6 Copywriting Tips For Direct Response That Sells

One of the nation’s top copywriters reveals secrets to powerful print ad, web copy or any other form of direct response copy

To define what constitutes good print advertising, or a web copy for that matter, let’s begin with what a good print ad in not:

o It is not creative for the sake of being creative.

o It is not designed to please copy writers, art directors, agency presidents or even clients.

o Its main purpose is not to entertain, win awards or shout at the readers.

In other words, you need to ignore most of what you would learn in any basic advertising class or from the big marketing agencies.

So, what makes successful direct response print ads?

1. They stress a benefit. The main selling proposition is not cleverly hidden but is made immediately clear. Example: “How to Win Friends and Influence People.”

2. They arouse curiosity and invite readership. The key here is not to be outrageous but to address the strongest interests and concerns of your target audience. Example: “Do You Make These Mistakes in English?” appeals to the reader’s desire to avoid embarrassment and write and speak properly.

3. They provide information. The headline “How to Stop Emission Problems – at Half the Cost of Conventional Air Pollution Control Devices” lures the reader because it promises useful information. Prospects today seek specific, usable information on highly specialized topics. Ads that provide information the reader wants get higher readership and better response.

4. They talk to the reader. Why are so many successful control ads written by direct response entrepreneurs rather the top freelance copywriters and direct response agencies? Because, although these entrepreneurs may not be professional writers, they know their product, their audience and what hold their audiences’ interest. And that is far more important than copy writing technique or style.

5. They are knowledgeable. Successful ad copy reflects a high level of knowledge and understanding of the product and the problem it solves. An effective technique is to tell the reader something he already knows, proving that you, the advertiser, are well-versed in his industry, application or requirement.

The opposite approach – reducing everything to the simplest common denominator and assuming the reader is completely ignorant – can insult the reader’s intelligence and destroy your credibility with him.

6. They have a strong fee offer. Good ads tell the reader the next step in the buying process and encourage him to take it NOW.

The offer should convey urgency in order to generate immediate response and business from prospects that are ready to buy now or at least thinking about buying. Without an offer, you lose many potential customers.

In addition, strong offers increase readership, because people like ads that offer them something – especially if it is free and has high perceived value.

These are the characteristics of successful direct response advertising. “But”, you may ask, “what about general advertising?”

Well, one of the ways to make your general advertising more effective is to write and design it as direct response advertising. Applying all the stock-in-trade techniques of the direct mail marketing (coupons, toll-free numbers, free booklets, reason-why copy, benefit-headlines, informative subheads) virtually guarantees that your advertisement will be better read – and get more response – than the average “image” ad.

This approach agrees with Howard Ruff who said that everything a marketer does should be direct response, since results are all that matter, not the appearance of the ad.

Will the Election Impact Markets and Investments?

What drives the stock market? Quite often, it is fundamental factors such as the strength of the economy and its impact on corporate profits. At other times it is affected, at least in the short term, by external factors that can upend investor expectations and drive markets in a positive or negative direction.

One of the most obvious external factors that might come into play for markets this year is the upcoming presidential election. This is the kind of election year that has some built-in market uncertainty. It marks the end of the second term for President Barack Obama, which means that a new occupant will sit in the Oval Office in January 2017. Regardless of who wins, the leadership transition will likely result in some policy changes in the near future.

Dealing with uncertainty

This election season has been marked by unusual twists. In the Democratic Party, Hillary Clinton, a longtime party stalwart faced a surprisingly difficult challenge before earning the nomination for the chance to become the country’s first woman president. On the Republican side, Donald Trump, a celebrity newcomer to the party captured the nomination, overcoming a number of more experienced politicians.

Even without these twists, it isn’t uncommon for the stock market to exhibit a degree of volatility in the run-up to an election, at least until the likely outcome is clearer. One of the key issues that could affect markets is the possibility that control of the White House could change to a different party. According to an analysis by the Ameriprise Investment Research Group, the potential for such a change tends to increase stock market volatility. This can be particularly true in the final weeks leading up to the election. Investors should be prepared for circumstances where the “noise” generated by the campaign contributes to market fluctuations.

Is history a guide?

Other data may provide clues as to what to expect in the markets. According to Standard & Poor’s, since 1900, U.S. stocks have declined by an average of 1.2 percent in the eighth year of a presidential term. There are two points of caution with this statistic:

1. There are a limited number of times when this circumstance has occurred.

2. The last time it happened, in 2008, we were in the midst of the Great Recession. The markets were down 41 percent that year, which dramatically changed the average return for this specific measurement.

