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Why Pro Copywriters Enjoy A Million Dollar Advantage

You might have heard this mantra from me any number of times.  It is the core of effective copywriting.

It’s not a Secret.  It’s a Skill.  One shared by top copywriters around the globe.  I coined it a couple of years ago when one talented marketer put me on the spot by asking me to tell him – in one short sentence – what makes me different from the bulk of the mob of people calling themselves copywriters.

This was the sentence I burbled out – and he said, “Go with that.  That’s you.”

Once you master this system of communicating the benefits of your product with your own personality, you will increase engagement, sales, and revenue.

Now, we’ll put some meat on its bones.

About half the copywriting samples I evaluate, use mostly the right words – that is to say their copy follows the four C’s of Clear, Concise, Conversational, and Customer-oriented.

So, these writing samples show a grasp of copywriting methodology.  Then, we apply a few further tests.

  • Does it flow? Is the copy easy and pleasant to read?
  • Does it hold your interest?
  • Does it focus on the major benefits, or solutions, common to most prospects?
  • Is it memorable? Are there a few phrases that are not only completely understandable, but also serve up word groups that carve out a small place in the reader’s mind?

How Many Right Words Are Right?  There have always been battles based on copy length.  Different products need more explanation than others, be it a function of prospect awareness, competition, or price.  My rule of thumb is, “Make it as long as necessary to tell your complete story…but not one word longer.

When I worked on Madison Avenue, we were fortunate to have an art department that could do marvelous work with illustrations and photos.

Most of today’s freelance/independent writers handle the selection or creation of images themselves.  I know I do.  But too many either don’t have a good eye for illustrations or don’t place a high degree of importance on them.  This could be, and often is, ruinous to the success of a marketing piece.

  • First…the main image must be directly relevant to what you’re advertising.
  • The best images draw the reader in immediately. I like to use images of people, images of the product, or – ideally, images of people using the product.
  • Images should be “up close and personal”. I want to see people’s faces.  Please do not use group photos.  The people are too small to engage the reader.  Limit the number of people to 3 or 4 at most.  How many of you have your “avatar” on social media be a shot of your whole self set too far away to clearly see your face? 

Images are meant to connect readers to the product offering in a visceral way.

This is the bugaboo of most copywriting.

A Landing Page (or Sales Page) is most effective when it takes the reader seamlessly through the AIDA progression (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action).  An effective page usually consists of nine to twelve sections (I call them Thought Bites) arranged in an order I call Logical Thought Sequencing.

In what order should this be, exactly, must be worked out.  I have three templates I designed that cover most all situations.

  • When should you insert “price”?
  • When and how do you insert your first Call-To-Action? Too early in the sequence, and you haven’t earned the right to ask.  Too late, and you’ve missed the peak of desire.
  • What evidence is most effective for affecting “authority”, “expertise”, or “social credit”?
  • How and when do you deal with a person who may be interested, but is not yet ready to buy or commit?

All these, and more, need to be considered before your landing page or webpage is ready to go, which is why all copywriters need proven formulas to help them :

  • Save Time
  • Lessen Mistakes
  • Be More Consistent
  • Bring Better Results

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Part II – Some Things You May Not Know About Copywriting Formulas

“Hey, who’s the creative guy around here?”

Question a lot of “creative” guys (and gals) about their ads, webpages and emails, there’s a good chance you may experience a reply similar to this. They are basically telling you that they are blessed with creative talents (probably true) and that used sufficiently and given free rein, those talents can sell anything to anyone (most definitely false).

Let’s see how Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert, looks at it.

True Creativity Nedds the Discipline of Formulas to Be Effective in Gaining AA Million Dollar Advantage
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The answer is, absolutely YES.

Some, thankfully not all, Creatives go apoplectic when it is suggested they “stifle their creativity” so it fits within the parameters and goals of a marketing formula.

They cannot accept that the successful ad writers who came before them worked with a formula. Sometimes that formula was concretely stated, sometimes the discipline came from an innate sense of what works.

For many, unfortunately, what works takes a back seat to “what will win me an award”. Try to persuade them of the good sense of your position in favor of scientific ad creation and they’ll fight you hammer and tong no matter how many truths you tell them. It reminds me of the movie A Few Good Men when Jack Nicholson yells at Tom Cruise: “You can’t handle the truth!”.

Well, I’ve got some truths I’d like to tell you and I’m betting that you, as serious marketers and copywriters, can handle it.

Who knows, you might even agree with me.

There is a need for marketing and advertising rooted in formulas or methodology. There are, for instance, an infinite number of ways you can arrange words on a page.  

Some of them make it easy to read your copy, while others create obstacles to your words being read. More on that later. Here now, the truths.

  1. Marketing is a blend of Science and Art.
  2. Working with a sound, proven formula will produce winning marketing a lot more often than relying on innate creativity and gut feelings.
  3. Highly creative people gravitate to Marketing, Copywriting and Advertising.
  4. Often creative people aren’t very disciplined.
  5. Undisciplined creativity can leave your marketing “…sliding on the slippery surface of irrelevant brilliance.” (Frank Ogilvy)
  6. Rather than being the driver of success, Creativity often gets in the way of the marketing message, limiting success.
  7. How creative you can be is often directly related to the amount of money you have to spend.

These seven statements point out the need for having marketing formulas you can go by. As a copywriter, I consider myself to be a creative person. I choose, however, to discipline my creativity so there’s a greater chance of it being effective.

And effectiveness brings better results.

A formula (aka model, method, or system) is simply a guide – or template, if you will – you use to make sure your marketing piece includes all the elements that will work to make it successful.  And includes them in the right order.

One of the most significant “Musts” for a marketer or copywriter is Differentiate.  It’s one of the two central tenets of my7-step Intelligent Creativity method.

Intelligent Creativity consists of seven deadly sins of marketing and copywriting introduced in my first book, The 7 Deadly Sins of Marketing…And How To Avoid Them.

It’s as true now as when I created it in 2007. 

The book’s Table of Contents:

  1. Myopia – Taking the Narrow view of Marketing
  2. Imitation – If it’s good enough for Coca-Cola
  3. Sameness – Choices Are Made On Differences, Not Sameness
  4. Arrogance – “Formula? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Formula”
  5. Ego – Write Copy For Sales, Not Style
  6. Ignore-ance – Ignoring 94% Of Your Market
  7. Apathy – “I Don’t Know And I Don’t Care”

In keeping with our theme of Formulas, we’ll focus on the 4th Deadly Sin and how it relates to the topic we’re discussing here.

Once you’ve successfully identified your differentiators/USPs, it’s time to begin turning concepts into copy.

The reason you spend time and money on marketing communications is to sell your products. This is true no matter what type of advertising you do. From Direct Response (including websites and emails), where your goal of a sale is immediate, to Corporate Image – or Institutional – advertising where the objective is to engender respect and admiration for the corporation rather than sell a specific product. The ultimate goal is still the same—more clients and increased sales.

It follows, as night follows day, that when we communicate it’s critical that people pay attention to what we’re saying. The first function of marketing communication is to get as many prospects as possible to read what you have to say.

Would you not agree?

Rather than unleashing uncurbed creativity we rely on a “formula” that tells us what page structure has been particularly effective in getting readers to experience all of your wonderous copy.

The 11- Thought Bite sections I lay out on the following template are for a webpage, email, brochure, or direct response piece.  These four marketing pieces make up about 90% of a typical small business’ marketing mix.

This structure, paired with superior copywriting has produced more stronger results than any other I’ve used in my almost 40-year career.  One overarching reason for this success is that, as readers scroll down the page, they are, in effect, giving you a “mini-yes” each time they move from one Thought Bite to the next, until they reach the Call-To-Action.

Match the content of the Thought Bites on  list below, with the numbers on the following illustration.

  1. WHAT you do and HOW you can help your customer.
  2. Your VALUE PROPOSITION.
  3. WHY someone should buy from you, rather than your competitors, regardless of price.
  4. EVIDENCE that backs up your WHY claims. These first four thoughts make up your Unique Marketing Message.
  5. Your Story – how you came to this business, your reason for being, your passions?
  6. Benefits for Buyers – what problems can you solve, what wants can you fulfill?
  7. Motivating Offer – what “special” deal can buyers receive?
  8. Call-To-Action (CTA) – what are you asking your readers to do now? Buy? Go to a webinar? Request Free Information? Watch this Video?
  9. Risk Reducers – The first CTA is there for that small percentage of readers who have enough positive information to make a buy decision…but not all do that. They have doubts and anxieties. They need reassurance so we give them Risk Reducers like Money Back Guarantees, Easy returns, etc.
  10. CTA #2 – Now that you’ve answered their questions and quelled their anxieties, you present a second call to action combined with…
  11. Testimonial – testimonials are good practice on your webpage, but even more so at the point you ask for the “Big Yes” – your CTA.

Why has this template (or Formula) yielded such superior results?  The order of the Thought Bites are psychologically sound, the eye track takes the reader straight to the Calls-To-Action, and there are precious few distractions along the way.

This Page Formula Contributes to obtaining your Million Dollar Advantage
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  • Copywriters MUST acquire the ability to use the Right Words and the Right Images, in the Right Order if they are to be successful in their career.
  • The best, quickest, and often least expensive way to do this, is by taking courses with extensive material you can use for your entire career. PLUS, a good coach to evaluate your work and your progress (especially in the beginning).
  • The Right Words and Right Images are the copywriting parts of the formula and that, my friends, would require a mountain of my videos, audios, and guides.
  • All the “Thought Bite Sections” are designed for one thought or concept only. It’s an absolutely, positively, unbreakable rule.

Please visit my Website for more info and content.

When you’re there, you can get a $1, 7-Day Trial subscription to the “How To Write Copy” System.

