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Creative Workshop October 12-13

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  • 1. Creative Workshop October 12-13 Herschell Gordon Lewis
  • 2. A couple of preliminary points…
  • 3. Part One: Words have octane.
  • 4. There are many options open to the genuine ―creative‖ individual. Uh-oh!
  • 5. The writer always has a stronger way to begin a sales argument than the neutral phrase ―There is…‖ or ―There are….‖
  • 6. If Michelangelo were painting today…
  • 7. Historically, where are we?
  • 8. Fourth generation musings…
  • 9. In a recent catalog:
  • 10. In a recent catalog:
  • 11. And 10 years from now…?
  • 12. Trends for the second half of the second decade of the 21st century: 1. Increasing informality 2. Increasingly emphatic persuasion 3. Inclusion of validation 4. Promise of fast action
  • 13. A universal reaction: ―I want it NOW.‖
  • 14. Primitive but a good ―pitch‖ because it builds around immediacy:
  • 15. In sync with the medium and 21st century trends
  • 16. Click brings up this… still in sync with the medium and 21st century trends
  • 17. Interesting study. Note who issued it.
  • 18. When you see this color screen, it‘s for a Quick hands-on. Please participate. What happens here stays here.
  • 19. Sorry, you won‘t hear them during this diatribe: • Paradigm • Proactive • Win-win • Game plan • 24/7 • Fast track • Customer-centric • At the end of the day • Core competency • Think outside the box • Knowledge-based • On the same page
  • 20. Specifics outpull generalizations. Remember that if you‘re asked to write a sample piece of copy. (You will be, in two minutes.)
  • 21. Take a look at the two most famous advertisements of all time … both are direct response:
  • 22. Written in 1926… still much imitated today: •They grinned when the waiter spoke to me in French •They laughed when I told them how I beat stress •They laughed when I said I‘d lose weight Hundreds of others
  • 23. Could you match this famous ad that ran for 45 years? Let‘s look at the power of one minor word:
  • 24. If These Mistakes had been This Mistake the power would have been a fraction of what it was. Why?
  • 25. Why would anyone bother reading beyond the nonspecific headlines? You can write better wording than that.
  • 26. ―There are many reasons America‘s leading companies choose our Direct Response solutions‖ is student-level copy. Rewrite to add strength.
  • 27. Why is this email less effective than it might be?
  • 28. An absolute rule of force- communication: One specific example brings more response than ten generalizations.
  • 29. Avoid these words in force-communication messages: • quality • service • value • needs (as noun) • ―Remember,‖ • What‘s more • Your partner in… • When it comes to…
  • 30. Please, please: Never again write ―blah‖ phrases such as… • Act now. • See your Toyota dealer today. • Southwest Airlines means business.
  • 31. Impact increases with apparent warmth. Example: start with Bye now. Move up slightly to See you soon.
  • 32. Even what appears to be an insignificant change to a question increases impact. Convert See you soon. to See you soon?
  • 33. Personalization adds an emotional overtone: See you soon. becomes I hope we’ll get together again soon.
  • 34. Combining personalization with a question forces a reaction: I hope we’ll get together again soon. doesn‘t begin to compete in potency against Will we get together again soon?
  • 35. Inclusion reduces the possibility of rejection. Example – replacing I’d like us to get together again soon. with We’ll get together again soon. (Would this as a question be stronger? or weaker?)
  • 36. Can you relate those simple examples to an analysis of your salesmanship in direct response copy?
  • 37. Would you have wasted the expense and opportunity to reach commercial customers as this bank did?
  • 38. Quick hands-on: Write a headline to replace… Commitment. It’s all in our approach.
  • 39. You know why we should NEVER slide through word-choices without considering whether even slightly different wording might have greater fractional impact: RESPONSE.
  • 40. What is the difference between 3 and three ?
  • 41. What is a more emotional word or phrase than: • commence • utilize • omit • receive • we would like to • large • you incur no risk • circular • donate • purchase • fortunate • requested • I write concerning • we shall • error • perhaps • however • humorous
  • 42. What is the difference between: • autumn and fall • at last and finally • sexy and sensual • nude and naked • made and manufactured • manufactured by and built by • right now and at once • reply and respond • insincere and not sincere • eager and anxious • audience and viewers • died and passed away
  • 43. Note the difference in thrust, impact, and (vital for us) selling power: ―One in five Americans will experience identity theft.‖ versus ―One in five people will be hit with identity theft.‖
  • 44. Shift to active voice and watch as muscle skyrockets: ―One in five Americans will be hit with identity theft.‖ versus ―Identity theft will smash into the lives of one in five Americans.‖
  • 45. What is the difference between lifetime guarantee and guaranteed for twenty years ?
  • 46. What is the difference between guaranteed for twenty years and guaranteed for 20 years ?
  • 47. Spelling out a word adds dignity, formality, and importance. It also may add distance between writer and reader. So choose based on the circumstance: Mt. Olympus Mount Olympus Ft. Lauderdale Fort Lauderdale St. Jude Saint Jude Dr. Smith Doctor Smith Mr. Brown Mister Brown No. 1 Number one
  • 48. Match words to the specific demographic you‘re wooing: inexpensive cheap
  • 49. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Incorrect Wrong
  • 50. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The senator declined to comment.‖ ―The senator declined to answer.‖
  • 51. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The senator declined to answer.‖ ―The senator refused to answer.‖
  • 52. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The thing is…‖ ―Get this.‖
  • 53. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―For the experienced tourist.‖ ―For the sophisticated traveler.‖
  • 54. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We killed the competition.‖ ―We destroyed the competition.‖
  • 55. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We killed the competition.‖ ―We murdered the competition.‖
  • 56. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―It doesn‘t work.‖ ―It just ain‘t working.‖
  • 57. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―She‘s a vice-president of the agency.‖ ―She‘s vice-president of the agency.‖
  • 58. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―Can you help us?‖ ―Will you help us?‖ Do you recognize the huge difference between ―Can you‖ and ―Will you‖?
  • 59. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―If you order now, you‘ll get…‖ ―Order now and you‘ll get…‖
  • 60. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―You pay much less.‖ ―Others pay much more.‖
  • 61. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Trousers Pants
  • 62. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Tighten your tummy. Get rid of that gut.
  • 63. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We‘ll even pay the shipping costs.‖ ―We‘ll pay the shipping costs.‖
  • 64. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We‘ll pay the shipping costs.‖ ―Free shipping.‖
  • 65. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―They‘ll keep your feet toasty warm.‖ ―They‘ll keep your toes toasty warm.‖
  • 66. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―He kissed her on the lips.‖ ―He kissed her on the mouth.‖
  • 67. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―Attention, seniors: We are conducting a clinical trial for…‖ ―Attention, seniors: A research organization is conducting a clinical trial for…‖
  • 68. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We lost the game.‖ ―We blew the game.‖
  • 69. Quick hands-on: Suggest a more dynamic replacement for: ―A reply from you would be appreciated.‖
  • 70. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―A reply from you would be appreciated.‖ ―We really do want your reaction.‖
  • 71. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The workshop will be presented in your area.‖ ―The workshop is in your own town.‖
  • 72. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―In the event of your death...‖ ―If you should die....‖
  • 73. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―Just $24.95 per month.‖ ―Just $24.95 a month.‖
  • 74. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―As the owner of a small business, you...‖ ―Is yours a family-owned business? Then...‖
  • 75. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―Is there a problem with...?‖ ―Do you have a problem with...?‖
  • 76. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: $250,000 A quarter of a million dollars
  • 77. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Illegal immigrant Undocumented alien
  • 78. Word use: Replace… with… must have to among one of utilize use perhaps maybe buy acquire purchase own spend allocate receive get
  • 79. YOUR hand is on the trigger. Don‘t fire blanks.
