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Powerful Ads and Website Material?Learn from the Best? and the Worst

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Author: Alan Boyer

Article source: Used with author's permission.

Can you learn to paint like Rembrandt without experiencing how Rembrandt did it? The same goes for learning marketing and sales techniques that work.

I?m always amazed by the responses I get from many of my business coaching clients, and sales and marketing clients when I ask them to keep copies of the best and the worst ads and websites they?ve seen. I don?t think I?ve ever found a client that had been doing it before. And when asked them to start keeping copies and learn from what they see they are afraid of ?copying.?

Let me take you back to my childhood. I can remember setting through art class year after year, and never getting any better. I never felt I had learned anything.

For the most part, I tried to learn from scratch, to do everything uniquely. That is what the art teacher kept telling me. However, one day I was watching TV and saw a program that was teaching how to copy some really good prints. They taught how to duplicate the strokes exactly as was on the print. We learned how to do a tree, a house, the grass, mountains, in ?that style.? The next week we started with another print and another style.

Before that I was taught to never copy. I had a total fear of having anyone think I might be doing something like someone else. Once I broke through that fear, I started using a light table, tracing over the original prints. Suddenly I was able to understand what kinds of strokes and colors worked. Only then was I able draw and paint, and not too bad at that. This progress happened in a matter of weeks. It had taken me years to get to this point, but weeks once I caught on.

The best way to learn to paint, or to write good ads and marketing material is to study the masters. And the best way to do that is to learn to copy them first. Once you understand what it takes to make something look somewhat similar to their style, and understand why they have done it that way, only then can you start to develop your own unique style.

Even the best marketing experts and copywriters keep a SWIPE file. They save copies of the best and the worst examples, sometimes with notes on them helping them understand why they filed it. Some are filed by the marketing style, some by an industry. When they get ready to write their own marketing copy they go back to the files to remind themselves what the best of the best looked like, and what they should avoid among the worst.

As you build your own SWIPE file you will discover that you will be finding better and better copy, and probably will start to throw poor copy out and keep only the best. That?s how you?ll learn to get better. As you get better and start learning the intricacies of what makes good copy you?ll see that some of the copy you saved wasn?t really that good, but now you?ll be looking for copy that meets that new standard to replace the existing stuff.

Here are some quick guidelines for choosing good copy:

    1)It must be presenting benefits, not product, services, or the person.

    2)It should identify the target audience. (This should be the first thing you see)

    3)It should have a measurable ?grabber? line, bold, highlighted if not at the top, very near the top. (This should be the 2nd thing you see).

    4)It should identify the key objections their audience has and deal with them.

    5)It should have some testimonials. The testimonials should

      a) backup the measurable benefit in the grabber line b)overcome the objections

    6)It should downplay or not use graphics. Graphics should only be used to support the grabber line. Far too often, the graphic becomes the center of attention instead of the grabber line. Graphics doesn?t sell, words do.

    7)Make a very clear offer, and ASK for an action, don?t assume an action.

    8)Have ONLY one clear action to be taken, not multiple. The more choices your reader has the less likely he will choose any one of them. You?ll actually lower your response rate.

    9)Develop a sense or urgency around your offer. People are procrastinators. Give them a chance to say ?Yes, I need to respond to this, but I?ll put it on my desk and answer it tomorrow,? and it will get lost in the pile and never answered.

    Give them an offer they can?t refuse and tell them it is good for only ... days, or for the first 10, etc. I hear the rumbling from the peanut gallery whenever I say that. Everyone fears that they are reducing their responses by not letting everyone have time. Let me say it again, ?People are procrastinators.? They will put it down to do it tomorrow and never do it. Your response will be low to nil.

    Use ?Call me TODAY I will only take X number. Last month we filled in 3-4 days. SO CALL NOW!? and that will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. It will be gone in 3-4 days. Just make sure to live up to your limit or people won?t believe you next time.

Use these guidelines to review the ads and websites for your SWIPE file. Start keeping the best and the worst. Then use the ideas it generates to write your own ads and your own website the next time.

Alan Boyer, President/CEO of The Leader?s Perspective, LLC is considered one of the world?s leading breakthrough specialists. He has worked with some of the worlds largest companies, on projects in the multi-billion dollar area, and with single proprietor companies. He has worked on many hundreds of projects with companies that have resulted in multi-$100 million savings or gains.

With over 35 years of business, quality, and process experience, he has catapulted businesses lightyears ahead in weeks. Some have doubled and some have jumped 10 times. He claims the key to that is:

  • Helping the business owners/employees develop the business skills
  • Helping them overcome the limitations and attitudes that they built between their ears (the self imposed limitations, I can?t, this won?t work for me, I?m different)
  • By helping them find the breakthroughs in their business and thinking

    He helps companies worldwide reach further than they EVER thought possibl... FASTER


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