Todd Brown of Marketing Funnel Automation would often say, “whenever it’s time to convert your prospects and leads into customers, never ever underestimate the tasks at hand”…
It goes without saying that it’s not at all easy to make people buy a thing from you…
It takes a lot of psychologies, systematic approaches, emotional addresses, empathetic and sympathetic moves, and so forth, to eventually move people to buy.
More importantly, in this stiff world of competition, you have to present your business, product, or service in some unique waydifferent from what your prospects have ever seen before, regarding that kind of business, product, or service…
…using the ultimate power of what I called the Outstanding Business Idea (or, O.B.I.).
Then, you have to present them an over the top offer – an offer that’s so irresistible, that no intelligent person can pass off – for them to easily buy into your product or service.
This is because people are so careful with how they spend their hard-earned money.
If they could find any offer that’s more appealing to them than yours elsewhere, they’d hurriedly go there.
One of these offer presentation methods or techniques that you could possibly use to lure your prospects or leads to quickly buy from you is the “money-back guarantee”.
It makes your leads and prospects feel much safety dropping their hard-earned money with you…
…because they know they can easily demand their money back if your claims about your product or service are eventually not as you’ve stated.
The money-back guarantee is an essential staple of marketing and business.
Especially if you are selling a big-ticket item, those who order will be subject to a natural human emotion known as “buyer’s remorse.”
“Did I really need that?” is a question that people will have.
“Have I just been conned?”
“Is this a waste of money?”
“Will this product really do what the salesman promises?”
“Did I get a good price?”
“Is this just another scam?”
To mitigate “buyer’s remorse,” follow-up the order with a letter, an email, and even a phone call aimed at reassuring your customer — who bought from you because he or she believed what you told him or her.
I’m sure you’ve asked these same questions yourself after buying something pricey.
Most refund requests come in right away — seldom weeks or months later.
That’s because “buyer’s remorse” sets in right after the purchase and then fades over time, even if the customer isn’t later thrilled with your product.
It’s during those first few days immediately after the purchase that the threat of a refund request is most acute.
So your follow-up campaign after the purchase is very important.
It’s a critical marketing element ignored by most businesses.
Your letter should congratulate your customer on his or her purchase.
Reassure him or her that he or she made the right decision.
Your letter should restate the promises you’ve made and offer to help him or her if he or she has any trouble using your product.
Encourage him or her to call you, or his or her customer service representative (in your company), if he or she is having any difficulty.
Stay in communication with your customer to make sure the product is working as anticipated.
If you use email marketing in your business, you could automate some series of messages to follow-up with the purchase your client or customer just made.
You could setup a series of follow-up emails with the following headlines:
Email #1 (day 0; immediately on purchase): Congratulations on your purchase. You’ve made the right decision.
Email #2 (day 2; 2 days after purchase): How are you finding the product?
Email #3 (day 4; 4 days after purchase): Just checking on you…
Email #4 (day 8; 8 days after purchase): What other ways can I be of help to you?
Email #5 (day 10; 10 days after purchase): Get access to resources that could be of help to you…
By following up like this, you will diffuse any anxieties and frustrations your customer might be having.
Most importantly, you will begin to develop a relationship with your new customer that will set the stage for many more sales to this customer in the future.
The late legendary copywriter, great Gary Halbert once wrote an ad… [image below…]
Not only is the copy superb, the secret behind how the ad was used to bring Gary credibility was as well genius.
You can see the ad was written as an advertorial – an ad intended to model the look and feel of an editorial content.
It’s a strategy known for getting far greater readership than the traditional ads.
Gary was known for running lots of ads like these in newspapers.
And doing this served a dual purpose for him:
(1) Of course, he’s doing this to generate sales.
(2) He also wants to gain an instant trust and credibility. (But not like you think, though…)
How Gary used this strategy to achieve the second purpose of gaining credibility and trust is what I want you to understand and take note of.
First…notice how the ad was written from a third-party perspective.
It was written as if a reporter did the research and was now sharing this story about Gary.
Second…notice how the ad refers to Gary as a “Direct Mail Genius” and “the best advertising copywriter who ever lived”.
This, of course, is to give Gary credibility in the ad.
But that’s not the only reason.
Gary ran his ads in tons of different newspapers…including, national publications like the New York Times and others.