  • 80. An easy and obvious litmus test for both envelope copy and e-mail subject line: Does it grab and is it relevant?
  • 81. Relevance is as easy as this:
  • 82. Amateurish, not good grammar… but suggests personal and easy reading
  • 83. The enclosure … What are the pros and cons of this approach ?
  • 84. What image does this offer conjure up? Positive or negative?
  • 85. Aimed at not-for- profit groups. What would you have, as a clearer message?
  • 86. Punctuation makes a huge difference: • Money to invest • or… • Money to invest?
  • 87. Quick hands-on: Suggest a more salesworthy replacement for: ―You can complete your Application Form in less than one minute.‖
  • 88. Did you replace the word ―Application‖ to read… ―You can complete your Acceptance Form in less than one minute‖? Now, make it a tad more convivial by replacing one other word.
  • 89. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―You can complete your Acceptance Form in less than one minute.‖ ―You can complete your Acceptance Form in less than a minute.‖
  • 90. BUT NEVER DRAW A COSMIC CONCLUSION. In many situations you may prefer ―one‖ to ―a‖ because ―one‖ is definite and ―a‖ is indefinite.
  • 91. Superiority of the definite over the indefinite: •―The gem in each earring is a full carat.‖ • ―The gem in each earring is one full carat.‖
  • 92. The ―Emotion over Intellect‖ Rule: When emotion and intellect come into conflict, emotion always wins. The significance of this rule: An emotion-based sales argument will outsell an intellect-based sales argument.
  • 93. The three bases of success in direct response writing 1.Verisimilitude 2.Clarity 3.Benefit
  • 94. Quick hands-on: How would you add verisimilitude to this email?
  • 95. Which of these brought the most response?
  • 96. Benefit in force-communication: not, "What will it do?" but, "What will it do for me?"
  • 97. If you take nothing else away from this workshop, remember this: Imperative outpulls declarative.
  • 98. Phony pitch (car came with 5-year warranty) … but cold imperative tone makes it credible to some.
  • 99. What is wrong with this email ?
  • 100. The Law of Tenses: Present tense outsells future tense because the present is now, and your prospect wants benefits now.
  • 101. Present tense is more relevant than either future tense or past tense. Use past tense to establish a historical base. Use present tense to establish position.
  • 102. "If you think that..." is a more potent opening than "If you thought that..." because present tense implies an immediate change of current attitude; past tense suggests that whatever follows will be a revision of history.
  • 103. Tying future to present tells the reader: "This will be for all eternity." Compare the meanings of these two approaches: This is the seventh notification we've sent you. It's the last one. or... This is the seventh notification we've sent you. It will be the last one.
  • 104. Emotion outsells Intellect... Benefits are more emotional than features... So benefits outsell features.
  • 105. When is superior to If for suggesting something will happen. If is superior to When for suggesting something will not happen.
  • 106. The Generic Determination Rule: The generic determines reaction more than the numbers. More Less Half a quart One pint Half a kilo 500 grams One hour 60 minutes One day 24 hours One month 30 days One mile 5,280 feet Half a pound 8 ounces
  • 107. Hands-on practice: Rewrite this statement for greater power: We’ll ship your order the next day, and it’s guaranteed for 30 days.
  • 108. The Chronology Rule: When chronology is within the experiential background of the message recipient, number of years is a more powerful selling weapon than dates. So in the year 2013: "A history of success since 2003" is weaker than... "A solid 10-year history of success." Why?
  • 109. Information optimizing: Directing or changing the reader‘s or viewer‘s or listener‘s perception without changing the facts.
  • 110. Information optimizing… When should you use asterisks (*) in selling copy?
  • 111. Information optimizing… When should you use asterisks (*) in selling copy? Never.
  • 112. ―The Asterisk Exception‖: A reader automatically anticipates a negative result from an asterisk in either heading or text. If you are announcing a positive, DO NOT use an asterisk.
  • 113. The five types of comparatives: • We‘re better than they are. • Unlike so-called competitors who… • We‘re the greatest. • We were marvelous before, and now we‘re even better. • Intended to sell for x-amount
  • 114. Hands-on practice: Write a comparative claim other than “We’re better than they are” for the organization you represent.
  • 115. Information optimizing… Parity Advertising: The statement seems to imply superiority but actually only claims parity... "No bank pays higher interest"; Nobody sells for less"; "We'll meet any discount price."
  • 116. Hands-on practice: Write a ―Parity‖ statement for the organization you represent.
  • 117. Information optimizing… Opening a question with a positive statement directs the answer: ―This is what you want, isn‘t it?‖ is more likely to generate a positive reaction than ―Is this what you want?‖
  • 118. Information optimizing… The ―Restoration/Preservation‖ Rule: When promoting personal improvement products, restoration outpulls preservation. Why?
  • 119. The three components of successful force- communication: 1. Basic psychology 2. Vocabulary suppression 3. Salesmanship equivalent to that of a vacuum cleaner salesman in a department store
  • 120. Two ads, same advertiser. Which has both clarity and impact?
  • 121. One of these pulled more than twice the response of the other. Which one? Why?
  • 122. Is this the optimal way to contact cold lists via email? (Mice-type is below here. On original, you would scroll down to see) About Macromark:Macromark, Inc. is a leading, highly reputable and progressive acquisition, retention and monetization media company. Relying on its experienced sales organization, aggressive marketing efforts and cutting edge IT support, Macromark will acquire new customers for you at the lowest possible cost and will maximize the revenue potential of your most valuable asset, your customer file. The company also provides key e- commerce, print media, insert media and database marketing services. Today, Macromark is recognized as one of the industry's fastest-growing direct marketing companies with over 300 consumer and business-to- business clients, in the US, Canada and Internationally. Please go to this link to see all of this company's Business Announcements -or- go to this link to add this company to your rolodex! Brought to you by MacArthur Services - Business Announcements MacArthur Services, 693 Cherry Avenue, Lake Forest IL, 60045 (847) 457- 3122, info@macarthurservices.com Please mention this announcement when making inquiries! Add a co-worker to receive Business Announcements Update your info O p t o u t : of future Business Announcements
  • 123. This legend is in mice- type below the Gift Card references: • About Macromark:Macromark, Inc. is a leading, highly reputable and progressive acquisition, retention and monetization media company. Relying on its experienced sales organization, aggressive marketing efforts and cutting edge IT support, Macromark will acquire new customers for you at the lowest possible cost and will maximize the revenue potential of your most valuable asset, your customer file. The company also provides key e-commerce, print media, insert media and database marketing services. Today, Macromark is recognized as one of the industry's fastest- growing direct marketing companies with over 300 consumer and business-to-business clients, in the US, Canada and Internationally.
  • 124. Peculiar follow-up. Would you enter information?
