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We Made A Huge Mistake!

Furniture World Magazine


We Made A Huge Mistake! ...and other ad ideas that explain to customers that you offer great deals, and that will differentiate your promotions from other sale price advertising.

Retail Traffic by Brett Kitchen & Ethan Kap

With an unprecedented number of retailers running liquidations, GOB’s and warehouse sales, and consumers being skiddish and afraid to spend, how can you break through the clutter and get the traffic you need?

The secret to success in times like this is having strong relationships with your list of clients, nurturing them, making sure they don’t go buy from “Costco” or any other big box store because they have ‘lower prices’.

Well, if you have been guilty of neglecting your customer base, all is not lost. You can still reach them with an effective direct mail piece that compels them to come and buy from you.


We’ve all seen successful liquidations and GOB’s. Why do these work so well, when in reality the ‘deals’ aren’t any better than average? The secret is in the concept of “The Reason Why.”

This is one of the most powerful advertising and marketing concepts. Consumers see ads that promise a lot, and they are increasingly skeptical. That’s why they are looking for a “reason” to believe what you are saying.

The average furniture ad offers “Slashed Prices” and “Buy Now Pay Never” financing options. What compelling, believable reason does the customer have to believe that this is a legitimate, compelling, urgent offer? They Don’t!

They see it as just another “Me Too” ad that sells the same stuff for the same prices as everyone else, and there is no compelling reason to get off their duff and come in before it’s too late.

Consumers have been trained by us, that just another sale, is just another sale. Nothing special, no real reason to take action.

It’s the concept of deflation, on a different level. Right now talking heads are saying that declining prices lead to a slower economy because consumers keep thinking prices are going to go down.

Are you causing a kind of deflation on yourself by not providing a powerful REASON WHY in all of your promotions?

If you are training your customers that they can always wait until the “Next Sale”, you are actually giving them a reason not to buy now.

So how do you come up with a good reason why?

Here is an example of a marketing piece that works like gangbusters every time it is used.

One big reason why this is such an effective letter is because of its well written, entertaining, personalized copy.

But even more important is the BIG BELIEVABLE REASON WHY. First, the storeowner tells a true story about how an employee (manager or owner) purchased too much inventory. Then he or she explains that in order to get rid of that excess, it is necessary to make some difficult and painful concessions.

As you see, he isn’t just saying “I’m giving you a great deal.” He’s saying the “Reason Why I’m giving you such a great deal is because of this: The Inventory Manager bought too much stuff.”

Now does your “Reason Why” have to be such a catastrophe? Not at all. You can use a “Retirement Sale” a “Flood Sale” Bill Glazer is famous for his “Fire Sale” and the list goes on and on.

Is the 4th of July a good reason why? Nope. Sorry. Give me something that legitimately shows me why you are giving me a reason to buy.

Are you celebrating your son graduating from college? A Wedding, A milestone? Did your landlord just lower the rent, or did an employee just have a baby? Take an occurrence in your life, and turn it into a LEGITIMATE reason why you are making an offer, and why they must act now.

Another important part of this is the copywriting. You can’t write poor copy and expect good response. It just doesn’t work that way.

So this next segment will give you some “copy and paste” copy examples that will help your ads perform better.

Most home furnishings retailers forget that they aren’t just competing with other furniture retailers. They are competing with ipods, cars, cell phones, laptops, and most importantly big screen TV’s.

This means you must use compelling copy to show your customers why they can get a tremendous value by buying furniture/bedding… and buying it from you.
How do you do it? Here’s an example of copy you can use in radio, tv and print ads.

“Of course you could spend your money on a disposable electronic gizmo that gets lost, broken, stolen or outdated in the next 6 months. You could also spend your hard earned money on a new car that drives up your monthly expenses even further. But we both know those are not the best way to get REAL VALUE for your money.

“More and more folks are spending time at home with family and friends. The best value for your money right now is in an asset that won’t become lost or outdated, but give you the luxurious living you’ve been wanting and deserve without costing you a fortune.

“Now is the time to invest, that’s right, invest in home furnishings that make being at home a joy, and allow you to make a very wise financial decision.”

You see how you can sell against buying any of those other products that compete with home furnishings? You just need to make customers see the logic in spending whatever money they have on stuff for the home, not on “disposable gizmo’s”.

Combining effective copywriting techniques with compelling reasons “Why” makes your ads more powerful than anything else competitors are doing.

Be sure to remember “If you don’t have a reason why, the customer won’t buy.”

Brett Kitchen and Ethan Kap are cofounders of Traffic Guys Publishing, and are commonly known as the "Traffic Guys." Brett and Ethan run a retailer Marketing Mastermind Group to help retailers increase store traffic and sales, while cutting the fat and waste from current advertising. They also provide Done-For-You ads and promotions along with other systems to help retailers consistently drive in paying customers.

Questions can be sent to Brett and Ethan care of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine at bretk@furninfo.com.