Copy Tip 22: Using Your Resources

Well it’s New Year’s Eve and we’re getting ready to celebrate our nephew’s first birthday and then to welcome in 2009 … should be lots of fun!

First … time for the last copy tip of 2008!!

Today I want to remind you about:


USING the free resources at your fingertips to maximise their value to you and your success.

Like yesterday’s headline gift … one of the best things I can do is to point you in the right direction towards the goldmine.

But you’ve gotta dig for and claim the gold yourself!

(You did download it, didn’t you? Free, high-value opportunities like this are worth taking advantage of immediately!)

Oh, and just in case you’re wondering, the resources I’m including here aren’t under some sort of affiliate arrangement (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). They’re 100% FREE for you, and the “return” I get is knowing that you’re getting the best content there is (which helps in turn make you feel good about our relationship). I don’t earn a cent from point you to these resources … I earn much more than that (in you knowing the value I can provide you).

(Hint: there’s a lesson in their for your relationship with your own “tribe”).

So what did you do with yesterday’s gift?

Going through that content, here’s some of the things you should now know:

  • Four essential “sales” your headline must make;
  • The 4 U’s: Urgency, Uniqueness, Usefulness and Ultra-Specific;
  • The 4 phases of prospect “resistance”;
  • Engaging your prospect: Collier’s “join in the conversation he’s already having”;
  • 7 more ways to instantly engage your prospect;
  • 21 Questions to ask before you write your headline;
  • Lots of examples;
  • 31 more great headline ideas;
  • John Caples’ 35 Headline idea starters;
  • David Ogilvy’s 5-question “acid test”;
  • 15-point headline checklist.

Aside from the tips I’ve already given you — you’re now fully armed to create great headlines!

Here’s an example of what I’d do.

Let’s say you’ve got a printing business.

You could take this headline example from page 53 of the pdf:

Heart Surgeons NEVER
Tell You About!

and use this headline for your own business! Just ADAPT it to suit.

So it’d be for you:

“The 15-cent business life-saver
your competitors
never hope you’ll discover!”

And then use effective copy elements to describe how a low-cost marketing tool (in this case, a business card) can literally be a business life-saver. Your message will resonate especially in harder economic times.

You could build a whole marketing campaign around that headline. With a story, with credibility and believability, with a persuasive, compelling, irresistible offer, and backed by a risk-reversal guarantee.

And that’s just ONE SINGLE HEADLINE adapted to another situation!

See how easy it becomes when you’re armed with the right tools?

But that’s not all!

There’s a whole lot more you can learn too from yesterday’s gift.

Things like the content you “give away” that helps build solid client relationships … the way that kind of content positions you as an advocate and an expert … you could use the same elements in your own business: free webinars, pdfs and audio files … valuable content for your Market.

Best of all, when you build these relationships and increase loyalty, your customers are better customers … they’re less price-sensitive (because they’ve seen first hand how VALUE is much more important than price alone). And it’s a fact: only 10% of customers choose to do business on price alone — yet most businesses act as if it’s 90%. So this kind of value is attractive to 90% of your market — well worth taking notice of!

Well … our nephew’s party is about to start … I’ll see you again tomorrow, when it’ll be 2009!

Have a Happy New Year!

Copy Tip 21: Popular Headline Formulas

Back again … the cricket’s over for now, just a full day to go and I’ll be ready to watch the New Year’s Eve fireworks to celebrate the start of 2009!

Today I want to share with you a secret about headlines.

The big secret is … and it’s just like being successful at ANYTHING … there is a “recipe” or formula for success.

As Anthony Robbins says, success leaves clues.

It’s no different for headlines.

So while the past few tips I’ve shared with you some very useful inside tips … today I’m going to give you just one single resource that’ll make you feel like you’ve won the lottery.

It’s that good!

But before I do, just a little bit of quick background.

As you know I recently gave you a Christmas “gift” — a suggestion and encouragement to join Clayton Makepeace’s Total Package.

It’s a free — and “must-have” — resource that he publishes of untold value for copywriters and small business owners.

Anyway, a couple of years back, he launched a PAID membership club called Easy Writers. I was a foundation member. As I’ve mentioned, I’m a constant student, learning and applying as much as I can from the craft of copywriting. There are some incredible “masters” to learn from, and Clayton is definitely in that category.

