… And often, they are ignored for that very reason. I want to call your attention to one of those today. In the hope that if I make a big deal of it, maybe you will understand its power and use it.
I’ve mentioned before that Russell Brunson is someone I want to NOT like.
I think it’s the company he keeps. I’ve spent enough time following the Internet Marketing world to recognize that there’s a lot snake oil out there. Or at least, very big promises, with not so big of delivery on those promises. Is it all crap? Not at all. There’s some very strong marketing innovation coming out of that community. However, sorting the wheat from the chaff can be a very expensive endeavor.
Because Russell Brunson is a regular in those circles, I’ve mostly steered clear.
But when the praise for his book DotCom Secrets grew loud enough, I gave up on trying to ignore it, and bought a copy. Turns out I was dumb to delay — because it’s packed with valuable, actionable information.
I strongly recommend this book, because of the number of actionable items it contains on growing your business with internet marketing…
And while a lot of it is “internet marketers teaching other internet marketers how to get rich as an internet marketer,” the number of principles and models that apply to any business makes it well worth the read.
Hidden on page 173 of the book is a formula that Brunson didn’t even consider worthy of a chapter on its own, but that I think every marketer or copywriter should know. And in fact, commit to memory. Or, at the very least, put on a 3X5 card or Post-It note right next to where they write.
I’m about to share the formula itself — AND, a mistake I made in understanding it that actually makes it even more powerful.
First, the formula…
The setup — why this formula occupies the single-most valuable real estate in internet marketing…
So much of internet marketing is based on the landing page. This is the first page a visitor lands on when they visit your website.
It’s where you turn them from anonymous internet traffic into someone who has signed up, opted-in, and given you permission to send them follow-up communication.
This is where a prospect becomes a lead (or at the very least a suspect) by raising their hand for the very first time and expressing interest in what you’re saying and offering.
And if you get the landing page right, you have the potential to dramatically impact the profitability and economics of your business.
If you’re buying traffic and using automated follow-up to try to convert it into a paying customer, the vast majority of your marketing expense comes in getting that traffic in the first place. The incremental cost of adding another lead to an email list is practically zero. Buying more traffic, on the other hand, can come at anywhere from a few cents to a few dollars per visitor.
So if you’re able to get 2X or 5X or 10X the email subscribers from the same ad spend, you’re increasing your ROI by 2X or 5X or 10X.
It’s why getting the lead generation landing page right is the Holy Grail of so much of internet marketing.
And when it comes to what to say to get that visitor to give their email address, Brunson has totally nailed it using a very old formula.
Here’s Russell Brunson’s Who-What-Why-How formula for landing page video scripts…
And here’s where I must warn you: this is the deceptively simple part. You’ve probably heard of the 5Ws (plus an H) from journalism. Who, what, when, where, why, how. This isn’t that far off. It uses 3Ws and the H.
But that’s a tool of journalists everywhere for a reason. It’s what we want to know, when reading a story.
Well, whenever we have our first encounter with a marketing message, we pretty much want to know the same thing.
— Who is this that’s speaking to me?
— What are they offering, what’s in it for me?
— Why should I care, why should I engage with them?
— How do I get what they’re offering?
Answer this in your landing page video (or copy, or in any first engagement with a prospect) and you’re telling them exactly what they need to take the next step.
I actually misunderstood one part of this formula, and I think my mistake makes it even more powerful…
You see, I don’t always read a book straight through. Especially this book, which is packed full of different models for different funnels.
I was skipping around through the back of the book, and I caught a reference to the Who-What-Why-How script. But I hadn’t read the explanation of it yet.
Now, it’s pretty intuitive. So I knew exactly what Brunson was referring to. Except…
I got the Who wrong.
Brunson uses Who as a reference to “Who am I?” Meaning, who is the marketer.
What I got was to make sure you start off with Who the ideal prospect is. Call out to your target market. Let it be known that they are in the right place. That what you have is for them.
A lot of marketers don’t even think about this. But when you do this — especially in a prospect’s first interaction with you — it’s incredibly powerful.
To make it clear that you’ve built your business and offer for people just like them makes them feel welcome. Like they’re in the right place. And that sets up everything that comes afterward.
With my modification, the formula becomes “Who-Who-What-Why-How” — or you can just keep it the same…
But when you go to create your next piece of copy, run through each…
Make sure it’s clear who is supposed to be paying attention. Then, make sure it’s known who you are, and why that’s relevant. Then, make sure they know what you’re offering, what your big promise is. Follow that with why it’s especially relevant to them. And then, don’t forget to tell them how to get it.
This is about as universal in marketing as the 5Ws(+H) are in journalism. Because they speak to the same fundamental curiosities in all of us.
And while Brunson regularly uses this for landing pages, I wouldn’t hesitate to consider it a valuable tool in creating ANY marketing message. To at least be mindful of these questions as you write — even if you are not using them as an outline or formula — will produce better, more compelling marketing.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
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