To your Astounding Success.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Strategy

What Is Circular Reasoning?

Advertisers have been using Circular Reasoning to sell products almost forever.  Yet people are not totally aware of it or how it works.

Advocates would say it helps give a mental picture to an undefinable quality, like softness, smoothness, or strength.  Opponents would counter with “yes, but the connection between the reasoning and the exact truth is not provable.

Like a metaphor…strong as a Redwood, she has a heart of gold, or slimy as an eel.  I get a kick when I read a writer who derides cirircular reason as “just so much bull****!”.  Do they know what they’re saying?

Anyway, in writing this piece my intent is to educate (as always) and entertain.  It’s Copywriting 301 on the lighter side.

Charmin is the largest selling toilet tissue in the U.S. with 86,270,000 users according to Statista.

So, the fact that I’m writing this little “exposé” of this revered Proctor & Gamble product, shows I can’t be bought off.  Not even for a 30-pack of Charmin Ultra.  I have my principles, by golly.

That said…here we go.

Mr Whipple

From 1964 to 1985 Charmin ran a hugely successful campaign that catapulted Charmin into the top echelon of bathroom tissue brands in the U.S.

The mainstay of the campaign centered around Mr. Whipple (played by Dick Wilson in over 500 TV spots) who admonished shoppers, “Please…don’t squeeze the Charmin”.  But seconds later, he couldn’t resist squeezing it himself. All this to prove to everyone that Charmin is “Squeezably Soft”.  [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUGroVDEVfQ]

And it worked like a charm in popularizing Whipple’s tagline with the popular lingo of the time,  .  You’d hear in High Schools, and my mother’s canasta games.  It was everywhere.

Charmin built it's brand with Circular Reasoning
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But Why Was Charmin So “Squeezably Soft”?

So finally, we come to the exposé.

When consumers went to their local markets to pick up Charmin (and they went in droves) virtually everyone stopped to squeeze the Charmin.  And, lo and behold…

it was softer.

Okay, Now We’ve Got To Go Technical. 

A roll of bathroom tissue consists of a cardboard tube around which is wrapped hundreds of sheets (generally two plies thick) of tissue.  Pretty standard for consumer products in those days.

Then, Charmin’s ad gurus got a bright idea.  Let’s re-engineer the cardboard tube, making it thinner, with less cardboard, and thus…not as rigid.

Bingo!  When the buyers were squeezing a package Charmin in the store, the new cardboard tube gave way more easily than did the old, more rigid tube, giving the impression that Charmin was, indeed, softer.

A phenomenally successful ad campaign based on Circular Reasoning.  If the package was softer when squeezed, ergo, the tissue inside must be softer. 

Not necessarily true.

And Today

Proctor & Gamble is still selling Charmin by the boatload as “soft and strong”.  Not bad for a cast-off brand of paper towels P&G bought in 1957 and renamed “Bounty” in 1964 about the time Charmin morphed into TP.

What a world.

Life is funny.

Not “ha-ha” funny, more like ironic funny. In my life (so far) I’ve been awarded three non-sports awards tied to marketing and copywriting.  One by the state of Arizona, another by a Charity, and the third by Nassau County (NY) Office of Consumer Affairs.

The irony is this – the smallest, oldest, least prestigious award is the one of which I’m proudest, because it was really won by the talent and creativity of my students.

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together

It was a class in Marketing and Advertising.

After my lessons and reading, students were broken up into four “Creative Teams”.  Their task was formidable.

  • Design a product for the mass market.
  • Differentiate your product from any competition.
  • Create a Name, Unique Selling Proposition, and Tagline.
  • Create one Print Ad, one radio spot, and one TV spot for your product.

What came out of the fertile minds of these 17 – 18 year-olds astounded me.

It Astounded Others As Well

As the ads were being finished up, I heard – through the grapevine – that the County was sponsoring a contest for marketing students in high schools and community colleges.

After discussing this with my students, they were so excited to participate, they agreed to work through spring break.  And work they did.  By contest deadline time all four teams presented their products and – as it was impossible to choose between them – they agreed to enter as a single, combined team.

So – get on with it – what did the products look like?

No Jetsons’ “Briefcase Planes” or “Levitation Pods”

Here are the two ads I remember most vividly.  Remember, their products had to have mass market appeal.

One brought us a new chewing gum brand. 

  • It was unique in the double-sized length of a stick of gum.
  • The tagline was “The Gum For Lovers”.
  • The differentiating aspect was in the advertising. A boy and a girl could start chewing from either end, then meet in the middle for a kiss.
  • They named it “2 To A Chew”. Great cadence and a rhyme.
  • The team even created their own jingle “Girls start of Pink, Boys start on Blue, Try Chewing Our Gum, New 2 To A Chew.
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My replica of their handmade print/poster ad.

Double-Edged Blade – Circular Reasoning

Another team “floated” a new razor blade as their product.

While not a “new” product, nor truly differentiating itself from others by it’s make-up, this team chose to differentiate by their marketing claims.

  • Slip’ry Smooth – “The Blades That Float On Water.” (tagline)
  • “If they can float on water, think about how smooth they’ll feel on your face.”
  • To demonstrate and “prove” their claim, their TV spot showed their blade being placed in a bowl of water. “It Floats”.
  • The Circular Reasoning employed in their ad, was arguable – but effective.

Put these kids on Madison Avenue immediately : )

Circular Reasoning at its finest
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Representation of the TV Spot showing a floating blade.

“If it can float on water, think about how smooth it will feel on your face.”

Depending on your point-of-view, Circular Reasoning is either a marketing technique, a bit of “slight-of-tongue”, or outright misdirection.

Circular Reasoning exists when one provable fact (like a double-edged blade floating on water) is used to validate an unrelated claim (like it will feel smooth on your face).

See how many you can come up with.

I was honored (on behalf of my students) for excellence in the teaching of marketing, advertising, and consumer education.

What this experience taught me was…give people some basic training and task them with putting that training to work combining it with their own innate creativity…and you’ll find some extraordinary hidden talents.

From what I know, one of the students is now an optometrist, another writes high-level code for a multi-national aircraft manufacturer, a third is a mom and a fourth was majoring in Marketing and Copywriting…(yay!).

To Your Astronomical Success,

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More For You

As you progress in marketing and copywriting, here are a couple of helpful articles for you:

And, if you are considering acquiring professional copywriting skills, might I suggest taking a serious look at my pride and joy, the “How To Write Copy” System at Write Like A Madman University.

You’ll find 4 full courses, 3 Tutorials, and 7 loaded toolboxes that will give you great “What-To”, “How-To”, and “Why-To” information.  These 159 Members-Only videos, audios, guides, checklists, templates, and real world Case Studies will provide you with an unbeatable copywriting and marketing “How-To” resource you’ll use throughout your career.

Plus, you’ll get access to my Blog Like A Madman with over 115 articles covering various topics to help you be the best writer or marketer/writer you can be.

And you’ll also be able to call on me as a coach, mentor, and editor.

A.T.

Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Strategy

Marketing Mind Games – What They Don’t Want You To Know

Marketing Mind Games – What They Don’t Want You To Know

Marketers (and Copywriters) are not devious people.  They are, however, not above allowing you, the customer, to draw your own conclusions based on nothing more than your own mind.  These are the Marketing Mind Games they play.

The “trick”, if I can use that word, is not based on a lie, or even a small misrepresentation.  The trick is in understanding how the human mind works.  In understanding psychology.

It’s somewhat like if you’re in a restaurant and the table next to is served their food.  One person takes a bite and audibly reacts with a “mmmmm-mmm”.  Then says to their table mates, “OMG, is this ever deee-licious!”.

When the waiter comes around for your order, you say, “I’ll have what she’s having”.

The strong suggestion you took from the person at the other table influenced your decision.  For good, or for not so good – only your first bite will tell.

Marketers understand “suggestion” better than most.  With the two examples we’ll deal with in this installment of Marketing Mind Games, I believe you’ll come out understanding it too.

1. The A/B Ruse

2. The “Ahhh” That Refreshes

#1

Marketing Mind Games as a Taste Test
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 Do you believe the results of those comparison tests

where people choose between A and B?

You won’t after you read this.

Proving what?  The advertising copy seems to say this ‘proves‘ Tweedledee is better than Tweedledum.   Therefore, you ought to buy Tweedledee.  These comparison tests are inflicted on us by brands and their slippery marketing consultants so they can both sway Tweedledum users to consider buying Tweedledee and confirm to Tweedledee lovers that they made the right choice all along. 

They’re playing Marketing Mind Games on you.

Can’t argue with a scientific test, right?  Not so fast.  Let’s take a look at the typical consumer test…Pepsi vs Coke, Prego vs Ragu, Rocco’s Gelato vs Fred’s Gelato and so forth… from the perspective of an honest brand strategist and copywriter who detests sneaks, cheats, and liars. 

In a double-blind test, one product is labeled “A” and the other is labeled “B”.  Neither the consumer nor the tester knows which product is which. Sounds fair, no?   No.  Meet the A/B Ruse

It’s the oldest trick in the book, a carnival game, a first-class deception, a marketing strategy used by charlatans.  Here’s the bottom line:  “A” ALWAYS WINS!  Not only does “A” always win, but the percentages remain remarkably consistent.  About

70% – 30%, give or take a couple of points (as long as you test at least 200 subjects).

Why?  Simple.  In our culture “A” has a better connotation than “B”.  “A” is first class, highest quality.  “B” is the also ran.  If you get a B on your math test instead of an A, do you feel elated?  You want to be included on the A-List.  Second-rate films are referred to as “B” movies.  Do you want to be part of the “A Team” or the “B Team”?  In people’s minds “A” is always superior to “B”.

