Two Product Benefits That Guarantee Success

June 26, 2007 | Leave a Comment

This article may very well burn the backsides of a lot of people.

Because, everyone who reads it will end up having one of those, “Ah-hah” moments that both enlighten us as well as give us a swift kick in the pants for not paying attention sooner.

The reason why is because…

“Benefits” is a word that a lot of marketers, consultants and entrepreneurs like to knock around like a Wilson tennis ball at a US Open.

You often hear them say things like, “sell the benefits not the features” or “people buy benefits not features.”

The truth is, these people are only half right. They’re only getting part of the big picture. And as harsh as this may sound, many say it, but they don’t have the slightest clue as to what a true benefit is.

So how can a person, marketer, consultant or entrepreneur figure it out? How can a well meaning, customer focused person figure out how to find and differentiate true benefits?

Simple, and they’re easier to spot than you think.

The two places to look are billion dollar companies and direct response sales letters!

But, before you start thinking that I’ve flipped my lid and expect you to delve into the inner workings of massive corporations, or the top-secret swipe files of world-class copywriters, just think about this.

No, I won’t put your life in danger by those evil copywriters out there. Wink, wink.

You see, there are really only two main kinds of benefits.

The first one is a “functional benefit.” Often called a feature, the functional benefit can easily be identified as something like, the fast, overnight delivery from a company like FedEx or all the office supplies you need under one roof at your local Staples.

The second type of benefit is the “emotional benefit.” An emotional benefit can be identified as the ease and comfort you experience knowing that your package will arrive by the next business day at your desired destination or the reduced stress and feelings of happiness when you get everything you need for your office .

When you look at billion dollar corporations like FedEx, Microsoft, Home Depot, Best Buy, Staples or any number of the big players in any industry, you’ll find that they have an firm grasp and a perfect mix of functional and emotional benefits inherent in their product or service.

Now, a more simpler task would be to read through a few powerfully written sales letters and you’ll find that the ones that are the most compelling or rather persuasive, are the ones that have a combination of “both” functional and emotional benefits. Effective sales copy whether brief or long, will always have a combination of both. Many may argue on the side of emotional benefits but it is only when you pay close attention to the copy that you discover both functional and emotional benefits hidden within the sales copy.

So the next time you decide to create a product, service, write a business plan or write a sales letter, spend a considerable chunk of time on uncovering both your functional and emotional benefits. As you can clearly see, massive success can be achieved when you combine these two types of benefits.

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The Single-Most Powerful Strategy To Maximze Your Revenue Instantly!

June 25, 2007 | Leave a Comment

It’s easy to relax and make the easy sales when people come to you to purchase or agree to purchase at your suggestion, but what happens when business dies off? How much money do you have to spend in advertising and marketing to attract a new customer? What if you could increase your profits without having to spend an additional dime?

Many small business people only really think about advertising when sales start to decline and panic sets in, yet how much benefit did they truly get out of their customers? They could take a leaf out of McDonald’s book and ask their customers if they would like to upsize their metaphorical purchase.

Cross selling and up selling are two of the easiest ways to make the most of the customers you have. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to do any marketing to attract new business, but new customers are expensive to purchase in terms of your marketing dollar. Increasing sales and attracting return visits from your current customers is relatively inexpensive and far easier if you have given good service. That is really the key, though, isn’t it?

Customers do not return if they have had poor customer service. So while, cross selling and upselling and encouraging return visits is far cheaper than advertising for new customers, they do cost you good customer service and an investment in credibility.

Up-selling can and should be to the customer’s benefit not just a revenue raising exercise. Done right, up-selling helps the customer purchase the best product for their needs rather than simply the cheapest. The financial benefits from making an additional effort at the point of sale can be substantial. A typical approach to up-selling would be to offer an attractive discount with the purchase of a complementary item. For example, if a person is purchasing a television you could encourage them to buy a suitable DVD player to go with it. Or for a washing machine, a dryer might be a compatible up-sell. You don’t know if the customer has already been thinking about it anyway, and a discount might persuade them.

Other forms of up-selling are to offer a free gift if the customer upgrades their purchase to a more expensive or more profitable product (for you). McDonald’s supersize campaign increased their profits by twenty five percent in the first campaign. When people are asked as they are paying if they would like a particular item, there is a strong likelihood that they will say yes. For example, in a clothing store you might offer someone purchasing a tee-shirt an extra tee-shirt at fifty percent off. If the profit margin is large enough and you turn over enough, this tactic is very profitable.

