It’s important to understand the difference between your brand message and your sales message in order to keep all your marketing communications both consistent and on point.
You must first nail down your brand message. This informs your sales messaging and all aspects of your customer-facing communications. Your brand message is the overall story that your company and products are telling, as well as the specific style and manner in which you tell that story.
It’s helpful to create a brand guide, which is a reference book that lays out your brand message. Questions to ask as you develop your brand guide include:
- What does your brand stand for?
- What emotions should people associate with it?
- How do you talk to your customers and prospects?
- Is your image more casual and friendly, or more professional and buttoned down?
Your sales message is your pitch, where you make your case to potential customers and convince them that they should buy your product. You may have different sales messages depending on a variety of factors, including the product, audience, season, or any time-sensitive promotions you may have. But your sales messages must always reflect your brand messaging. You want to speak with a consistent voice and style so the overall impression of your products and services – and your brand – remains reliable.
Most direct response sales messaging follows a similar format:
- Identify the problem. Appeal to your audience’s emotions. Get them thinking that they really need to find a solution to the problem. This builds trust, and shows that you “get it.”
- Present the solution. Introduce and describe your product or service. Touch on why it solves the problem.
- Demonstrate value. Go into more detail on how your product or service solves the problem. Use research results, statistics, awards, testimonials, and specific examples to build your case.
- State a call to action. The call to action is probably the single most defining feature of direct response marketing. It clearly tells the customer what you expect them to do next. Give them the tools and contact points, such as a phone number, email address, shopping cart link, or website link depending on the action you want them to take.