  • 125. Standard email offer. Click and…
  • 126. This appears. But within two seconds…
  • 127. This blocks out the image. Your opinion: More response, or less?
  • 128. Part Two: The Great Laws and the overriding Commandment
  • 129. The First Great Law: Reach and influence, at the lowest possible cost, the most people who can and should respond.
  • 130. They need a course in merge- purge. They are my carrier.
  • 131. Mailing to a business prospect
  • 132. Does this ―reach‖? Or turn off?
  • 133. What makes the wording of this ad superior as a commercial message? Disturbing specifics
  • 134. The Second Great Law: In this Age of Skepticism, cleverness for the sake of cleverness may well be a liability, rather than an asset.
  • 135. Playing with a play on words can result in a considerably lower response than a clear offer.
  • 136. When copy is ―straight‖ and photo is ―cute‖ the mismatch damages impact.
  • 137. Clever? Full-page ad in a marketing magazine. What does this advertiser do? Are you inspired?
  • 138. The Third Great Law: E2 = 0
  • 139. The Fourth Great Law: Tell your target- individual what to do.
  • 140. TELL YOUR TARGET- INDIVIDUAL WHAT TO DO.
  • 141. Suggest a graphic, a headline and a first sentence that clarify what this company does
  • 142. Suggest a graphic, a headline and a first sentence that clarify what this company does
  • 143. Suggest a graphic, a headline and a first sentence that might convince a marketer to contact you.
  • 144. Suggest a graphic, a headline and a first sentence that clarify what this company does
  • 145. Full-page ad in a direct response magazine. Question: What does this company do?
  • 146. Finding out isn‘t easy. This appears on a jump- page in their website:
  • 147. If you were the marketing director, what would you have in your ad in a trade magazine?
  • 148. If you were the marketing director, what would have been your key selling argument in this trade ad?
  • 149. REPEAT: You know this, from your personal life and as a professional communicator: Imperative outpulls declarative.
  • 150. Be the voice of authority. (Careful! Don‘t let imperative slide into arrogance.)
  • 151. Opinion on imperious tone?
  • 152. Note key ―grabber‖ words such as RISK and VIOLATION and WE MUST RECEIVE
  • 153. Clever – name and address apparently are on a sticker but actually are surprinted
  • 154. Attention spans are short. BEWARE of The Bore/Snore Effect.
  • 155. Does your illustration motivate, or is it just pretty? BORE/SNORE.
  • 156. Do you deal in specifics or just generalities? BORE/SNORE.
  • 157. Are you a professor, not a dynamic salesperson? BORE/SNORE.
  • 158. Are you hung up in your sense of dignity? BORE/SNORE.
  • 159. Do you ramble on endlessly, slow to get to the point? BORE/SNORE.
  • 160. Do you put them quietly to sleep? BORE/SNORE. (SIPA just merged with Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) (Huh?)
  • 161. Replace BORE/SNORE with the Dale Carnegie/Sally Field Declaration: ―You like me.‖
  • 162. The Clarity Commandment: When you choose words and phrases for force-communication, clarity is paramount. Don‘t let any other component of the communications mix interfere with it.
  • 163. Word sequence and spacing affect clarity. DON‘T EVER violate The Clarity Commandment. An example…
  • 164. The email on the left pulled 84% better. Why? Greater clarity.
  • 165. Attention spans are short, and quick negative reactions are common. Would you want four people looking down at you?
  • 166. Can you see how these – 4 pages apart in the same catalog – violate the Clarity Commandment?
  • 167. What would you have done to add clarity, without eliminating either product?
  • 168. What is the point… and the meaning … of the brackets in the headline ?
  • 169. OK, I‘ll buy. Uhhh… What are you selling?
  • 170. When you promise ―How to…‖ quickly explain ―How to‖..or risk confusion.
  • 171. The answer is ―pretty straight- forward‖? Not if the thrust is ―We‖ instead of ―You.‖
  • 172. You say, ―Let‘s talk simple.‖ Well, OK, but what are we talking about? Clarify, please.
  • 173. Word sequence can have a profound effect on clarity • Half roasted chicken • Roasted half chicken • Roasted chicken half • Roast chicken half • Half a roast chicken • (and hyphens may help clarify: Chicken-half, roasted)
  • 174. Nobody likes the post office… but this is a superior ad. What makes it superior?
  • 175. Cleverness without clarity violates both the Second Great Law and the Clarity Command.
  • 176. (They sell email personalizing … tracking … and spam filter control) • Rewrite for clarity and response.
  • 177. What makes this an effective message ?
  • 178. Clever wording that adds clarity is the height of copy skill.
  • 179. A tip: For clarity, When listing two parallel items, and one has a qualifier, list the one without the qualifier first. Example: helps you diet and quit smoking ... NOT helps you quit smoking and diet
  • 180. An expiration date almost always improves response. Tip:―Midnight Saturday, October 12‖ will outpull ―Saturday, October 12.‖
  • 181. ―Learn‖ and ―Earn‖ are two seemingly harmless words that suggest a ghastly four-letter word: W-O-R-K. Can you suggest alternatives?
  • 182. The five great motivators: •Fear •Exclusivity •Greed •Guilt •Need for approval
  • 183. ―Soft‖ motivators: Convenience and Pleasure
  • 184. Motivator for fund raisers, extremist organization: Anger
  • 185. Note the potent trigger-word.
  • 186. Possible additional motivators as the 21st century evolves: Envy Status (Does status differ from exclusivity?)
  • 187. Hands-on practice: For a product with which you‘re associated, create the headline for a space ad using one of the Five Great Motivators. Then create a second headline using another of those Motivators.
  • 188. The Consistency Command: Components of an advertisement, a mailing, or an email message should reinforce and validate one another, or reader/viewer/listener response to all components will be reduced.
  • 189. The Rule of Negative Subtlety: The effectiveness of a direct response message whose purpose is to sell something decreases in direct ratio to an increase in subtlety.
  • 190. First Sub-rule of Negative Subtlety: A sales argument loses impact in direct ratio to an increase in subtlety.
  • 191. A nasty development in the ―R-rated‖ non-culture of communication: “In your face” advertising
  • 192. Getting attention is not parallel to getting favorable attention.
  • 193. If you‘re a purchasing agent, aren‘t you uncomfortable dealing with this company?
  • 194. Sophomoric?
  • 195. This ad ran in Vanity Fair.
  • 196. This ad ran in Customer Interaction Solutions.
  • 197. What are the pros and cons of this approach to attention- getting?
  • 198. My sentiments exactly.
  • 199. The two-page ad in entirety. Your opinion?
  • 200. Hands-on practice: Suggest a new picture and rewrite the headline to give it strength and clarity.
  • 201. The ―Shock Diminution‖ Rule: Shock diminishes in exact ratio to repetition.
  • 202. The web has reborn a venerable marketing approach: ―per-inquiry‖
  • 203. Absolute rules for p.i. marketing: • Offer is for product, not service • Response goes to medium or list source • Offer must be easy to understand • Fulfillment is from medium or list source • All involved parties share names • Remittance from recipient to offerer is fast and accurate
  • 204. Part Three: Let‘s attack the hot media of the day… Web and mobile
  • 205. Don‘t assume your mobile target has the same mind-set and attention-span as the same individualsitting at his/her computer.
