When you see this color screen, it’s for a Quick hands-on.Please participate.What happens here stays here.
Sorry, you won’t hear them during this diatribe: • Paradigm • At the end of the • Proactive day • Win-win • Core competency • Game plan • Think outside the • 24/7 box • Fast track • Knowledge-based • Customer-centric • On the same page
Specifics outpull generalizations.(Remember that if you’re asked to write a sample piece of copy.)
Take a look at thetwo most famousadvertisements of all time … both are direct response:
Written in1926…still muchimitated today:•They grinnedwhen the waiterspoke to me inFrench•They laughedwhen I told themhow I beat stress•They laughedwhen I said I’dlose weightHundreds ofothers
Could youmatch this famous adthat ran for 45 years? Let’s look at the power of one minor word:
If These Mistakes had been This Mistakethe power would have been a fraction of what it was. Why?
Why would anyone bother readingbeyond thenonspecificheadlines? (Whatmight you have written?)
Why is this email less effective than it might be?
What is a more emotional word or phrase than:• commence • purchase• utilize • fortunate• omit • requested• receive • I write• we would like to concerning• large • we shall• you incur no • error risk • perhaps• circular • however• donate • humorous
What is the difference between:• autumn and fall • right now and at• at last and once finally • reply and respond• sexy and sensual • insincere and not• nude and naked sincere• made and • eager and anxious manufactured • audience and• manufactured by viewers and built by • died and passed away
Note the difference inthrust, 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.‖
What is the difference between lifetime guarantee andguaranteed for twenty years ?
What is the difference betweenguaranteed for twenty years andguaranteed for 20 years ?
Spelling out a word adds dignity, formality, and importance. It also may add distance between writerand 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
Match words to thespecific demographic you’re wooing: inexpensive cheap
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Incorrect Wrong
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The senator declined to comment.‖ ―The senator declined to answer.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The senator declined to answer.‖ ―The senator refused to answer.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The thing is…‖ ―Get this.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―For the experienced tourist.‖ ―For the sophisticated traveler.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We killed the competition.‖ ―We destroyed the competition.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We killed the competition.‖ ―We murdered the competition.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―It doesn’t work.‖ ―It just ain’t working.‖
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.‖
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‖?
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―If you order now, you’ll get…‖ ―Order now and you’ll get…‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―You pay much less.‖―Others pay much more.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Trousers Pants
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Tighten your tummy. Get rid of that gut.
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We’ll even pay the shipping costs.‖ ―We’ll pay the shipping costs.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We’ll pay the shipping costs.‖ ―Free shipping.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―They’ll keep your feet toasty warm.‖ ―They’ll keep your toes toasty warm.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―He kissed her on the lips.‖ ―He kissed her on the mouth.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―Attention, seniors: Weare conducting a clinical trial for…‖ ―Attention, seniors: A research organization isconducting a clinical trial for…‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―We lost the game.‖ ―We blew the game.‖
Quick hands-on:Suggest a more dynamic replacement for: ―A reply from you would be appreciated.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―A reply from you would be appreciated.‖ ―We really do want your reaction.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―The workshop will bepresented in your area.‖―The workshop is in your own town.‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―In the event of your death...‖ ―If you should die....‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words:―Just $24.95 per month.‖ ―Just $24.95 a month.‖
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...‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―Is there a problem with...?‖ ―Do you have a problem with...?‖
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: $250,000 A quarter of a million dollars
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: Illegal immigrant Undocumented alien
YOUR hand is on the trigger. Don’t fire blanks.
An easy and obvious litmus test forboth envelope copy and e-mail subject line: Does it grab and is it relevant?
Aimed at not-for- profit groups. Whatwould youhave, as a clearermessage?
Punctuation makes a huge difference:• Money to invest• or…• Money to invest?
