People can be quite predictable. That’s because we all have the same basic desires, regardless of who we are. If that doesn’t make you feel so unique and special, blame Mother Nature.
What it should make you feel, as a marketer, is excited. These basic desires shared by everyone, 8 fundamental life forces, are a godsend for your marketing communications. You can hook your would-be customers by using their innate desire for:
We all want these 8 things. It’s inescapable because we are all hard-wired to want them. That is something we can never change. If you create a marketing communication based on one or several of these desires, you’ll be tapping into the essence of humanity. Each desire is what makes us human.
So it makes sense to appeal to these desires when advertising your products and services to your customers.
Got a great diet plan that doesn’t take the pleasure out of eating but leaves you lean and fit? Then tap into the fact we all:
See how powerful the 8 desires can be for your marketing campaigns? Using these 8 life forces in your advertising will always work well, because we are programmed to respond so strongly to them. It’s a knee-jerk reaction: we don’t even question why we want them, so strong is their power.
So make sure you use these gifts from Mother Nature when you create your next campaign. If you use as many of the 8 desires as possible, your customers will be powerless to resist.
You might not be a blogger, but this article from Boost Blog Traffic gives you a great easy-to-read lesson on how to self-edit your writing when it comes to the fundamentals of English grammar.
This is essential knowledge regardless of what you sort of texts you write. Some of the English grammar you learnt at school may seem outmoded now, but there are of course still rules to follow!
How to Write Correctly: The Busy Blogger’s Guide to English Grammar won't apply to academic or formal business writing, but if you have your own website and want to write in a more conversational tone, this article is very helpful reading.
Read the article here.
We know that the measure of a sales letter’s success is a high response rate – whether it’s getting prospects to buy something you’re selling or join your email list. That’s the bottom line. But did you know that this success is based on five elements, which together create a blueprint of persuasion?
Let’s look at each element in turn:
1. Evaluate your service or product
You need to know about your service or product in depth. This might sound obvious, but it is only through knowing your goods thoroughly that you can work out the features and benefits. This research will also give you a better idea of the leading benefit, which should be the focus of your promotion – the golden nugget to entice your prospects to say yes…
2. Know thy prospect
It goes without saying that you should have a pretty good idea about the people you plan to write to. Without knowing their demographics, you could be targeting the wrong group of people. After all, there is little point in sending a letter about prostate enlargement to young men, or mailing information
about a product that eases menstrual cramps to women over fifty.
If you fail to target the right group, even a perfectly written letter will fail to produce the right results.
You have to draw the product/service and your prospects together and that means you need to know both as much as possible. Who is your prospect? What does your prospect want? What problems and
desires do they have? How can your product or service help them? How will it benefit them?
3. Create an offer or incentive
Most sales letter need an offer or incentive – something that will prompt your prospect to take the action you want. This could be a gift, a discount or a time-sensitive incentive. A great offer can save a poorly written letter from utter failure and it also helps you overcome your prospect’s reluctance to buy. It can make all the difference when people are unsure about buying or signing on the dotted line.
Plus, everyone likes something for free (that’s just human nature), so if you offer something of reasonable quality for free, you are more likely to get the results you want. Just make sure the offer is relevant. Don’t, for example, offer a pair of gardening gloves in a letter selling financial services. A calculator or pen or a discounted fee for a consultation would be more suitable.
4. The techniques of persuasion
A sales letter is all about persuasion. You need to know the various techniques that rouse and capture the reader’s interest, and then carries them, transfixed, right through to the order form section of your letter, where they will hopefully seal their purchase.
One key technique is to remain focused on your reader. It’s all about them and their needs, and how you can help them. In that letter, they are the centre of your world. There is nothing more that people like reading or hearing about than themselves. Nail this point home by using “you” as much as possible and “I” rarely.
5. Writing talent
Writing is a craft, but talent certainly comes in handy. In sales letters, there is less emphasis on grammar and style and more on content –it’s what you write, not how you write it that counts. But if you’re a natural sales person with a flair for words of persuasion, then you’ll find it easier to create successful letters. You want a conversational tone in your writing – as if you are describing a product to a friend or someone you know well. Having that sort of intimacy in your letter is important as you want to create a bond, a relationship, rather than make your prospect feel like a walking wallet.