  • 206. Is mobile the medium of the immediate future? BIG benefits: •Highly targeted. •Can reach targets anywhere they are. •Results are measurable. •Can be interactive.
  • 207. If targeting and interactivity are absolute, why doesn‘t the medium achieve dominance?
  • 208. Why use mobile? Because you can… -- Send timely offers right to the user‘s mobile device, provided the mobile user is an opt-in subscriber. -- Create segments by demographic and purchase data. -- Deploy graphic mobile coupons that can be redeemed at a store. -- Use sometimes effective QR codes to link to events and promotions. -- Integrate with databases that are used by email, direct marketing, and other methods.
  • 209. Why question the use of mobile? Because it doesn’t… -- Reach a high percentage of potential responders. -- Get a message out no matter where or when the prospect may be ready to receive. -- Have the flexibility of other media. -- Cover anywhere near the totality of your selling message. -- As yet compete on a cost-per-positive- contact basis with email, direct marketing, and other methods.
  • 210. Mobile is initiating a new supply- industry.
  • 211. Consider and discuss: Are social media competitive in the world of e- commerce? What are the ―yea‖ possibilities? What are the ―nay‖ possibilities?
  • 212. If this surprises you, you aren‘t in the marketplace.
  • 213. If you plan to use Facebook or MySpace or Twitter as a marketing tool… please, please, please: Test. (Best test: as both vendor and as potential consumer.)
  • 214. The email marketplace of 2013/2014 is far more brutal than it was even a few years ago. Why? • Invasion of ―new media‖ • Abuse by so many emailers • Wild competitive growth • Wild competitive claims
  • 215. Two advisories from an ―Expert,‖ in Inc.: 1. ―Unless you are having some sort of outrageous sale that people just can‘t resist, descriptive, transaction oriented subject lines don't usually perform very well. What does perform well? Creative, catchy, eye-catching subject lines. So feel free to be creative, witty, and funny.‖ 2. ―All of your emails should have a primary call to action, which is above the fold and very ob- vious. However, don't have the email end there. Some customers want to scroll to learn more or see other content. So give them what they want. Add a row of ‗best sellers,‘ new products, testimonials, or other useful information.‖ Opinions about these advisories?
  • 216. Each bid costs a dollar. Misleading offers such as this damage the credibility of email as a medium.
  • 217. A few subject lines that may work but are of questionable ethics: •After Friday, forget our deal. •Someone is using your photo here. •Your new LG washer/dryer is here. • Re: Possibility? •Do you really want to cancel? •Sorry, I‘m going to have to cancel •Can‘t win them all. I give up. •Junk mail? Hell, no. [or, Heck, no.] •Thought I was dead? You‘re wrong. •Two more days and the deal is off. •It‘s PayPal, not Western Union.
  • 218. How would you make these subject lines more powerful? •Carlos walked away from 29K in debt •AHS the right choice in home warranties - Free Quote! •Fidelity Life Association's Rapid Decision Term Life •Here are more reasons to SHOP WITH US! •Take home essential style with GQ and Details
  • 219. Weak subject line may prevent recipient from ever seeing the motivational headline:
  • 220. Simple psychology: Offer ―click here‖ options repeatedly. (It parallels the ―trial close‖ of a conventional sales pitch.)
  • 221. Can you offer ―Click here‖ too often? Probably not.
  • 222. Can you sell directly from an email message? Absolutely.
  • 223. Email has become the home of quarter-truths, andnon-truths. Worst offenders: Those who use the word ―FREE‖ as bait.
  • 224. Which of these pulled better? 10% off. Free shipping.
  • 225. What is the difference in pulling power between included and free ?
  • 226. This magazine ―includes‖ extras that had to strain the writer‘s mental resources. We‘ll look closer.
  • 227. How would you have worded some of these ―Benefits‖?
  • 228. Remember the rule, Imperative outpulls declarative? This b-to-b email ignores that rule and invites ―Click. I‘m outta here.‖
  • 229. Now you do it: Write a dynamic subject line and first line of text for that email.
  • 230. Suggest an effective subject line
  • 231. Are newsletters effective use of email? (Many catalog emailers use the newsletter format as ―stay-in-touch‖ communication.)
  • 232. A newsletter is a porous email bandage, considerably less exciting than a one-to-one offer. Why? Because…
  • 233. Building respect for the sender is not parallel to responding to an offer.
  • 234. Newsletter advantages: • Mild customer loyalty • Frequency has logic • Many variations (jokes, surveys) Newsletter disadvantages: • Weak selling weapon • Selling is subordinated • Boredom factor
  • 235. If you decide to use a newsletter to build your list or to be the ―carrier‖ for your sales message, YOU MUST be certain that the first item is exciting for the recipient.
  • 236. Is the first item in your newsletter an advertising message? Uh-oh.
  • 237. Is the first item in your ―Joke of the Day‖ the joke itself and not an advertising message? Uh-oh.
  • 238. A key point: Each format dictates a psychology. different
  • 239. DON‘T send a message that‘s a total download, with no upfront motivators. Why?
  • 240. Because 12 to 18 million people (used to be 30 million) will see this on their screen:
  • 241. Did you know… •Adding the recipient‘s name to the ―Subject‖ line usually increases response. •There is no point in sending ―teaser‖ email.
  • 242. Which is better? This one?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Subj:Boost Sales! Date: 2:43:47 AM Pacific Daylight Time From: loandream@aol.com To: hglewis1@aol.comSent from the Internet (Details) Let's face it. It's the 4th quarter. The holidays are just around the corner. Now is the time to gear up for the busiest and most profitable time of the year! We all need to: * boost sales * increase profits * expand our markets * max our budgets (use it or lose it!) * watch the bottom line The BOTTOM LINE: dollar for dollar, pound for pound, there's nothing more powerful and effective than targeted email advertising (proof of this in an independent study - see link below!)
  • 243. Or this, same day‘s email:________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________ Subj:Please call me Date: 2:44:52 AM Pacific Daylight Time From: loandream@aol.com To: hglewis1@aol.comSent from the Internet (Details) Here's some new info for you. Please call me right away. Regards, Rich Let's face it. It's the 4th quarter. The holidays are just around the corner. Now is the time to gear up for the busiest and most profitable time of the year! We all need to: * boost sales * increase profits * expand our markets * max our budgets (use it or lose it!) * watch the bottom line The BOTTOM LINE: dollar for dollar, pound for pound, there's nothing more
  • 244. An oddity worth testing: Moving ―click here‖ UP in the text usually increases response.
  • 245. In actual tests… text outpulled a produced email when the message was URGENCY. Produced message outpulled text when the message was ARTISTRY.
  • 246. An interesting test: Which of these subject lines pulled best? John, here is the information you have been waiting for. or… Here is the information you have been waiting for, John.
  • 247. No one could have anticipated the difference. One brought 13% more response. Which one? Here is the information you have been waiting for, John.
  • 248. Which of these pulled more response? • You Can Save Up To 70%! • You can save up to 70%!
  • 249. Use Initial Caps… and expect response to drop. OF COURSE YOU KNOW WHY.
  • 250. Initial caps are a dead giveaway not only that this is advertising, but advertising from a distance. Rapport? Forget it.
