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Free Copy Clinic: 21 Dirty Little Tricks I Learned From A 8-Figure Direct Response Marketer
Copy Clinic Secret #1 - Use Metaphors To Make The Complex Simple
One time I was writing copy for a Berberine supplement.
Berberine is a supplement that activates an enzyme inside your body (AMPK) and allows the body to burn sugar for energy which helps manage blood sugar levels.
The target in this case was someone with Type II. And after writing the original copy and explaining how Berberine works, we realized the description was too technical/advanced.
In order to write copy that hits, you need to dumb it down (especially technical explanations). So that’s what we did. How? By using metaphors.
We took something the reader already knew and related Berberine to it. In this case the audience already knew a lot about insulin, so the metaphor used was calling Berberine the Insulin Herb.
This simple change dramatically boosted conversions and helped win over new customers especially since the competition was still stuck using complex jargon/explanations.
Do the same. It goes a long way in facilitating understanding which is so important.
After all, if readers don’t understand how your product works or what it is, the chances of them buying are slim.
Copy Clinic Secret #2 - Leverage Amazon Reviews To Come Up With Killer Unique Selling Points
Most people try to think up USPs. That works. But we take a different approach.
We’ll start with a hot market, break it down into a specific target, and then figure out what supplement(s) is he/she already buying.
Once we know, we’ll hop on Amazon and read the reviews for the supplement.
The most important reviews we’ll look for? The 3 star reviews.
Why? The people who are giving the product 4-5 stars are probably very loyal to the product. And the people giving it 1-2 probably got burnt badly with the product and the chances of them rebuying a similar product are slim. But the 3’s? They’re satisfied, but not delighted (the segment most likely to switch brands).
There’s still something missing. Something they wish the supplement had.
So we’ll read through these reviews, use the intel to figure out exactly where the competition is weak, and then fulfill the needs with our own supplement.
Delivering on this x factor becomes our USP.
Copy Clinic Secret #3 - Use Contrast In Reviews To Increase Believability
When it comes to including testimonials and reviews, most people flood their sales page with just 5-star reviews (the best of the best).
We’ve discovered this looks great, but it doesn’t result in maximum believability. The purpose of marketing isn’t just to create marketing, but to make customers believe your marketing.
One way we enhance believability?
In addition to 5-star reviews, we’ll also include a few 3 and 4 star reviews. These reviews create contrast and actually make people believe the 5-star reviews more (since now they’re getting a “balanced” take).
The key of course is to include 3 or 4 star reviews that won’t result in any major objections, just minor critiques.
One of our favorite 3-4 star types of reviews to include are ones that say something along the lines of: “This is definitely not a quick fix, but it does work.”
That 3-4 star is actually more believable and impactful than most 5 star reviews.
Copy Clinic Secret #4 - Give Your Company The Appropriate Feel
In certain markets, trust is huge.
In these markets we find customers are more likely to trust BIGGER companies than smaller companies.
So one thing we do in these markets is we’ll get a virtual office address in a major city in the states (most common choice: New York City) and make that our “headquarters”.
Of course, everything we do is done online, but the reason we get it is because then we can include the address all throughout our websites and when people see that our “offices” are located in New York City/in a busy area, the customer automatically thinks we’re a BIG company.
This is the power of association.
When associating, you want to think about what do I want the reader to feel?
Then ask yourself: What x thing does the reader already feel this way about?
In this case, we want the reader to get a BIG COMPANY vibe from us.
Who does the reader already get BIG vibes from?
A city like New York City.
So we link our company with New York City by getting a virtual address there and by doing so, we transfer the association of New York City to our little company.
See how that works?
In other markets (more intimate markets), you want to keep the small company feel and really express that throughout your marketing.
Let’s say you were sending a shipping email. Instead of sending the generic “hey your order has been shipped email” you could say something along the lines of:
“Hey [Name], I just wanted to let you know that me and my lovely husband/wife [Name] just got done packaging your order and dropped it off at the post office! You should be expecting it in the next 3-5 days (as a thank you for believing in us, we rush shipped your order via first-class mail because we can’t wait for you to use it! I can’t take the credit, it was all my wife/husband’s idea!) Anyhow, we hope you enjoy xyz product as much as we enjoyed creating it. Any questions or concerns, you can always hit reply to this (or any other) email. We monitor all the emails and personally respond to each one because well we’re just a 2-person operation. Cheers & have an amazing day!”
