by Heidi Thompson
We all know that infomercials are salesy and cheesy but they work and that is fascinating. Some of the products are more useful than others, but infomercial creators know how to make the most of certain marketing principles to sell even the stupidest product. For example, the Shake Weight hit $40 million in sales in 2010. If you haven’t seen this ridiculous product laden with sexual innuendos, watch the video below.
They’re ridiculous, but we can actually learn a lot from infomercials. Here are just a few things I’ve noticed that contribute to their success.
They let happy customers speak for them.
Infomercials don’t just explain their product in their own words; they interview happy customers and let them tell you why you need the product. This instantly builds their credibility because having a 3rd party recommend something is very powerful. This is exactly why we use testimonials on our websites.
You can create more engaging and convincing testimonials by adding multimedia like photos, video or audio.
They explain the benefits of the product.
Companies who do infomercials don’t waste time telling you how long they’ve been in business and talking about the things they do. They cut to the chase and tell you what you will get from the product.
Instead of telling the viewers about what the Snuggie is made of, they simply say it keeps you warm without having to fumble around with a blanket.
Are you telling your customers what is in it for them?
“But wait, there’s more!”
Infomercials are great at adding value to their products. Adding on bonuses is more effective than discounting your prices because people love to get a deal, even if it’s not really a deal. The products on infomercials are likely priced to include the cost of these bonuses, but calling them free bonuses makes it feel like people are getting something for nothing.
Instead of discounting your prices, what bonuses could you offer?
Creating a sense of urgency is a marketing tactic that has been around forever. You can use this when you’re getting booked up for the year.
Make it known when you only have 3 dates available and ask them to contact you now to avoid missing out.
(Ethical note: Don’t lie about this in order to create false scarcity. Your reputation is worth more than the extra money you might make.)
They tell you how many have been sold.
This is called social proof. It makes you think, “If all of those people bought one, maybe I should buy one.”
McDonald’s has been making use of this for decades with “billions and billions served.” If you had never been to McDonald’s before, you would assume that billions and billions of people can’t be wrong.
If you have been in business for awhile, instead of telling your customer how many years you’ve been in business, tell them how many weddings you’ve worked on.
They repeat themselves.
The script of an infomercial starts to repeat after about 15-20 minutes. Why would they do this?
Infomercials tend to run for about an hour, even most people aren’t going to sit and watch the entire hour. These companies don’t want to miss out on someone who may be flipping through the channels and missed the first 15 minutes.
You can apply this principle to your website by having opt-in offers and contact information on different pages because you don’t know which page someone might land on first. Look at your individual pages.
Does your site achieve its goal if someone only views a blog post and never sees your home page?
When you start to look normal daily things like infomercials from a business perspective, you will learn so much. Put your marketing hat on next time you go into a store and you’ll be amazed at what you notice.
Heidi Thompson of Evolve Your Wedding Business works with wedding pros who want to get out of the dreaded feast or famine cycle of doom. Check out her resources on how to attract more clients through your marketing, because it doesn’t matter how great you are if no one knows about it.