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rior to founding ABC M&C, Policci served as a consultant to over 3500 clients. He created and co-created strategies with his clients, helped them execute targeted marketing plans, wrote and critiqued thousands of ads, sales letters, scripts etc. Policci has been published in dozens of trade magazines, his ads have ran in Entrepreneur Magazine and he is the author of two self-published marketing books. “The response doublers guide to creating a killer yellow-page or print ad” and “A Wise-Guys Copywriting Rule Book”. He also wrote “Hiding in Plain Sight” – How to Protect Your Assets from the IRS, Lawyers and Other Thieves” and you’ll find a full chapter on copywriting in “The 10-Minute Marketer’s Secret Formula” by Tom Feltenstein and Entrepreneur Press. Mr. Policci specializes in providing unique, unconventional, and extremely effective approaches to his clients marketing challenges. His strategies have produced as much as a 2000% increase in response to promotions and sales. He’s a straightforward guy, who doesn't believe in telling you what you want to hear it's more important to tell you what will be beneficial. Connect with

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How to Tell Stories In Your Copy That Grab & Keep Your Prospects Attention

In most cases, you shouldn’t begin writing your copy until you know the story you’re going to tell in the copy and how you’re going to present it. There are several reasons why you should do this.

First, most cultures are “story cultures”. We take in our entertainment through stories. People watch hours upon hours of television a week, and a good portion of it is fiction stories of comedy, drama and so forth.

Plus, stories are perfect to engage a reader’s emotions. People buy emotionally, not logically. Although it’s a cliche, facts tell, stories sell. Facts tell the prospect the benefits of why they should buy (logical approach).

Stories demonstrate those benefits in action, and show the prospect how it can transform their life (emotional approach). Finally, stories are the “hooks” to hang your other persuasion elements on. The best way to prove your
claims is while you’re telling your story. The best way to put a ton of benefits into your copy is by lacing your
story with the benefits of your product and solution.

Stories build your credibility, and also help explain why you decided to price your solution at the price you
did, and how it’s so little compared to the value they get, and so on.

Just study the greatest sales letters of all time and you’ll find that 9 times out of 10, they used a story to
do the heavy lifting.

The 3 Types of Story Plots That Almost Every Killer Sales Letter Follows

The good news is you don’t have to be a genius story teller to write great stories that sell. No. You just need to know three basic approaches to create good stories that will help sell your products. You master these three, and you don’t really need anything else.

That makes it easier to become a great “story telling” copywriter in no time flat. The first plot is what’s called a “journey plot”.

This is the simplest plot to use to improve your conversions and copywriting ability. It works like this. You start out explaining where you were at when you decided to go out and and find a solution for your problem. Then, you explain your lowest point, where things got really bad for you. Next, you talk about how you found the path that started to make positive changes in your life.

Then you talk about how that led you to discover the solution. Finally, you explain why you’re sharing the solution for them.

Let’s do an example. Let’s say you’re selling a course on how to get rich by investing in the stock market. You’d first start talking about how you were fed out with your current financial situation, and how earning money the way you did in the past wasn’t cutting it for you any more. Then, you talk about finding better solutions, and how you struggled and failed and were made a fool of. Highlight one very specific example that demonstrates this.

Perhaps you became so broke finding the solution that you almost stole money from your brother-in-law!

Explain that, to really show your lowest point. That will help create more impact when you talk about how you finally succeeded.

After talking about your lowest point, then start building up on how you begin making progress, and were first introduced to the solution you found. Explain your “path of success” on how you first started getting results, and how those results improved over time to the point they are at now, where you now have the “ultimate” solution. Then explain why you have decided to share that solution with them.

It really is that simple.

Once you have fleshed your story out like that, it becomes really easy to sit down and write your copy, because you now how it’s going to flow. In most cases, you should write with the journey plot. There is no better story that sells than this one, and it’s the first one you should always consider when sitting down to write your copy.

A second story that is also good for using in sales letters is what I call the “Accident” plot. In this case, it’s perfect to use if, by accident, you or the person you’re writing copy for “stumbled” on the solution.

This is a good plot because it appeals to the “average Joe” in the market. The idea is to get them to think that if you, an average Joe just like them, can do it by accident, then they will be able to do it on purpose.

Plus, it’s a great way to build in proof that your stuff works.

Here’s an example. Let’s say one day you were out on the golf course. The day before you had suffered a leg injury, so you couldn’t tee off the way you normally did. So you had to modify your stance, and you thought you were at a huge disadvantage because
of this.