This has been proven over and over again by “testing” identical products with the A and B labels.  The same soda in each cup, the same pasta sauce in each bowl, the same cookie on each plate… “A” always wins.  When teaching a Consumer Economics and Marketing course, my class did a taste test with two brands of orange juice. 

First, we labeled one juice “A”, and it won.  Then we tested a second group of subjects where we labeled the winning juice “B”, and it lost.  By almost the exact same margin.  Then, for good measure, we tested a third group where both A and B were the same brand of juice.  Guess what?  Right you are.  A won, being preferred by about 68%.  Amazing!

Now I want to assure you, the A/B Ruse can be inflicted upon consumers of many things, not just food and drink.  I’ve heard of “blind” tests comparing headache remedies, golf balls, and even seat cushions.

If you truly want to do a scientific test, label the products 36GTD121 and 36SRN276.  Now you have a great chance of coming up with a valid result.  But why would companies spend good money on a test that isn’t totally rigged in their favor?  They wouldn’t.

So, if you’re involved in marketing and you’re seeking a way to differentiate your product from that of your competitor, resist the temptation to “fake it” by reverting to the old A/B Ruse.  It’s a game you don’t want to play.

#2

Why Marketing people link "Ahhh" to tasty, refreshing, and perfect?
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When someone takes a drink and then goes “Ahhh!”

it means the drink is tasty, refreshing and satisfying, right? 

Not so fast….read on.

One of the talents good copywriters bring to the table is the ability to add an emotional component to the sales pitch.  By inventing some word or phrase that embodies an emotion, a copywriter adds that extra layer of persuasion that might make the difference between an average success and a rip-roaring, break out the champagne and give the copywriter a bonus success.

I’m getting older – and for a guy who offers professional copywriting services, that means many of my examples are from my days as a callow youth.  You may, if you’ve reached your fifth decade, remember “Mmm Mmm Good!” (Campbell’s Soup)

What a grand idea.  Describing soup as “Mmm Mmm Good!” is far better than any ordinary words the copywriter could have used, like tasty, delicious, satisfying, exciting or exhilarating.  That one phrase got a generation or two of kids to like eating soup.

Most everyone is familiar with the beverage commercial showing a person just after they’ve downed a healthy amount of whatever’s being advertised.  He or she looks at the drink and goes “Ahhhh”.  Don’t laugh.  We all do it.  And we all understand it.  It means “this is good; this is refreshing; this hit the spot”.  Now here’s the little secret.  It’s almost impossible not to go “Ahhh!” after taking a big swig of your favorite beverage.  Here’s why.

When you prepare to take in a goodly amount of liquid (water, beer, coffee, soda, etc) you first take in a breath, then you hold that breath and drink.  (Think about it…if you tried to breathe while you’re drinking you might just drown.) 

When you’ve finished your swallow you, by necessity, release your breath and out comes… “Ahhh!”.   You might even emulate commercials and look at the drink in your hand, satisfied.

So whatever great copywriter first thought of this as a way of showing their beverage is so refreshing, tasty, and wonderful, the drinker can’t help but express extreme satisfaction, kudos to him or her.   Encourage people to associate your beverage with exactly the quality that moves them to buy.  In other words – whatever you associate with “Ahhh” is what you get. 

No middleman is necessary to tell you what you’re feeling, so the advertiser can’t be wrong.  “Ahhh!”.

Not really.  I want here to draw the distinction between a Marketing Mind Game – designed to deceive, and some very, very good psychological copywriting.  In using the word “Ahhh!” to relate to good, satisfying, refreshing, warming, etc. is just the copywriter capturing what consumers actually do – but never really noticed.

This is no Marketing Mind Game.  Get a jump on your Website and Copywriting with my FREE Guide, 5 Steps To Becoming A DARN GOOD Copywriter.  It’s a great help for copywriters of every skill level -especially honest ones.

Many budding copywriters and business owners need help in crafting branding statements, advertising, online web copywriting and content, press releases and the like.  I encourage you to find a good branding strategy consultant/professional copywriter who can take what’s in your heart and your head and put it in a way that will let you reach your goal of educating your prospects, allowing them to conclude they would have to be raving lunatics if they didn’t do business with you.  If you’re looking for a good online digital copywriting course, kindly check out Write Like A Madman And Make Money Like Crazy, my 13-Video, 30-piece multi-media Signature Course.  Click here to watch the first video Free

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Copywriting Learn Copywriting Marketing

What Is A Marketing Message?

Marketing Messages (aka “What You Say”) Are The #1 Most Mishandled, Mismanaged, And Misunderstood Part Of Most Entrepreneurial Businesses, Experts Agree.

Did I scare you?  I hope not because developing killer marketing messages and strategies is a huge key to your success – and not terribly hard to do, either – once you train up.

7 0f 10 Small Biz Marketing pieces Fail.
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In a noted study, the prestigious Wharton School Of Business concluded that it’s not what you spend that counts, or even necessarily where your ads appear, rather it is the MESSAGE that is the prime determinant of success or failure in marketing and advertising.

Businesses today often spend more effort deciding where to run their ads, how fancy to make their website, and when to send email campaigns, than they do in developing a clear, concise, and compelling marketing message.  And without a compelling message, your marketing won’t work!

And when they do create a message and communicate it to their target market, it is often one that does not differentiate their business from their competitors.

A study of venture capitalists came to some very pointed conclusions. The most cited reason for business failure was the lack of a sound marketing strategy and  plan.

Second was the inability to articulate the value proposition (VP is often used as a synonym for marketing message). In other words, you may have a great product or service, but don’t know how to get people to buy it. 

This is where the science and art of Copywriting comes in.

You’re in business to serve the needs of your customers and make their lives better – but you’re also in business to make your bank account grow and make your life, and your family’s, better.

  • Peter Drucker, one of America’s foremost business thinkers points out that “Innovation and Marketing make money– everything else is a cost.”
  • Scott DeGarmo, Editor of Success Magazine adds “The big money goes to those with superior marketing…”.  
  • One thing is certain – a good marketing strategy brings success.

So, given the importance attached to your marketing message(s), it makes sense to do everything you can to get it right.

Let’s first attack the elephant in the room.  The term “marketing message” is tossed about , here, there, and everywhere, so that – in my experience – many business owners and a heck of a lot of copywriters cannot adequately define it.  Yet, they don’t ask and don’t tell.  That fuzziness stops here and now.

We’ll start with what a marketing message is NOT and go right into what it is.

  1. Is it a Mission Statement? Absolutely not.
  2. Is it an elevator pitch? Not hardly likely.
  3. Is it a tagline? Now you’re getting closer.
  4. Is it a Value Proposition. Yes, it’s one and the same.
  5. Is it a headline? It very well could be.
  6. Can it stand on its own? It damn well better
  7. Is it memorable? That’s the point!

I define a marketing message as: A fairly Short, Simple, Unique statement of the Benefits the Buyer Gets from your product or service, that Only You can deliver.

Not if you’re a really good copywriter it won’t. 

Copywriters are trained to “write tight”, that is to use as many words as necessary to accomplish the job…but not one word more. Famed writer George Orwell (1984, Animal Farm) said, “If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out”.  Especially in your marketing message.

Want some examples?  Following are seven you may be familiar with.  As you go through them, I’d like you to focus on how long (how many words) the writers needed before they got to the Benefits.  Even though most are decades old, it amazed me how they conform to a strategy that’s only been around our copywriting community for a few years.  Great copywriting is timeless.  Here they are.

  • M&Ms – The milk chocolate melts in your mouth, not in your hands.
  • Colgate cleans your breath as it cleans your teeth.
  • Miller Lite – Tastes Great – Less Filling.
  • BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine.
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken – It’s Finger Lickin’ Good.
  • You Don’t Need To Be Jewish To Love Levy’s Real Jewish Rye.
  • Geico – Fifteen minutes can save you 15% or more on car insurance.

I hope you noticed that six of them needed five words or less to get to the benefits, while Levy’s needed only seven.

We are now well into the internet era, and people’s attention span has decreased from well over a minute to fourteen seconds in 2014, and a mere eight seconds today.

If that sounds ridiculous, I agree.  In fact, the attention span of a goldfish was measured at…ready for it…NINE seconds.  When a person is reading your marketing message you have about 2 seconds to grab their attention so they instantly understand that there’s something in that message that can benefit them.  And in 2 seconds an average reader can read five short words.

I like the quote from Tom Cruise in Jerry McGuire:  “Show me the money”.  So, I say to you, “Show them the benefits”.

They’re classics.  But what have YOU – a modern copywriter done? 

Fair question.  It’s important for you to know that anyone with training and a solid understanding of the company they’re writing for, can do this.  In fact, the Allstate marketing message – “You’re in good hands with Allstate”, was suggested by a company salesperson in 1950.  Seventy-four years later, it’s still going strong.  (I hope he or she got a heck of a bonus.)

Next, we have seven examples of my own copy that meet our definition, five of which are for small, local businesses.

  • Iowa Café – “Back Home Food, Small Town Friendly”
  • Datsun 240Z – “For going Fast, going Far, even for going Formal.”
  • Arte Verde – “Landscaping So Extraordinary, So Perfect…So You!”
  • “Clogged Pipes? CuraFlo Cleans Out Corrosion and Keeps It From Coming Back”
  • “Castanza’s Cakery Puts Joy In Your Mouth”
  • Aventa Senior Care – “Now That Mom Needs Me, I Need Aventa”
  • How To Write Copy – “Gain An ‘Unfair’ Advantage With This Easy And Powerful Copywriting System”

I’ll be the first to tell you, it’s not easy.  But it ain’t rocket science, either.

 [Interested in seeing more of my work?  Go here.]  

A fairly Short, Simple, Unique statement of the Benefits the Buyer Gets from your product or service, that Only You can deliver.

But can’t your competitors do the same thing?

