what is your hook – marketing to those that are interested

What’s Your Hook – Marketing To Those That Are Interested

David Cooper © 2004

Seth Godin taught us about permission marketing in his book of the same title. The underlying message was that, of the over 3000 marketing messages we are bombarded with a day, most are considered “interruption marketing.” In other words, we receive marketing that we don’t care to receive. We receive marketing about products and services that we don’t care to purchase. Looking at the flip side, we are more likely to purchase products and services that we want, from marketing that we want to see or hear. The marketing challenge at hand at this point is identifying those prospects that are interested in what we are marketing and selling.

One way to do this is with a “marketing hook.” A marketing hook is something to grab the attention and spark the interest of a suspect or casual browser. Once the interest is sparked your suspect becomes a prospect. Only a prospect can be turned into a paying customer.

The marketing hook uses the old AIDA (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) formula for marketing and selling. Think back to, “grab the attention,” and “spark the interest,” mentioned above. If you grab my attention and I show interest and I extend that to taking action, I have just given you permission to market and sell to me. Permission marketing to interested prospects has a high degree of sales conversion.

I have to want something in order to take action beyond the attention and interest phase. This is where the make-up of the actual hook comes into play. Some of the best hooks, especially when considering on-line marketing are free information. In order to subscribe to the AIDA formula, the hook must be an offer of something that has value. No value, no desire. No desire, no action. There are other hooks used in on-line and traditional marketing that are more tangible in nature.

Let’s look at some examples:

For a PR/Marketing Company:

“Email us today for a free list of fax numbers to send your press release to.”

For a cheese manufacturer and distributor:

“Call our toll free number to receive your own recipe booklet: 1001 Ways to Use Cheese at every meal.”

For an e-book author and seller:

“Sign up today and receive the first 3 chapters for free.”

In all these examples, the casual reader/browser sits up takes notice (attention), reads each hook further to see value (interest), realizes that the offer would be a good thing to have (desire) and does what the hook says to do (action).

The whole essence of the hook is not to keep giving something away for free. It is an effort to get the email/name/address of interested parties to turn into paying customers or to market to in an ongoing, permission based effort. You have hooked the interested prospect. If they take the bait, you have a chance of landing them.

When developing your hook, it doesn’t have to be a direct sampling of your product or service nor does it have to be directly related to your product or service. Indirect inferences work and are sometimes perceived as more valuable:

For a commercial printing company


“Call us today for a booklet about how to market with post-cards.”

Another benefit of a marketing hook is the association your prospect makes with you and the value they receive. The prospect is more likely to remember you compared to a competitor who didn’t offer the hook or value that you did. This awareness is definitely a competitive edge.

In the world of Internet marketing, put up a sign-up box next to your hook offer. Collecting these “sign-ups” represents an “opt-in” list that can be marketed to later. This list is gold in your marketing treasure chest.

Hooks don’t have to be elaborate, as you have seen. Be creative. Make sure value is offered. Think in terms of the casual browser on-line or reader off-line. Do all this and your bounty of hooked prospects will provide you with a nutritious marketing meal well into the future.

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David Cooper is the editor of the 1Source-WebMarketing Newsletter. David specializes in helping people with their internet marketing efforts by offering real world tips and strategies. Subscribe to his FREE newsletter at:  http://www.1source-webmarketing.com/


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