See how that creates a more intimate vibe?
That goes a long way in creating brand loyalty/connection.
This “small” company vibe works well in markets where people don’t really trust the BIG players and want to buy/interact/deal with smaller “everyday” people.
Copy Clinic Secret #5 - Use Decoy Pricing
Here’s how this works in action:
“So you must be wondering, how much does xyz cost?
Considering x, y, z you’d probably expect to pay as much as $xxx (price anchor) and even at that price it would be a steal, but today I’m not going to ask for that much.
Instead, I’m going to let you enjoy x product for just $xx (price higher than the price you’re actually going to charge).
Why so low? Blah Blah Blah.
[Then continue the copy]
Then say something along the lines of:
“You know what... because my mission with this isn’t to make money, but instead help x achieve y. I’m going to do something that I haven’t done before.
Today only, I’m not even going to ask you to pay $x for x product. Instead if you act right here, right now you can get x product for just $x (the real price).”
Why do this and why does it work?
When you reveal the first “higher” price, think about what happens inside the target’s head. They read the price. And they’re thinking to themselves: “Ah, I really want this. But can I really afford $xx? Is that a good decision… I don’t know.”
In other words, they’re wrestling themselves and are sitting on the fence. The price isn’t so high that it makes them stop reading, but it isn’t so low that they don’t wrestle themselves.
It’s just slightly out their comfort zone (but still doable).
Then as they keep reading, you hit them with the real price.
Once the real price is revealed, they’re sold instantly because beforehand they were trying to convince themselves on buying for $xx and were almost sold, but now that you’ve dropped it even more there’s no need for them to wrestle themselves (this new price is perceived to be within their comfort one).
So they’ll hit buy instantly.
Compare this to if you didn’t use this tactic.
When you revealed your real price, the reader would then wrestle with himself over paying that much.
But by first revealing a decoy price and then lowering it to the real price, you leverage the ‘contrast effect’ and make it work in your favor.
Copy Clinic Secret #6 - In Skeptical Markets, Link Your USP With Success And Everything Else With Failure
In skeptical markets, people have bought similar products in the past but haven’t got results, so how do you sell to these people?
You acknowledge the fact that if they’re like most people they’ve probably already bought xyz, but seen no results.
And how that isn’t a surprise because in order to actually see results, you need x USP.
Unfortunately, the majority of the products out there lack x USP.
Is it thus any surprise why you haven’t seen results?
The only way to go from point A (where they are) to point B (where they want to be) is by leveraging x USP.
This x USP is blah blah and the reason it’s so effective is because blah blah.
But that’s not our opinion.
It’s proven and backed by science... just see for yourself: [insert studies or credibility].
As you can see, x USP is the BIG secret to experiencing BIG PROMISE.
So how can you enjoy the full powers of x USP?
Introducing: [Your solution].
This is the ONLY product that leverages x USP to deliver BIG PROMISE.
Without x solution/USP, experiencing BIG PROMISE is impossible (like you’ve already learned the hard way).
With x solution/USP, it’s as easy as blah blah and the results prove it.
[Insert results of others].
See how that works? If you don’t acknowledge the reality that they’ve tried other “similar” products with no results before, then you’re failing to address the elephant in the room (and they’re automatically going to assume that your product is going to be like everybody else's).
In the above example, we not only address the elephant, but we use it to make a stronger sales argument. This is HUGE.
Do this in really competitive markets where customers have bought similar products before with little-to-no results (i.e. Health, Dating, MMO).
Copy Clinic Secret #7 - If You Can’t Outsell Your Competitors, Out Educate Them
One time the competition was kicking our ass (had more funds, more social proof, more talent, more everything).
But objectively their product was actually weaker than ours.
So instead of doubling down on selling our products (not likely to work), we doubled down on education.
We created a sales letter that explained the 7 tests x product must pass before you purchase it.
Then we explained all these tests in detail and why they were so significant/important.
In addition, we also explained how most companies fail to pass all 7 tests which means you’re essentially not getting the results you’re paying for (at least not maximum).
Then we bridged to the ‘sales’ section by saying something along the lines of “it’s for this reason we created x Product.
We don’t have deep pockets like some of our competitors, but what we do have is the world’s first x product that passes all 7 tests, so you’re now getting the world’s best product for experiencing [BIG PROMISE].
And here’s the success stories to prove it: [insert customer stories]. Etc. Etc.”