But when you stepped up to the first tee, you launched your drive 235 yards, dead center on the fairway. You thought you had just gotten lucky. But you did it again and again throughout the day, and shot one of the best rounds of your life.

You still weren’t sure if it was a fluke or not. So you showed a couple of your country club buddies, and they, too, were instantly able to improve their driving ability. And best of all, it only took five minutes to show them, and they were shaving 8-10 strokes off their game by the next round!

What a great story. It’s engaging, it’s interesting and exciting, and it promises a huge benefit to the reader.

It’s also believable, especially if you have testimonials from your buddies, and your score card to show them and a picture of your limping from your injury.

It’s easy to put in all those proof elements without even thinking about it, because of the flow of the story.

The third killer plot to use is an “Us vs. Them” plot.

This is where you position your solution as a way for the prospect to get revenge on a certain group of people that they hate and feel are taking advantage of them! In this case, you first start out the story by getting them angry at a certain group of people that are taking advantage of them. Then, agitate that anger even more by explaining specific instances to demonstrate just how bad they are being taken advantage of.

Then talk about how you came up with a solution to turn the tables, so they are no longer being taken advantage of. Then, further explain how not only will they no longer be taken advantage of, but they will also wildly benefit from the situation by using your solution. Then explain specific examples of how and what types of benefits they can enjoy with your solution, and how to get your

Example: you got a product in the dog food niche. A lot of commercial dog food companies but a lot of junk in their food, and then use deception to market their products to naive dog owners. In fact, that’s the main reason there are so many pet food recalls. Even worse, there are several documented cases of dog food companies who knowingly put ingredients in their products that can
cause your animal to die, because to them it’s just a numbers and profits game.

However, there is a way to feed your dog that they are, in fact, trying to suppress so you don’t’ find out about it, because it could potentially put them out of business. In fact, not only is this new way better for your dog, it’s also easier, cheaper and just as
convenient, and will probably extend your dogs life by many years. You can find all about it in the new report that was just created!

The “Us vs. them” plot is more of a specialty plot that can only be used in certain situations when their are very popular conspiracy theories in that niche, or when a large portion of that niche hates a certain group of people because they feel that those people
are trying to control them or knowingly bringing them harm for their own personal gain.

Effectively Using Sub Plots

Seriously, you really only need to master the three plots above to get really good at writing stories that sell. Anything else you do will only increase your persuasion power by a little bit. So master those three plots first. Then, if you want to take it further, start
using sub plots.

These are plots within the main plot. For example, let’s look at the “journey plot”. What if along the way, you talked about how so many times you were close to the solution, but experienced a setback. Then you overcame that setback only to run into another one.

And another way. But you always came out on top. That’s a “loss and redemption” sub plot. Another sub plot you might consider to work into your main plot is “escape”. In this case, you were held captive, either mentally or physically, and you were able to break out of that “prison” and gain freedom.

Or you can do the opposite sub plot – “rescue”. In this case, you were trying to free something or someone else that was “held against their will”, and you were able to do so. Another great plot that works really good with the “us vs. them” main plot is the “underdog” subplot.

This is the classical David and Goliath. You were at all odds, everything was against you, and you still succeeded in spite of all that, and you know how to show them to do the same.

2 Advanced Story Telling Plots

There are two other plots that you can consider using, but I’d only use these after you master the three basic plots, and also the use of sub plots. That’s because these two story plots I’m about to show you take a lot more skill to use effectively, but they also
can give you tremendous results in the right circumstances.

The first plot is “reluctant selling”. This plot works because it is different than what most people are used to reading in sales letters.

In most cases, the situation is you are trying to sell them something, and the reader is trying to come up with reasons NOT to buy. There is almost always resistance when you are pushing someone to do anything – even if it’s in their best interest.

You can side step that resistance, and completely nullify it if you position yourself to appear as though you don’t care if they buy from you at all, and that you don’t really even want or need to sell to them (even though, of course you want them to buy).

In this case, you want to talk about how you were initially not even very excited to share the solution that you came up with, because you knew it would take a lot of work to do it right, and in that time you could’ve been doing other things that would give you better results quicker.

However, you decided, due to some unique circumstance, to bite the bullet and create and offer the solution anyway… but it’s a solution that you only want people who meet certain conditions to consider.

Then, casually present the benefits, proof and everything else that will help you sell the product, but don’t push it, and always remain “aloof”. You really want to give them the impression that they need you more than you need them.

