Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

copywriting

In God We Trust. All Others We Sue.

This week I’m gonna critique an ad I found in an old magazine while doing some “on the spot shredding” (aka getting into the recycling bin and causing havoc in my Mom’s office). Wowsers! Take a look at this ad! Is this guy a bulldog or what! First of all, good on him for taking a stand on something instead of being all wishy washy and trying to please everyone. Will he turn people off? Yup. But will he likely attract the people he’s targeting with his powerful headline

“In God We Trust. All Others We Sue.”

He sure will.

His headline is far better than the usual tripe put out by injury attorneys: “Injured? Call us…”

Zzzzzzz…

B-o-r-i-n-g.

But here’s how this snappy dresser could have made his ad a LOT better.

First, he should have picked one specific area of law to focus on. Instead, he has just about every area you can think of written in tiny font around the edges.

Next, he needs to make it easy for people to call him (and not so scary). There’s the name of the firm (blacked out to keep me out of hot water with him), but no number to call. And does he charge for an initial consult? What’s the offer, dude?

Then, how about throwing in a few killer client testimonials and giving some proof? That’d surely help his response rate.

And finally, this ad, even though it’s better than most, is still an image ad and not a direct response one. So there’s no way for him to measure his response rate from it other than to guess.

Well, gotta scoot. I see two squirrels chasing each other around a tree and I need to go supervise.

Woof!

Copywriting Tips For Bloggers

Bear the Rottie
Bear the Rottie

Copywriting Tips From The Couch - By Bear the Rottie - Chief Co-Squirrel Hunter and Head Copywriter at The Client Stampede. This week’s edition of Copywriting Tips From the Couch comes to you from the basement.  It’s been a scary week at our house with all that weather blowing over from Hurricane Sandy, and I’m not sure I’m quite ready to venture upstairs again.  Anyhow, this week here are some copywriting tips to help you write a better blog post.

  1. Pack a punch with your headline to hook the reader by talking about something important to them (not you).  Here’s the thing about blog posts.  For them to be successful and widely read, they have to written in a lively manner and they have to cover content of interest and value to your readers (not necessarily you).  Your headline should be the strongest part of your blog post – not just an after thought.  So take some time to make it impossible to ignore.
  2. Great blog posts (like great copywriting) are addictive.  They suck the reader in and leave them wanting more.  One of my mentors once told me that great copy should read like crack cocaine.  That’s the secret of developing a loyal following.
  3. It’s not true that blog posts have to be short.  They can be, but if they’re well written and entertaining (and addictive) to read, people will devour as many words as you can write.

4 Easy Marketing Tips To Rev Up Your Sales Copy

Copywriting Tips From The Couch - By Bear the Rottie - Chief Co-Squirrel Hunter and Head Copywriter at The Client Stampede. Well, Tucker and I just got outta doggie jail. There was a pesky Jack Russell who wouldn't stop yapping in the room next to us. And there was a big white fluffy foo-foo dog who was all upset because she didn't have her special heated blankie. Oh well, I’m home now and am catching up on some zzzz's on my favorite couch, which of course is the source of all my copywriting inspiration for you. This week, 4 easy marketing tips on how to rev up your sales copy.

  • Use a killer headline. Make it short. Make it interesting. Make it all about the person you’re writing to.
  • Lighten up, Larry! Make your sales copy fun to read. Who says marketing has to be boring? If it is, it’s dead in the water. Have a little fun, be quirky. Like a Rottweiler who likes chowing on banana peels (well maybe not that quirky!)
  • Check your copy for good flow. The only goal of the headline is to get them to read the sub-heading. The only goal of the sub-heading is to get them to read the first paragraph. And so on. If your copy loses momentum or your reader gets bored then your marketing is dead on arrival. They won’t know how great your product is because they never bothered to read your pitch!
  • Use pictures. Really. But here’s the master copywriting secret. Use the caption underneath to highlight a powerful selling point. Next to the headline, captions are the second most often read part of any copywriting. So make your caption pull its weight.

