Archives for September 2010

Writing great sales copy 9 – Use Takeaway Selling to Increase the Urgency

When you limit the supply of a product or service in some way (i.e. takeaway selling), basic economics dictates that the demand will rise. In other words, people will generally respond better to an offer if they believe the offer is about to become unavailable or restricted in some way.

And of course, the opposite is also true. If a prospect knows your product will be around whenever he needs it, there’s no need for him to act now. And when your ad is put aside by the prospect, the chance of closing the sale diminishes greatly.

It’s your job, therefore, to get your prospect to buy, and buy now. Using scarcity to sell is a great way to accomplish that.

There are basically three types of takeaways:

1) Limiting the quantity
2) Limiting the time
3) Limiting the offer

In the first method, limiting the quantity, you are presenting a fixed number of widgets available for sale. After they’re gone, that’s it.

Some good ways to limit the quantity include:

• only so many units made or obtained
• selling off old stock to make room for new
• limited number of cosmetically-defected items, or a fire sale
• only a limited number being sold so as not to saturate the market
• etc.

In the second method, limiting the time, a deadline is added to the offer. It should be a realistic deadline, not one that changes all the time (especially on a website, where the deadline date always seems to be that very day at midnight…when you return the next day, the deadline date has mysteriously changed again to the new day). Deadlines that change decrease your credibility.

This approach works well when the offer or the price will change, or the product/service will become unavailable, after the deadline.

The third method, limiting the offer, is accomplished by limiting other parts of the offer, such as the guarantee, bonuses or premiums, the price, and so on.

When using takeaway selling, you must be sure to follow-through with your restrictions. If you say you only have 500 widgets to sell, then don’t sell 501. If you say your offer will expire at the end of the month, make sure it does. Otherwise your credibility will take a hit. Prospects will remember the next time another offer from you makes its way into their hands.

Another important thing you should do is explain the reason why the offer is being restricted. Don’t just say the price will be going up in three weeks, but decline to tell them why.

Here are some examples of good takeaway selling:

“Unfortunately, I can only handle so many clients. Once my plate is full, I will be unable to accept any new business. So if you’re serious about strengthening your investment strategies and creating more wealth than ever before, you should contact me ASAP.”

“Remember…you must act by [date] at midnight in order to get my 2 bonuses. These bonuses have been provided by [third-party company], and we have no control over their availability after that time.”

“We’ve obtained only 750 of these premiums from our vendor. Once they are gone, we won’t be able to get any more until next year. And even then we can’t guarantee the price will remain the same. In fact, because of the increasing demand, it’s very likely the price could double or triple by then!”

Remember when I said earlier that people buy based on emotions, then back up their decision to buy with logic? Well, by using takeaway selling, that restriction becomes part of that logic to buy and buy now.

This article is courtesy of PLR content that by the time it reached me had lost the author’s name. If anyone knows who originally wrote this, please let me know and I’ll attribute it.

Writing Great Sales Copy 6 – The Headline

If you’re going to make a single change to boost your response rate the most, focus on your headline (you do have one, don’t you?).

Why? Because five times as many people read your headline than your copy. Quite simply, a headline is…an ad for your ad. People won’t stop their busy lives to read your copy unless you give them a good reason to do so. So a good headline promises some news and a benefit.

Perhaps you’re thinking, “What’s this about news, you say?”

Think about the last time you browsed through your local newspaper. You checked out the articles, one by one, and occasionally an ad may have caught your eye. Which ads were the ones most likely to catch your eye?

The ones that looked like an article, of course.

The ones with the headline that promised news.

The ones with fonts and type that closely resembled the fonts and type used in articles.

The ones that were placed where articles were placed (as opposed to being placed on a full page of ads, for example).

And the ones with the most compelling headlines that convinced you it’s worth a few minutes to read the copy.

The headline is that powerful and that important.

I’ve seen many ads over the years that didn’t even have a headline. And that’s just silly. It’s the equivalent of flushing good money spent on advertising right down the toilet.

Why? Because your response can increase dramatically by not only adding a headline, but by making that headline almost impossible to resist for your target market.

And those last three words are important. Your target market.

For example, take a look at the following headline:

Announcing…New High-Tech Gloves ProtectWearer Against Hazardous Waste

News, and a benefit.

Will that headline appeal to everyone?

No, and you don’t care about everyone.

But for someone who handles hazardous waste, they would sure appreciate knowing about this little gem.

That’s your target market, and it’s your job to get them to read your ad. Your headline is the way you do that.

Ok, now where do you find great headlines?

You look at other successful ads (especially direct response) that have stood the test of time. You look for ads that run regularly in magazines and other publications. How do you know they’re good? Because if they didn’t do their job, the advertiser wouldn’t keep running them again and again.

You get on the email lists of big direct response companies and save their direct mail packages.

Ok, now how could you adapt some of those headlines to your own product or service?

Your headline should create a sense of urgency. It should be as specific as possible (i.e. say £1,007,274.23 instead of “a million pounds”).