Through education, we set the new buying criteria and since our product was one of the only ones that passed all the criteria, more and more customers started choosing us over the opposition.
See how that works?
If we tried to beat them with a typical sales argument, we would lose. So we beat them through education aka setting the new buying criteria.
Copy Clinic Secret #8 - (Bold Move) Don’t Charge Customer Credit Cards For 30 days
This one takes guts to employ, but when you’re in a skeptical market (i.e. health, make money online, dating) AND you have a killer product that you’d bet your last dollar on PLUS the targets are very risk aware, then this is an awesome strategy.
We stole it from Gary Halbert.
What Gary found is by not charging customer credit cards for 30 days and instead giving them the option to try before they pay (and if they don’t like it, they can ask you to not charge their credit card) you actually end up generating more sales than you would otherwise.
Even though your refund rate will typically increase, the increase in the upfront buys offsets the increase in refund rate, so you end up making more money.
(Side note: To read the Gary Halbert letter where we got this from, check out this link right here: https://www.thegaryhalbertletter.com/Newletter-archives-protected/newsletters/2005/10-27-05.htm)
Personally we’ve only used this strategy for warm/hot customers since they’re less likely to do you wrong, so I can’t say how the numbers would look with cold traffic.
But it’d definitely be an interesting test.
Pro Tip: As Gary mentioned in his letter, you can also use this technique to quickly test a new product idea. Come up with a new idea, create a sales page, set it up so customers don’t get charged for 30 days, and then run ads to it.
This way you know the number of sales you’re going to get are the absolute maximum, so if people still don’t buy - you know you got a shitty offer on your hands.
And you should go back to the drawing board.
Copy Clinic Secret #9 - Don’t Just Use ‘Outlier’ Success Stories, Use ‘Average’ Success Stories
Most people include ‘outlier’ success stories on their sales material. For example, if you’re selling a make money online product an ‘outlier’ success story would be somebody who bought x product and used it to make $100k/month.
If you were to only use this success story on your sales page, it’d create the following objection inside your targets mind:
“Wow that’s awesome, but that’s obviously not the norm. They’ve just picked the best of the best. This is an outlier. I can’t hit that.”
This objection lowers the effectiveness of the success story and creates a new objection (Remember: Most people lack self belief/confidence so HUGE success stories go on to trigger their insecurities).
Unfortunately, most copywriters don’t address this newly created objection. They ignore it. But what we’d do is say something along the lines of:
“But to keep it all the way real with you, that’s an outlier! Results like that are obviously not the norm. What type of results are the norm? Here’s some of the results our average, every-day students have generated: [insert results that seem within the reach of the reader/exactly what he wants].”
This way you address the new objection, plus enhance believability and make the “average” results seem within the readers reach. This, in return, triggers the “Now this seems doable for me!” reaction.
Copy Clinic Secret #10 - Never Launch A Piece Of Copy Without Brainstorming And Answering ALL Objections
The failure to address even ONE major objection will cost you the sale. To prevent this, we’d use the following framework:
What is the product we’re selling: x.
Who are we selling it to? Y
What are all the major objections y target will have for buying x?
What are the solutions to each objection?
Once you’ve written your sales copy, then ask yourself the following:
Question 1) Did we cover all the objections in the sales copy? If so, move to question two. If not, go back to sales copy.
Question 2) Did we do it using strong arguments? If so, move to question three. If not, go back to sales copy.
Question 3) Did we do it without boring the reader? If so, we are done and can launch/test. If not, go back to sales copy.
Copy Clinic Secret #11 - Use Stories To Bring Your Copy To Life (Make It Memorable)
Here’s an example of boring copy:
X supplement is a herb. It’s been used for centuries to achieve y. It’s history dates back to z. But does it really work? Here’s all the studies done on it: [insert studies]. How does it work? Explain.
Here’s the same copy, but expressed in a story:
X supplement is a herb. It’s been used for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine to achieve y. But does it really work?
Scientists in the west were skeptical to say the least.
After all, most ‘medical’ breakthroughs coming out of TCM are proven to be nothing more than pseudoscience when put under a clinical trial.
And honestly that’s what x scientist expected to be the case with x supplement.
So on x date x scientists alongside his colleagues at x institution conducted the world’s first clinical trial on x supplement.
And what did they discover?
To their amazement, they discovered x supplement actually does deliver [BIG PROMISE].
But was that really true or did they just get lucky?
