Posts Tagged ‘advertise’


Get an “Unfair” Advantage Over The Competition With These 7 Event Strategies

By: Dan Kennedy on: April 9th, 2013 2 Comments

Over the past week, I spent three days conducting the first of only four live events I’ll do this year.

Although I’ve considerably shrunk the number of events I do, I still consider there to be no substitute for getting people together in a room. Never underestimate the power of holding live events for your customers, clients and patients. You sacrifice a lot when you don’t get them in the same room with you.

Years ago, Gary Halbert held a seminar in Key West, Florida. It was about as easy to get there as hooking up horses to a wagon and taking three days to haul yourself there.  I said to Gary, why not have it in Miami? You like Miami. There’s an airport that flies right into Miami. But Gary didn’t budge. He knew the people who were serious about their business would come, no matter where he was at. He knew they were the truly ambitious, the ones most likely to succeed.

Holding events allows you to identify the people you should pay the most attention to. These are the people who are searching for solutions, committed to finding answers and willing to do what it takes to solve their problem. These are the people you should focus on and engage with the most. And they will come to you no matter where you’re at.

At the New A to Z Info-Biz Blueprints event I spilled everything I know about what I’ve discovered over the past 40 years to work as well as what doesn’t work in Information Marketing.  The positives and the negatives in boom times and in bad times. The good trends and the evil trends. How to find the right combination to “the vault.” Key factors when considering a market for entry or expansion. Blueprints for everything from product development to presentation of price to lead generation and more. I gave insider information that you won’t find in writing and will be stricken from any audios or videos made.

Rewarding customers, clients and patients with information or other items they won’t get from you any other way, not only makes your customers, clients and patients feel special, it gives them an advantage over others. This will improve your bond with clients and create better retention.

It wasn’t until I attended a Gary Halbert event that I realized I could charge royalties for my copywriting. Until I heard Gary say he charged royalties, it hadn’t occurred to me that I could get them too… despite me being well aware that writers are often paid royalties on other types of work such as books. Events allow people to see firsthand that they can be successful using your methods. This can prove very valuable to them (and to you.)

You also create fraternity and community while facilitating connections. I’m accustomed to hearing stories from members about alliances formed and money made as a result of meeting someone at an event. One year at SuperConference (click the link now and check out the latest video!) Ed O’Keefe struck up a conversation in the bathroom that was later worth $1.5 million to him.  I’d tell you the details, but you kind of had to be there.

For years I’ve attended events just because it allowed me to see friends that are separated from me geographically. It’s much easier and frankly less expensive for me to see everyone by attending an event.  Similarly, your customers will form a fraternity too.

You’ll often hear, just as we do, that your clients, customers and patients don’t have time to trek off to a conference, seminar or event. But make no mistake, conducting live events and seminars gives you an enormous advantage over your competition. And it gives those who attend your event an enormous advantage too.

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The Most Important Question You Should Ask When Advertising

By: Dan Kennedy on: February 26th, 2013 5 Comments

Over the weekend advertisers spent between $1.65 and $1.8 million for a 30-second commercial during the Oscars.

That’s a lot to spend, however if the economics are right spending that much can really pay off for a business. Especially if their competitors aren’t willing or able to do the same.

Years ago, I thought about building a multi-million dollar company like Nightingale-Conant.

However, I learned through painful experience the impracticality of building a mail-order business without the ability to “go negative” on the front end. The simple truth was I didn’t have the financial resources to do so which meant I had to abandon that idea and go in a different direction.

I often teach that even great marketing can’t make up for bad economics. It is equally true that neither the greatest product or the greatest marketing can make up for insufficient capital.

Smart marketers at the Oscars, the ones who had the right message, the right audience and choose the right media, could pull ahead of a competitor that wasn’t willing or able to spend that much.

You might remember when Pepsi dropped out of some major advertising for a few years while Coke stayed their course and continued spending. As a result Coke overtook Pepsi as the leader.

The business truth many people insist on ignoring is that most businesses are built by “buying customers.” That means that if you are restricted to only acquiring new customers through means that deliver a first sale, front end profit, you cannot grow a business quickly. In fact, you probably cannot grow a business at all.

Conversely, the marketer with the willingness and ability to invest in acquiring customers, even losing money on the first sale AND with an effective strategy for maximizing customer value has an enormous competitive advantage.

