How to Overcome Opportunity Seeker’s Disease (Part 2)

Accountability PartnerIf your business year has not met your expectations, then keep reading.  If your business year has been filled with miscommunications, then keep reading.

Or if you’ve found your business Intentions and goals thwarted for unexpected reasons, the culprit behind these outcomes may be a case of Opportunity Seekerism.

Becoming a strategic entrepreneur requires you to focus on the tasks you DON’T DO more intensely than the TO DO tasks. “Your ‘stop doing’ list is more important than your ‘to-do’ list,” says Jim Collins, best-selling author of Good To Great.  Jim continues:

“Most of us lead busy but undisciplined lives. We have ever-expanding [Read more…]

9 Ingredients for Powerful Order Pages

alex mandossian order buttonWhen web site visitors get to the order page, many marketers think, “I’ve got ‘em!” But going to the order page merely demonstrates that a suspect is now a prospect. You can’t celebrate the sale until they click the “buy” button – and what you do on your order page can dramatically influence their decision.

Here are 9 tips for creating more powerful order pages:

1. Make your online order pages like offline direct mail coupons. Many online marketers make the mistake of including only billing information on their order pages. But this focuses the visitor’s attention on how much money is being spent.

Instead, take a cue from offline marketers who include coupons in their direct mail offers. Summarize the offer in your reader’s voice [Read more…]

Shatter Writer’s Block in 250 Words

writer's blockWriter’s block makes copywriting the bane of many entrepreneurs’ existence. If you find yourself freezing at the keyboard, especially under the pressure of a looming deadline, try my favorite technique: Crafting a five-part, 250-word executive summary about the project.

I organize my executive summaries around Gary Bencivenga’s Persuasion Formula:

  • Have an urgent problem.
  • Make a unique promise.
  • Use unquestionable proof.
  • Offer a user-friendly proposition.

When writing your executive summary, start by asking, “What is the urgent problem?” Write down what you know about your prospects’ pet peeves, pains, predicaments, joys, admirations, and hopes. These details will build rapport and help prospects grasp that you understand their situation.

Next is the solution. Explain what is possible for your prospects so they can visualize how things will be once their problems are solved.

The third question to answer is, “Why are they stuck?” Explain to your readers why they are stuck with their problem and have not yet found a good enough solution. [Read more…]

Spy Your Way to Better Marketing Copy

spying on competitorsIt’s often said that “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Savvy copywriters know that it’s also the way to bigger and better marketing results.

Specifically, I’m talking about spying on your competitors and using what they write to strengthen your own copy.

But a very important point here: Don’t make spying the very first thing you do when copywriting.

Many copywriters spy first. Then they draft their benefits, identify frequently asked questions, brainstorm how customers are likely to consume their product or service, and do other research and writing.

I deliberately do not do this. I spy before I draft a full sales letter and before I post my copy to a web page. But I write several chunks of copy first, including my frequently asked questions, a consumption matrix, and benefits.

Here’s why: If you go through the effort of writing the rough drafts of these pieces of copy on your own, you’ll [Read more…]

3 Steps to Amplify Desire with Bonus Gifts

AIDA — Attention, Interest, Desire, Action — is a classic formula for copywriting success. For most copywriters, the first two steps of grabbing attention and generating interest are relatively easy when compared to motivating prospects to take action. Bonus gifts are a tried-and-true way to amplify prospects’ desire to the point that action is irresistible.

bonus gifts with purchaseHere is the three-part formula for success with bonus gifts:

  • Tell prospects that the bonuses are free with their purchase.
  • Describe the bonuses and present the items as a list. Incorporate graphics of your bonus gifts whenever possible.
  • Finally, tell prospects the value of each item – and of the total bonus gift package.

To see an example in action, go to and then click the anchor tab at the top of the page titled “Bonus Gifts” to see the bonus gifts and how they are presented.

I also included a link just below the bullets at the top of the page that says, “So if you’re ready to start, please proceed to the next web page where I reveal the $51,740 in free bonus gifts and return each year at no cost claiming your Free Alumni status for life!” This stimulates visitors’ desire to [Read more…]

Upsell Your Way to Bigger Revenue and Profits

upsell | do you want fries with that?The fastest, easiest way to grow your business is to increase the dollar value of a transaction. That’s why I recommend crafting an upsell for every offer you make to your customers.

An “upsell” is simply selling a customer more products in a single transaction. A classic example is fast-food restaurant employees asking “Do you want fries with that?” when customers order a burger. When you upsell, there is no additional cost to acquire the customer, so you generate higher profits.

For greatest success, the upsell should be relevant to your core offer. Look at upsells as a way to deliver more value. When you deliver more value to the customer, you generate more income for yourself.

For example, if you’re selling a teleseminar for $29, a proven upsell is to offer the audio transcripts for $10 more. If the content is good, most students will [Read more…]

Use a Consumption Matrix for More Effective Copy

Seasoned copywriters know that if prospects can envision or experience themselves using the product or service being promoted, it becomes much more emotionally compelling for them to buy. An easy way to get into your prospect’s world is to use a consumption matrix.

consumption matrix | business travelerA consumption matrix is a grid that answers when your product or service is being consumed, how it is being consumed, and why it is being consumed. (This is why we call customers consumers.)

Imagine a grid with three columns. The first column says, “When?” The second column says, “Why?” And the third column says, “How?”

Each row is a point of consumption – a situation where customers could conceivably consume your product. A point of consumption is in front of your computer. A point of consumption is in the car if you have an information product. A point of consumption could be on a plane if you have a laptop. [Read more…]

How Delivery of Bonuses Affects Refund Requests

Buyer’s remorse is a natural phenomenon, making refund requests a normal part of doing business. One unique, easy and highly effective way to reduce refund requests is to change when you deliver bonuses.

lower refund requestsWhen you are selling something to people, they’re in an emotional state. After a customer purchases something or does business with you, on some level they start questioning, “Did I do the right thing? Should I have spent the money? Could I have gotten a better product or service or deal elsewhere?”

In other words, they don’t trust you or their decision anymore. To reduce your refund rates, you must address this lack of trust.

One way to build trust is with frequency – and one of the most effective ways to do it is with a Bonus Gift Request Form. [Read more…]

Choosing the Right Type of Benefits

dangling carrot benefitsExplaining the benefits of your product or service is a copywriting fundamental. But one of the biggest copywriting mistakes people make is not categorizing their benefits.

There are two categories of benefits: “moving away” and “moving toward.” They appeal to two different types of prospects.

Some people are more attracted to benefits that promise to move them toward pleasure, like dangling a carrot in front a donkey. Others are motivated by “sticks” — that is, they want to move away from pain.

It’s important to know which type of benefits to stress in your marketing copy, because you want to do everything in your power to tip the scales in your favor to get someone to say “yes” or at least give you a “shy” yes. You are responsible for knowing who you are writing to.

Start by writing a comprehensive list of [Read more…]

The 4-Part Persuasion Formula for Better Copywriting

persuasion formula for copywritingIf you want to be more persuasive with your copywriting, there is a 4-part persuasion formula I want to share with you. I learned this formula from one of the world’s greatest copywriters, Gary Bencivenga, who is a mentor, client and dear friend.

Part One: Urgent Problem

If there is no problem, there is nothing to talk about because you can’t offer a solution. Make sure it’s an urgent problem, because urgency makes people more motivated to find a solution.

For example, one offer I used to make when speaking at conferences was an 8-month mentoring program. I would start by talking about the problem of overwhelm.

I’d say, “Listen, I’ll bet you are overwhelmed with too much to do. That’s why I’m [Read more…]