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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How to Double, Triple or Quadruple Your Writing Speed – Today!

I had a guest post go live on Firepolemarketing last week, and it seemed to be a massive solution to quite a few people.

If you joined my list after reading that post, this message is no news for you.

But if you signed up any time before that post went live, you might have missed it.

And if you write content as part of your business, and if you want to write faster, you want to read this piece. Believe me.

Find it here: http://www.firepolemarketing.com/writing-speed/

So this email holds no salespitch – just one request: after reading, would you please share it around on social media?

Thank you.

Martin

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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Marketing and Communication 101: One page, One message.

Marketing is communication before anything else.

Communication happens in different ways, for different reasons.

The end result is a sale, and before that there’s getting known, liked and trusted.

Building up those emotions in your reader or prospect is a gradual process.

The single best way to hamper the growth of all those good and positive feelings?

 

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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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How to Use Marketing to Get Liked More, Instead of Pissing People Off. Or Having Them Call the Police

 

Eggs!!!

Saw a great example just now of some of the worst, most ineffective and piss-off marketing you can imagine.

And another example of doing marketing very right, which makes a great illustration of why I write these daily emails.

Here goes.

We get a lot of peddlers here in the South of Spain.

The beaches are swarming with young guys from Africa, selling trinkets and tribal statuettes from their home country.

And each day, someone drives his van through town, hawking his wares

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The Return of the Killer Comma, or: How to Destroy the Expensive Salescopy You Just Bought

I’m proud of my work, but I’m not precious about it.

I’m happy to work with client feedback.

The interchange is often very useful – it helps me create better copy.

It’s a little bit more delicate when a client starts to edit the copy on their own, but I’m not against it.

But sometimes, things go wrong

When a project is finished, and we’ve signed off on the copy, the best thing is to leave it good and well alone.

Again: not because I’m precious about my copy or because it would hurt my professional pride.

No, it’s because edits after the fact can render a good page completely ineffective.

Even very small tweaks, the kind you think won’t make that much of a difference.

They do make a difference.

Big difference too.

Can kill your copy right dead.

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Tell Me If You've Heard This One: I Used to Be a Tailor

Not the kind that shortens trousers for your dry cleaner, either.

I’m what is called a bespoke tailor.

That means I used to create fully handmade suits, entirely made to individual measurements.

I used to be pretty good at it too: People used to call me an artist, and said things like ‘magnificent’ and ‘most comfortable ever’.

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Fish Net Stocking Biker Suits???

I crack open a beer as my friend Jan pulls up on his motorbike.

It’s high summer in Holland – a dry and sweltering 35 degrees Celsius –  and I’m sitting in the shade behind my house.

Been looking forward to see Jan, it’s been months.

He steps off the bike and the first thing I do after giving him a big hug is push a cold can on him.

The helmet and the sweat have plastered his hair flat against his head and around his face.

“Hang on, let me take this off first”.

I sit back down and watch him peel his leather biker suit off him. Zippers left and right, straps and buckles, boots and gloves…

He must be absolutely boiling in that suit.

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