3 Simple Tips from Claude Hopkins that Will Deliver Crippling Blows to your Competition

If you’ve been a good little girl/boy and have read some of the classic books on advertising and salesmanship, you might have come across“Scientific Advertising” by Claude.C.Hopkins.

The Book is crammed with no-nonsense principles of successful advertising and copywriting.

It’s a must read.

Here are three rules in the book that really help differentiate you in todays world. Apply them and make your wallet obese with crispy fresh cash.

1. People Don’t Care About You, They Only Care About Themselves

In chapter 3 Claude Hopkins tells you about a common multi-million dollar mistake made in advertising…

Being selfish.

Advertisers still make the same mistake to this day.

Have you realized how a TON of advertisers bombard you with information about their “company ethos” or their “history”?

Newsflash.

No one gives a shit about your reasons for anything. They want what’s in it for them.

Imagine this…

You’re at a car showroom and you’re viewing a sleek, breathtaking BMW. You eagerly rush closer to get a better look at it. As you gawk at its shiny rims and attractive shape. A salesman approaches you…

He doesn’t ask how you are. He doesn’t seem to ask what you’re interested or how he could help you. He just stands there, with a cheesy ass smile on his face singing a corny song about the “company ethos”.

After he’s done singing his short silly song, he starts reciting the following…

“We at London motors offer quality cars at competitive prices. We have over 50 cars in stock and can offer various ways for you to drive away today” etc…

After hearing the same company jingo gobbledeegook for the billionth time, your hand dives into your left pocket and fiddles your handkerchief out, plugging it right into his boring, cake-hole, and putting an end to his selfish waffling.

Just kidding. But seriously…

Any salesman worth his salt would know to start with what YOU (the customer) would want. So, when our imaginary,handkerchief gobbling salesman starts waffling about his company ethos and all that other crap.

YOU don’t care, you’re more likely to lose interest. You want to know what’s in it for you.

Don’t you?

Which slides over to my next point.

2. All Advertising Is Salesmanship in Print

The showroom scenario illustrated above isn’t too common in face-face selling but it’s all but present amongst print advertising and video advertising.

Which is no different than face-face selling.

Hopkins stresses that your advertising material is to be a treated as a salesman itself.

Why?

Because that’s its job. To sell!

If you had a salesman, you wouldn’t make your salesman walk up to a prospect and sing some company song would you?

Didn’t think so, but advertisers still do it in television ads. They mistake entertaining for selling.
You wouldn’t tell your salesman to use the most sophisticated Cambridge English when talking to average prospects would you?

Websites and paper advertisers still do this. Losing the attention of most people and confusing them too. It might make you sound smart, but it won’t make your prospects connect with you, it won’t stir the emotional cauldron inside them to the point where they are boiling to buy from you.

You wouldn’t gag your salesman and tell him that he’s fired if he uses more than 300 words would you? (I can understand if his breath is bad, in that case you should fire him anyway)
But, you wouldn’t, because it’s insane.

He should take as long as it takes to sell the prospect, right? Well, the same applies to your copy.

It’s less about “long copy vs. short copy” and more about “does this overcome all the objections in my prospects head and tell him how his needs are met?”

One perspective solves needs and pains and yields results; the other is a blind principle.Treating your advertising like a real individual salesman will help you see it for what it is.

An investment.

When you look at your advertising with a critical eye, by always looking at the return on investment, you will smoothly swivel your way out of costly mistakes, increasing your efficiency and fattening your wallet with stacks of crispy ‘paper’…

I don’t know about you… but I’m all up for some extra ‘paper’.

3- Use a little psychology and Human nature

For decades the top advertisers have tweaked their ads and offers by small amounts to create monumental changes to sales. What allows them to do this is one thing…

Knowledge of human nature and psychology combined with market knowledge.

These advertisers possess a white knuckle grasp on basic human nature and psychology.

Allowing them to try and test small changes in offers or wording to maximize their results.

This excerpt from Scientific Advertising is a powerful illustration of how a touch of psychology can help you elbow your competition out of the way and have prospects choose you all the time.

“Two men came to me, each offering me a horse. Both made equal claims. They were good horses, kind and gentle. A child could drive them. One man said, ‘try the horse for a week. If my claims are not true, come back for your money.’