I’m not worried about telling you I’ve learned from the best! While I’ve been creating persuasive messages for about 16 years (a mix of copywriting, marketing and design), there’s never really and end point in this craft. To me it’s a “liquid playing field” — constantly shifting. While the fundamentals stay sound, the tactics change. So it’s worth spending time and investing in education on an ongoing basis.

So when Clayton announced his paid monthly Easywriters Marketing Club, I jumped on it. And I was a member until the program was sadly disbanded earlier this year (his team had just too many other things to do).

EasyWriters Marketing Club logo

We had some awesome monthly resources sent our way — CD interviews, a printed membership report edited by Tony Flores and a monthly webinar.

One of the best of these was on Headlines. It was called Red-Hot Headlines that Double Your Response.

Members were given an in-depth tour behind the wizard’s curtain, and this information was simply a goldmine.

I couldn’t of course do any better for you than what’s already contained in this masterful monthly content we were given.

But I don’t need to … because this is one incredible resource that Clayton ended up publishing for FREE for everyone! You didn’t have to be a paid member to get your hands on this gold!

This is a headline “fast track to success”.

It goes through the formulas for effective, attention-getting headlines. While I’ve covered some of these already in our copy tips, here’s the “whole enchilada” for you. A year after Clayton made it a gift, I’m making it your gift as an early New Year’s present.

Go and get it now:

Once you’ve devoured your gift, you’ll agree with me this is incredibly powerful content.

Even just pages 56, 57 and 59 are top value on their own, without the rest of the gems contained in the webinar.

Now you know one of MY secrets to success — one of the valuable resources I turn to when creating successful client projects. (It’s one of about 14 masterful headline resources I refer to, and it rates right at the top).

Before I go, one final word about my Christmas gift from last week.

One thing about being on Clayton’s site …

When you’re on Clayton’s mailing list and you get the Makepeace Total Package articles and emails, from time-to-time of course you’ll get emails from Clayton (or Wendy) that are about selling you something.

If this upsets you, turn off the computer now. Stop being in business. Hide in the corner. Put your head in the sand.

You should, of course, celebrate this fact.

Because if you observe the emails you receive, you’ll realise you’re getting a world-class education for FREE.

Watch the timing of the emails. The personalisation. The subject lines. The amount of copy. The offer. The risk-reversal guarantee. The credibility and believability factors to help remove obstacles to buying. How many emails. The website.

(Sign up for things like pre-launch notification — with a DIFFERENT email address. That way, you’ll see the emails sent to those who don’t sign up and ALSO to those who have signed up).

Keep, treasure, print out and swipe these emails for yourself!

Don’t “steal” them — instead, borrow and adapt the ideas.

Best of all, USE them.

If you’re gonna hit the unsubscribe button when this happens, then you’re throwing away an amazing and free education. I don’t recommend this course of action!

Keep your eyes open to looking for what works, and how you can adapt it yourself.

Perhaps your New Year’s Business Resolution could be to borrow and adapt an idea a week. That’s 52 new ideas you’ll implement in 2009 … get half of them right, and your business will look impressively different from what it is today.

That’s it for today … see you next time for my next copy tip!

Copy Tip 20: Make Sure Your Offer Is Current

Wow, the Aussies ended up losing the second cricket test (and thus the 3-test series) … our first series loss at home for 16 years. Crikey.

Anyway … this copy tip is a “catch up” — away from the computer unexpectedly yesterday and a catch up today.

I’m interrupting our current programme to let you know one REALLY IMPORTANT tip … make sure your offer is valid and current!

I just watched an ad on television (not that effective) … but with one TERRIBLE error that could potentially cost the advertiser thousands in revenue: it was for Melbourne’s new observation wheel.

At the end it had these words:


Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Here’s the terrible part … the observation wheel had its Grand Opening 10 days ago.

In other words, by advertising “Open Soon” they’re telling people not to visit the attraction yet … so they’re turning away revenue!

It’s like airplanes and hotel rooms … once a day is lost, it can never be sold again … you’re operating under capacity and leaving your product un-sold.

On their website, they’re now open every day — so there’s now two lots of waste/lost opportunity:

  1. Missed revenue from not selling tickets to the observation wheel
  2. Wasted advertising spend on inaccurate offers/messages

Now hopefully it’s a production error by the television station and the client gets a credit — but even still, the wrong message is being sent to potential customers … “keep away for now”.

Here’s the worst part … I see this ALL the time!

It happens a LOT especially in magazines — offers that expire while the magazine is still “current”; upcoming events that have already taken place … validity dates for travel offers expiring too soon for readers to take action.