That’s all from me this week. I’ve hear some Milk Bones calling my name… Bear the Rottie

How To Do Stealth Selling In Your Sales Letters (No Pushy, Yucky Sales Talk)

Copywriting Tips From The Couch - By Bear the Rottie - Chief Co-Squirrel Hunter and Head Copywriter at The Client Stampede. Dear Bear the Rottie,

I’ve been reading your Copywriting Tips From the Couch each week.  But I’m disappointed.  You haven’t spilled the beans on how you write copy in your sales letters that makes people want to buy, without sounding like a slick talking sales dude.  Throw me a bone!

Bear the Rottie
Bear the Rottie

Signed “Frustrated Ed”

Yo Ed.  I hear ya.  Who wants to read a sales letter that’s filled with pushy sales sounding garbage.  What you’re actually asking me to spill, is how to persuade people to take action, without turning them off along the way. Here are some copywriting tips on “stealth selling” using sales letters that are just for you:

  • First you’ve got to talk to them in their own language.  Forget boring, cold corporate speak.  When they read your sales letter in their head, they have to feel like it’s a buddy who “gets them.”  Not some lunatic who’s trying to shout information at them (ahem, which is where most people go awry with their marketing).
  • Keep it light and fun.  Who says writing  sales letters has to be serious.  If I could spell, I’m pretty sure that would spell boring.
  • With me so far?  OK, good.  Now here’s the kind of tricky part.  Once you’ve got them reading your sales letter, you’ve got to keep em’!  That means it has grab them by the eyeballs from the first word you write to the PS at the end.  If they have a call of nature in the middle then it’s your sales letter they’ll be taking with them to keep reading.  You get the idea.  It’s about creating rapport which is just a fancy word for saying becoming friends.  That’s how your sales letters have to make em' feel.  Like it’s their best buddy writing to them (or best dog as the case may be).

Hope that helps Frustrated Ed.  Bark at ya later! Bear.

Does Your Copywriting Pass the Flea Test?

Bear the Rottie
Bear the Rottie

Copywriting Tips From The Couch - By Bear the Rottie - Chief Co-Squirrel Hunter and Head Copywriter at The Client Stampede. As the Chief Direct Response Copywriter at the Client Stampede, I devised this ingenious, quick direct response copywriting test (not half bad for a Rottie!)

Plug your copy through it and it will instantly boost the response rate.

Here’s my Flea Test.

A look at this ad for Frontline (A foul smelling treatment Tucker and I get subjected to every couple of months in the summer):

  • This dog’s got problems. Tons of them. And in this ad there’s no denying them. Oooh that makes me want to scratch just looking at this ad. Does your copywriting do the same (put the pain front and center?). It needs to. People move away from pain just as quickly as they move away from fleas (quicker even). Don’t let people forget the pain your business solves.
  • Is your copywriting making them itch? You gotta rub that pain in a bit! Hit the point home.
  • Now it’s time to show them the treatment. How does your product or service help to get rid of those nasty critters? Dangle the treatment in front of them.
  • Then use a direct response copywriting ninja trick. Now that they’re panting for what you’re offering, give 'em an offer they can’t refuse. Seriously. One so good they deserve to have fleas in their bed if they don’t act on it right away.

How To (And Why You Should) Use Toilet Paper In Your Direct Response Marketing

Many small businesses in America right now are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Not because they don’t have great products or services to sell (most do). But because they don’t have the slightest clue how to market themselves.

I hear from people all the time that “there’s no money” in their industry. I ask them just one simple question: “is there anyone in your industry making a LOT of money right now?" (The answer’s always yes).

So my reply is “Well, it's not your industry that’s the problem…  it's your marketing. And frankly that problem is going to follow you around no matter what industry you work in.”

Ouch.

Harsh but oh-so-true.

Ever hear that old saying “Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door?”

Total garbage.

That statement was most likely made by a someone very well versed in marketing theory but with not a scrap of experience working in the trenches, never having owned a successful business in their life.

Here’s the REAL truth.

It's not the best product that wins. It’s the best marketing. And the best kind of marketing is direct response marketing.

The problem is that very, very few people know what real marketing is. I’m talking about marketing that actually works, not what should work. Real marketing based on proven “in the trenches” scientific testing, successfully used in the top 5% of small businesses in America right now.

It's time for you to get in on the action.

So I’m going to share with you two of my secret marketing strategies that are dead simple to implement and you can get started on today.

