Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician, physicist, inventor, writer and philosopher, once wrote to a friend saying: ‘I have written you a long letter as I do not have time to write a short one’. This embodies a perennial problem – that often key messages are lost in a rather wordy explanation. It also highlights an increasing trend in our modern societies – that messages have to be short and sharp, as they compete with so many others.
If someone were to ask why you, as a real estate agent, are so effective at your job, you could likely take hours listing the reasons. You’d start with big ideas, such as your efficiency and friendliness, and work through the numbers of how many houses you’ve been able to buy and sell to the advantage of your client.
With all that information, it should be a breeze to market yourself. You have so much to say, so how could folks not leap at the chance to work with you?
Unfortunately, great agents all too often see their marketing campaigns fizzle and fail, despite the plethora of information provided. Sometimes, the cause is the information itself! Trying to explain too many aspects of yourself can be overwhelming and can encourage prospective clients to tune out rather than take in the info.
This phenomenon drives Corefact to create the direct mailings with the perfect balance of information and attention capturing. What is this perfect balance you ask?
First, the mailing has to be eye-catching. Even though most pieces of direct mail are read immediately (almost 80%), it’s still important to stand out from the mix. Pairing a stunning and appropriate image with a headline that explains exactly why prospective clients should work with you will cause the reader to stop and really take note of what you’re saying.
So what are you saying? Ironically, the fewer words used, the more importance will be given to their meaning. That’s why we use sub-headings and captions to let the viewer glance at and take in all the important topics. If they want further details, they can continue reading, but even the deeper reading is summed up in a paragraph.
Yet we know that sometimes you’ve got more information than just one paragraph can hold. Instead of creating additional reading, we find visual ways to represent what needs to be said. A chart or a graph is far easier to understand and more visually appealing than an additional paragraph. Using this technique, we can get a full market report onto a single postcard, sometimes with no words other than the headline and the column headings.
Even with short copy, there are a few additions you can make to sweeten the mailing. Though you want to be visually appealing, you should avoid looking too busy. Even the most amazing headline can be drowned if the background is too distracting.
Choosing a single image or series of well-laid our images can keep your mailing simple, yet effective. The layout of the words, charts, and headlines should be arranged so that the eye is naturally drawn from one to the next. With carefully arranging, you can control the order in which the reader will process your information, giving you added potential for effectiveness.
Combining copy writing, graphic design, and data representation into an effective marketing strategy is no easy feat. That’s why Corefact works to create a number of ready-made series that can be adjusted for your market, but already have the “Short and Sweet” effect built in. See all our great cards here.