Tag Archives for " persuasion "

June 3, 2017

Landing The Plane – How and Why Tangible Offers Work Best

Landing offers

Copywriters, Business Owners, Marketers!

Lend me your eyes….

For what I share with you today may forever change you.

We are talking my numero uno, hottest takeaway from my weekend at Jeff Walker’s PLF Live.

Now, if you don’t know who Jeff is or what PLF is…no worries…more on all that in future mail. Today, I mention Jeff Walker to give credit for my tidbit where credit is due. (He actually took it from someone else, but I can’t recall the name).

Making your (or your client’s) offer real means you must Land The Plane.

As copywriters and marketers, our main job is getting the right candidates to press that ole BUY Button. That’s it. The whole shabang. We can help get likes, and a following, and an enormous list…but if we can’t bring home the buy, we don’t keep the job.

When I’m right, I’m right.

So, what do I mean by “landing the plane.”

Here’s an example from real life:

A client comes to me and says, “My program helps my corporate women feel more balance and joy in their lives.”

This plane is still in the sky. Like…waaaaaay up there at 30,000 feet. The offer is general, abstract, and intangible. It cannot be measured. It sounds woo-woo and like far too many bullshyt programs sold by snake oil salesmen looking for a quick buck.

Most people nowadays have seen these overzealous, undefined claims a million times…

When a client comes with this kind of offer, it is up to you to help them Land the Plane.

Jeff gave us the following bullet point list to help ground an offer in concrete reality…an offer people can believe in, and will buy.

To land the plane, your offer must be:

  • Specific, not general
  • Concrete, not abstract
  • Tangible
  • Verifiable/Measurable
  • External (a 3rd party can see it)

For those of you working in the personal development space, this little formula will take a LOT of thinking…especially the verifiable and external criteria…how do you measure “feeling oneness with the Source” after all?

Still, even in that space, even though the ideal customer is aware of what you “mean” bringing it down toward the ground will create more sales.

Back to my example…how could we change the offer?

“More Balance” = “You will discover an extra hour to spend time with your family using our specific time management hacks, morning rituals to get you out of bed at 5 with an hour to exercise before you start your day, meal systems to cut down on daily cooking and provide 30 minutes of extra time for hobbies….etc,”

All can be measured…all can be seen through a camera. Right?

“More joy” = “You’ll feel a pep in your step, find yourself smiling for no reason, less prone to tantrums or yelling at the kids, your inner voice will become more complimentary and you’ll sashay rather the skulk…”

The corporate woman’s colleagues and kids could actually see the results.  Right?

The ability to visualize the life after your program will draw more of the right people to you..the people who have been looking for those precise promises you describe.  The promises demonstrate your commitment to your prospect, your understanding of how they feel and think, and, most importantly, your trustworthiness because you have done something others don’t…

You’ve promised something measurable.

May 15, 2017

Periodicals are the New Copywriting Manual

Periodicals

The Enquirer is the quintessential must read for any copywriter.

Many of the great copywriters, including a personal favorite of mine, Joe Sugarman focused on rag mags like The Enquirer to help them write in the language of the everyman.

Nowadays, we have apps to judge our writing…to let us know if we are creating ads understandable to the average 5th-9th grade reader…

But those apps cannot demonstrate the key ingredient to any great copy…something The Enquirer, Cosmo, and the New York Times (among many other great publications) have truly mastered…

And something I see copywriters struggle with often.

The Headline + The Perfect Lead Paragraph Combination

Now, I’m not talking about what lead for what audience a la Breakthrough Advertising.

I’m talking the one-two punch so fierce the reader MUST READ FURTHER…

Almost 100% of my own writing, other’s copy I critique, and the vast majority of sales copy and content I see could do this far better…

Of all the time I work on my edits…the headline-lead paragraph combo takes the most time.

Notice, I’m not talking the entire lead…I’m talking the first one or two paragraphs of the lead.

Read all the copywriting texts and blogs you wish…gather all the great ads and the best swipes. But DO NOT MISS studying The Enquirer, Cosmo, and The New York Times as great sources of Headline/Lead combos.

Study the combination of the two…how one leads to the other…and how that lead paragraph gives you a synopsis of precisely what you’ll learn in the story…and teases you to keep reading.

Here are a few examples:

From the Enquirer (Dec 26, 2016 – as this is handy right now):

Spaceman John Glenn’s Surprising Dying Regret
John Glenn was a heroic fighter pilot, a two-time astronaut and a U.S. Senator, but the American icon was haunted by a deep regret – he didn’t become President of the United States
.

A good example of telling the whole plot in the first paragraph…while still leaving the reader sort of scratching their head…how did this longing play out in his life? Why didn’t he run? Can we, as humans, ever truly be satisfied with our accomplishments?

Frozen Tots Sue Their Modern Family Mom
Sitcom sexpot Sophia Vergara is tangled in a bizarre legal wrangle – she’s being sued by her own frozen embryos.

I mean, who would not want to read more about frozen embryos bringing their mom to court???

