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

sales copy

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.

173 Ways To Get More Clients

One of the questions I get asked all the time is, "What is the one thing I can do to get more clients?" Actually, I can do a lot better than that…here’s 173 marketing tips you can do right away. But here’s an important thing to remember…when a client of mine was asked by his colleagues the secret of his success and how they could add 30 or 40 more patients a month to their practices he replied:“I don’t know one way to get 40 new patients, but I know 40 ways to get a new patient and I use all 40 of them!”

1. Get very clear about your marketing message 2. Write out your unique selling proposition 3. Define who your ideal clients are 4. Follow up with prospects within 24-48 hours 5. Deliver more than expected 6. Deliver it before it's expected 7. Implement a referral campaign 8. Use Personality Infused Marketing™ to write a warm letter to family and friends 9. Join a networking group 10. Hold your own focus groups 11. Build a mailing list 12. Offer a bold guarantee 13. Keep your promises (do what you say you’ll do, when you do it) 14. Keep an abundance mindset (not a fear based scarcity one) 15. Call up everyone you didn’t close last month and make a special offer 16. Carve out a niche for your business 17. Be clear about your own unique ability and how this helps others 18. Start a coffee group for prospects 19. Send your clients gifts (birthday, holiday or just random “I was thinking of you” gifts). 20. Start doing presentations 21. Revamp your website so that it’s “Client Stampede compliant,” and is easy to navigate, value filled and builds instant rapport 22. Create a Client Stampede business card so that it actually brings you business 23. Do a co-marketing campaign with another business 24. Hold your own workshops 25. Hold a webinar 26. Hold a teleseminar 27. Do a neighborhood direct mail campaign in areas where you have other clients 28. Time block your time 29. Stop checking email and Facebook throughout the day 30. Raise your prices (really) 31. Start your own blog 32. Write articles 33. Create an auto responder sequence for your website 34. Create a consumer awareness guide 35. Automate your marketing – get your marketing system in place so you can get clients while you sleep 36. Call up your competitors and work collaboratively on a special campaign 37. Start a paper and ink newsletter 38. Write an ezine 39. Create a brochure that clearly articulates what you do 40. Create a one page flyer 41. Create a Welcome to the Family customer kit 42. Create a shock n’ awe box 43. Record an audio program and give it away for free (in return for email addresses) 44. Use sales scripts – don’t wing it 45. Practice your close in front of the mirror 46. Practice asking for triple your current rates in the mirror and keeping a straight face 47. Find out where your best clients have come from 48. Take your “centers of influence” out for  lunch 49. Don’t chase clients for work (but follow up professionally) 50. Remember "no" doesn’t really mean no (except in dating) – keep anyone who says "no" in your follow up file 51. Write a letter to your Chamber of Commerce introducing yourself and offering your services to them to use for free (gain credibility) 52. Ask for testimonials 53. Use your testimonials 54. Provide incentives for referrals 55. Tell everyone what you do – even at family bbqs 56. Ask your clients what success looks like for them 57. Write a sales letter 58. Send a lumpy 3 step direct mail campaign 59. Use your on hold message as a way to educate about the value you provide 60. Get a personal assistant to farm out all the jobs you don’t like doing 61. Write your WHY on a piece of paper and keep it pinned to your desk (the WHY you’re in business for yourself and what you REALLY do for your clients) 62. Keep your best testimonials pinned to your wall so you can see it often 63. Enroll in a copywriting class 64. Realize that all writing in business is copywriting (writing to persuade), and become determined to be great at it 65. Use a bold, curiosity arousing headline 66. Never, never, never give up. The race is won by perseverance, not the person who runs the fastest 67. Memorize your selling scripts 68. Don’t take rejection personally 69. Research your target market and understand what makes them tick 70. Volunteer your time in the community and be visible 71. Write a book or eBook 72. Surround yourself with people who support your dreams and goals (not people who tell you it can’t be done) 73. Stop brand advertising and start REAL Marketing (Rewarding, Easy, Authentic and Loved) 74. Create a tear sheet and send it to your prospects 75. Do a podcast 76. Keep an ideas book for all the big ideas you have for your business 77. Drink your own Kool Aid – make sure you use your own product or service 78. Get a marketing coach who can hold you accountable and help you create your own marketing materials for a fraction of the price it would cost to hire a copywriter 79. Hire a copywriter to create your marketing materials 80. Have a price sheet 81. Offer packages and call them cool, memorable names 82. Protect your confidence by only working with people you like