THE LITTLE KNOWN SALES TECHNIQUE THAT ALMOST NO ONE USES

It seems as if podcasts have exploded in popularity over the last few years

Everyone and their dog now has a podcast.

There are literally thousands of podcasters and tens of thousands of episodes

This is slightly amusing because 90% of these podcasts aren’t listened by anyone.

(BTW, in case you’re wondering what makes a podcast successful, it’s really all about the guests. If you can get someone famous or well-known onto your podcast you’re guaranteed to get more listeners. A good example of this are the episodes of Joe Rogan where he interviewed famous people like Jamie Fox, Robert Downey Junior, or Russell brand. These people are internationally famous which is why those episodes have way more listeners).

Anyway, I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have a podcast now.

But there’s a good reason for this

Audio is an extremely powerful selling tool.

It all goes back to the free recorded message technique

This method has been used in direct marketing for decades.

There’s a good reason why.

Audio allows people to get a glimpse into your personality

It helps them discover who you are…

…and also allows them to get to know like and trust you – which is essential for closing the deal.

This is something anyone can utilize.

You don’t necessarily need a podcast.

Simply record a message, sales pitch or whatever.

You can even read out your articles and emails.

Just as long as you have some piece of audio.

Put this somewhere on your website or better yet your sales page.

Anywhere that people can listen to it.

(You resources page is also a good place).

Cheers

Alastair Walton

IS THIS THE MOST POWERFUL WORD IN MARKETING?

Copywriters know that language is powerful

The right combination of words can do anything.

They can change your life and make you rich.

Words can get you money, a new car, house, or anything else you want.

But is there one word to rule them all…

…one word that is more powerful than all of the others combined?

Believe it or not there is.

What is this word?

NEW.

You see, what people want most in this world is something new.

We’ve naturally programmed to seek out variety. People get bored easily which is why we crave the latest in everything. Whether it’s the latest music, products, fashion, or whatever. The word new is associated with all types of good things. New is seen as better, more exciting, and also more desirable. The bottom line is that you should work this into your copy as often as possible. Always describe things as being new.

Brand new weight loss technique could change your life…

Now announcing the latest weight loss miracle…

New method for weight loss stuns Doctors…

You get the point.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

WHAT I LEARNT FROM WORKING FOR LEXUS

I used to work for a Lexus dealership:

It was a major dealership in down town LA.

This work mostly involved creating Tweets out of stuff their marketing guy sent me.

90% of these Tweets involved some kind of special deal or discount.

Stuff like 10% off your next oil change and so on.

It was either that or the announcement of some new car or event they were holding.

This is important for anyone who owns this kind of business.

You see, there’s no reason to subscribe to your Lexus dealerships Twitter account. In fact, I’m sure that very few people who drive a Lexus actually have a Twitter or even visit the site. But by Tweeting out deals you give people a reason to subscribe or at least occasionally check the account. If you owned a Lexus and wanted to save money on running it then you’d probably do this.

The point is that discounts and deals are a powerful marketing tool.

They’re a great way to drive engagement and get people to subscribe to your social media.

They’re also a great way to market to pre-existing customers…

…and are a tool you should use even when business is going well.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

HOW TO QUADRUPLE YOUR WRITING SPEED (WITHOUT DOING MORE WORK)

Want to quadruple your writing speed while doing less work?

This is easier than you think.

You see, it might sound stupid, but the best way to write faster (and work less) is to get long term clients.

The reason for this is simple.

Starting a new job is hard.

You have to get to grips with the subject you’re writing about.

There’s research to do, things to learn, and other stuff you’ll be unsure of.

But here’s the thing:

Work gets faster the second time.

And the more you write about a  topic the faster you’ll get.

In fact, once you’ve been with a client for a year or two, your work speed increases exponentially.

For example, let’s say you’re writing blog posts.

The first post might take 2,3 even 4 hours to write.

A year later that same work will take about 20 minutes.

I’ve experienced this dozens of times.

This also happens with any type of work you’re doing.

The more you do it the faster you get.