The other man also said, ‘try the horse for a week.’ But he added, ‘come and pay me then.’ I naturally bought the second man’s horse.”

Now, I’m not sure if this story is true or not…

But,

The cunning individual who sold the horse knew how humans think and work. He knew that people always want to assume less risk and he used it to slaughter his competition.

It only takes a little thinking and implementation to leave your competition behind coughing on your dust bubbles.

What can you change about your marketing/copy, right now as we speak?

What cutting edge, competition slicing and risk reversing/reducing tweaks can you offer to your prospects?

I’d love to hear in the comments below.

 

P.S. Are you looking for writing that’s engineered to ignite your audience’s emotions and bring in some cold hard cash?  Then get in touch.

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A Scientifically-Proven “Killer” Way Of Introducing Your Copy

What Is Reason Why Copy?

Next to a headline, one of the most underused but overpowered tactics for creating killer copy is using “reason why” copy.

Every professional copywriter who has any chops, uses it.

Do you want to know how to use it?

You do!

Good, let’s get to it.

So…what is “reason why” copy?

Reason why copy is simply providing your prospect with a reason of why you’re selling to him, or…

Why can you offer such a ridiculously low price?

Why is the offer only available for another 20 days before it expires?

This means you’re telling the reader “Why you’re telling him what you’re telling him”.

A sure-fire way of spring-launching your opening/introductory paragraphs is to use the old-school “If…Then” opening.

It’s extremely powerful but easy to use

Here are a few examples:

“If you’ve dreamed of blasting away body fat without the grueling 2-hour workouts that leave you mentally and physically drained, then this will be the most exciting letter you ever read.”

“If you’d love to learn the little-known secrets of attracting and picking up girls that makes the ‘dating scene’ a fun social “game” rather than an anxiety inducing “grey” part of your life. Then make sure you read every single word on this page, because you’re in for a treat.”

“If you’re even remotely interested in getting your hands on a new BMW 525 for half of what everyone else has to pay, then you’re going to love what I’m about to share.”

And so on.

Another easy-to-use, but powerful tactic that you can use is…

Being Extremely Blunt

Or “letting it all hang” (if that tickles your fancy). Just tell the reader why you’re contacting him (insert loud shocked gasp).

Now, you are probably thinking something along the lines of…

“But Hassan, I can’t tell the reader why I’m contacting him straight away, right ? He’ll get scared !?”

Yup, you can.

If you have targeted the right prospect. Your headline/opening should grab him by the collar and reel him in.

However if your opening is too “limp” and boring then you can expect him to hurriedly escape like a frightened fish.

 Have a read of the following of examples:

“My name is Dr. Alan Reed and I have just released my new book that shows you how to double your profits and bank at least two times as much cold-hard cash in any self-employed business within 60 days or your money back. Here’s what I’ve got for you…”

“If it’s okay with you, I’d like to send you a free, detailed and proven report on how to use a blog to get swamped with grateful, hungry clients for your freelance writing business without breaking a sweat…”

I’m sure you get the idea.

Why is it so lethally effective?

Have you noticed something about those above openings?

There is an important side lesson hidden in each one.

What do you think makes the reader want to read on?

What acts as an incentive and motivator to the reader/prospect?

The answer is…

A Big-Fat-Juicy-Benefit!

This is why these openers are so good. They state their claim, and then provide an incentive and motivation for the reader to continue reading. Which ties in with another defining factor regarding reason why copy… and… that is being super-specific. As the legendary Claude.C.Hopkins said…

“Platitudes and generalities roll of the human understanding like water from a duck. They leave no impression whatever. To say ‘best in the world,’ Lowest prices in existence’ etc. are at best simply claiming the expected. They suggest looseness of expression, a tendency to exaggerate, a carelessness of truth. They lead readers to discount all the statements that you make.”

Moving on,

An Experiment That Showcases The True Power of Having a Reason Why

Let me introduce you to one experiment in particular that will mercilessly shred any morsels of doubt in the recesses of your mind about the effectiveness and raw power of reason why copy.

The experiment was conducted by Ellen Langer and her colleagues by approaching busy students using university copy machines.  Then cheekily saying “Excuse me: May I use the Xerox machine?”