Frequently, yes.  They might be able to do the same thing… BUT they can’t SAY the same thing.  “Me Too” marketing invariably fails because you were first in the market!  If you have my latest 2023 book, you may want to re-read page fourteen about Rosser Reeves’ Unique Selling Proposition. [Author’s Note: My first writing job was with Mr Reeves’ agency – I learned a boatful in a few short years.]

Now we come to what you’ve been (I hope) waiting for: how you can create your own unique marketing message.

If your business survives on selling goods or services – pretty much everyone – you need to develop a compelling marketing message.  Not for just the marketing and sales staff or the owner.  But for everyone. 

Make it short.  Make it simple.  And make it true.  Here are four steps you can take now to develop a killer marketing message for your business.  Don’t try to do it all yourself, get input from your friends, family, and most importantly, your staff.

And remember:  if you can’t find your uniqueness…then it’s time to innovate

1.   Differentiate Your Brand

Determine in what meaningful way(s) you are different from your competition (Unique Selling Proposition or USP) and what hard evidence you have to prove it.  And if you think you can’t differentiate – think again.  Sunkist created a huge and successful business because they differentiated a Sunkist orange from all the other oranges in the world. So don’t tell me your business can’t differentiate itself.  Acceptance of their brand grew, and customers associated the Sunkist brand with quality.  Now, Sunkist has licensed its name to other companies, like Coca Cola.

So, let’s have no foolish talk about “my product has been commoditized”.

2.   Focus On What Your Customer Gets

Be customer focused – not company focused.  Create your marketing message (value proposition) to communicate buyer benefits to the reader.  Remember, virtually all consumers – B2B or B2C – listen to that great radio station of the mind, WII-FM – What’s In It For Me?

So, tell them.

3.   Understand – Specifically – WHY Your Customers Buy From YOU

“If you want to know Why John Smith Buys what John Smith buys, you need to see the world through John Smith’s eyes.”  If you don’t know the answer to why they buy from you, here’s a novel marketing idea.  Ask them. 

And believe them.

4.   Create A Marketing Message For Each Differentiating Point

Craft a succinct, effective, “killer” message for each differentiating factor you discover about your business, products, or services.  Use power words, not weakling words – and do your best to follow my “Five words to Benefits” formula.

Once you’ve all agreed on the nuts and bolts of your marketing messages, turn it into a series of statements everyone can easily memorize and use (over and over again) with your customers, prospects, vendors and friends until everyone knows why they’d be an absolute fool not to do business with you.

Do all this and you’ll create great marketing messages, and the sun will shine, and the birds will sing.  Gloryoski.

Let’s Recap

  1. The #1 reason more than 7-out-of-10 small businesses and NPOs are not getting the results they expect and deserve from their marketing is because they lack a powerful, memorable, marketing message.
  2. According to Peter Drucker, only two things – Innovation and Marketing – make money. Everything else is a cost.
  3. I define a marketing message as “A fairly Short, Unique statement of the Benefits the Buyer Gets from your product or service, that Only You can deliver.
  4. Try very hard not to have more than five words before your marketing message tells the readers the benefits they get when buying.
  5. Prepare for creating your marketing message(s) – or value proposition(s) by:
    1. Knowing how your brand is different than the competition.
    2. Understand why your customers buy from you and not your competitors.

See you in the Winners’ Circle.

Want to Learn The Techniques & Secrets of the World’s Best Copywriters – For Marketing Messages and everything else?

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Mistakes

Is Your Marketing Strategy Foolproof Or Foolhardy?

Do you have a Foolproof Marketing Strategy or a Foolhardy one?  To get a foolproof marketing strategy, you might want to examine your expectations.

A bit of wisdom from the Oracle of Omaha.

I could say I’ve been preaching this foolproof marketing philosophy for over 30 years (true).  Unfortunately, that won’t wash considering Mr Buffett is:

  • Quite a bit older than me
  • More than quite a bit richer than me
  • And a billion times more well-known than me

My only saving grace here is that W.B. is a financier and money genius, whilst I am a published copywriting and Foolproof Marketing Expert (…I know…big deal).

Foolproof Marketing

But here’s what really IS a big deal.

There are millions of copywriters, small business entrepreneurs, and Non-Profit Organization (NPO) leaders who fervently believe the opposite of Mr Buffett.  They believe:

  • To market a small business or NPO you need to create that one-in-a-million campaign, like the GEICO Gecko®.
  • In changing messages just because it’s no longer “fresh” (as if a great message could ever go stale).
  • They need the Home Run, because singles, bunts, and hustle won’t score loads of runs in time.

I am so sorry I must disappoint them.

A Story About A Madman

Rosser Reeves was the head of a Top 5 International Ad Agency headquartered on Madison Avenue.

Mr Reeves was the copywriting genius behind the famous taglines of M&Ms, Wonder Bread, Rolaids, and more.  Reeves also created the Unique Selling Proposition (USP), the industry’s differentiation standard.  He was a man of steely conviction – and at one time, my boss’s, boss’s, boss’s, boss’s boss.

Rosser Reeves was one of the Madmen who were the inspiration of the hit TV show and the giants of copywriting in whose honor Write Like A Madman University is named.

A Strategy Disagreement Among Titans

A discussion between Mr Reeves and another agency head revolved around the importance of “great”, “fresh”, “creative” campaigns.

The unnamed agency head believed strongly in cutting-edge creativity.  Reeves, in a simple, universal message that could stand the test of time.  During the discussion, Reeves proposed a $1 million bet (this was in the 1960’s when a million was actually a lot of money).  The bet was this:

  • They would pick competing products.
  • His friend (the other agency head) could have the most brilliant campaigns he could devise.
  • Reeves would settle for a less creative, less splashy, mediocre campaign.
  • His friend had to change his brilliant campaign every 6 months.
  • Reeves would not change his message at all.
  • At the end of 20 years, the winner would be determined and anointed a Foolproof Marketing Strategy

Mr. Reeves’ friend did not accept this bet.

Create Your Foolproof Marketing Message For The Ages

The truth of the matter is, all you – as a small businessperson – needs to have foolproof marketing is a simple, correctly crafted, marketing message.

I define a marketing message (or value proposition) as A fairly ShortSimpleUnique statement of the Benefits the Buyer Gets from your product or service, that Only You can deliver.  Now let’s break that down.

  • Short – I’ve seen good marketing messages (propositions) consisting of 15 – 20 words. However, most fall into the six to twelve word category.
  • Simple – Clear and concise using easy words that everyone understands, but is significant to your reader.
  • Unique – The proposition must be one that the competition can not or does not offer.
  • Benefits For Buyers– Things that will make your customers’ lives better.
    • Be wiser
    • Be loved
    • Be envied
    • Be unique
    • Help people
    • Be healthier
    • Be wealthier
    • Get enjoyment
    • Make life easier
    • Be looked up to
    • Be more attractive
    • Make more money
    • Protect your family
    • Learn something new
    • Experience new places or things
    • Get better at something you like

Take a deep and serious look at your business and if you are unable to find something unique to talk about – then innovate until you can.

OK, I Created My Unique Foolproof Marketing Message…Now What?

Now, given the self-awareness you generated in taking a good, hard look at your marketing, you create two attractive offers.

One offer is intended for people who are currently in the market for what you have.  I call these Now Buyers. The second offer is focused on those people who are in the process of gathering information so they can make an informed decision when the time comes.  Let me relate a personal story.

  • I drive a 1998 Mercedes Benz. Ever since it was new, I took it to a Mercedes specialist about 10 miles from my home.  I was very satisfied.  But twenty years later, I moved over 65 miles away.  I needed a mechanic in my new neighborhood who could take care of routine maintenance on my car (oil changes, brakes, struts, etc) as I was only going to go back to my specialist for something major. 
  • I looked around and visited a few shops, asked some questions and got the typical, “Here’s a coupon for $20 off your next oil change”. Wasn’t floating my boat.  Then one mechanic said, “When you need us, we’ll be here.  In the meantime, take this report on the best service strategy for older cars.” 
  • Two months later, I went back to that shop to get my oil changed. Why?  Because they gave me INFORMATION that I needed so I can keep my car as long as possible.  They had an offer all ready for Future Buyers like me.

Add your Now Offer and your Future Offer to your newly minted powerful, unique marketing message/value proposition, and you have the foundation for Foolproof Marketing. 

Here’s What Makes It A Foolproof Marketing Message

Test you new marking package (your message and your offers).  If it works – STOP!  Don’t muck with it.

If it ever stops working, repeat the steps above.

Short and Simple.

The Moral Of The Story

Like the Hare in the race with the plodding Tortoise, some marketing campaigns take off meteorically and refresh frequently (foolhardy, IMO); these are generally no match for campaigns with solid, short, memorable, universally understood messages, repeated, and repeated, over time.

If you should be fortunate enough to have a message like this, and the urge should come over you to “freshen” your message in case it should go stale, my advice to you is to lie down until that urge passes.  Don’t do it.  Think…

  • “Finger Lickin’ Good” was written in 1952 (Ogilvy)
  • “Melts In Your Mouth, Not In Your Hands” in 1954 (Reeves)
  • “How Do You Spell Relief? R-O-L-A-I-D-S” – 1974 (Reeves)
  • “A Diamond Is Forever” – 1948 (Ayer)
  • “Wheaties – Breakfast Of Champions” – 1935 (Blackett-Sample)

ALL are still in use today.

The Other Side Of The Coin

One of the best (worst?) examples of a foolproof marketing message that was changed before its time is Burger King’s “Have It Your Way” – 1973 (BBDO International).  To discover the “Rest of the Story”, grab a read of my recent article “Burger Wars”.

