View this email online

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of ‘Terrific Tips’ delivered to your desktop free each month. 

We often rely on words when attempting to influence people to do certain things or to stop doing other things. And that’s understandable. Words are powerful as a couple of this month’s articles demonstrate. Yet, often we can improve results dramatically by complementing our message with good design. I do hope the example in our lead article has you reflecting on the design elements that you can work on to enhance your customers’ experience.

Preparing your staff for a price increase

Are you about to announce a price increase on your range of products and services? If you are like many small business owners, you will have been agonising over this for months and have probably delayed the price increase far longer than you should have.

So, if it’s been tough for you, don’t be surprised if your staff are anxious about the customer reaction. You’re going to need to help them prepare for this both tactically and emotionally. Here’s how:       

To read more click on Preparing your staff for a price increase or go to Jurek’s Blog.  

Visual courtesy of Shutterstock.

Good design influences behaviour

Isn't it amazing how good design can be far more effective than 'persuasive' educational campaigns when it comes to influencing behaviour? 

Simon te Brinke shared this wonderful example from Norway. Check out the visual and read on.

"In Norway you get a small amount of money for recycling bottles/cans. They're often collected by poor people, homeless etc. A lot of our trash cans have these holders around them so people don't have to search through the trash to collect them"

What’s the lesson from this?

With anything to do with influencing customer behaviour, look to the design elements that make a positive outcome simpler and more natural for prospective customers.

Me to you messages

Do your eyes tend to glaze over when you glance at a supposedly insightful business article that begins, “In these challenging times…” or “In this fast-paced world…” and then follows with, “At the end of the day…”?

You are not alone, and there’s an important lesson here. In your marketing materials, don't use hackneyed language. As master copywriter Drayton Bird points out, “It makes you sound like a politician. Whereas if you sound like a real human being, something wonderful happens: people like you, and your sales go up.”

Drayton is now well into his eighties, yet still writes copy every day for clients. Here’s some more of his commonsense advice to get you thinking.

“For more years than I care to contemplate I have tried to determine what makes messages sell. Not based on my opinion, but on all the available research and testing.

So here's a checklist based on what I learned you must look for if you want to sell.

  1. The opening must quickly offer or clearly imply a clear, strong benefit.
  2. Is everything instantly clear? If it's funny, clever or obscure - beware.
  3. Unless you give every sensible reason to buy, answer obvious questions, overcome all reasonable objections, you'll lose sales.
  4. Is what you sell fully, clearly described?
  5. Is the tone right? Don't be funny about serious things (eg, charity, business or money).
  6. Show it to someone uninvolved, preferably a likely prospect. Ask if they understand it - and if they would buy.
  7. Do you prove your claim is true? Testimonials? Independent figures?
  8. Do you ask firmly enough for a reply, tell people precisely what to do? Repeat your arguments at that point.
  9. Is the button, coupon, order form or request to reply big enough, clear, simple and easy to use?
  10. Read the copy aloud. Does it sound like someone talking? Good!

Drayton goes on to say, “You may find using this checklist a bit of a bore. But a lot less boring than stuff that flops. Because if you want to sell, you'll find that some, perhaps many of your messages miss one or more of the above 10 points. And if you look out for them I promise you will improve your results - perhaps so much it will surprise you.”

Getting a customer’s perspective of your business

In recent editions of your Terrific Tips newsletter you’ll have noticed observations and comments from the team at UK based Customer Experience specialists, insight6 appearing almost as often as from regular contributors Winston Marsh (Australia), Donald Cooper (Canada) and Bill Marvin (USA). It goes to show that the lessons from focussing on the customer experience can be learned from all parts of the globe.

Here’s another cracker, this time from Ian Sadler at insight6, “Never get complacent… we must ask ourselves every day, what does our company represent? Why would a customer come back, again and again? What elements of our business can they rely on? Are we clear about our aims and objectives? Do we keep our promises? Are we delivering what we say we will?”

These customer focussed comments come at the summation of an article based on asking 250 of their experienced UK mystery shoppers to identify six instantly recognisable brands they love. The most mentioned companies were Amazon, Apple, EE (new to me), John Lewis, Waitrose and First Direct. 

In the article, he lays out the six reasons why insight6’s shoppers love those brands in particular. No matter what type of business or profession you are involved in, you can benchmark yourself against these six factors. Take a look.

Have you ever wondered?

Why the time of day with the slowest traffic is called rush hour?

