Five Crucial Questions You Must Get RIGHT BEFORE The First Word of Ad Copy is Written
What’s Your REAL Product? We buy emotionally and justify with
logic. Products are like onions… they have layers.
Features: Size, weight, color, design
Functional Benefits: How it does what it does. The means to
getting something done.
Practical Benefits: Saves you money, Saves you time, makes you
healthier, produces wealth, enhances pleasure
Emotional Benefits: Excitement, relief, pride, peace of mind
Here’s The Wrong Way To Ask Someone To Buy From You...
Now I’m going to contradict myself here but you’ll see why.
While this ad is a piece of shit for the majority of the market because all that it
offers you is basic features…and yet it’s also absolutely perfect for someone who
goes to google and types in “Samsung 46” class/1080p/120Hz/LED-LCD HDTV”
because this teeny portion of the market knows exactly what they want because
they’ve fully educated themselves on what the features your product or service
offers elsewhere and they just want the best price on it.
The other 98% of your ideal prospects are babes in the woods, lost, looking for
an authority figure to plug their umbilical cord into, and educate them as to why
this is perfect for them to have. They need and want you to entertainingly walk
them through all the reasons why 1080p is awesome… What 120 Hz will do to
make them proud of their purchase… How LED-LCD HDTV is going to make
them a hero in the eyes of their family and themselves.
Now I emphasized entertainingly above when mentioning walking people
through the benefits of what you product does but this has zero to do with
writing all fancy. Simply by walking people through the functional, the practical
and then the emotional benefits of what your product or service offers, you’ll
entertain their heart to no end. No fancy story telling or writing degree
In my eyes, catering to both the savvy audience and the not-yet
enlightened audience is the sweet spot. This
is something we’ve recently played with on the sales page for our nerd reports.
For some of you, Eben Pagan or Frank Kern or Dan K. already sold you on the
idea of owning a course of theirs that we’ve taken notes on so some of you don’t
need me telling you why it’s a great idea to buy and so we put the “Easy Access”
buy link right up top.
AND… we still make sure that for anyone who wants to learn why these notes
are awesome, they can.
Short example of the right way to do this…
Here’s some surprisingly good, quick & to the point ad copy that I accidently stumbled into,
for a $150.00 Shaving Kit, in a place I was actually going to find an example of horrible copy
to show you…
Features: Cutting Edge One-of-a-Kind Built-in Spot Light
Functional Benefits: Reveals details normally hidden in facial contours
Practical Benefits: Less missed spots, more effective and efficient strokes.
Emotional Benefits: Where they dropped the ball… Now you won’t ever be washing your hands at the office or out on a date, looking in the mirror, and spot a patch of fuzz that you missed and saying, “God Damn It!!! to yourself and be concerned about the whole time until you get back home.
Notice in this ad how they included that line: What It Does
I imagine these ads are template style for all of their product and including that line in the template makes sure that their writers don’t just settle for selling feature.
So, including a subhead line such as… “Here’s What This Does For You…” into every ad you write will lead you into
making sure you’re including the functional, the practical and then the emotional benefits into all of your copy.
Here’s an outstanding example from one of Craig Garber’s website he uses to sell his
Features: “Better Quality Marketing Information, More Compelling Sales Copy For
Your Swipe Files, And More Entertainment!”
Functional Benefits: “In Seductive Selling, I give you the view from the “other side of
the desk,” by uncovering subtle, but powerful and compelling emotional direct-response
marketing strategies, specifically for you and YOUR business.”
Practical Benefits: “They let you do more back-end business with your existing
customers… and they show you how to charge much more for your goods and services.”
Emotional Benefits: “These strategies let you consistently attract more new and prequalified customers who are EAGER to work with you.”
You might of noticed how I switched the order of the benefits to fit this template. Read
below to see how I added to the power of this benefit by doing so…
“In Seductive Selling, I give you the view from the “other side of the desk,” by
uncovering subtle, but powerful and compelling emotional direct-response
marketing strategies, specifically for you and YOUR business. These
strategies let you do more back-end business with your existing customers…
and they show you how to charge much more for your goods and services.
