My wife and I were sitting in the car dealer's cubicle.
The moment of truth was arriving fast. We had taken a test drive and made our final offer. The salesman had "taken our offer to his Sales Manager" (yeah, sure), and returned to us to engage in the final, desperate hand-to-hand battle.
Man, he came on like gangbusters. He used every pressure technique ever devised. He pushed and pushed and pushed some more, but I bravely stood my ground.
Finally, when it looked like we were literally ready to walk, he leaned towards us and said, "Ivan and Wendy, let me tell you something. My daughter recently died of Leukemia, and I really need to make this sale. Can't we do business?"I kid you not. This guy was so low that he would either:
1. Lie in the most despicable way imaginable. Or . . .
2. Use the death of his daughter as a sympathy-getter to close the sale. Nice.
So why am I telling you this?
Because if the car salesman I mentioned was a "10" on the hard-sell scale, many marketers are namby-pamby "1s."
It's true. So many marketers go though the expense of copywriting an email or direct mail piece and then fail to close the sale. All too often, an email, sales letter or ad will end with a simple listing of an 800 number or a URL. Pity.
Let me give you a typical example how an email I recently received ends. (Company name and URL changed.)
Finally, Anonotech is easier to use than ever! A totally redesigned interface gives you one-click access to all of its powerful features. Download a free trial version at:
Yeah. That's where the email ends! Not very motivating direct mail copywriting is it?
What's the RIGHT way to get the prospect to act? There are many ways to get prospects moving. This direct response copywriter gives you just four.
In each example, we'll pick up the copy where Anonotech leaves things (with the URL), and then keep on truckin'.
1. Tell them what they can expect to learn.
Let readers know exactly why it's worth spending their precious time finding out what you're offering. EXAMPLE:
Why should you spend your valuable time finding out what Anonotech has to offer? Here are just five great reasons for putting Anonotech to the test right now . . . ETC.
2. Tell them what they'll risk or miss if they don't act.
This can be a very powerful motivator! EXAMPLE:
I want you to know that if you don't take a look at what we've got waiting for you, you could be in big trouble. You see, very soon the version of the software you're running right now simply won't be able to solve the problems you deal with every day. Why? Because . . . ETC.
3. Tell them that you want to PROVE that everything you say is true.
This can add some spunk and energy to your copywriting. EXAMPLE:
But don't take my word for how terrific Anonotech really is. All I ask is the chance to prove that we can solve some of the toughest problems you face every day. In just five minutes, we can show you how you can. . . ETC.
4. Close on a personal note.
Email is a very cold medium. Nothing to touch. Just pixels on a CRT. That's why a personal close can warm things up. EXAMPLE:
A final note . . . I want you to know that all of us here at Anonotech have worked extremely hard to make our software easier to use than ever before! So please consider this a personal invitation to download a free, fully-functioning version of Anontech from our website right now. I know you'll love what we've got waiting for you. In fact, that's a personal promise . . . ETC.
The take-away message this month?
It's vitally important for your direct response copywriter to do more than simply lay out the wooden "features" and "benefits," write down your URL or 800 number, and expect the world to beat a path to your door. As I say so often in this column, marketers have to get out there, grab the reader's attention and start selling!
Ivan Levison is a freelance direct response copywriter who works for companies like Bank of America, Fireman's Fund, Intel and Microsoft. Levison writes direct mail, emails and Web copy. For a free subscription to his monthly email newsletter for marketers, and a free copy of his report, "101 Ways to Double Your Response Rates!", visit www.levison.com.