If, like me, you are into fascinating reads about the copywriting/ marketing/ advertising side of business, I highly recommend a book by the man behind “Have It Your Way”, Chris Schoenleb.  His book, “Battling Marketing Myths” can add to your understanding of behind the scenes decision making and occasional intrigue in and out of the board rooms.

Dig Deeper

If you’re interested in learning about more about foolproof marketing strategies and loads of other great stuff, I invite you to visit How To Write Copy at Write Like A Madman University   To gain more insight, go here and sit in on the first Video Session of “Write Like A Madman & Make Money Like Crazy”. As the saying goes, “Nothing to lose; everything to gain.

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing Marketing Mistakes

How To Market Your Small Business

How To Market Your Small Business, Problems Solutions and Options

By Alan L Tarr, Master Copywriter

You own a small business – or you’re about to open one – congratulations on both counts.

“But”…you say, “it’s hard to grow”.  Welcome to the club.  Over 7-out-of-10 small businesses are experiencing just what you are, in some degree.  Small businesses and non-profits are struggling to generate more leads, more conversions, and turn a decent profit.  So WHY the struggle?  Is it the economy?  The lingering effects of the pandemic?  Who can we blame for the difficulties in marketing your small business?

I blame me.

Was It Really My Fault?

Well…partially – as a speaker and coach, I…

  • Gave 18-30 presentations, seminars, and workshops a year since 2010…and during the pandemic – none.
  • Worked with or spoke to, and coached over 3,000 small business owners in that pre-pandemic time.
  • Looked at over 1,000 websites and did evaluations of over 240 of them. With the objective data I collected, my internal survey showed over 83% of those websites as “seriously flawed” – with 77% rated as “dangerously inefficient”.
  • In other words, people who visited these sites left quickly and, since they were searching the internet, probably would up at a competitor’s website.

Fortunately for my clients, I developed ways to solve these problems.

Then Came The Pandemic

When in-person seminars and workshops ground to a halt, I was no longer able to help you.  And you are my favorite people – writers, entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders.  I loved seeing the progress you made in marketing your small business by acquiring a sound basis in the fundamentals of copywriting, marketing and website science.

To tell you the truth, I found I’m not real keen on “webinars”.  I can’t see or hear the attendees and I loved the audience reactions, questions, interplay of a live presentation.  For all, I think it’s a much better experience.  Here’s my workaround.

  • Updated all my presentations – plus new material – into 15 online multi-media Courses, Tutorials, and Toolboxes in Write Like A Madman University.
  • Made over 180 of my original works available free (or in a very few cases, for the outrageous price of $1) through Facebook, Linked-In, and Instagram.
  • Made myself available to answer general questions by email…and for personal, one-on-one, Zoom coaching.
  • Set up a LinkTree page with every important link to my pages, blogs, etc.

This is my solution to the pandemic – and to out-of-state clients.

Now Let’s Get Back To Solving Your Problem

If you have a little patience, I’m going to show you how to market your small business.

  • State the common problems
  • Break down your solution options and
  • Clarify things so you can pick the path that best suits you.

Simply stated, small businesses are challenged with generating enough revenue to cover costs and create reasonable profits – most fall woefully short.

How To Market Your Small Business – Common Problems

Here’s what the research showed.

  • Little or no real, been-there, done-that marketing and writing skills in the owners or key people.
  • Can’t afford the $5,000 – $50,000+ price tags of talented consultants, agencies, or new hires.
  • Limited understanding of how to
    • Create unique and winning marketing messages and campaigns
    • Communicate those messages to prospects through websites, emails, social media, advertising, and content.

Please… don’t be insulted; these are the facts for over 7-out-of-10 small businesses – but there are solutions.

How To Market Your Small Business – Solutions

Here is what most businesses need to create, rethink, or rework to grow – listed in order of priority.

  • Create marketing messages and materials using those messages.
  • Conceive, write, and build – or redesign current site into a world-class, small business website and landing pages.
  • Create content for website, email and advertising campaigns.
  • Map out, implement, and write content for an automated email marketing system.
  • Optimize social-media presence, increase connections, friends and likes, and post frequently.
  • Decide on, create, and implement your advertising mix (i.e. digital, email, direct response, print, radio/TV, signage, point-of-purchase, etc.)

Now, the only question left is who, how, and at what cost, you can accomplish these six critical steps.

How To Market Your Small Business – Options

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of small business marketing success by laying our alternative ways to deal with and solve the problem.

  • Outside Experts can do much, if not all, of these things. They have networks of specialists on call – copywriters, graphics, social media and digital ads, and email system certified experts.  Price is based on how many of these items you need help with, and whom you choose to do it.
  • Hire Individual Contractors – Somewhat less expensive than hiring a consultant or agency, but the trade-offs are:
    • You do much of the searching for the right person or firm. This takes time and a decent amount of knowledge about the work to be done which many business owners do not possess.  Plus (speaking from experience) if you’re handling a designer, a copywriter, and a graphics person…and something goes wrong, each of these contractors have a tenancy to blame the others.
  • Do It Yourself – The frugal way to go, but most often costs more in lost opportunities, ramp up time, and time away from running your business. Most entrepreneurs are experts in their respective businesses – but NOT necessarily in marketing.  Either get help or get some good training.
  • Read A Good Book – I just happen to have my latest book available on my website, at no cost.
  • Comprehensive Training – There are numerous copywriting, marketing, and social media courses available at different sites over the internet. HubSpot, Kate Toon, Udemy, Copyblogger, andWrite Like A Madman University are four prominent ones.  Look for ones that can supply you with all the courses you need…if all you need is copywriting, fine. Look for courses you can take at your own speed…ones that publish sessions every week or two can bog you down for months.
    • If you need or want marketing, website science, and more, your choices will be a bit more limited. Prices can range from under $100 per course to several thousands. 
    • Free courses are also available. Keep in mind though, the free and inexpensive courses are useful to a point, but tend to be less detailed and somewhat incomplete. 
    • Comprehensive Training providers that can offer an unlimited subscription membership to multiple courses, tutorials, toolboxes, case studies and even some live, personal coaching – gives you the best of three worlds.

Make sure you check out all the alternatives; your business deserves nothing less.

TRANSPARENCY Statement 

I am the creator and sole content writer of “How To Write Copy” at Write Like A Madman University (WLAM U).  I designed it specifically for copywriters, entrepreneurs, and non-profits.   WLAM U’s difference stems from its four courses, three tutorials, and seven loaded toolboxes that are 90% focused on how to generate more business by simply changing the words and images you use and the order in which you present them.  My passion is to make WLAM U unique among its peers.  My preference for Comprehensive Training did not, I think, color this report in any way.  But that’s your call to make.]

Your Reward

I hope this article has given you ideas, insight, and incentives to go out and market your small business like a pro. To help in that regard, here’s a couple of those free items of which I spoke earlier.

Learn and Prosper

Listen, I know how many emails you get every week telling you they have the magic bullet that will solve all your business problems – because I get them, too.

I’ve been at this game long enough to know there ain’t no magic bullet.  I’ve written copy and devised marketing strategies for huge international ad agencies as an employed copywriter and a freelancer. My words have helped generate hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues.  I’ve also spent the last 20 years working with over 3,100 small business persons as a speaker, consultant, author, and coach.  Plus, I owned and marketed four successful businesses of my own along the way…including Write Like A Madman University.

I sell courses, yes.  Also, to the best of my knowledge, I also give out more free items than any individual marketing copywriter on the web (over 280 Guides, Articles, Check Lists, Videos and Audios).  All original, written and/or edited by me.

Dig Deeper

If you’re interested in learning more, I invite you to visit  How To Write Copy at Write Like A Madman University If ever you had the idea of taking Copywriting and Marketing Courses online to boost your “How To Market A Small Business” skills…BUT…it seemed like a big risk…please, let me help.

On my website, you can get a 7-Day, All Access Trial Membership to the “How To Write Copy” system for just $1. No auto upgrades. If you love it, you can then enroll. 

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Categories
Copywriting Marketing

How Do I Get More Business?

As a copywriter for almost forty years, I’ve worked with giant mega-marketers, regional behemoths, and small, entrepreneurial companies.  The latter are my favorites because the help I provide is much more personal and critical to their success. The funny thing is, no matter the size of the company, they all want to get more business.

Here are nine essentials.  There are, of course, others like Differentiation, Marketing Messages, and Website writing and structure that warrant their own articles, chapters, or even books.

That said…if your goal is to get more business, this is a great place to start. 

It seems everyone has their own definition for marketing. Long ones, short ones, flowery ones, pithy ones.  Dictionary.com defines marketing as: “The commercial processes involved in promoting and selling and distributing a product or service”. The definition I get most often from my clients is: “marketing brings in customers and sales”. These are narrow views.

I prefer a far more encompassing definition.  It comes from years of experience marketing companies I owned and advising others.  My definition is this:

“Marketing is everything you do that touches or impacts your customers or prospects.”

Everything? Yes, everything. Think about it for a second. If you send out an incorrect invoice, will that not affect your customer’s image of your company?  If your phone answering system is so poorly configured that a prospect is put through hoops for two to three minutes without getting to the right person, will that impact his desire to do business with you? Conversely, if you handle a return promptly, courteously, and without any hint of annoyance, will that customer not be willing to buy from you again because she knows, if she must return it, the experience is actually pleasant?

The answers are Yes! Yes! and Hell, Yes!

Most customers think if you’re in business, you must be an expert, or authority, on that business.  This may not be the case 100% of the time but think about it.  If you have a question about your car, to whom do you speak – your hair stylist?  No.  You ask an auto mechanic – the expert.

As an authority in your field, you are expected to answer questions.  Well, that’s just what Content is – answering common questions before they’re asked.

Lie this article answers the question, “How do I get more business?”

Write a short (500 – 1500+ word) article on some aspect of your business or industry.  Post it on your blog, or Facebook, Linked-In, etc. 