Business owners have difficulty accepting this message. In fact, when determining budgets, marketing is often one of the first areas that businesses believe they can reduce their spending.

The rationale is that the business can maintain the customers they currently have or that their competitors may be facing the same economic challenges and therefore do the same.  What really happens is that you open up the market and make room for your competitor willing to advertise to move in and take over some of your market share.

Really the question should NOT be, “What’s the least amount you can spend to acquire a customer?”

The most important question you should ask is, “What’s the most that you can/will spend to acquire a new customer?”

(Dan Kennedy Talk About This At Length In His Newly Released “Marketing To The Affluent” Course…Available For 33% Off Now.)

That number determines what can and cannot be done, which media and marketing tools can and cannot be used, and virtually dictates your marketing plan.

Ultimately, the business that can spend the most to acquire a customer wins. In the U.S. recessions from 1980-1985, McGraw-Hill Research analyzed 600 companies. The businesses who continued advertising and outspent their competition during the 1981-1982 recession hit a 256 percent growth by 1985.

There is more evidence to support the same.  If you expect to make a profit on the initial sale only, you will grow slowly, if you grow at all. You must make sure you can afford to buy customers, outspend your competitors and have an effective strategy for maximizing your customer’s value on the back-end.

NOTE: This is just one of the money-making rules you’ll learn how to apply at the GKIC Fast Implementation Bootcamp. If you’ve been flailing around, growing slowly or not growing at all, take advantage of our Free FAST Implementation Bootcamp. It’ll get you out of the gate and running FAST.

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Register for our next Free Fast Implementation Bootcamp here now.  Or go to www.dankennedy.com/bootcamp

 Or hear what one of our recent Bootcamp attendees has to say here.

How To Sell Better, Even If You Aren’t A Skilled Copywriter

By: Dan Kennedy on: December 11th, 2012

A recent encounter at Info-Summit reminded me of a powerful technique you can use to multiply your income…

You can use this whether you are experienced or not, have skill or not, or know very little or a lot about your industry. In fact, even if you consider yourself an amateur copywriter, you can use this to out-perform an experienced pro.

It’s a rare secret advantage far too few businesses use. It’s revealed in a story about a young baseball player…

The year was 1907.

Frank Bettger was fired from Johnstown Pennsylvania, Triple State baseball team.

Shocked, he went to his manager and asked him

Frank Bettger was fired from Johnstown Pennsylvania, Triple State baseball team.

Shocked, he went to his manager and asked him why.

His manager told him that he was lazy and told him he dragged himself around the field. Believing himself ambitious and wanting to get to the top, that was the last thing Bettger expected to hear.

His manager’s parting words, “Wake yourself up, and put some life and enthusiasm into your work!”

Bettger reported to his new team in Chester, Pennsylvania where he took a pay cut from $175 per month to just $25 a month.

Bettger says, “Well, I couldn’t feel very enthusiastic on that kind of money, but I began to act enthusiastic.”

His new enthusiasm gained him a trial at a team in New Haven, Connecticut. Inspired, he made up his mind to establish himself as “the most enthusiastic ball player they’d ever seen.”

It paid off. In just ten days he raised his salary 700%, from $25 per month to $185 per month..

Within two years he was playing third base for the St. Louis Cardinals, multiplying his income thirty times.  Bettger says, “I got this stupendous increase in salary not because I couldn’t throw a ball better—or catch or hit better, not because I had any more ability as a ball player…Enthusiasm alone did it.”

Later, after a bad accident forced Bettger to give up baseball entirely, he returned home and began selling insurance.

After ten months of miserably failing as an insurance salesman, Bettger believed he was no good at selling and would never succeed.

Remember the lesson he’d learned from his manager in baseball, Bettger decided he would put enthusiasm into selling insurance. He soon discovered that he could make up for a lack of experience, a lack of skill, and a lack of know-how in selling with sufficient enthusiasm—but that no amount of skill and know-how can make up for the absence of enthusiasm. Using enthusiasm he turned his life and income around, becoming one of the highest paid salesmen in America.  Frank Bettger reveals that “enthusiasm makes a difference” in his book,  How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success in Selling and observes:

“Enthusiasm is by far the highest paid quality on earth, probably because it is one of the rarest; yet it is one of the most contagious.”

Enthusiasm is just as important in print as in face to face selling.  Infusing your sales letter or advertisement with sincere yet intense enthusiasm is one of the ways an “amateur” copywriter can beat the efforts of an experienced pro.

