Your Internet Marketing Horoscope
Even if, like me, you think astrology is a bunch of...let's call it "hooey", I'd be willing to bet that you enjoy reading it to see if it fits. In fact, you probably enjoy it whether it does or not. (If it does, it reinforces your self-image. If it doesn't, it gives you a chance to look down your nose at people who believe in astrology. :-)
Then there are personality quizzes. Even if we know there's no scientific basis behind them (like the Doodle Dumb Luck Personality Pigeonhole that I invented years ago), we're still drawn in by the entertainment value of seeing what they'll claim to show about us.
We secretly hope that they'll reveal powerful insights into our souls. We secretly hope that they'll tell us how wonderful we are. We secretly dread that they'll reveal our flaws...but that doesn't stop us. We take them anyway.
I don't have an internet marketing horoscope for you. But maybe I should.
Over at AWeber's blog last year, Amanda Gagnon wrote about how a few companies are doing something similar in their marketing:
Discover Your Doppelganger
The Container Store ... created four personas of women who use their products...
Subscribers can choose which character they identify with, then read just what product that character needs and why.
Choose Your Truffle-Twin
Vosges, a chocolate boutique, sent an email that works in the opposite direction. First, readers choose their favorite truffle, then they read the matching personality description.
If the reader's nature doesn't match their chosen truffle's fortune, can keep scanning 'til they find a match. Then they'll have to explore their new suggested favorite!
Why this is genius: The truffle is presented as an expression of the reader, who may accept it as part of their self-perception.
The truffle example is what made me think of astrology. "If the reader's nature doesn't match their chosen truffle's fortune, can keep scanning 'til they find a match." Ha! While you can't opt out of your zodiac sign and adopt another one (unless you've been born multiple times...?), we do the same thing, don't we?
Could you do something like this for your business? Sure. "Discover your blogging personality type", "discover your vacation personality", "discover your fitness personality"...
Once your prospects have self-selected a personality type or other category, give them some entertainment and send them a little sunshine to help them feel good about the kind of person they are. And then show them how your product can help make their life even better.
The power of this approach is that instead of marketing directly to the prospect (and triggering their anti-sales-pitch defenses), you speak to the classification that they've chosen for themself. They'll likely be more open to considering how your product could help the avatar they've selected, and then see, by extension, how it could help them.
Make It Viral
That personality quiz that I linked to above is always getting a trickle of traffic from other sites that have linked to it. In other words, it went at least a little bit "viral".
Be sure to give people an easy way to share their results -- a pre-written Tweet announcing their personality, for example (something I haven't done with the Dumb Luck quiz, but would definitely do with anything I create for my business).
Build Your List
You're not to going sell to everyone who takes the quiz on the first try. So be sure to offer them a chance to join a mailing list where you send out more tips and information tailored to their personality type. Then use it to continue to highlight ways that your products could help them.
By building different lists for each personality type (or at least storing their personality type along with their subscription), you'll have a segmented list that you can use to tailor your messages to specific groups.
Your Internet Marketing Fortune Cookie
Like I said, I don't have a horoscope for you. So I'll end with a fortune cookie instead.
"Your marketing skills will improve by leaps and bounds."
Do you feel better about yourself now?