who respect you and your time 83. Don’t be afraid to fire problem clients 84. Invest in your marketing education by attending classes, reading newsletters, reading books 85. Ask for suggestions and feedback from your top clients 86. Implement a lost customer campaign 87. Use a vanity 800 number 88. Become an expert in your marketplace 89. Become a celebrity people are fascinated and intrigued by 90. Use a local celebrity in your marketing 91. Write a guest blog 92. Write a newspaper column 93. Start your own association 94. Spend extra time with your best clients 95. Use a professional photo for your marketing 96. Get a tag line 97. Implement a marketing plan 98. Use a marketing calendar to plan out each of your marketing activities 99. Do fun holiday marketing promotions 100. Become religiously fanatical about direct response marketing 101. Study marketing greats like David Ogilvy, Gary Halbert, Gary Benzivenga, Joe Karbo 102. Write out the copy of one of the best performing ads in long hand – 3 times to get the flow and rhythm of how to write great copy 103. Read Ogilvy on Advertising 104. Use Paypal to accept payments 105. Write newsletters for associations where you’re a member 106. Target and study other great networkers 107. Study the advertising your competition is using (and don’t copy it) 108. Use your email signature to communicate your value proposition and get opt-ins 109. Hold a client appreciation party 110. Get a professionally designed logo 111. Brainstorm different offers 112. Use direct mail to build relationships 113. Realize that email marketing is not free at all 114. Implement a marketing plan 115. Keep your language simple – avoid trying to sound fancy 116. Use take away selling 117. Use positive affirmations daily 118. Create scarcity with your services 119. Be known for one thing 120. Brainstorm all the ways you can quickly and inexpensively connect with prospective clients 121. Ask all your friends for referrals 122. Have a list of topics you can speak on at your fingertips 123. Dress better 124. Respect your clients' time and never take an incoming call when speaking/meeting with them 125. Use call to actions in all your marketing 126. Brainstorm a list of irresistible offers 127. Offer discounts for fast action or full payment 128. Use vision boards for the lifestyle you want 129. Create a team of peers to hold you accountable 130. Start your own mastermind group 131. Check local newspaper for groups that meet on regular basis (city business journal) 132. Create systems for your marketing so you know exactly what needs to happen and when 133. Follow up, Follow up, Follow up! 134. Speak slowly and clearly – don’t try and explain your value at break neck speed 135. Use hand written thank you cards 136. Brainstorm time each week for how you can add more value to your clients 137. Make an apples to artichokes comparison when it comes to your prices 138. Create packages and products out of what you already know 139. Focus on building relationships, not making the sale 140. Write in plain English as if you were having a friendly conversation with someone 141. Brainstorm a list of the 50 best headlines you could use 142. Be passionate about what you do 143. Give back – tithe a percentage of your earnings 144. Slay procrastination by having an action plan each day and sticking to it 145. Do the job you dread the most, the first thing in the day and get it over with 146. Be authentic – don’t ever sell out. 147. Care about the results your clients get 148. Create a survey and find out what your target market really wants, then give it to them 149. Mystery shop your competitors' businesses 150. Become clients of your competitors 151. Start becoming very aware of how other businesses (not in your industry) market themselves – this is where your best marketing ideas will come from 152. Use live stamps to send your direct mail (not bulk rate) 153. Create a memorable experience for your customers they’ll want to tell all their friends about 154. Choreograph everything about your business so nothing is left to chance. 155. Think positively but take immediate action. 156. Behave as if you are already the successful person you want to become 157. Use the “Theatre of the Mind” to practice your selling situations 158. Write a press release announcing new products, services, partnerships or awards 159. Create a video and send out to your list 160. Start tracking the numbers in your business – ruthlessly 161. Know how much a client is worth to you over 3 years 162. Know how much it costs you on average to get a client 163. Give awards to your clients 164. Use attention grabbing signs outside your place of business 165. Make it easy for people to find you – provide clear instructions and maps 166. Follow up with people who don’t show 167. Have a late and no show policy 168. Hold a contest 169. Buy the phone numbers of your competitors who have gone out of business 170. Use a vehicle wrap for your car 171. Sell to groups 172. Don’t advertise like your competition – you have to look and feel different to be different 173. Expect wonderful things to happen. Take massive simultaneous action.

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!

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.