This is very hard to accomplish until you’ve gotten really good at writing stories, and that’s why I call it an advanced plot. However, if the conditions are right, and your story telling skills are solid, you can make this work. But it is much more of an art than a science, and can really only be understood with a lot of practice and experience.

The second plot is advanced, not because it’s a hard plot to write, but because you need to have an additional skill or a special situation. This is the “transparent” plot, and is the complete opposite of the “reluctant selling” plot.

This is where you come right out and say, at the very beginning, that you are trying to sell them something, and your goal is to get them to buy from you. Then explain that normally this is not how people try to sell stuff, but you can come right out and say it
because you believe you have such an incredible offer than they would be a fool not to take you up on it.

Then, the rest of your copy is “offer-driven” to explain everything in the product and the benefits of it, and proof that your offer is truly a no-brainer for them, based on what they get and what it can do for them against the price you’re charging for the offer, your
killer guarantee that reverse all risks on their part, and so forth.

This plot takes skill because you really have keep them engaged and excited, since your hard selling them. And you need a really outstanding product/offer to make this work.

Additional Techniques To Boost The Power Of Your Stories

Drama sells. You want to be as dramatic as possible. Let’s say you figured out a great golf swing, and were going to use it to win an upcoming tournament, but got really sick and could barely walk before the tournament. Yet, you went out and won the
tournament anyway.

You’d want to write a headline or subhead for the story that says, “Golfer crawls out of death bed and shoots the game of his life!”, or “How I Crawled Out of My Death Bed and Used A Simple Swing To Win the Biggest Tournament of My Life!’

Okay, so maybe you weren’t quite on your death bad. But you are allowed to be a bit dramatic when you’re a copywriter. And you want to be as dramatic as possible, without making it too apparent. You want to get as close to over-doing it as possible without making your reader think “Okay, he’s just hyping the hell out of this, and exaggerating.”

The second way to really improve your stories is to keep them short and simple, using your verbs to do most of the work. In fact, you should use as few adjectives as possible. Usually an adjective is used when the verb is not strong enough to stand on its own.

It’s much better to use a stronger verb than a weak verb and an adjective. For example, “John liked the product so much, he
looked starry-eyed and drunk after using it” is not that good. “liked” is such a weak verb, and that’s why you had to use adjectives like “starry-eyed and drunk”.

Better is “John was mesmerized with the product. His body pulsated after using it.” The second example is short, punchy and uses
powerful verbs.

Finally, learn the art of “transitions”. Sometimes you have to create additional hooks in your story to keep the reader engaged. Every once in a while, you need to “sell them” on reading the next paragraph. That’s why you want to start off certain paragraphs like:

  • “But it gets even better…”
  • “I have to warn you though…”
  • “And that’s just for beginners.”
  • “However, it didn’t stop there…”
  • “Now get this.”
  • “And that’s when it hit me”
  • “Actually, that’s an understatement”
  • “Speaking of…”

And so forth. It keeps the reader engaged, because it piques their curiosity to keep reading, because you’re promising to reveal something else that might shock them, delight them, benefit them, or save them grief in some way that you previously haven’t mentioned.

In Closing…

There you have it. Start with the three basic plots, and master them. When you get them down cold, work in sub plots to your copy.

Then once you have that, learn how to write your stories with the appropriate amount of drama, to grab your reader and excite them, and use transitions to keep them engaged.

Once you master that, move onto the more advanced selling plots.

In any case, just mastering the three basic story lines, and learning how to use a little bit of drama and transitions will make you into damn effective copywriter in a very short amount of time.

How a Direct Marketing Company founded in 1953 is CRUSHING it in 2014…

Any of you over 40 surely remember those big brown envelopes with hundreds of  colorful “lick and stick” stamps for ordering magazines. Yes, I’m referring to the legendary Publishers Clearing House (PCH) campaigns.

The collateral inside promised the opportunity that Ed McMahon might show up at your door with a prize patrol and a big fat check. It was one of the earliest examples of engagement marketing and reciprocity that I can remember.

As media continues to shift from traditional forms to digital, countless brands face disruption. PCH doesn’t want to be a victim of this, so the sweepstakes marketing company is spreading out into the digital realm with new ferocity.

PCH has done a phenomenal job of taking that concept into the online space. With a relentless email system and engagement mechanisms, they have migrated their direct mail success of yesteryear into a formidable digital business that will make some serious acquisitions in the online and mobile sectors.

