Thursday, February 10, 2011

The Biggest Lie In Copywriting

G'day Friend,

Probably gonna piss a few people off today. But oh well. That's how it is.

Listen, I've seen pretty much every book on copywriting. Heard every guru speak. I know what they all have to say about the one big thing - the "most important thing" - in copywriting: your headline.

Now, there's a few truths I want to share about headlines. But I won't do it all in this post. Otherwise, it'd be 30+ pages. So we'll keep it simple.

The first thing I want to mention is this: a great headline can't save a bad offer.

Now, on the flip side - a great offer never gets read if there's a bad headline. But a "good" headline works just as well if you've got a great lead and ass-kicking offer to the right market.

Look, if you've got a GREAT headline... I mean, this thing is magically, sinfully good... That's fantastic. But if your offer ain't worth the paper it's printed on, then the headline is pretty much crap, too. The whole ad is crap.

So, what's the "offer"?

1. The product
2. The bonuses
3. The price
4. The ETA (estimated time of arrival)+ MOD (Method of deliver)
5. The Guarantee

(I'm sure I could create an awesome acronym out of that)

For example...

I am going to sell you the Uber-Wrench. Uber-wrench shoots lasers and can weld.

That's pretty cool in itself, right?

But for the $99.99 you'll pay for Uber-Wrench (plus $10.57 shipping), that's all you get.

For the right market, that could be enough. But the right market (because I promise you, white collars guys or dudes who never fix their own stuff will never even know what this is) probably would not be so hot to dish out $100+ for a friggin wrench. They gots a wrench. It works good. Why should they be giving you their waterbill money for a fancy wrench?

Puts things in perspective for you, doesn't it? Remember... when they give you money for one thing now, that means they have to use money for something else later.

SO, let's sweeten the pot a bit.

"With your Uber-Wrench, I'll include 3 free gifts - together, they have a total value of $127. They are... BANG (something they want)... BANG (something they want).... BANG (something they want). But you want pay the total value of this package, which is easily $226.99... You'll just invest the $99.99 in the wrench itself, and I'll throw everything else... absolutely free! And if you invest before XX/XX/XX, I'll even strike another $20 off your package, for a total of $79.99!

Not to mention, you ever get my 9-month "No-Risk" guarantee. So if you think the product is not worth it after 9-months, I'll give you a prompt and courteous refund of every penny.

You'll receive the entire package via UPS Ground in just 5-7 business days."

Wow. That sounds MUCH BETTER than "Give me $99.99 for the Uber-Wrench," doesn't it?

A quick note about the bonuses:

1. The bonus should be something they would actually WANT
2. The bonus should be capable of selling by itself on its own merits
3. The bonus should not be outrageously valued UNLESS it has been sold at such a price before

Look, if you've a lot of credibility with your list - you can get away with not having those 3 qualifications. But it's going to be an uphill battle.

Anyway, keep all of this in mind. It'll make your ad a heckuva lot better.

Over and Out,


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