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What's In It For Me?
| Have you seen most advertising lately? It seems that the advertisers are only thinking of themselves and their egos. Think about this advertising message "Buy my product because I made it" Sounds stupid, doesn't it? Unfortunately though, that is how most advertisements are today.
On the bright side, once you figure out the #1 principal in advertising & marketing, you will be ahead of 80% of your competition! What is this principle? Simple - "What's In It For Me?"
All your advertising, all your marketing should be focused on this golden rule - "What's In It For Me?" Or in this case, your patient or prospective patient. If your marketing is not focused on what's in it for them, all the money and effort you've invested in your marketing is going down the drain.
So, what do I mean by What's In It For Me (WIIFM)? Have you ever went fishing? Now, have you ever noticed that you use worms to catch fish? Why do you use worms? Easy, because that's what attracts the fish. Do you like to eat worms? Probably not. But then again, the fish only care about what they like, not what you like.
The same is true of your patients and prospective patients. If you want them to come to your office, or if you want them to perform a specific action, you must tell them in terms of what's in it for them, the patient, not what's in it for you, the doctor. Your patients are just like you and me - they care only about what is in their best interests.
Now that we've discussed the importance of talking to people in terms of what's in it for them, let's put this information to a practical use and talk about effective advertising using the WIIFM formula.
The most important part of any advertisement regardless of whether it's a letter, postcard, yellow page ad, etc. is the headline. In fact, it is so important that if you have a specific time allotted for creating the advertisement, at least 50% of that time should be reserved for the headline. Think about it : 75% of your readers will look over the headline, and if your headline doesn't immediately catch their interest, then that's it. Nothing else is read.
So what should you use for a headline? Good question. Your headline should promise an immediate benefit the reader will receive if they continue reading your ad, or raise sufficient curiosity to make them want to continue.
But before we get into specific examples of good headlines, let's go over common types of headlines which are commonly used and are NOT effective.
1) Business name: Why in the world people use their business name as a headline is beyond me. Do they really think that people are going to be excited and interested because they see the advertiser's name? Who knows! When was the last time you got excited because you saw an ad for Joe's Diner with a headline "Joe's Diner"? Now, on the other hand, if the headline read "A Full Course Steak Dinner For Only $1.99!" then that's another story.
2) Technical wording: You should never use technical wording (subluxation, etc.) in your headline, or in your whole advertisement for that matter. The only exception to this rule is when the market your are focusing on is already very familiar with this terminology, and even then I would still be wary of using technical wording.
So what would be good headlines? A good headline is one that produces results (compels the reader to continue reading the rest of the advertisement).
This can be accomplished by:
1) Promising a benefit for the reader or
2) Raising curiosity.
Here's an example of a headline that makes a promise and will separate you from your competition "You will be seen today by the doctor - or your first visit is FREE!"
The next point is creating an effective advertisement is to use tons of benefits and as little features as possible. What's the difference between a feature and a benefit? A feature is the means, the process to achieve a desired effect, while the benefit is the actual effect that the feature produces.
Here's an example of a feature and a benefit. Feature - correction of subluxation. Benefit - relief from pain and healthier body.
Also, when creating your advertisements, unless you are creating them for your current patients, keep in mind that all your reader knows about chiropractic is that it is for back pain. You and I might know better, but in most ads there is not enough room to educate the reader properly. So just focus on what the reader knows about Chiropractic (relief of back pain) and educate him on the wellness aspect once you have him in front of you.
I know that some Chiropractors might disagree with me on this, but if your goal is to adjust as many patients as possible then you will use this multi-step recruitment technique.
When writing the copy (text) for your advertisement, make sure that everything is written on a one-to-one basis. So forget about writing in the third person ("Chiropractic allows the body to function at optimum level"). Instead everything should be in the second person ("Chiropractic allows your body to function at optimum level")
Also, in your advertisement, make sure you use plenty of testimonials. One good testimonial will do more in convincing a reader to make an appointment than 30 minutes of you talking. My recommendation for you would be to use as many different types of testimonials as possible. Have some testimonials covering different types of health problems, and given by people of different occupations, different social backgrounds, and different genders. Your goal here is to offer a large enough variety of testimonials that the reader can find at least one testimonial that they can relate to.
You might also want to go a little further than what most Chiropractors do, and instead of including only the person's first name and last initials, include the full first name and full last name, as well as the occupation and city that the person lives in.
Of course you will have to get permission from the person giving you the testimonial first, and I recommend you get the permission in writing, but the added credibility that you will get because of this will more than make up for the effort.
There are more parts to an effective advertisement than just those presented here. But if you are able to put into action the points presented here, you will see a dramatic improvement in the effectiveness of you marketing.
Above all, make sure that every communication you have with a patient, or prospective patient, is expressed in terms of what's in it for them. And as long as you keep the WIIFM formula in the back of your mind, you'll do well.
Also, keep in mind that WIIFM extends to much further than just advertisements. Use the WIIFM formula to request referrals from current patients, recommending procedures to patients, and for as many facets of your practice, and your life, as possible.
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