Armed with this potential new breakthrough in treating x, the scientists put forth the following conclusion: [insert conclusion] and urged other scientists to conduct clinical trials of their own.
So that’s exactly what the world of science did.
On x date, the second trial was conducted which confirmed x results.
Then another on x date which also confirmed x. Then another. And another. And another. By the year xxxx, over 1000+ clinical trials had been conducted which all confirmed the exact same thing: x supplement truly is effective at delivering [BIG promise].
But what exactly was making it so powerful?
That’s the next question scientists set out to answer. And after months of endless testing they discovered the reason x supplement works so well is because [insert how it works and continue with the rest of the copy]."
Notice the difference?
See how it’s saying the exact same thing, but one is leveraging the power of story whereas the other is just mundane?
Use stories to your advantage.
You can do more persuading with a simple story than you can with endless amounts of ‘boring’ facts.
So the lesson here is one that was drilled into my head over and over again: If something can be told via a story, do it!
Copy Clinic Secret #12 - Assume English Isn't The Readers First Language
Although most readers will have English as their first language, this is a little trick you can use to write very simple copy.
We’d use this trick while editing.
During the editing process, we’d review each piece of the copy and ask ourselves: “If somebody reading this didn’t have English as their first language, would they still understand this?”
If yes, we knew it was clear and simple. If not, we made it simpler.
This is important because you want to write at a 5th grade level (unless marketing to super intelligent market). The more complicated the copy, the lower the conversions. Ditch the fancy. Choose the simple. Use this mental trick to help you.
Copy Clinic Secret #13 - Leverage Reddit For Market Research
Reddit is our go to place for learning more about our targets, what they’re facing, and exactly what they desire. There’s tons and tons of subreddits out there and if you’re selling in a hot market (which you should be), you’ll easily be able to find one that fits your market.
Example: If we were selling a dating product to women over 30, we’d want to know as much as possible about this demographic.
So we’d Google our key words + Reddit to find these threads.
Example: ‘Dating for females Reddit’ and/or ‘Over 30s dating Reddit’ .
By doing so, we find the following threads:
Now it’s just a matter of reading through the thread and using the posts to learn more about our ideal target (we’ll just copy/paste what the target is saying directly to our avatar sheet because we want to keep their language intact, so we can use this language in our marketing).
Copy Clinic Secret #14 - Write Before You Build
Most people create offers, then write the sales copy.
Rarely have we ever done this.
Instead we do the opposite. We write the sales copy BEFORE we create the offer. Here’s the process we follow:
1. Start with a hungry target inside a hot market.
2. Understand him/her inside out.
3. Craft your marketing ingredients: USP, BIG IDEA, BIG PROBLEM, BIG PROMISE, PROOF.
4. Write the perfect copy that would give this target exactly what he/she needs to solve their problem and experience the BIG promise.
5. Take the copy and use it to build your offer.
This way we build not only the BEST copy, but also the BEST offer. If after writing the copy we find we cannot include x in our offer for some reason, then we’ll go back and remove that from the sales copy.
Copy Clinic Secret #15 - Testing Pillars > Grains Of Sand
Marketing is a game of testing.
But what should you test and in what order?
Most people get lost testing the wrong things. And waste valuable ad dollars. Solution? Test the pillars before the grains of sand (in most cases, you don’t even have to test the grains of sand).
What are the pillars? Offer, Creative, Headlines, Leads, Angles/BIG IDEAS, USP, Structure, Close, Page Load Speed.
What are the grains of sand? Design, font, colors, body copy.
Copy Clinic Secret #16 - Ethically Buy Credibility
You may not know this, but you can actually buy credibility.
How does this work?
Let’s say we’re selling a product in the health niche.
And we realize: This is great, but we really need a testimonial from a doctor to really enhance the credibility.
How do we get this testimonial? Well, it’s easy.
We’ll jump on UpWork and there’s actually a ton of doctors on UpWork that you can pay in exchange for giving you a testimonial that backs up your claims.
This way we can add the following to our copy…
“And x claim isn’t just our opinion. It’s proven and backed by real world doctors. For example, take a look at what x doctor from y location had to say after evaluating x product: [insert their testimonial]”
See how that works? It’s crazy effective.
Personally this makes such a huge difference that very rarely have we launched a health related product WITHOUT having this type of credibility.
