How to Test Your Copywriter With Tough Questions

Client got on the phone yesterday, ordered a 3-piece email series.

We had a constructive talk and he asked me to send an invoice.

In the morning, there was no money but a question instead:

Martin, since I run a charity, margins are really very thin. Every dollar really counts with us. Do you feel confident that my investment with you will get sufficient response?

 

I just LOVE that question.

For one thing, because this person appeals to my honesty.

He wants to be confident his money will be spent well.

And he’s looking to see whether or not that matters to me.

Dude… Of course it matters. A lot.

In fact, I wouldn’t even take a job if I don’t feel it’s going to be a worthwhile investment for my client.

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Tell Me What to Do – Don't They Know How Arrogant I Am?

Had an interesting conversation with a few smart local femtrepreneurs the other day.

They were asking me about my habit of emailing daily.

And they were trying hard to convince me that it’s a bad strategy.

“You’ll bore people”
Nope. People mail me back to say thanks.

“They flag you for spam”.
Not so. I get hardly even any unsubscribes.

“People just ignore you”.
Not true either. It gets me consistently high open rates.

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Screw the Customer and Make a Profit (Don't do This)

Just saw a quote that made me angry.

Not because it isn’t true, but because of who said it, and because of the company this individual runs.

“People say the customer is always right, but you know what – they’re not. Sometimes they are wrong and they need to be told so”.

That little gem is from Michael O’Leary, CEO of Ryanair.

Ryanair is of course the low-budget airline I love to rant against.

Ryanair is a complete asshole to its customers.

“Short of committing murder, negative publicity sells more seats than positive publicity”.

Yep, he really said that. It pretty much sums up Ryanair’s attitude.

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Smart Guy: I Don't Want to go to His Shop, But I Probably Will

A few times a year, everything in this town gets covered by a thin film of fine red sand.

It gets carried across the Mediterranean sea when the wind is just right, and it actually is sand from the Sahara.

I got on my motorbike, started, and drove away to a horrible crunching sound.

It was the Sahara sand on the chain, and it causes massive wear on the chain, so on my way out of town I stopped at a workshop to have the guy clean off the sand.
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Sometimes, Sadly, People Just Aren't Ready for Help

Sometimes, for all your good intentions, you can’t make the sale.

There are cases when you know, for a fact, they should buy.

You know it’s going to help the buyer.

They’ll advance, heal, progress, learn… they NEED this stuff.

Many people will then try to become more persuasive.

Give more explanation.

Repeat key points.
Try to get through their skull.

Trying to give them the ‘come to Jesus’ moment.

“Trust me. You need this”.

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Black Bus Driver Reinvents Marketing and Prevents a Suicide While He's At It

Heartwarming.

Big lesson, too.

Here’s how a regular guy used the single most powerful persuasion technique to save a life.

And, like I always teach: he used persuasion to achieve a greater good.

Darnell Barton was driving his bus on a Buffalo highway.

A woman stood perched on the edge of the bridge.

Our world and her world were about to disconnect – 7 seconds and 400 feet from now.

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Here's How You Know Marketers Are Lying to You

Sometimes I get real annoyed.

Especially when I see people trying to befuddle honest people like you and me.

Here we are, trying to carve out a niche and make a nice living for ourselves.

We have a business, a plan, a strategy, and we’re working hard.

Along comes some supposed marketing guru, telling you:

“Stop, you’re doing it wrong.Forget everything you know, because everything has changed, and business has never been easier.

All you need is this here new product.

Buy this, and you won’t have to worry.

Sales will be automatic and the internet will be your cash machine.”

And then they start telling you all the things you can ignore.

Design? Doesn’t matter, just drive more traffic!

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This is Why Encyclopedia Salesmen Don't Sleep at Night

I walked into the living room and surveyed what, as of today, was my new home.

Desk will go by the window, big plant in that corner… this place was going to be fantastic once the movers bring my furniture.

 

The emtpy room echoed my steps as I turned and walked towards the kitchen.

And then I saw it, sitting on a shelf, all by itself.

Leather-bound, in its full 1,5 meter glory.

24 full-colour volumes of encyclopedia.

Untouched, unused.

Left behind by the previous tenants.

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Hype copy: Even More Devastating Than You Might Think

Yesterday I told you about hype copy, and what a filthy beast it is.

But hype copy (or aggressive marketing strategies in general) have a dark side beyond a lack of ethics.

See, if you sell based on hype and scare-tactics, you attract the wrong kind of customers.

When you use hype you prey on the weak.

That’s dirty, but it also means that you’ll get buyers who buy only because they are scared.

After all, hype is a mix of overblown claims (eww) and frantically pushing pinpoints (scaring people).

If you generate a sale with that, you may have closed, but you’ll also have a problem.

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Hype Copy? EWWW. What Kind of Girl Do You Think I Am?

Every now and then I get asked to write hard-hitting, high-persuasion copy.

And then they say: “Kind of similar to this one”.

When I click the provided link, I see a page that sells based only on hype.

Headlines that shout at me, overblown claims, hyperbole in every paragraph.

 

Obviously, that’s when I decline to take the job

No hype copy here. I’m just not that kind of girl.

See, there is nothing wrong with being persuasive.

Not if you really solve a problem.

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