Today’s issue starts with some sad news.
I just learned that the copywriting world lost one of its great HEARTS, as well as a great MIND.
Don Mahoney, star of so many direct marketing successes and a co-founder of AWAI, passed away the other day.
While I never worked closely with Don, and don’t think I talked to him outside of Bootcamp more than maybe once or twice…
Every time I talked to him, it felt like we were old friends.
The last time I saw him, at AWAI’s 2013 Bootcamp, we joked back and forth, throughout the event, about his latest business misadventures. Funny, sharp, and just a great person, through and through.
Don was one of those guys whose mere presence would light up the room.
And whether you know it or not, simply because you’re reading this, Don has likely had a big impact on your life. He was instrumental in the creation of AWAI’s flagship Six-Figure Copywriting program, which has changed lives and the entire copywriting and direct marketing industry with it.
I may not be writing this today without Don’s influence on the industry, and me with it.
You’ll be missed, bud.
Okay, deep breath… Now let’s talk marketing strategy…
Today’s lesson is actually one I got from listening to Dean Jackson and Joe Polish on the I Love Marketing Podcast… Which is one of those podcasts that I found and liked enough to go back and listen to every single episode.
(Side note, Dean wasn’t at The Titans of Direct Response, but Joe was, as Brian Kurtz’s personal VIP. Brian asked me, for the VIP dinner, who I’d MOST like to sit by, with Gary Bencivenga being the only guy who I couldn’t choose because he was already accounted for. I picked Joe — and got to sit across from Gary B.)
Well, Dean came up with a really interesting question that simplified all of service delivery.
And with it, the marketing of whatever service (or product) you’re looking to sell.
Let me paraphrase Dean’s question…
“What would you do if you had to deliver your client the result before you got paid?”
Now that’s a dang good question.
How would your product or service be different if it actually required you to get the result for your client, in order for you to get paid for it?
What would you put into it?
What would you take out?
What would you emphasize more strongly?
How would it change your speed of delivery?
What about the level of control or direction you chose to take over the client relationship, to ensure they’d actually use the strategies you know will work?
Why are you not already doing all these things?
Ultimately, people buy things because they want some kind of result.
We want to make more money. We want more time. We want love, or a connection. We want to be appreciated by others. We want security, safety. We want to be healthy and vibrant. We want momentary pleasure, or lasting happiness. And so on…
And the products we buy — and as marketers, the products we sell — promise to deliver those results.
But sometimes, they results aren’t fully achieved by what’s in the product — there’s more to be had.
Sometimes, there’s too much fluff, that the user has to dig through before they can find what’s really valuable.
Sometimes, the most important elements are buried or hidden.
Sometimes, the result doesn’t come fast enough, because the product or service takes time to deliver.
Sometimes — and I think this can really be true of folks who hire experts like copywriters and consultants — we don’t get the results because we self-sabotage, and don’t trust the expert to do the job. And if we’re strong-willed enough, or the expert isn’t strong-willed enough, we boss them around enough (trying to tell them how to do what they’re the expert at) that we might as well have never hired them in the first place.
It’s our responsibility as marketers, service-providers, and product-sellers to do everything we can to make sure the client will get the result we promise…
This means making sure our product is 100% able to fulfill on our promises, and then some.
It means doing everything we can to make sure that not only is our product good, but that we’re also finding only the right buyers for our products, who are most likely to get the full value out of it.
It means we focus as much on the customer experience as the marketing.
And then there’s some good news that comes out of this…
Once you’ve developed a superior product or service that’s sure to get the results… That you’re so confident you’d offer it up to the client and only get paid if it delivers… Then it’s super-easy to sell and to market it…
First off, one of the #1 core principles of creating effective selling messages is coming across with the highest level of believability.
That is, if your prospect doesn’t believe you, they won’t buy.
Well, what happens when you’ve gone out of your way to create a product or service and customer experience that you’re 100% confident will deliver the results?
In short, your believability goes through the stratosphere.
If I can tell you, confidently, that you’re going to get the result you most strongly desire because you buy my product, it’s WAY easier to make that sale.
This also opens up some very innovative tactical marketing approaches…
The most notable of which was the Joe Karbo Lazy Man’s Way To Riches offer.
In short, Karbo’s ad for Lazy Man’s Way To Riches was primarily an offer-driven ad. Yeah, in it he talks about how he hardly does any work, and makes a ton of money.
But that — in my careful analysis — is NOT what makes his ad work.
What makes his ad work is his offer, summed up in a single sentence…
“I won’t even cash your check or money order for 31 days after I’ve sent you my material.”
To order Karbo’s book, you had to fill out the address coupon and send in a check or money order for $10.
He’d send the book immediately, but not cash your payment for 31 days after sending the book.
If — according to the ad — you didn’t believe within the first 31 days that his book was worth at least one hundred times your investment, you could let him know, and he’d send your un-cashed check or money order back.
All the other stuff in that ad was icing — THAT was the cake.
(By the way, once upon a time, I did a detailed, line-by-line analysis of that ad and why it worked. I think this is a great way to learn copy — breaking down the masters’ work. If I offered that or similar analysis videos for sale, would you be interested in buying them? Let me know with a yes or no at Roy@RoyFurr.com.)
This is also the foundation of a balls-to-the-wall guarantee…
Once you’ve done everything in your power to ensure that your customer will get the result you promise, you actually have a TON of marketing firepower.
For example, not only can you offer a standard satisfaction guarantee…
But you can also offer a RESULTS guarantee.
Just the other day I was talking to one of my coaching clients about Gary Halbert’s “face lift in a jar” ad, which I’m pretty sure was a Tova product.
The guarantee? “If your friends don’t accuse you of having a face lift by the time the jar is empty, send back the empty jar and you’ll get a full refund.”
It’s far, far easier to offer a bold guarantee like this with faith in your product or service’s ability to deliver on your promises.
You can lengthen your guarantee. You can offer a better-than-your-money-back guarantee. You can add a results-only guarantee. All of which can be breakthrough ways to increase profits.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets
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