The digital businesses are generating a HUGE percentage of revenues these days, and it is the biggest focus of the company’s marketing efforts. About half of the repeat traffic they have to their online campaigns, games, sweeps, etc. is from mobile. Now they want more.

Whew. I think I’ve used enough $5 words in this so far, so let’s break it down. Have you seen what PCH is doing lately? If not, there’s a thing or two you could learn from taking a look.

How to Know Great Sales Copy When You See It

How to Know Great Sales Copy When You See It

So here we are at the end of August and it dawned on me that I’ve gone the entire summer without posting anything new.

Why? I’ve been slammed writing copy for clients.

Monday I had an interesting experience. One of my clients has a “partner” who sends out direct mail pieces promoting his live events. They sent over an example of their latest piece and said it didn’t work.

First of all, since I’m the damn copywriter, my big question was “why didn’t you goofballs send it to me to critique before you wasted all that time and money mailing a toad!”

This thing was so bad, you could have hidden hundred dollar bills inside and got no response.

It was cold, impersonal, had pictures with NO relevance to the reader and looked like it was created by a designer who was trying to win a creative award. (Yawn!).

So I thought maybe I would share with you some tips to make sure your copy doesn’t suck!

The ONLY question that is EVER open for debate is how effectively a piece of copy has fulfilled fourteen critical criteria that have been established over more than a century of scientific testing in millions of direct response promotions.

  • The process of writing copy, then, is simply the practice of creating a conversation with the prospect in which these criteria are met.
  • The process of critiquing copy can be thought of as the practice of determining a) whether these criteria are met and b) how well they are met.
  • The process of improving copy is the practice of increasing its effectiveness in satisfying these criteria.

Good Copy …Makes four sales:

  1. The attention sale – which stops the prospect and compels him to look at the copy (usually through the use of a subject line or a headline and deck) …
  2. The readership sale – which converts attention to readership, then sells the prospect on continuing to read with each sentence and subhead that follows …
  3. The product sale – in which every benefit the product or service delivers is made credible, three-dimensional, palpable and desire is created, and …
  4. The call to action sale – in which the prospect is persuaded to take the steps prescribed by the writer; most often to make a purchase or provide lead information.

Good Copy Is written in the APPROPRIATE TONE for the subject matter. If an alarming message is delivered with a passive tone or a reassuring message is delivered in a harsh tone, the credibility and therefore the effectiveness of the message will suffer. If you whisper “Your house is on fire,” nobody will believe you. If you scream “I LOVE YOU!” you’ll sound like a lunatic.

Activates a relevant and actionable DOMINANT EMOTION in the prospect. Because human beings almost never make purchases for logical reasons, but as their emotions dictate, the copy should activate a fear, frustration and/or desire that the prospect already has, then offer him a way to fulfill or assuage that emotion.

REWARDS prospect for reading. To maximize readership, the early copy should send the message that the simple act of reading the copy will result in the reader receiving a benefit – improve some aspect of his life, deliver useful information, give him emotional validation or at the very least, entertain him; possibly by solving a mystery or through the use of irony or humor. To retain readership, the copy itself must, of course, deliver on that message.

Has CLARITY OF VISION. The copy should begin with a mutually agreed-upon proposition and then lead the prospect from the point at which he is found to the point where he needs to be to take the desired action. No meandering; no side trips. Sentences and paragraphs should contain one or at most, two thoughts that move the conversation forward.

Has SPECIFICITY. Peppering copy with specifics makes it feel more tangible, more believable and also makes it easier to read and understand. Ethereal, nebulous, hazy, imprecise copy demands that the prospect work to figure it out – or worse, confuses the reader – thus killing readership.

Is INTERESTING. It must hold the prospect’s attention and also send the explicit or implicit message that the writer is passionately interested both in the reader and in the subject at hand. Failing to do so will absolutely kill readership and by extension, response.

Has MOMENTUM. The reader should feel that he is moving through the work quickly and effortlessly. The organization should be linear; the copy should never meander or return to points already covered. And each succeeding section should be shorter than the one before it.

Is EFFICIENT. Points should be made using the shortest, clearest, most precisely chosen words possible, then organized into tight, lean, punchy sentences and paragraphs.

Is PERSUASIVE. Great copy presents all the reasons why the prospect should act in the way the writer desires. These “reasons why” are the practical and emotional benefits that the promotion, the desired action and the product or service being sold will bring to his life.