Compose a layman’s guide to your industry.  What do consumers need to know?  What questions should they ask?  How can they find the best mechanic for them?  Which things should raise red flags (scams, incompetence, etc)?

Believe it or not, this is all Content is.  Helping people make smart, informed decisions in your industry.  Remember, a copywriter (and that’s you) educates, informs, and influences.

Offer your content free in exchange for their email address.  Why?  Because you need to build an “A” Email Opt-In List.

Marketing and Community Outreach have been radically changed by the advent of the internet and social media – but it’s still basically a numbers game if you want to get moe business.

Say you’re planning a special Independence Day Sale.  You’ll want to contact as many prospects and customers as you can.  You could advertise in the newspaper or on radio or TV (at a cost) – or you could contact your top customers and prospects via email (virtually free).  Let’s say you calculate you can handle 80 requests at the sale price to consider it a roaring success.  How many names are on your list?  100? 1,000? 10,000?

For a 100-name list you’d need to attract 80% of your list to the sale.  Not hardly likely.  With a 1,000-name list, you need 8%.  But if you’ve done a diligent job of list building and have 10,000 emails, you only need to attract 0.8% of them to get that roaring success.  Pro copywriters think an email “buy rate” of 1% is average, 2% is great, and 3% is an official “Glory Be”!

So, start building, or adding, to that “A” list as often as you can – and good Content will help you do just that.

“Oh, come on! I don’t ignore anyone. I want to get more business.”  Read on – you may be surprised.

We all have two types of prospects, “Now Buyers”, and “Future Buyers”.  Now Buyers have made the mental decision to buy, and now they need to decide the ultimate question, from whom.  “Future Buyers” are folks who haven’t made their mental commitment to buy yet.  They are gathering information to help make that decision.  Most businesses know enough to make an offer to Now prospects.  Something that motivates them to buy and gives a sense of urgency to “buy now”.  Here’s what we typically see:

  • Discount Coupons
  • We pay the Sales Tax
  • Zero % Financing
  • Free Shipping
  • Save $300 this weekend only
  • Free Gift with Purchase

…and many more.  All tailored for the Now Buyer.

If your website, brochure, or advertisements don’t include an offer for “Future Buyers” to help them gather the information needed make their decisions, you are definitely ignoring up to 94% of your total prospects. (see the Decision Spectrum, below)

Do you ever listen to station WII-FM, the “Radio Of Your Mind”?

Well, I certainly hear “What’s IIFor Me”.  All the time.  It simply means when a customer or prospect is looking at your website, landing page, email, or post, they’re looking for benefits.  Things that will make their life better, longer, more fun, pain free, happier, more fulfilling, etc.  You have the chance to give them all that.  Unfortunately, most small businesses are caught flat-footed, with mouth agape, and no clue at all.  Let me put this succinctly…

If you want to get moe business…STOP talking about yourself. Start talking about what the customer wants and needs.  It’s not about you.

How would you react if, when buying a shirt from a store, you ask, “What if the shirt isn’t as “no-iron” as you say?” and you get the answer, “Well, I guess you’ll just have to iron it now, won’t you?”

If you’re anything like me, you would not buy that shirt, or probably anything else from that store.  Admittedly, this is an exaggeration, but not uncommon.  Businesses – or even non-profits – that don’t ease the customer’s Fear of Buying/Fear of Commitment, get fewer customers.  Here are a few ways to quell the agita and get more business by easing the prospect into buying with no fear or remorse.

  • Have a strong guarantee/warranty
  • If you need to return something, we’ll pay the shipping
  • Free shipping both ways
  • No restocking fee
  • If you find it cheaper, we’ll pay you double the difference

Wax those skis and make buying a smooth, easy, downhill decision.

“People buy from people they like and trust – both in person and online.”

Do you come across as likeable and even trustworthy?  Check out your picture and your copy.  Smile.  Let them see your face.  Look right into the camera.  Don’t use pictures of you standing in the middle of a cornfield in Iowa where no one can see your face and think you’re the Scarecrow from The WIZ.  Get up close and personal with your customers.

And reflect this attitude in your writing: be open, friendly, and caring; it goes a long way to getting moe business.

If you are the “face” of your company, non-profit, or small business, grab onto this with both hands ::::> and “Personalize” your business.

Case Study – Larry’s Restaurant and Pizzeria

“Larry”, a fifty-ish, pudgy, slightly less than average-looking man, owned and operated a large Italian restaurant in a New York City suburb on a busy thoroughfare on the way to the beaches.

Larry didn’t do much advertising, yet people came…see, he was the only place in the area.  Then a McDonald’s (the first one in N.Y) opened across the street and his business plummeted.  He tried but failed to get back to where he was previously.  Then he hired the ad agency I worked for.   Here’s what we did:

  • Made a series of late-night TV ads (much less costly) featuring Larry, in his restaurant’s kitchen and bar area. He had a slightly sad, “hound-dog” expression on his face and spoke not a word.
  • The voice-over copy was: “Everybody Loves Larry’s Pizza – but Nobody Loves Larry. Next time you stop in, go over to Larry or his wife Connie, and say “We love ya Larry” and he’ll smile and treat you to a wonderful appetizer or dessert with your meal.
  • The reaction was incredible. Larry became a “celebrity” of sorts in his restaurant.  His business more than doubled and rose to 20% higher than it was before McDonald’s.

Look, if Larry can do it – and I can do it, certainly you can do it.

This French word comes to us from Louisiana.  It means an extra, or unexpected, gift or benefit.

Recently, I ordered a “Thank You” gift basket for a client of mine.  It was delivered with my greeting card, and all was good.  Two days later, I received a small package in the mail with two of the company’s nut bars.  An enclosed note thanked me for my purchase and hoped I’d enjoy their specialty treat.  This floored me, as no mention of it was ever made. 

The outcome?  I’ve ordered from them again and will do so in the future. They got – and continue to get – more business from me.

Well, that’s all nine. 

I’m fond of saying “marketing is a people skill, adapted to business”.  Each item on this list bears that out. 

  • Understand what it is you’re doing, how to write copy, and stand out from the crowd. 
  • Help people make good decisions.
  • Communicate regularly with your friends.
  • Don’t ignore your prospects and future friends.
  • Focus on your friends’ needs.
  • Strip away the fear.
  • Be likeable and honest.
  • Be proud of what you do.
  • And give someone a little surprise now and then.

I think it’s a good recipe to get more business, don’t you?

A Little Lagniappe For You

As you study and implement these 9 Crucial Small Business Practices, please accept my “companion infographic”, 15 Mistakes Small Business Makes.  Download it here, Free.

Excerpted from my book, How To Write Copy: Your Million Dollar Advantage.

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Categories
Conversion Rates Copywriting

How Can I Boost My Conversion Rates Now?

Of all the questions marketers and copywriters ask, how to increase Conversion Rates, is well up the “importance” chart.

In fact, for many currently engaged in offering products or services though websites, landing pages(s), email campaigns, or advertisements, it might just be the existential question, the answer to which, can propel them to a higher tier of performance.  And do it without increasing their marketing budget one thin dime.

If you’re reading this article, and you or your clients want to boost the conversion rates, make sure to read it carefully.

As a Master Copywriter for 35+ years, I always try to give the solution to a common problem, like conversion rates, as quickly as I can.

The short answer is, “You do it with superior copywriting”.

Oh, come on….that can’t be all.” 

Actually, it can.  But here are two caveats: 

IF you are currently driving sufficient traffic to your Sales “Producer”, such as your Website or Landing Page.

And, IF your company, product, or service is sufficiently unique and different from your competition.

Legendary Copywriter on being different

So, if we can’t fault any of our preliminary funnel components, we must, then, conclude the weakness lies with our Sales Producers.  Thus, I can confidently posit the solution to the question, “How can I boost my conversion rates?”, lies with your copywriting.

Another good question.

Copywriting should inform, educate, and motivate (or influence).  And do all that within these parameters:

  • Using the appropriate psychological approach for the product or service.
    • Intellectual
    • Emotional
  • Understanding the central problem, need, or desire of your ideal customer (aka your avatar client).
  • Being confident your offering solves the problem, fills the need, or satisfies the desire.

By “Using the Right Words and the Right Images, in the Right Order”™  you can boost (or Optimize) conversion rates without adding money to your marketing budget.

This subject, boosting your conversions by superior copywriting, could easily take a small book.

So in this article, I will concentrate on the process of using copywriting strategies to achieve increased conversion rates, but I won’t go heavily into the copywriting techniques you’ll need to employ.

Rather, I will give you several links to previously written articles, so you get the information without the duplication. (<< Example of using a Rhyme to make a point easier to remember.)

That said…let’s get this show back on the road.

Let’s start by getting a grip on our terminology. 

Copywriting for conversion means providing your reader, or website visitor, with a consistent and Logical Thought Sequence that can be easily followed and contains nothing that can cause confusion or a separation of focus.  A leads to B, B leads to C, and so forth.

One page.  One goal.  One Call-To-Action.

Writing your copy with the objective of having your reader take the action (aka conversion) you wish them to take.

That action can be:

  • Buy Now
  • Subscribe Today
  • Take The Survey
  • Clip The Coupon
  • Get Your Free Report
  • Make An Appointment
  • Call For Your Free, No Obligation Quote

… etc.

When your prospect takes the intended action, you have a conversion.  And the number of conversions divided by the number of visitors to that page is your Conversion Rate.

The Process

[Note: The “page” can be a website, landing page, email, or direct advertisement.]

First of all, they need to get – within a very few seconds – the answer to the question, “Am I in the right place?” 

