Month: July 2021

What You Can Learn From Studying New Ads To Help You Get Better At Copywriting.

What do old ads that worked in the past and new ads working in the present have in common?

Simplicity.

But here’s one other thing I noticed too πŸ‘‡πŸΏ

While copying out this Pitney Bowes Mailstation 2 Ad last week, it struck me.

This ad is simple and goes straight to the point with one major thing: BENEFITS

Weigh It. Print It. Mail It. All-in-one.

The do-it-all digital mailroom.

It tackles the What’s In It For Me (WIIFM) question & tells you from the get-go what this machine is offering you.

Plus, there’s a coupon code right on the front page for you.

I mean, even if you wanted to resist, how many people can easily resist what’s free? πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸΏβ€β™‚οΈ

Especially when it’s plastered at the front like this πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸΏβ€β™‚οΈ

At the upper right-hand corner, there’s a postage stamp (PAID).

Look below and you see “An approved licensed partner United States Postal Service”

Just in case you don’t believe 😁

What this does is REDUCE the burden on the customer.

As EVERY ad should do.

“Receive a 60 day free trial & free shipping on your order”

Man, everything about this ad screams OFFER!!!

The offers are so much, you don’t even notice the company’s name 😁

Plus, it’s in small letters.

It tells you to IGNORE us & instead FOCUS on what we’re GIVING you.

Mailstation 2 also sounds like PlayStation 2.

Reminds me of the Poo-Pourri ad where the lady says it has better Amazon ratings than the iPhone 5

An excellent way to piggyback an existing or probably bigger brand.

Chances of stickability? Super High.

Also, look at how the different capabilities are segmented.

This proves people buy a product for different reasons.

Some people might buy this Mailstation because of its weighing capabilities.

Others might buy because of printing, while some others because of mailing.

Also, some people might buy it simply because it’s a great deal & it’s going to help them save money.

Notice how the colour on the SAVE segment is different too.

Eye-catching.

Just in case you’re not convinced by every other thing, it REMINDS you it’s a deal which will save you money.

Human beings love anything which either makes them money or saves them money.

Kaboom! πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

The segmentation also helps to highlight each of the capabilities with the use of bullets.

“β€’Save space”

“β€’Print postage”

“β€’Mail & Track”

“β€’Refill Postage”

If you’re not convinced from bullet 1, then bullet 2 should get you.

Isn’t it why they are called bullets? πŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

They are also highlighted with a darker ink to draw your attention to them.

Smart πŸ‘ŒπŸΏ

Even the website pboffer.com/smallbusiness alludes to the fact this deal is mostly for small businesses.

And how’s it even a lie?

A small business would need an all-in-one mailroom because:

– They either don’t have enough space for all the other machines.

– They don’t have money for all the other machines.

– They probably don’t process enough orders to need all the other machines.

Genius stuff πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

Start your 60-day free trial. Hurry, this special offer expires May 31, 2016,” says one thing:

This is a GREAT DEAL & it won’t last forever.

One word: URGENCY

The next section breaks down the offers in easily digestible bites for the customer.

I mean, how is it a good offer if your customers don’t even understand?

$20 in postage coupons every month.

Net cost per month.

Metered mail discount.

Free Shipping.

Offers! Offers!! Offers!!!

This section also shows us how important it is to REPEAT the offers.

Your customers have a lot going through their minds already.

They’ll forget.

So, REPEAT the DAMN OFFER again and again and again.

See how the pronouns YOU/YOUR are used in this section.

It’s always about the customer.

Powerful Words πŸ‘ŒπŸΏ

They also managed to add their social media buttons.

Just in case you decide not to buy, you could follow them on any of the social media channels.

Following them on SM will likely put them in your face all the time.

Chances are sooner or later you’ll buy πŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

If you don’t, at least they can brag about an extra follower on social media πŸ˜πŸ€·πŸΏβ€β™‚οΈ

Also, Mike Schauer of swiped.co had this to add.

But above all, I think this is a damn good ad.

PS: As I’ve said before, this is my breakdown of this sales letter. I probably missed some things too and you’re free to point them out.

P.P.S: As much as I call myself a copywriter, like other copywriters, I miss some of these things while writing too.

My breakdown of this letter isn’t to tell you how to write or what to do.

It’s simply to reinforce what I’ve been hearing for the last year.

And hopefully get better at this thing of ours.

I hope this helps you.

If this post gets serious engagement, I might be tempted to continue to do this kind of breakdown every week.

So, like, comment and share so other people can learn.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

Go here: twitter.com/ucheokorolive

That’s where I drop other powerful insights in sales and marketing you won’t find here.

If you’re interested in this letter, here’s a link to it: https://swiped.co/file/trial-postcard-pitney-bowes/

5 Sales & Marketing Lessons From Self Made: The Story of Madam CJ Walker.

3 weeks ago, I missed church because I spent the whole of Saturday night & early Sunday morning watching Self Made: The Story of Madam CJ Walker.

I’m not even proud of it.

But if you work in sales & marketing, let me tell you why:

If you’re looking for the secret ingredients for creating a sales message that can singlehandedly turn a small business into a mega success, they are hidden in Self Made: Inspired By The Life of Madam CJ Walker.

Have you seen it?

If you haven’t, here’s what I noticed when I did:

To create a powerful & compelling sales message, above all, you need to:

1. Resonate With Your Audience.

And that’s because people buy what or from who they can relate with.

You need to feel what people feel.

Or at least, show them you feel what they feel with your product.

This is how empathy works.

And you can do this with a background story.

But it’s even more powerful if you can make it a personal story.

This could be yours or through other people’s testimonials.

Madam CJ Walker did this in the middle of a market by gathering all the women around and telling them her story – her hair loss, poverty & travails as a black washerwoman.

Every single black woman in that marketplace could relate.

They were all poor, working hard back-breaking jobs & had little or no time to take care of their hair.

Which meant they were at a high risk of stunted hair growth or worst-case scenario, hair loss.

And this leads to my next point.

2. Address a pain

In Madam CJ Walker’s case, it was hair loss or stunted hair growth.

Yours could be different.

But of course, not every business is a business that addresses a pain or problem.

You could address something else.

But before saying your product doesn’t address any problems, ask yourself, why are noodles so popular?

Because noodles are tasty?

Or because it’s healthy?

Nooooo!!!

It’s because it’s simple, quick & easy to prepare .

A meal that addresses 2 major problems with food:

Time & Cost.

For someone like me, I live alone, & I love cooking.

But the biggest problem I have is time.

What do you think would be my easiest meal of choice?

You got it right!

But in this case, I don’t like noodles πŸ˜†

But if I need to, I’ll buy noodles to save myself the emotional hangup of the time & stress involved in making meals.

And then justify it with logic.

As everyone does 😁

But to address your audience’s pain, you do it through one thing: RESEARCH

It’s the gateway to understanding your audience.

This is what helps you speak their language.

Emotions and desires are everything.

And research shows you how to tap into them.

3. Audience

“You can’t be everything to everybody” – J.Cole

To succeed from day one, you have to decide who your core audience is.

And then address the problems they have your product can solve.

For Madam CJ Walker, she segmented her target audience from day one:

3 million Negro women in America.

Which is the truth about every business.

You don’t need to sell to everyone.

If you sell a $1 product to 1 million people, you’ve made a million dollars.

Multiply it to whatever amount you want.

That’s the math.

4. FREE

Discounts.

FREE SHIPPING.

FREE PACKAGING.

FREE CONSULTATION.

FREE whatever.

Just give something away for free.

Especially at the beginning.

Whether it’s information, lesser prices, lead gen, bigger sizes etc, just do it.

Because if you don’t, your competitors would.

And if you do, your customers will feel like they are cheating you.

Let them.

It’s better to feel like they’re cheating you, than for them to feel cheated.

5. Big Idea

I felt this when Madam CJ Walker said “gonna find a way to set me apart.”

And that’s because I remember I was working on a product in January this year when my mentor asked me one simple question:

What’s the big idea? What makes it different from everything in the market already?

I didn’t have an answer for that.

Well, if I didn’t, how was I going to sell the product?

Boom!

Big ideas don’t even have to be revolutionary.

Sometimes, we can craft this from a hidden benefit that comes from using our product.

A common mistake most of us DR marketers & copywriters make is we try to only sell what’s obvious.

We forget hidden benefits and only sell what’s obvious.

We sell the steak and not the sizzle.

We sell the oil and don’t sell the shine.

Craig Clemens did a Twitter thread weeks ago where he talked about the 4 most important areas a product can focus on to make serious money:

Health, wealth, love & status.

STATUS is powerful.

Ask yourself, what would hair loss/stunted hair growth mean to someone?

Or what would it mean to you?

To someone like me who’s made peace with it since my teens, I can’t relate 😁

But to some other guy, it could be the reason they can’t get women.

For some other person, it could be the reason why they aren’t comfortable in public.

Every single one of us has something we are insecure about.

For some, it’s their looks and appearance.

So, when Victor Asemota said, “true wealth comes from constantly creating happiness and extracting value from it.”

I felt it.

One of Coca-Cola’s biggest taglines is Delivering Happiness.

Does your product deliver some form of happiness?

That’s why some people put themselves at risk of plastic surgery.

They were just pursuing happiness.

For some people, hair is happiness.

To some, it’s a bigger ass or boobs.

A bigger wallet or whatever rocks their boat.

When Madam CJ Walker said things like, “Hair is beautiful,” a bald guy like me couldn’t relate πŸ˜†

But I’m sure people with beautiful lustrous hair can.

Even other bald people too πŸ˜†

For other things like answering objections, the need for endorsements, jumping on opportunity, having faith & resoluteness, the importance of branding & packaging, having deadlines & pushing yourself as an entrepreneur, you should see the movie.

If I start explaining, I’m going to miss church again today 😁

PS: I wrote this article because someone asked for a movie recommendation.

But don’t take my word for it, go see it for yourself on Netflix.

Just be rest assured that as you watch every minute, you’ll discover simple yet advanced psychological tactics for selling that will blow your mind.

Happy Sunday!

I hope this helps you.

Now that you’ve learned all these powerful sales and marketing insights, why don’t you discover more by following me on twitter.com/ucheokorolive

I mean, where else would you see such effective sales & marketing insights out here?

Where else? 😁

Why Studying Old Ads Are Important & How It Helps You Improve Your Copywriting.

If you decide to learn advertising, sales and marketing, you need to study the old guys and what they’ve done.

It’s disingenuous thinking old things have passed away 😁

And here’s why:

After writing out this “Don’t Do It!” ad used sometime around 1860 by hand, I decided to study it and see why it worked.

Niche: Consumer Goods

Headline: DON’T DO IT!

It’s a WARNING SIGN which means it’s attention-grabbing & curiosity laden.

Prospect sees it and asks themselves “I shouldn’t do what?”

The other subconscious question is, “why should I not do it?”

Consequence? Hooked.

Also, as kids aged 5, human beings are used to being told ‘no’ as much as 10 thousand times.

Compared to ‘yes’ a thousand times.

So, the word ‘No’ subconsciously takes them on a trip to their childhood when they were seeking Daddy & Mummy’s favour 😁

So Robert Greene πŸ‘ŒπŸΏ

Don’t Do It uses reverse psychology on the ad reader tapping into a phenomenon called the Forbidden Fruit Syndrome (I coined this 😁).

To explain this, imagine if God had told Adam & Eve to eat only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden and no other 😁

They would have most likely eaten every other fruit out there and avoided the forbidden one.

And that’s the thing with human beings – they do what you tell them NOT to do.

It’s the reason why ‘illegal’ stuff & banned substances sell like crazy e.g drugs, alcohol, sex etc.

Look at this logo closely, if you’ve seen the movie Compton, you’ll understand.

This is primarily one of the reasons why rap music blew up like crazy.

Forbidden Fruit Syndrome lends itself to our deepest desires as human beings – curiosity.

We want to know.

We want to know why.

Then the lead goes off listing a couple of things you shouldn’t buy.

This does 2 things:

1. It implants authority from the ad owner into the prospect’s head.

It also holds their interest.

Because if you’re telling me I shouldn’t do this, I’ll be waiting for the WHY.

2. It’s also polarizing.

(How dare you tell me what to do? Or what not to do?)

People DON’T LIKE TO BE TOLD WHAT TO DO in an obvious manner.

But they love to be seduced and led.

Now this ad tells them what NOT to do, gets them angry while seducing them into doing what was planned all along by the ad owner – to get them TO DO what he wants.

Genius stuff. πŸ˜πŸ‘ŒπŸΏ

In fact, don’t buy anything for yourself or boy until you have seen our stock” breaks down the prospect’s buying decision into easily manageable steps.

Doesn’t tell you to buy anything.

Instead, it puts the decision in your hands – “until you have seen

No commitment required.

The prospect tells themselves “I don’t need to buy anything. I can just go there and feed my eyes.

From feeding their eyes, they essentially start feeding their brains.

And they’re READY to buy at this point.

It just becomes a matter of how the offer is presented.

AND WHY?

There’s a phenomenon called Reticular Activating System (RAS) in your brain.

The way it works is it makes your brain obsessed with incomplete thoughts, curiosity & questions.

You want to get to the root of anything you don’t understand.

Your CURIOSITY

AD OWNER WINSπŸ™ŒπŸΏ

Because we have anything you wish. The stock is the largest, the styles the best and prices low as can be found anywhere.

Benefits. Benefits. Benefits.

What your prospect looks out for any time they see a sales & marketing material.

People are inherently selfish.

Know this

And to round it off.

George Muse Clothing COMPANY gives a vibe of authority & establishment.

Doesn’t matter if it’s a small shop or a face-me-I-face-you.

The prospect will have to confirm.

But that’s until when they get there 😁

TARGET ACQUIRED.

Mission Accomplished.

The first step in any online sales process is to get your prospects to CLICK.

Once you do your job to get them to click, the buying decision is cut by half.

This is what they do here.

Get the prospect to our store first, we’ll handle it from here.

Brilliant πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

PS: As I’ve said before, this is my breakdown of this sales letter. I probably missed some things too and you’re free to point them out.

P.P.S: As much as I call myself a copywriter, like other copywriters, I miss some of these things while writing too.

My breakdown of this letter isn’t to tell you how to write or what to do.

It’s simply to reinforce what I’ve been hearing for the last year.

And hopefully get better at this thing of ours.

I hope this helps you.

If this post gets serious engagement, I might be tempted to do this kind of breakdown every week.

So, like, comment and share so other people can learn.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

Go here:Β twitter.com/ucheokorolive

That’s where I drop other powerful insights in sales and marketing you won’t find here.

If you’re interested in this letter, here’s a link to it: https://swiped.co/file/dont-buy-ads-1860-1880s/

How To Get Better At Copywriting

I’ve been studying a sales letter everyday for the last few weeks by writing them by hand.

Been doing this to break down what made them work.

By doing this, I hope other copywriters, DR marketers and sales & marketing enthusiasts learn something.

So, here’s what I noticed:

I’ll start with To People Who Want To Write But Can’t Get Started by the Newspaper Institute of America.

Niche: Writing

Headline

Ultra specificity: “To people who want to write”

Targets a problem/pain point while also alluding to a solution: “…but can’t get started”

But the power of this headline is the fact it tackles a common problem most people who want to write have: STARTING.

This is how you get into the conversation going on already in your prospect’s head.

Sub-headline

Using the problem-agitate-solution (PAS) style of writing copy, emphasises the problem: the fear of a beginner.

The common fear almost every beginner writer has.

Common problem?

Conversation going on in your prospect’s head?

Double-check.

Lead

Intro: “then listen to what Edward Weeks, an editor of the Atlantic Monthly has to say”

The use of an authority figure here is brilliant.

Nobody knows if the Atlantic Monthly is even a small newspaper.

But the fact that this guy is the editor of a paper makes him an important person.

An important person worth listening to.

Excellent framing.

Brilliant!

He talks about the need for new writers. But he does it from two angles:

1. The opportunity for newcomers at the Atlantic.

2. The need of readers.

He also slyly highlights the fact 8/24 (1/3) of writers making their debut in the Atlantic are new writers.

DIVERSITY.

Body Copy

“The Newspaper Institute of America offers a FREE Writing Aptitude Test.”

That’s a lead gen before the advent of lead gens.

Expert use of the word FREE to disarm the readers.

Body cont.

“The Writing Test is a simple but expert analysis of your latent ability, your powers of imagination, logic etc.”

The use of the word SIMPLE makes it sound easy taking away any fear or doubt from the prospect.

EXPERT ANALYSIS shows sophistication.

Your powers of imagination” will play at the ego of prospects.

All writers, even the bad ones believe they have a strong power of imagination.

Result? More signups 😁

Body cont.

“All applicants do not pass this test.”

A classic use of negging (from PUA) to tap into their prospects ego.

I’ll bet most people who signed up for this program did because of this line.

Because it subconsciously challenges them.

It asks them “are you good enough?” without being direct.

No writer wants their ability questioned 😁

Result? More signups.

Body cont.

“Those who do are qualified to take the famous N.I.A course.”

A classic use of framing. But in this case, double framing.

Those who are qualified” says this course isn’t for everyone – only the best.

A filtering mechanism.

The famous N.I.A course” claims it’s a prestigious institution – not for everyone.

Another filtering mechanism.

Body cont.

“This is the New York Copy-Desk method which teaches you to write by writing!”

This tells you what the program is about.

But it also plays at what the prospect wants – to write.

You develop your individual manner instead of trying to copy the style of others

Every beginner/old writer knows this all too well – impostor syndrome.

Every writer wants to write in their voice – even when their voice hasn’t been developed yet.

Another shot at the ego😁

Body cont.

“You “cover” actual assignments” says you’re going to be treated with respect, not like an intern or IT student.

Something writers want.

Another cheap shot at our egos 😁

(I’m crying right now 😭😭😭)

Body cont.

“Although you work at home, on your own time”

Remember one of the reasons why some people can’t get started is because they don’t have time.

But instead of stating it as a hindrance, it alludes to it as a benefit of working with them.

Smart!

Body cont.

“You are constantly guided by experienced…”

The promise of mentorship – something writers live and die for.

Body cont.

“It’s a really fascinating work. Each week you see new progress.”

Benefits. Benefits. Benefits.

The promise of enjoyable work + the promise of growth.

No writer can resist these two.

Body cont.

“In a matter of months you can acquire the coveted ” professional” touch.”

This reduces the timeframe it would take to become a good writer in the eyes of the prospect.

But what always makes me laugh is the use of words here to hide how long it might take.

You know 12 months is 1 year, yeah?

24 months is also 2 years, yeah?

“In a matter of months” sounds short, but the truth is it could be anything from 2 months to 24 months plus.

In case, you decide to complain or ask for a refund 2 months in, this simple line covers them 😁

Body cont.

“Then you’re ready for market with greatly improved chances of making sales.”

No writer wants to starve.

Every writer lowkey seeks fame – we all want to be known, whether dead or alive.

That’s the beginning of immortality.

Another classic way to get into the conversation in your prospect’s head.

Testimonials (Always Use Them)

“I’m able to live on the money I earn by writing”

*Every. Writer’s. Dream.

“It’s not yet ten months since I began the course.”

Remember when I told you above how the use of a matter of months makes it seem easy, yeah?

Well, this part of the testimonial reinforces that.

But it also does something:

It plays at the ego of the prospect subconsciously.

“If he took up to 10 months, then he probably isn’t bright enough. Maybe I could do it in less” – The Prospect thinking to themselves

“Until a few months after beginning studying with you I had never had a line published”

Meaning I was a failure until I met you. In essence, your shit works.

Boom!

“What more can I say for a course which has enabled me to earn a livelihood by the most congenial work I have ever done?”

Check your dictionary for the meaning of congenial 😁

The next person’s testimonial talks about how they’ve been getting paid and published.

Every. Writer’s. Dream

But you might have missed something else, I almost did.

Both testimonials were from 2 different people with 2 different lifestyles.

One a man, the other a woman (married).

Subconsciously, the prospect thinks “Well, if she can do it even as busy as she is as a married woman (with kids most likely), then I should too.”

This reinforces the fact most people will buy it because they’ve seen it work for someone else.

“If it worked for her, then maybe it could work for me too” – Your prospect when they see a testimonial.

