Make It Easy!
By Ron Rosenberg
In this article, we'll be featuring a great example of an association that uses copy quite effectively to connect with their markets, and they even got some great feedback from one of their members!
The Well-Being of Young Children...
Specifically, we’ll be looking at the conference brochure for the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children (OAEYC). This organization has a fantastic mission dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children with a particular focus on educational and developmental services for children from birth through age 8.
As they were developing their brochure, one of the great ideas they came up with early on was an interesting application of our concept of the “triage page.”
Just Like a Traffic Cop...
The triage page on a website serves a very important purpose: getting the visitor to the section of the website that’s directly relevant to their specific needs.
For example if you’re running a white water rafting company, there are four main market segments that you might come across: families, singles, couples, and corporate retreat groups.
In this case, the triage page would have copy that reads, “Which of these four best describes your ideal rafting trip?” Then there would be four boxes that show images of these four categories, and clicking on each box would take you to a separate area of the website with information, photos, and testimonials, relevant to the selected market segment.
In a similar manner, the page in the OAEYC conference brochure that you see to the left serves an almost identical function.
Why Are You Here?
Rather than make you sift through the entire brochure, looking for the sessions that might be of interest to you, they include what functions as a “table of contents” right up front.
But instead of sorting it by date, they sorted it by area of interest. For example, if your big challenge is fewer resources to accomplish the work you need to get done, then you should go immediately to Page 4. If your main issue is that your staff is frazzled and overworked, then you should go to Page 9.
And let’s say that “Increased Time Demands" is your main challenge, then you should take a quick look at the page in the brochure that shows you all the courses in the conference that are designed to help you accomplish more with fewer available resources.
Not only that, but at the bottom of that page you can see specific benefits that you’ll get from attending these programs.
But What Do People Think?
One of the concerns that people have when they start to implement marketing strategies that are more outrageous than most is the reaction their customers, clients, and members might have. Of course, this must be balanced with the actual results achieved, but it still can be a major issue, particularly when an organization is subject to the oversight of an elected Board of Directors. Fortunately, the response to this brochure was very overwhelmingly positive.
She specifically addresses the “triage page” idea without actually referencing it by name. In fact, she goes so far as to say that this approach could be used effectively as a model for teachers and students in other areas of education.
Make It Easy to Do...
Back in my corporate life, I had a boss who used to say, “Make the right thing to do be the easy thing to do.”
At the time he was talking about our efforts to deploy a quality management system throughout a large software-development organization.
The same approach, however, applies in all of your marketing and all of your copy. If you want people to register for a conference, then give them all the information they need to make that decision, and give it to them in a format that makes it easy to understand.
If you’re trying to convince people to take advantage of your lawn maintenance service, then write your copy in a way that communicates the benefits clearly and directly.
This is a great example of how to apply our marketing strategies in your copywriting efforts, and, as a bonus, get praise and recognition from your audience for doing the right thing.