So, of course, after running an ad like this in say… the NY Times… Gary could leverage that credibility in future ads by saying things like…
“According to a recent issue of the New York Times, Gary Halbert is a Direct Mail Genius… and is referred to as the best advertising copywriter who ever lived.”
It is true, right?
In this example, those words were published in the NY Times.
Granted, they were published within Gary’s own ad about himself…but they were published nonetheless.
So Gary could quote it.
Simple, but brilliant, right?
This same strategy is used today online.
And here’s a simple, fast way you can do it:
(1) Write a news release about you, your business, or your product or service.
(2) Pay some news or media houses to publish your news release.
(3) You could as well pay PRWeb.com to distribute the news release for you to their syndicated newswire list. It costs about $250 (around #90,000).
(4) Your news release will get picked-up automatically by lots of news sites, search engines, bloggers and journalists. Most will be local news agencies and organizations. But a handful will be partners of major news sites.
(5) Quote your news release on your site, in your marketing, etc. – as shared by one of the credible news agencies or organizations who picked it up.
And see how your audience instantly trust and believe everything about you and your business!
It’s that simple.
It’s that easy.
It’s done all the time.
And it’s a rinse and repeat process that you can always do all the time.
The GDPR has gone into effect as from May 25th, 2018.
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation and it replaces an earlier data protection regulation for the EU.
The GDPR is an EU law that was passed in 2016 and becomes enforceable from May 25th, 2018.
The GDPR is all about personal data and what online companies and websites are allowed to do with it.
If the long list of strict GDPR regulations is not followed, the penalties are stiff.
Who needs to be GDPR compliant?
Don’t think you’ve dodged a bullet just because you don’t live in an EU member country.
The GDPR doesn’t just apply to businesses based in the EU.
If anyone from the EU visits your website, you are required to be fully compliant with this brand new regulation.
If you get leads from people in the EU or people from the EU share any kind of personal data with you, you absolutely MUST be GDPR compliant.
That means affiliate marketers, bloggers, CPA marketers, product owners, list-builders, e-commerce store owners, and even online service providers MUST become GDPR compliant to avoid massive fines.
And failure to comply can result in massive fines that can shut down your entire business.
Ensuring your compliance with the GDPR is crucial to your long-term business success.
By now, all the big websites out there like Facebook, YouTube, Google, and many others have already updated their terms of service and the way they interact with their customers to ensure compliance.
That’s because non-compliance with the GDPR carries extremely steep penalties…
In the case of data breach or non-compliance with the GDPR regulations, you can be fined up to 4% of your annual global turnover OR 20 million euros…
…whichever is greater.
That’s a lot of money.
Money you don’t have to give a government agency for not following the rules.
To ensure your compliance with the GDPR you need to:
Study the working of the GDPR in great detail and likely hire an attorney.
Modify the processes and systems in your business to ensure that your online business is compliant.
Hire coders and designers to make sure GDPR compliance is built into every single website you have online.
Continually review what you’re doing to ensure compliance.
For most online businesses, all these are just out of the question.
Not only would they be extremely time-consuming, the cost to maintain compliance can quickly skyrocket to thousands of dollars…
Yet, if you fail to comply, you have to face a lot of issues…because…
…monetary penalties are just the beginning.
In addition to monetary penalties, non-compliance with the GDPR can also cause you to be banned from offering products and services to customers from any EU member country indefinitely.
This could likely put you out of business overnight if you’re found to be out of compliance.
And that’s a bad thing.
Not only does that open you up to massive legal headaches and huge fees, but if you decide to get compliant later, you’ll have to spend a whole lot more money to do it.
To ensure GDPR compliance, you have to take note of the following GDPR Regulations:
An individual’s rights under GDPR
Apart from being extra-territorial, the new GDPR regulation brings nine new rights to users, allowing them to have more control over the collection and usage of their personal data.
These rights are:
Right to Be Informed.
An individual has the full right to be informed about how their personal data is being collected and used.
Right to Access.
Every user has the right to access and download their personal data in the form of an electronic copy provided by the website owner free of cost.
Right to Rectification.
The new GDPR regulation gives users the power to rectify any inaccurate personal data or complete it if it is not complete.
Right to Erasure.
