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Your house needs painting. The south and west sides are especially faded, and the HOA has sent you a notice saying you have 60 days to get your house re-painted. Nobody has recommended a house painter to you, so you’re on the look-out.

One day you walk to your mailbox and find inside a letter advertising a house-painting service.

The story and the appeal seem decent enough. It’s a family run business. They take pride in their work. And if you call by a certain date you’ll save 15%. Plus, they use paint sprayers, which is faster and slightly more affordable. There’s a number to call.

Not a bad offer, but not especially compelling either. You think about calling, but you get interrupted and you forget to come back to it.

Then, a few days later, you find another letter in your mailbox once again advertising house-painting services. You eagerly read the letter because with each passing day you’re feeling more urgency to just hire somebody.

Unfortunately, you become even more confused. This is a family run business, too! They also say they take pride in their work. They use paint sprayers… and, wouldn’t you know it… they’re offering a 15% discount.

Same story, different day. The only significant differences you notice are that the letters are printed on different colored paper; there are different logos; and of course different phone numbers. You still don’t really know who to call. With the information you’ve got, you may as well flip a coin.

This imaginary scenario is unfortunately all too real for consumers all over the country. They’re ready to spend money — they just don’t know who to spend it with! And because so much advertising looks the same and sounds the same, consumers have a hard time deciding who to call.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way for you to instantly stand out, get noticed, and make the sale. It’s called differentiation.

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Whether you’re a copywriter or a direct marketer or a blogger, it’s critical that you develop the ability to get and keep people’s attention.

This is the focus of the following MP3 recording in which Mike Dolpies interviews me about advertising in general and how to get and keep attention in any market.

Mike is a guy who provides marketing advice to owners of martial arts studios. And we did this particular interview for his paying members.

And since you’re a paying member of Copywriting Code, I’m sharing the interview with you as well. The interview is just 38 minutes long, so it’s easy to listen to even if you’ve got a busy schedule.

In this interview you’ll learn:

  • How to mind-read your market.
  • Counter-intuitive copywriting tips.
  • What you shouldn’t do in an email subject line.
  • How to be so compelling your prospects can’t look away.
  • And more…

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When you ask a business owner who his product is for, it’s not uncommon for him to say, “Everybody!”

For the moment, we’ll forgive his enthusiasm. After all, consumer products with mass appeal do make a lot of money. And many products generally could benefit everybody, although they shouldn’t be marketed to everybody.

That’s why even products with mass appeal are positioned to attract a certain type of person. The marketing team knows who they’re advertising to. And they know (and communicate) the intangible ideas the product represents or delivers.

Let me give you a relatively easy example: patio homes.

Here in the U.S., a patio home is generally a single-level house with a small yard — and ALL the landscaping and snow removal is done for you. This service is built into the HOA fees, which means you’ll pay much larger monthly fees than you will in a standard neighborhood.

Now who is the ideal person for this type of product? Think about it for a minute before you keep reading.

Have you got your ideal person in mind? Have you thought about what motivates him or her? Good. Let’s move on.

The ideal type of person for a patio home is:

  1. Somebody who no longer wants to do (or simply can’t do) outdoor work anymore.
  2. Somebody who doesn’t want or need as much square footage in his or her home.
  3. Somebody who has the money and motive to pay the more expensive HOA fees.

Now, based on this information, we can probably also assume that the person we’ve just described is between the ages of 55 and 65, and is either approaching retirement or already retired.

Furthermore, we may also assume that our newly retired prospect will soon be traveling the world with his or her spouse, and that one of their motivations for getting a patio home is to have the freedom to travel without worrying about taking care of their landscaping.

Now imagine: If you knew all this about your ideal prospects, don’t you think it would influence WHO you advertise to — and HOW you advertise to them?

Of course!

You see, the problem with “everybody” is it’s just too many people. There are 6 billion people in the world — 300 million in the United States alone. Trust me: You don’t have the budget, the time, or the manpower to market to “everybody.”

So let’s talk about how you discover your ideal prospect and position your product or service to appeal to him…

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