Is CREDIBLE. Not only must the copy be believable on its face, various types of proof should be used to establish every critical point as fact. The effective types of proof most often used in direct response copy include:

  • Empirical proof – proven by the prospect’s own life experiences
  • Social proof – testimonials and case histories involving ordinary people much like the prospect
  • Authoritative proof – citations from respected authorities
  • Logical proof – the use of reason and absurd-isms to prove a point
  • Abduction proof – creating an explanatory hypothesis; a reason why a certain proposition is true
  • Conditional reasoning – “If x, then y”
  • Visual proof – photos, charts, tables, etc.
  • Demonstrable proof – as in a promotion for a book or newsletter in which delivering information or advice in the copy demonstrates and proves the author’s expertise

Effectively addresses most common OBJECTIONS. Eliminates the prospect’s objections – most typically cost, inconvenience, dissatisfying past experiences, monetary risk and social pressure. Ideally, these objections should be addressed without naming them.

Tells the prospect precisely what to do. Describes the desired action in specific detail – as in “complete the enclosed order form, then return it in the postage-paid envelope provided to Acme Widgets, 00000 Coyote Street, Grand Canyon City, AZ 00000.”

Is LONG ENOUGH to do all of this, but not one word longer. -Nuff said here.

I wish I could show you the crappy mail piece these guys created, but confidentiality prevents me from doing so. The good news is, if you take even 50% of what I have shared with you here and apply it to your writing, chances are YOU WILL CREATE A WINNER.

Until next time, write well, live well and be real,
Tony Policci
Absolutely Brilliant Concepts, Inc.

Grab My Book Here
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What Happens When You Stop Nurturing Your Clients?

A Customer Saved is a Penny Earned

by Sergio Fernandez.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.


How to Make Your Copy Recession Proof

Reprinted from my July – 2008 Newsletter:

Someone said to me the other day I don t know if we re in a recession or not, but it sure feels like it.
Well, when the economy is uncertain, great copy is even more important.
So this newsletter is dedicated to helping you “sell-well” even in the down markets.

The Concept: Tell them why and then they’ll buy

There are only three reasons that prospects don’t buy from you…

1. They don t want or need what you’re selling.
It s always important to target your marketing to reach only your legitimate prospects.

2. They truly can’t afford what you’re selling.
This one only counts if it’s true, and they’re not just using it as a handy excuse.

The third and most often real reason why people don’t buy

3. They just don’t believe you.
You haven’t built enough credibility with your prospects. One of the best, most effective ways to establish this credibility is to let them in on your inside secrets.

Let them in on your philosophy; your rationale. Let them in on the “reason why” you’re doing what you’re doing.

Most businesses try to keep everything about their business a big secret. They don’t want anyone to know the inside workings of their operation.

Often, they’re more concerned about their competitors finding out something (which the competitors probably already know), than they are about using it to their advantage to get more customers.

In reality, it’s these very “secrets” that would attract a customer to want to do business with them in the first place.

If you are offering a product at a particularly low price, tell your prospects why.

And tell them the truth.

Don’t try to make it sound like you’re cutting your prices just because you’re “a nice guy, or that you’re doing it simply because “you like them.

They won’t believe you.

You run a business… not a charity.

Maybe you are severely overstocked on one item and you need to get rid of some to make room for something else.

If that’s the case, tell them.

Maybe right now you have a thousand summer widgets and the summer is rapidly approaching it’s end, so you need to move them or store them for a year.

If that’s the case, tell the customers.

Maybe the cost to store those widgets would add another 20% to what you’ve already invested in them, therefore, you’d rather sell them all right now at a deep discount. In fact, you’ll sell them for 10% below your cost.

By doing so, your customers will get an amazing value, and you’ll come out better too.

Perhaps you have to make a big loan payment and business has been down so you’re having an emergency sale.

Don’t be embarrassed, tell them.

Maybe your product is less pricey because of a trivial manufacturing flaw. Tell your prospects all about it.

Tell them how the flaw is barely noticeable, and that without it, this product would sell for twice the price. Tell them how fortunate they are to get such a great bargain on an otherwise perfect product. Tell them the reason why.

If your price is lower because you have lower overhead, don’t just say: “Our low overhead means lower prices.” Tell them why.

Maybe you work out of a home office, so you have no lease payment to make every month, or perhaps you’re located on an out of the way side street instead of the mall, and pay a much lower rent.

If your low overhead is because you are located in the rural area out of town, tell them that.

