The Press Release Bait Strategy: Quickly Generate High-Quality Leads
by Marcia Yudkin
When your business feels dead in the water, with no new-customer excitement blowing your way, here’s a quick, easy and inexpensive way to generate leads.
First, identify a problem in the marketplace, something that your ideal customers worry about or spend money, time and frustration trying to fix. For example, if you market to restaurants and they’re experiencing a falloff in revenue because of an economic downturn, the problem is how to get regular customers coming in to dine as often as before.
Second, envision a written report, live teleclass, audio recording or video that offers valuable tips on solving the problem. Your content could take the form of expert advice, mini-case studies, a demonstration of what works or simply "here’s how we did it." For best results, make sure there’s value rather than platitudes in the content. You’re going to use this piece as bait for prospects, so the more revealing and helpful it is, the better. When they consume your giveaway item, it hooks them to want more.
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Third, give your bait piece a tantalizing title. Off the top of my head, here are some potential titles for the restaurant report described above:
"Let the Friday Night Fill-up Continue! How to Keep Regular Customers Coming in Despite the Recession"
"What Recession? Be the Restaurant Where Everyone Still Fights for Reservations"
"Restaurantopia: The Secret of Recession-Proof Capacity Crowds"
Fourth, create the bait piece – the report, audio or video – or set the date and time for the live teleclass. There’s no need to go overboard in length or production values as long as your level of professionalism and your knowledge are evident.
Fifth, set up the bait piece to be downloaded or viewed on the web. You confront a choice here: Do you require an opt-in before you give people access to your freebie? If so, expect a slight drop in the number of media outlets willing to run your bait piece offer. Many journalists and media gatekeepers look down on so-called "squeeze pages." On the other hand, if you do not require an opt-in, you need a strong, compelling offer at the end of the bait piece so a good number of those who go for the bait also take the next step to becoming a customer.
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And last, write and distribute a press release about the bait piece. Include actual passages from it or a meaty description about its content as well as exactly how to get access to it. For instance, appended to this article is one of several releases I successfully put out in late 2008.
When you have identified a pertinent source of pain that your ideal customers consciously feel, offered free, helpful solutions – and delivered on your promise, you can expect this strategy to bring you clients who consider your paid product or service their logical next step. You’ll have hooked them!
[Sample Press Release for a Bait Piece]
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Marcia Yudkin, email@example.com, (413) 563-4134.
Four Tactics for Drumming Up Business During a Recession – With 29 More Recession-Fighting Marketing Strategies Available in Free Downloadable Report
Goshen, MA, November 21, 2008 – It certainly does look like we’re in a recession. But wallets are not completely locked up. Buying continues, just more cautiously. To help companies and entrepreneurs stay alive despite the economic downturn, master marketer Marcia Yudkin has released a free report, "33 Keys to Thriving During a Recession"
The author of 6 Steps to Free Publicity and 10 other books, Yudkin outlines in her free report four ways to attract new customers when the economy has slowed:
1. Have a risk-free introductory offer. For example, 1AutomationWiz.com, an online shopping cart, offers a free 30-day trial. You sign up, set up the cart and can use it for real transactions without having to pay until the 30th day. (By then, you’re hooked!) As a variation on this theme, Changing Course initially charges just $13.55 shipping on its $297 Fast Track Your Dream program. They ship the materials, then begin charging the program fee on day 30. The buyer can ship everything back before day 30, then not be charged.
2. Develop and sell information products. Information products offer a low-risk, low-commitment way for new customers to get to know, then trust a vendor company. You can sell them to do-it-yourselfers who might not spring for full service as well as to regular customers who want to learn about a new topic area. Not only do the information products provide an additional stream of revenue during the recession, they will continue to do so after the economy picks up again (as it inevitably will) with no additional work. To get products ready for sale within weeks, start small, as with short downloadable reports or audio recordings of expert interviews.
3. Catch their pulse. What do your customers need most right now? Put your ear to the ground. Listen in on your target market’s complaints, questions and wishes where they hang out on email discussion lists and web-based forums. Based on what you hear, add a new product or service or twist an existing one so it clearly connects with their concerns. Let’s say that on the financial forums you see more questions than usual from couples nearing retirement or parents with more than one child in college. You could quickly create seminars, reports or telephone hotline hours specifically for those groups.
4. Pursue publicity. Getting media coverage can be as quick as picking up the phone and calling the news desk of your metropolitan newspaper or TV station to explain why you’re the local angle to today’s big story. Invest a little time to understand what constitutes newsworthiness in the eyes of the media, and pitch your company or yourself in pitch letters and press releases. During a recession, you may have a better shot at earning 15 priceless minutes of fame because competitors may have scaled back on the retainer for their PR firm. Find a cost-effective compromise between writing your own releases and hiring someone to do it for you by Googling "press release makeover service."
The full report, which includes the above tips, also contains suggestions for keeping an upbeat mood and preventing a recession slowdown during any future economic crisis.
Yudkin’s 12-page report, "33 Keys to Thriving During a Recession" is available at no cost and without even having to provide a name and email address at
Copyright 2009 Marcia Yudkin.
All rights reserved.
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