  • 251. Which of these pulled more response? • I‘m going to save you 70%! • I‘m going to save you 70%.
  • 252. Which of these pulled better? • Information you should have about home improvement schemes • Beware of home improvement schemes. • Home improvement offer? Look out.
  • 253. Repeat: An apparent (and dangerous if it seems arrogant) gauge of response – In a selling situation, IMPERATIVE outpulls DECLARATIVE.
  • 254. For business-to-business email: Always test TEXT against a PRODUCED MESSAGE.
  • 255. Which of these pulled better? •Talk to me. •Do me a favor.
  • 256. Don‘t get diarrhea of the fingertips. D o n ’t g e t d ia r r h e a o f t h e f in g e r t ip s . ================================================== Subject: Alter significantly the denudation of Panglossian Corporate communications. Dear Docent-Colleague, A malefactoring challenge entrepreneurial enterprises face today is multiple-layer communication with a diverse and diffuse geographically dispersed staff. Indefatigable meretriciousness can generate negativism from the most mundane pronouncement. Employing Microsoft’s Digital Media, this retiform Division invites you to gain knowledge and understanding of the professional and nonprofessional benefits of streaming media technologies during complimentary attendance at a webcast: To register, see website for details. This message is singularly intended for the corporate executive to whom it has been addressed. Additional invitations may be available upon request. Include corporate title, areas of authority, and e-mail address.
  • 257. Provocative e-mail:
  • 258. Click and get this:
  • 259. A highly-effective ploy An original (first) communication suggesting a prior inquiry. Do you consider it unethical?
  • 260. A key question: What are you doing… or including… to maximize the capture of online addresses? (Easy hint: Give them a reason.)
  • 261. Forget using email as a ―branding‖ procedure: Building respect for the sender isn‘t parallel to generating response to an offer.
  • 262. A powerful rule of force-communication: Specifics outpull generalizations. Email is today‘s most significant example of this rule.
  • 263. ―Ad‖ copy versus specifics: Which will bring more response?
  • 264. So… Load your both your subject line and your message with rhetorical dynamite… But don‘t assume you can get away with blather.
  • 265. Who can resist this flattering subject line?
  • 266. Which of these would bring greater response? • You’ll be interested in the hundreds of “Specials” on sale this week at greatly reduced prices. or… • The Bushnell 650 telescope you thought would cost $375 is yours right now (HURRY!) for $69. And that’s just the beginning.
  • 267. The only difference is the box at upper left. You don‘t have to be a practicing psychologist to know which one outpulled the other.
  • 268. ALWAYS send yourself a sample message. Otherwise, you could have stupid results such as this:
  • 269. Dear $Firstname$, I was just reviewing our client list when suddenly a vision flashed into my minds eye! I nearly dropped my cup of tea it was so powerful and concentrated. We understand you're going through some difficult times and want very badly to find or keep your true love. We also know that you may be struggling financially and need MONEY desperately. Well, your time may soon come! However, I must warn you that to get what we most want in life we sometimes need to find courage and walk a hazardous path. $Firstname$, at these times we need to walk through fire and take chances! Are you up to the challenge? $Firstname$, Are you ready to take the risks you need to transform your life? We must read your Tarot cards to clarify this intense vision! That's why I'm giving you a FREE Tarot reading! Call now! Begin to take some chances for your dreams! $Firstname$, call toll-free 1-800-526-4317 immediately! In your future, $Firstname$, you may be confronted with a decision that could very well lead to wealth, health and happiness. You may be rich! One caller claims to have won money with her psychics' advice!You could you be next! Love & hope, Miss Cleo
  • 270. Did they pay for this list?
  • 271. Why this marvelous medium is in disrepute:
  • 272. Click on ―unsubscribe and get this:
  • 273. Did you know… • Tying your news to actual news increases email response. • Asking a relevant question is unusually potent in email. • Rules of letter-writing (short paragraphs, spacing) apply. • Matching demographics to message can be super-valuable.
  • 274. Did you know… • If your offer is stated clearly before scrolling down you will increase response. • An ALL CAPS message does not pull as well as standard caps and lower case (avoid initial caps, please). • ―FREE!!! FREE!!! FREE!!!‖ is a transparent pitch. One ―Free‖ has verisimilitude. And please: One punctuation mark is plenty. • If you address your target by first name, be very sociable.
  • 275. Provocative. OK, I‘ll vote. Click:
  • 276. No, I won‘t. (Opinion, please: How should this have been done?)
  • 277. OK for followers, but when the recipient of an email says, ―Huh?‖ the sender has damaged the effectiveness of an otherwise salesworthy proposition.
  • 278. Whenever possible, test an action/deadline subject line against a play on words.
  • 279. Email is the only medium in which the approach ―It‘s important to me so it‘s important to you‖ is a valid marketing ploy… but only if properly used. Why? Because email is the ultimate one-to-one, arm-around-the- shoulder medium. Rapport is the key to response and to fewer opt-outs.
  • 280. So in an email message, ―I‖ is infinitely superior to ―We.‖
  • 281. The reader doesn‘t know who ―I‖ might be … but is automatically less negative
  • 282. Viral marketing tends to work when the message recipient recognizes a ―pass-along‖ benefit.
  • 283. Note this opt-in technique. Email says:
  • 284. The ―click‖ brings up:
  • 285. which in turn brings up:
  • 286. And if you click through and don‘t order:
  • 287. Reason for annoyance: This is the come-on.
  • 288. Enter information, click, and get this:
  • 289. Enter information, click, and get this:
  • 290. Endless string. Enter information, click, and get marketer-serving coupons.
  • 291. Consider psychological techniques for reducing the number of opt-outs.
  • 292. Second generation opt-out:
  • 293. Did you know… Sending a direct mail (―snail mail‖) message to opt-outs will pull considerably better than the same mailing to demographically parallel individuals? (What is the significance of that curious fact?)
  • 294. Survey by ―McPherson Associates‖: – Friday emails are the most opened. – Friday volume is relatively low. – 14.3 percent of emails are sent on Friday versus 24.5 percent on Tuesday. – Sunday has low open rates, highest click-through rate. -- (Survey may or may not be valid for you.)
  • 295. If you follow up email with telemarketing, call within two days after sending the email. (Best bet: Be ready to re-send, on the spot.)
  • 296. Consider and discuss: Are social media competitive in the world of e- commerce? What are the ―yea‖ possibilities? What are the ―nay‖ possibilities?
  • 297. Discuss: What do emails such as this suggest for the future? (Click, and…)
  • 298. Why some marketers see little value in Facebook
  • 299. How rampant is fakery in compiling social media friends and followers?
  • 300. What is right and what is wrong with this business- to- business email offer?
  • 301. Results and conclusions of this type of survey are semi-valid.
  • 302. Recent study of message longevity: Twitter: 2.8 hours Facebook: 3.2 hours YouTube: 7.4 hours ―In short, after three hours, links shared on the two major social networks — Twitter and Facebook — are headed to obscurity. YouTube links last a bit longer.‖.
  • 303. (Online column)Is any of this unique to Twitter, over email?
  • 304. Can you believe this? Points seriously made in a bylined article in a marketing publication: ―To make Twitter work as part of your marketing plan, consider these five tips: ∙Identify your program goals before you start. ∙Figure out an inbound strategy. ∙Identify the tools you‘ll need. ∙Commit resources. ∙Plan to integrate.‖
  • 305. Five more… Useful ? or useless ?