Direct Response Marketing Strategy #1 – Forget doing any more brand advertising. You've likely heard me beat this drum before but it bears repeating again. And again. Because it runs completely contradictory to what everyone else does (and tells you to do). It’s a giant waste of money, you don’t know if it's even working, it takes a MEGA multi-million dollar budget to make any kind of splash in a market, and it will grow your business at snail’s pace, (if it doesn’t bankrupt you first). Instead, embrace direct response marketing like the life raft it is on the titantic. Direct response marketing rocks. It is supremely powerful. It's changed my life and it will change yours.

And that brings me squarely to tactic numero dos...

Direct Response Marketing Strategy #2 – Start learning how to do REAL marketing to your prospects (REAL stands for Rewarding, Easy, Authentic and Loved). This is the kind of marketing that people actually look forward to receiving. Tell me, when was the last time a direct mail piece of yours was eagerly ripped open?

BUT. This means you have to have the backbone to swim against the current. It means doing things that other people might think is crazy, out of the box, even outrageous. Not long ago I created a multi media marketing sequence for a law firm that included a toy car, a roll of toilet paper and a video of a Scottish guy singing while wearing a wooly hat and a pair of boxer shorts.

One of the partners outright refused to send it.

Fortunately the other partner had a lot more sense and sent it anyway.

And....

The campaign is pulling like gangbusters.

It’s their single most successful ad campaign they’ve ever run. It’s got people talking, laughing, and most importantly calling to make appointments.

(Side note: When was the last time you ever heard the words "laughter" and "law firm marketing" in the same sentence?)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to get REAL with your marketing.

Your business depends on it.

PS The original unhappy partner of the law firm is now one of my biggest fans. I've even got him reading David Ogilvy and Dan Kennedy and learning all about direct response marketing.

5 Easy Copywriting Tips to Connect with Your Audience

Ruff! How’s your August shaping up?  Gotta go buy the kids new gear for school?  I’ve put in a special request for a new dog bed for fall but I think I might be SOL… I might just have to start chewing the corners and blame it on Tucker…. This week I wanted to share 5 easy ways to check that your copy is connecting with your clients and “not missing the mark” as that’s what this week’s ezine is all about.

Here goes:

Copywriting Tip #1 - Make sure when copywriting that you use friendly, easy to understand language.  Imagine you’re chewing the fat with a new friend – how would you speak to them?  Write your copy as if it’s only being written to one person, not broadcast to the masses. Copywriting Tip #2 - Keep yourself in check.  Stop talking about you and your business and start talking about the customer.  Walk a mile in their slippers as I say. Copywriting Tip #3 - Ditch the fancy words.  Write for a 5th grader.  People (and dogs), know a lot less than you give ‘em credit for.  Yes, this applies even if you’re an attorney or financial planner.  The real skill is in taking the complex and making it brain dead simple.  Any twit can turn up something complex. Copywriting Tip #4 - Use short paragraphs in your copywriting to make reading easy on the eye Copywriting Tip #5 - Use a powerful headline and intro paragraph to sock ‘em between the eyes and keep them hanging onto the edge of their seats ‘til the very last word you write.

That’s all from me – ‘til next week

Woof!

Creating Word Pictures

I’m writing you this week’s ezine from my jail cell at the Doggie kennels again. Can’t believe they’ve got the audacity to call this place a pet hotel – I can’t even watch my favorite Alf reruns without getting neck strain (seriously who attaches tvs to ceilings – even in a dog room). Right, back to the business of helping you build yours… let’s talk about the copywriting technique of creating word pictures that make people want your product so bad!  Not sure if you know this or not but we all think in pictures (even us dogs).  If you can get your reader to visualize your idea so clearly that in his own mind he’s built it block by and until a castle emerged – you’ll have successfully created that “burning desire” my Mom talks so much about.

Just picture this: “He was tall, but exceedingly lank, with narrow sloping shoulders, long, lanky arms and legs; and hands that dangled a mile out of his sleeves.  His whole framework hung loosely together like a poorly made quilt.  His head was small…”

Can’t you just picture a gawky, awkward figure resembling the old scarecrow by the barn where my Mom keeps her horse?

