We’ve all heard the funny grammatical mistakes that turn a statement into something embarrassing, solicitous or down right rude. Omitting a comma, including an apostrophe where it doesn’t belong or using the wrong version of two/to/too can certainly make you look a fool on occasion. However, sentence structure and phrasing can also change what you are communicating to your client making your advertising or informational materials ineffective.
I was in a salon this week discussing their email program when I came across this problem in one of it’s most common formats – the new client form. You’d think this would be simple – it’s a question/answer form after all! However, any market research specialist will tell you that it’s all in the way you phrase questions that will get you the results you are after. In this particular situation, the salon owner thought they were doing what they should by asking for permission to email the client, however they had a ‘Preferred Contact Method’ at the top just after their name, phone, mobile and address, and then a final question if the user wanted to receive promotional offers.
Without surprise, the majority of clients selected they preferred to be contacted on their mobile. Why? Because it’s most convenient for communications and when placed at the top of the form, it appears to be in relation to their appointments and personal communications are typically preferred via mobile phones this day. However, that is very limiting for marketing. A slight change to say ‘Preferred Confirmation Method’ at the top would have been more clear. Then at the bottom of the form, have the final question say, ‘Would you like to receive promotional offers and free gifts from the salon?’ and list your communication methods in a ‘select all that apply’ format. The more contact points you have, the more effective your overall marketing program is.
How have you built up your email and text message marketing database in the past? Share your ideas in the comments below!