There are some key questions that will help you write a grand-slam winner direct response marketing promotion, whether it is a website, online landing page or a direct mail package.
These almost “magic” questions let me zero-in on the most powerful resident emotions and hot-button desires of the prospect. They release the creative freedom necessary to write copy that attracts interest, builds fever desire and gets immediate action where the client calls and tells me “Mike, your promotion is huge winner!”
Kudos to my marketing legends Claude Hopkins, John Caples, Gary Halbert and Dan Kennedy for their help in sparking these questions that have made my copywriting sell over $418 million in products and make my clients and I a king’s ransom. Try these the next time you sit down to start writing your next promotion.
- “What Benefit Would The Product Deliver If It Was Perfect?” Yes, I know that no product or service is perfect and there are legal and believability limits to what you can say, but imagine these did not exist for a moment. In this scenario, what ultimate benefit from a product or service like yours would the prospect want most? Second most? Third most?
By doing this, you are getting to the core big benefits the prospect wants most from your product. From here, you can “water it down” or “weaken the copy” to make it fit the actual product – and still end up with an incredibly powerful headline and opening.
- “What Specific Proof Element Can I Put In The Headline?” You should always try to have a concrete specific element of proof in your headline. When you join your benefit claim with a proof element in the headline, readership, believablitiy and response go way way up.
Just look at the different between these two headline examples – a) without a proof element and b) with a proof element. a) “How To Look Younger” b) “How to Look Younger With The Secret Used by Over 300 Models and Actresses Whose Job Depends On Looking Younger” . a) “How To Make Money Investing In Stocks” b) “How To Make Money Investing In Stocks With The Method That Has Averaged Profits Of 34.7% A Year”
- “What Word Or Phrase Can I Use To Make The Product Sound New or Different?”
If your headline makes the product sound like something the prospect has already seen or tried before, most prospects will not read past the headline. After all, nobody wants to invest their time reading advertising about something they already know.
That’s why it is so important that your headline use a word or phrase that makes your product sound new or different than everything else. This is why “New” is so effective. And why I have had great success with using and even sometimes “naming” a feature of the product and using it in the headline with phrases like “Quad-Power”, “Deep Cell”, “Spread Relief”, “14 Point” and “Multi-Phase”.
- “Can I Name The Best Prospects In The Headline?”
People will pay more attention and order more if they think a product is “custom made” for people like them only. That’s why you should always “call out” your target audience in your headline deck if possible. For example, let’s say you are selling a facial cream and almost all your buyers are women over 50. I would use a pre-headline like this: “ Exclusively Made For The Special Needs Of Women 50 And Up – .“ Or if I was writing to chiropractors I would say “How Your Front Desk Can Easily Book 7 More New Chiropractic Patients A Week For You”.
- “Can I Use A Specific Number In The Headline?”
I have always had a lot success with headlines that have a number in them. A number catches the eye, makes a statement more certain and believable, and in my vast experience, pulls in a lot of more cash orders. Here are some examples:
How Retired Omaha Librarian Makes $52,438 A Year Part Time From Home
$500,000 In Life Insurance – Now Only $8.12 a Week
2-Minute Sleep Solution
Desperate Man With Terrible Back Pain For 21 Years Finally Finds Answer
The Secret of How 58 Year Old Mother Of 4 Lost 62 Lbs with No Strict Diet or Exercise
- “What demonstrations of proof would be the most dramatic and believable?”
Remember this saying: Proof equals profits. The more proof you give the prospect, the more orders your advertising will produce – if it is easily digestible, dramatic and believable. Nothing beats a demonstration of proof. Just consider the late night TV commercials with their remarkable before and after demonstrations.
I have developed a list of 14 types of proof. I try to get as many of these as possible in each promotion I write. Here are some types to consider: Before and after photos. Video interviews. Charts and graphs with results. Interview with doctor or expert. Reprint of clinical study summary. Stages of use shown in time-delay order.
- “What offer would be almost impossible for my prospect to pass up?”
I realize every company’s business model is different. Some companies are built on making their profits from the initial first sale. I still do copywriting like this for a lot of clients. But this is getting increasing difficult with rising media costs. Most of my clients have an acceptable benchmark of break-even or a set loss amount on their first sale to get a new customers. They are happy to do this because the real riches are in the follow-up repeat sales to these satisfied customers and the sale of additional related products to them over time.
How can you structure your offer to bring in the most new paying customers and make your fortune from their repeat business. This is often done by offering, as the first sale, a trial version, a basic version, a free plus shipping offer, or some sort of lower cost product or service to get the most people to experience the product. Free bonuses are often piled on to make the offer even more enticing. Immediate or quick upsells or upgrades are often important for cash flow and profits.
- “How can I empathize with the prospects problems?”
Almost no marketing or copywriting programs teach an important skill for influencing people: empathy. At the deepest and most important level, people want to be understood.
Empathy is an emotional intelligence skill, defined as the ability to walk a mile in another person’s shoes. It’s the ability to know what another person is thinking or feeling. Without empathy in sales, a salesperson can’t influence others, and prospects don’t buy from salespeople who don’t understand them.
People often will not hear advice or buy something until they know that someone feels their pain. Therapists (like my beautiful wife of 30 years) have taught me this, and it is incredibly valuable to know and use as a copywriting skill.
You can do this by thinking like you are the prospect and imagining the problems and feelings you would have. Interviewing someone who is the ideal prospect. Doing research on the internet. Looking at discussion boards.
Try these big questions. They work. They are a secret weapon that have helped me sell over $418 million by direct response marketing with my copywriting. If you want me to apply these questions and write a direct response promotion for you, you can call my office at (330) 963-0330, email me at mike@mikepavlish or visit my website at www.mikepavlish.com