Actually, it’s a message about coffee.
But in defense of the title to this article, it is about a coffee place trying to recruit new customers in a busy airport terminal. However, they missed the mark a bit on this one, as I explained recently during a session I lead at the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association convention.
This is a picture of the sign. On the surface, it looks like a creative message, right? “Unlike Any Coffee You’ve Ever Tasted Before.” Wow! Quite a promise.
So, why does it miss the mark?
First, it over-promises. It also brags. And, it is way more complicated than it needs to be. Marketing guru Seth Godin, commented that a better alternative might be “The best coffee.” Simple and straight to the point.
When it comes to recruiting, that’s a mantra you need to memorize before you create your next round of recruiting letters. With this generation, simplicity is the key.
And even more importantly, you want something that will prompt a reaction (and action) from your prospects. Going back to the coffee promotional sign for a moment, what about this message: “FREE TASTE TEST! Are we better than Starbucks?”
Do you see what a difference altering the message makes? Instead of a comment that really doesn’t effect me and make me stop and think as a potential recruit, that message engages. It challenges. It prompts action. Don’t you think it would be hard to resist sneaking in and taking them up on their offer?
Most marketers – and most coaches – don’t do that, however. They’ll settle for ordinary, or they’ll go over-the-top with promises that the average teenager can pick out as unlikely to be true.
So, here are three quick rules to follow if you want to develop a more interesting, more action oriented (and less sub-par) recruiting message:
- Don’t overstate you and your program. Empty bragging doesn’t get it done, especially in the beginning of a recruiting relationship.
- Keep your message simple and to the point. An exercise that we usually suggest when we begin working with new clients and review the message that they’ve been sending out is to have them take one of their current form letters or emails and cross out everything that a prospect who is reading it doesn’t need to know right then to take the next step in the process. Ask yourself, “what would my letters look like if I did that with my letters?” You should, Coach. It’s a valuable exercise that would show you just how much “fluff” you’ll find in your message to this “give it to me simple and straight forward” generation you are being asked to recruit.
- Ask them to take action. Challenge them, and figure out what would entice them to interact with you in a real way. If you can get them to take the free taste test, you might just gain a new customer.
Developing creative recruiting messages is not rocket science. It is, however, “science”. There is a reaction that your prospects will have once you reach out to them with a safe – yet intriguing – challenge.
Think you can you get them to come in and try a taste in your next recruiting message?