You might point out in your ads that the average rent is X dollars per square foot in the city, but you only pay Y dollars. Therefore each item you sell reflects that savings.

If you are making a special introductory offer to get people to try you for the first time, say so.

Tell them that once they try your product or service they’ll fall in love with it and keep using it. Therefore, you’re willing to sell it at your cost the first time, or even provide a free sample, just to get them to try you once. Whatever the reason, tell them.

If you are offering a special deal because you just bought a large shipment of factory closeouts, tell them how the price for these goods is usually X dollars, but that you just bought the entire final production run from the factory, so you got them for much less.

Tell your prospects that instead of pricing these closeouts at your normal price and making twice your normal profit, you’d rather use them to help move some other item that you’re overstocked in.

Explain that for every one of the slower moving items they buy, you’ll let them have one of the closeouts at half price.

How about this one?

We once saw a small company that ran a quarter page ad once a week, and their larger competitor, that sold the same goods, ran three full page ads every week. Guess what the smaller company said in their ads?

We sell the exact same goods as XYZ Company, but we sell them for less. Why? It s because our competitor runs a full page ad three times a week in your local paper. That ad costs X dollars. Multiply that times three, and it comes up to a hefty bill every week.

But we, on the other hand, only spend Y dollars on this small ad, once a week. And that means that our average price can be 11% lower than theirs.

The best part about it is they actually put the exact numbers and percentages in the ad. It is so detailed and specific, that you couldn’t help but to believe it.

On the other hand, if your prices are higher, tell them the reason why.

Maybe it’s because your product lasts 10 times longer than the average product so you back it with a lifetime guarantee; or that your product requires less maintenance, or has lower operating costs which saves X dollars over it’s life so that it actually ends up costing it’s owner less to use.

If your prices are a little higher because you have three times the service or support staff, and provide a higher level of service, tell them that.

Explain that your prices are 5% higher than your competitors, but explain the superior level of service that you provide is 99% better.

Maybe you make house calls, or include regular maintenance at no additional cost, or provide on site training. Show them how, for a few cents more, they can save time, effort, and frustration by shopping with you.

If your prices are higher because you can respond to a service call in two hours instead of the six hours that your competitors take, tell them.

Remind them of the cost of “down time,” and all of the other things they could be doing during that 4 hour difference.

Always tell them the reason why you are doing something and your prospects will probably believe you. But as always, tell the truth.

Here’s a perfect example of a case where the true reason why (although slightly embarrassing), allowed another marketer to turn a potentially devastating situation into an incredibly profitable one.

Back when VHS tapes were new to the world (not fossils) these guys had five video stores. Part of the movie inventory was a section of (ahem) adult movies.

A segment of the market wanted the ability to rent those tapes and watch them in the privacy of their own homes. (Nasty, nasty, nasty!).

They carefully and discreetly met this “want” without offending those who did not wish to see these tapes.

Anyway, this part of their business started to decline as more and more family videos became available on video tape.

Also, at about the same time, quite a stir was building about pornography, and a “grass roots movement against adult video rentals was gaining momentum. (yeah! I think pornography is horrible and destructive!)

A few Congressmen had even introduced some quite restrictive legislation to help curtail it.
These guys felt that the “handwriting was on the wall, and decided that they should get out of that part of the business.

The problem was that they had about 8,000 adult tapes in their inventory, representing a significant investment (each tape cost them $30-$70 and retailed for $60-$120).

They decided to run a full page ad explaining there situation and offering the tapes at a deep discount.

Take a look at the headline and some excerpts from that ad…

Why Would We Sell $100 Movies For $14.99?

I’m writing to alert you to an embarrassing situation, but first you must agree not to laugh or be offended by the subject matter because frankly, it’s a little bit unusual and a little bit of a “Hot Potato.”

IT’S ADULT MOVIES… now don’t laugh; you promised!

My brother and I have an embarrassing and frustrating problem we would like to share with you both in confidence and in the form of an opportunity.

First, the problem: There are a bunch of people in Congress who are hell bent on doing away with your rights as they affect things like Adult Movies and magazines.

I’m not saying adult movies are good or bad, only that people should have the right to make their own choices.

That notwithstanding, the truth of the matter is some heavyweights in Congress have introduced legislation that’s going to make it illegal to rent adult movies.

That really ticks me off, not so much about not being able to rent adult tapes, because frankly, that’s a matter of personal preference, but with all the scandals in Washington, they should get their own house in order before they mess with yours!

