Your AdSECRETS Ezine/Newsletter has arrived:
Advertising and Marketing SECRETS
That Will Skyrocket Your Success and PROFITS!!!
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Copyright (c) 1999 by Carl Galletti
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Welcome to AdSECRETS.
A special welcome to new subscribers. Thanks for joining us. For a limited time you can get some of the previous issues on my website at:
in the AdSecrets Archive section. I will be taking them down sometime soon, so if you are a new subscriber and want to check them out, please do it now or in the near future.
In this issue:
Publish or Perish: It's Not Just for the Academics!
Publish or Perish: It's Not Just for the Academics!
In the academic world you hear the phrase, "Publish or Perish." To them it means hat either you get your articles published in academic journals or you don't get tenure (which means you have a job for life, if you want it, and virtually can't be fired).
The same is true in the business world. Not many people starting out in their own business realize this. Or, I should say, they either realize this or they are out of business. All of your life you've gone to schools that have taught you how to work for somebody else. Very few schools, especially in the past, have taught you anything usefull about being in your own business.
For example, how many of you have learned selling skills in high school or college? How about writing advertising copy to sell your products? What about simple bookkeeping/accounting skills to direct your financial future? Or even basic marketing skills?
Now, granted, some of this stuff you can hire out to do. But in the startup phase of most businesses you don't have that kind of capital. And even after you do, I say you need to know how to do it to be able to judge the quality of the help you are hiring. Otherwise, you will end up hiring inferior talent at high prices. High prices are charged by both experts and incompetents. That's because the experts command the fee and the incompetents NEED it because they get so little repeat business that they need higher fees just to survive! You need to know how to tell which is which.
Anyway, let's get back to writing. How important is it? Well, people nowadays (actually they ALWAYS have) judge a person an expert by whether they have a book published or not. It's actually a good barometer and a good first line of defense. "How good can any expert be if they haven't at least published a book on the subject?" -- they reason.
Sure, not everyone who publishes a book is an expert and some who don't publish can still be experts. But, in the eyes of the public -- YOUR public -- having a published book (or even tape) goes a long way toward establishing your credibility in the eyes of your customers.
Look at Harvey McKay ("How To Swim With The Sharks..."). Until he published his first book hardly anyone knew who he was -- pretty much only the people in his own organization and the people he sold envelopes to. Now he's practically a household word, at least amongst business oriented people. His book made him widely known throughout the business world. And not just as an envelope salesman but as an expert in how to run a business! WOW! That's quite a leap from envelope salesman to all around business expert. How did it happen?
Well, it goes beyond just selling a book. It has to do with what he said IN the book. And how he presented it. You see, he knew just how to present his skills in a way that would easily communicate to readers all the advantages that accrue to someone who follows his advice. Gee, isn't that what a good piece of advertising copy is supposed to do? (See, and you thought I couldn't tie this in with copywriting, didn't you?).
TWO TYPES OF WRITING
There are basically two types of writing (at least in the way I'm going to present it here): advertising copywriting and all other types. You can go out and learn how to write "How-To" books or "Novels" or whatever. But when you are done, that's all you know how to write. And you're still left with the job of selling it. (Which, if you remember, you were never taught to do in school). So, where does that put you?
I'll tell you where: with a few thousand books that you can't get rid of and a big hole in your bank account.
Now, let's take the other strategy and first learn how to write advertising copy. First, if you follow my example and advice, you learn how to write copy that is called "salesmanship in print." That may scare some of you. That's because you were never taught salesmanship principles in school and so have the idea that "salesmanship" is another word for "coercion" or "manipulation." Actually, it is just the opposite.
"Salesmanship" is the art and science of serving the needs of a market by helping them overcome their natural resistance to purchasing something that is ultimately to their advantage and far more valuable to them than the money they exchange for it.
I guarantee you've never heard a better definition for salesmanship.
Perhaps we should label it "ethical salesmanship." Whatever. The point is that 99 and 44/100% of the population are working on an incorrect definition of salesmanship -- including most of the sales people earning a living at it...and 100% of the ones who aren't.