  • 306. If you plan to use Facebook or MySpace or Twitter as a marketing tool… please, please, please: Test. (Best test: as both vendor and as potential consumer.)
  • 307. From a recent issue of Website
  • 308. What effect does each additional social medium have on us as direct marketers?
  • 309. These are just the top contenders. More social media appear every month. What does that indicate for the future?
  • 310. A new competitor every day:
  • 311. A new competitor every day:
  • 312. What do growing dominance and increasing competition for attention indicate to the alert marketer?
  • 313. Comment by senior writer, Daily Finance
  • 314. How social media become standard media
  • 315. Example of Expanded Tweet: User can ―open‖ a tweet. Question: Will this keep visitors from clicking through to the original?
  • 316. Social media use personal to sell.
  • 317. On which targets does Twitter have a selling impact ?
  • 318. Everybody has a gimmick
  • 319. No surprise … it‘s the usual ―Complete sponsor offers‖
  • 320. According to BtoB Magazine: ―64 percent of marketers are allocating some portion of their social media budget to paid advertising on social sites this year.‖ (What else would be in a ―social media budget‖?)
  • 321. ―Social‖ are new media. The rules are still forming. Always analyze your results, and you‘ll generate a constant flow of rules you can use… profitably.
  • 322. Part Four: Basic rules for Website marketing
  • 323. Two factors override all others: 1.The Clarity Commandment. 2. Stop the surfer-visitor in his/her tracks.
  • 324. The First Rule of Internet Copy Copy length usually is not a factor. Substantial copy length, within a single copy block, is a negative factor. (This suggests – ―Want that? Do this.‖ NOT… ―Do you want that? Then do this.‖)
  • 325. The Second Rule of Internet Copy With every headline, every sentence, ask yourself: If I were reading this instead of writing it, would my interest-level stay high?
  • 326. The Third Rule of Internet Copy Don‘t be afraid to sell.
  • 327. The Fourth Rule of Internet Copy Subject to the First Rule, copy length can expand in ratio to the amount of promise it makes.
  • 328. The Fifth Rule of Internet Copy •Announcements cannot compete with salesmanship. •Technical expertise cannot compete with salesmanship. •Gadgetry cannot compete with salesmanship.
  • 329. Strong ways to assure yourself of RE-visits: • Frequent changes of your offer • Bonuses for repeat visits and/or repeat orders • Sprightly text • Contests
  • 330. Would you say this home page is too busy? I would.
  • 331. Clean layout. Want a deal on fleas?
  • 332. Would you say this home page is too busy? I wouldn‘t.
  • 333. The personal touch … too often missing from Websites. But…
  • 334. WARNING: Your first-time visitor has the attention- span of a gnat.
  • 335. You can capitalize on this truism: The Web is price- driven.
  • 336. Why should a marketer offer FREE SHIPPING for orders resulting from email solicitation… but not for the same item ordered from the printed catalog?
  • 337. You know the answer: ALL commercial email is competitive with all other commercial email.
  • 338. In 2013, many printed catalogs either add free shipping or face a drastic reduction of volume.
  • 339. Is this email or a Web page? (The question is the point: It could be either.)
  • 340. ―Bots‖ expose comparative prices:
  • 341. Let‘s take a closer look to see comparisons: Costco‘s price is just $39.99. But…
  • 342. Note the shipping charge. (Others are $6.99)
  • 343. GOOD IDEAS: • Change your offer often. Daily isn‘t too often. (Why?) • Don‘t use the company logo as the key to the home page. (Why?) • Immediately offer a terrific deal. (Why immediately?) • No direct exit from a ―deep‖ screen. (Why?)
  • 344. POOR IDEAS: • Having someone lured by email land on the home page instead of the offer that attracted him or her.(Why?) • As an opener: ―A message from our Chairman.‖(Why?) • Philosophy rather than a hard offer.(Why?) • ―Employee of the Month.‖ (Why – but how about ―Customer of the Month‖?)
  • 345. The need for external media promotion for your site increases in ratio to four factors: 1. Direct competition 2. The total number of Web sites 3. The volume of site advertising in media 4. Your valid claims of uniqueness
  • 346. Part Five: Let‘s use some of the rules of force- communication to write sales letters.
  • 347. The purpose of the carrier envelope (other than keeping its contents from spilling out onto the street): TO GET ITSELF OPENED.
  • 348. Saying too much on the envelope can damage response.
  • 349. Which copy is most likely to get the envelope opened? Enclosed: Quick test. or… Enclosed: Quick quiz. or… Enclosed: Quick ballot.
  • 350. Which copy is most likely to get the envelope opened? Enclosed: Quick ballot. or… Enclosed: Your quick ballot. or… Your ballot is enclosed.
  • 351. The extra ―bump‖ boosts the probability of opening. (Two things wrong here … what are they?)
  • 352. Is this effective envelope copy?
  • 353. Is this effective envelope copy?
  • 354. Is this effective envelope copy?
  • 355. Opinion – effective? ineffective? Unsettling?
  • 356. Even without knowing contents, we know this envelope copy isn‘t strong. What‘s wrong with it?
  • 357. Inside: typical blah-blah slow- moving, self- important 6-page letter (no ―Report‖ as such)
  • 358. Even this (buried in the six- page letter) would have been grist for envelope copy:
  • 359. Is this optimal envelope copy?
  • 360. There goes verisimilitude:
  • 361. Would envelope copy have helped or suppressed response?
  • 362. Here is the next mailing. Better chance of getting it opened?
  • 363. Wow! An offer I can‘t refuse.
  • 364. If your offer requires explanation, DO NOT spill your guts on the envelope.
  • 365. Your opinion of this envelope copy? (Another problem for AAL)
  • 366. What might you change to make this envelope more likely to be opened?
  • 367. Will the reverse side make opening more likely or less likely?
  • 368. How would you have started the letter inside that envelope ?
  • 369. Is this effective envelope copy?
  • 370. Which one pulled better?
  • 371. Which one pulled better?
  • 372. Does a dual-language envelope help or suppress response?
  • 373. Is there a benefit to this type of envelope? If so, what is it?
  • 374. Can‘t miss.
  • 375. Oops. Reverse side damages response.
  • 376. Hands-on practice: Consider this typical circumstance: You're a premium cable channel. You plan to show 50 movies between now and Thanksgiving Day. You're sending a promotional mailing to cable subscribers, pointing out — 1. Next Saturday your channel is free (so cable subscribers get a "sampler"). 2. If they sign up now, cable subscribers pay no connection fee. What legend, if any, do you put on the envelope?
  • 377. Which letter pulled better?
  • 378. Some logical rules for effective letter-writing (and much email):
  • 379. Keep your first sentence short.
  • 380. No paragraphs longer than seven lines.Some can be one word.
  • 381. Single space the letter. Double space between paragraphs.
  • 382. In a letter longer than one page, don‘t end a paragraph at the bottom of any page except the last. (Why?)
  • 383. Don‘t sneak up on the reader. Fire your biggest gun first. (Imperative for email.)
