1. Talk about your customers, not about you. "Make the customer the hero of your story." - Ann Handley, Chief Content Officer, Marketing Profs 2. Respect your customers. In the words of David Ogilvy, "The consumer isn't a moron; she is your wife. You insult her intelligence if you assume that a mere slogan and a few vapid adjectives will persuade her to buy anything. She wants all the information you can give her." 3. Be exclusive. Make it a privilege and a proud moment to purchase from you and join the ranks of your customers. 4. Long copy outsells short copy because it tells more. But no matter the length of your copy, prospects will only read it so long as it's interesting and relevant. 5. Stay in contact with your customers. A lot. All the time. Everyday. Your goal is to stay in your customers' minds until they are ready to buy your next product, and your next, and your next. He (or she) who communicates most wins in business. 6. Let your customers take your product for a test drive. If you sell software, let them try it for 7-10 days before they buy it. If it's information, let them see the table of contents and the first 10% of the content, whether it's written, audio or video. Spend as much time on each item in the table of contents as you would on a headline, and make that first 10% of content totally awesome. 7. Teach as you sell. You've seen the advertorials - ads that look like editorials. If done correctly, they teach as much as they sell. If you're giving benefit through your sales copy, your readers will reason that you give a great deal more in your product. 8. Write as though you are writing to one person, not a crowd 9. Use emotion in your marketing. All the logic, stats and facts in the world won't sell as well as emotion, so use it. 10. Ask for what you want until you get it. Whether it's a sale, a referral, a tweet or anything else, keep asking until you get it. 11. Bloggers and graphic artists - make the image match the words. Otherwise the reader is left wondering what the image has to do with the copy instead of getting engrossed in the message. 12. Don't use the same stock images as everyone else. You know the ones - people in suits sitting at a conference table, having a meeting, on the phone, staring into a computer monitor, etc. Tests show those stereotyped pictures can actually hurt your conversions. 13. Don't just tell - show. Use your words to paint vivid pictures in the readers' minds. "When you use abc product, you wake up feeling like you're 20 years younger, vibrant, alive and knowing this could be one of the best days of your life so far." 14. Use incentives for any action you want people to take. It doesn't matter if it's joining a list or buying a product - give them an incentive to do it and to do it right now. 15. Treat your prospects and your customers as you would good friends and that's what they'll become. 16. Give prospects choices. Instead of 'yes' they'll buy or 'no' they won't buy, offer your product in different sizes, formats, colors, etc. This way you can get them to choose (Red or Blue? Small or Large?) which takes their mind of off whether or not to buy and onto how they should buy. 17. Don't reinvent the wheel. Time and again marketers are trying to find new ways to do things, while someone else has already laid down a proven method that marketer could simply follow. When you need to do something new, find someone who's already done it and model what they did. Once you get good at it, then you can refine it further to suit you. 18. Use "because." If you are giving a freebie to your list, tell them why. If you are stipulating a deadline or offering a bonus, tell them why. If you don't, you'll leave an unanswered question in your prospects' minds that could make them hesitate. "I'm limiting my coaching to just 10 people because I want to have the time to absolutely ensure the success of every one of my students." 19. Give reasons why what you claim is true. If you say your toothpaste whitens better than any other, tell them why. "14 years of clinical research culminating in a breakthrough discovery of 3 specific proteins that leave your teeth shiny white." 20. Test. If you have a successful campaign that yields $50,000, but with a little testing it could have been double that, you've just lost $50,000. 21. Read your copy out loud. Whether it's a sales letter, blog post, email or article, read it out loud. You'll discover what works and what needs fixing.
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