Copy Clinic Secret #17 - Hire Experts In Niches To Be The Face Of Your Company, But Retain 100% Ownership (Or Majority)
1. Build a brand in a general niche (i.e. Astrology)
2. Hire an Astrologer Reader to be the face
3. Run the marketing/operations
Expert does little-to-no work (just basically gets paid in exchange for using his/her face + expertise). You do all the work. But you both benefit.
This is how we’re able to build brands in a bunch of different niches from the “shadows” and crush it.
Also note: If the expert has a following of their own, it may make sense to give them equity in your company.
Copy Clinic Secret #18 - Never Position Your Product As The Supporting Actor. Position It As The Hero That Takes People From Point A To Point B.
This is crucial when writing copy.
Bad copy would say something along the lines of: Use x product to lose x lbs in xx days - without x, y, z.
In this case, all the work is left on the shoulders of the customer.
They have to consume the product, use the product, then put it into action to experience the results. This goes against human nature.
People want quick and easy results that don’t require much work. They want the solution they buy to do all the heavy lifting for them.
So what tweak should you make with the copy?
Try something along the lines of…
Try X Product For 30 Days And Watch How Quickly It Torches Away xx Lbs Of Stubborn Belly Fat
Notice how in this copy the product is the hero that does all the heavy lifting?
Subtle shift, huge impact.
Copy Clinic Secret #19 - Take What Is Already Working, Use ‘Google News’ To Search For A New BIG IDEA, And Use That Angle To Attract A Specific Segment Of The Market
Let’s say we were in the Keto market.
We could either do what everybody is doing and use the same angles.
Or we could put on our research hat, search ‘Keto’ in Google, and check out what the latest news on Keto is.
Upon researching, I find the following article…
In this case, Lazy Keto could essentially become the new BIG IDEA.
And we could market this BIG IDEA to people who already know the benefits of keto, have tried it, but found the diet too demanding and ended up giving up.
Now with lazy keto we could speak directly to them and say there’s a new, easier, less demanding way to get the FULL benefits of Keto without subjecting yourself to x, y, z.
What’s the new way? Lazy Keto.
Then explain what it is, show how it solves the struggles they faced with the typical keto diet, and why this lazy way is not only easier, but also drives more results.
It’s literally that EASY to go into a market that’s popping, find a new BIG IDEA, and angle that idea to speak to a specific segment of the overall niche/market.
Copy Clinic Secret #20 - Dress Up ‘Default’ Copy With Copy That’s In Alignment With Your Brand Voice
Here’s default copy (that a lot of companies use):
Here’s our money back guarantee: If you don’t like the product, we’ll return your money. No questions asked.
Benefits of x product
Your order has been shipped
Thank you for your order. Here’s the receipt: [insert receipt]
All these touch points are wasted opportunities. You want to inject your brand voice (copy) into each of these touch points and make your readers feel connected to your voice/brand.
Here’s an example of how this can look like (copy/pasted from swipe file - originally from affiliate marketer Charles Ngo):
“Here’s our Promise:
We have ridiculous standards and this is the stuff we use on our own faces every day.
We made our skincare products with the best ingredients we could find. It even got the thumbs up from several dermatologists. (They typically hate most skincare products out there.)
Either you love our product, or we’ll give you your money back.
Not all guarantees are created equal.
Other people: Interrogate you with questions, and make you fill out a form.
Us: We’re not gonna ask ya anything. If you’re not happy, that’s good enough.
Other people: Charge you crazy shipping and handling fees, so they don’t lose as much money.
Us: We’ll cover the shipping and handling because we’re pretty darn confident you’ll love our products as much as we do.
If we failed you, please contact support[at]blahblah.com within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll do our best to make it right.”
Notice the difference?
One is default and boring.
The other is exciting and builds connection (plus it also separates you from most of the competition. Most of the competition just uses default copy).
Copy Clinic Secret #21 - When Writing An Email Sequence, Open Up All 4-5 Text Files At Once
This way you write a sequence that flows well together and builds on each email instead of just writing emails that appear as ‘one-off’ emails. Also this way you can create/tease more open loops.
Pro tip: Do the same when building funnel copy. Include the ad, landing page copy, upsells, downsells, thank you page all together. So you write sales copy that is cohesive and logically flows from one page to the next. Just doing this alone can help you write tighter copy that is congruent.
Cool? Well that’s it for this Issue!
Did you enjoy?! Drop me a reply and let me know! Also it would mean the world to me if you shared this with a friend that you think would benefit from this knowledge? :-)
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