It’s damn hot.
It’s August, it’s damn hot, and any self-repecting mammal is laying low in a shady spot catching extra zzz’s.
This includes many right-thinking humans. Europe practically shuts down for the month, and the cities empty as everyone goes on a month-long vacation.
Here in the States, our Puritan genes recoil at such frivolousness. And many business flog away at their markets pretending there’s nothing different going on.
My advice: Calm down. Take a deep breath.
Go have a nice cold drink.
There are, and always have been, “dead spots” in most markets during the year. You don’t want to mail into a major holiday like Christmas or Thanksgiving or the Fourth of July. You don’t want to schedule seminars in June or September if your target audience has school-age kids — or you’ll get caught up in the going-back-to-school and graduation exodus.
Unless, of course, you’re selling stuff related to those events.
And, for many of us, August is just a black hole for sales messages.
Understanding your market on a deep level requires a little focus and effort, to track the buying patterns of your flock. You cannot rely on “common sense” all the time. For example: The best time to send out golf-related pitches is not in the Spring, when everyone is dragging their clubs out of the closet.
Rather, it’s in the shivering months of January and February… when everyone is dreaming of that first warm round. When the pleasing picture of future benefit already has a toe-hold in their mind.
Markets differ in their patterns, and it’s one of your main jobs to find both the bad times to reach your prospects, and the best times.
For many markets, August just sucks.
So don’t panic if your response just took a dive, and you can’t find any good reason for it. Just stick your head outside.
It’s too damn hot to pay attention to anyone’s sales pitch right now.
But that doesn’t mean you need to turn off the lights and go into hibernation.
Instead, use this down month to spend some quality time with your house list. If you haven’t sent them something recently that didn’t include a plea for money… you probably need to. Every once in a while, it pays off huge to just contact your best customers… and GIVE them something.
No strings attached.
It’s part of the long-term bonding process. All year long, you’re tortuing them with message after message about something they want or need. If you’re writing good copy, then you’re teasing them mercilessly about it, too.
Now, it may be that they are comfortable with being hit on all the time by you.
Still, like any relationship, you stand to gain if — once in a while — you bestow a generous, unexpected gift on them. For no reason at all, other than the fact you are happy they’re part of your life.
And you’re not the greedy bastard they thought you were, never contacting them without wanting something.
They may react suspiciously to this gift, so you really need to make it clear you’re not using it as a ruse to get into their wallet later on.
No need to even do anything. You’ve included the free gift in the package you just sent. It’s theirs, to dispose of or use as they please.
You can make it a free report that offers huge value. But that’s kind of cheesy, if you’ve been slamming their bank account for any significant amounts. Much better is a published book — not your own latest best-seller, either. Something you’ve read and profited from.
A real gift.
You’ll be amazed at the good will you can generate with something that costs you a few bucks to send out.
And what do you do to make your nut for the month?
Easy. First, I’m not suggesting you never actually try to sell anything during down times.
Just know that you’re up against huge distractions — like the damn heat… and the fact your prospect may be on vacation a thousand miles away — and structure your offer to reflect that fact.
This is why so many smart marketers plan for “fire sales” during August. Or “we’re cleaning out our warehouse” sales. Or “damaged goods” sales.
Your prospect base may have been cut in half, or worse, for the month. So don’t do any huge rollout. Instead, offer a one-time opportunity, to your best customers, and use the fact it’s a down month as your excuse.
Reason-why copy works because it gives your prospect, literally, a reason why he should buy right now. Just the fact you’re having a sale isn’t a full reason.
But a more fleshed-out reason… like your need to generate some action during a heat-stroked down period… makes perfect sense.
And perfect sense often results in a decision to buy.
Personally, I’ve used August to let my assistant go off on an extended vacation… so I could shut off the phones and devote myself to writing.
Nearly all the courses and books I’ve written were completed during a sultry August break. I plan for the projects in the months prior… but I get the concentrated writing done in an air-conditioned orgy while the world bakes.
Shutting up shop completely can make good sense, too. Give yourself time to regroup, stop obsessing on the biz for a few weeks, let some whacky ideas simmer.
Read some good fiction, to really get your mind off things.
If you’ve been performing Operation MoneySuck all year long, you SHOULD be able to slip away for most of August, and not lose a beat when you return for a refreshed, cleared-brain Fall assault on your market.
Heck, if you have any special ways you’ve been spending August profitably, let’s hear about it in the comments section.
I kinda doubt there are too many of you out there reading this, though.
It’s too damn hot to log on, even.
Keep cool, y’all.
"11 Really Stupid Blunders You're Making With Your Biz & Career Right Now."
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