This puts an end to you feeling desperate, embarrassed, or confused about
your marketing and your copy and instead, lets you feel the cool-hand Luke
confidence that comes as a result of consistently attracting more new and
pre-qualified customers who are EAGER to work with you. ”
Do you see how now it slams home to a powerful crescendo? You can do this with every
single feature of your product or service too by simply following this benefit template and
always bringing everything home to specific ways they’ll be feeling better, getting richer,
or getting famous or liked.
Here’s How To Turn an Ordinary Product Into a Superstar
- Pry out every benefit your product can deliver.
- Think of all the positive emotions these benefits address
- Identify every negative issue your product resolves
- Identify every negative emotion your product resolves
- Find premiums to fill gaps not met by the product
2. Who’s Your Best Prospect?
You want to know on average, all of these for your market…
o Age Range…
o Do they own their home or not…
o Credit Card Usage…
o Marital Status…
o Do They Have Children…
o What’s Their Financial Situation
These are the surface level nice-to-knows. The list below taps into the deep structure that you can actually write to.
What do they dream about?
What do they desire?
What do they love?
What do they fear?
What frustrates them?
What angers them?
What do they hate?
What arouses their skepticism?
What embarrasses them?
What are they most thankful for?
What are their sources of shame and guilt?
What are their secret self-doubts?
What are they proudest of?
What makes them happy?
Where do I find all this stuff?
You’ve gotta BE the PROSPECT
You buy – and read – best selling books, magazines and newsletters on the
subject of what you’re offering.
Here’s a guy named Julien Smith who I believe gets this from hanging out at
the relevant websites and blogs of his market.
This is the guy who co-wrote “Trust Agents” with the other social
media/internet wizard Chris Brogan. He’s a New York Times bestselling author,
consultant, and speaker who has been involved in online communities for over
15 years– from early BBSes and flashmobs to the social web as we know it
Julien has long been on the cutting edge of web technology.
He was one of the first Twitter users, and among the first people to
use podcasting in 2004 and be broadcast by traditional radio. He has
since worked with and been interviewed by numerous media organizations such
as CNN, CBC, CTV– and a bunch of others that don’t start with the letter C.
Because he’s so entrenched in his market, he can talk to them in the tone he has
in that post he wrote above. He knows what they like and what they can take.
Even if you aren’t a social media guy, you can do this too by lurking on Twitter
or facebook pages your ideal prospects hang out on and seeing what people talk
about there. You don’t even have to risk your ego by saying anything. Just lurk
and you’ll get a really good feel for where your market is.
Watch all the cable channels built around the subject of your
Learn how to conduct a powerful interview with your customers
You come at this from the angle of looking for a testimonial but you’re really
looking to get to know them. It might come across as weird if you call them and
say you want to do research on them.
Become friendly with likely prospects.
If you market is golfers but you’ve never golfed… get your ass out on the course.
You always write to the most emotionally charged people in your
3. Who’s Your Best Messenger?
Would the letter be best coming from you or written in the third person?
If you’re the marketplace’s hero, then your passion is critical to this selling
If you really need to do some bragging about yourself and your product you
might feel better doing it in the third person. Like this…
Boasting coming from someone besides yourself will let you go full blast with the praise about
you or your service/product without making you sound like a blow hard. This can work really
well when it’s coming from a buyer who was skeptical at first but as soon as they spoke with
you and used your advice they were converted into loyal customers.
4. What’s Your Best Focus?
When Dan Kennedy sells his newsletter what’s the whole letter built around? The Most
Incredible Free Gift Ever – all the free bonuses you get when you sign up for the No B.S.
He can’t give you all the powerful and and emotional benefits of the newsletter
because it hasn’t been written yet. But he can give specific and crystal clear
benefits of all the products you get as bonuses.
If you’re selling a membership or subscription to anything a tried and true way
to sell is to center your offer around all the bonuses someone is getting as soon
as they sign up. “Here’s how to get this all free… test drive this newsletter.
But if what you’re selling a product where the practical and emotional benefits
are clearly evident… lead with the product. And then use premiums to boost the
value and fill any gaps the product can’t.
5. What’s Your Best Approach Strategy?
USP VS. Advertorial VS. Personal Letter
USP – Use when you have a ton of powerful benefits and proof elements you
can talk about. B level copywriter approach. Very basic level of advertising.
Advertorial – Far more valuable than just a benefit laden ad.
