How a Fruitcake Can Increase Your Web Site Sales (A fruitcake tells all)

You know, sometimes you turn on TV in the summer, and there appears a movie with snow on the ground or it takes place at Christmas. It just seems so out of place with the sweat running down your face or the sound of lawnmowers in the background. Well, if you read this during the holidays, then you are in luck, it will appear that I wrote it just for you. But since I am posting this in March, I am going to be wrong 11 months of the year… sorry.

Kill The Fruitcake

There were probably many lucky recipients of a fruitcake during the holidays. Some of those proud owners immediately started to consider various ways to “kill the fruitcake.” Some are thinking of re-gifting it to that “favorite aunt” or even to a “nosy neighbor,” while others are wondering if the fruitcake would really work as a doorstop or an anchor for your fishing boat.

I have to admit, I became a fruitcake owner.

But All Web Site Owners Are Smart

As we all know, mortgage web site owners tend to be a bit smarter than regular people. If you are like me, you too would probably be looking at that fruitcake and asking, in a soft and inquisitive voice, what you can learn about how to increase your mortgage sales from this tasty culinary treat.

I had just finished reading an article on Internet marketing by Robert Bly and Sandy Franks, and it just happened to be discussing fruitcakes. I may have had a holiday drink or two as I read the article. I felt that I was slowly drifting off.

As I looked into those big brown date and raisin eyes of the fruitcake, I could almost hear it plead with me, promising to tell me a story of its heritage, and also promising me a valuable secret. I had a few minutes available, and I am always willing to learn, so I told the cute little fruitcake to proceed.

First a Little History

The fruitcake begins with a story. “Let me tell you about our rich history. Fruitcakes are typically holiday cakes which have, surprise, a very heavy fruit content. The history of fruitcakes dates back to Roman times. Our original recipes included pine nuts and raisins that were mixed into barley mash. Later, honey, spices and preserved fruits were incorporated. During the 1700’s, Europeans created a celebratory fruitcake at the end of the nut harvest to be saved and eaten the next year to celebrate the beginning of the next harvest. As of late, people have been adding, yum, rum or whiskey to fruitcakes. We like that.

The fruitcake went on to say, “Sadly, though, we fruitcakes have fallen out of favor (but not flavor), and we are the target of many jokes. I was sitting in this closet – oh, it must have been, maybe, 1988. My owner would watch Johnny Carson every night. I loved to listen to his jokes, but I heard Johnny-boy say, ‘The worst gift is a fruitcake. There is only one fruitcake in the entire world, and people keep sending it to each other.’ I have to tell you I was glad when Carson retired.”

The fruitcake could tell that, while I was listening, I was really waiting for the secret.

The Secret of the Fruitcake

“Alright, alright,” said the fruitcake, “I will tell you a little secret that will help you.”

I remember thinking that either this fruitcake had a lot of rum in it, or I did. I wasn’t quite sure which.

“I want to tell you the story of how one of our fruitcake brethren helped their owners increase their sales of fruitcakes. And the way that they did it, can certainly help you and your business.”

Hmm, I perked up a bit.

“There is this bakery in Texas, the Collin Street Bakery, which was struggling to sell our fruitcakes. The owners knew that we were delicious. But the word ‘fruitcake’ had a negative image. They also knew that one of the reasons their Texan fruitcakes tasted so good is they are made with pecans grown on the Texas river banks.”

“Before I go any further, let me ask you a few questions,” said the fruitcake. “Fish eggs or caviar?”

“What?” I asked.

“When you go to a restaurant, would you pay $75 for ‘a scoop of fish eggs?'”

Before I could respond, the fruitcake went on to say, “Would you pay $75 for this at a restaurant? ‘We maintain our reputation as the premier restaurant by offering only the finest Beluga caviar available, flown in each night from the Caspian Sea. Our four star chefs then hand select only the finest caviar from each catch. These Beluga pearls are the most delicate and have a mild buttery flavor. You will absolutely love this caviar.”

“Is this a trick question?” I respond.

“Nope, it’s really a matter of semantics. How powerfully do you write your words to influence buyers?”

“Wow,” I thought, “There must be really a lot of rum in this fruitcake.”

The fruitcake went on, “Which sounds better? A hamburger or a free-range sirloin burger grown on the Argentine pampus? A salad? Or fresh organic lettuce, with organic hot-house tomatoes, with a sprig of mint?”

“This brings me back to the Collin Street Bakery. They used words to reposition our lowly stature as a fruitcake, and rechristened us the ‘Native Texas Pecan Cake.’ Sales took off.”

The fruitcake explained, “This simple change of words, from fruitcake to ‘Native Texas Pecan Cake’ resulted in direct mail response rates increasing by sixty percent. The promotion was so successful, that the bakery sent 12 million pieces of mail. My fellow fruitcakes are everywhere.”

Applying the Fruitcake Secret

“Ahh, I get it,” I said. “All I have to do is go back and use more compelling content, and use words that clearly communicate how the mortgages I provide can help and benefit my visitors.”

“Yep,” said the fruitcake, “That is pretty good for a human.”

Save The Fruitcakes…

So now you know that while many people want to “kill the fruitcake”… that really isn’t what is best for you. Once you learn and listen what a fruitcake can teach you, you may start your own grassroots group to “save the fruitcakes.”

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