Whilst using this exact question,they scraped a 50% positive response rate from people who permitted them to cut ahead use the Xerox machine.

Now, time for the mind-bogglingly interesting part…

Langer changed one very small thing about this approach and nearly doubled her response rate.

Just one thing.

This one thing made 80%-90% of people agree to let another person cut in front of them at the copy machine.

Read that again.

Done? Okay.

Now, what do you think this one thing was?

What caused a 30%-40% positive response rate?

Nothing other than a simple but sneakily effective…

Reason Why.

And not even a well-developed one at that. Langer and her team cheekily said” Excuse me: May I use the Xerox machine, because I have to make copies.”

WTF?

Right now you’re probably thinking: “Because you have to make copies?Well,why else would you want to use a copy machine Sherlock?”

(I know I did)

But… it’s true… and it acts as a reliable testament to the power of using a reason why.

Even a crappy one is better than not having one.

Moral of the story

 Always use a reason why, the more specified, the better.

Have any “reason why” copy ideas impregnated your brain yet? Maybe one crept up and slapped you right in the kisser while you read this post?

If so, let me know.

I’d love to hear about it in the comments section.

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Warning: Are you a Victim to This Powerful Psychological Weapon Influencing your Brain Right Now?

What Psychological Weapon?

Well, Commitment and consistency of course.

Keep on reading to ensure your “mental Kevlar” is tough enough to withstand this deadly psychological weapon…

In 1968 a pair of Canadian Psychologists made a fascinating discovery about people at a race track.

The study was done twice, revealing the same results each time.

At the race track, just after placing a bet, people were significantly more confident of their horse’s chances of winning than they were before placing the bet.

However,

Nothing about the horse’s performance or chances actually change after the bet was placed…

It’s the same horse, in the same track, in the same ass field.

So why the heck did the people who placed a bet, feel such confidence in the chances of their horse after?

The answer lies deep within our psyche as humans.

I’m sure you can agree when you’re told that humans have an obsessive desire to be, and to appear to be consistent with actions or decisions we have already made.

Think about it, maybe you once chose a certain field to go into? A product to sell? A course to do?

You probably experienced a lot of anxiety and discomfort before that choice but…fast-forward a minute after making the choice, I’m sure you justified your actions and felt more confident about them…right?

Another experiment that can testify to the power of commitment and consistency is an experiment conducted by a psychologist with some big, frikkin kahoonaz.

Thomas Moriarty staged thefts on a New York City beach to see if witnesses would risk their own asses to halt a crime.

The results are jaw-droppingly shocking.

Here’s what he did:

A fellow researcher placed a beach blanket down five feet away from a randomly chosen person.

After spotting his target, relaxing and listening to music from a portable radio for a few minutes, he would innocently get his mischievous little butt of the blanket and go stroll along the beach…

A few seconds later, a second researcher acting as a thief, would “steal” the radio (which was probably playing some mushy ass love song anyway!) and sprint off into the distance with it…

They found that under these circumstances, only 4 people out of 20 challenged the thief!  (Less than %25)

However…

The same procedure was repeated again. But, with a slight twist.

The results were eye-wideningly different.

What was the “slight” twist?

Well, before the researcher put the blanket down and “wandered “off… he simply requested the test subject to “Please watch my things”… To which they all agreed.

The Results?

19 out of the 20 people became Beach crime fighting Batmen/Batwomen! Often pursuing the “thief” and physically stopping him or even snatching the radio right out of his thieving little hands.

Now think about what’s happened here.

These cunning psychologists used 1 sentence (that harnessed the power of consistency and commitment) to go from having less than 25% of people risking their own safety for their belongings to…

Having over 90% of people risk their own precious asses!

But how is the magnitude of commitment and consistencies power so high that it can, not only alter human behavior, but override our self-preservation instincts and in some cases, make us willingly risk harm to ourselves?

Think about the general acceptance and value of commitment and consistency. Commitment and consistency are seen as desirable and admirable qualities… and rightly so.

They are strongly aligned with the idea of honesty, strong will and intelligence. Now, when someone is regarded as being inconsistent with their actions, they are usually perceived as hypocritical, confused and indecisive.