Also known as the “Right to Be Forgotten”, this right allows individuals to leave a website and have any personal data erased anytime.
Right to Restrict Processing.
According to this right, every user will have the ability to restrict or suppress the processing of their personal data anytime.
Right to Data Portability.
The new GDPR regulation empowers users to download and reuse their personal data for their own purposes.
Right to Object.
An individual can prohibit the use of any particular data for direct marketing or any other purpose anytime.
Right To Be Informed About Data Breaches.
In case of a data breach, the website owner must notify users within 72 hours of knowing about the breach.
Rights Related To Automated Decision Making.
The GDPR regulation prevents users from being subject to a decision made without the active involvement of a human.
If you manage your website(s) by yourself or you manage website(s) for others, you can do this…
If you feel you’re still finding it difficult making this major change in your business, without which you could possibly face a huge business risk, and even other related issues…you can always contact me, and I’d readily be glad to help!
Testing shows that long letters usually work better than short letters.
This is yet another example of how direct marketing is “counter-intuitive.”
Common sense would seem to dictate that short letters and short presentations would work better.
Who has time to read a four-page or eight-page letter?
But all testing shows otherwise.
Long ad copies work far better than short ad copies 85 percent of the time.
A four-page letter will work better than a two-page letter.
An eight-page letter will work better than a four-page letter.
This is a general rule.
There are, of course, exceptions.
The reason is this: About half the people who answer your letter with an order will have read every word.
The other half who answers will have scanned your materials.
The scanners read the first line, the P.S., and the reply form, your headlines, and perhaps some of your underlined phrases.
And they will review the guarantee.
Your scanners don’t need a long letter.
But about half your buyers want all the information before they make a decision to buy.
These people can’t get enough information.
And if you fail to answer all their questions, they won’t buy.
You must write for both audiences: Your scanners as well as those who want all the information.
Of course, there comes a point of diminishing returns.
A 16-page letter is overkill in most cases, and may drive your cost up too high, yet some 16-page letters have turned out to be very successful.
The fact that it’s 16 pages is enough to get a reader’s attention, and suggests that the writer must have a lot of important things to say.
Generally, a 16-page letter will out-pull an eight-page letter, but not enough to make up for the increased cost.
But there are important exceptions to this rule.
Subscription and membership renewal notices should be short and look more like invoices than letters.
A one or two page letter works best here and also keeps your cost lower.
If the service, product, or cause does not need much explaining, a short letter will work best.
A dentist might send you a reminder that it’s been more than six months since your last check-up.
No need, in this case, for this notice to include a long letter describing all his or her services.
If the President of a country is writing to his supporters asking for contributions for his reelection campaign, he does not need a long letter.
The need is obvious.
It does not require explaining.
Everyone knows who the President of the country is.
Everyone knows political campaigns cost money.
Besides, a Presidential election is in the news every day.
In a case like this, a long letter will be a distraction and will likely depress returns.
Credit card offers are usually short.
Everyone knows what a credit card is for.
All that needs to be explained is the offer.
What is the interest rate?
What is the annual fee?
What are some of the incentives and benefits?
This job can be done on one or two pages.
Long letters will almost always work best in prospecting.
Since, in a prospect letter, you are writing to people who have never bought anything from you and who know nothing about you, more explaining will be needed to persuade your reader to try your service.
Your letters to those who have already bought something from you can be a mix of long and short letters, whatever is appropriate.
The length of your letter should be determined by how much you have to say.
The rule is to answer all the questions your reader might have.
If this requires eight pages, write eight pages; if it requires four, write four.
Don’t waste words.
Make your message simple and compelling.
Don’t bore your reader.
Pull the reader through the copy.
The easiest step a reader can take is to stop reading and go on to something else.
Your reader will know if you’re not saying anything of much importance.
Every word should count.
Every word, every phrase, every sentence should have a purpose.
All superfluous words and sentences should be ruthlessly cut.
But don’t cut your marketing copy just to make your letter fit on two pages or four pages either.
Tell the whole story.
But there’s another side benefit of the long letter.
A very long letter, eight pages or more, is attention-getting in itself.
It adds weight and heft to your package.
If you’re sending a physical mail, it Kind of makes your envelope, stuffed full of paper, feel like a brick when it arrives in the mailbox.
