus, icons on websites -- everywhere you closely examine physical selling environments and media -- you’ll find plenty of assumptions made about the knowledge people have (and may not have) and plenty of opportunity for confusion. The second was the same, but with a large hand-scrawl-appearing note, “No postage stamp needed. Just drop in the mail.” The third was a plain, pre-addressed envelope with an actual stamp affixed. The fourth was the plain, pre-addressed envelope with an actual stamp affixed, plus the hand-scrawl-appearing note, “No postage stamp needed. Stop sending out anything without clear instructions. A lot of businesses don’t even use order forms when they could and should.

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Why Giving Clear Instructions Can Increase Your Marketing Response Rate

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The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy’s book No B.S. Direct Marketing. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound

Most people do a reasonably good job of following directions. For the most part, they stop on red and go on green, stand in the lines they’re told to stand in, fill out the forms they’re given to fill out, applaud when the “Applause” sign comes on. Most people are well-conditioned from infancy, in every environment, to do as they’re told.

Most marketers’ failures and disappointments result from giving confusing directions or no directions at all. Confused or uncertain consumers do nothing. And people rarely buy anything of consequence without being asked.

When I held one of my mastermind meetings for one of my client groups at Disney, one of the Disney Imagineers we met was in charge of “fixing confusion.” At any spot in any of the parks where there was a noticeable slowing of movement (yes, they monitor that) or an inordinate number of guests asking employees for directions, he was tasked with figuring out the reason for the confusion and changing or creating signs, giving buildings more descriptive names, and even rerouting traffic as need be to fix the confusion. “It isn’t just about efficient movement,” he told us. “It’s about a pleasing experience. People don’t like not knowing where to go or even what is expected of them.”

In-store signage, restaurant menus, icons on websites — everywhere you closely examine physical selling environments and media — you’ll find plenty of assumptions made about the knowledge people have (and may not have) and plenty of opportunity for confusion. In a split test in nonprofit fundraising by direct mail, four…

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