From yesterday’s New York Times:

Where Anti-Tax Fervor Means ‘All Services Will Cease’
ROSEBURG, OR – Some voters in rural Oregon are seeing what happens when taxpayers force government into retreat. Libraries are blacking out. Jails might be next.

As a reader, two things hit me…it is possible to not pay taxes, and prisoners may be let loose all over the land. MUST READ MORE…

You get the drift.

These periodicals survive, even in the age of the internet, because they drag people in with their headlines and their opening paragraphs (and of course the images). As marketers and copywriters, we can look to these articles as articles that work to get readership, rather than looking at various sales letters as samples without necessarily know how well they converted.

Obviously you will still need to learn psychology and technique for writing persuasive sales copy…if that is your thing. And all the psychology and persuasive writing…even the very best offer can’t hit home without the reader becoming sucked in first.

Lindsay of the Leads

P.S.

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May 23, 5pm Pacific, ZOOM (with video)

I just closed my second 5 figure deal from my last conference,…and I am going to teach you how to do exactly the same.

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April 25, 2017

The Transformation and The Stuff

transformation

You desire for your wallet explode under the strain of the sacks o’cash generated by your incredibly crafted copy…right? Riiiiight?

Chances are your offer needs a revamp, an overhaul, a makeover.

I say this from vast experience in offer redesign….your heart is in the right place, but your positioning is all wrong.

If your offer has bullets like these, your shots are whizzing by your mark:

  • Six Weeks of One-on-one calls
  • Eight modules created to walk you step-by-step through an intensive purpose discovery process.
  • 27 Self-exploration exercises that challenge you to look at yourself a new way
  • Lifetime access to an online e-course for learning at your own pace

The above bullets were taken from the offer section of real sales letters. And some sales letters were pretty good…

Until the reader reaches the offer section…and finds the “how” rather than the “what”…

Womp womp.

Irresistible offers do NOT focus on the “how”…the method of delivery is largely irrelevant to why people buy.

As Jeff Walker, creator of Product Launch Formula, puts it “Your offers is about the transformation FIRST, plus a little about the stuff.”

None of the bullets above talk to transformation. Sure, the sales letters leading up to the offer often did a decent job describing the “why” behind the program (some better than others), but all totally lost it at the most crucial place…the offer!

Here are examples of how to improve an offer about “stuff”:

“Six weeks of one-on-one calls” could be “Together, we will develop a concrete action plan to reach your goal weight and ongoing accountability in a series of six one-on-one coaching calls.”

“Eight modules…” could be “You will want to bound out of bed each morning with a smile, make more money with less struggle, and eliminate procrastination in your daily life when you invest your effort into this intensive purpose discovery process.

See what I mean, jelly bean?

Try this game with the other two…or even with any offers you see on the internet.

Remember to keep those transformations Specific, Concrete, Measurable, Tangible and Verifiable.

I’d love to see what you come up with…

Lindsay

April 21, 2017

Blogs: The Red-Headed Stepchild of Copywriting

content copywriting

Covered head to paw in long, thick, black and tan fur, the love of my life is one hairy beast.

Tipping the scales at over 80 lbs, he’s a big boy…and handsome as heck, especially when he smells like vanilla and shines like the sun.

Still, when I checked out the website for a new pet cut salon, I balked at the price. $90! Plus a tip! His hair cut, a shave no less, costs more than my own!

And then…right on their home page, a link to an article entitled “Why your dog’s groomer charges more than your hairdresser” with reasons like

  • Your hairdresser does not wash and clean your butt
  • Your haircut doesn’t include a mani/pedi
  • Your likelihood of pooping or peeing on your hairdresser is very slim

You get the idea…

As a copywriter (whether professionally or for your own business) understand that blog posts should never be “just content.” Otherwise, you’re wasting your readers’ time and your own.

Blogs are often treated as the red-headed-stepchild of copywriting, often for good reason.  Blogs generally do not create a “direct response” so their impact on sales is often near impossible to quantify.  Far too many “writers” charge far too few pennies to flood the interwebs with mediocre and meaningless blog posts, so the art of content becomes devalued.

Don’t waste your prospects’ or customers’ very limited attention on fluff.

CHUCK your content unless it is infotaining (ie. not boring), relationship building (builds know, like and trust) and does at least one of the following:

  1. Provides actionable tidbits of information moving them from where they are now toward where they need to be to benefit from the services you offer.
  2. Provides social proof of your methods, your success stories and your programs
  3. Overcomes objections (like the example above)
  4. Motivates people along the path you want to take them down
  5. Shares other works that support your own

Done properly, blogging (just like daily email) can be an intensely persuasive method for  attracting potential customers, spreading your influence and differentiating yourself against the drivel.

A good blog (just like a good daily email) can create long term readership, referrals (shares) and rapport.  Rapport builds trust…and trust builds sales…and sales bring the sacks o’cash.

Mind bloggingly yours,

Lindsay “Never Waste A Website Visit” Sacks

P.S.

Want to see the rest of the dog blog? It’s here.