Nevertheless, we have a real problem. Besides taking away some of everybody’s rights, they’re going to take away about 8,000 of our movies!

We’ve got to decide what to do before that occurs…

(Blah, Blah, Blah the ad continues and eventually offers $100 tapes for $14.99 and for every five you buy you got a sixth free).

Now, I ain t including the rest of the ad here.

Imagine the individuals descending on the stores during that? Makes me shudder

Just for the record, my personal opinion is adult movies are one of the things that has helped chip away at the morality of mankind.

And while some see it as entertainment, or eroticism and approve of it, the truth is porn is evil. Not based on MY opinion, but on the evidence that it has NEVER produced a documented long term positive effect on ANY society, relationship or individual – (and wealth generated from porn is no better than wealth from drugs or any other illegal activity).

AND also just for the record, I used to think it WAS great when I was a dumb kid…I learned differently!

Okay, now back to the ad.

They truthfully explained their problem in such a way as to tell the reader exactly why they were making such an incredible offer?

Well, merely by explaining their problem and the reason for the sale in that one ad, they sold all of their tapes in just a few days. That one ad generated over a hundred thousand dollars practically overnight.

All because they told the reason why!

Now if this can work with something as evil as adult tapes, don t you think it could work for your products too?

When you don’t tell the reason why, your prospects will be more concerned with trying to figure out your ulterior motive than with honestly considering the purchase.

And that can rob you of thousands of dollars of sales.

Of course, even when you do tell the reason why, customers and prospects still feel a certain amount of risk when they do business with you; especially for the first time.

The reason you have to tell your prospects why you’re willing to do something or why your product is better, more expensive, or cheaper, is to build credibility.

Credibility is one of the most important elements of any ad. Without it, your sales go right down the tube.

How can you build credibility?

It’s actually not that hard. Try following these simple “rules.”

The single biggest and most universally powerful thing you can do to increase your believability is…

1. Tell the truth!

Sure, it sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many people have trouble doing this.

Tell the truth. You can still present your case in the most compelling and convincing manner possible, but don’t lie.

There’s a big difference between acceptable embellishment and outright lying. Don’t cross that line.

2. Be sincere.

If people don’t think you’re sincere in what you say, it doesn’t matter how true it is, they still won’t believe you.

Although the lack of truthfulness and sincerity can easily kill your marketing efforts, their presence alone doesn’t go very far towards guaranteeing marketing success.

You need to do more; a lot more.

You need to build a solid case for your offer, the strongest case you can make.

Imagine you’re an attorney. Your client has been charged with first degree murder and you know deep down in your very soul that he’s not guilty.

Are you going to simply say (with all sincerity), “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, my client is simply not guilty. And that’s the truth!”

Of course not. No lawyer would. Even though the prosecutor has to prove his case beyond any reasonable doubt, any good lawyer is going to try to prove his client innocent.

And to do that, he’s got to build the strongest case possible for his client.

Well, in a sense, you’re the attorney for your offer and the prospect is the judge and jury. The only way to win your case is to build a solid case to the jury.

If the jury buys your case, they buy your product or service. If not, they sentence your offer to death by disposal and promptly throw it away. And you don’t even get to appeal the verdict. That’s the way it works.

So how do you build a solid case for your offer?

The major ingredients of any convincing case are; facts, specifics, the how, the why, and as many details as you can give.

When a prospect is reading (or watching) your ad, he or she wants the facts. They’ll be sold by the emotional appeals, but they won’t actually buy without the logical, rational facts to back up their emotional decision.

Tell them…

About the special developed processes you use to ensure reliability.
About the rigid testing and research that went into your product.
About the proven useful life of your product.
About the documented low maintenance costs.
About the attention to detail put into your design and engineering.

And, about any other provable facts which make your product, service, or offer a deal of a lifetime.

Give them lots of details.

Suppose you wanted to get married and for some reason, you had to base your decision on a single letter from the prospective spouse.

Wouldn’t you want to know everything you could about them before heading down the isle?

Would you want to know all about their likes, beliefs, interests, height, health, mental stability, parents, debt, hurts, habits, hang-ups and so on and so forth?

You bet your sweet alimony you would.

The same is true when a prospect reads, sees, or listens to your ad.

The more details you provide, the more believable you are. People generally assume that the more detailed an explanation is, the more credible it is.

But, even when you do all this, there can still be a little doubt in the prospects’ minds. After all, it’s still you doing the talking.

You know what they say…

If I say something great about me you probably won’t believe me, but if some,one else says something great about me, you might believe them.