“I wonder what’s in here?” your readers will ask themselves.
Don’t write an 8-page or 12-page or 16-page letter just to do it.
Make certain you really have enough to say to fill up all the space.
But the attention-getting aspect of a very long letter is a factor to consider.
Many of my most successful physical direct mail packages land with a thud when dropped on the kitchen table.
The longer you hold your reader’s attention, the better your odds of getting the sale
The car salesman wants to keep you in the showroom.
He knows that if you leave the showroom, the chance he will ever get the sale is almost nil.
If your reader puts your letter aside, thinking “I’ll come back to it later” — you can be near 100 percent certain he or she will never be back.
If he or she ever comes back, it’s a bonus.
On the other hand, if you can write in such a way that captivates your reader (just like how the American author, Stephen King writes); you have a great chance of getting the sale.
The longer your prospect reads, the better chance you have of getting the order.
There is only one reason your prospect will continue reading your letter:
You are striking a chord with your reader.
What you are saying is of intense interest to your reader.
Your reader will continue to read only if it’s more difficult for your reader to stop reading than to continue reading . . . because what you are saying is so fascinating.
I hope you learned a new thing from this post? Drop your opinion about the post in the comments section below.
9) Make sure your letter reads like a letter from one person to another, that it does not come across as mass advertising . . . even if economics dictate that you must mail a cheap non-personalized “Dear Friend” letter.
Whether you are writing to a few people or a million people, if you achieve these nine things, you will succeed.
This post is a continuation of that…as well as an exposure to the utmost overall reason why people actually demand and buy…
Without further ado…
Desire to make a difference
People want their lives to count for something, to make a difference.
People run for President and public offices to make a difference — hopefully not just for recognition.
People contribute to charities, political causes, and religious organizations to make a difference.
People become teachers and religious leaders to make a difference.
People write books and articles to make a difference.
People volunteer to make a difference.
Very few people want their life to count for absolutely nothing, to have made no positive impact in the world.
Most people want to leave a legacy of some kind.
The desire to have an impact, to leave a mark, to make the world a better place, can be a powerful motivator to buy or contribute.
Desire for meaning in life
People want life to mean something.
Religious organizations rely on this motive to prosper.
Most people believe in God.
Most people do not want to believe their life is an accident.
People buy Holy Books, religious tracts, and philosophical discourses to find meaning in life.
They join a religious house and attend seminars for the same reason.
Billions of dollars are spent every year by people wanting to find meaning in life.
Desire for power
People want to tell others what to do.
They want to be in charge.
They want power.
They want to be like God.
Sometimes they want power to do good things, sometimes evil things.
Elections are about deciding who will be in charge.
Billions of dollars are spent to win elections, and to win power.
People start their own businesses and organizations in part because they want to be the boss.
People want to be in charge of their own lives and in charge of other people’s lives as well.
Serial killers are the way they are because they want power over others — their victims.
The desire for power over others is at the root of every war.
The obsession for power has caused enormous human misery: Hitler, Stalin, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, and countless dictators throughout history.
The desire for power is one of the most powerful human motives.
Necessity of life
People need food, water, soap, clothes, electricity, gas, transportation, haircuts, phones, etc.
Maybe computers and Internet connections now fall under the category of a necessity of modern life.
Businesses need paper, copiers, desks, chairs, fax machines, phones, and computers.
“Can’t do without it” is certainly a powerful reason to buy.
People become addicted to drugs, alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, gambling, pornography, sex, and fast food, etc.
Some addictions are physical, others psychological.
But the effect is the same, an ever-present compulsion to get more.
Marketers of these products see their jobs as feeding the addiction and creating more addicts to the substance, product, or activity.
This is how the drug dealers, the tobacco and alcohol companies, the porn industry, sex traffickers, the casinos, and the fast food and junk food companies are making billions.
Now that you know all the possible reasons moving people to buy…let me now show you the real #1 reason why people actually buy…
The #1 real reason why people buy
Earlier, I listed seventeen motives fueling the desire of people to buy something.
But almost all of these can be recast and placed under one motive.
The most powerful motive of all is fear.
People are very insecure about their place in life.
Are people searching for love, or are they more afraid of ending up alone?
