Direct Response Insights
From a Jazz Poster Promotion

I’m currently waiting for some food at a restaurant (take out, so I can bring it home and share it with my girlfriend who is working at home) and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to write a little message to you and talk about what I’ve been up to today. 
You see, I just spent about 2 hours blasting around my town hanging up posters for a jazz concert I’m putting on this Sunday. It’s Tuesday as I write this, so it’s a pretty short lead time to be hanging up posters – but you gotta do what you gotta do! 
The reality is that I don’t know many people in town, even though I’ve lived here for roughly 10 years now. (Introverts for the win.) I have a few core friends, and they already know about the show, so that’s that. But as far as getting other people to show up, well, that’s where the posters come in. 
Now, I did mention it is for a jazz show, right? So, my ideal audience isn’t exactly just hanging around everywhere. 
It’s not like a UFC show or some kind of big event that has mass appeal… 

This is a niche niche niche event! 

So for my posters to have maximum effect I needed to put them in the right spots. 
The first place I thought of was at high schools in town. Now, that’s probably not the best place to put them as far as ensuring I get a good turn out at the show. The reality is that most high school students probably don’t really care or want to see a jazz concert. But, I was once a young eager high school musician, and I would have jumped at the chance to see a jazz concert in the small town where I grew up. So, this was really about me trying to ferret out any potential keen young students who would really be interested in the show, as unlikely as that might be. So, this approach is kind of a passion project for me (as is this whole jazz show, really). 
The next spot where I thought to put up posters was the university and college here in town. They each have a music program, so in theory there will be interested students walking around who might want to come to a jazz concert. 
I have to admit I’m a little jaded and suspicious as to whether any will show up (…time will tell), but, theoretically, there should be some interested students hanging around the campus music buildings, so that’s where I put the posters up. 
Next on my list was music stores, both instrument stores and record/cd stores. (Yes, record stores still exist.) So I hit them up. My logic? I’m trying to find people who are passionate and interested in music in general, (and hopefully in jazz specifically) and who are willing and able to pay for music – and if someone is in a record store that’s a good sign (again, at least in theory) that they’re willing to pay to hear music.
Ok, next was the more general stuff, like coffee shops and other little hangouts where people go to meet each other, relax, hang out, make plans to do things, etc. If they see my poster and a jazz show sounds interesting to them, then maybe I’ll see them at the show! 
That more or less exhausts the locations I put the posters. 
Now let me describe the poster in a bit more detail.
First, let me tell you about the OTHER posters I saw hanging up on the bulletin boards and various other locations where I hung my posters… 

The overwhelming things they 

all had in common? 

(1) They were big, oversized posters (the size of two regular sheets of paper or so) 
(2) They mostly had huge glam shots of people on them, with little itty-bitty text on the side that had the info about what the poster was all about 
(3) Maybe 1 out of 10 posters had some kind of a headline – if you could call it a headline. More often than not it would be either the title of an album (if it was a musical artist), or the name of an event (and it wasn’t always clear what the event actually was) 
(4) The fonts that people used were very stylish… and quite often nearly illegible! I would frequently look at the posters hung on the bulletin boards in front of me and think to myself, “I can’t even SEE what any of these posters are trying to tell me!” 
My poster on the otherhand was not “pretty” – no glam shots here. 
I went by direct response genius Eugene Schwartz’s principle of attention-getting… 

What’s ugly sticks out! 

My main headline was just one word (with an exclamation point) in large bold font: JAZZ! 
I also added a lot of little things to look at on my poster – who was in the band, photos of each member of the band with their names below, a short description of the show, what songs we were going to play (some of them anyway), different text boxes for each element. A lot of things for the eyes to explore, inviting them to keep reading and looking at every turn.
Most importantly, I made sure that the key details – where the concert was happening, and exactly what day and time – were prominently featured so that no one could be left wondering what they were. After all…

Without these two key pieces of info 

there can be no audience!

And no audience = no concert.
Therefore they must be “blatantly obvious to the most casual observer” — as software engineer and business coach Troy Broussard likes to say. 
I also put a call to action on the poster, with a link and a QR code at the bottom. 
It was a simple call to action, just offering to remind the person of the show. Nothing big, but still a reason for people to visit my site and for me to connect with them – and, of course, add them to my email list.
So is my poster a genius piece of lead-generation? 


But, it does use the basic principles of direct response marketing: 
  • get right attention 
  • keep their interest 
  • build desire and conviction by using relevant facts and benefits 
  • invoke action towards a productive end
If you’d like to see the poster I’m talking about, enter your email address into the form below and I’ll send it to you. 
(You’ll also be signed up for my daily Copyganda email newsletter as well, if you aren’t already – but don’t worry, you’ll love it. And if you don’t? Well, you can unsubscribe easily anytime if you want.)
Like I said, you probably won’t be “impressed” by the poster itself. But it wasn’t designed to be aesthetically pleasing or artistic. It was designed to be noticeable and capture the attention (and inspire the action!) of anyone for whom going to a jazz concert would be a fun idea.

Want to see the actual poster 

I’m talking about in this post?

Simply fill out the form below and I’ll send it to you!

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