This is why you can’t just sit down and write your ads, sales letters, and brochures “on command” like you can sit down and do bookkeeping. You have to work up some enthusiasm for the task as well as for the proposition you’ll be putting across.

Imagine your own reaction when you are in a store with someone obviously eager to help you, who looks you in the eye and shows genuine excitement that you are there. Versus someone who acts like you’re interrupting what they are doing or as if they don’t care whether you buy something or not. Written copy can have the same effect.

If I’m going to write first thing in the morning, as I often do, I try to set my subconscious mind working on that particular project while I sleep. Sometimes I wake up with the “big idea” I need. Other times, I wake up with ideas and a readiness to write.

I don’t think you should force yourself to “grind out” direct-response copy when you don’t really feel like it; the result will be flat and mechanically assembled; it may be technically correct in that it has a headline, subheads, bullet points, an offer, a P.S., etc., but it will lack spirit.

However, forcing yourself to be enthusiastic works. Bettger said that when he forced himself to act enthusiastic, he soon found himself enthusiastic.

The person who is genuinely enthusiastic about what he is selling definitely has an advantage. If you feel you could use a boost in enthusiasm, try recording the sales pitch from your most enthusiastic salesperson, and transfer it to paper.

Never underestimate the power of enthusiasm and the advantage it can give you. Over the years, the clients I’ve done the best work for and have been the most successful with have been passionate and enthusiastic about what they sell.

NOTE: If you plan to hire a copywriter to give you an advantage, be sure to read GKIC’s free report, “The 7 Key Questions Every Copywriter You Hire MUST Be Able to Answer To Write Killer Direct Response Copy and Create Marketing Campaigns That Will Outsell The Pants Off Your Competition!” Get your FREE copy here

The Easier, More Enjoyable Way To Make Sales Go Through The Roof

By: Dave Dee on: June 12th, 2012 5 Comments

A couple of weeks ago I read a comment in response to one of my blog posts that immediately made me think of a sales and persuasion technique we rarely, if ever, talk about…

The comment was made by a reader named Scott on my post, Three Business Lessons From The “Queen Of Disco” Donna Summer… (If you missed that post, you can view it here.)

In his comment, Scott relayed how he used similar “Donna Summer” tactics to make his sales, “much easier to get” and subsequently “go through the roof”.

Relating to how Donna Summer poked fun of herself in her song “The Queen Is Back,” Scott said, “I’ve dubbed myself ‘The Unlikely Ad Man’…”

Scott says by poking fun at himself with a made up title, he finds it helps people relate to him better. He says, “a lot of people in business don’t quite relate to their title…CEO, National Sales Manager, etc.”

Here’s an email Scott sent to his clients:

“Hi [first name]

A quick note to let you know I’ve been promoted here at [company]. They reckon I’m now the National Sales Manager.

Personally I thought I should be called the Pan-Galactic Quantum Wormhole Overlord, but the directors felt it lacked authority…”

Scott says his customers loved his email. In fact, he says that when he called after sending it to chase sales, many of his customers “expressed what a relief it was to do business with someone who didn’t take their title so seriously”.

Some benefits received as a result, Scott says …

  • His job became “way more enjoyable”
  • “Phone calls were a laugh”
  • “People treated my calls as a short holiday” and;
  • Over the course of two months, his sales figures went from $5,000/week to $20,000/week.

The big idea here: have more fun and don’t take your business so seriously.

People like to have fun. They like to be entertained. And if you can add that to your marketing, you’ve got a powerful tool that will help you sell more.

Not only that, but having more fun will make you, your marketing and your business more memorable too.

Over the weekend, actor Frank Cady, best known for his role as Sam Drucker in the TV series Green Acres died. In a story about Cady’s life, the Los Angeles Times quoted Cady as once saying, “I’m remembered for those shows and not for some pretty good acting jobs I did other times. I suppose I ought to be grateful for that. Because otherwise, I wouldn’t be remembered at all. I’ve got to be one of the luckiest guys in the world.”

Fun can make your product or service viral too. For example, (this video, called Mathmaticious) has more than 2.6 million views. Developed as a spoof of the song “Fergilicious”, the video makes math fun and has been shown by many high school math teachers to their algebra classes.