Stopping something bad from happening is always a more powerful motivator than causing something good to happen.
I exercise not so I can look like Mr. Universe, but because I fear looking like Jabba the Hutt. 🙂
I want to make more money not so I can buy more things, but mostly to guard against going broke.
Desire for power is a subset of fear.
So is anger.
People are angry because they are not in control.
Short people (like Hitler, Stalin, Napoleon, Mao Tse Tung, Pol Pot, etc.) seem more interested in power than tall people (like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, etc.).
People want power and get angry mostly because they are insecure — which is a variation of the fear motive.
Your sales pitches, letters, and copies will perform far better if you talk about, or imply, all the bad things that will happen to your reader if he or she fails to answer your letter.
If you receive a letter from the tax office or an attorney, you are very likely to open it — far more likely and quickly than a letter from a friend!
People fear the tax office, fear lawsuits, fear getting older, fear dying, fear failing, fear loneliness, fear nature, fear getting sick, fear God, fear going to Hell, fear being left behind or left out, fear being fired, fear not keeping up with the Joneses, fear not amounting to anything in life, fear for their kids, fear not being understood, fear other people, fear walking down the street, and just generally fear life.
American director, Woody Allen built a career that spans more than six decades of making movies about people’s fears, insecurities, and neuroses.
The news media sells almost nothing but fear, because news organizations know that fear sells.
Rarely do we hear a positive news story.
Mostly we hear stories about disasters, crimes, wars, typhoons, and diseases.
People contribute to causes mostly because they want to stop something bad from happening.
How does the car salesman stop you from walking out of the showroom?
“Another guy also loved this car
and says he’ll be back later today
with his down payment.
If you don’t buy it now,
this car will be gone this evening.”
Or . . .
“This deal I’m offering you expires at the end of the month, which is today.
We’re actually losing money on this price.
We’re only offering this price today so we can meet our sales quota for the month
because if we meet our quota, we get a bonus from GM.”
I’m sure you’ve heard these or similar pitches before.
The salesman is using fear (your fear of losing out) as a way to persuade you to make an immediate decision.
People buy not so much to gain something, but because they fear losing something important if they don’t buy now.
The legendary copywriter and advertiser, David Ogilvy said, “When you sell fire extinguishers, show the fire.”
It goes without saying that no one of your leads and customers is ever interested in whatever it is that you sell…but only the outcome, the result, the honour, the prestige, the fame, the exclusivity, the power, the hope, the safety, etc., that they’d get out of the product or service that you’re selling them.
People don’t want education by paying huge exorbitant tuition fees; all they want is to be in the exclusive ‘literates’ club.
People don’t want cars, they only want the comfort, luxury, prestige, etc., that comes with owning a good car.
People don’t want refrigerators or freezers. All they’re after is to always get their drinks and beverages chilled to cool off the heat.
People don’t want to join a gym…all they want is to get in good shape.
So, there are actually some reasons behind the demand your leads and customers have for your products or services.
I can go on to name up to about seventeen of such reasons, as stated by the great advertiser and copywriter, Benjamin Hart…which I’ll nonetheless do in a moment…
Yet, I’ll further on show you a chief reason that stands out at the backbone of every other reason your leads and customers have for demanding your products or services.
People buy because they fear getting old, fear going broke, fear being left behind.
They fear being left out.
They fear death.
They fear getting sick, fear going to Hell, fear being alone.
They fear the young people gaining power, or they fear the old people retaining power.
They fear the Umbrella party or the Broom party gaining power.
They fear life is meaningless.
They fear failure.
They fear their kids won’t amount to anything.
They fear being insignificant, not leaving a mark.
Fear comes in all shapes, sizes, and forms.
Fear is a powerful motivator causing people to buy.
In the first part of this post, I started to expose some strategies to use to make your leads and customers buy into your products or services instantly, while not waiting to buy later.
Let’s move on from there…
Tell your audience specifically what they are going to get.
Your customers want to know exactly what they will be getting for their money.
Again, this is just more of the Claude Hopkins’ formula.
When you buy a car, you want the exact specifications, so that when you compare prices with other dealers, you know you are comparing apples to apples.
When you buy a computer, you need to know the specifications:
How fast is it?
How much memory does it have?
How big is the screen?
How clear is the resolution?
Include all the information.