Why is MY definition better than anyone else's? Because it is the only one that makes the concept work over the long term.
If you try to sell people something that isn't to their advantage, you are wasting your time and money. It costs money to present your product to a market. If you spend all your time promoting a product to the wrong people... or promoting an inferior product (i.e., something which is NOT to their advantage), you will eventually be out of business.
In the case of promoting your product to the wrong people, you are ignoring the people who could benefit from your product and spending your time, instead, with the ones who will not. That's not only inefficient, it's business suicide.
I consider the act of identifying your correct marketplace as an integral part of the "copywriting" process, even though it has nothing to do with writing "words."
NOW THAT YOU'VE GOT THE RIGHT PRODUCT AND MARKET
OK. Assuming you've got an honest product that is of real benefit to some market and you've targeted the correct people to present it to, now what?
Well, now you have to use the words to convince and persuade these people to buy. Aha, you say. "Why should I have to persuade and convince, if I am selling an honest product to the right people?" Good question.
It's a question that only someone who has been trained to work for someone else all their lives would ask. Which, remember, is 99 and 44/100% of us. So, let's deal with it.
Let me quote from an obscure book titled: "How To Reduce and Control Your Weight through Self-Hypnotism" by Sidney Petrie in association with Robert B. Stone (an MIT grad with over 30 self-improvement books to his credit) 1965 Prentice-Hall, Inc.:
"If the mental engraving process was that accessible, this would be a strange world. Every message would erase the previous one or supersede it. We would respond to every advertising message, accede to every suitor, switch political belief with every speach. The jury would convict or exonerate depending on whether the district attorney or defence attorney spoke last. Fortunately, we have a layer of conscious grey matter through which all sensory stimuli must pass. Our conscious judgment evaluates, weighs and classifies. It also acts as a cushion or resistor, diminishing the loud exhortations of the outside world so that by the time they are etched in the subconscious they are but a whisper among whispers."
This is what you are up against, no matter how beneficial your product is and how targeted your audience. You are dealing with a "buyer resistance" that is automatically trying to filter you out. Salesmanship principles deal with getting through this line of defense and reaching the person at a level that they can then evaluate and see for themselves the value of what you are selling.
The art and science of writing effective advertising copy is involved with translating salesmanship techniques into words. This is much more difficult to do through writing than it is to do in person. But, it is also more cost effective, if done correctly.
Now let's get back to writing in general. When you learn how to write advertising copy, you can apply many of the "salesmanship" strategies to general writing. And your writing will be a lot more attractive (i.e., saleable).
If you learn general writing, you are unlikely to learn "salesmanship" strategies. At least I've never seen any general writing courses or books that address this area at all. Yet, nearly all top selling authors use these strategies, even if they are not consciously aware of it.
Understand that I am not saying there is nothing to learn in the general writing category. It's just that you are way ahead of the game if you first start with learning how to write ad copy. Maybe that's because "ad copy writers" (at least the kind I am talking about) need to learn both salesmanship AND general writing techniques. Whereas the reverse is simply not the case.
NOW THAT YOU KNOW...
OK. Now that you know how important writing ad copy is... to both your general AND advertising writing, where do you go from here. Gee, I thought you'd never ask.
There are several ways to go. But rather than take it just from the viewpoint of someone wanting to learn how to write ad copy, let's take if from the viewpoint of someone who needs ad copy written.
The fastest way to get your copy written is to hire a copywriter. It's also the most expensive. For those of you who are not familiar with what it costs to hire a copywriter, let me give you some idea.
