The one survey method I'd trust to generate real actionable marketing decisions...

The one survey method I’d trust to generate real actionable marketing decisions…

Hey Rainmaker! Let’s talk copywriting… Specifically, a very tactical best practice that could put $10,000 more into your pocket within the next 30 days…

First, a touch of housekeeping… Just a quick reminder for those of you who are relatively new to Breakthrough Marketing Secrets…

Most weeks — even when I don’t make a point of it — the topics are governed by “theme days.” That is, depending on the day of the week, I talk about a different subject.

— Mailbox Monday: I answer YOUR questions… Send ‘em in to Roy@RoyFurr.com…

— Copy Tuesday: Everything copywriting — both the skills and gettin’ paid for ‘em…

— Web Wednesday: What really works to make money online…

— Strategy Thursday: Big-picture marketing and business growth strategy…

— Grab Bag Friday: Whatever I feel like!

When I first started this service, it was really aimed at business owners and direct response entrepreneurs. But I got a deluge of copywriters coming to me (that industry has been my playground for the last decade), so I wanted to serve them, too.

Hence, themes… 🙂 Everybody gets a little bit o’ the best for them…

Alright… On to today’s topic…

This will make you richer in 30 days or less!

The other day, I was on Facebook and a best-selling author was trying to get opinions on the title of an upcoming book…

Actually, the subtitle.

I respect this guy, and want to write a little bit unfiltered, so I’m not going to name names. Not that I plan to talk trash — I just don’t want anyone thinking so, and I don’t want the thought that someone would read it that way to stop me from writing my unfiltered thoughts.

The title of the book was a good one. It called out to the target audience, and promised a desired benefit.

All three subtitle options he was asking about ALSO mentioned the desired benefit.

And played to a different side of what the audience wanted.

In short, all three would make pretty good subtitles.

Here’s what this guy wanted…

He wanted his friends and followers to vote on which subtitle they wanted. And based on their opinion, he would choose the subtitle.

Let me interject one of the most important principles every marketer should understand…

And this is actually from a current project I’m working on, but it makes a ton of sense to include here…

“The ONLY judge of what makes ‘good’ and ‘bad’ marketing is the market itself, and the only vote that matters is the vote a customer makes with their wallet. Reactions to a selling approach in the conference room are OPINIONS, reactions to a selling approach in the market are FACTS. While we can use accumulated experience to form better opinions, ultimately marketing decisions should be based on the facts learned from controlled testing in the market.”

Replace conference room in that quote with opinion poll, focus group, or any other method where people aren’t ponying up their hard-earned cash to get their vote tallied… And the lesson applies.

Aside from my main point today, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t matter one bit what people say they want the subtitle of your book to be on Facebook. What matters is what they actually respond to when they’re browsing on Amazon.com, or wherever else they’re making a buying decision on your book.

And so if you want to figure out what the best book title or subtitle will be — DON’T ask people to give their opinion on Facebook! (As an aside, I just got my copy of Ryan Levesque’s book Ask which does detail a much more sophisticated way to use surveys to figure out what people will buy. Considering there’s $100 million in results backing it up… Well, I’m not against ALL surveying — but a quick opinion poll on Facebook will NOT tell you what people are most likely to buy.)

Now, here’s how I voted on this guy’s book subtitles, and why…

And I was very clear about this…

I told him my favorite was the one and only of the three that offered a specific time frame to get the desired benefit.

While all three were mostly interchangeable with relatively minor differences, only one gave a time frame for expecting the result the book promised.

Why was this so important to me?

Well, I’ve spent the last 10 years paying attention to things like test results, market trends, and so on. I’ve accumulated a treasure-trove of these little “do this, not that” best practices in my head, based on specific, measured sales performance.

And there was one that immediately popped to mind when I was given this choice of subtitles. I’d been listening to a podcast a few months ago (wish I could remember which one), and the guest in the interview was someone who’d basically been unable to keep a job, so he started writing how-to manuals and publishing them through Kindle.

Now, this guy has a TON of books out there, and he gets regular sales data about how each performs.

And he said that aside from popular versus unpopular topics, there’s only one thing he can find that really influences sales of his books.

That is, when he offers a specific time frame for achieving his promised result, the sales tend to be a lot higher.

Let me repeat that…

When you promise a specific time frame for achieving a desire result, your sales will tend to be a lot higher!

Now, this doesn’t just apply to selling books through Kindle.

It applies to almost all copywriting, selling, and marketing.

Why? Well, I think there are a couple reasons. One, it answers a specific objection — “Yeah, but how long will that take?” And two, because it leads the subconscious to imagine a specific time in the future when the desired result has been achieved.

Anyway, when I submitted my vote to this author’s Facebook poll, I shared this little tidbit. I told him specifically WHY I recommended that one, based on reasonably trustworthy market data.

What did I get? Basically a “Yeah, but…”

He’d already decided he was going to use a quantity-based opinion poll to drive his marketing decision, rather than either a quality-based opinion survey OR actual market testing.

(I also recommended he run a pay-per-click test with each of the three titles and see what people are most likely to click on. Not perfect, but better than a raw opinion poll. Another “yeah, but…” based on a mildly-legitimate limited time-frame.)

Well, long story short…

Most people are extremely confident in their ignorant opinions…

Many of this guy’s friends and followers — probably reasonably smart people — disagreed with me.

They thought the idea of promising a specific time frame sounded spammy or maybe too much like an infomercial. (Too “direct response” but they don’t have the words for it.)

Ignoring WHY people who measure response to their advertising might use promises like that, they expressed their OPINION that a subtitle that promised the result in a specific time frame was beneath him.

The final tally on the vote was roughly 33% for the subtitle promising a specific time frame… With the other 66% split across the other two, with one of these being the decided winner with just shy of 50% of the vote.

It’s not a bad subtitle. I don’t think it’s going to mean he can’t sell the book (and there are a lot of other factors that he’s definitely doing right).

But in my informed, educated opinion, he won’t sell as many copies as easily as he would with the promise made within a specific time frame.

I’d be happy to be proven wrong with a market test. (I always am! Happy to have proof, that is, I’m not saying I’m always wrong!)

But lacking actual marketing test data that supports a specific course of action, you should always defer to folks who’ve developed educated, expert opinions and intuitions about what will work based on actual test data and interpretations.

You should NOT rely on the opinions of the unwashed masses, asking them to try to predict what they’d buy, or (worse!) just asking what they like best.

Now, I know you’ve been itching for me to fulfill my initial promise for how to turn this into $10,000 or more within the next 30 days…

And here’s my best recommendation…

You need to take a look at everything you offer — everything you promise to clients and customers. If you have a bunch of marketing out there, look at that. If you have a standard sales pitch, consider that.

Ask what you can do there to bump up the specificity of time frame on your promises.

What can you reasonably promise in terms of how fast they’re going to get the result?

Can you tie that to a guarantee? Or to some kind of bonus or penalty?

It’s one thing to tell your client, I’m going to write you a sales letter that generates $100,000 in sales for you…

It’s another thing entirely to tell them that you’re going to put together a sales letter and launch campaign that will generate $100,000 for them within the next 6 weeks, start to finish…

It’s one thing to say, I’m going to work with you to generate $10 million growth…

It’s another entirely to say, I’m going to work with you to add $10 million profitable top-line growth to your business in 36 months or less… And a cash flow infusion of $250,000 to $500,000 within the next 3 months…

Go back to your clients and customers with your revised, time-limited offer and a specific plan to fulfill on your promise.

I don’t know what your fees are, but this approach could be worth multiples of that $10,000 within the next 30 days for me, and many even halfway-decent marketers I know.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets

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