Want more opens and fewer unsubscribes? Fix these mistakes

Ann Gynn of the Content Marketing Institute has put together solid, succinct advice from a team of internet experts to help you avoid or fix many common email mistakes.

Here are two examples:

  1. Set up campaigns that have at least seven contacts. Lots of data identifies that most conversions continue to happen through seven contacts and begin to tail off after the eighth outreach. One or two contacts aren’t enough. Design seven into your campaigns.
  2. Even wonderfully beneficial products do not sell themselves. Master the skill of leading with enticing information related to your products that get readers seduced down the path then builds desire for the product. For instance, don’t just tell me you have the greatest infection prevention solution for surgery, connect me to the latest clinical research on the topic, which happens to align well with your product. Don’t just tell me you have the greatest respirators on the market, help me understand how silica dust is going to kill me or my employees, what the regulations are for my work environment, then I will open your emails. 

Read Ann's simple fixes for common email mistakes to access all 35.

Making your communication personal

As an earlier article demonstrates, in a world where people feel more and more as if they're 'just another number', it pays to get personal with your customers with ‘Me to You’ communication. 

Research shows that one of the biggest turn-offs for customers is seeing information, products, services, deals etc that aren't relevant to their needs.

People don't have the time to waste with businesses that don't appear to understand, or care about, what they want.

Marketing personalisation comes in many forms. Some require more work than others, but they can all reap excellent returns. For example:

  • speaking to your audience in the second person ('you', 'we' instead of 'our customers', your business name)
  • using their name in emails and promotional materials 
  • creating personalised content in marketing material, websites and the like

Some of the benefits of personalisation include:

  • attracting your customers’ attention, and holding it for longer
  • building stronger relationships with potential and existing customers
  • stimulating a response
  • more orders and more repeat business

And who doesn't want all of that? 

Source: Adapted from an article in Snap Printing’s monthly newsletter. 

Time management tip: stop interrupting yourself

Here’s some great advice from Gihan Perera:

“If your phone rings, dings, or vibrates for every e-mail, text message, social media post or app notification, that’s your own fault. Most apps turn on notifications by default, so take back control and turn off these notifications.”

Stacking tables and mopping floors

I saw it again last week. It happens so often that for some cafes it is seen as the norm.

What am I referring to? 

Coffee shops that start stacking tables and mopping floors at least 20 minutes before closing time while customers sit close by.

Now remember, these customers haven’t just paid for the coffee and an accompanying treat, they’ve paid for the ambience; they’ve paid for the opportunity to sit with a friend and have a relaxing chat. Very hard to do when someone is stacking chairs and mopping floors round about you – giving the clear message that they’d like to go home on the dot at closing time… so, would you please leave!

These staff aren’t slacking. They are working hard, doing their job or at least doing the part of their job that their boss judges them on. 

Which makes situations like this a clear sign of poor management. There should be operational guidelines on issues like stacking tables and mopping floors. Guidelines which clearly state that the customer has the right to enjoy their refreshments in a relaxed atmosphere during the official opening hours – which means that these tasks should be completed outside official opening hours and staff be allocated additional paid time to do this.

Switched on, customer focussed managers like you have regular conversations with their staff about your purpose being to make each customer feel welcome; and your intention being to make customers feel better about themselves for having chosen to do business with you. Keep it up, be a wonderful example to others… including your favourite coffee shop!

You can get more tips like this free at Customer Tips for Coffee Shops.

How much to design a logo?

The creator of the Nike logo was paid $35 US for the 17.5 hours it took her to design the logo. She still ended up becoming a millionaire though. 

Read no need to get ticked off to find out more.


My goal for 2019 was to lose 10 pounds … only 15 to go …

A recent study has found women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it …

A thief broke into my house last night … He was clearly searching for money … so I got up and searched with him.

Source: Doc Funny

Terrific quotes

“Predictable ads are about you, your company, your product, your service. Persuasive ads are about the customer, and the transformation your product or service will bring to your customer’s life.” Roy H Williams

“Be an expert educator rather than a super salesperson.” Allan Dib author of ‘The 1-Page Marketing Plan’ 

“The test of good leadership is when you ask someone how their day is going and actually care about the answer.” Simon Sinek

Thank you signThank You

My goal is to double the circulation of this newsletter within 12 months. To do this I need your help. If you find these ‘Terrific Tips’ a useful read, PLEASE do pass them on and suggest to your colleagues and friends that they subscribe at Terrific Trading or by emailing Any friend of yours is welcome.

Jurek Leon

To change your subscription, click here.