Or how about this description of ham (my favorite):

Deep-sheathed in a thick layer of ivory white fat, it’s succulent rosy meat…”

Thousands of sales have been lost, millions of dollars haven’t been spent simply because so few people know how paint a picture in words allowing their reader to visualize the product being sold.  You see, your sale must first be made in the reader’s mind before it can be made anywhere else!

Oooh! Oprah reruns are starting…gotta scoot.

Bear!

Be Sure to Include a Slippery Slide!

This week I’d like to help ya understand the importance of using great flow when you write your copy by introducing you to one of my favs - the slippery slide. There is a great copywriter – guy by the name of Joe Sugarman – who my Mom says was the brains behind the Blu Blockers infomercials that were so darn successful.  Anyway – he talks about your copy needing to be a “slippery slide.”  I agree.  Now, what he means by slippery slide is that every word you use, every sentence you write, has just ONE job: to get your prospect to read the next sentence.  And the job of that sentence is to get ‘em to read the next one.  And so on.

Before you know it, your prospect’s eyeballs are glued to the page and they can’t put your sales letter down – even if someone happened to put a big roast chicken right under their nose and (like me) they were the chicken eating type! Well, maybe then they’d multi-task and read and chow down at the same time.

The lesson is this – when writing your copy, make sure it passes the slippery slide test, ‘cuz remember – there’s no sin worse than b-o-r-i-n-g copy!

Woof! Talk to ya later!

Does Length Really Matter?

Alright fellow marketers, this week’s topic is all about length – of copy that is.  How many words should your email be?  How long should a sales letter be?  My Mom routinely writes sales letters for her clients that are 16+ pages long – oooh I can see you wincing and asking “Isn’t that too long, does anyone bother to read that much nowadays?” Let me clear up some confusion, and perhaps remove a little mystery, from this whole copywriting process. In fact, lemme ask you a question: have you ever been glued to a book that you couldn’t put down?  Maybe dinner was on the table, or (in my case), you had a giant bone waiting for you, calling your name… but you still couldn’t put the book down because you were glued to the pages?

You did? Great!

And did it matter whether the book was 10 pages or 500 pages long?

No?

I didn’t think so.

When you’re glued to reading something – you’re really glued.  Transfixed I call it.  You could have one of those darn squirrels come and tap on the window and dance a little Irish jig in a tutu but you’d still be oblivious to it.

The same goes for writing great copy.  It’s a compelling read.  Your prospects just can’t put it down.

So then does it matter whether you’ve written just a few short paragraphs or a 30 page special report?

Heck no.  As long as it grabs them by the eyeballs and doesn’t let them go ‘til the end.

So here’s the bulletproof copywriting formula my Mom was talking about to decide how long your copy should be:

It should be just as long as you need to tell your story, build momentum and desire, and ask for the sale.  No longer, no shorter.  Sometimes that might take a lotta pages.  Sometimes just a few.  It’s not the length that matters – it’s the quality of what you’ve written. Your prospects will read it – no matter how long it is – providing it’s interesting and relevant to them.

Ruff! I think I’ve doubled my word quota for this week.

Talk to ya next week.

An Irish Toilet Education

So as a marketing nut, I'll confess I have a hard time switching my brain "off." Even when, well, I should be focusing on other things (we won't go there - my little brother would say this would be a great opportunity to share some toilet humor!).

Ahem. Where was I?

That's right. I was in Ireland recently. Belfast to be exact. I had wandered into this very swanky, high end homeware store - kind of shabby chic meets ultra cool hipster with very good design taste. It was the kind of place that you walk into and you pretty much want to buy everything in sight.

Anyhow - I was with my daughter (who's 1 1/2), and suffice it to say that after about 30 seconds of looking around we had to make an urgent beeline for the rest rooms, pronto at the back of the store .

We hacked our way through the crowd (if you missed my blog post about the ridiculously insane shopping experience at the post Christmas Irish sales you can read it here) and...stood in line.

Now I always say to my coaching students, you just never quite know where you're going to pick up a great marketing education. Admittedly, a toilet wall isn't usually what springs to mind.

But there plastered all around us were these fabulous old magazine ads selling beauty products. As a professional copywriter, one of the our little industry secrets is that the very best way to sell to people today is to go back to the great ads from the old days to swipe great ideas from.