If the answer is yes, they then spend 7 or 8 seconds looking at/reading/scanning the words and images above the fold.  If they see a quick, informative, intriguing, powerful Marketing Message, or a great Tagline saying, in essence, “There’s something here that can benefit me”, they’ll start to read more or scroll down the page.  So, this is what you do to encourage them.

  • First, you plan their route, by breaking your copy into sections. Each section conveys one complete thought, idea, or concept.
  • You lay the page out vertically, so the reader’s eyes slide easily down as they are exposed to your selling copy.
  • Each section should transition seamlessly (and logically) to the next. Again, Section A leads into section B, B leads into C, and so forth.
  • As the prospect continues to read (or listen, or watch) and moves from one section to the next, they’re giving you a little thumbs-up – “I like what I’m seeing, and I want to know more. This affirmation is called a “mini-yes”. 
  • Your goal is to keep supplying useful and motivating information, collecting mini-yesses at each section until they come to the Big Ask…your Call-To-Action.

By taking the above steps you ensure n smooth progression down the page in what I call Logical Thought Sequencing (LTS).

A World's Best Copywriter makes a startling claim to aid conversion rates

What Gene Schwartz is alluding to by using a statement bound to get your attention, if not amazement, is that the copy is written after the Logical Thought Sequence framework has been developed.

In that way, the copywriter is “constrained” by the topic of each section to deliver the information in a short, easy to digest way, that is friendly to the eye of the reader. – The Thought Bite.  Each section is a Thought Bite and is made up of four components.

  • The Cross-Head  the headline of the section used to inform readers what’s coming. The cross-heads help separate the sections in the mind of the reader.
  • The Intro – an intriguing short sentence or two.
  • The Meat – the information you want to convey presented in four of five sentences or bullet points.
  • The Outro – a sentence transitioning to the next section. The Outro either sums up what was presented in the Thought Bite, or talks about what is coming up in the next section.

In this way you convey a complete thought in a smoothly read way.  No long sentences, no long paragraphs.

A Wise thought for writers by Thomas Jefferson

Yes.

Because we now come to the real test of our logically sequenced thought bites and find out if they did their job.

The big ask, or main objective of your page, is the Call-To-Action (CTA). Hopefully, we’ve amassed sufficient mini-yesses to make it easy for the reader to take that last step and click on your CTA and Get an Appointment, Request A Free Report, Buy Now, Subscribe Today, etc., etc., etc.

The trick is to position your CTA at a place on the page where the reader has enough information to decide, but not so much that their interest wanes, or they feel overloaded.  Timing is everything

[Get my template for a perfect Landing Page]

I often remind, cajole, and admonish my students not to repeat themselves when writing copy – especially for a landing page or email.

The exception to my rule comes with the Call-To Action.  I expect these to be repeated…not only repeated but separated by Motivators like:

  • The Pot Sweetener (aka “But wait, there’s more.”) – Now that the prospects have read all the way down to the CTA, we want to reward them with a “special”, “bonus”, or “gift” offer…for instance a Free Gift With Purchase or Buy Two And Get The Second At 60% off.

And Risk Reducers like:

  • Guarantees, easy returns, no restocking fee, we pay shipping both ways. Risk reducers lessen the fear of buying that occurs naturally when people are on the verge of spending money – especially if they haven’t done business with you before.

And Social Credentials like:

  • Minority, Veteran, or Woman owned business.
  • Awards or recognition from third parties.
  • Support of Civic and Charitable organizations.

CTAs surrounded by their friends produce more conversions.  Don’t leave your CTAs out there naked.

It comes in here.

All the preceding sections focused on HOW you can prepare your pages, email, or advertisements to give yourself the best chance of optimizing your conversion rates via copywriting.

Remember this?  Great copywriters gain a Million Dollar Advantage by their learned ability to “use the Right Word and the Right Image, in the Right Order”.

The Right Order is what the whole article, up to this point was all about.

Throughout this article, I provide links to extensive free Copywriting Content.  These links are to information about the copywriting techniques used within the Thought Bites.  The Right Words if you please.

Follow the links in this article and you’ll get a darn good start on proving my claim that Better Writing Brings Better Results.

David Ogilvy, one of the legendary figures in advertising and copywriting said this, “[Businesses and Advertising Agencies] are infested with men and women who cannot write.  They cannot write advertisements and they cannot write plans.  They are as helpless as deaf mutes on the stage of the Metropolitan Opera”. 

OK Dave, tell us how you really feel.

Does anyone want  folks lie these in charge of your marketing message, tagline, and copy?  I didn’t think so.

Instinctively you know that.  But how do you do that?

  • Get trained right.
  • Accumulate an extensive library of copywriting videos, audios, pdfs giving you not only the WHAT to do, but also step-by-step, HOW to do it, and WHY it’s done that way.
  • Get an armload of Checklists and Cheat Sheets you can refer to when you’re writing.
  • Choose a person for your personal copywriting coach. A specialist who concentrates on one thing – How To Be A Better Copywriter.  Get other coaches for other disciplines.

It’s even harder being a copywriter or marketer assigned the task of increasing conversion rates by 30%, if you haven’t been trained in HOW to write like a successful, experienced, and talented copywriter.

If you’re not sure you’re at that level…worry not, we can get you there. 

  • First download my super-secret, self-scoring, 20-question, Free Copywriter Aptitude Test. No one will know your answers but you. Not even me.
  • Also, take a look at this short, but informative piece How To Write Copy.
  • Lastly, take a gander at my website that has oodles of info and free content.

Great copywriters NEVER stop learning.

And some great copywriters NEVER stop teaching.

To your Amazing Success.

Categories
Copywriting Learn Copywriting

How Can I Start Writing Copy? 7 Rules…

So, you want to know how to start writing copy.  Admirable.

We’ll approach this noble goal by laying out some obvious, and some not so obvious, caveats.

  • One – Don’t start in the middle.
  • Two – Don’t rely solely on Free Content.
  • Three – Don’t follow all the tips you see on X/Twitter, Linked In, Facebook, Instagram and the like.
  • Four – “Never trust anyone you don’t understand.”
  • Five – Don’t shell out $500 to $10,000 for the promise of a quick and easy $10k a month internet business.
  • Six – Don’t depend on free seminars to teach you.
  • Seven – Don’t try to go it alone.

So, with all of these cautions, do I still think you are admirable for wanting to start writing copy?  Damn right I do.

Now, almost everyone who gravitates to copywriting because they like to write.

That’s how I started.  Writing skits, songs, parodies for the enjoyment of my classmates, friends, and – most of all – myself.  I got a kick out of being recognized and praised just for things I wrote, rather than being able to memorize and regurgitate scientific formulas, mathematical equations, notable dates in history, etc., etc., etc.

If you’re anything like me, and your head is filled with ideas more than it is with facts, I’m happy to be your guide to true happiness and satisfaction with your next career or side gig.  And there’s no time like today for you to start your copywriting education and training.

“Don’t start in the middle” is number one on my list.  Not because it’s first in the process, but because it’s supremely important to get off on the right foot.

Writers to be – control yourself. 

  1. You can’t turn a slick double play without first learning to correctly field a ground ball.
  2. It’s tough to be a rock musician if you can’t play the heck out of your instrument. (If this wasn’t true, the Beatles would be John, Paul, George, and Peter.)
  3. Do prima ballerinas become such at 18? No…they’ve been learning and practicing since they were five.

Almost no one can pick up and be an effective copywriter on desire alone.  You must prepare.  And, in copywriting, that means you learn the building blocks – the techniques, and the strategies, that will make you into a fine writer with a great future.

If you begin anywhere other than the beginning it’s a sure harbinger of coming frustration, and an elongated learning curve.

The most significant word in the above headline is “solely”.  Free Content is wonderful.  But it can’t be the basis of your knowledge, your career, or your business.

I say this as a Content Provider and Marketer.  I freely and happily give away over 430 video and audio tips, articles, Twizdoms™, quotes, checklists, reports, newsletters, and self-tests.  All free – all helpful.  But as valuable as they are…they are no substitute for a strong knowledge of copywriting fundamentals.

Free Copywriting Content – and there is loads of it on the internet – is not categorized as “beginner”, “intermediate”, or “advanced”.  So, unfortunately, you can have a hard time figuring out just which piece of content, is intended for your experience level.

Random copywriting “tips” commonly appear as short individual posts or tweets.  These are even less organized than the free content, which usually takes the form of more substantive articles, checklists, case studies, and videos.

Additionally, simply because it’s posted on social media doesn’t mean it’s correct advice (nor does it mean it’s not).  You have to look carefully at the source of the tip.  There are many successful, knowledgeable, and reputable copywriters on social sites.  Given my 35+ year career including formative years at a top Madison Avenue Ad Agency, I like to consider myself among this group.

Before committing wholeheartedly to the advice of one or another self-proclaimed copywriting expert, check their bios, websites, reviews, and – if possible – samples of their work. You know, be persnickety.

I recently posted this tweet on X – not for anyone specific, but for way too many tweets that came across my feed.

“Expert” is losing its meaning.

To the 24 yr old with a BS in Business who holds herself out as a “Life” coach and the 28 yr old “Copywriting Guru” with a thin portfolio.

Please learn your trade before “helping” people with theirs.

Jack Trout, the author of the above quote, is an acknowledged marketing expert.  He understands that some “so-called experts” cloak their lack of true copywriting and marketing ability in a tsunami of words meant to impress by confusing.

Even if you cannot EASILY comprehend what is said or written, a percentage of you will, in my experience, decide the speaker/writer must be an absolute genius.  Jack disagreed.

And I agree with Jack.

Complexity is NOT to be admired

The internet is good.  The internet is great.  And, the internet is also full of traps.