Quick hands-on: Suggest a moresalesworthy replacement for: ―You can completeyour Application Form in less than one minute.‖
Did you replace the word ―Application‖ to read… ―You can completeyour Acceptance Form in less than one minute‖?Now, make it a tad more convivial by replacing one other word.
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―You can complete your Acceptance Formin less than one minute.‖ ―You can complete your Acceptance Form in less than a minute.‖
BUT NEVER DRAW A COSMIC CONCLUSION. In many situationsyou may prefer ―one‖ to ―a‖ because ―one‖ is definite and ―a‖ is indefinite.
Superiority of the definite over the indefinite:•―The gem in each earringis a full carat.‖• ―The gem in eachearring is one full carat.‖
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 anintellect-based sales argument.
The three bases of success in direct response writing 1.Verisimilitude 2.Clarity 3.Benefit
Quick hands-on: How would you addverisimilitude to this email?
The Law of Tenses: Present tense outsellsfuture tense because thepresent is now, and your prospect wants benefits now.
Present tense is more relevant than either future tense or pasttense. Use past tense to establish a historicalbase. Use present tense to establish position.
"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 thatwhatever follows will be a revision of history.
Tying future to present tells the reader: "This will be for all eternity." Compare the meanings of these two approaches: This is the seventh notificationweve sent you. Its the last one. or... This is the seventh notificationweve sent you. It will be the last one.
Emotion outsells Intellect...Benefits are more emotional than features...So benefits outsell features.
When is superior to If for suggestingsomething will happen. If is superior to When for suggesting something will not happen.
The Generic Determination Rule: The generic determines reaction more than the numbers.More LessHalf a quart One pintHalf a kilo 500 gramsOne hour 60 minutesOne day 24 hoursOne month 30 daysOne mile 5,280 feetHalf a pound 8 ounces
Hands-on practice: Rewrite this statement for greater power:We’ll ship your order the next day, and it’sguaranteed for 30 days.
The Chronology Rule:When chronology is within theexperiential background of the message recipient, number ofyears is a more powerful selling weapon than dates. So in the year 2011:"A history of success since 2001" is weaker than..."A solid 10-year history of success." Why?
Information optimizing:Directing or changing the reader’s or viewer’s or listener’s perception without changing the facts.
Information optimizing… When should you use asterisks (*) in selling copy?
Information optimizing… When should you use asterisks (*) in selling copy? Never.
―The Asterisk Exception‖: A reader automatically anticipates a negativeresult from an asterisk in either heading or text. If you are announcing a positive, DO NOT use an asterisk.
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 … yours for y-amount.
Hands-on practice: Write a comparativeclaim other than “We’rebetter than they are” for the organization you represent.
Information optimizing… Parity Advertising:The statement seems to imply superiority but actually onlyclaims parity... "No bank payshigher interest"; Nobody sells for less"; "Well meet any discount price."
Hands-on practice: Write a ―Parity‖statement for the organization you represent.
Information optimizing… Opening a question with apositive 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?‖
Information optimizing… The ―Restoration/Preservation‖ Rule:When promoting personal improvement products, restoration outpulls preservation.
The three components of successful force- communication:1. Basic psychology2. Vocabulary suppression3. Salesmanship equivalent to that of a vacuum cleaner salesman in a department store
Two ads, same advertiser.Which has both clarity and impact?
One of these pulled more than twice the response of the other. Which one? Why?
Does theheadinggenerate anynegativereaction ?
Can’t youthink of a better heading for this ad? (What’s wrong with the existing one?)
You say,―Let’s talk simple.‖ Well, OK, but what are we talking about? Clarify, please.
Word sequence can have aprofound 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)
Nobody likes the post office…but this isa superior ad. What makes itsuperior?
Cleverness without clarity violates both the SecondGreat Law and the ClarityCommand.
(They sell email personalizing … tracking … and spam filter control)• Rewrite for clarity andresponse.
Cleverwording that addsclarity is the heightof copy skill.