You see, for all our fandangled new widgets, people are people are people. And the way they were sold to in the 30s works exactly the same way as selling to someone in 2012.  We all still buy stuff based on the same 17 psychological triggers that are hard wired into our DNA.

So, take a walk in the past, check out this cool ad, and let me know what you think. Look how incredibly powerful the headline and subheading are - its genius.

Now its your turn. Go back to your own advertising and see how you can transfer some of that magic copy to use in your own headline ...

The One Little Word That Doubled the Income of a Major Company Overnight

As you know, I write a LOT of copy. From sales letters, to websites, to emails, to postcards; you name it, I've written it. This story demonstrates why you should NEVER underestimate the power words can make to someone’s business, why it’s essential that you carefully choose the words you use to advertise, and why the craft of copywriting, for those who know what they’re doing, pays so well. Here’s the story: A new ad exec had been hired to work on the account of a large company selling shampoo. Now, the marketing of shampoo isn’t a particularly exciting endeavor, but nevertheless, this young guy was excited to have been assigned such a large account. He brainstormed many different marketing ideas with the company to no avail. The company was conservative and family owned – management didn’t like to step outside the box much (in fact at all). Undeterred, the young man persisted. He was looking for the golden needle that he could convince them would explode sales. One day, while in the shower, washing his hair – it suddenly hit him. The one word that, added to a shampoo bottle, would double the company’s sales overnight. The one little word that would mean bottles of shampoo would now last only half as long. Can you guess what it was?

As Mark Twain famously said, “The difference between the right word and any word is like the difference between lightning and lightning bug.”

The one little word was added to the shampoo’s directions for use: lather, rinse, repeat.

Keep an eye out for my upcoming incredible CD of the Month Club and a very special offer – My Gurus, Geniuses and Giants Club (3G Club). Each month I’ll be interviewing a trailblazer of our time, behind closed doors – people that ordinarily you’d never ever have access to – multi-millionaires, billionaires, and trailblazers of our time. Extraordinary men and women who have made their mark on the world by stumbling, tripping, even free falling sometimes, but who’ve picked themselves up and triumphed. Hear their real stories, unvarnished, first hand. Pick up just one little idea from these business superstars that could transform your business overnight (just like one little word did for the shampoo business). My 3G Club is launching January 2012 – stay tuned for details or visit www.TheClientStampede.com.

To your extraordinary marketing success!

Julie

Looking For Value In All The Wrong Places ...

If I was to conduct a straw poll of 100 different businesses and asked them just this one simple question: “What’s the one thing you have that’s of MOST value in your business?, what do you think the responses would likely be? Here’s what I think they’d be:

“Well, DUH – its in our super-fandangled-whiz-bang new product we’ve just released”

“It’s in our amazing customer service – our customers love us and refer us like crazy”

“it’s our incredible service”

“Our single biggest assest is that we have THE best storefront location in the city”

“My staff is my single biggest asset”

“Its our amazing technology”

The list goes on and on…you get the idea.

But here’s the thing. ALL of them would be wrong.

Unless, of course they made this one simple statement: ”It’s in our customer list – we’ve got full customer information for ALL our customers – name, address, mailing address, physical address, phone numbers, buying history, referral history …”

Most business owners mistakenly place high value on the physical or service aspects of their business – their location, factory, equipment, products or services. But all that is just “stuff”. Its easily replaced and easily duplicated.

The real value in your business is with your customers.

If you have a great customer list, then you, quite literally have at your fingertips the ability to create your own income on demand. Releasing a new product? Zaap! Send an email to your list with a great offer before you go to bed at night and cha-ching – you’re got money in your account when you wake up. Found a great product that your customers could really benefit from? Send an offer to your list and earn a commission off the sales.

If you’re not zealously collecting the names and contact details of not just your customers, but all your prospects too (especially your prospects) – you’re letting a HUGE amount of money slip through your fingers.

Stop the hemorrhaging and make this your number one priority starting today…

PS if you haven’t ordered yourself a FREE copy of my audio CD: 10 Secret strategies to get more clients, make more money, turn customers into raving fans and give more back in the new economy – you’re nuts. It’s a $97 value, yours FREE! Just visit my website at www.TheClientStampede.com and use promo code GetYerSpursOn at checkout.

Happy Halloween!