There are more ways than one to add fun:

Entertain your audience: Add puzzles, games, “letters from your dog,” or other types of entertainment devices to your marketing pieces — especially your newsletters.

Use humor: In Dan Kennedy’s book, Make Em Laugh & Take Their Money, he says, “Humor may have greater power than any other aspect of communication: to tear down and destroy, to compel thought, to encourage compassion, to persuade, to motivate, to ease pain, to affect the outcome of an election and the future of a nation or to make an evening with friends a great memory, or even to sustain a friendship over time. And, of course, to sell things…”

If you don’t consider yourself funny, that’s okay. You can still use humor by including cartoons that relate to your subject.

Or include humor by using a funny quote.

If you decide to use a funny quote, research shows that you should identify the author of the quote instead of saying “a comedian once said.”

Whether poking fun at yourself, using humor, quoting a joke from a famous comedian or including some entertainment in your marketing, you have the power to sell more while having more fun.

What are some ways you add more fun to your marketing? Share your ideas with our readers in the comment section below.

NOTE: If you want to know how to get people to buy more and buy more happily by using humor, check out Dan’s book Make ‘Em Laugh & Take Their Money. Discover how to use humor as an “instrument of persuasion and influence” that you can use whether you are delivering a speech, seminars, sales presentations, writing advertisements, sales letters or newsletters. Click here to learn more.

Want more insider information on how to leverage marketing and sales to improve your business?  Click here to claim your special free bonus of $633.91 worth of marketing materials.


Who Pays $600 for Jeans? Evidence of Mass Affluence

By: Dan Kennedy on: October 2nd, 2009 23 Comments

Historically, free standing inserts in daily newspapers tended to advertise discount tax preparation services, furniture sales, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, Payless Shoes, a chiropractor’s office, an auto repair shop.

Recently, in a daily newspaper, I found a slick, full-color, 4-page insert for a ‘private lakefront community’ with a Jack Nicklaus golf course, homesites starting at $200,000.00, boat slips available.

It wasn’t all that long ago, incidentally, that the symbol of affluence was a two car household. Now it’s a two house household. On a flight to Orlando, every person in first class owned both a Cleveland home and a Florida home.

An article in the New York Times (4/21/05) asked the question “Who Pays $600.00 For Jeans?”. Upon reading, I discovered, a lot of people do!

In fact, the Secret Circus Clothing Company have produced a pair of jeans (seen in the picture at the top of this post) which have 15 diamonds attached to the back pockets sold for $1,000,000.
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The 5 Elements of a Good Direct Response Ad

By: Bill Glazer on: September 28th, 2009 19 Comments

This is my quick checklist of ESSENTIAL Elements of a good direct response ad

1.) REASON FOR ADVERTISING other than your desire to get customers or sell something. BIG NEWS (other than announcing a new logo), BIG IDEA, a breakthrough solution to somebody’s problem. The biggest reason for advertising failure is advertising just because you need to advertise.

2.) ATTENTION-GETTING HEADLINE that telegraphs the news, the idea, the breakthrough…and”sells the ad.” The Headline’s first job is to compel the reader to stop whatever he’s doing – like reading the news in the newspaper- to, instead, shift his attention to your message.

3.) AS CLOSE TO AN ‘IRRESISTIBLE OFFERAS YOU CAN GET. Most ads have no offers or weak, dull, plain vanilla offers. You have no right to response when you offer little.

4.) URGENCY:REASON(S) TO ACT IMMEDIATELY, made believable.

5.) DIRECT,CLEAR ‘CALL TO ACTION’ which connects #3 and #4 to INSTRUCTIONS to the customer of how to respond and what will occur when they do.

There are many additional helpful elements – such as proof, credibility,celebrity, pre-emptive answers to skepticism and reasons not to respond,risk reversal, and others.

But the above five are the absolutely mandatory components.

If you lack any, you do NOT have an ad at all.

Pity the Foolish Small Business Owner

By: Dan Kennedy on: September 22nd, 2009 10 Comments

Any moron can make money with new media where only little folks play.

But when the big, dumb, brand advertisers arrive – as they have in PPC advertising – the media cost skyrockets and that’s that. This should never be a sudden surprise – or a gradual one, either – to anybody with even small quantities of small business marketing knowledge, historical perspective and common sense.

The Big Lesson is what immature, under-priced media giveth, mature, over-priced media taketh away.

