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A special report is one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use.

All of us have concerns about something in our lives. Do I have enough insurance coverage? Is my retirement plan adequate? Is my job secure? Will my car make it another year before it needs major work, etc.

At certain times, the intensity of our focus on any subject or area is more than it is at other times. Your job as a business owner or salesperson is to be in front of your prospects at the precise moment that the intensity of their focus on a product or service that you sell is the highest, then step into the conversation they are having in their mind and answer the questions that are concerning them.

But how do you know when those precise times are? And how can you isolate who the people are who are having those concerns? If you approach your marketing efforts like most people do, you’ll waste a lot of time, money and effort marketing to the wrong people, and you’ll end up frustrated and wondering why marketing doesn’t work. 

The Power Of Education Based Marketing

Special reports can turn all that around for you. A special report is nothing more than an education-based message that is of interest to the buyer, and it’s one of the most powerful marketing tools you can use. Special reports can identify exactly who is at the peak of their focus, and if used correctly, can bring you a constant stream of qualified, ready-to-buy prospects.  

Special reports can be written on a variety of topics for any type of product or service you sell. The only limiting factors are your imagination and your commitment to writing them.

Psychologists tell us there are seven emotional appeals that stimulate people to action – the things that drive people to make decisions. Here’s what they are:

  • Greed – getting more of something
  • Exclusivity – being one of the few that own something, or belong to something
  • Salvation – being saved or rescued from something negative or harmful
  • Fear – being afraid of missing out on something, or having something negative happen
  • Guilt – feeling remorseful about doing, or not doing something
  • Anger – being upset, irritated or mad about something happening or not happening
  • Flattery – made to feel good about something you did, or you have

If you can incorporate one or more of these elements into your special reports, you’ll have a much greater chance of causing your prospect to take action. And if you’ll include one or more of these appeals in the headline of your report, the response rate for ordering your reports will significantly increase.

Special reports can be offered in several different formats. The most common are short, one or two-page reports in digital or print format.

Audio recordings and videos are also sometimes used. Some choose to offer their reports as a download from their website. Each of these formats has its advantages and disadvantages. 

The determining factor in how you format them really should be dictated by your audience. You can test each medium and see which ones receive the highest response rate

Audio and video can be very inexpensive to produce and can be listened to or watched over and over again. Listening to a caring, friendly voice give ideas on how to get better value for the money they spend on the things you sell, can help your prospect forge an emotional and psychological bond with you. 

The perceived value of audio or video is generally greater than print or digital documents, and will usually have a longer “shelf life” – that is, people will be more likely to interact with them, rather that throw them away or delete them.

Don’t limit yourself to any one format. While audio and video do have the advantage of creating an emotional and psychological bond with your prospect, the printed or digital document can be easily highlighted and marked up with notes your prospect might want more information about.

Distributing Your Special Reports

There are many opportunities for distributing these powerful marketing tools.

Any time you have any contact with a client, whether it’s a personal contact, by telephone or through a visit to your website, you should at least make the offer for them to receive a report. Here are some ideas to consider…

  • At the end of every phone call
  • In every email signature
  • On your website
  • When people leave your office or a meeting, having done business with you
  • When people leave your office or a meeting, not having done business with you
  • In other complimentary businesses
  • At networking events

These are just a few scenarios where you may have the opportunity to share your special reports with other people. And don’t limit your special reports to just one or two. Create reports on a variety of subjects and services. 

Then, don’t forget to give them out. The only way they’ll work for you, is if they get into the hands of your prospects and clients.