My Irish Vacation

Wow, it's great to be back to a Michigan winter.  Really!  I never thought I'd EVER say that, except that the weather in Ireland was about 100 times worse!  Wet, cold, dark, miserable, with icy winds whipping your face straight off the Atlantic.  Just look at how many layers of clothing I had to wear just to go out shopping (and I can hardly see out of my hood!). Lucky that the Irish are so warm and welcoming because the weather sure isn't.  Maybe that explains why family life revolves around the local taverns that are always brimming with laughter, guinness (of course), and some of the most incredible fiddle playing, singing and Irish dancing I've ever seen!  The whole reason for going to Ireland was to catch up with my older brother Dale and his family, who live in Belfast.  He's got 3 kids of his own now who range in age from 1 to 6 and are delightful little characters with thick Irish accents and a naughty streak.  I sat on a whoppee cushion about 10 times, got pelted with "Nerf Bullets," and helped make a gingerbread train for Santa to hopefully "cancel out any naughtyness" during the year!  I also suffered 4 humiliating defeats playing tabletop football with my 4 year old nephew...!

I was last in Ireland 2 1/2 years ago - it's a country I love visiting, and this time around I was curious to see how things had changed. Particularly in regards to how the recession had impacted the area.  The reports I had read lumped the Irish economy alongside other EU economies that are in the toilet (like Greece).  Were there going to be stores borded up and lots of "going out of business" signs?  Would there be people begging on the streets?  Lots of vacant commercial buildings and houses?

What I was about to discover astounded me...

In Belfast, the post Christmas sales have always been legendary.  With the recession going on, I thought that the post Christmas shopping experience would be a little more sane, a lot less hectic, and far less busy.  So when my sister-in-law suggested we "hit the shops," I thought it was a great idea as I'm not usually one to brave big crowds.  With the economy, surely most people would be staying home - right? Afterall, in a country whose economy has been likened to that of the great depression, how many people would be out spending their hard earned dollars...not many, right?

WRONG.

Oh my goodness...

It was total madness.  There were crowds clamboring to the stores like I have NEVER EVER SEEN IN ANY ECONOMY.  People were lining up outside some of the high end department stores, braving that terrible weather, just for the chance to buy a $200 sweater at 25% off!  These people were NOT strapped for cash, and what blew me away is how well dressed everyone was - designer duds everywhere, expensive baby strollers...if there was a recession going on, the people shopping in downtown Belfast surely hadn't been told about it!!!

In one store I went to (that I wish I owned shares in) - there was quite literally a MOVING HIGHWAY of people in and out, all hustling to buy and then moving onto the next deal.  I stood in the same spot by the door for maybe 5 minutes and watched throngs of people push past me in search of bargains.  The store is a high end clothing and homeware store where basic throw rugs sell for the equivilent of $175 USD!  To put things in perspective, in Northern Ireland the currency is British pounds, which is a lot stronger than our US dollar, and dollar for dollar things are much more expensive in Belfast than what we pay over here.  Yet I watched in amazement as people dropped huge sums of money on purses, suits, coats, linens...hundreds and hundreds and very often thousands of pounds!

After I recovered from my initial shock, I realized with a grin the significance of what I was witnessing.  Actions speak a lot louder than words...WHAT RECESSION?  These people were thriving!  Businesses were thriving!

So here's the BIG LESSON:  Just like you've heard me say so many times before...be very careful what you read and who you listen to and whatever you do.... "DON'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU READ IN MASS MEDIA." Scare mongering is the real business they're in.  It's bad news, not good news, that sells newspapers and magazines.  Despite what you might hear there are many businesses thriving (including mine :) and there is MASSIVE OPPORTUNITY TO PROSPER EVERYWHERE!

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not denying that there's a recession going on.  I know times are tough for many right now.  There's no doubt that shrinkage has happened and will continue to happen for those industries and businesses who refuse to adapt and keep operating under the rules of the old economy. But YOU won't be one of them -  providing you run your business according to the new rules of the new economy.   (If you're not yet familiar with the new rules of the new economy then drop everything right now and order a copy of my audio CD "How to thrive in the new economy" - (worth $97, it's yours for just $2) - it's your blueprint for success in the coming year.

And speaking of this year - take heart that things aren't nearly as bad as they seem. In fact many businesses will continue to quietly thrive, racking up record profits.  There's NO reason why your business can't be one of them.

So set your goals HIGH for this year.  Work tirelessly to deliver even greater value to your customers. Refuse to read anything negative and only listen to those of us who are getting on and making things happen.  And stay tuned, I've got some REALLY exciting things happening to help you build your business quickly and easily, that you're just going to love.