For a while, independent specialty retailers in jewelry, handbags, shoes, spicy foods, even electronics had this space to themselves, so search ads that popped up when someone typed “diamond necklace” or “DVD player” worked.

Now that BestBuy, Zales’ Jewelers, etc. have arrived in those categories, buying with little regard to direct ROI, the price per click on such ads has risen to unprofiable numbers. And that will continue to worsen as even bigger, dumber companies cheerfully pay more.
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Hey….Don’t Forget Space Ads in Your Small Business Marketing

By: Bill Glazer on: September 17th, 2009 7 Comments

Let’s talk about newspaper and magazine advertising which is commonly referred to as “Space” advertising.

In many ways, this form of advertising is one of the harder media to make work in small business marketing. Mainly because it typically is a rather costly media and depending on the size of your transaction, it can be very difficult to earn a return on your investment (ROI).

Of course, ROI can vary between whether you are only looking at how much the ad costs verses how much in sales revenue it generated or how many new customers you acquired from the ad and what is their lifetime value to your business.
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Before We Advertise, Let’s Decide WHAT To Advertise

By: Bill Glazer on: August 7th, 2009 8 Comments

There are five important rules to successful advertising.

When you advertise you MUST:

1. Decide whether you have a 1-step or multi-step sale to make.

2. If multi-step, recognize your small business marketing is simply trying to generate leads (and do nothing else that takes away space, time, attention, etc. from that task)

3. Feature your free offer up top and early – don’t hide it (Example Of Headline: EXCITING FREE DVD TAKES YOU ON A FISHING EXPEDITION ON THE WORLD’S BEST AND MOST AMAZING PONTOON FISHING BOAT – AT HOME IN YOUR RECLINER!)

4. Make the free offer as exciting and valuable as possible.

5. Give multiple ways to respond, emphasizing the one that’s best for you. (Web site, phone, maybe mail-in coupon). Whether or not to try pushing most to the web site is still open to debate: good news: gets you 100% e-mail capture for lots of zero cost follow-up. Bad news: you need a separate, different web site just for this purpose, and you delay response – vs. the phone, always handy.

Ads or Articles – Which is Better to Market a Small Business?

By: Dan Kennedy on: July 9th, 2009 11 Comments

The Advertorial, The Challenge Of Maximum Readership Reconsidered

The knee-jerk answer is: articles. And the argument for the “advertorial” i.e. an ad made to look like editorial material is that it is obvious; people buy newspapers and magazines for the articles, not the ads. But, like all dogma, ain’t necessarily so. For example, lots of people buy the Wednesday newspaper to get the supermarket coupons, buy the Friday or weekend newspaper to see the movie and nightclub ads. In analogy, people often go to national conventions more interested in the trade show than in the seminars, me included.

MY ADVICE: DON’T STEP IN THE DOGMA

Anybody who has an ironclad rule about the most successful way to do something can be proven wrong. I constantly violate one of the most respected direct response copywriter’s rule about the number of words for a headline. The “A-pile mail” argument makes perfect sense, but I have beaten it in split-tests with teaser copy laden envelopes. Not often. But sometimes. To conclude that the advertorial is the ad format that will always get the highest readership is wrong. On the other hand, a lot of advertisers err in never using it – in space as well as in direct-mail.

I try to be careful about this; I know too much about what doesn’t work. So, I try to be careful not to be dogmatic, or too quickly shut off a client’s idea. I’ll say: I’ve never known ‘x’ to work, and I’ve certainly seen it not work, but let’s explore it from several different directions, including:

  1. Can it be easily and cheaply tested?
  2. Is there a more reliable approach that will do just as well?
  3. Is there enough benefit to balance the cost of experimenting? Etc.

THE CHALLENGE OF READERSHIP

Here’s the key point to keep in mind, whether contemplating different ads or FSI or direct-mail formats, headlines, photos, grabbers, etc.: it can’t sell if it isn’t read. The Big Lesson is – you have to WORK JUST AT GETTING IT READ. Not presume readership, which is what most people do. Way, way, way too much advertising and mail is produced with a presumption of readership. Actually, the opposite is the smarter approach; presuming every recipient will try NOT to read it.

THE BEST WAY TO MAXIMIZE READERSHIP IS targeting. My message to market match’ principle. But when you can’t target, when you must use mass media and fish from a very large lake, then you have to work even harder at getting people to bother reading your message.