The bottom line is that you should aim to get as many long term clients as you can.

This way you can work faster, do more work, and ultimately make more money.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

6 TIPS FOR IMPROVING READABILITY

Did you know that 50% of adults cannot read a book written at an 8th grade level.

50% of people can’t read well enough to read prescription drug labels.

775 million people are illiterate worldwide.

And that 45 million of these people live in America!

The fact is that today most of us can’t read anything more complicated that a Tweet.

The addictive nature of the internet has left us with the attention spans of goldfish.

This means your copy needs to be extremely easy to read.

There a few things you can do to achieve this.

1. Avoid large blocks of text.

Break your writing up into dozens of bite sized paragraphs.

2. Use headlines and sub headlines.

These should be bolded so they stick out. Also keep them short. No more than one line and only a few words.

3. The font you use is also important.

Sans serif fonts are best because they are easiest to read. Your font should also be bigger than 9 points. Anything smaller is too difficult to read.

4. Keep your paragraphs short.

Especially your opening paragraphs. They should be a maximum of eleven words. You can help readers into paragraphs by using arrowheads and asterisks. Also use bullet points and lists where you can.

5. Break up the monotony of long copy by using boldface and italic.

Illustrations, pictures, and text boxes are also great for breaking up copy.

6. The number of words in your sentences is also important. Here’s a quote I once saw.

“Tests have shown that a sentence of eight words is very easy to read; of 11 words, easy; of 14 words, fairly easy; of 17 words, standard; of 21 words, fairly difficult; of 25 words, difficult; of 29 or more words, very difficult; so this sentence with 54 words, counting numbers, is ranked impossible.”

Any sentence longer than 29 words should be split up.

The basic rule of thumb is this:

Use short words…

Short sentences…

…and short paragraphs.

These are the keys to improving readability…

Increasing response…

…and getting people to actually read what you write.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

10 QUESTIONS THAT HELP YOU UNDERSTAND ANY MARKET

How do you write copy that actually converts?

Believe it or not, the secret isn’t using the right words.

No, more important is WHAT you say.

It doesn’t matter if you struggle to string words together

As long as you say things that appeal to the market you’re guaranteed to make sales.

You need to speak about their dreams, hopes, desires and greatest fears.

But how do you do this?

The trick is to understand your market on the deepest level possible.

It might sound like a cliché…

…but you have to know them better than they know themselves.

Doing this is tough.

(Especially if you’re not involved in the market).

If you’ve never played golf you’ll struggling to understand golfers.

But there are ways to make this easier.

For example, here are 10 great questions to ask when trying to figure out your market.

1. What keeps them awake at night, sick with anxiety?

2. What are they afraid of?

3. Who and what are they angry about? 

4. What frustrates them?  

5. What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives? 

6. What do they secretly desire?

7. Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions?

(For example, technology people are exceptionally analytical).

8. Do they have their own language or jargon?

9. Who else is selling something similar to them, and how?

10. Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?

Take your time and think deeply about this stuff.

Weave what you find into your copy.

And remember, the real answers are never the most obvious.

Until next time,

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

PERSUASION TIPS FROM THE MAN WHO INVENTED CLIMATE CHANGE

Frank Luntz is a political communications consultant, pollster and pundit.

He describes his speciality as, “testing language and finding words that help clients sell their product or turn public opinion on an issue or candidate”. This guy is a great example of the power of language. For example, he’s the man behind famous phrases like deathtax, climatechange and energyexploration. He’s known for using these to replace other phrases like estate tax, global warming and oil drilling.

What’s funny is that he doesn’t come up with this stuff by himself.

Instead he uses focus groups and interviews.

During these events he simply feeds the audience phrases and watches for how they react.

It’s all about looking for the specific words that trigger emotion.

In fact, he’s quoted as saying, “80% of our life is emotion and only 20% is intellect. I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think…”

This is absolutely true.

Emotional language is the most important skill you have to master as a copywriter.

You need to learn how to appeal to the markets emotions and not their logical or critical thinking ability. This is how you develop marketing messages which resonate with people and…most importantly…get them to ACT on those messages.

Until next time,

Cheers

Alastair Walton

4 TIPS FOR WRITING KILLER OPENINGS

The first few lines of copy are critically important.

You need to pull prospects in and hook their attention immediately.

If you cannot do this they will simply stop reading.

What you also need to realize is this:

The first sentence gets them to read the second…

The second sentence gets them to read the third…

The third sentence gets them to read the fourth…

And so on and so on all way to the end where (hopefully) they buy your product.

Now, without further delay here are 4 things you need to do when opening.

1. Explain the headline

Start by expanding on your headline. Remember, the headline needs to be as short as possible. This means you’ll have lots to explain. Your opening is where you do this.

2. Arouse curiosity

You need to make the reader curious enough to finish your message. The way to do this is by promising to reveal something. This should be something they desperately want to know the answer to.

3. List your benefits

Benefits pull them into the letter. List the benefits they will gain from using your product or reading the copy. What is it going to do for them?

4. Make it easy to read

Keep sentences short and simple. Use bullet points and paragraphs of no more than three lines. Reading your copy should be effortless.

Combine these elements and you’ll pull in more readers.

(And ultimately increase your sales).

Drop me a line if you’ve got any questions about this.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

DO VSLs REALLY WORK?

Once upon a time VSL’s (i.e. video sales letters) were the hottest thing in marketing

It seemed as if everyone was converting their sales letters into videos…

Dozens of marketers were selling products they claimed could create the ultimate VSL.

This was the new revolution in internet marketing and couldn’t be beaten.

But here’s the real question:

Was this really true…

…are videos better than sales letters?

Unfortunately not.  

You see, VSLs didn’t actually convert any better than ordinary sales letters. Not only that, a lot of people were complete idiots when using them. They thought creating extremely loud, auto-playing videos that went on for an hour (or more) was the way to convert visitors. Not only that, many of these videos had NO interface whatsoever. You couldn’t pause, fast forward or rewind. What’s more, some people would only show the buy button halfway through the video – or worse near the very end. So while internet marketers claimed these videos converted like crazy the reality was they DIDN’T.

In fact, most VSLs were highly annoying and only retards would sit through them.

This brings me to my point.

The thing with VSLs is that it’s really about who you’re selling to.

They work great for trash products bought by idiots.

But these are also the people who will ask for a refund five minutes after purchase…

If you’re looking for a better class of customer then stick to a sales letter.

Personally, I’d rather sell to someone who’s going to make the effort to read what I say.

Bottom line:

There is nothing inherently special about videos.

They DO NOT have the ability to magically hold someone’s attention.

Sales letters are just as good.

And when done right they are infinitely more powerful.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

REAL LIFE DON DRAPER SHARES HEADLINE WRITING WISDOM

The headline is probably the most important part of your sales letter.

To quote advertising legend David Ogilvy:

“On average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

This makes sense if you think about it. 

But what it also means is that nothing is more important than writing a great headline.

If you’re struggling with this here are 6 tips that will help:

1. Keep it short.

Most people try to do too much in their headline. They write headlines that are far too long. The only purpose is to get attention. This means your headline should be short, sweet and to the point.

2. Make it punchy.

Use power words and phrases. Remember, some words are more powerful than others. Think about how the words you use make the reader feel. For example, instead of kill say slaughter.

3. Be credible.

Your headline needs to be credible and believable. You must give readers a reason to believe your claims.  Also try to quickly establish the credibility of the person who is talking to them.

4. Include benefits.

The headline should contain at least 1-2 product benefits. This gives people a reason to read the copy.

5. Use curiosity.

Curiosity is the most powerful human motivator. Use it as often as you can in your headlines.

6. Ask a question.

This is by far the easiest way to write a headline. The question should be something your market desperately wants to know the answer to.

Until next time.

Cheers,

Alastair Walton

P.S. One final tip I can give you is to write LOTS of headlines. You should honestly write at least a 100. Use every possible angle and keep going until something leaps out at you.