Warm regards,

Julie

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!!!!

 

The 2 Secret Reasons Why We Buy

In this month’s Gold Nugget I want to take you back to a fundamental marketing principal – the two real reasons why any of us buy anything.  Understanding this is like unlocking the key to the vault. Once you understand the real reason why someone is buying your product or service, you can carefully tailor your words – your sales copy, your sales pitches, your in-person appointments – to resonate with your prospect at an even deeper level, quietly speaking to their “secret need.” Here are the only 2 reasons why we buy: 1) We buy a solution to our problem and/or 2) We buy to get transference of feeling.  I think the first reason is obvious, the second reason less so.  How many times have you rushed to buy something because without realizing it, the actual act of making the purchase, rather than the thing itself, is what makes you feel great?  I’m guilty as charged.  For example, one of my private clients www.NourishMD.com specializes in helping moms find safe, natural alternatives to kid’s health problems, they’re also strong advocates of the REAL food movement.  Just searching their website makes me feel like I’m a better mom, and when I reach for my credit card and buy their homeopathic flu remedy or a bottle of probiotics for River, subconsciously I’m already congratulating myself for being a “caring, health-conscious mother for my child.”  It’s not that I don’t want what I’m buying – of course I do – but the instant gratification I secretly want is the transference of feeling.  That feeling is addictive. How many times have you gone out and bought something that made you feel instantly better, instantly happier or self-assured only to quickly forget about it and “rediscover” it weeks or months later, by which time it feels like a bit of an anti-climax?

Ok, so now you’re armed with this “insider” knowledge about your prospects.  What are you going to do with it to help them and to help you?

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.

7 Tips To Writing Emails That Won’t Get Deleted

Most people scan their inbox with their finger hovering over the delete button.  Here are 7 easy tips to ensure your email actually gets read.

  1. Start with a compelling, curiosity arousing Subject Line Your subject line is THE most important part of your whole email.  Keep it short – I always recommend about 7-10 words max, try and include a benefit or arouse curiosity: e.g.  The One Simple Sales Mistake That’s Costing You Thousands Double your income? Use this marketing secret 3 Secret Tips To Recession Proof Your Business
  2. Personalize the email Most people write mass emails like, well mass emails – not personal communications written to an individual.  One of the biggest turn offs when opening an email is getting a broadcast message.  When writing your email – even if it is being sent to thousands, make sure it sounds like a friendly conversation you’d have with them over a cup of coffee.
  3. Avoid delete worthy words like “passion”, “thrilling”, “state of the art”, “leading edge”.  These words have been used to death and have become completely meaningless
  4. Make your email a compelling read.  I often get asked how long an email should be.  Simply it should be as long as it needs to tell your story or get your message out.  Anyone who tells you the shorter the better clearly doesn’t understand the power of good copy.   If someone is reading a good email, just like a good book they’ll be devouring every word and won’t be able to put it down.  The old sales adage “the more you tell the more you sell” is so true – but it’s gotta be interesting to read.
  5. Keep it simple.  Forget slick email templates and fancy headers.  Hands down the emails that pull the best response are the ones that look just like they’re composed as a personal email – from you to me.  Plain black font (no multi colors).  And don’t add more than one attachment.
  6. Talk about benefits not features.  A feature is our lamp contains 6 different dim settings.  The benefit is this: you won’t strain your eyes from harsh light enabling you to read for longer periods of time.
  7. Always include clear instructions for a call to action.  The simpler the better e.g. just click here to have our widget rush mailed to you, or call my personal cellphone directly and … etc.

 

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!

Three Smart Questions to Find Out About Your Target Market

No matter what kind of marketing you’re doing – whether it’s a blog, a billboard, or a brochure…there are 3 CRITICAL areas that must be in alignment: there must be a market to message to media match. This is also referred to as a marketing triangle. If any one of these areas is out of alignment, it’s certain death for your marketing. The most critical is WHO is your target market. This must be the starting point for ALL your marketing, because if you get this wrong, then your marketing message will be seen by the wrong people no matter what media you select.

Here are 3 very smart questions to ask yourself about your target market. The objective of asking these questions is really to “get inside their head” in order to help you write powerful copy that’ll resonate with them.

Robert Collier says you need to write copy so that you are “continuing the conversation your prospect already has going on in their head.”

Here are 3 starter questions to ask yourself about your target market that’ll do just that:

1. What keeps them awake at night? – What has them sleepless, what’s really bugging them so bad they can’t sleep?

2. What are they scared of? – Everyone is afraid of something!

3. What are their top 3 daily frustrations? If you don’t know – get the list, talk to enough of them so you get consensus.

