Sunday, January 21, 2007

Another Big Ticket Strategy -- Report Writing - Part 1

This is the first in a series of articles about Big Ticket Report Writing.

First, what do we mean by report?

In its simplest form a report is just information which informs the reader on a specific topic. 

The best reports define or highlight a problem and then recommend and show how that problem can be solved.

A report may also be a review and recommendation of a product or service or a sales letter packaged as a report.

In all cases, the report must contain valuable, relevant and targeted information.

A report is just like an e-book except it is usually (but not always) shorter.  A typical report might range from 3 - 25 pages.

Why even write a report? Why not just send email instead?

There are lots of reasons:

  • Email messages can get lost or blocked by SPAM filters based on the content of the message. Attaching a report to the message or even keeping the message brief with a compelling reason why someone should go and download your report will ensure that your message has an easier time reaching your prospects or existing customers.

  • Reports, if done well, have a clear, clean, professional look to them giving an extra special emphasis to the information, product or service you are providing or recommending.  The professional appearance of the report also helps enhance your credibility which is key when you are selling Big Ticket Items.

  • It is common to include a brief background of the report author (that would be you) at the start of the content.  This helps brand you and your business and also further establishes you as an expert in this area.  For Big Ticket purchases, this is a must.

  • Although HTML email can be formatted similarly to a report it still has the problem of being trapped by SPAM filters. The format of the report lends itself to much easier reading and printing than email.  Many people like to print out information to take with them when they are away from their computers.  Also if someone wants to have a discussion with others about your product or service, its nicer to have a report to copy rather than copying an email message.

Ok, so what's the difference between a Big Ticket report and any other report?

Big Ticket reports usually have the following features:

  • they focus on a product or service with a high  price point. For example, items which are  priced at $500 or above. In some businesses these type of reports are called white papers.

  • they target a single, specific problem and a single solution.  You don't want people going and checking out various other related products unless its critical for convincing them why your solution is the best.

  • contain much more in-depth review and analysis of the problem and solution

  • have far more information to convince readers of the effectiveness and benefits of the product or solution. This may be in terms of revenue generated or actual detailed customer testimonials. Often, these reports contain detailed case studies as well.

  • include full color images to enhance the presentation, style and information presented.

  • use audio or video or links to audio or video for the testimonials, case studies  or demonstrations of the product or service. After all most people would rather be shown or hear about how something works than just read about it. Video is especially useful for demonstrating the quality and content of information products and software tools.

  • give specific additional incentives for purchasing the recommended product or service.

As you can imagine, creating a Big Ticket report takes far more work than either an email or a simple report. 

But that work is warranted because the higher cost of the Big Ticket item requires more effort for people to be convinced of its benefits and also because the payoff is better if the reader buys the product or service.

In Part 2 we'll look at using Audio and Video in Big Ticket Report Writing.

Copyright (C) 2007 Chuck Daniel, Like Magic Marketing, LLC -- All Rights Reserved.

Chuck is a former Microsoft software designer and program manager who spent more than a decade happily working on Email and CRM. Admittedly a seminar, workshop and information addict, Chuck left Microsoft to pursue his interests in personal development, internet, direct and information marketing and to promote and work for charitable causes.

Chuck Daniel
Email: chuck 'at' likemagicmarketing 'dot' com
Would You Like to Make BIG Bucks
With BIG Ticket Items Online?

This article may be reprinted in its entirety in your E-zine or on your Site as long as the content is not modified, all links are left in place and you include the resource box as listed above.


Anonymous John said...

Hey Chuck, Thanks for sharing... you always fill the missing gaps with the straightforward piece of the puzzle. Keep the good stuff coming, talk soon.

10:17 PM  
Anonymous Tim Brocklehurst said...

Hi Chuck

I like the sound of your email organizing software. My email strategy sucks. I've got over 33,000 unread emails in my inbox because if I don't like the look of something, I just leave it.

It doesn't appear to slow down outlook express too much so I just run with it as it is, but I'm very conscious of the fact that its messy (and probably bad for feng shui)!

I've just started a gmail account, and I've set up a catch all on one of my main accounts to it. So far it looks like Google is better at sifting spam from wanted mail than what I had available before so I might catch all my emails to it and see what happens.

But then if I did that, I'd miss the email rules and folder organization I have set up in Outlook Express for monitoring paypal sales etc...

The benefit of those is that you can see how many mails you have in a folder without having to open the folder. That way, a check can be kept on how the list is growing, how many sales are coming in, how many responses you're getting to questionnaires etc. etc. - Without having to look at the contents, or even the subject line, of those emails. The count is given in blue (in brackets) as unread emails in that folder.

If your system could still enable this kind of functionality, I'd not only buy it, I'd want the resell rights! :)

Good luck with it...


11:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes, thanks for sharing....

it's a good stufff.....


4:24 PM  
Anonymous Colleen Simmons said...

Hi Chuck, Your information is always useful and easy to understand. I must say I am interested in how you sent up your email sorting it would be very useful. I have folders that I keep things in but have to manually place them, having them go in automatically would be a great time saver.

2:34 AM  
Blogger Chuck Daniel said...

Thanks very much for all your comments.

Note to other readers:

Some of the comments posted here are actually about a system that I use to manage and control SP^AM.

I cleaned out my inbox at the start of the New Year, starting with around 1500 messages and got it down to around 100.

But the most annoying part was that about a third of those were SP^AM.

So now I have a system that not only organizes my email into folders but also files 98% of the SP^M emails into a Potential SP^AM folder.

This only takes me a few minutes to go through when I want.

Its a huge time save for me!

1:56 PM  

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