A tip: For clarity, When listing two parallelitems, 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
An expiration date almost always improves response.Tip:―Midnight Saturday, October 13‖ will outpull―Saturday, October 13.‖
―Learn‖ and ―Earn‖ aretwo seemingly harmless words that suggest aghastly four-letter word: W-O-R-K. Can you suggest alternatives?
The five great motivators: •Fear •Exclusivity •Greed •Guilt •Need for approval
Possibleadditional motivators as the 21st century evolves: Envy Status (Does status differ from exclusivity?)
Hands-on practice:For a product with whichyou’re associated, create the headline for a space ad using one of the Five Great Motivators. Then create a secondheadline using another of those Motivators.
The Consistency Command: Components of anadvertisement, a mailing, or an email message should reinforce and validate one another, or reader/viewer/listenerresponse to all components will be reduced.
The Rule of Negative Subtlety: The effectiveness of adirect response messagewhose purpose is to sell somethingdecreases in direct ratio to an increase in subtlety.
First Sub-rule of Negative Subtlety:A sales argument losesimpact in direct ratio to an increase in subtlety.
A nasty development in the ―R-rated‖ non-culture of communication: “In your face” advertising
Gettingattention isnot parallel to getting favorable attention.
If you’re a purchasing agent, aren’t you uncomfortable dealing with this company?
Hands-on practice: Suggest anew picture andRewrite theheadline to give it strengthand clarity.
The―Shock Diminution‖ Rule: Shock diminishes in exact ratio to repetition.
The web has reborn a venerablemarketing approach: ―per-inquiry‖
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
Part Three:Let’s attack the hotmedia of the day… Web and mobile
Don’t assume your mobile target has the same mind-setand attention-span as the sameindividualsitting at his/her computer.
Is mobile the medium of theimmediate future? BIG benefits:•Highly targeted.•Can reach targets anywherethey are.•Results are measurable.•Can be interactive.
If targeting andinteractivity are absolute, why doesn’t the medium achieve dominance?
Why use mobile? Because youcan…-- Send timely offers right to the user’smobile device, provided the mobile useris an opt-in subscriber.-- Create segments by demographic andpurchase data.-- Deploy graphic mobile coupons thatcan be redeemed at a store.-- Use QR codes to link to events andpromotions.-- Integrate with databases that are usedby email, direct marketing, and othermethods.
Why question the use of mobile?Because it doesn’t…-- Reach a high percentage of potentialresponders. -- Get a message out no matter where orwhen the prospect may be ready to receive.-- Have the flexibility of other media.-- Cover anywhere near the totality of yourselling message.-- Yet compete on a cost-per-positive-contact basis with email, direct marketing,and other methods.
If this surprises you, youaren’t in the marketplace.
Last year’s (2011) totalincome to the company, per user: Google -- $30.00 Yahoo -- $7.00 AOL -- $10.00 Facebook -- $4.39
If you plan to useFacebook or MySpace or Twitter as a marketing tool… please, please, please: Test.(Best test: as both vendor and as potential consumer.)
The email marketplace of 2011/2012 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
Each bid costs a dollar. Misleading offers such as this damage the credibility of email as a medium.
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.
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 Associations RapidDecision Term Life•Here are more reasons to SHOP WITHUS!•Take home essential style with GQ andDetails
Simple psychology: Offer ―click here‖ options repeatedly. (It parallels the ―trial close‖ of a conventional sales pitch.)
Can you offer ―Click here‖ too often? Probably not.
Can you sell directly from an email message? Absolutely.
Email has become the home of quarter-truths, andnon-truths. Worst offenders: Those who use the word ―FREE‖ as bait.
Which of these pulled better?•10% off. –Free shipping. –(NOTE: The word free can trigger a spam filter. So…)
Free shipping is an absolute.In today’s brutal and cynical marketplace, the most abused, most suspicion- causing and filter-causing word … and the mostannoying lie in email … is… FREE. So…
How might you make the ―Free shipping‖ pointwithout waking a spam filter?•Shipping is on us. Our pleasure.•Never a shipping charge.•We never charge for shipping.•No shipping charge. (Negatives often bypass the filters. But will any of these pull as well as ―Free‖?)