My friends, I like to be transparent.  I make money by selling subscriptions to my “How To Write Copy” system.  But for goodness’ sake, please do not buy or subscribe to any course(s) – including mine – without…

  • An iron clad guarantee, free trial, or preview.
  • A reasonably small initial commitment (less than $100) on your credit card.
  • The opportunity to cancel anytime, for any reason.
  • The chance to upgrade to a more cost efficient plan after you’ve had a chance (7-30 days) to work with the program and determine if it will help you reach your goals.

Be skeptical, be careful, and that goes double for seminars.

I’m fairly sure you all know this, but for 100% coverage, I must include it in the list.  (Besides, as all good copywriters now a list with 7 items is much preferred by readers to one with six of eight items.)

Free seminars exist to grab your attention, create interest (or pain), generate desire, and move you to action.  And the action we’re talking about is to buy whatever the seminar is selling.  Along with some useful information, you get, depending on the vendor, a wonderful opportunity (for today only) or an extremely well-written and rehearsed sales pitch that the product being promoted will solve your problem and ease your pain, or make you oodles of money.

To my thinking these “up-sell seminars” are the highest priced and probably most profitable of all online marketing vehicles.  I don’t do them because I am simply not comfortable with the process.

Some First-Hand Information

Out of curiosity, I watched over 40 online seminars, and I marveled at the presenters’ reasoning skills – even when I had a strong disdain for the way they used them.

Upsell Seminars often work a three-tier method:

  1. Give them something of “value” free or cheap.
  2. Entice them to sign up for our “program” at a “reasonable”, but elevated cost.
  3. Then introduce the “Platinum Program” with all the bells, whistles and promises to disclose the “Secret Sauce”, or even “Do It For You”.

I watched a seminar take me from a $35 sale (I paid it to go further) to a $950 membership (I did not buy) and finally culminated in a $35,000 “Done For You” service.  Whew – some trip, eh?

Okay…I realize I have (maybe) scared a few of you.

I did it for two reasons:

  1. To make you aware that there are a whole lot of choices for you if you want to start writing copy. Some of those choices (I’ve expressed six in this article) are meant as cautions.
  2. Although there are some seriously good and honest copywriting course providers, who have both the knowledge and experience to do you some real good, there are some who simply do not.

I  sincerely want you to follow your dream and to start writing copy as soon as possible – but safely and without unnecessary frustration, loss of time, and loss of money.

My advice?  Get trained in the foundational concepts, strategies, and techniques, of professional copywriting.

I’m happy you chose to read my article – and I would be proud if we got to know each other better. 

If you’re truly interested in starting to write copy, let me remind you to download my Free Copywriters Aptitude Test.  It’s Private and self-scoring.  No one knows your answers except you.

And, while you’re at it, don’t forget to register from my Free Newsletter, “Classic Copywriting”

Self-Scoring Copywriting Aptitude Test

To close with a little serf serving “commercial”, I believe that my How To Write Copy system is a premier educational experience.  I hope you will take a few minutes to get acquainted with it here.

To your astounding success,

Categories
Copywriting Learn Copywriting Marketing

I’m A Good Writer. So Why Should I Learn Copywriting?

Why Learn Copywriting? The short answer is: There’s a huge difference between being a good generic writer and being a good Copywriter.

The difference is obvious in the Intent, the Construction, and the Results of the writing.

  • Intent – The intent of generic writing is usually to impart information or news, or a story to the reader.  A Copywriter’s intent is to educate, inform, and influence readers to take a specific action, or member a specific thought. 
  • Construction – There are few, if any, hard and fast rules on how generic writing should be arranged.  The science/art of Copywriting has many standards, customs, and templates that have been proven effective in elevating basic writing into celebrated and acclaimed, and money-making, copy.
  • Results – Good writing is still good writing when the results follow the intent.  Good Copywriting is the same – but the results are vastly different…educate and inform readers on a specific topic, leading them to conclude that this product, service, or cause, is one that brings benefits to themselves or others.

Now, let’s move on to some of the writing and construction (aka structure) guides and tutorials you can expect to get from a good, detailed, comprehensive copywriting course(s) or system.

You already said you’re a good writer.  About 7-in-10 people have what it takes to be genuinely talented copywriters and don’t even know it.

How do I know?  Look at your life.  Have you ever…

  • Asked someone out on a date and they said “yes”?
  • Offered a suggestion to a work or civic group that was met with enthusiasm?
  • Put together an impromptu party, ball game, or even for you and your friends?

If you done these sorts of things, my friends, you did the job of a copywriter…you got an idea, placed that idea in front of people who might benefit from it, and they reacted positively and acted.  Bingo!

The key to great copywriting is “the Ability to use the Right Words and the Right Images, in the Right Order”.  I call that the copywriter’s “Million Dollar Advantage”.

Legendary Copywriter says it's critical to learn copywriting from the classic texts.

Here’s what you can expect to add to your current writing talents when you learn copywriting with the How To Write Copy system:

  • The Techniques and Secrets of the World’s Best Copywriters.
  • How to write Clearly, Concisely, Conversationally, and Convincingly.
  • Understanding how to choose the Right Psychological Approach.
  • How to Differentiate and be Unique.
  • Formulas and insights to creating your Unique Marketing Message .(aka Value Proposition).
  • How to know when to break the Grammar Rules.
  • Rules when writing for Print Media.
  • How to write Radio spots.
  • Rules when writing for TV.
  • How to write a Press Release.
  • How to Write Web Copy.
  • The keys to creating Effective Email Campaigns and Sales Letters.
  • How to choose the Best Fonts for the Situation.
  • How to Sell Your Product with a Story.
  • The AIDA Code.
  • How to create a Credibility Letter.
  • How to write Reports, White Papers, and Brochures.
  • The secret to write Incredibly Effective Headlines & Sub-Heads.
  • Why you should follow the “5 Steps To Benefits” Headline Rule.
  • How to Avoid False Alarm Headlines.
  • Why you need to know about Cross-Heads.
  • Writing Long Copy Made Easy.
  • How to create a Hook and how to use it.
  • The Methodology of Copywriting.
  • How to use the Curiosity Factor.
  • How to get the Specificity Advantage.
  • Learning to write in Thought Bites.
  • How to create Taglines for Branding.
  • How to avoid the Spam Police.

Copywriters, in general, write about products, services, and charitable causes.  So, a copywriting education without some reference to Marketing is incomplete.

Don't be one of "them". Learn Copywriting>

Every copywriter, whether in-house, agency-based, or freelance must learn about business marketing…and every business marketer should learn some copywriting.

A good, extensive, copywriting course/system will have a robust lineup of marketing guides specifically written for copywriters and marketer/copywriters. In other words, you’ll learn copywriting from a Master Copywriter.

Here are some examples:

  • The TRUE Definition of Marketing.
  • Understanding the difference between Tactical and Strategic Marketing.
  • How to develop your Unique Selling Proposition.
  • The clues to Generating Leads.
  • How to distinguish Features, Benefits, and Satisfactions.
  • How to avoid the most Common Marketing Mistakes businesses make.
  • Why the old stand-by Elevator Pitch is outmoded and how to improve it.
  • Understand the difference between Now Buyers and Future Buyers.
  • How To decide on Offers and Risk Reducers.
  • The vital importance of your Call-To-Action (CTA).
  • Cautions for Start-Ups (under 2 years in business).
  • Basics of Franchising.

Marketing and Copywriting are inextricably bound together.  Specializing in one without knowing the other would be like building a house and forgetting the roof.

Almost all Businesses, Organizations, and Non-Profits have websites.  For small businesses, websites are the MOST important tool in their arsenal.

Writing for websites is very close to copywriting with the one caveat of, “Get The Facts Out First” – In 7 seconds or less.  All “Learn Copywriting Courses” worth their salt should offer significant assets and spend significant time on the subject of Websites, Landing Pages, etc.  Some examples follow.

  • Why A Website Doesn’t Produce – and how to fix it
  • Why the first 7 Inches and 7 Seconds are critical for Website Success
  • Essentials you Must Have on your site
  • Colors and your Website, A Psychological Approach
  • How to get More Clicks from your Call-To-Action (CTA)
  • How to write Facebook Ads
  • Key Elements of a World-Class Website
  • Obstacle to Website Success
  • SEO or PPC – which is better for you?
  • The “Write In” Test – Can your Homepage Pass?

A lot of Website Strategy and Effectiveness is covered in our next section, Construction.

One of our modern Marketer/Philosopher understands why business people need to learn copywriting.

Now we come to the final section where we will explore what a copywriter and marketer/copywriter must know about the psychological and physiological effects how the readers react to the copy on your page (paper or digital).

Page construction (aka Structure) can’t be overestimated – especially online – because people with Intent (that is, the desire to see what you have and do business with you if their needs are met) are looking to see three things immediately on arriving at your website, opening your email, or looking at your ad.

  1. Am I in the right place for what I want?
  2. Does this company do what I’m looking for?
  3. What are the Benefits I get from them?

If you don’t answer these questions within about 7-8 seconds, visitors , readers, listeners, start leaving.  Below you’ll see samples of what you should expect when you take Copywriting Courses.

  • How to plan your page with Logical Thought Sequencing
  • When to offer your Value Proposition
  • How to maximize the Look and Flow of your Website
  • How to Maximize Call-To-Action Buttons
  • The “One Concept Per Page” Imperative

Okay…enough already.

I apologize if I took the long route to answer the question.  But, as a Master Copywriter for almost 40 years, I wanted to do a thorough job because I believe,  wholeheartedly, in what I’m saying.

In closing, I want to offer you – other than my words of wisdom – a solidly helpful Check List for you when you write copy.  It’s called, “The Unbreakable, Unassailable, Copywriting & Structure Rules”.  It’s one page; it’s Free, and it helps many of my clients and students write better copy.  Download It Here.

One more thing.  If copywriting interests you and you’d like to see more free content from me, simply go to my website.  And…don’t forget to download my latest book…Free!

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