A specially purchased product for the purpose of up-selling can be very profitable for a business. A special buy in of underwear, for example, might work well in a clothing store. If the design is unusual and attractive, a sales person can pick up an item show the customer and ask if they would like to add it to their purchase at a special price. Research has shown that about twenty five percent of customers asked will say yes. This form of up-selling can actually add to the revenue substantially over time. The easiest way to up-sell anything is to simply ask the customer if they would like that item as well as whatever else they are purchasing.

In recent online tests, forty eight percent of customers offered an up-sell opportunity responded positively and decided to add the additional product to their purchase. Some successful online entrepreneurs have an up-sell conversion rate of a massive sixty to seventy percent.

If you would like to increase your sales through up-selling, asking yourself the following questions is a good place to start…

1. What is my current initial sale per customer and WHERE is it coming from?

2. What led them to this sale (marketing, advertising etc.)?

3. What are my other products or services that are not being sold to this customer during this sale that they may have a need, want or wish for?

4. Is this additional product or service relevant or congruent with the customer’s current purchase?

5. How can I include this product or service into my sales process?

6. Eliminating lead acquisition costs and the sales and marketing expenses that I do not have in order to up-sell this product or service - what is a profitable yet steeply discounted rate that I could charge IF the customer buys the up-sell with their current purchase?

These questions are important in planning your up-selling campaign business-wide, but questions 3, 4 and 5 are also important for sales people to ask themselves in each new sales opportunity.

In fact, once you have established an up-selling business plan, incorporating it into all sales training is essential. It is not enough to simply tell staff to offer an up-sell, you need to train them to recognize a customer’s potential needs so they can offer an appropriate up-sell opportunity to them.

Don’t forget, if you’re an online business, then offering an upsell in your online sales letters will be VERY profitable to you. SO if you’re selling a $27 product, you can easily offer premium to your product for $39.95, $49.95, $67 or even $77. Only testing will tell which upsell price works best for you.

Up-selling that increases your sales and profits, is a win-win situation with the customer walking away satisfied that they got a good deal. After all, you want them to come back. Remember, it costs an awful lot more to attract new people to your business even an online business. It makes a great deal more sense just to do a good job in the first place.

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How To Rapidly Reduce Your Overhead Costs and Dramatically Increase Profits

June 20, 2007 | Leave a Comment

All businesses should be constantly looking for ways to cut costs while maintaining their productivity and efficiency. There are many various ways to drastically reduce your business’ overhead costs, and hiring freelance workers can help a great deal.

You can reduce your overhead expenses by outsourcing employee services to online freelancers on places like:

Elance: www.Elance.com
Rent A Coder: www.RentACoder.com
Script Lance: www.Scriptlance.com
Guru: www.Guru.com
Writer Lance: www.Writerlance.com
Workaholics 4Hire - www.Workaholics4Hire.com

These websites are easy to use, and there are thousands, if not millions of freelancers in various specialties that you can contract work to. When you contract work to a freelancer you just pay them for the work when you need it, instead of paying them all the time like you would an employee. There are so many benefits to hiring a freelancer rather than hiring an employee.

Here are some benefits your business will get from hiring a freelancer:

  • You do not need to give the freelancer the space to work in; they work in their own home Freelancers are able to work with little or no supervision
  • You do not pay taxes for a freelancer; they are responsible for their own taxes much like a business is
  • You do not have to give a freelancer any health coverage whatsoever
  • A freelancer will have his or her own equipment to use and replace as needed
  • A freelancer will usually ask for a flat fee for their work, rather than an hourly fee
  • You pay them for a certain project and contact them again for another project without having to pay them all the time as you would with an employee

Just imagine how much overhead your business will save by not having to pay taxes, health insurance coverage, supply equipment, no supervision needed, paying a flat fee, and paying for the work as it is needed. Just imagine how much money your business will save by hiring a freelancer! And it is as easy as posting your requirements to a job board on any of the websites listed above and waiting for a freelancer to bid that you find suitable for the project.

How To Avoid Time Consumption, Confusion and Loss When Hiring Freelancers:

A lot of first time freelance users make some mistakes that will cause you to explain further. In your freelance requirement description make sure you are clear on your needs and detailed in what you want from the freelancer you will hire. This will make everything much easier for both you and the freelancer. You will have less emails or phone calls back and forth from your freelancer asking questions to clarify what exactly you want. Be sure you can explain this as thoroughly as possible right from the start. You should also get a contract from your freelancer to get everything in writing. This just makes everything safer for both you and the freelancer you hire. The freelancer should be able to provide the contract for you, unless you want to create your own.

You can hire a freelancer for nearly any type of work you need completed, such as writing, copywriting, coding, website creation, graphic design, web programming, flash animation, logos, branding, marketing, brochures, banner advertisements, web content, translation, editing, proofreading, data entry, transcription, and so much more!

About Hiring Fulltime Overseas Employees From Places Like:

Hiring overseas also has many benefits, and you might find that a lot of freelancers you meet online probably live in a different country than you do. Hiring a freelancer overseas can save you a lot of money on your business overhead because those living overseas do not need as much money to live off of than those here in the United States. They can work fast, and charge less. You can hire customer service representatives overseas for much less than hiring here. You can hire a customer service representative for your business for as little as $700 or less monthly.

Support Save: www.SupportSave.com

Consider hiring a freelancer for your work and save time and money for you and your business. Freelancing is on the rise and there are so many freelancers to choose from. You are sure to find one or more that you can call on to use when you need work completed.

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7 Sales Letter Writing Methods Anyone Can Use To Write A Throat Grabbing Sales Letter…

June 20, 2007 | 2 Comments

Conceptually, writing a sales letter is one of the most difficult things the average person can try to do when starting any kind of online business.

The thing about it is, when that same person applies these seven tricks, writing a sales letter can become as simple as writing an email to a friend.

Here they are…

1. Read other sales letters. Seems simple enough but countless people I’ve interviewed over the years have this one fault in common. They don’t read other sales letters. It’s like trying to ride a bike without ever putting your but on a bicycle and riding it. Is it possible? No, and neither is learning to write a sales letter without reading and understanding how sales letters are written.

2. Swipe other sales letters. I’ll probably get a tongue lashing for this but who cares! From junk mail that comes in the form of sales letters or those little booklets are really a sales letter in disguise in the mail you can start a swipe file of your own. Then save all the pages of websites that are trying to sell similar products or even non-similar products. You’ll know a sales letter when you see one. Save them on a folder called “Swipes.” Read through these and look for language patterns and phrases you can use and edit to suit your product or service.

3. Start writing ‘just’ headlines. Headlines are the most important elements of any sales message or sales letter. Write between 10 and 50 headlines per sales letter following the A.C.E.S. principle. Attention, Curiosity, Excitement, Specificity. TO learn more about A.C.E.S. search on Google for an article called, “How To Write A Headline That Converts More Visitors Into Customers.”

4. Write to a friend. In other words, write your sales letter as if you are writing an emotional letter to your best friend about your product or service. Keep writing and don’t stop to correct mistakes until you can’t write any longer. If you use informal language, so be it. Anything that makes your sales letter seem more personal will make it more compelling.

5. Write short sentences and paragraphs. Keeping your paragraphs short and simple, will help you to increase the readership of your sales letter. The easier it looks to read the more likely they are to read it and buy your product! People are lazy, make it easy. Please note…I didn’t say, make your sales letter short, I said, “keep your sentences short.”

6. Use subheads. Subheads are like mini headlines. Heck, many of them ARE in fact headlines that you wrote earlier. Just make sure they work seamlessly with your copy. Subheads are used to break up long copy and drag people deeper into your words. Especially people who are skimming your copy. Online, it is also a way to relax the eye and give your sales letter more ‘optical appeal’. Subheads can be compelling statements, confusing statements or positive reinforcing statements about your product or service.

7. Use a P.S. or two at the end of your sales letter. Two of the most important places on any sales letter and the two that get read most often are the headline and the P.S. It seems strange, but the truth is, like I said earlier, “People are lazy!” Many just don’t have the time or patience to read your sales letter so they read your Headline and if it’s interesting to them, they read your P.S.’s So make sure you restate your offer in your P.S. and you also, apply a scarcity tactic to get your reader to take action immediately.

These seven tricks are by no means an exhaustive list of sales letter writing methods but they can and will help you improve your copy and improve your product sales at breakneck speed. Apply them today and profit fast!

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Two Copywriting Secrets I Learned From The Late Gary Halbert

June 12, 2007 | 1 Comment

If you have ever dreamed of being able to sell more products, exponentially increasing your chances of success in business and make an absolute fortune…
then this may be the most important article you have ever read about how to write compelling copy that sells like crazy…

Gary Halbert was, and still is, one of the greatest direct response copywriters to have ever walked the planet.

Although I never had the opportunity to have met him in person, his overwhelmingly abrasive yet positively motivating personality (in my opinion) shined through in everything he did.

Through his newsletter”The Gary Halbert Letter” and his copywriting seminars, Gary produced some of the greatest success stories of our time.

He taught the secrets of how to write copy that produced results and anyone who was smart enough to follow his advice, harsh as it was at times, made a killing.

I know, because from the time I launched my first website online I’ve been following his writing style and even that of his colleagues and students.