Here’s a great way to capitalize on this…

Make it a practice to send press releases to your local media whenever you can find a newsy twist to your business. When a newspaper or magazine runs a press release, save it.

If the item that ran in the paper contains some favorable statements, you can turn around and use them as testimonials. Simply quote the publication in your ads. This adds almost as much credibility as if the publication actually endorsed your company.

Another version of this would be to simply advertise once in a top, prestigious publication like The Wall Street Journal, and then include the words “as seen in The Wall Street Journal” in your ads.

It’s the same thing with TV. Ever notice how many times you see a product advertised in print with the tag line, “As seen on TV”?

Using the nonfatal flaw to build credibility…

When you’re writing about your product or service, it’s only natural (and sensible) to try to present it in its best possible light.

But, think about this. What do you think happens to your credibility when you point out to the prospect some minor flaw in your product?

That’s right. The whole story tends to be more believable when you show them the warts and all.

This is especially powerful when you use it as part of the “reason why.” A perfect example of this would be an appliance dealer having a semiannual scratch and dent sale.

Sometimes, you’ll even profit by inventing a flaw to talk about.

I once heard of a store owner whose scratch and dent sale was so profitable that he actually opened up new, undamaged appliances and put a little scratch on the back just to include them in the sale.

The nonfatal flaw technique, when coupled with a great sale price helps to create the image of a terrific bargain. Another great technique that builds credibility is the “maybe – maybe not.”

Use it as part of the answer to a question, and explain it in the copy that follows. When you use it, you’re simply acknowledging that your product or service might not be right for everybody.

For example, after building a strong case for your product or service, ask the question (in your copy)…

Will (product) work for you?

Maybe, maybe not.

There are some people who even we can’t help. For example, (and then give some examples of cases where your product won’t work).

But, on the other hand, if you (and give more common examples of cases where your product is perfect) then this is just what you need.

Either way, there’s an easy, sure way to find out. Simply take advantage of our better than risk free offer and see for yourself. (And then lead into your guarantee).

That reminds me of another great credibility builder. Make the prospect qualify to take advantage of your offer. Sometimes it pays to attach some strings to your offer. It makes it more believable, and special.

You may want to limit it to regular customers only, or require customers to buy something else to be able to get this item. Making them qualify to take advantage of an offer does add credibility, but be careful how you use it.

It can also reduce the response to the ad.

Of course, this may not be all bad, either. If it’s a lead generating ad, or a special promotion to get new customers, you may want to eliminate the riffraff any,way. It’s your call.

Now, here s a little quiz. Just fill in the blanks to tell your customers the reasons why…

1. The biggest reason people don’t buy from you is that they don’t B________ you.

2. You’ve got to build C____________________ into your advertising (and sales pitches).

3. One of the best ways to build credibility is to always T_______ the T________

4. Honesty is a critical part of building credibility, but you’ve also got to be S_______________. If you aren’t, they won’t believe you anyway.

5. One of the best ways to gain credibility is through the use of P____R__________.

6. When you admit to a N__ F flaw in your product or service it helps build credibility because you’re admitting that it’s not perfect.

7. Q______________ for an offer, it builds credibility because not everyone can get in on it.

Here are the answers. How did you do?

1. believe
2. credibility
3. tell, truth
4. sincere
5. press releases
6. non-fatal flaw
7. Qualify

Till next time…

Until next time. Write well, live well, and if you mess up on both accounts, get back up and take another shot at it.


Tony Policci
Absolutely Brilliant Concepts, Inc.
Marketing Consulting and Killer Copywriting Simple Strategies Dynamite Results

PS If you want a complete, step-by-step guide to turn your business into a cash cow, check out the Piranha Marketing Course that I helped create. You save $100 off the everyday price PLUS get over $2,000 in FREE BONUSES if you grab it here: http://www.copywritingtips.com/piranhapromo.php
Whether your goal is to dominate your market, or simply to distribute a compelling message to your target audience… I combine proven marketing strategies with irresistible ad copy, to infect your prospects with the desire to buy.

But I don t work with just anyone…there has to be a fit . If I agree to take you on as a client, your needs become as important to me as my own…so they have to be in line with my own values.

After nearly 20 years in my field, I’ve learned this is the only way I want to do business. The results of our relationship will be measured in BIG results and BIG profits – – and while that s exciting, the real riches… the real value, is in the kinship you and I will develop. If that makes sense to you, I invite you to contact me today.”

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