First, you need to hire a "direct response copywriter." Just any plain old copywriter will usually not do. Just check out the employment ads in the New York Times and you'll see that, in the advertising agency business, copywriters are considered to be at the same level as an experienced typist. No kidding. That's because the creative department of Madison Avenue ad agencies are usually run by former graphic artists turned creative directors. To them ad copy is that "grey space" in between the pictures and other graphics that give the ad balance and poise (yuck). Sometimes they even fancy themselves as having expertise in both graphic artists AND copywriting. Some joke. It's not that they don't know how to write good english. It's that they don't know how to SELL with their copy. How can that be? Madison Avenue agencies not know how to sell? Believe it. I could get into my lecture that describes why, but it would lead me way off the subject (well, more than usual, anyway).
What you need is a copywriter who understands salesmanship in print -- and more than just understands it, can actually write copy that has powerful selling power behind it. The best way to do that is to know how to do it yourself. Failing that, pick a freelance copywriter and get samples. If their samples sell you on whatever it is they are selling, there's a good chance they can do the job for you.
For such a copywriter, expect to pay anywhere from $2500 to $25,000 -- median is in the $6500 range -- for a typical direct mail sales letter, which is equivalent to an 8 page letter (or letter/brochure combination) with accompanying incidentals (like lift letter, order form, etc.). The lower prices get you less capable copywriters. There are no guarantees that their letter will work, regardless of what they say (i.e., read the fine print). On the positive side, if they turn out a piece that works for you, you could end up using it successfully for up to several years and make millions of dollars on it.
Wouldn't it be worth $6500 to get a letter that made you a million? Even if the first one didn't and it took a second, or third or...well, heck, even if it took ten to try before you got one that worked and made you a million -- isn't that worth it?
But, alas, you may not have that kind of money to start with. What's your next best option? (Be careful...here's a pitch coming) I'd say it's something like my Copywriter Protege Program. For only $1995 (soon to be increased to $2997 after nearly 7 years at the $1995 price), you get to master the art of copywriting yourself -- for less than what it would cost you to hire a copywriter to write one letter. If you write more than one letter for yourself, all the money you save from then on is all gravy.
I find that about 75% of the people who take my course intend to write copy for their own businesses. The other 25% intend to write copy for others -- as a profession. I've had 79 people go through the course so far and I estimate that at least 10% (i.e., about 8) have made a million dollars or more writing copy. So, it does pay off. Their ads have appeared in airline magazines, the New York Times, The Wall St. Journal and other noted publications -- as well as in the mail.
The next way to learn copywriting is through books. You can get a fairly complete list of the best books in the field by visiting the TWI Press website at:
This is less expensive but takes longer and requires more native skill.
I learned to do it this way. It took several years and cost me a lot more in losses due to experimenting and testing of copy that didn't work. Had there been a course like my Copywriter Protege Course, I would have come out way ahead and started earning profits much sooner. Nevertheless, the book route does work. And even if you took my course or had professional writers write your copy, you should still read a lot of these books anyway. It's not like you do one or the other.
The least expensive way to go is to continue reading this newsletter. It doesn't cost anything. I tell it like it is and, depending on where you are in your skill level, you will get to a point where you can write powerfully effective ad copy.
But let me be perfectly honest with you. From what I've seen, the most successful of my students go the whole route. They take my Copywrtier Protege Program, buy books and susbscribe to my newsletter. Even if you take this "extravagant" route, you are still only spending $3-4000 at most and gaining a skill that will pay off for you with your first successful letter/ad.
Compare that to what it costs for a college education and how long it takes and you have a pretty nice bargain.
If you are interested in investigating my Copywriter Protege Program, you can find the sales letter on my web site at:
Click on the "COURSES" icon in the left column, then click on "Copywriter Protege Program."
The path you choose to learn copywriting is up to you. The important thing is to master it. Now that you know how valuable it is, you can use it to your advantage (and profit).
If you are in your own business, it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to know how to write copy. If you are not in your own business, it is only a necessity.
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Let's Have a Contest! (Actually Sweepstakes)
Last issue I promised to show you an example of a contest/sweepstakes and how you can use it to boost website hits, sales and profits. Due to the length of this newsletter, I'll be covering this subject in the next issue. Pretty powerful stuff you won't want to miss.
See you next issue with some new surprises!!!
My Very Best to You,
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