In my studies of this amazing man and his copy, I was able to uncover a two key secrets that Gary used, that I believe can help anyone looking to dramatically improve the results they are getting from their current copy, whether online or offline.

They came to me like a breath of fresh air. In a world where everyone has an opinion about how to do just about everything, including how to write effective copy and sales letters, over complication has become the bane of many people’s existence. Truth is…simplicity is the key to success!

These two secrets that I’ve seen Gary use are just that, SIMPLE. So what are they?

Desires and Duplication.

One of the best ways to sell any product or service is to tap into the hidden desires of your target market. Doing this helps you to appeal to their “self interest” and THAT my friend is far more powerful than the product or service you’re selling!

You see, nobody cares about how great it is to sell more products through the use of “my or your” special techniques or strategies. But, if we tell them…

“The benefits of knowing exactly how to “make money on demand” from using simple yet persuasive words will infuse itself into every aspect of your life so much so that…you will unconsciously gain instant respect from your friends and family because of your newfound mental dominance.”

…Now that will get them reading your copy and buying your stuff faster than you can imagine.

But tapping into that hidden desires isn’t the only thing you need to do. At the beginning of this article I used a lead-in or opener that started with, “If you have ever dreamed…” and ended with “then this may be the most important article you have ever read about…”

Why did I do that?

Well first reason is because it is one of those phrases that opens your mind and starts tapping into your hidden desires. It also primes you for what’s ahead. The second reason is because looking back at Gary’s work, he repetitively used similar phrases like that for his lead-in and in other areas, on many of his greatest sales letters.

What the great Gary Halbert unconsciously knew, and I discovered later was that if self interest and hidden desires is what I was after, and this phrase works in current controls, then repetitively using persuasive phrases for different markets, and even similar markets, and applying it to my copy will work like magic!

Now, I might get in trouble for saying this because some people might take it the wrong way.

Swiping a compelling phrase, editing and re-using it for your specific product or service has been a copywriter’s secret for decades. Notice I didn’t say copy it word for word…I said, “swipe it” not plagiarize.

It’s a very simple thing. Find something that works and duplicate it. The key to success in copywriting is simplicity. Write to capture the hidden desires of your target market and duplicate successful copy.

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How To Write A Headline That Converts More Visitors To Customers

June 8, 2007 | 1 Comment

In just five minutes you are going to learn how to easily write headlines from scratch with the ease of a seasoned professional!

But first you need a little background.

You see, when people look at website conversion statistics they often look at a website’s statistics from an analytical perspective.

In other words they look at facts, figures and equations instead of looking at increasing website conversions from a holistic standpoint.

Allow me to elaborate because knowing this will change your sales conversion results at breakneck speed.

One of the most overlooked elements in increasing website sales is “website copy.”

In particular headlines, or rather writing effective headlines that capture the interest of your website visitor and compel them to stay at your website and learn more.

The reason why writing effective headlines is so critical to a website’s success is simply a matter of ‘TIME.’

You see people are busy. Busier than ever! So busy in fact that face to face sales is becoming increasingly unnecessary to close a deal.

Even multi-thousand dollar deals not to mention the countless number of transactions under a hundred dollars.

In the case of the internet, your website becomes your frontline sales person and it only gets one chance to make a first impression.

That one chance is about three seconds long! But if you get them to stay, you can get them to buy.

So how do you make a lasting first impression for any product effortlessly and automatically?

Simple.

You can use my “A.C.E.S. method” for writing headlines that sell!

Here’s the short and sweet explanation of A.C.E.S..

A compelling headline has these four elements in it almost ALL of the time.

A - Attention
C - Curiosity
E - Excitement
S - Specific

In other words a compelling headline…

1. Grabs the attention of your visitor.
2. Builds curiosity about your product or service.
3. Builds excitement through the use of powerful ‘news type’ words.
4. Is specific to your target market’s needs and your product or service.

For example…

A long-time client of mine created a software that slows up video training material so that the user can learn specific moves or techniques faster.

Here’s the headline we came up with in only five minutes and STILL it can be improved but the sales results have been amazing to say the least.

“Amazing Software That Manipulates Video So That Anyone Can Learn At Least 3 Times Faster Than Normal . . .
Watching The Same Video . . .In A Completely Different Way!”

Do you see the A.C.E.S. in there? Great!

But remember, this technique also works for cataloge styled websites that sell hundreds or thousands of products, yet it can still be used for other types of products that, DARE I say it…may not require a sales letter!

Notice I didn’t say that it may not require sales copy.

Writing effective sales copy or rather writing headlines will remain one of the most effective and probably STILL overlooked methods of converting more visitors to paying customers on the internet.

That’s awesome news for you and bad news for your competition!

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