This is a way to educate and enhance people’s life by giving them your letter in a
way that reads like a How-to do it book…
or an article...
Use this approach when product is not unique. When it is complex. When the
product is topical. When benefits are part of a bigger picture. (weight loss)
Here’s a list of ways you can lead these promotions with…
Fears, Frustration or desire.
Positive or negative current events (How to survive y2k)
Conspiracies, frauds or cons
How - To
Personal Letter -- Fundraising industry built on these.
Mongrel Promo – Magalogs and Tabloids. Stuff that looks like an article or
You know you’re doing a good job with this when people are keeping your
marketing piece around, telling themselves, “I’m gonna hang on to this for when
I need to use this tip on page 27,” And the big time direct mailers who put these
pieces together like that Gary Bencivenga “Little Black Book” promo above them
around and mailers can tell this happens because they get orders in way after
they mailed and all the hot responses have poured in.
People nowadays are used to getting stuff free online so this aligns with that
train of thought. You demonstrate you’re a friend when you lead with the “Give”
hand rather than the “Take” hand.
Product Launches are a brilliant example of how this is done online. Here’s how
Eben Pagan did it with his recent Self Made Wealth launch…
But instead of being only one piece of 50% content – 50% pitch one time, you’re
give away 95% content over a week or so and then your last piece is a full on
3 Sales Letter Formulas To Get You Off And Running
Short Cut #1 - Short Copy Outline For TV and Radio Spots, post cards
and very small print ads…
Shock N’ Awe Them, Wake Them Up!, Grabem N’ Shakem… with a powerful benefitbased, emotionally-driven headline
Expand upon the headline with a brief paragraph that drives your lead benefit home in
a powerful, emotionally charged way
Add CREDIBILITY! – a statistic, expert endorsement or customer testimonial that
proves what you say is true
Repeat the headline benefit, justify your price and ask for the sale
Tell the prospect exactly what he/she must do to accept this amazing offer (usually in
short copy, call a toll-free number)
For TV and radio audience who might have a pen handy, you’ll want to repeat the toll-free number as many times as possible. And if on TV, keep the number on the screen the whole time.
Here’s an example of Gary Halbert hit all of these points in the 80’s with this little space ad
The Nerd Copy Writing Mastery System
Short Cut #2
You can use this next outline to sell in any media where you have space and time, whether it’s
video of you presenting in person, longer form salesletters, or screen capture videos done in
camtasia or screenflow using slides.
These are proven and they work.
Tell Your Whole Damn Story
You want to give your prospect everything they’ll need to make an intelligent decision. And
yes, it’s going to be longer than you think it should be. This is why you see so many sales
videos that are 30-60 minutes long, and sales letters that are dozens of pages long.
Once again, you want a complete communication.
You want to get back in touch with what your prospect is experiencing, the emotions they’re
feeling, the things that are triggering those emotions, the things they want to move away
from, the specific outcomes they want to move towards.
The way you do this is to make a list of all their fears and frustrations, then make a list of their
wants and aspirations.
A Complete Sales Communication Template!
You want this to be benefit-driven, specific, clear and crisp.
An easy way to not fuck this up is by using the words, “How-To” at the beginning. These two
words make you focus on what the customer is going to get. So it’s how to ‘do something and
get a benefit’ or “How to ‘get a benefit’”.
EXAMPLE: How to lose 20 pounds… in 90 days… all naturally
**Create a Swipe of 7 – 10 Max Headlines for FAST Swipe N Copy…
Chances are if you are your own best prospect and it grabs you emotionally and makes you
want to reach for your pocket book it will work!
2. Set Up Challenge or Expectation of Learning How To Get the
You say something that sets up the challenge the prospect is facing and the outcome that they
want to move towards or away from. And in setting this up, you’re implying that you know
how to solve it. You have the answer.
Talk directly to the challenge. Talk directly to the fact that you’re going to be showing them
how to get what they want.
EXAMPLE: “If you’re interested in learning how to lose 20 pounds or more of fat in 90 days
or less, and you don’t want to take pills or torture yourself with a starvation diet, then this is
probably the most important message you’re ever going to hear.”
