The other day, I was driving around town, and saw a sign that struck me.

It contained just 8 words, and contact info.

But those 8 words were perfect copy if you were their target market.

When I tell you what this haiku of wonderful sales copy is, you’ll recognize it immediately.

Especially here in the US, variations on this sign are up all over the place.

But we’re going to consider why I think THIS version of the sign is so effective, and how you can apply the lesson in your copy.

Here it is…

This is NOT the sign I saw -- apparently folks in other towns have discovered this "perfect" copy too!

This is NOT the sign I saw — apparently folks in other towns have discovered this “perfect” copy too!

“We Buy Houses: Cash Offer in 24 Hours.”

Familiar, right?

I know in my town, you can drive main streets in neighborhoods both rich and poor and see signs like these all over.

I imagine with their proliferation that they work — but why?

Well, let’s get in the mind of their target market.

I own my home. I’m considering selling it. I might be in financial trouble, and need to get out from underneath a crippling house payment. I may also be underwater on my loan, and be concerned that even if I sell the house, I’m going to have to come up with a payment for my real estate agent.

And then I’m driving down the street and see, “We Buy Houses.”

Okay, great! One of the biggest unknowns about selling your house is finding a buyer. That could take days — or years! All the while, you’re holding onto the house. And if money is your reason for selling, things just keep getting worse.

But still, there’s lingering doubts…

Will you get your desired price, and how soon can they get you the money? 24 hours? A specific promise of a timeline that fast, and your financial worries could be gone? Great!

But wait… Are they going to pay you as much as you want? Or will they try to low-ball you and take advantage of your situation? Oh… That says, “Cash Offer.” So they’ve got the cash, and they’ll make you an offer. Great! An offer isn’t binding — you can say “no” or “yes,” depending on if it works for you.

Okay, this could be the solution you’re looking for… How do you respond?

Okay, there’s their phone number… (And/or web address.)


Let me get a hold of them and take the next step…

Okay, we’ve walked through the mind of the target…

In this case, it’s not a “buyer” but a seller. But ultimately it’s a sales process just the same. And so the same persuasion needs to take place.

Which means that they need to meet their target market where they’re at, and get them to take the next step in the process toward the transaction.

When you’re trying to capture a cold prospect, you have three big goals…

– You need to get the attention of your ideal prospect…

– You need to give them a low- or zero-risk reason to respond…

– You need to tell them how to respond…

In 8 words plus contact info, this “We Buy Houses” sign did this. For what will end up being one of the highest-dollar transactions in this person’s life.

It captures the attention of anyone looking to sell their house.

It offers a “Cash Offer” as a low-risk reason to respond, with a specific timeline for getting what they want (the offer).

And then it gives a clear and easy reason to respond.

In this case, the sales process is longer and fairly complex. These 8 words aren’t closing the deal. But in terms of lead generation, it would be hard to do more with less.

Applying this to longer copy, consider this your headline. Not every headline has to follow this exact same formula, but it’s not a bad one to use or compare your headline to. When you’re selling readership, there’s certainly some lessons here as well.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets