Eleven tested methods to increase the selling power of your ads, letters and promotions

Eleven tested methods to increase the selling power of your ads, letters and promotions
January 10, 2013 Dmitri Stern

What makes one marketing approach get a huge response and another fail miserably?

More often than not, it’s the execution. It’s the way you do it.

All advertising and marketing is based on fixed principles. Advertising operates according to fundamental laws and not chance. These laws and principles were set down by a man named Claude Hopkins in 1923. They are based on 36 years of tested and monitored advertising. Ads, letters and promotions whose results were measured and compared.

The advertising laws were set by doing marketing campaigns on hundreds of different products, from toothpaste to motor cars. Thousands of ads, headlines, and layouts were compared and analysed.

The following eleven laws were based on the results obtained from these tests.

There are exceptions that do not follow these laws. However they are few and the products promoted are usually in such demand they would have succeeded anyway.

Here are the eleven laws that will increase your results.

1. Coupons and toll-free numbers increase the response. Countless tests prove that coupons multiply returns. People defer action then forget. A coupon is cut out (or downloaded and clicked) and it reminds the person to take action and send it. 1-800 numbers encourage people to phone because it’s free and have virtually no ‘barriers of entry’.

2. Always write in 8, 10, or 12 point type. Most of your reading is done in newspaper size print. If you test your results you will find that oversize type does not pay. Double your size and you double your cost.
If your story is interesting people will read it in their usual type (online or in-print). If it’s not, they will not read it in any size of type.

3. Don’t use capitals. Most of our reading is done in upper and lower case type. We are used to that. If you write in capitals it takes time to study them out. You’ll lose readers that way. Follow the natural and usual format.

4. Contrary to popular belief – Pictures don’t sell. In most cases the cost of the extra space taken up by a picture will not pay for itself. You must experiment in trying ads with and without pictures and working out the cost of each. In food lines, particular websites and printed magazines the opposite may be true. You have to test it and see.

5. Always tell the full story. People don’t read ads in series. Every ad should tell the full story. When you attract a reader’s attention, present all arguments for your product or service. You may not get another reading from that person in months. Always include all the important appeals your product has.

The general rule for ads, letters, etc, is.

“The more you tell the more you sell.”

You wouldn’t send out a salesperson and tell them to ‘keep it brief ‘ You’d want them to present all the advantages of your product or service.
Advertising is simply “Salesmanship in Print” or whatever media you are using – this includes Online sales pages.

6. Superlative claims don’t count. Give actual facts and figures. To say something is “The best in the world” or “Nearly 9000 have been sold” or “Great service” makes no impression – everyone says this. They are expected claims. The reader loses his respect for you because of the exaggeration.

To say “People from 38 countries have tested our product” or “7628 have been sold” or “You’ll have it delivered in 4 hours or it’s Free” is believable. If you say “Our product will last up to 36% longer” people will realise you have made comparisons and don’t expect you to lie in print. Of course your claims have to be truthful – otherwise you won’t be in business for long!

7. Never advertise negatively. Always present the attractive side, not the offensive side. Show and feature the happier results which come from your product or service.
People are seeking happiness, safety, health, love and acceptance. Show them the way to get it.
Picture the rich, not the poor, when selling wealth. To sell toothpaste picture clean, bright teeth and smiles. Not decay and bad breath.

8. Prevention does not sell. Cure does. All tests in advertising show that people will do little to prevent troubles. They will do anything to cure troubles that exist – consider weight loss advertising as an example. They will not anticipate disasters.
They are seeking advantages. Improvements. New ways to satisfy desires in their life. Focus on solutions and your results will increase.

9. It is an uphill battle to sell products in print or in person without samples and Free trials. To succeed in your business, you must let prospective customers sample your products. This allows them to be emotionally involved with your product.

For low cost products such as foods, drinks, and high repeat sales items give them a FREE sample on enquiring. For larger items a FREE trial, or inspection period is a must. The cost of this Free sampling is the cheapest way to get the highest results from your ads.

Free Sampling will build up your business in the quickest and cheapest way.

10. Learn what headline most appeals to your target customer. You will multiply the results of your ads by eight, fourteen or nineteen times by a change of headline. And now you can test it fast and cheap – using Google AdWords – try 5-10-15 varieties of the headline. Run your campaign for 1-2 weeks on relatively small daily budget. Measure the results and roll out on the large scale – the winning ad. Split-test, split-test and some more split-testing of your ads.

A headline acts as a flashing light with a person’s name on it. You select what you read by headlines. So it is in ads. You must always measure what effect a change in headline has on your results.

11. Never rely on your judgement and experience in advertising. Test everything you do in the most exact way possible. A panel of advertising experts was asked to vote on a series of ads to determine which got best results.
In all cases they got 50% WRONG when comparing these ads.

Are you game to say you know better?

Test headlines, prices, guarantees.

Test everything you do and monitor the results.

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