So the trick or treaters have left my neighborhood already and now all I have left is a giant bowl full of candy... :) Oh, and here's a pic of Tucker and Bear in their Halloween costumes - a Rottie dressed as a cow and an American bulldog dressed as a bumble bee.  They're both sulking under my desk as we speak!  Happy HOWL-O-WEEN!

16 examples of irresistible offers to light your prospects pants on fire

The strength of a great sales letter really boils down to how irresistible your offer is.  Matching the right offer with your target market is often the one little hinge that can open BIG doors.  In my Client Stampede Ultimate Marketing Home Study Tool Kit I provide my exact magic formulas for how to craft an irresistible offer - here's 16  irresistible offers  out of my list of 47 in my Ultimate Marketing Toolkit you can easily "swipe and deploy" for use in your own business:

  1. Free information report, starter kit, demo, sample etc
  2. FREE with absolutely no strings attached
  3. Free trial converts to monthly billing or payment of product after X days – (Pay nothing now)
  4. Free Shipping
  5. Hold your check
  6. Time deadline
  7. Limited number of units available
  8. Bonus overload – stacked bonuses
  9. Early bird bonus tied to a specific response date
  10. Silly premium – mousepad, cartoon, t-shirt, coffee mug
  11. Mystery gift
  12. Basic/deluxe or good/better/best
  13. Accept payment on multiple credit cards
  14. Easy pay options (monthly payments)
  15. The more you buy the more you save – tiered discount based on amount purchased
  16. Different pricing based on customers promise of action (e.g. for testimonial or referral)

7 Easy Steps To Writing A Darn Good Sales Letter

You've gotta love the power of a great sales letter.  It's THE best leverage of your time and is like having your very own army-sized sales force, pounding the pavements for you, perfectly delivering your marketing message every time for less than a cup of coffee.  They never call in sick, never go on vacation, never ask for a pay raise and they'll work tirelessly around the clock for you 24/7, 365 days of the year. So here are 7 expert secrets to writing an extremely effective sales letter.

Secret #1  Create an attention driven headline that specifically speaks to your target market, arouses curiosity and answers the question in your prospects mind "what's in this for me?".  For example: "Using a Lawyer May Be Dangerous To Your Wealth" "For the Woman Who Looks Older Than She Is" "Former Hairdresser Earns $8000 a Month As A Real Estate Specialist" "How To Double Your Income in 60 Days Or Less"

Secret #2 Open your letter with a personalized salutation (the more PERSONAL you make your letter look and sound, the higher your response rate will be).  If you can't address it to the person directly (eg Dear John, or Dear Mrs McDonald), try using one of these salutations: Dear Friend Dear Neighbor Dear Fellow _______er <i.e. Golfer> Dear Colleague, Dear Reader Dear Frustrated Tax Payer Dear Valued Customer

Secret #3 Use a powerful "letter opener".  The first couple of sentences of your sales letter have to be really compelling to "hook" your prospects and get them to read the rest of the letter.  Consider these: Here’s you chance to... In looking over our records I noticed that you... Will do me a favor? Will you try this experiment? Here’s an amazing opportunity! I’m writing to.. Congratulations! Could you use an extra $500 a week? Frankly,I’m puzzled... I couldn’t wait to write to you.

Secret #4: Talk about Benefits, NOT just features in your sales copy.  Understanding the difference between benefits and features is critical for the success of your sales letter.  A feature is fact driven, a benefit is more of an emotional connection.  This difference is extremely important because people BUY ON EMOTION, THEN JUSTIFY WITH LOGIC!!!  For example a feature is this drill has 27 different drill speeds.  The benefit is that you can get your work done in half the time which means you get to spend more time relaxing on the couch, watching your favorite sport.

Secret #5 Use Subheadings, bold font, itallics, and underlining to create a "double readership path" Everyone reads sales letters differently.  Some people will read every word, others will skim read every paragraph, and still others will just read the headline, the opening paragraph and then maybe the PS at the end of the letter.  That's why you need to make sure the most persuasive and important messages in your sales letter are made to jump out at the reader and create a "double readership path"..