If the information is highly technical, such as with computers, you should include this on a separate insert, perhaps along with a beautiful and impressive photo of the computer you are selling.
Technical specifications make for boring ad copy, so the complete list should not be included in the advert copy, just the highlights.
But a complete list should be included somewhere.
If you are selling a seminar on tape, or a study-at-home course, you should include an impressive photo of all the materials that will be arriving in a box.
Your ad copy, your sales package, is like a show-and-tell presentation.
Provide all the information — if not all in the copy, then n separate inserts and enclosures.
Give your reader a lot of great material to study.
Provide third-party testimony to the truth of your claims.
Anything you’re going to say as a salesman is going to be met with skepticism, no matter how compelling your story and your claims, no matter how exact the details you describe.
You need others — preferably famous and respected people — to confirm that what you are saying are true.
If you are selling a fix for muscle pain, you should have endorsements by top doctors — perhaps doctors who work for professional sports teams.
An endorsement of your muscle pain cure from the official team doctor of the country’s national team would be impressive.
But it’s also important for endorsements not to be just hype.
Endorsements are best if they are mini-stories — a mini-story on how the recognized expert discovered your product and then a fairly detailed description of exactly what your product achieved for him is an effective, believable testimonial.
The more testimonials you have, the better.
You can never have enough testimonials.
You can as well try to secure testimonials on audio and video and put them on your website.
Tell your audience what bad things will happen if they fail to act now.
Your readers must be given good reasons to act now, not tomorrow.
People buy more out of impulse.
If your prospect puts your advert copy aside, thinking he or she will get to it later, your appeal is probably doomed.
Your reasons for them to act now, not tomorrow, must also be credible, not hype.
Check out the reason used in the copy below as an example:
The registration deadline for my Direct Response Marketer’s Boot Camp is September 23.
I’m limiting enrollment to just 24 people to ensure that each participant receives personal one-on-one coaching, which includes an analysis of your current direct marketing offers.
I am accepting enrollment applications in the order of their arrival.
The Boot Camps always fill up long before the deadline date.
So I encourage you to send me your application as soon as you possibly can.
To enroll immediately, you can also call me at 0800_______, or enroll online at: www.website.com.
Can you see how the reason I give for my reader to answer my letter immediately also restates some of the key benefits of the seminar?
In this case, it is the personal one-on-one coaching and analysis of the customer’s current direct marketing offers.
I might also mention that “This is the last time I’ve scheduled a Boot Camp in the area. I’m sure I’ll be back again, but maybe not for another couple of years.”
Suggesting to your reader that this is a “last chance” opportunity to do something or buy something is always strong.
“Last chance” arguments for acting now are a proven formula for success.
But, as with all your sales copy and presentations, the claim must be believable.
Avoid using shopworn phrases used by amateur writers like “Supplies are limited, so act now.”
Everyone knows you probably have a warehouse full of the junk.
Stronger reasons would be more credible, like for example:
“We’re down to the last few books, and it could be many months before we go back up on press with another printing.
So I encourage you to get your order in today.
Calling our 0800______, or ordering online at www.website.com is the surest and fastest way to secure your book.”
This says almost same thing, but it’s far more precise.
The reasons are solid.
And there’s no hype — just good solid facts and reasons for acting now and not waiting until tomorrow.
Rephrase the most prominent benefits in the closing and in other parts of the copy
Repeating your message is crucial in all successful marketing.
But don’t repeat the same words all the time or you will bore your reader.
Look for new, fresh ways to underscore what your offer is and what the benefits are.
This is where thought and creativity come in.
You do this in your lead.
You back up your claims in the body of your copy, in the enclosures and in the testimonials.
And you summarize your offer, restating the principal benefit in the P.S. or P.S.es, and on the order form.
What you are offering, what you are selling, must be crystal clear in about three seconds.
Your reader must never need to search for what you are selling.
Include a money-back guarantee
This is absolutely essential, because you are asking your reader, who may never have met you, to trust your claims and send you money.
And, as with everything else in your copy, you must make your guarantee believable.
Your reader must feel absolutely certain that this guarantee you are describing is real.
It must be unconditional, no questions asked.
The guarantee should be a stand-alone certificate, signed by the you, who is assuring them of the guarantee.