As with anything worth the effort, practice is vital, and those lacking natural talent can, with time and dedication, write sales letter that heed all five elements and produce the desired results.
How do you know if your copy is good? Or bad? And how do you tell the difference? Well, follow these six easy tips and your copy will certainly fall into the “good” category.
1) Print out your copy
Staring at your copy on a computer screen can make it hard to spot errors. It is easier to detect mistakes on a printed page, especially if it’s your own writing. So print off your copy and settle back on the sofa with a cup of coffee for a little proofreading.
2) Read your copy out loud
When you read your copy aloud, you’ll hear any word repetitions, clumsy words, too-long sentences and general awkwardness in the text. Awkwardness is the last thing you want, because it means your reader will find it awkward too. Your aim is to write conversationally, as if writing to a friend. You don’t want to be formal. So, read out loud and check for anything that needs to be fixed.
3) Check for one type of edit at a time
You need to do different types of editing and it’s best to do this one at a time. For example, one type of editing should involve checking for spelling and grammar errors, missed out words such as “not”, or often-misused words such as “they’re, their, or there”. Also pay attention to missing or incorrect apostrophes.
The second type of editing is checking clarity and accuracy in your copy. Is your copy clear? Are there better (usually shorter) word choices that can make your writing punchier? And importantly, do you get your message across effectively? Do you need to use more examples to back up claims and clarify a point? Should you use more testimonials? Are there too many passive sentences when you should be using action verbs instead?
Focus on one editing task at a time so you can really zero in any areas that need work. Reading your copy aloud will help you do this.
4) Check for these 4 copywriting sins…
What are the four sins that can ruin your copy? They are:
1. Awkward – does the text run smoothly or not?
2. Confusing – is anything unclear?
3. Unbelievable – are there any facts that need checking?
4. Boring – is the text so dull in parts you stop reading?
You will need someone else to help you with this one. What you should do is give your copy to several people (if possible) and ask them to read it with the four sins in mind. Ask them to mark your text so you can then make any necessary changes. And ask them to be honest!
5) Make Use of Track Changes
If you use Word, Track Changes can be a big help. It allows you to track your editing as well as accept or reject any changes. And it’s very handy for keeping tabs on anyone else who is editing your work.
6) Check the readability
Word has another useful function – it enables you to check the “show readability statistics” under your preferences for Spelling and Grammar. This is a great tool when you are proofreading your copy.
Once Word has done a spelling and grammar check, a screen will flash up giving your text’s readability score. This score measures three things:
The first is your percentage of passive sentences. You want to make sure you have a lot more action verbs. Action verbs strengthen your copy while passive sentences weaken it.
The second is the Flesch reading ease. The best copywriters aim to keep this around 80% or better. This is not always possible, especially if your copy has many technical terms.
The third score is the Flesch-Kincaid grade level, which rates your copy according to U.S. school grade levels. You should aim for your copy to be at sixth grade level, no matter the age or intelligence of your audience. Keeping your text in this level makes your message easier to read.
So, these are the six tips. Follow each one and you’ll considerably improve the quality – and effectiveness – of your copy.
Landing pages and squeeze pages are often mixed up. Many people think they are the same thing, when in fact they are two different types of web pages with different functions. Let’s have a look at those differences.
What a landing page is and what it does
A landing page is any page on your site that is specially designed to be the first page for visitors to “land” on. It’s like the entry point into your website.
This does not necessarily mean it’s your Home page. Your landing page could be a sales page, for example, that leads the visitor to further pages to make the purchase. It’s the page you want people to come to as a result of diverting traffic via email auto-responders, ads, links in article bylines and so on.
A landing page has one sole purpose – to get the visitor to respond to the call to action, whether that’s to buy, click on the link or opt in.
Example of a landing page:
What a squeeze page is and what it does
A squeeze page tends to be a smaller, rather simple page. Whereas the landing page gives a lot of information upfront, the purpose of the squeeze page is to “squeeze” contact details from the visitor in return for more information.
A squeeze page is more like an opt-in page where visitors enter their email addresses to receive a free e-book or other gift, or join a newsletter subscription list. At this stage, there is no direct selling. That comes later.
As the saying goes, “the money is in the list”. Collecting subscribers via a squeeze page is an effective way to build rapport and market sales messages later on, often through emails that lead to landing and sales pages.
Example of a squeeze page:
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