Secret #6 Make sure your sales letter contains an irresistible offer and a deadline to respond by (remember this offer should be bold, it should be different to anything your competition offers, and compelling enough to light your prospects' pants on fire).  Here are some examples of irresistible offers:

  1. FREE with absolutely no strings attached
  2. Free trial converts to monthly billing or payment of product after X days – (Pay nothing now)
  3. Free Shipping
  4. Hold your check
  5. Bonus overload – stacked bonuses
  6. Early bird bonus tied to a specific response date
  7. Silly premium – mousepad, cartoon, t-shirt, coffee mug
  8. Mystery gift
  9. Easy pay options (monthly payments)
  10. The more you buy the more you save – tiered discount based on amount purchased

Secret # 6 Include a bold reverse risk guarantee.  This is a very powerful copywriting technique to make it easier for your prospects to say YES than no.  Here's an example:

"You’re fully protected by our iron-clad money-back guarantee: If you decide that your <name> membership and <publication> aren’t for you, just let us know at any time during your membership period. We’ll send you a prompt 100% refund – every penny you paid. That’s a full refund, not partial or pro-rated. All the issues and the bonuses are yours to keep – even if you cancel. Could any offer be fairer than that?"

Secret #7  Use a powerful close to make your prospects whip out their credit cards

The way you close your sales letter is very important - it will determine whether your prospect puts your sales letter down to "think about it" or is moved to tale immediate action.  Here are some great examples:

"The next move is up to you. I’ve shown you that the <name of your product> is as risk-free as an offer can come. You and I both know that if you’ve read this far in the letter, you’re seriously interested in improving your business and personal income. All that’s left to do now is take action and call the number below to place your order".

"You really can’t afford not to invest in this course! Don’t you think you owe it to yourself to move on this incredible opportunity?  So what are you waiting for? Drop the enclosed card in the mail today."

That's it!  Follow these 7 simple steps and your sales letter will be MILES ahead of anything your competition is using!!!!

 

Ode to David Ogilvy

One of the Most Brilliant Advertisers of All Time – This cantankerous and controversial old Scotsman would have turned 100 this year.

Best Ogilvy Quotes:

“Good copy can't be written with tongue in cheek, written just for a living. You've got to believe in the product."

 “If it doesn't sell, it isn't creative.”

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

“In the modern world of business, it is useless to be a creative, original thinker unless you can also sell what you create.”

“Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine."

“Never stop testing, and your advertising will never stop improving.”

“Our business is infested with idiots who try to impress by using pretentious jargon.”

“I don't know the rules of grammar... If you're trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, the language in which they think.”

“If each of us hires people who are smaller than we are, we shall become a company of dwarfs. But if each of us hires people who are bigger than we are, we shall become a company of giants.”

Recommended Reading: “Ogilvy On Advertising” by David Ogilvy – he’s funny, insightful and a brilliant writer and copywriter.

The BIGGEST Pulling Sales Letter Of All Time

This sales letter, written by one of the greatest yet least known copywriters of all time (Martin Conroy), was first launched for the Wall Street Journal in 1974. It's known in insider expert copywriter circles as the "Two Young Men" letter and still today is the single largest pulling sales letter of all time (it's raked in more than 1 billion in subscription revenues for the WSJ).

This sales letter has been successfully used as WSJ's control piece for the last 18 years, combining a compelling offer, a reverse risk guarantee,  and very well crafted sales copy that tells a story.  This sales letter can be mailed just about anytime to a qualified list and it's a sure winner to pull in response profitably year after year.

Your DIRECT RESPONSE “MUST HAVE” Laundry Checklist For ALL Your Marketing

In the last post I discussed the vital importance of scrapping traditional/brand based advertising for your business.  Instead, I talked about the importance of shifting all your marketing and advertising to direct response marketing. What’s direct response marketing again?

In its simplest form, direct response marketing is advertising that ALWAYS contains a special offer with a deadline.  It’s advertising that has the objective of motivating prospects to take action immediately.  Direct response marketing directly sells a product or service by containing an irresistible offer – it doesn’t just talk about what you sell with no reason to take action now.

Using direct response marketing, you can tell within a day or a week of running an ad exactly how effective it was. You can tweak successful ads to try and make them more successful, and scrap the dud ads that aren’t pulling a response. No more guesswork. This way, every one of your marketing dollars can be ruthlessly tracked and held accountable.