It should be nice and should look something like a stock certificate or a Federal Government savings bond.
It should look like an official document from the Federal Government Treasury.
It should look like it has real monetary value just by itself.
It should look something like money.
This will grab the attention of your reader and reassure your reader.
You might take your guarantee and assurance of satisfaction one step further, and say something like:
“If you are ever having any problems with this product, please call me directly.
The direct line to my desk is _____. If you don’t reach me there, my cell phone number is _____.”
And you might make this promise:
“If you are unhappy in any way with my service, just write cancel on my invoice and mail it back to me. You’ll owe nothing for the month.”
“If you ever have a problem that we cannot fix within 24 hours, I’ll give you this month’s service for free. And you will continue to receive service free until we fix the problem to your satisfaction.”
Always put the buyer in charge of the guarantee and the decision as to whether a refund is called for.
Offer instant gratification.
In the 21st century, the age of high-speed Internet and overnight delivery, you must offer instant gratification.
People today are not patient.
They are not willing to “allow four-to six weeks for delivery.”
That’s like waiting until the next life.
Be sure always to include a toll-free phone number if possible (contact your service provider for this), or any other cheap or free means of instantly reaching you if need be…
…and also include a website order form so they can order immediately.
And offer an overnight delivery option.
So when your sales letter is mailed or your website order form is filled out, be sure you are ready to fulfill orders instantly.
There you are!
Enjoy a fruitful and seamless marketing and selling.
Your leads and prospects must be given good reasons to take action now, and not later.
People buy more out of impulse.
If your prospect puts your sales copy or advert aside, thinking he or she will get to it later, your appeal is probably doomed.
Your reasons for them to act now, and not later, must also be credible, and not hype or fluff.
Check out the following strategies and start putting them into use in your marketing campaigns straight away…
Craft a great first sentence that creates intrigue.
Leading off your marketing or advertising message with a question is often a good way to engage your audience.
Here’s a pretty good example:
“If I can show you how you can double your income in 90 days by giving me just 30 minutes of your time, would you like to learn more?“
Questions can be effective lead sentences because you are immediately engaging your reader in a conversation.
You are not preaching at your reader.
You are not screaming at your reader.
You are not lecturing your reader.
You are asking your reader to give his or her opinion.
You are, in effect, putting your reader in charge of the conversation.
And you are doing so in a way that gets your reader thinking and imagining.
Another effective attention-getter is to start with a damaging admission.
Here’s an example:
“If you’re looking for a big, prestigious ad agency to create and conduct your ad campaign, we’re not for you.
But if you’re looking for an affordable ad agency that knows the local market right here in [name your location], I encourage you to check out our website at [name your website] to pick up your free report that will give you “10 rules for creating great ads”.
Our offices are modest because we don’t spend your hard-earned money on beautiful wood finishing, marble floors, fat salaries, and a fancy address.
We use your money to create affordable and effective ads and marketing campaigns for you and your business.“
The damaging admission is a great way to start, because your honesty is disarming.
By immediately revealing your weakness, your reader is far more likely to believe your claims.
A damaging admission is attention-getting in itself.
Human nature is such that we all start listening intently when someone starts admitting his weaknesses, mistakes, blunders, and disasters.
That’s a whole lot more interesting than listening to someone prattle on about how great he or she is.
Or, here’s another way to start:
“I am writing you because it’s a matter of public record and concern that you are having financial problems, and I think I have a way to help you.”
This is attention-getting because you have just told your reader that you know something damaging about him or her…
You have inside information about your audience.
It’s a bit of a shocker.
Who would not keep reading after being hit on the head with such an opening line?
Figure out all the benefits of what you are selling and promise your most important benefit first.
Notice the use of the word “benefits,” not “features.”
People don’t buy things or products, people buy great results.
People don’t buy drills; they buy the holes that drills make.
You’re not buying leather seats for your car; you’re buying comfort, beauty, prestige.
Before you start writing, list on a piece of paper all benefits (results) you can identify the product achieving for your prospects.
Then organize them in order of priority.
You can then ask others to help you organize the items (benefits) in the priority they think is right.
You could take a kind of mini-poll — because what you think is important might very well be wrong.
The larger your poll sample, the better your data will be.
Ask as many people as you can to help you prioritize your list of benefits.