You want to share your story of, ideally, you being in their situation, having the frustrations,
the symptoms that they have, trying and failing to get the result, finally finding a solution and
then creating a system that led to you creating your product.
EXAMPLE: “Five years ago, I had woken up and realized that I had gotten fat. I stepped on
the scale and realized that I was 23 pounds overweight. Not only did I not fit into my old
skinny jeans. It’d been so long since I’d worn them that I’d forgotten where I’d packed them
away to. I was a mess.
So I tried the latest fad diet, got myself a gym membership, started working out and guess
what happened. You guessed it. I GAINED weight! And worse, I was hungry while it was all
But then something interesting happened. I was talking to a friend one day and they shared
with me the secret a vegan used to lose 20 pounds in 90 days. And when they explained what
it was, it just sounded crazy to me but I tried it out and I lost 21 pounds in 90 days.
21 pounds in 90 days! And I was shocked! A couple of friends asked me, “How did you do
that?” so I shared with them what my system was and they started losing weight very quickly
as well. And finally I created a system and now I want to show it to you.
The best part: I did it all naturally, no chemicals, and no pills.”
4. product & Bullets
You want to introduce your product or your service, and then at least a minimum of 20 solid
bullets that are all focused on solutions to problems, deliverance from pain, specific benefits
These are little miniature headlines essentially.
Types of Bullet Points
o Appears at the very start of the letter
o Calls out to your ideal prospects and tells them the product is them
o Example: Are you …
Tired of making your boss rich?
Frustrated by high gas prices?
Embarrassed when you look in the mirror?
o Make sure your qualifying bullets are relatively general. Because if even one of them
doesn’t apply to the reader, then he’ll leave.
** Features and Benefits Bullets**
o Appears just after revealing the product
o Explain what’s actually in the product
o Should be clear and straightforward
o The magic word is “so” …
“Short and easy to read so you can put it together right now”
“Disc brakes so you can stop fast in emergencies”
“Fast acting so you can get on with your day”
[Feature] so [Benefit]
Always use so features and benefits bullets.
o Much more “blind” than Feature and Benefit bullets
o Don’t give away the milk just tell them how sweet it is:
5 Biggest mistakes …
A simple way to …
The one kind of …
EXAMPLE: “The best part is that I now have taken everything I’ve learned about losing
weight and showing others and I’ve put it into a simple system that you can use right now to
lose up to 20 pounds in as little as 90 days… all naturally and the best part is that I personally
guarantee it will work for you.
And you can learn my entire system from the comfort of your home, in my new 12 week teleclass series, “How to lose 20 pounds in 90 days… all naturally”. In this series I’m going to
How to lose 20 pounds of fat in 90 days without having to take any kind of harmful
pills or chemicals
Exactly what to eat so that you feel full when you have a meal… and you lose weight at
the same time
A simple 20 minute exercise program you can do each morning that literally burns fat
all day and it’s not hard to do”
1. Build Value & Tell Them The Price
You want to frame the price in a way that translates the value into a minimum of 10x what
they will be investing.
And give a great reason for why you’re only charging a 1/10 of what it’s really worth.
EXAMPLE: “If you were to work with me one on one as a private client for 12 weeks, you’d
have to invest about $2,500 dollars for your sessions with me. Now in order to make this
product available to everyone, I’ve decided to price my 12 week teleclass series, “How to lose
20 pounds in 90 days… all naturally” at the low price of only $240.00
You’re going to be learning all of my best techniques for losing weight. You’re going to be
learning from me live. And you’ll only be paying a fraction of what it would cost to hire me to
work one on one with you.”
1. Remove Risk With Your Guarantee
The best way to do this is to offer a 100% guarantee.
Tell them that this comes with a 100% money-back guarantee so if they don’t like it for any
reason, they get their money back.
EXAMPLE: “This program comes with my 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like it
for any reason, all you have to do is send me an email that says, “Refund please” and I’ll give
you back all of your money… no questions asked.”
THE BETTER THEN RISK FREE OFFER!
1. Tell Them to Act Now
You have to instruct them. Ask them to respond. Give them a specific direction to action with
the exact action steps detailed out so that they know what to do in order to purchase your
EXAMPLE: “There are 25 spots available in this tele-class. And it’s starting soon. It’s on the
first of next month. If you’d like to attend this class with me, just click the button below that
says register, enter your name and payment information, and register right now. I look
forward to working with you to help you lose your weight fast. Register now, and I’ll talk to
you in the program.”
