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May 6, 2009 / jasonpinto

All aboard!

Maybe it’s the economy… and the fact that I am really not sure when I’ll feel comfortable taking a vacation. But yesterday afternoon, I found myself greatly intrigued by a letter that I received in the mail.

It came from a travel agency in Texas. The letter said that I had been entered into a contest, and I won! My prize was either a car, a trip, or cash. All I had to do was claim it.

Well, I haven’t called. But, I studied it… I read every word. I carried it to work today, and thought about calling to claim my prize. But in the end, I reasoned that it’s probably just a scam.

Six months ago, that mailer would have been immediately thrown into my trash. But this time, I am glad that I paid attention to it.

Here’s why:

Their marketing tactics were pretty clever. They almost hooked me. (And lord, if it wasn’t a scam, and I am missing out on a vacation, ai ay ai ay…).  I think this is why it hooked me – along with the letter that said I had won, the envelope contained a “Boarding Voucher” and a “Passenger Bag Check”.  They both had watermarks that said “Not valid – specimen”, but other than that, they looked very real!

When I held the “boarding pass” in my hand, I started to picture myself at the airport getting ready to leave for vacation. I imagined clutching my “passenger bag check” as I waited to take off to a tropical destination.

Yes, the materials they provided helped me to see the benefits of what they offered. It helped me to visualize the promises of good times, all thanks to this travel agent.

I’m sure that this travel agent produces other marketing materials. Maybe they have other mailers that list the number of countries that agent can send you to….how many years they’ve been in business… how many people they’ve helped…how many sales reps they have, etc..

Well, that information is boring. Okay, that might be a bit harsh. But I promise that type of information does not help me visualize being on vacation (all thanks to that travel agent).

When it comes to how you might market your product or service, there may be a lesson or two to learn from the “boarding pass” and “passenger bag check”. I am by no means advocating bait-and-switch, or lying! But, …………

 – do you focus on listing all of the features that you have?

Or….

 – do your marketing messages clearly list the benefits that you can offer? Do they help extend a promise to the individual (a promise of more sales, or a nicer smile, or a cleaner car, or.. whatever your product or service can result in).

We all like vacations… Make sure your marketing materials take someone “there” the next time they see yours.

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