In the quest to improve direct response and profits, everyone tests the basics of headline and price.
But here are 7 lesser known ideas that can move the response needle significantly also, but are tested much less often. I’ve used these and seen them skyrocket response over the past 30 years when used correctly.
- USE A DIFFERENT BIG IDEA OR APPEAL IN THE COPY. Instead of making money, test saving money. Instead of looking better, test impressing other people. Instead of getting more things done, test having more free time. You get the idea. Flip the script. Turn it upside down. Feature the opposite, or at least something else.
One of the toughest lessons a great marketer has to learn is “you are not your market”. Your likes and wants are not necessarily the same as your prospects and customers. In fact, they may be the complete opposite, and the only way you can know what sells best is to test different main appeals or big ideas.
Let me give you an actual example. I wrote a newspaper ad for a liver cleansing supplement. It provides many benefits, so which one should I feature in the headline as the main benefit? I suggested to the client that we test 3 different main appeals inexpensively, and here were the resulting MERs: 0.6, 1.0 and 2.6. Remember the product was the same for each – the only difference was the main benefit appeal! One appeal brought triple the orders as another – the difference between failure and success!
- LOWER DOLLAR FIRST SALE WITH HIGHER DOLLAR IMMEDIATE UPSELL. If you normally sell your product for $199, do a test where you sell a lesser version of it for $49 and then offer an immediate upsell of a fuller version or related product for $499. Then tally up which offer makes you the most profit. Maybe the $49 offer gets you 4 times the sales (its 4 times less in price), then your crack upsell copywriting and telesales team sells many of the callers the $499 immediate upsell and you make a lot more profit. The first sale is the hardest, and a lower price reduces resistance.
- SEND REGULAR FOLLOW-UP OFFERS TO INQUIRERS AND CUSTOMERS. Less than 5% of businesses send consistent and frequent marketing messages and offers to their past prospects and customers, yet this is where the goldmine is in direct marketing! If you don’t have any more products to sell them, sell other companies products on an affiliate arrangement because these people already know and trust buying from you.
- USE A PERSONAL STORY. Stories sell because they bypass the logical and skeptical part of the brain until we are hooked into reading the story and believing it. Then we are already sold when the product offer is made. It is like a greased chute. I’ve used stories to dramatically increase response to marketing promotions more times than I can shake a stick at.
In fact, one rule I have is, if there is a dramatic story to tell, I almost always lead with it in my advertising copywriting. The story should be a “success story” involving your product or service. The more rags to riches or sickness to health the story is, the better. It can be the owners story or a customers story (ie testimonial).
- USE A VIDEO ONLINE. I’ve seen even a simple, short, inexpensive video boost sales 50%. A lot of people would rather watch a short video explanation than read today. Just look at how fast YouTube has grown. Video is a proven winner, so test it on your website and landing pages.
- PUT A TIME LIMIT OR DEADLINE ON YOUR OFFER. The best marketers have learned people don’t take action unless they are motivated by loss and this usually involves a deal and the loss of a deal by using a time limit or deadline. That’s why you’ll always see an expiration date on coupons, car sales, store sales.
- ADD A CELEBRITY ENDORSER. People go ga-ga over celebrities. They get attention and add credibility to your direct response promotions. And they don’t have to be super expensive either. I’ve gotten celebrities for clients, and seen response rates increase 50% to more than double. It is worth looking into.
- HIRE A CONSULTANT. When you own a business, you can work so hard at it that you become too close to the forest to see the trees. You become so immersed that its easy to miss certain things, solutions, mistakes being made and big ideas that can skyrocket your sale and profits. I’m a big believer in consultants. I’ve hired four myself for my copywriting and for various businesses I’ve owned over the years. Choose one with vast experience. A fresh set of wise eyes could be just what you need to skyrocket your business.
I conduct a popular 2-day in-person consultation designed to substantially increase your bottom line. We go over your business in great detail and you walk away with many specific ways to increase your profits. The investment is just $11,000.00 plus travel expenses and you can call me for details at (330) 963-0330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.