You take all of these pieces and you put them together into a logical story that makes sense.
The above is a very abbreviated version of what you should probably do for your market. You
could do all of your salesletters or promos using this format and you’d be golden.
Remember to talk to your prospect as if they were a close friend. Explain it all.
Remember To Break Up What Your Doing To Keep It Interesting
Every page or half page or after every couple of minutes of watching a video, have some kind
of sub-headline, some kind of transition. You want a new point every few minutes to keep the
Starting Point Exercise:
This is an outstanding starting point when creating a new marketing piece, new headline – or
basically any new marketing strategy or document.
Start by listing your prospective customer’s “Fears & Frustrations” in one
column, then list your customer’s “Wants & Aspirations” in another column.
Write at least 10 on each list
Focus on the emotional and irrational, as this is where the power and leverage is…
How to lose 20 pounds… in 90 days… all naturally
If you’re interested in learning how to lose 20 pounds or more of fat in 90 days or less, and you don’t
want to take pills or torture yourself with a starvation diet, then this is probably the most important
message you’re ever going to hear.
Five years ago, I had woken up and realized that I had gotten fat. I stepped on the scale and realized
that I was 23 pounds overweight. Not only did I not fit into my old skinny jeans. It’d been so long since
I’d worn them that I’d forgotten where I’d packed them away to. I was a mess.
So I tried the latest fad diet, got myself a gym membership, started working out and guess what
happened. You guessed it. I GAINED weight! And worse, I was hungry while it was all happening.
But then something interesting happened. I was talking to a friend one day and they shared with me
the secret a vegan used to lose 20 pounds in 90 days. And when they explained what it was, it just
sounded crazy to me but I tried it out and I lost 21 pounds in 90 days.
21 pounds in 90 days! And I was shocked! A couple of friends asked me, “How did you do that?” so I
shared with them what my system was and they started losing weight very quickly as well. And finally I
created a system and now I want to show it to you.
The best part: I did it all naturally, no chemicals, and no pills.
You will learn:
How to lose 20 pounds of fat in 90 days without having to take any kind of harmful pills or
Exactly what to eat so that you feel full when you have a meal… and you lose weight at the
A simple 20 minute exercise program you can do each morning that literally burns fat all day
and it’s not hard to do
If you were to work with me one on one as a private client for 12 weeks, you’d have to invest about
$2,500 dollars for your sessions with me. Now in order to make this product available to everyone,
I’ve decided to price my 12 week teleclass series, “How to lose 20 pounds in 90 days… all naturally” at the low price of only $240.00
This program comes with my 100% money back guarantee. If you don’t like it for any reason, all you
have to do is send me an email that says, “Refund please” and I’ll give you back all of your money… no questions asked.”
There are 25 spots available in this tele-class. And it’s starting soon. It’s on the first of next month. If
you’d like to attend this class with me, just click the button below that says register, enter your name
and payment information, and register right now. I look forward to working with you to help you lose
your weight fast. Register now, and I’ll talk to you in the program.
How to lose 20 pounds… in 90 days… all naturally
1. Are you focused as you should be, on selling one, and only one thing in this ad?
2. Have you considered whether your copy big enough to read, especially if
marketing to seniors?
3. Have you written multiple headlines?
4. Will the theme or benefit presented in the headline and lead hit home with a
significant number of your prospects who are most likely to buy?
5. Does the headline and lead instantly seize your attention?
6. Is it instantly and completely believable?
7. Do they present compelling benefits to the prospect in return for reading this?
8. Do they explain why it’s crucial for the prospect to read this right now?
9. Can your reader grasp what you’re offering in three seconds or less?
10. Do they establish the qualifications of the spokesperson beyond the shadow
of a doubt?
11. Did they sell you on reading the opening?
12. Does your opening stay in sync with the headline and deck copy or does it
13. Did the opening copy deepen your desire to read on?
14. Are the strongest point(s) right at the very beginning?
15. Do the emotions you’re experiencing while reading make you want to
16. Are key statements of fact supported by sufficient specifics to make them
17. Does the spokesperson present a reason why he’s writing this – early in the
18. Is the prospect told he/she will be offered something valuable “In a minute”?
19. Does the spokesperson’s personality and conviction come through loud and
20. Does the copy feel like a one-on-one conversation between a two friends with
a common interest?