What is the difference between included and free ?
Thismagazine―includes‖ extras that had to strain the writer’s mentalresources.We’ll look closer.
How would you have worded some of these ―Benefits‖?
Careful with these symbols.Spam filters might gobble up your message if you use these in the subject line: $ … % … ® …™ €… & … +… !
Look up ―Spam Filter‖ on Google… and you get about 16,000,000 entries.On Bing, you get more than 33,000,000 entries.
But (opinion) spam filtersaren’t as big a deal as they were two years ago. Suggestion: Don’t run scared.
Spam filters are a mixed blessing: They help eliminate unwanted messages and phony deals. BUT… They also can eliminate wanted messages and legitimate deals. SO…If you’re fanatically anti-spam, ignore the next few suggestions.
Spam filters are message-gobblers. Want to defeat them? Don’t useapparently harmless words such as… • free/complimentary • Viagra • loan • compare • cash • approved/approval • save/saving • buy/own • increase/size • sale/discount • mortgage/loan • prize • win • fun • limited time • discount
Want to defeat spam filters?•Don’t use exclamation points inthe subject line.•Project the concept: ―You askedfor this.‖•Don’t make an early referenceto a guarantee or ―You have beenchosen‖ or ―Notice‖ or urgency.
Blah. No impact,very little clarity. This emailer needs a creative director.
Now you do it: Write a dynamicsubject line and first line of text for that email.
Are newsletters effective use of email?(Many catalog emailers use the newsletter format as ―stay-in-touch‖ communication.)
A newsletter is a porous email bandage, considerablyless exciting thana one-to-one offer. Why? Because…
Building respect for the sender is not parallel to responding to an offer.
Newsletter Newsletteradvantages: disadvantages:• Mild customer • Weak selling loyalty weapon• Frequency has • Selling is logic subordinated• Many variations • Boredom factor (jokes, surveys)
If you decide to use a newsletter to build yourlist or to be the ―carrier‖ for your sales message, YOU MUST be certain that the first item is exciting for the recipient.
Is the first item in your newsletteran advertising message? Uh-oh.
Is the first item in your ―Joke of the Day‖ the joke itself and notan advertising message? Uh-oh.
A key point:Each format dictates a different psychology.
DON’T send a message that’s a totaldownload, with no upfront motivators. Why?
Because12 to 18 million people (used to be 30 million) will see thison their screen:
Why else mightyou not want to send a total download?
Did you know…•Adding the recipient’s name tothe ―Subject‖ line usuallyincreases response.•Whether html, illustration,flash, or straight text pulls bestdepends on individual andspecific circumstances.•There is no point in sending―teaser‖ email.
Which is better? This one?____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Subj:Boost Sales! Date: 2:43:47 AM Pacific Daylight TimeFrom: firstname.lastname@example.orgTo: email@example.comSent from the Internet (Details)Lets face it. Its the 4th quarter. The holidays are just around thecorner. Now is the time to gear up for the busiest and mostprofitable 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 lineThe BOTTOM LINE: dollar for dollar, pound for pound, theresnothing more powerful and effective than targeted emailadvertising (proof of this in an independent study - see link below!)
Or this, same day’semail: ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________________________ Subj:Please call me Date: 2:44:52 AM Pacific Daylight TimeFrom: firstname.lastname@example.orgTo: email@example.comSent from the Internet (Details)Heres some new info for you. Please call me right away.Regards,RichLets face it. Its the 4th quarter. The holidays are just around thecorner. Now is the time to gear up for the busiest and most profitable time ofthe year! We all need to:* boost sales* increase profits* expand our markets* max our budgets (use it or lose it!)* watch the bottom lineThe BOTTOM LINE: dollar for dollar, pound for pound, theres nothing more
An oddity worth testing:Moving ―click here‖ UP in the text usually increases response.
In actual tests…text outpulled a produced email when the message was URGENCY. Produced message outpulled text when the message was ARTISTRY.
Are banners a waste of money?Not if handled properly. An effective banner not only says: ―Click me, please…‖ but also: ―and this is why you should.‖
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 youhave been waiting for, John.
No one could have anticipated thedifference. One brought 13% more response. Which one? Here is the informationyou have been waiting for, John.
Which of these pulledbetter (among recipientswhose spam filters didn’t kill the message)?• You Can Save Up To 70%!• You can save up to 70%!
Use Initial Caps… and expectresponse to drop.OF COURSEYOU KNOW WHY.
Initial caps are adead giveaway not only that this is advertising, butadvertising from a distance.Rapport? Forget it.
Which of these pulledbetter (among recipientswhose spam filters didn’t kill the message)?• I’m going to save you 70%!• I’m going to save you 70%.
Which of these pulled better?• Information you should have about home improvement schemes• Beware of home improvement schemes.• Home improvement offer? Look out.
Repeat: An apparent (and dangerous) generalization –In a selling situation, IMPERATIVE outpulls DECLARATIVE.
Forbusiness-to-business email: Always test TEXT against aPRODUCED MESSAGE.
The all-text (right) pulled three timesas many responses. Any guess why?
Which of these pulled better?•Talk to me.•Do me a favor.
D o n ’t g e t d ia r r h e a Don’t get diarrhea of the o f t h e f in g e r t ip s . fingertips.==================================================Subject: Alter significantly the denudation of Panglossian Corporatecommunications.Dear Docent-Colleague,A malefactoring challenge entrepreneurial enterprises face today is multiple-layercommunication with a diverse and diffuse geographically dispersed staff. Indefatigablemeretriciousness can generate negativism from the most mundane pronouncement.Employing Microsoft’s Digital Media, this retiform Division invites you to gainknowledge and understanding of the professional and nonprofessional benefits ofstreaming 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 beenaddressed. Additional invitations may be available upon request. Include corporatetitle, areas of authority, and e-mail address.
A highly-effective ploy An original (first) communication suggesting a prior inquiry. Do you consider it unethical?
A key question:What are you doing… or including… to maximize the capture of online addresses? (Easy hint: Give them a reason.)
Forget using email as a―branding‖ procedure: Building respect for the sender isn’t parallel to generating response to an offer.
A powerful rule of force-communication: Specifics outpull generalizations. Email is today’smost significant example of this rule.
―Ad‖ copy versus specifics:Which will bring more response?
So… Load your both yoursubject line and your message withrhetorical dynamite…But don’t assume you can get away with blather.
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.
ALWAYS send yourselfa sample message. Otherwise, you could have stupid results such as this:
Dear $Firstname$,I was just reviewing our client list when suddenly a vision flashed intomy minds eye!I nearly dropped my cup of tea it was so powerful and concentrated. We understand youre goingthrough 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 timemay soon come! However, I must warn you that to get what we most want in life we sometimesneed 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! Thats why Im giving you a FREE Tarotreading! Call now!Begin to take some chances for your dreams! $Firstname$, call toll-free 1-800-526-4317immediately! In your future, $Firstname$, you may be confronted with a decision that could verywell lead to wealth, health and happiness. You may be rich! One caller claims to have won moneywith her psychics advice!You could you be next!Love & hope,Miss Cleo
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.
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.
No, I won’t. (Opinion, please:How should this have been done?)
OK for followers, but whenthe recipient of an emailsays, ―Huh?‖ the senderhas damaged theeffectiveness of an otherwise salesworthyproposition.
Whenever possible, test an action/deadlinesubject line against a play on words.
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.
Soin an email message, ―I‖is infinitely superior to ―We.‖
The reader doesn’t know who ―I‖ mightbe … but is automatically less negative
Viral marketing tends to work when the message recipient recognizes a ―pass-along‖ benefit.
Did you know… Sending a direct mail(―snail mail‖) message to opt-outs will pullconsiderably better than the same mailing todemographically parallel individuals?(What is the significance of that curious fact?)
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.)
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.)
Consider and discuss: Are social media competitive in the world of e- commerce? What are the ―yea‖ possibilities? What are the ―nay‖ possibilities?
Discuss:What do emailssuch as thissuggestfor thefuture? (Click, and…)
Why some marketers seelittle value in Facebook
What isright and what is wrongwith thisbusiness- to-business email offer?
What isright and what is wrongwith thisbusiness- to-business email offer?
Results of this type of survey are semi-valid.
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 socialnetworks — Twitter and Facebook — are headed to obscurity. YouTube links last a bit longer.‖.
(Online column)Is any of thisunique to Twitter, over email?
Can you believe this?Points seriously made in abylined article in a marketingpublication:―To make Twitter work as part ofyour marketing plan, considerthese five tips:∙Identify your program goals beforeyou start.∙Figure out an inbound strategy.∙Identify the tools you’ll need.∙Commit resources.∙Plan to integrate.‖
If you plan to useFacebook or MySpace or Twitter as a marketing tool… please, please, please: Test.(Best test: as both vendor and as potential consumer.)
(Reported online, for last year’s holiday season)Consumers Ignore Social Media for Finding Holiday DealsSAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Print andemail still beats Twitter and Facebook for consumers seekinggreat holiday deals, according to the latest JustAsk! surveyfrom audience research and measurement company CrowdScience. The study measured the “Shopitudes” of consumersduring the 2011 holiday season between the weeks ofThanksgiving and Christmas. When searching for the best holiday deals, 25% ofthose surveyed chose "visiting companies websites" as theirfavorite method, followed by print/hardcopy at 15%. Emailnewsletters & notifications (13%) and talking with friends andfamily (9%) each beat out social media channels likeFacebook (3%) and Twitter (1%). One-quarter had nopreferred method for finding deals.
―Social‖ are new media. The rules are stillforming. Always analyze your results, and you’llgenerate a constant flow of rules you can use… profitably.
Part Four: Basic rulesfor marketing on the World Wide Web
Two factors override all others:1.The Clarity Commandment.2. Stop the surfer-visitor in his/her tracks.
The First Rule of Internet CopyCopy length usually is not a factor.Substantial copy length, within asingle copy block, is a negative factor. (This suggests –―Want that? Do this.‖ NOT…―Do you want that? Then do this.‖)
The Second Rule of Internet CopyWith every headline, everysentence, ask yourself: If I were reading this instead ofwriting it, would my interest-levelstay high?
The Third Ruleof Internet CopyDon’t be afraid to sell.
The Fourth Rule of Internet CopySubject to the First Rule, copylength can expand in ratio to theamount of promise it makes.
The Fifth Rule of Internet Copy•Announcements cannot compete withsalesmanship.•Technical expertise cannot competewith salesmanship.•Gadgetry cannot compete withsalesmanship.
Strong ways to assure yourself of RE-visits:• Frequent changes of your offer• Bonuses for repeat visits and/or repeat orders• Sprightly text• Contests
Would you say this homepage is too busy? I would.
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?)
POOR IDEAS:• Emphasizing the company logo on the home page.(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‖?)
The need for external media promotionfor your site increases in ratio to four factors:1. Direct competition2. The total number of Web sites3. The volume of site advertising in media4. Your valid claims of uniqueness
Part Five:Let’s use some ofthe rules of force- communication to write sales letters.
The purpose of the carrier envelope (other than keeping its contents from spilling out onto the street):TO GET ITSELF OPENED.
Saying too much on the envelopecan damage response.
