Don't Be Like Ryanair. Seriously

A friend of mine was telling me how she wants to start a paid meditation course.

I whipped out my marketing brain and asked my favourite question:

How are you going to sell that stuff?

Her reply:”We’ll make the core service available for free and make money with upsells”.

Books, CDs, incense, meditation mats and comfy linen clothing, that sort of thing.

On the surface it looks like a good idea but actually it isn’t.

I told her: “So you want to be Ryanair”.

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Drink First, Kiss Later

 

Imagine you’re a guy in a bar, and you see an amazingly attractive woman.

You go up to her, you tell her your name, and you instantly lean in to plant a big smacker on her lips.

Nobody in the world would take that approach, right?

If you were to try, you’d be more likely to receive a slap in the face than a kiss.

No surprises.

Except, thousands upon thousands of businesses do exactly the same thing with their customers.

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So Martin, Where Did You Learn Copywriting?

In a monastery.

When I tell people this, they tend to raise one or more eyebrows.

A monastery? That’s where you go to learn about sales and psychology and persuasion?

I did, yes.

For many years I was tasked with making sure things ran smoothly in the monastery.

When groceries had to be fetched; when a roof needed repairing; when dishes didn’t get done; when people were shouting in the corridors or showing up late for meditations, Martin was the guy to go take care of it.

Since we were all volunteers, you can imagine it was a pretty tough job to get compliance from people.

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How to Not Piss Off Your Customers – And Outsmart the Big Boys

Companies often have systems and policies in place that drive customers up the freaking wall.

For example, your bank will allow you to download only three months of bank statements. Why? What good reason is there?

If I send an email to my bank to request they add a feature like ‘Download Last 12 Months’ Statements’, I doubt it will have an effect.

Being smaller than the big boys may seem like a disadvantage, but I think we should apply some Martial Arts thinking: Your weakness can also be your strength.

You’re smaller than Amazon? Then don’t worry about them. Worry about your customers.

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Does Humour Belong in Marketing?

People don’t buy from Clowns.

-Claude C. Hopkins

Some say no, humour does not belong in marketing. We’re supposed to inform and persuade, and we’re not meant to be funny.

Dean Rieck has an excellent piece that explains in full rational justification why humour doesn’t sell.

And yet…

This ad for a television network gets it absolutely spot on.

Why?

 

Because the message and the way it’s formatted (played out, rather) are absolutely, perfectly apt for the audience. People who enjoy drama, fun and entertainment on TV – well that ad gives them precisely that, doesn’t it?

I suppose it comes down to really knowing your customer. Knowing them so well that you know exactly what will and will not work for them. If it’s humour that will work for them? Then you just might want to inject some fun in your marketing.

Just be careful, because you have to get it exactly right. If it’s over the top, or if it’s ‘look how clever I am’, it can backfire.

Humour in marketing works, but not always. Proceed with caution.

How Far Would You Go To Engage a Reader?

If you’re going to cause people to take action…

If you’re going to make sales…

If you want to earn money by solving problems for people…

You have to – absolutely must – be able to have those people relate to you and your message.

For that, you need to know who they are.

You need to know exactly what their pain-points are, before you can explain astutely what solution you are offering them.

Yesterday, this became clear to me in a new way.

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You Would Think Someone at Expedia Would Have Been Awake

Last week I came across an article on Silicon.com with the title: ‘How one extra data field can cost 12 Million’. I went to have a read and saw the opening sentence:


Online travel firm Expedia has found that data analytics can deliver a multi-million dollar kick to a company’s bottom line.

What a complete load of hogwash. Data analytics?

I call bollocks.

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A Friendly Open Question For Clay Collins

I like Clay Collins. I think he’s very smart, funny and helpful, and I’ve learned a lot from him, and still do. That’s why I’m subscribed to his marketing show and that’s why I received the email that ultimately led to this post – and hopefully to a bit of friendly debate.

Clay Did Something I Didn’t Really Like – And it Confused Me. A LOT.

Last week, an email notification flashed across my screen, announcing a message from Clay. Subject header: ‘Hater’.

Now, I’m a guy who lives and dies by the power of words – quite literally. I also like to philosophise about things like ethics, psychology and semantics, amongst a bunch of other things.

As such, the word ‘hate’ is one that I rarely, if ever, use.

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The Most Beautiful Lonely Christmas – And Loathsome Marketers

This was supposed to be a vitriolically angry post, but my cat just snuggled up to me, so I’m a bit placated. You win.

It may seem really weird and antisocial, but this last holiday season, I decided to stay at home and spend it all by myself, on my own. I didn’t want to go out and see people – I just wanted some quiet time and retreat a little.

I’m really happy I did, because it enabled me to meet some amazing people online, and I mean really tremendously amazing people. One in particular (you know I’m talking to you) but that’s something that isn’t meant to be shared – yet.

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How Do You Make Money?

A few years ago on a rainy and gloomy night, I was approached by some guy as I was hurrying home.

“Hey, listen, lemme tell you something. Do you want to know how to make money?”

I was pretty hungry in those days, but I was badly cynical too. As I walked on, he followed up and stopped me. Under the streetlight I could see him better and he looked friendly enough. And he was getting as wet as I was, so I listened to him.

“I have here one of the last copies of my book. This very book is all you will ever need to make money. Lots of it, if you want to. Everything is in there, this is your manual to make bucks. You want it? Only twenty Dollars.”

To be honest, it wasn’t expensive. And he seemed honest enough.  Actually, I quite liked him.

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