If you can find a “hidden benefit,” that can further strengthen your appeal.
Anytime you can share a secret, or show people something “hidden,” ears will perk up.
A hidden benefit of aspirin is that it helps diminish the likelihood of heart attacks and strokes by thinning the blood and thereby unclogging arteries.
Wow, that’s a pretty good benefit.
We’re now supposed to take an aspirin-a-day, whether or not we have a headache.
And that’s great news for aspirin makers, who were on the ropes because of Tylenol.
A hidden benefit of the time-management program you are selling is that, not only will it make you more productive and your business more profitable, but you’ll have a lot more time for your family, for games, and for doing the things you love doing.
In almost every product you sell, you can find “hidden benefits” that might be even more attractive than the obvious benefit.
“Hidden benefits” are like “hidden treasures.”
They are so much more exciting to read and learn about.
Describe your most important benefit in detail.
Your audience must be persuaded that your claims are true.
You must prove your claims.
You do this by going into a fair amount of detail about how and why your product will achieve the wonderful benefit you are describing.
You don’t do this with a lot of hype.
You don’t do this by using empty words like “amazing” and “incredible.”
You do this with facts, reasons, and interesting, little-known details.
The great advertising writer, Claude Hopkins, nearly a century ago, was hired by Schlitz beer to craft an ad campaign that would rescue the company.
Schlitz at the time was running about fifteenth in beer sales and was in deep trouble.
Hopkins made a trip to Wisconsin to visit the brewery.
He needed to learn more about how beer was made.
Hopkins knew that it was impossible to sell without a thorough knowledge of the product being sold.
The folks at Schlitz showed Hopkins the entire brewing process, step by step.
They showed him how deep they had drilled their wells to find the purest water.
They showed him the glass-enclosed rooms that kept the water pure, the kind of yeast they used and where they got it.
They showed Hopkins the place where the bottles were cleaned, re-cleaned, and sanitized a dozen times.
“My God,” Hopkins said, “Why don’t you tell people in your advertising about all these steps you are taking to brew your beer?”
“But”, answered the Schlitz people, “All companies brew their beer about the same way.”
“Yes,” Hopkins countered, “but the first one to tell the public about this process will gain a big advantage.”
Hopkins then launched an ad campaign for Schlitz that described in detail the company’s step-by-step brewing process for making the beer.
Within six months, Schlitz jumped to the #1 selling beer.
Here’s the text of the legendary Hopkins print ad:
Perfection of 50 Years
Back of each glass of Schlitz beer, there is an experience of 50 years.
In 1848, in a hut, Joseph Schlitz began brewing.
Not like Schlitz beer of today; but it was honest.
It was the best beer America had ever brewed.
This great brewer today has new methods.
A half-century has taught us perfection.
But our principles are 50 years old, our aims are unaltered.
Schlitz beer is still brewed without regard to expense, according to the best that we know.
We send experts to Bohemia to select the best hops in the world.
An owner of the business selects the barley, and buys only the best that grows.
A partner in our concern supervises every stage of the brewing.
Cleanliness is not carried to greater extremes in any kitchen than here.
Purity is made imperative.
All beer is cooled in plate-glass rooms, in filtered air.
The beer is filtered.
Then it is sterilized, after being bottled and sealed.
We age our beer for months in refrigerating rooms before it goes out.
Otherwise Schlitz beer would cause biliousness, as common beer does.
Ask for beer, and you get the beer that best suits your dealer.
He may care more for his profit than your health.
Ask for Schlitz, and you get the best beer the world ever knew.
Notice that Hopkins used no empty “hype” words.
His claims are backed up by facts, details, and narrative.
If anything, Hopkins’ tone is understated, and this contributes to the ad’s believability.
Hopkins proved with this legendary ad that there are no boring subjects, just boring writers.
“Who wants to hear a story about the step-by-step brewing process of making beer?” one might wonder.
Turns out, those who love beer are fascinated by the subject.
They want to know exactly and precisely why they should pick this beer above all others.
This great copywriter, Claude Hopkins, the father of modern advertising, understood this law of marketing and went on to turn the brewing process into an exciting story, full of detail — and of riveting interest to beer lovers.
Follow the Hopkins formula in all your sales copy and ad writing.