What may be a more important consideration for investors than who is the new president is whether we enter the election and post-election season with a great deal of uncertainty about policy direction.

The impact on specific market sectors

Although it’s speculative to try and predict the outcome of the election and all of the policy implications each party would impose, the result of the election is likely to influence key industries. Among the sectors of the market that could be affected in different ways are:

• Healthcare – what is the future of the Affordable Care Act and the general direction of health insurance coverage in the U.S.?

• Energy – will production of fossil fuels continue to be encouraged or will greater emphasis be put on alternative energy sources?

• Security – how will the defense budget be affected given the increased focus on global security?

It’s about more than the president

It’s true that our president has tremendous influence in the direction our country takes. However, it’s important to remember that there are many others who play a role in making policy that can affect the investment environment. These include members of Congress (many who are also up for election this year), local and state legislators, Federal regulators and other officials. For example, the Federal Reserve controls monetary policy, which includes monitoring inflation and the Federal interest rates. Politicians have limited to no influence over policy decisions made by the Fed.

Also keep in mind that the presidential election doesn’t have the same impact over U.S. markets as it once did. External events, many of which are overseas, increasingly affect the markets, and are often out of the control of elected officials. These events include natural disasters, terrorist attacks, financial crises and the financial results of publicly held companies.

What this means for your finances

While it’s natural to think about the impact of the election on your investments, it’s only one factor. Stay attuned to the bigger picture of your long-term goals. Review your portfolio diversification and risk tolerance with a financial advisor for an objective perspective on your financial situation.

Affiliate Marketing Without A Website

Having your own website to promote your affiliate products is a good option. But it is not necessary. There are many methods available that can be used to do your affiliate marketing business. The list is long, but the most important methods are email marketing, writing articles to e-groups, joining online discussions etc. Let us discuss some important methods that can be used to promote your affiliate products without having your own website.

Email Marketing

In this method you can promote your affiliate links and you don’t need your own website. People can click on your affiliate links present in your emails and can go directly to the merchant website to purchase the products.

Your email should contain the introduction about the product you are promoting and your affiliate links. Try to make your emails interesting and brief.

Try to expand your contact list. Use as many methods as you can to grab the email addresses of new people. Use online forums, chat forums etc to make new friends. Your email list must contain a few hundred contacts, at least. But don’t spam. Don’t send emails to the people who don’t know about you or who don’t want to receive your emails. Otherwise they will just block your emails and you will lose your contacts. As I said, your emails should be interesting to get the reader’s attention.

Offline Promotion

You can use the offline methods of promotion, like the classified ads, flyers etc. The best choice is the classified ads because its exposure is largest.

Writing free e-books

It is similar to email marketing. But in this method you will write the informative and interesting e-books and will send to the people via their email address. These e-books should be easy to read and helpful for their readers. The topics should be related to your affiliate products so that you can recommend the products in the body of e-books. Alternatively you can add a brief note about your affiliate products and affiliate links for promotion. If the readers like your e-book, they may visit the merchant website and make a purchase.

Writing in Forums

Search for some forums, at least three, that are related to your product and have high page rank. Register on these forums and start some discussion in the forum where maximum people are involved. Just post your questions there or answer some questions of other members. But don’t add any promotion text in the body of your posts. You are allowed to put your signature at the end of your post. Here you can write you name and your affiliate links.

When you become an active member of this forum then you may get some traffic from these forums to your merchant website through your affiliate links. This will ultimately result in more sales of the products you are promoting.

Writing Articles

You can write articles and publish them in the free article directories. You can embed your affiliate links in the text of your articles. If your articles are well formatted, informative and the article directory has large traffic then you can expect some good traffic to your affiliate links. And you know that more traffic on your affiliate links will result in more sales through your affiliate links.

Conclusion

The use of a website to promote your affiliate products is a good idea but it is not necessary. You can use the alternate methods to promote your affiliate products and links. The most popular among these methods are email marketing, writing to forums, article writing and offline promotion like classified ads. The main idea is that instead of promoting your website you will directly promote your affiliate links and people will directly go to the merchant website by clicking your affiliate links to purchase the products. This way you do not have to pay extra for your website creation and maintenance.