I found this image when I searched Google Images for "preaching to the choir" and how could I NOT use it?!  :)

I found this image when I searched Google Images for “preaching to the choir” and how could I NOT use it?! 🙂

Hey Rainmaker, by the time you’re done reading I’m going to eat crow and you’re going to get an incredible marketing lesson…

That’s right, I’m going to specifically point out something I’ve DEFINITELY done wrong…

But, I’m not going to do that first!

First, I’m going to point out something SOMEONE ELSE has done wrong — a BIG, IMPRESSIVE company — so when I show how I made the same mistake, I don’t look so bad!

(Like how that works?!)

First, the “preaching to the choir” marketing mistake being made by a 900-pound gorilla in the health and fitness market…

I’m not going to tell you who the company is.  I’m going to try to keep them a secret.  All while revealing just enough information that I can really make my point.

Why the secrecy?  In short, they approached me recently about potentially doing some consulting work, and I don’t want to sour it by embarrassing them publicly.

Okay, so let’s get to the lesson.

You know the phrase “preaching to the choir”?

In short, it means trying to convert the already converted.  Persuading those who already believe.  It is — as you may have guessed — a reference to church, and to the preacher delivering their sermon to the choir, who presumably are among the biggest believers, as evidenced by their participation.

So…  what does it mean in a marketing context?

In short, it means targeting your marketing message at those people who already know, like, and trust you.

Sometimes this is exactly the right thing to do, but often it’s exactly the wrong thing to do…

This goes all the way back to Eugene Schwartz’s Breakthrough Advertising, and his market awareness model.

In short, the more aware someone is of your product or service, the less you have to work to sell them.  If they already know, like, and trust you and your product, you simply make them an offer and they’re sold.

On the other side of the spectrum, if they don’t know your product, you, the solution your product provides, or even that they have a problem that needs to be solved in the first place…  Well, you need to take them through a lot of steps in your advertising and selling materials to get them to buy.

Most selling situations fall somewhere in the middle.

You have to figure out how much your prospect knows, and target your message based on that.

Which brings me around to the mistake being made by this 900-pound marketing gorilla…

This is a business that is relatively well known in their industry, and even to the public at large.  If I were to list a couple of their products, you’d no doubt recognize at least one.

But they have a new product that they’re making a top priority going forward.  It’s a classic back-end, continuity product, that gives their best customers access to more for less.

But it’s also very interesting in that it could be used as a front-end product, to bring new customers in the door.

But they’ve put a huge hurdle in front of themselves in terms of how the product is being marketed.

(And we all know 900-pound gorillas have trouble jumping hurdles!)

Let me break down the copy.

Here’s how the current copy is stopping the sale to new customers…

It starts with the headline…

“Get unlimited access to [company-based product name] for 30 days free.”

Now, on the awareness spectrum, if I’m…

— Already aware of the problem I want to have solved…

— Also aware the company solves the problem…

— PLUS aware that this product solves the problem…

THEN this headline calls out to me.

Because if I’m already aware of all those things, AND I want the product (even a little bit, maybe even just subconsciously), then this speaks to the conversation already taking place in my head.

And yet, if I’m NOT already aware of the product…

Even then, this headline is less interesting.

If I’m not aware of the company, it suddenly feels VERY irrelevant.

And if I’m not aware of the problem or its solution, then there’s definitely no way this moves the needle even in the slightest.

And here’s the thing…

The more awareness your sales message requires to resonate, the smaller your audience will be…

This is the kind of promotion that’s hyper-profitable to your smallest group of super-responsive buyers, who are ready for every new product that comes out the door.

But that’s a very small audience, relative to your total possible audience pool.

I’m actually doing a promotion within the next month or so with a client for whom this is the exact audience we want to target.  And in that case, we do want a headline and copy that really speaks to the existing awareness and desire in the marketplace.

But once you’ve skimmed the cream off the top of the market, there’s a whole lot of untapped opportunity underneath.

What that requires you to do is start digging down, digging down, digging down…

And finding what’s going to move the people who are not predisposed to respond to whatever it is you’re offering.

This is hard for a big brand — or a big gorilla — to do…

Let me tell you a secret.  As a copywriter, it’s really easy to get clients to approve copy that talks about THEM.  And by that, I mean their brand, their products, their awesomeness.

There’s a little problem though.

That copy that’s really easy to get clients to say yes to, is that kind of copy that’s “preaching to the choir,” at best.

The copy that moves the needle on the mass market is copy that speaks to the deeper drives and desires of the market…  The challenges the prospects face, and their desire to find a solution…  And often buries the details of the company and the product.

And so in a situation like this, you want to talk about the health and fitness benefits first.  You maybe want to use stories of happy customers.  Case studies.  Before and after.  Everything you’d normally use to move people to buy any other product.  Only this time, the solution — the product — is a little different.

Now I risk giving too much away about the company if I go into too much more detail, so I’m going to stop there.  Especially because I promised you…

I’m going to admit to where I’ve made the same mistake!

I got an email last night from Jeff Moore, who runs two highly-successful sea food businesses (the consumer-facing business is Wild Things Seafood).

He was responding to my offer for a half day of consulting.  As a friend and fellow marketing hotshot, more than as a client (although he would likely benefit from the latter — wink, wink Jeff).

His email started, “I think the half day offer is fantastic.”

Uh oh.  I can see the “sandwich” technique coming from a mile away!  🙂  Good, bad, good.  So the feedback is well received.

This means he’s going to point out an opportunity to improve.

And he did, in a totally helpful and diplomatic way.

Jeff tells me I’m not doing a good enough job telling you what exactly you’re going to get when you take me up on my half-day consulting offer.

The funny thing was, this came in right as I was mulling over this idea of “preaching to the choir” for an essay topic — and it made me realize I was doing the exact same thing!

Because you’re a reader, I assume you recognize there’s a lot of value in my thinking, and that it may be transformative to your business.

But it’s up to me — even in this regard — to really make sure I dimensionalize the full benefit you get from connecting with me and working through your business for a full four hours.

So, first off, Jeff tells me that I should make it abundantly clear that I haven’t done a good enough job of explaining my guarantee.  That when I tell you this service is going to deliver a 10-20X ROI, I should make that very clear.

The results will be quantifiable.  $3,500 in (actually, $2,800 through the end of the month), and you get AT LEAST $35,000 to $70,000 in actionable strategies for your business out.  Or get a prompt and courteous full refund.

Now, I can’t promise you’re going to go from ZERO to $70,000 just by talking to me.

But if you’re currently doing $250,000, $500,000, $1,000,000 or more, that’s very realistic.

After all, with one client, in 5 minutes, we found an additional $500,000 in annual profit for his business.

These are quantifiable results.  “Roy told me to test this, here’s the results I got.”

This is what Jeff told me I should do more of.

Further, he told me I should explain how this process has been developed, from the ground up, as a way for me to take my very best learning and experience developed through my career…  And apply it for immediate growth in your business.

The Strategic Value Multipliers concept will be applied to your business.  This is where I look at everything you’re doing in your business.  From attracting cold leads, to following up and warming them up, to getting them hot and making that first sale, to delivering and creating a satisfied customer, to systematically and strategically up-selling and cross-selling, to developing a targeted continuity program to maximize customer lifetime value, and so on.

This isn’t just copy, but it can include copy.  (Copy and creative, remember, account for about 20% of results — I also focus on market and offer which are worth 40% each.)

Jeff wants me to tell you that my first four hours in a relationship with just about any client are my most impactful…

Because I find those little changes that can make a HUGE difference in terms of the results generated.

He recommended I go even deeper into some of those little things — which will definitely show up as actionable lessons between now and when this offer expires at the end of the month.

Jeff also signed off in his email with this…

I am proud of the path you are taking Roy.

You are greater than you give yourself credit… and that is a big part of your charm.

Let guys like me and your satisfied clients sing your praises. You just soak them in, say “thank you” and simply show the next prospect(s) how they too can experience “The Magic of Furr.”

All the best to you…


Well Jeff, THANK YOU!

And if you’re a reader and you want to experience 4 hours of business-transforming, profit-maximizing, totally guaranteed to generate at least $35,000 in actionable recommendations (but as much as $500,000 or more), “Magic of Furr”…

It only makes sense for you to take me up on this offer…

Click here now to book a half-day consultation with me at 20% off the regular rate.

You have until October 31st to take advantage of this service at $700 immediate savings.

Yours for bigger breakthroughs,

Roy Furr

Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets