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Instantly Supercharge Any Type Of Marketing With This One Simple Tweak

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Jan 30, 2016 Advertising Tips And Secrets, Freelance Writing , , 0 Comments

Our brains decide within fractions of a second if an ad is worthy of our attention.  You have one fleeting moment to grab your audience and make them listen.

So I’m a little confused why mainstream marketing is stuffed to the gills with complete crap that nobody would ever care about.

It’s not like marketing and advertising are free.  If you’re going to spend the money, why waste precious ad space on meaningless junk like this?

  • “Central Indiana’s Premier IT Solutions Expert!”
  • “Highly Trained Technicians And Friendly Office Staff.”
  • “For All Your Home Heating & Cooling Needs.”

I guarantee that no one has ever hired an IT company based on the company’s claim to be the premier expert in the area.  Yet, most advertisements mimic this very style.

Here’s how to fix this problem using a simple three-step technique.  Not only will your marketing actually sell, you will drastically stand out from the competition because they’ll still be using the same old lame duck techniques that don’t work.

How To Supercharge Your Marketing In Three Easy Steps

Plumbing AdCheck out this plumbing advertisement.  Yes, I ripped it off from Google Images.  Ads are made to be seen, so I’m showing it.

It’s visually pleasing but it absolutely does not sell.  How can we improve it?

See the check-marked bullet points?  Those need to be attention getters, and here’s why…

People don’t just read an ad.  On a subconscious level, our brains scan advertisements and immediately dismiss them without ever making us consciously aware.

Unless, that is, your ad manages to interrupt your audience, knocking their brains out of subconscious scan-mode and into conscious awareness.

At one time, smart marketers used bullet points for this very reason… explicitly to give human brains something to scan and hopefully to become interrupted.

Television came along and ruined everything, so bullet points eventually devolved into the generic cliches we see today.  But I’ll show you how to fix this right now.

Step One:  Change Bullet Points From Statements To Features

Going back to the plumbing ad, each of those bullet points simply states a fact about the company.  But consumers don’t care about this company, they care about themselves, meaning these bullet points are worthless.

To be effective, each statement should be changed into a feature consumers actually care about.  Let’s pick one and see if we can fix it…

See the bullet point that says “Friendly, Clean, Quality Service”?  That’s a weak, vague way of saying “We won’t tear up your house and leave a huge mess for you to clean up.”

Instead of some vague platitude, that bullet point should say “Our smoke-free techs clean up after themselves”.

That’s an attractive feature consumers would actually care about.  No one wants a smelly pigpen of a plumber tearing up their house… and a lot of people think that’s exactly how most plumbers are.

Highlighting a feature that solves a problem is much more effective than making a vague, generic statement.

Step two will make our new bullet point even more powerful…

Step Two:  Add A Benefit To Each Feature, Then Explain

Good marketing doesn’t assume that people understand the message.  You need to hold your prospects’ hands and walk them to the conclusion you want them to see.

Adding a benefit to each feature is a lethally effective way to do this.  Benefits are the secret to making your audience swoon over your product or service.



 



 

Let’s add a benefit to the new feature we wrote in Step One.

The “so that” technique is a good way to do this.  Simply explain each feature.  Tell people what’s in it for them using this simple formula:

“We do this SO THAT you get this.”

Example:

“Our smoke-free techs clean up after themselves so you’ll never know they were in your house at all… No lingering cigarette odor or mess for you to clean up later.”

Using the “so that” technique, we’ve alleviated a primary concern homeowners have about using service companies.

Yes, I’ve changed the original bullet point from a brief statement to a relatively long, grammatically incorrect run-on sentence.  Who gives a flip?

Look at all the wasted space in the original ad.  There is plenty of room to get rid of worthless graphic design and insert powerful sales copy that might actually get read.

And keep in mind, plumbing isn’t exactly a sexy topic that gets people revved up.  So compared to say, “male enhancement pills”, the features and benefits for plumbing will never be as sensational or soul-stirring.

Just write the best you can for the product or service you sell.  Even if it seems boring compared to other industries, your marketing will be like electrifying drama compared to your direct competition.

Step Three:  Activate Maximum Sales Power With Verbs

Many writers try to spice things up with adjectives and adverbs like this:

Melissa felt utterly horrified as the haughty executives laughed contemptuously after her presentation.

Ads are not literature, so they shouldn’t be written that way.  In marketing, adjectives and adverbs demand too much comprehension from consumers.

You’re asking them to pay attention to something they probably resent and definitely do not care about.  So don’t make it hard for them to understand your message.

Instead of bloating your message with adjectives and adverbs, use verbs to arouse interest and ignite passion.  Like this:

Melissa withered as the executives romped and sneered after her presentation.

Trimming unnecessary words and upgrading the verbs makes for a much more stirring sentence.  Let’s apply that to our new bullet point…

Right now it says this:

“Our smoke-free techs clean up after themselves so you’ll never know they were in your house at all… No lingering cigarette odor or mess for you to clean up later.”

By upgrading a few verbs, we can make it say this:

“Our smoke-free techs tidy up after themselves so you’ll never know they were in your house at all… No lingering cigarette odor or mess for you to slave over later.”

I changed two verbs and improved the entire sentence.  It’s more descriptive, tells a better story, and makes the pain and relief more palpable.

Again, we’re talking about plumbing here, so the copy will never be sensational.  However, if these three steps were applied to all of the bullet points in the original ad, I’m positive it would be exponentially more effective.

We went from this complete stinker:

  • Friendly, Clean, Quality Service

To this clear winner:

  • Our smoke-free techs tidy up after themselves so you’ll never know they were in your house at all… No lingering cigarette odor or mess for you to slave over later.

 

If the rest of the plumbing ad followed this formula, it would be a powerful piece of marketing.

Try this on your own ads, or just search around on Google and experiment with other peoples’ ads.

Simply change statements into features, add benefits with the “so that” technique, and crank up the effect with good verbs.  With a little practice, you’ll be writing rockstar ads in no time.

These steps work for any type of marketing–web copy, print ads, postcards, sales letters, videos, business cards, vehicle wraps, sales letters, landing pages, pay-per-click, TV and radio commercials, etc.

 

Your pal,

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