Give your business the QVC effect

Have you ever watched QVC or any of the other home shopping networks that appear on the higher number channels on Freeview or satellite TV?

When you think of these channels (which I urge you to do), what springs to mind?

Is it strange gadgets that you didn’t know you wanted and perma-tanned presenters who can talk for half an hour about a lemon squeezer?

Or do you think of £359.7million of sales in 2008 alone?

Yes, 359.7 MILLION POUNDS (which, by the way, is a LOT of sales..!).

Do you think that QVC has a formula that works?

They certainly have, and I’m going to show you how you could bring a little bit of that magic into your marketing.

What is the formula?

The QVC formula is actually very simple:

  1. Take 2 presenters,
  2. Get them to have an involved conversation about an item,
  3. Then offer it for sale at a special QVC price for a limited number of units.

There’s a whole lot of extra little things that they do, but this is the basic outline.

Why does it work?

This method successfully sold £359.7million worth of goods in one year on this well known shopping channel, because QVC draws us into a conversation between the presenters. As they are talking to each other, they’re not just shouting at us and telling us to buy in a high-pressure manner. Instead, our brains process the conversation as impartial opinion, even though we know it’s not, which makes us more likely to buy. It’s a little bit like eavesdropping on someone else’s discussion, rather than experiencing a ‘broadcast’ type of advertisment.

Then, they create urgency based around the price and the number of units available. They tell you how many units of the product they have available, and then as the number goes down, the viewer is kept updated. They also specifically tell us as certain lines are sold out, all adding to the sense that you might miss out if you’re not quick.

How to make it work for you.

Are you thinking that this couldn’t work for your business? Actually, this works as well for cakes as it does for £150,000 diamond rings on the QVC, so why shouldn’t you be able to use this technique in your marketing?

OK, so you probably don’t run a shopping channel, or have a multi-million pound business (yet!), but you CAN get a little bit of QVC magic into your marketing with a few simple steps:

1. Don’t rely on what you say about your products and services to make your sales, let other people say it for you.

2. Get happy clients to give you written, audio, or video testimonials focusing on the effects that your products or services have had on them or their lives (NOT focused on how fab you and your work is). It should be almost like a mini-case study; and remember to concentrate on the benefits that your work has brought to them.

3. Use these testimonials in all your marketing materials – not just on your website. You can also post them on your blog, on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin, in your brochures or catalogues, and even use one on the back of your business card.

4. Use scarcity in your marketing – but only in a genuine way! This might mean that you have a special offer for a limited time, or an extra gift available with the first 10 purchases. You could even create a limited edition version of your top product, or you just tell people how many units are available on a first come, first served basis. Most small businesses have scarcity built in (because there’s only so much of anything that they can do), but don’t bother tell anyone. This is part of who you are, so don’t be afraid to use it!

If you can do this, you will be able to reap the benefits of the successful QVC formula for yourself.

Give it a go!

About the author: Tamsin Fox-Davies is London’s favourite Marketing Mentor. She is also the author of Free Marketing Tips, simple weekly how-to guidance to really make your marketing move. You can get your copy when you sign up for free at

Tamsin Fox-Davies

Want some more help on marketing during the Christmas period? Register for our advanced social media webinar From just using Social Media to Getting Real Results. It’s taking place on 3rd December as the first part of our expert education series. I look forward to seeing you there! Tamsin Fox-Davies works for Constant Contact UK, where her role is to spread the small business marketing love and share best practices. You can run a nifty little Facebook marketing campaign with a month’s free Social Campaigns account when you sign up at: Constant Contact are the Key Sponsor for the Women Unlimited THRIVE conference. You can connect with Tamsin by clicking on the icons below.

Be the change that you want to see. Step into your leadership.


Join the Community
Subscribe to the
Women Unlimited Newsletter
Keep up to date with the latest articles, webinars and events that we are running to support you on your journey to being a change maker and change leader
I'm in!
Give it a try, you can unsubscribe anytime.
Join the Women Unlimited Community
Join now