Once you have the answers, you need to relate them back to the product or service you sell (e.g. Is the government making you see red with yet another tax hike for small business owners? Come to my free seminar – The 7 secret strategies for small business owners to slash their tax bill legally …).

Who You Sell To Is More Important Than What You Sell

When most people decide to start a business, they figure out what they want to sell first, and then once they’ve developed the product, widget or service, they try and figure out who to sell it to. Actually this is backwards.

The best, most surefire way to success is to start with the WHO first, not the WHAT. Otherwise you may have gone to all the trouble of developing and investing in a new product or service which no one actually needs, or wants to buy.

To successfully sell a product you need a starving market. That’s why it always makes sense to identify the starving market first. You need to get to know them, figure out what problems they have that you can solve - and then go develop your product and service to specifically meet that need.

Note also that there is a big difference between a product we all know we need versus one we actually want to buy. It’s a much harder pitch to sell a product that’s needed instead of wanted. Obviously the sweet spot is a product that’s both needed and wanted.

For example, we know that we need to see our dentist at least once a year for a check up and cleaning. You’ll have to work a lot harder in your sales copy to get a prospect to schedule the appointment because it's a service they know they need, but don't necessarily want.

Compare this to an offer for professional teeth whitening that’s sent to a list of 30 and 40 something year olds who are single, smoke and drink coffee.

That’s a much easier sale to make.

In starting with the WHO first and not the WHAT, you'll be saving yourself a LOT of time, money and effort. You won't be investing in a product that you might think is the best thing since sliced bread, but your market doesn't!

How to use “Power Phrases” to effortlessly sell your prospects without sounding like a used car salesman.

Words are the most powerful weapons we have.  Your ability to write copy that connects, resonates and persuades your prospects to buy from you, will ultimately determine the size of your bank account. As Mark Twain says “The difference between the right word and almost the right word, is the difference between lightning and lightning bug”.

Now of course you can hire a copywriter to write your sales copy for you.  You may decide that’s the fastest path to get where you’re going.  Or you may decide to write it yourself. Either way I strongly urge you to study and learn how to write great copy.  It’s one of the 3 smartest investments you can make in your business.

In the meantime, here is a quick short cut or what I call “power phrases”.

Here are some examples of power phrases – these are ones to enhance your company’s image:

Who you buy from can be just as important as what you buy

We offer the most comprehensive _________ in the industry

We make life easier …

We offer practical, low cost solutions…

We’re familiar with every nuance of …..

Day after day we …..

Our total commitment to ….

We recognize the realities of ….

We don’t play games with …..

Despite what you may have heard ….

What’s our formula for success?

It’s our job to …

We offer the added advantage of ….

Here are some power phrases to justify a high price:

The ____ you receive will be worth many times the price

Treat yourself to a ______

Why pay $ ____ for a _____ when for a few dollars more you could have a ______

Allow yourself a little indulgence

Not as expensive as you think

A practical luxury

The Rolls Royce of _____

The Harvard of _________

Flagrantly expensive and worth every penny, ______ identifies you as ________

Here are some power phrases that convey security and peace of mind:

You’ll never have to take chances with …

Rest easy.

Never again will you have to …..

You won’t lose any more sleep over …..

Protects your valuable ……

Avoid embarrassing mistakes….

Gives you the assurance of …...

Incorporate some of these power phrases into your marketing and see what a difference it makes!

Beware Image Over Substance

One of the biggest misconceptions in marketing is that "pretty sells".  All those glossy brochures, slick looking websites with amazing flash graphics and fancy do-hicky things.  All very impressive looking but the bottom line is that if they don't actually do their job of delivering a compelling direct response message that'll get your prospects to take action and buy something - then they're a monumental waste of your money. How many glossy brochures have you seen that look drop dead gorgeous but contain no compelling offer, or reason for anyone to pick up the phone and call?  This kind of pretty but wimpy advertising is exactly what you should be eliminating in your business altogether.  Also known as "brand advertising" it's the #1 biggest waste of your marketing dollars and it's the #1 offender for small businesses getting dismal or zero responses from their advertising.

Instead, think of your marketing tools as being "salesmanship in media" rather than advertising.

Always, always always copy is king.  Yes the wrong presentation for a particular market can sabotage even the best message, but the more common mistake is a beautiful presentation of nothing.