  • 384. Tired of ―Dear Friend‖? Try one of these: • Good morning! • Hi. • Dear Colleague, • Dear Tennis Nut, • Dear Fellow Tennis Nut, • This will be a good day, [NAME]! • If you‘re like I am, [NAME]… (When should you use only the first name?)
  • 385. Tired of ―Dear Friend‖? Try one of these: • Private memo to [NAME] • I‘m writing in haste, [NAME], because… • [NAME], did you ever imagine… • News bulletin for [NAME]: • [NAME], a small favor, please? (When should you use only the first name?)
  • 386. How does Hi. Differ from Hi! ?
  • 387. What is wrong with this first sentence? Over one trillion dollars is spent by manufacturing companies each year on materials, equipment, and services.
  • 388. Which of these letter openings pulled best?
  • 389. What is wrong with this letter?
  • 390. (Opinion) ―Johnson Boxes‖ are obsolete. The 21st century replacement: The overline.
  • 391. A 21st century addition: the overline.
  • 392. A handwritten overline tends to outpull a typeset overline.
  • 393. The first responsibility of the overline: To grab and shake the reader's attention. The second responsibility of the overline: To make the reader eager to continue reading.
  • 394. You can see how this overline supplies both responsibilities:
  • 395. Readership tests tell us: The overline, when present, is the MOST READ part of the letter. (What is the next MOST READ part of the letter? the postscript.)
  • 396. The p.s. should reinforce one of the key selling motivators or mention an extra benefit --- one which doesn't require explanation.
  • 397. If you enclose two letters in your mailing, don't put a p.s. on both of them.
  • 398. Which p.s. pulled better? P.S. I think you‘ll agree that this is an exceptional opportunity, and I urge you to respond quickly if you intend to take advantage of it. I know you don‘t want to miss out. or… P.S. This exceptional opportunity expires at midnight Sunday, October 13. So call my toll-free number – 1-888-765-2437. I know you don‘t want to miss out.
  • 399. An absolute truism of force-communication: Specifics outpull generalizations.
  • 400. A logical test: The same letter, with and without marginal notes
  • 401. If you include marginal notes… • Handwrite the marginal notes. • Match calligraphy of the handwritten signature (and overline). • Blue, if possible. • No more than five words. • One per page is plenty. Maximum two.
  • 402. Decide whether marginal note should be at left or at right.
  • 403. The Emotion over Intellect Rule (Remember it, from yesterday?) can help you write effective sales letters.
  • 404. Repeating the ―Emotion over Intellect‖ Rule: When emotion and intellect come into conflict, emotion always wins. (So an emotion-based sales argument will outsell an intellect-based sales argument.)
  • 405. An emotional appeal will outpull an intellectual appeal. Since exhortation is more emotional than either explanation or validation, the letter is a more powerful selling weapon than the brochure.
  • 406. How would you make these sentences more emotional? • I need your aid. • My story is at an end. • Can you donate $25? • We regret the error concerning your account. • A reply from you would be appreciated. • If you are dissatisfied, simply return it. • Enclosed please find the pertinent information.
  • 407. What is the difference between… • $100 • $100. • $100.00 • $100! • $100.00! • One hundred dollars • A hundred bucks
  • 408. For offers with a highly ―emotional‖ flavor, if you include a response device which emphasizes responding by mail you may actually damage response.
  • 409. Part Six: A potpourri of useful tips
  • 410. The Consistency Command: Components of an advertisement. a mailing, or an email message must reinforce and validate one another, or reader/viewer/listener response to all components will be reduced.
  • 411. The mailing sells variable data printing. But the mailer doesn‘t use it.
  • 412. The superiority of examples over statistics: Statistics = cold-blooded, no involvement. Examples = warm- blooded, involvement.
  • 413. First pass: If treated early, 75% of those children who have this deadly disease can be saved. Second pass: Innocent children die from this disease. With early treatment, three out of four will live. Third pass: This deadly disease is killing innocent children. With early treatment we can save three precious lives, of four we're now losing.
  • 414. Fourth pass: We lost Jimmy today. His parents knew his precious days were numbered. But Mary, Karen, and Billy all will live. We were able to start their treatment early enough to save them. Which text is most likely to generate response? Why?
  • 415. Plural references say to the reader: ―You're one of the mob.‖ Singular references say to the reader: ―Only you.‖ Which one will do a better selling job?
  • 416. Use singular to suggest exclusivity: ―You‘ll save on anything you see in these pages.‖ Use a collective noun to suggest universality: ―You‘ll save on everything you see in these pages.‖
  • 417. The Celebrity Endorsement Rule: In business-to-business copy, user endorsements are usually stronger than celebrity endorsements. In consumer copy, endorsement by a celebrity unrelated to the type of product or service you sell probably is a waste of money.
  • 418. Benefit beyond celebrity cost?
  • 419. No point here other than… I detest this creature.
  • 420. If you have an IQ under 70, you can get a creative job at Geico or its advertising agency.
  • 421. Trigger-words for seniors: Discount Buy direct Young Have a problem with... Do you remember how [WHATEVER] used to be? Have you considered?
  • 422. For print, mail, or email to seniors: 1. No type smaller than 10-point. 2. Response must be easy. 3. Include a coupon with ample room to make entries, or an easy ―Click here.‖ 4. Suggest a discount or bargain. 5. Appear to appeal to logic. 6. Don't make a long story short.
  • 423. Hands-on practice: Write a headline and first sentence for a space ad selling ―Joint Support Formula,‖ 100 capsules for $4.99, to the general public. Then… Write a headline and first sentence selling the same items in a magazine circulated to seniors.
  • 424. A one-minute look at self-mailers: (Do they work?)
  • 425. A must: ―What you‘ll lose if you ignore this.‖ Advantages: • Possible lower postal rate • Lower printing cost • In sync with thin attention- spans Disadvantages: • Recipient immediately knows it‘s advertising • Comparatively impersonal
  • 426. Front panel of self-mailer. Can you see the automatic advantage over other media?
  • 427. Positives usually outpull negatives. So don‘t start your selling argument with ―Don‘t.‖
  • 428. The ―Teaser-Waster‖ Rule: Teaser mailings and space ads, which don't tell the reader what the mailer has for sale, are less productive than mailings which include facts on which the target-individual can formulate a buying decision.
  • 429. The Non-Importance Rule: Calling something important, when your best prospects will know it isn‘t important, will cost you response … because you have a more powerful way to convince.
  • 430. What would you have done to imply urgency here?
  • 431. Want to guess what the GREAT NEWS is?
  • 432. A ―Yes/No‖ option will increase response. BUT… Smart marketers know how to word the ―No‖ option.
  • 433. The Illustration Agreement Rule: Illustration should agree with what we are selling, not with headline copy.
  • 434. Hucksterism: totally out of date.
  • 435. Getting attention isn‘t parallel to getting positive attention resulting in positive prospect- action.
  • 436. Suggest an illustration that better sells the concept. (And can you make the copy more dynamic?)
  • 437. WARNING: If you think in cliché-terms you absolutely and positively will excrete second-level ―creative‖ work.
  • 438. Hopeless cliché: The smart copy team blames the art director.
  • 439. Hopeless cliché: The smart copy team blames the art director.
  • 440. Hopeless cliché: The smart copy team blames the art director.
  • 441. Hopeless cliché: The smart copy team blames the art director.