Because consistency and commitments value is so ingrained in our minds. Like a plant reaching for the sun. Similarly, we tend to automatically lean towards acting upon these highly valued qualities, even when they tend to not serve us as well as we might think.

That’s one way someone can play ventriloquist with your brain and luckily for you, you’re now immune to it. WOOOO!

(Feel free to send me gifts and vintage chocolates for helping you become less victimized 😀 ! )

Hassan the “psychologically bulletproof dude” out,

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4 Letters that will create an indestructible sales page(pt 2)

We’re now approaching the final part of our dive into the A-I-D-A formula. Let’s go out with a bang.

Desire

Okay, we recently covered two components of creating killer sales copy.

Attention and Interest. ( Click on the links to dive in to them posts)

Back to the matter at hand… Desire (mmmh)

This is where it gets good. This is were you get your prospect boiling with emotion till his shaking hand uncontrollably reaches into his pocket and slams wads of cash down on the counter, asking for your product.

Desire can be broken down into 3 things, here they are:

1- Harnessing-When it comes to desire, you are not creating it. You are merely harnessing it.

Imagine a ship with a sail. The ship doesn’t create wind… it just uses it to get where it wants. Similarly to how you’l be using your prospects desires to get what YOU want.

Kapeesh ? Good.

This is where knowing the nitty-gritty needs and secret desires of your market is an absolute must. Which brings me to my next point…

2-Research– How well do you know the person you’re trying to sell too?  Are you familiar with their daily vocabulary usage ? ( You better be)  What’s the average age of your prospect? How can you use this age to your advantage? Do you know what they REALLY want ? ( Does he want rock-hard abs with young ladies flocking around him? or does he want to lose that “spare tire” and have more energy to play with his kids?)

See what I mean ?

Moving on,

3- Emotion– Like you read in point number one. Your harnessing their desires… and the way to do that is to emotionally engage your prospect by painting vivid, heart-melting pictures via action verbs and words that are packed with a powerful punch to surf the wave of their inflamed passion-fueled desire.

Don’t say- ” it’s so easy, anyone can do it”. Say- ” The process is simple, like a ripe red apple dropping into the palm of your hand. Everything is done for you.”

Don’t say-” The car drives nice” (You would really need a slap for that one) Say- ” At 50 Mph the car cruises serenely, as silent as a whisper.”

Got it ? Thoughtso,

So, you’ve got the prospect inflamed with desire. He’s craving whatever it is that your offering, what next ?

You definitely do not want to make the devastating mistake of getting him all excited and dressed up and then leaving him with no place to go.

What to do instead ?

Just surf the inflamed  wave of desire that you helped create, and ask for the frikkin sale! Get him to take Action ! ( Which is the next part of this fabulous formula…)

 

“You must catch him in full ‘lust-mode’, and lead him to the Promised Land without hesitation.”- John Carlton ( A Kick-ass Legendary Copywriter)

This is what it all comes down to,

This is where your prospect rushes to get her credit card out and pay for your product, this is where your audience member reads your blog, gets off their butt, and takes your advice. This… is where you get the prospect to take ACTION.

So, you’ve followed the A-I-D-A formula. You’ve gotten his Attention. Maintained his interest. Inflamed his white-hot desire…

What next?

Now, you tell him to… ” Click the buy-it-now button, fill in his credit card details and press the OK button”.

Of course, to get to this point you must have created a valuable offer. That only an idiot wouldn’t buy, and erased all risks and objections in the mind of your prospect.

However, if you really wana increase the value of your product, Check out  these two,  mindbogglingly-effective psychological tactics, that grab your prospect by the throat and hook him in… without him even having the slightest clue of what’s going on.

1- Re-framing— Let’s say you tell your prospect ” You can get ,my new e-book,which allows you too double your website’s profits in 1 month or your money back, for just  $30.”

V.S.

” You can double your websites profits in 1 month or your money back, all for just $1 a day, spread over 30 days ! “

You see the subtle but, lethal difference there? Instead of just mentioning a price and letting him decide… you’ve done the justifying and the rationalizing for him… You didn’t just let him go out on his own and decide, increasing the chances of a lost sale.Nope… You gave him a field of reference and subtly forced him to think about your product a little longer. Increasing your chances of a sale.

