Does asking questions in marketing work? Is asking questions in marketing a bad way to start your marketing message?
That depends on the questions. Good questions elicit interest and get a response. Bad questions just feel like a sales trick.
A couple of quick tips:
First of all, there needs to be a reason why you are asking the question. If you don’t know why you are asking the question, don’t bother. Your question can’t feel contrived. Your reader can’t feel like they’re going to be trapped into a hard sell when they answer your question.
Second, your questions have to be genuine. After all, the reason you are asking the question is because you care about the answer. Leading questions assume the answer. For that reason, you want to avoid those.
Know Your Audience
You need to know your audience. It makes a big difference in how you’re phrasing your question. When you ask a question in marketing, you want to make sure your audience is interested in your topic.
Ask Open Ended Questions
You need to keep your question brief. Ask open-ended questions. An open-ended question is a question that cannot be answered with a “yes” or “no” response, or with a static response. Open-ended questions are phrased as a statement which requires a response. Also, according to Wikipedia, the response can be compared to information that is already known to the questioner.
Examples of open-ended questions:
- What are the benefits of the product you’re selling?
- Why are the features of the product?
- Have you determined a budget for this?
- What is your timeline for implementing this?
- What challenges have you faced in the marketplace?
Testing the Success of Using Questions in Marketing
Just like any variable of direct marketing, the success of the question needs to be tested. That’s what I like about offering the options. This helps you gauge the value of your question.
Which question do you think got a better response?
- Would you be willing to help us by giving a donation?
- Would you be willing to help us by giving a donation? Every penny helps!
You’re right – it’s the second one. In comparison, by adding the 2nd phrase to the question, we are giving the audience an extra consideration to contemplate. It offers the audience a bit more to chew on before answering.
What Are You Doing with the Answers?
This is a loaded question.
First, how are you getting responses to these questions? Are you accumulating this over the phone? Is this a check off box in an email? What direct response mechanism you are using?
Next, are you planning to share these answers with your audience or are these answers for your own understanding?
Last, what metrics are you planning to use to see if your questions in marketing program was successful?