The headline appearance is also very important. Make sure the type used is bold and large, and different from the type used in the copy. Generally, longer headlines tend to out pull shorter ones, even when targeting more “conservative” prospects.

This article is courtesy of PLR content that by the time it reached me had lost the author’s name.  If anyone knows who originally wrote this, please let me know and I’ll attribute it.

Gone Phishing…

We just received the following email.  Putting aside the huge image across the top of the page that renders the preview pane completely empty, take a look at the pink banner applied to the message by Outlook:

Suspect email - Outlook says "Phishing?"

I don’t know what you think, but I’d pause before taking a closer look at this message, especially as the only thing visible is an option to unsubscribe and a big grey box!

So why is it classed as “potentially unsafe”?  I do know the sender and they are legitimate, so somehow they have done something wrong that has made Outlook suspicious…

There are a number of possible reasons for this but I suspect the main one is the links in the email just look really dodgy and don’t point to the same domain as the email purports to come from:

“http://r20.rs6.net/tn.jsp?llr=twazu8cab&et=1103686239126&s=12411&e=001Wny76XauL6CLcmyR_mdxgmlpWL_G8hYq_kj3VTCMbSaUEIkS3qYni3yVGZ-fFs9slQp_bIkRLdr3du_1Gu47WUsqaWhu_YM3CJA2CczSCtco6qQcYy0qyw==”

I’d mark that as “potentially unsafe” too!!

It gets better…  The sender has used Constant Contact to send the email and then half way down the email we get this:

So, we’ve got an email sent using Constant Contact promoting using Infusionsoft for email marketing.  And using an email with “potential phishing” to suggest the sender is an authority in email marketing…

To quote my son “LOL”

Writing great sales copy 8 – Write To Be Scanned

Your layout is very important in a sales letter, because you want your letter to look inviting, refreshing to the eyes. In short, you want your prospect to stop what he’s doing and read your letter.

If he sees a letter with tiny margins, no indentations, no breaks in the text, no white space, and no subheads…if he sees a page of nothing but densely-packed words, do you think he’ll be tempted to read it?

Not likely.

If you do have ample white space and generous margins, short sentences, short paragraphs, subheads, and an italicized or underlined word here and there for emphasis, it will certainly look more inviting to read.

When reading your letter, some prospects will start at the beginning and read word for word. Some will read the headline and maybe the lead, then read the “P.S.” at the end of the letter and see who the letter is from, then start from the beginning.

And some folks will scan through your letter, noticing the various subheads strategically positioned by you throughout your letter, then decide if it’s worth their time to read the entire thing. Some may never read the entire letter, but order anyways.

You must write for all of them. Interesting and compelling long copy for the studious reader, and short paragraphs and sentences, white space, and subheads for the skimmer.

Subheads are the smaller headlines sprinkled throughout your copy.

Like this.

When coming up with your headline, some of the headlines that didn’t make the cut can make great subheads. A good subhead forces your prospect to keep reading, threading him along from start to finish throughout your copy, while also providing the glue necessary to keep skimmers skimming.

This article is courtesy of PLR content that by the time it reached me had lost the author’s name. If anyone knows who originally wrote this, please let me know and I’ll attribute it.

The other 80%

Here’s something you will recognise… You’ve just finished a successful trade show. You have some great contacts to follow up and everyone is delighted.

The marketing department are pleased with the results and the sales team immediately begin following up to close the hot prospects – about 20% of all of the contacts.  The remaining 80% never receive another contact by phone or email!

Why?

Because neither the marketing or sales staff have the time or energy to follow up and weed out the 50% of “non-qualified” contacts and to nurture the remaining 40% that would eventually become future hot prospects.

This failure to remain in contact with these potential clients could result in a tremendous loss of sales. It’s only a matter of time before these 40% of would be clients buy from your competition.
Thankfully your company is blisfully unaware of these lost sales.  If it were you can imagine the discussion:

Marketing: “Sales are lazy – we work our butts off to produce great leads and you don’t follow them up.”

Sales: “Marketing produce time wasting weak leads.  No one has budget or is ready to buy.  We may as well just phone from yellow pages!”

I parody slightly 🙂

But.. the real loser is your company that has spent out for an expensive trade show for only 20% of the contacts to be sold to. When a further 40% of contacts could have become customers too.

The challenge is to identify and keep in touch with these 40% of contacts, feeding them relevant information and keeping your name in their mind so that when they come to buy, you are their natural choice.

This is not a role that either marketing or sales traditionally do.  But this is exactly what the Nett Sales process does for you: It takes leads that are generally neglected and carefully, patiently, methodically and automatically nurtures them until they are ready to become buying clients.  Building a relationship of trust until the lead is ready to become a dependable buying client.

Marketing and Sales departments really don’t have time to spend months upon months communicating with leads that aren’t yet ready to buy. But Nett Sales does. When the client is ready to buy, Nett Sales turns the lead over to your sales staff to close the sale.

This is not to be confused with some mass email marketing blast. Each lead will receive a personal campaign based on their individual needs and proximity to a purchase of goods and services.