Why is it especially prevalent in magazines? It’s because of the often much longer “lead times” — deadlines — for advertising artwork. For example, an ad might be due early December and not be on the shelves until February (and be valid until at least March) … and you might have had the artwork done in November!

So remember to plan ahead and make sure your offer is valid when your prospects will see it!

Copy Tip 19: Headlines IV

Here’s a short headline tip for today … one that’s related to the most mailed direct sales letter in history (sent out over 100 MILLION times).

The letter did NOT have a headline.

I’m talking about the very famous (in copywriting and marketing circles) Gary Halbert “Coat Of Arms” letter.

It was a typed letter designed to look like it was personal correspondence, with just six paragraphs of text. It was signed by Nancy L. Halbert.

And it had a VERY compelling offer with some incredibly persuasive text. The opening of the letter was just as compelling at getting attention as any headline might be.

No logo, no order form. A very plain return address and phone number.

Nothing “business-like” about it. No ad/promo writing on the envelope.

A very deliberate “personal” strategy that worked beautifully (reportedly having over US$100 million in gross sales — and at one stage employing 40 people just to process the checks/cheques).

It starts off with the following (in the example copy I have):

Dear Mr. Macdonald,

Did you know that your family name was recorded with a coat-of-arms in ancient heraldic archives more than seven centuries ago?

My husband and I discovered this while doing some research for some friends of ours who have the same last name as you do…

It’s simply brilliant.

What’s that you say? You’d like to see a copy?

It’s well worth your time to use Google (or Google Images!) and find a copy. They’re out there. I’m not going to include it here … I’m encouraging you to be resourceful and discover it yourself … there are enough clues here to find it quickly. Research is paramount, so it’s time to start putting it into action!

Thumbnail image of Gary Halbert Coat of Arms letter

And I’d be writing it out by hand when you find it — a great way to really get into actual copy.

The big lesson

There will be times in your strategy when a HEADLINE is NOT used to grab attention and compel people to keep on reading. Other copy will do that job.

There are no “hard-and-fast” rules — in this case, having no headline was the perfect strategy for this campaign.

Copy Tip 18: Headlines III

Goooooooooone!! He’s out!

You bewdy, the wicket of Graeme Smith has just fallen, and the South Africans are now 4 for 126. Thank you Peter Siddle!

It wouldn’t be late December in Melbourne without the Boxing Day test on the telly!

(If you think I’m talking in an alien language, it’s Day 2 of the 2nd cricket test, at Melbourne’s MCG between Australia and South Africa).

Test cricket ball

Actually, if this post was just for cricket fans, they’d know exactly what I was talking about.

And that’s related to today’s copy tip — qualifying your prospect (and later one we’ll cover making sure you’re speaking their language).

With my mind on the cricket, it’s a shorter copy tip today — but an extremely important one.

You can use your headline to qualify your prospect.

But that might raise two questions, and I’m ready to answer them for you!

Firstly, you might ask why would you narrow down your market … isn’t everyone your prospect?

No. If “everyone” is your prospect, then the ability to target your prospect with a message that resonates with them is extremely hindered.

So even if you do have lots of different prospects to market to as part of your strategy, you should still focus your message to help get attention and keep them reading.

Secondly, you might be thinking “if I qualify my prospect, not everyone will read the rest of the copy!

That is exactly what you should be doing!

You want to create a conversation ONLY with people who are qualified to be your prospect, with the capability to buy your product or service.

You might have seen headlines that do this.

They start with something like:

“Attention Home Owners:”

or maybe:

“Attention Boat Owners:”

That turns away non-prospects, which is good, because it means only qualified people will keep reading.

Your overall response to your offer may be lower — but that’s okay, because it means your cost per lead will be lower and you’re likely to convert more leads into sales.

So you’re spending your marketing dollars on the right people instead of the wrong ones (used car salesmen would probably call them “tyre kickers”!).

And that’s a good thing.

It also means you can look at increasing the value of your offer, as you can afford better marketing because your costs of sales are lower and your conversions are higher.

If you can test a headline where you qualify your prospect, it may prove to be a very effective and responsive strategy for you.

Another wicket taken by Siddle! The South Africans are 5 for 132!! The wickets are tumbling! And the MCG crowd is at full voice!

(And AB de Villiers — when the bails are missing from the top of your stumps, it’s time to walk!)

Time to get back to the cricket! Here’s what cricket looks like at The ‘G:

Cricket at the Melbourne Cricket Ground