stenchWhen it comes to advertising success, sometimes little details matter big…

For copywriting clients, I’ve traditionally invested most of my time in nailing one really big and important piece of copy.  The sales letter.  And the sales letter takes lots of forms.  An online sales letter.  A direct mail piece.  A VSL.  Another kind of video script.  The one consistent thing is it’s the one really big piece of copy that converts.

The Gary Halbert quote goes a little something like, “One good sales letter can change your life.”

It’s important.

But arguably, it can be seen as too important.  Seldom does that copy exist in a vacuum.  Seldom does that copy exist on its own.

And it doesn’t matter if we’re talking your 30-page sales letter…  Or a 1,000 word landing page that mostly just makes a compelling offer and highlights the benefits.

Either way, that piece of copy might do MOST of the selling, but it definitely doesn’t do ALL the selling.  There are things that come before, and things that come after.

And at any point, you can actually stop the sale by failing at one thing: AD SCENT…

This is the term that’s grown popular with pay-per-click advertising.  Let’s say we’re talking about Facebook ads.

When someone sees your Facebook ad, they’ve probably been scrolling through their news feed.  They see your ad.  What does your ad do look and feel like another compelling thing they want to see and engage with on Facebook?

It has high ad scent if it feels like a natural extension of their Facebook experience.

Then, when they click the ad, what do they see next?  Does it sound like a continuation of the conversation from the Facebook ad?  Are you jarring them with something very different?

For example, if you offer a free report on a specific topic, are you sending visitors to a landing page where they can download the report — or are you sending them to your homepage, where they have to find the link to download the report?

Also, graphics can play into it.  If your graphics change from ad to landing page, if your colors change, if anything visual changes — it hurts.

The more it feels like one smooth and continuous experience, the better.

Also, when they’re on the landing page, is it setting them up for the sales letter you’re about to show them?  Does your report appeal to the kind of people who will want your offer, on a topic that will naturally lead to what you talk about in the sales letter?

Assuming you have a smooth transition there, next consider the jump from sales letter to order form.  Is it a natural and smooth process?  Does the order form feel like it’s connected to the sales letter — or totally unrelated?  Are you using generic order forms and shopping carts, or a custom form that reaffirms their decision to take you up on that one particular offer?

This goes all the way through.  After purchase.  Into the customer experience.  As well as up-sells and cross-sells.

Your goal is to make it a completely smooth and natural, continuous experience…

At any step of the way you can screw it up.  If you force to much of a leap…  If something just doesn’t feel connected…  If visitors or customers feel like they have to figure out how to get what you promised in the last step…  You have the potential to lose it all.

Better ad scent, from step, to step, to step, to step is a quick and easy way to boost response, even without actually getting any better at copywriting, or getting any better offer.  Just the smooth experience will lead more prospects to become customers.

And the same thing applies all over.   With all kinds of marketing, in all kinds of media.

Look at your marketing from your customer’s perspective.  What do they need for this step to be a natural bridge from what came before to what comes next?

Get that right, every step of the way, and it can be a huge breakthrough,

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr