Here's a little gift for you...
Whether you decide to write your own copy or hire someone else, these are the steps that should be followed. With a brief explanation of each.
Step 1: Get Your Reader's Attention
According to some studies, an advertising message has about 3 seconds to get attention. Otherwise, the readers passes it by never to come back. The way you get attention is by using an emotion-evoking headline. One that telegraphs something newsworthy, beneficial to the reader and curiosity-based.
For instance, here's a headline I wrote recently for a stock market advisory service...
Former Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley Intern Exposes...
The Stock Market's Secret "Double-Dip" Factor
This hair-trigger event almost nobody
profits TWICE on each single trade
Turn your trading account into a daily income machine with the potential to secure up to DOUBLE-DIGIT returns consistently from a handful of trades starting as soon as tomorrow...
The newsworthiness of the headline comes in the super-script headline. That's where I say that this person who interned at two powerhouse firms is exposing a big secret about the stock market.
I include two big benefits: (1) the potential to make profits twice on each trade... and... (2) the potential to turn your trading capital into double-digit returns starting as soom as tomorrow.
The curiosity element is obvious. I don't say what the "double-dip" factor is... or... how you can gain the benefits promised.
You have to read on to find that out.
I assure you, no serious stock trader would read that headline and not want to know more.
Step 2: Tie In To The Reader's Existing Interests
As Rober Collier wrote almost a century ago, your ad must "enter" the conversation in your reader's mind.
Most of us are either thinking about our problems... or... how we can solve them. The benefits we want in various areas of our lives consume our thoughts.
So does our fear of losing out on advantages and benefits already gained.
A cornerstone copywriting strategy is to start the body copy of your ad by pointing out one or more problems the reader is facing. Finding out the most resonant problems is a matter of hard research.
But it's well worth it.
The best sales training company in the world, IBM, uses this strategy. IBM sales reps are taught to find and focus on a prospect's problem - the one they keep thinking about - and show how IBM's product can solve that problem.
Step 3: Build The Reader's Desire
After establishing the problem(s), then you can introduce the solution. Your product or service. Most ads make the mistake of introducing the product without first eliminating the problems.
A much better strategy is to name each problem. Then mention how your solution - without saying what the product is - can solve this problem.
Whenever possible, demonstrate the benefits with story copy... examples... third party findings, etc. This combination of saying what the problem is... then... telling a story of how it was solved without mentioning the solution outright builds an irresistible desire to know what the solution is.
Another - less effective - way to build desire is to to state and agitate the problem. Then introduce the product as the solution. And write "bullet" copy that illustrates benefits to be gained by owning the product.
Step 4: Prove Your Claims
We live in an over-hyped, over-advertised society.
Some studies suggest the average person is exposed to over 3,000 advertising messages daily. Could that be true? I don't know. What I do know is that we also live in the age of skepticism.
People just don't believe anything an ad says.
That's why you need a stockpile of research material that proves every single claim you make. The proof elements you collect through research must be sprinkled throughout the body of the ad.
There are three main reasons why people don't buy from you:
1) They don't want what you sell.
2) They can't afford to buy at your prices.
3) They don't believe you are telling the truth.
The way you eliminate number 3 is by having an overwhelming amount of proof.
Here's a way to beef up the response of all your ads. Go through the ad line by line. Wherever you make any kind of claim - even one not related directly to your product - find a third-party quote from a trusted publication to insert alongside.
Similar to what I did in the stock market promotion above. Right under the headline I included a quote from Barron's about the topic of my letter.
Proof is what will set your promotion apart from the competition.
Step 5: Make A Great Offer
The heart of a sales message is the offer.
A great offer can overcome weak copy. But great copy can not save a weak offer.
The best offers are based around some sort of event. They present a limited quantity and/or a limited time to get the offer.
They build a sense of urgency in the reader to take immediate action or lose out.
Step 6: Ask For The Order Now
The final step to making a sales is to ask the reader to take the action you want. And to do it now rather than later.
Selling via advertising requires immediate action. If a prospect does not buy now then they probably never will.
A great way to get action now is to offer a little ethical "bribe". Some sort of freebie that has high perceived value. Special reports work well in this case.
There you have it.
The 6-Step Formula To Advertising Success.
Follow these steps when creating your next ad and you'll see a much higher response.