Kristen Galles wants to help book clubs tackle and appreciate good books, both classics and more recently due to customer interests, hot new titles. Until recently, Kristin was selling 2-3 kits per week but sales have seen a downturn. She’s looking for a tidy annual revenue.
- Product Summary: Standard and Custom Kits for Book Clubs to help members tackle and appreciate the classics. Kits include questions, bookmarks, menu ideas, vocabulary lists, activities, etc.
- Promotion Medium: Google AdWords primarily
- Total Budget: $100/month
- Creative Objectives: $25,000 annual revenue
- Offer: None, sample kit is viewable from site
- Target Audience: book clubs that focus on fiction, primarily female
- Product Price: varies, starts at $10/$15 up to $25
Thoughtfully-prepared, high-quality product – You offer an excellent product for book clubs serious about exploring great literature and still have some fun. Nice variety of titles, too.
Personal experience and passion of the developer – Your passion for good books comes through loud and clear. Now put your relevant teaching experience upfront, too. Tell your prospects about you and why you’re the one to help book club leaders lead their clubs for $15. And do add a photo of yourself. (Your dog is cute but his photo won’t make folks feel comfy about spending their money with you.)
WHAT NEEDS WORK:
Direct your PPC prospects to a specific landing page (or series of landing pages) written and designed to close sales – You dilute the interest and momentum of your pricey PPC traffic the moment you direct them to your homepage rather than a sales-centric landing page. Review my Landing Page Series for a ton of good copy and design ideas to assist you in crafting landing pages that will help you close more sales with greater speed and efficiency. Suffice it to say, your current product pages are confusing to read and cluttered to look at. Taking this one recommendation to heart will make a world of difference to your overall response and revenue.
Strengthen your product value – When free information/resources are your main competition, you’ll need to pump up the value to get someone to pay from $10/$15 on up for a single book club kit. No one needs what you sell so you have to make your prospects want what you have to sell. To my mind, your copy needs to focus on the hassle of pulling all this info together solo and the high-value, low-cost benefit of letting an experienced, passionate literature diva pull it all together instead.
Too many choices, somewhat ill-defined – I was confused as to what was what and what each cost. I’d simplify the offerings. Standard, custom, questions with bulleted details for each along with the price.
Embrace your marketing reality – There was a little bit of the disapproving teacher in your material to me, a sense of frustration with book clubs that focus too much on the social chit chat and not enough on serious book discussion. Add to that the further frustration that clubs tend to focus on popular rather than classic literature.
Reality Check: YOU CAN’T CHANGE THIS BEHAVIOR/MIND-SET. However, perhaps through a regular series of articles your own blog as well as distributed to other sites, you can nudge club leaders to consider a classic book once in a while. Support this with testimonials from leaders who have added classic works to their schedule and the wonderful response it had, etc. In the meantime, you might want to say what you’re about upfront with a little snob appeal – kits for clubs serious about literature or something along this line. You could do this nicely with a new tagline. (Or you could go with the flow and offer a serious AND chit-chat version for each title.)
Rethink your sales goals, look for larger markets with deeper pockets – Roughly speaking, you need to sell approximately 1,100 kits per year (92 kits per month) to meet your goals. That strikes me as unrealistic unless I’m woefully underestimating the size of the non-ad hoc book club market. How many formal, active book clubs are out there? How many books does each club cover in a 3, 6 or 12 month period? What’s your guestimation of clubs willing to part with a little $$ for guidance versus those who won’t? If there aren’t enough clubs with deep pockets and a willingness to spend, I don’t see how you can reach your sales/revenue goals.
So where are the bigger numbers with the bigger pockets? You’ve already identified high school teachers. As a high school literature teacher yourself, you are in a great position to reach colleagues in ways a non-teacher can’t. Play off your strengths to larger markets with bigger numbers. Work with relevant associations, perhaps the National Council of Teachers of English, to see where you can generate a little positive synergy.
Survey your current customers – Email a selection of your customer base, standard and custom, and get specifics on the benefits and features your customers like best. Rework your copy to better reflect these concepts and push them forward in your overall content.
Consider getting rid of the standard kits for book clubs and go right for the custom kit customer – If free is your toughest competition in the book club market, it strikes me that your best opportunity for a breakthrough is to focus on building super-duper custom kits filled with great stuff that would simply take too much time and effort to compile otherwise. Use your standard kits as an entree to test other markets – high school English/literature teachers, perhaps even adult-level ESOL/GED teachers who would appreciate imaginative approaches to teaching the classics. I’d also consider marketing to the Girl/Boy Scouts and similar teen service organizations for the low cost standard kits.
My thanks to Kristen for sharing her creative plan with me and Copyblogger, and for her donation to Heifer International.
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