21. Are you continually using ‘you’ and ‘your’ in the copy so it feels like you’re
talking directly to them?
22. Are you using short sentences and paragraphs to keep the copy aired out and
23. Have you been using specific numbers (99.7% vs. 100%) in your
24. Is the emotional tone of the copy appropriate for the subject matter?
25. Is it clear that the spokesman has an emotional stake in getting this
information to the
26. Have you admitted any mistakes or shortcomings that build credibility with
27. Is the prospect likely to find an emotional soul mate in the spokesperson?
28. Does the spokesman feel like a friend and advocate – and not just another
29. Do you feel as though the copy moves faster as you progress through the
30. Are the practical benefits of the product and/or premiums fully
31. Are the positive emotional benefits of the product/premiums fully
32. Do you have your unique selling proposition explained?
33. Are the negative emotions that will be neutralized fully explored?
34. Have you broken up bullet points into blocks of 5 or 7 so you avoid the sea of
35. Have you abandon “attractive” but distracting graphics?
36. For the graphics you have kept, do they all have tantalizing captions that
reinforce the graphic?
37. Are there entertaining elements sprinkled throughout – and if so, are they
appropriate to the subject?
38. Has the copy been written at about a sixth grade level? (No matter who
you’re prospect is.)
39. Is the copy laced with “lingo” that prospects/customers think or talk in?
40. Is your letter being written like it’s being spoken? (Using expressions like
“listen” or “a minute ago you heard me say”)
41. Do you have details that add to your credibility? (your exact location,
description of the neighborhood, etc. ?)
42. Are you using any third party endorsements? (Articles, influential peoples
comments about you, etc.)
43. If your headline is a Platinum headline, do all of your sub-heads qualify to be
44. In print salesletters are you ending your pages on cliffhangers?
45. Have you sparingly used no more than 3 colors and highlighter in your
46. Is the value of the offer fully dimensionalized? Does it detail exactly what
47. Does your offer break apart each component’s value/price and compare it to
48. Does the offer compare price apples to oranges? (Total gym machine vs.
buying gym membership)
49. Is price shown as odd ending number?
50. Is there a rationale given for the discount, premiums and other offer
51. Do your bonuses have a high perceived value that you’ve totaled and
52. Are the bonuses valuable enough to sell on their own?
53. Are you linking bonuses to fast response? (Time, limited quantity, first time
54. Does the guarantee re-emphasize the benefits and deepen the bond between
you and your prospect?
55. Is the guarantee worded in an interesting way?
56. How long is the guarantee?
57. Are there multiple guarantees?
58. Is there an unconditional guarantee?
59. A conditional guarantee?
61. Have you written headline for each testimonial?
62. Do you have who you are copy in the letter?
63. Do you have proof in the form of graphics? (pictures, drawings, graphs, etc.)
64. Did you address the prospect’s desire for instant gratification?
65. Do you give people the opportunity to choose between basic and deluxe?
66. What is the compelling reason to buy now?
67. What is the urgency motivator?
68. Is this reason explained?
69. Would it be strong enough to get you to take action?
70. Has the close been crafted in a way that would make you feel like you were
insane for not ordering?
71. Did you feel your excitement peaking as you were coming up on the close?
72. Have you anticipated and answered all your reader’s possible objections?
73. Do your coupons or order forms state YES!... and restate offer in the first
74. Is there a unique incentive to use the fastest way to order now?
75. Are you enclosing more than one order form with your package?
76. Is your response device or devices key coded for tracking?
77. Does the order form have a headline?
78. How compellingly does the order form copy restate the benefits and
79. Does it look like an order form and is it easy to fill out?
80.Have you told your prospect exactly how to respond with step-by-step
80. Have you informed them of any sales taxes?
81. Is everything you want your reader to do clearly stated on the order form?
82. Does it start the bonding process by thanking the new customer for their
83. Does your P.S. either summarize the offer, reinforce a benefit, emphasize
the response deadline or add an extra detail?
84. And have you had someone besides you read this copy out loud?
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