Which copy is most likely to get the envelope opened? Enclosed: Quick test. or… Enclosed: Quick quiz. or… Enclosed: Quick ballot.
Which copy is most likely to get the envelope opened? Enclosed: Quick ballot. or…Enclosed: Your quick ballot. or… Your ballot is enclosed.
The extra ―bump‖ boosts the probability of opening.
Hands-on practice:Consider this typical circumstance:Youre a premium cable channel. Youplan to show 50 movies between nowand Thanksgiving Day. Youre sending apromotional mailing to cablesubscribers, pointing out —1. Next Saturday your channel is free (socable subscribers get a "sampler").2. If they sign up now, cable subscriberspay no connection fee.What legend, if any, do you put on theenvelope?
Single space the letter. Double spacebetween paragraphs.
In a letter longer than one page, don’tend a paragraph at the bottom of any page except the last. (Why?)
Don’t sneak up on the reader. Fire your biggest gun first.(Imperative for email.)
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?)
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?)
A handwritten overlinetends to outpull a typeset overline.
The first responsibility of the overline: To grab and shake the readers attention.The second responsibility of the overline:To make the reader eager to continue reading.
You can see how this overlinesupplies both responsibilities:
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.)
The p.s. should reinforce one of the key selling motivators or mention an extra benefit ---one which doesnt require explanation.
If you enclose two letters in your mailing,dont put a p.s. on both of them.
Which p.s. pulled better?P.S. I think you’ll agree that this is anexceptional opportunity, and I urgeyou to respond quickly if you intendto take advantage of it. I know youdon’t want to miss out. or…P.S. This exceptional opportunityexpires at midnight Sunday,October 2. So call my toll-free number– 1-888-765-2437.I know you don’t want to miss out.
An absolute truism offorce-communication: Specifics outpullgeneralizations.
A logical test:The same letter,with and without marginal notes
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.
Decide whether marginal note should be at left or at right.
TheEmotion over Intellect Rule (Remember it, from yesterday?) can help you writeeffective sales letters.
Repeating the ―Emotion over Intellect‖ Rule: When emotion and intellect come intoconflict, emotion always wins. (So an emotion-based sales argument will outsell anintellect-based sales argument.)
An emotional appeal will outpull an intellectual appeal.Since exhortation is more emotional than eitherexplanation or validation, the letter is a more powerful selling weapon than the brochure.
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.
What is the difference between…• $100• $100.• $100.00• $100!• $100.00!• One hundred dollars• A hundred bucks
For offers with a highly―emotional‖ flavor, if youinclude a response device which emphasizes responding by mail you may actually damage response.
The Consistency Command: Components of anadvertisement. a mailing, or an email message must reinforce and validate one another, or reader/viewer/listenerresponse to all components will be reduced.
The mailing sells variable data printing. But the mailer doesn’t use it.
The superiority of examplesover statistics:Statistics = cold-blooded, noinvolvement.Examples = warm-blooded,involvement.
First pass:If treated early, 75% of thosechildren who have this deadlydisease can be saved.Second pass:Innocent children die from thisdisease. With early treatment,three out of four will live.Third pass:This deadly disease is killinginnocent children. With earlytreatment we can save threeprecious lives, of four were nowlosing.
Fourth pass:We lost Jimmy today. Hisparents knew his precious dayswere numbered. But Mary, Karen,and Billy all will live. We wereable to start their treatment earlyenough to save them.Which text is most likely togenerate response? Why?
Plural references say to the reader: ―Youre one of the mob.‖Singular references say to the reader: ―Only you.‖ Which one will do a better selling job?
Use singular to suggestexclusivity:―You’ll save on anythingyou see in these pages.‖Use a collective noun tosuggest universality:―You’ll save on everythingyou see in these pages.‖
The Celebrity Endorsement Rule:In business-to-business copy,user endorsements are usuallystronger than celebrityendorsements. In consumercopy, endorsement by acelebrity unrelated to the typeof product or service you sellprobably is a waste of money.