For examples of direct response marketing think of home shopping channels like QVC, or catalog marketers like J Peterman, and Cabela’s.  It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re in – whether you offer legal services or sell tires for a living – direct response marketing WILL work for your business.  In fact it’s the missing ingredient required for a major marketing break through.

As promised in the last post, here are the essential ingredients you must include in your marketing to ensure it’s a direct response advert, not a brand/traditional advert:

An irresistible offer or offers

  1. A deadline for response
  2. Clear instructions on what they need to do to respond (e.g. To place your order call our customer service department at xxx-xxx-xxxx or fax your order to...etc.)
  3. A bold guarantee that reverses the risk for your prospects
  4. Strong sales copy that talks about benefits, not features (e.g. Feature: This drill has 21 different speeds.  Benefit: You can get your work done in half the time)
  5. Testimonials from customers that overcome your prospect’s main objections
  6. Follow up.  Don’t just mail one piece or send out one letter – use ideally a three-step follow up process

I go into more detail about each of these steps in the Client Stampede Ultimate Home Study Kit and show you exactly how to apply these to your business, including done-for-you templates that you can “swipe and deploy” to use in your own business.

The information contained in this blog post is pure gold!  Many, many fortunes have been made based on applying just these 7 principals! These principals will work for you too!

Print out this blog post and pin it to the wall so you can refer to this information often!

Why Doing Brand Advertising/Traditional Advertising is Certain Death for Small Business Owners

One of the biggest mistakes a small business can make in their marketing is to copy the way big businesses advertise. I remember when I started my first business at 17 – the part I was most excited about was coming up with the logo, the tagline and the “brand” of my business, thinking that was what was going to get me sales.

I figured that if I built enough brand awareness in my market then people would be persuaded to purchase my products when they were ready to buy.   After all, that’s how Nike, Coca Cola, Farmers Insurance, and Wal-Mart advertised…

There was just one small problem with my grand plan.  The difference between these big guys and my small business was…a couple of (hundred) million dollars in advertising budget!

In my experience, copying big business brand advertising is the #1 reason so many small businesses end up going belly up.  Not only do small businesses not have the marketing budget to build brand, but the marketing agenda of a small business owner is far different than that of a big business owner.

Here’s the marketing & advertising agenda that most big businesses follow:

  1. Appease the Board of Directors
  2. Look good to Wall Street
  3. Look good in the media
  4. Build brand
  5. Intimidate the competition
  6. Win some advertising awards
  7. Sell something

As a small business, your marketing and advertising agenda is much more simple:

  1. Sell something.  NOW.

The whole point of spending money on marketing is to make money.  Ideally for every dollar you spend on your marketing you want at least two dollars back.

If you do brand advertising you have no way to measure if your advertising is effective.  You hope it’s effective, you pray it’ll bring you sales, but ultimately, it’s a wild stab in the dark because you really don’t know which advertising is really bringing in customers.

Using guesswork for your marketing is no way to run a business.

You need to scrap brand advertising (I also call it traditional advertising) for good.  Instead you need to get your business on a strict diet of direct response advertising.  

Building brand should be a nice by-product of making sales – it should never be the objective of your marketing.  Making sales is.

What is direct response advertising?

In its simplest form, direct response advertising is advertising that ALWAYS contains a special offer with a deadline.  It’s advertising that has the objective of motivating prospects to take action immediately so you can tell within a day or a week of running an ad exactly how effective it was.  You can then tweak successful ads to try and make them more successful and scrap the dud ads that aren’t pulling a response. No more guesswork.

The best book I’ve found on direct response advertising is: No BS Direct Marketing by Dan Kennedy.  I highly recommend you grab a copy and immerse yourself in it.  It’s an easy and entertaining read and will be worth many, many thousands of dollars to your business.

So how can you shift from traditional, brand based advertising to direct response advertising?  

At the very minimum, include an irresistible offer to your prospects, impose a deadline for them to respond, and tell them clearly how to respond (e.g. To order your copy just call us at xxx-xxx-xxxx).  Make sure NO advertising leaves your office without containing these three essential ingredients.

In the next post I’ll be giving you a laundry “checklist” of the other essential ingredients your direct response marketing must contain for maximum effectiveness. But by adding an irresistible offer, a deadline, and clear instructions on how to respond to all of your marketing – you’ll be off to a great start!