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Posing questions in marketing materials can increase your online sales  

Have you thought of asking questions as marketing tool and as a way of boosting conversions on your site? Curious about the method?

There, I just used it. I posed a question you may have considered and even if you haven't, perhaps you are now. Something has clicked in your mind. Are you ready to learn more about how you can make use of this effective marketing strategy to boost sales?

There, I've just done it again. Are you totally hooked now?

... and I've done it again - but it probably just became overkill, so let's move on to the meat of this article.

Why use questions?

When we think of potential clients arriving on our sites, our first goal is to provide them with information that will lead to a sale. We assume they already have questions that our site content and promotional blurbs will address; but sometimes these methods won't as they may have just stumbled on the site by accident or out of general curiosity with no intention of buying.

This is where the use of questions can come in.

Here's some examples:

Question: "Are you tired of wasting time polishing your car?"

In a visitor's mind, they may think "hmm.. never gave it much thought really, but now you mentioned it, yes I am!"

Question: "Is your current provider over-charging you?"

Visitor: "I assume they aren't. What gives? How might they be doing so?"

Question: "Did you know that 97% of your competitors use flombles to increase their subscriptions?"

Visitor: "What? Have I been living under a rock? Better check into this more; can't have Larry from 43xerff.com getting ahead of me."

Question: "Would you like to save $567 a year on electricity in one easy step?"

Visitor: "Stupid question.. of course I would!"

Of course, it's important to then address how your product or service addresses the question or scenario.

Question/answers are often delegated to the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) pages of web sites; but by highlighting a few questions in your main content that are tied in closely with the strengths of your goods and services can assist in visitors making a purchase decision. They can be used to help build excitement about a product.

Even for potential clients who are already groomed to buy, the posing of some questions and answers can give them even more more reason to buy from you rather than elsewhere. 

A different dynamic

Using questions sets up a different dynamic that can positively affect some potential buyers. It's asking rather than telling. In a way, you're asking them for their opinion rather than directing the person as to what they should do. The use of questions can be especially useful on landing pages.

Posing questions shouldn't make up the bulk of your promotional material, as that can become rather annoying; as it probably did at the beginning of the this article. Telling and asking should be balanced in order to appeal to a wide range of people.

Here's a rough example of that sort of balance:

Question: "Ready to reduce your water consumption by a massive 20,000 gallons a year?"

Answer: "Water is a precious resource and the average family uses around 40,000 gallons of this giver of life a year just to shower. With our low-flow shower head, you can still have a satisfying shower, save 50% on your water consumption and save up to $150 on water heating costs every single year - for only $15.95! 1 minute easy installation, no ongoing costs, fits all systems - show the planet you care!

Direction: "Reduce your water consumption by half and save $150 a year on water heating bills with our low flow showerhead - buy now!"

The above stirs curiosity in those who may not have considered this issue, provides brief information for the the inquisitive about how the product addresses the question and gives a clear direction to people who prefer to be told what to do; all in the space of a few lines.

Shorter questions and answers can also be used in PPC (pay per click) advertising.

If you're not yet using questions as part of your marketing approach, give it a whirl - no major rewrites are necessary while testing; simply look at the content you already have and devise questions that match and add one or two above the product description. Think of the experiment as a game of Jeopardy :).

Related:

Creating effective marketing copy

Crafting landing pages

Michael Bloch
Taming the Beast
http://www.tamingthebeast.net 
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