Understood? Good.

Next,

2 Presuppositions— Let’s begin with these two openings…

” You too can easily make an extra $2,000 next month”

V.S.

“What will you do with the extra $2,000 you’ll earn next month?”

Look at them for a second… Which one’s better ? Why ?

I’m sure many of you picked the second one… and you’re right.

But why is that much more compelling?…

Don’t fret, uncle Hassan will explain, again. ( Bonus points for that rhyming)

The second one is so much more compelling because, the first example is merely a reject-able statement. The second actually manipulates the way the brain functions. ( It really does.)

Here’s how…

You see, the brain can only focus on one thing at a time. And, because you’re initially asked…“what will you do?” the brain is focused on that statement. So when the sneaky writer adds with “the extra $2,000 you’ll earn next month”…. You feel obliged to answer the question… and to answer the question… you must accept the second statement as truth for a slight second… and then.

He’s got you thinking about what he wants you to think about.

and then…

BOOOM Goes the dynamite.

You’re already thinking of what you’re gonna do with the extra $2,000. (You’ll imagine fun, desire-fueled activities. That make you bubble with excitement. Without the marketer having to guess what those activities are, and that’s how it’s done.)

Till next time,

 

 

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4 Letters that will create an indestructible sales page ( Pt 1)

These four letters have been stolen from one of the most well-known and respected copywriters to have ever existed.

He has been responsible for over millions in sales through direct marketing, and has had  thousands of blockbuster quality, mind-blowingly successful ads.One of which, was mailed over 600 MILLION times!

Any sales letter can be broken down into four letters.

A-I-D-A

Now, you might be asking what the fudge that means…

I’ll explain, but… first. Get your scuba gear on, cus we’re gonna dive behind the scenes of some deep sales copy psychology. You ready ? here we go…

Here’s what these “mysterious” letters mean.

AAttention

IInterest

DDesire

AAction

To summarize. This is a proven formula to grab your reader by the collar and get him to read every single word of your copy and, If done right, It will make him feel like he is slipping down and uncontrollable slippery slide until he clicks your order now button (or whatever desired action you want) all, without him knowing .

Here is an example of how to implement this formula to add a super-stealthy, but irresistibly-powerful  flow, to your sales letter.

Lets analyse a proven ad by the man himself…

In case you haven’t realized who it is, it’s non-other than, the great guru Gary Halbert.

Moving on.Here’s a link to the ad.

http://theryanmcgrath.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/04-burn-fat-hour-by-hour.jpg

Right off the bat Gary has not just captivated the readers/prospects attention, he’s got them panicking(in the back of their minds) to find out how the FLIP they can… “Burn Off Body Fat, Hour-by-hour”.

How ? You ask.

Well, he’s already conveyed a eye widening brain-freezing benefit  to the reader, not only are you able to“burn off body fat”, but you can get it to burn “hour-by-hour” !

Anyone who’s even remotely interested in losing weight, isn’t going to be able to resist reading the headline, which then leads them (very subtly) on to the sub-headline, which like the headline. Arouses curiosity and offers a startling benefit that stops readers dead in their tracks.

But, by then… ( like the vicious, Venus-fly-trap,) it’s too late. The reader will be unconsciously speeding down your greased, friction-free, slippery-slide and into your sales copy then…

You must capture the prospects Attention and get him to read your copy.

 

Okay, once you have your readers attention you need to maintain their interest. One of the most effective ways of doing this is is by using some kind of story to express a problem/pain and then subtly lead on to the product.

( Here’s the link to the ad: http://theryanmcgrath.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/04-burn-fat-hour-by-hour.jpg

Gary does this very masterfully in this ad by riveting the reader at the beginning.

( I mean, a well respected M.D. wants to ask you for a personal favour and, not only are you getting paid for this favour, you’re helping the good o’le people of America get their dream bodies…)

Win.Win.Win.

You’d be raving mad not to “help” him, right ?

It’s rather “interesting”, right ?

And that ladies and gentlemen…

Is the Frikkin point– You can’t help but read on– and want to find out more !

Gary does this throughout the whole ad. Which keeps the reader engaged till the next part…

Desire ( oooh  la laaa)

Desire will be covered in the next post people,

Till then,

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