  • 442. Hopeless cliché: The smart copy team blames the art director.
  • 443. Hopeless cliché: The smart copy team blames the art director.
  • 444. Space ad aimed at nonprofits … Rewrite heading to add dynamics and specifics.
  • 445. All right, quic k: What are they selling?
  • 446. All right, quic k: What are they selling?
  • 447. All right, quic k: What‘s this all about?
  • 448. Quick: What are they selling?
  • 449. Why is this one different ?
  • 450. The Active/Passive Rule: Unless you specifically want to avoid reader involvement in your message, always write in the active voice.
  • 451. Use telemarketing to customers twice a year. Which customers? -- The tip of the pyramid. -- (If staffing permits) 12-month dropoffs.
  • 452. Call only ____the tip____ of the pyramid.
  • 453. Public perception
  • 454. The ―Avoid Five‖ Rule: In more formal copy, avoid using multiples of five when suggesting time or cost of distance – Replace ―about five minutes.‖ ―Oh, figure spending ten bucks.‖ with ―some 4-1/2 minutes.‖ ―Anticipate a cost of about eleven dollars.‖
  • 455. The reader interprets the five/ten estimates as guesses, because they are the common approximation. But…
  • 456. Those approximations can be valuable when projecting a casual mood. You‘re the professional. You decide. (Make your decision deliberately, based on what mood you‘re projecting and to whom.)
  • 457. Don‘t over-describe: What is the difference between: • New medical breakthrough • Medical breakthrough
  • 458. Choice of words: • From $30,250 • Starting at $30,250
  • 459. Choice of words: • You will be among the first to… • You will be one of the first to…
  • 460. Why is among a weakener? Psychologically, it automatically kills exclusivity.
  • 461. Do you see how the word ―among‖ deniesexclusivity?
  • 462. The wording on a TV spot for a product called ―FiberChoice‖: Four grams of fiber in each dose. Which word would you have changed? And what word would you have used to replace it?
  • 463. YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―You pay much less.‖ ―Others pay much more.‖
  • 464. Suggest an illustration that better sells the concept. (And can you make the copy more dynamic?)
  • 465. Stock photo results in cliché concept: Ugh.
  • 466. ―Content‖ parallels bird-droppings?
  • 467. Another stock photo. Your choice – Tourette Syndrome or St. Vitus‘ Dance. Ugh.
  • 468. Aside from font problems, Genève needs a towel to dry off its stock photo cliché.
  • 469. Another stock photo. Your choice – Praying? Hoping for rain? Looking for clarity in the ad? Ugh.
  • 470. Would you hire the ―creative‖ team that excreted this?
  • 471. Clichés are gender-neutral.
  • 472. Clichés are ―high-fly‖ neutral.
  • 473. Clichés are ethnically-neutral.
  • 474. Age is not a factor when firing blanks by using non- relevant stock photos.
  • 475. Age is not a factor when firing blanks by using non- relevant stock photos.
  • 476. See why stock photos are a sign of creative defects… or worse, carelessness? Ugh.
  • 477. Does this make sense to you?
  • 478. Does this make sense to you?
  • 479. A dozen implicitly weak words and phrases: • administration • approximately • define • earn • facilitate • features • formulate • indeed • needs (as noun) • product • respond • work
  • 480. A dozen words and phrases with power • free • free gift • limited time • right now • surprise • hot • first time offered • not sold in stores • good only until [DATE] • Don‘t miss out • I‘ll look for your order • Try it at our risk
  • 481. Some ―Quickies‖
  • 482. Sometimes cracks the apathy barrier:
  • 483. Address side stays in character:
  • 484. Letter stays in character, except:
  • 485. The copywriter‘s most professional tool … Are you maximizing it? (Are you aware of it? If you are, are you aware of how easy it is?) Word expansion
  • 486. A few examples of word expansion: The original copy – Save 10% weekdays.
  • 487. Expanding the original copy – Save 10% Monday- Friday.
  • 488. A little more expansion – Save 10% Monday through Friday.
  • 489. And a bit more expansion – Save 10% every day Monday through Friday.
  • 490. Keep expanding until you‘ve maximized. Brain–power doesn‘t cost anything. Save 10% every single day Monday through Friday.
  • 491. We haven‘t yet achieved nirvana. The meistersinger word expander looks beyond the obvious: Save a big 10% Monday. Save a big 10% Tuesday. Save a big 10% Wednesday. Save a big 10% Thursday. Save a big 10% Friday. COME IN AND SAVE!
  • 492. NOTE: Does ―10%‖ justify the word ―big‖? A peripheral benefit of word expansion: Repetition makes the claim contagious.
  • 493. While we‘re on this point – ―Save 10%‖ is more dynamic than ―10% off.‖ • It‘s a clear imperative. • It‘s emotion-based rather than comprehension-based.
  • 494. Another easy example of word expansion: Original – “Available in gray, suntan, blue, an d charcoal.”
  • 495. Expanded, copy adds a minuscule injection of power – “Available in these most wanted colors – gray, suntan, blue, an d charcoal.”
  • 496. With more word expansion, we add another mini- injection of power – “Available in every one of these most wanted colors – gray, suntan, blue, and charcoal.”
  • 497. What is the word in all those examples that saps out power? Available
  • 498. So: Search and destroy that power-shrinking word: Available
  • 499. How would you re-word this?
  • 500. One more apparently trivial example of word expansion: Original – “Word expansion is the easiest and the most logical way to add word- power.”
  • 501. Adding one word expands impact just a fraction… and fractions are what the professional looks for and exploits – “Word expansion is both the easiest and the most logical way to add word- power.”
  • 502. Careful, though: Don‘t over- expand. Which of these headings pulled better?
  • 503. Vote. The actual test results…
  • 504. Use of subhead pulled considerably better:
  • 505. Why did the one on the left pull more than 20% better?
  • 506. Opinion:1. Question is involving. 2. ―15 minutes‖ is too long, a turnoff.
  • 507. The longer subject line pulled considerably more response. (All other elements were identical.) What elements are significant here, other than actual word-length?
  • 508. These were identical except for small legend at bottom right – ―Tuition & Openings‖ versus ―Schedule a Tour.‖
  • 509. What is of interest to a prospect-parent? Probably because of the subject, ―Tuition and Openings‖ far outpulled ―Schedule a Tour.‖
  • 510. A ―clean‖ test – which one brought more response? Start your free 30-day trial or Start my free 30-day trial ?
  • 511. No contest: “My…” blew “Your…” away.
  • 512. The hidden key to rapport is the ability to transmit a vital element of force- communication: AWARENESS
  • 513. Benefit in force-communication: not, "What will it do?" but, "What will it do for me?"
  • 514. TELL YOUR TARGET- INDIVIDUAL WHAT TO DO.
  • 515. The benefit of QUESTIONS
  • 516. Quick and obvious tip: Questions are automatically reader-involving. And… a question automatically is less threatening and more rapport-suggestive than a thunderbolt hurled from Mount Olympus.
  • 517. Note the difference: This is you. Is this you? (Note, too: The choice is NOT automatic.)
  • 518. Note the difference: You won’t stand by and let it happen. Will you stand by and let it happen? (Note, too: The choice is NOT automatic.)
  • 519. ?????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? Questions ?????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? ?????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????

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