It’s what makes us humans – social proof.

Closing.

“It requires but a FEW minutes and COSTS NOTHING.”

Make it easy for your prospect.

“Make the first move towards the most enjoyable and profitable occupation – writing for publication.”

Every. Writers. Dream – to write, be published, enjoy the process & profit from it πŸ˜πŸ™ŒπŸΏ

Even the coupon says “Send me without cost or obligation…”

And most of us don’t like cost or obligation. Especially to strangers.

Nailed!

PS: This is my breakdown of this sales letter. I probably missed some things too and you’re free to point them out.

P.P.S: As much as I call myself a copywriter, like other copywriters, I miss some of these things while writing too.

My breakdown of this letter isn’t to tell you how to write or what to do.

It’s simply to reinforce what I’ve been hearing for the last year.

And hopefully get better at this thing of ours.

I hope this helps you.

If this post gets serious engagement, I might be tempted to do this kind of breakdown every week.

So, like, comment and share so other people can learn.

Also, don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

Go here: twitter.com/ucheokorolive

That’s where I drop other powerful insights in sales and marketing you won’t find here.

If you’re interested in this letter, here’s a link to it:
https://swiped.co/file/getstarted-writing-ad/

Do You Want To Write Better Leads? Then Let This Guide You

Takes 5-7 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention & get them to read your sales message.

This’s why how you write your leads is important.

If you dunno, a lead is the first 5-15 sentences, 300 words, 30 seconds or few pages of your message.

Here are 8 ways to do them better

1. Start with a story

People love stories.

But people are moved to buy by great stories.

You don’t know how to structure a story?

Study grass to grace stories.

Study The Hero’s Journey storytelling style.

Use them in a way that applies to what you’re selling.

Also, don’t forget people are moved by 3 types of people:

A champion.

A master.

An underdog.

Choose one character, create a story around them and exploit the hell out of it.

2. Give a compelling promise or promise a reward EARLY that what the readers are about to read/watch is worth their time.

E.g

“Ensure to read every word of this letter…”

Or

“Watch this video to the very end because what I’m about to show you is the secret that will…”

Another alternate ending is:

“…and what you’ll discover will be the…”

(And then you include your promise)

But learn how to vary it by trying different versions.

Don’t say something like “this is the best thing you’ve read or you’re going to read” if you can’t back it up.

It’s cliche and empty nowadays because people have seen or read so many promises like that that failed them.

Don’t burn yourself too.

3. If you don’t/can’t give a direct promise (due to whatever reason), then at least allude to it.

But understand some people might miss this.

Because all your prospects won’t be on the same level of understanding and sophistication.

As proven to be a norm, assumption is dangerous and the mother of all fuck ups.

So, as always, it’s better to be simple and break it down for them.

4. Lead with benefits before risk.

Every buying decision is weighed on the scale of benefits vs risk.

Every time a prospect sees an opportunity, they subconsciously ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”

You give them reasons to buy from you when you show them the benefits.

And how these benefits outweigh the risks of not getting it.

5. Tackle a pain point or problem early on.

E.g

“Weight Loss doesn’t have to be a do or die affair like most weight-loss experts would make you believe.”

6. Ask an opening question.

E.g

Have you been struggling with making sales with your e-commerce store? So, what if I could show you a way you can turn it around in less than 4 weeks?”

But ensure this question is relevant & important. Not the usual cliche ones.

Also, it must point to the results or benefits they’d get from you or your product/service.

7. Use a baiting strategy.

E.g

“Before I go any further I need you to promise you’d watch this 70 seconds video to the end. Because only then will you…”

(And then your promise)

8. Build credibility early

You do this by introducing yourself and giving them reasons to continue reading or listening to or watching you.

This is where your qualifications, achievements, experience etc come in.

PS: You don’t have to lie or use conflated figures or unnecessary titles & buzzwords like 6-figure copywriter, leading expert/authority, 9-figure salesman if you’re not.

They are still people who’ll buy from you because you’re relatable or closer to the level that they are at.

I hope this helps you.

– Uche

If you enjoyed this article, you can follow me on Twitter where I post regular insights on sales and marketing that I don’t blog.

Go here