This is my last marketing column for 2012 and I want to thank the many Herald readers who have taken the time to comment on what they found useful. (I really appreciate your feedback.)

In this column I want to touch on a common marketing challenge many of us face.

How do we make our marketing messages 'memorable' so they first get noticed and also get people to take action on them?

One strategy that my copywriting friend Troy White in Canada recommends is this...


Use 'unusual occasions' in your marketing messages to make them memorable:

Here are a couple of examples from Troy...
1: Imagine several weeks from now.

People are excited about 2013 and all the interesting things the year might bring for them.

They open their email box, here's a list of email subject lines they see...

"Happy New Year"
"To a great 2013"
"Thanks for being a loyal customer"
"In honor of National Whipped Cream Day... I have a delicious gift for you"
"Hope you had a great New Year"

Which of those messages stands out and is memorable? ESPECIALLY if it's from someone they know!

Your odds of getting that email opened are exponentially higher because you used an unusual occasion. (National Whipped Cream Day is on January the 6th.)

2: Here's another example of using an interesting occasion:


The Shoelace was invented on February 9th in 1790.

Think of all the different ways you could use a shoelace.

You could attach one to the top of a letter you might send to your existing customers.

Dear Customer,

Why have I attached a shoelace to the top of this letter?

Actually there are two reasons I have done this:

1) The shoelace was invented on February 9th, 1790 and in celebration of this special occasion (a tool we all use every day of our lives) I wanted to share something with you.

2) As the letter you are about to read involves tying up some loose ends on my end for 2012, I thought it very appropriate as an attention grabber.

I need to apologize to you. In looking back over the past year, I noticed I was not in touch with you very often and I want to apologize for my mistake.

You see, 2012 was a great year and I thank you for that... but you were probably not informed about ..........................

In both examples you have taken an unusual occasion and made your marketing memorable.

How do you find unusual occasion and memorable marketing messages like these?

Get hold of a fun resource that Troy has created called 'The 2013 Cash Flow Calendar.' It contains over 1,437 unusual occasions and memorable marketing messages that you can use in any business. (I have a copy of the 2013 Cash Flow Calendar myself and it is very good.)

One last comment about making your marketing memorable.

I received an email recently from the owner of a very successful engineering firm in Christchurch. And he made some fascinating comments about marketing.

"I regularly send out letters to prospective customers that break every rule in the book, pink envelopes, coffee sachets etc, no letter head, scripted text, lots of highlighting and always a couple of stories to highlight a point. Customers look for them and everyone gets opened. Who says you can't be radical in a very conservative market?? I believe, look at what everyone else is doing and do the opposite. Be brave and stand out from the crowd. My gang think I am nuts, but we get results with very healthy growth each year, even in a diminishing market. One thing that I have learned, if the team think it is over the top, then we just have to do it because most people have a sense of humour and will notice and remember."

So look for interesting ways to make your own marketing memorable.

And best wishes for a wonderful year in 2013.

"May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions." - Joey Adams
Action Exercise:
What can you do to make your marketing messages more memorable?