For aninvestment fund? You’ve gotta be kidding.
No point here other than…I detest this creature.
If you have an IQ under 70, you can get a creative job atGeico or its advertising agency.
Trigger-words for seniors: Discount Buy direct Young Have a problem with... Do you remember how [WHATEVER] used to be? Have you considered?
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 tomake entries, or an easy ―Click here.‖4. Suggest a discount or bargain.5. Appear to appeal to logic.6. Dont make a long story short.
Hands-on practice:Write a headline and first sentence for a space ad selling vitamin E, 100400iu capsules for $4.99, to the general public. Then…Write a headline and firstsentence selling the same items in a magazine circulated to seniors.
Aone-minute look at self-mailers:(Do they work?)
Advantages: Disadvantages:• Possible lower • Recipient postal rate immediately• Lower printing knows it’s cost advertising• In sync with • Comparatively thin attention- impersonal spans A must: ―What you’ll lose if you ignore this.‖
Positives usually outpull negatives. So don’tstart your selling argument with ―Don’t.‖
The ―Teaser-Waster‖ Rule: Teaser mailings and space ads, which dont tell the reader what the mailer has for sale, are less productive than mailings which include facts on whichthe target-individual can formulate a buying decision.
The Non-Importance Rule:Calling something important,when your best prospects willknow it isn’t important, willcost you response … becauseyou have a more powerful wayto convince.
What would you have done to imply urgency here?
The ―Avoid Five‖ Rule:In more formal copy, avoid usingmultiples 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.‖
The reader interpretsthe five/ten estimates as guesses, because they are the common approximation. But…
Those approximations canbe valuable when projecting a casual mood. You’re the professional. You decide. (Make your decisiondeliberately, based on whatmood you’re projecting and to whom.)
Don’t over-describe: What is the difference between:• New medical breakthrough• Medical breakthrough
Choice of words:• From $30,250• Starting at $30,250
Choice of words:• You will be among the first to…• You will be one of the first to…
Why is among a weakener?Psychologically, itautomatically kills exclusivity.
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?
YOU are in command of the reaction to your words: ―You pay much less.‖―Others pay much more.‖
Suggest anillustrationthat better sells the concept. (And can you make the copy more dynamic?)
A dozen implicitly weak words and phrases:• administration • formulate• approximately • indeed• define • needs (as noun)• earn • product• facilitate • respond• features • work
A dozen words and phrases with power• free • first time offered• free gift • not sold in stores • good only until• limited [DATE] time • Don’t miss out• right now • I’ll look for your• surprise order• hot • Try it at our risk
The copywriter’s most professional tool … Are you maximizing it? (Are you aware of it? Ifyou are, are you aware of how easy it is?) Word expansion
A few examples of word expansion: The original copy – Save 10% weekdays.
Expanding the original copy –Save 10% Monday- Friday.
A little more expansion – Save 10% Monday through Friday.
And a bit more expansion –Save 10% every day Monday through Friday.
Keep expanding until you’ve maximized. Brain–power doesn’t cost anything.Save 10% every single day Monday through Friday.
We haven’t yet achievednirvana. The meistersingerword 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!
NOTE:Does ―10%‖ justify the word ―big‖?A peripheral benefit of word expansion:Repetition makes the claim contagious.
While we’re on this point – ―Save 10%‖ is more dynamic than ―10% off.‖• It’s a clear imperative.• It’s emotion-based ratherthan comprehension-based.
Another easy example of word expansion: Original –“Available in gray, suntan, blue, and charcoal.”
Expanded, copy adds a minuscule injection of power – “Available in thesemost wanted colors – gray, suntan, blue, and charcoal.”
With more word expansion, we addanother mini- injection of power –“Available in every one of these most wanted colors – gray, suntan, blue, and charcoal.”
What is the word in allthose examples that saps out power? Available
So: Search and destroy thatpower-shrinking word: Available