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.
You will do very well.
Let’s continue the discussion in the second part of this post.
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