Spreading the word…

On the web spreading the word about something – good or bad – is known as viral marketing. Think about it.. it isn’t new, is it? We’ve had viral marketing since the year dot! It’s just got a rather fancy ‘technical’ term nowadays.

Of course I’m talking about ‘word of mouth’ recommendations. You know, when a friend or relative recommends a restaurant or suggests a good film or talks about a theatrical play or musical concert they attended, it’s all ‘viral marketing’ because people are getting to know about it from someone else.

So how often are your customers and business colleagues talking about you? Is what they are saying a compliment or is it damaging your business?

Keeping your communication channels open with your customers is one way of making sure they don’t have disparaging comments to make. You can do that by keeping them informed through newsletters, telephone calls, emails, occasional visits, seminars and open days, customer events, letters describing new products, services or offers – and of course you can create a web blog where you offer advice and help as I’m doing here.

Now I’m going to ask you to help me with some viral marketing…

A Gift In Exchange For Your Help.. 

This blog is new and I have a wealth of tips I plan to share over the coming months; tips you can adopt successfully in your business. Will you share with your friends and colleagues so they too can benefit? If you will, I have created an MP3 audio of powerful copywriting insights for you to listen to / download to show my appreciation of your support.

You can recommend your friends by clicking here or by clicking the ‘Click here to recommend’ link in the right hand panel.

Thanks.

~ Carol

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Written by Carol Bentley | 7 Comments »

Grab it while you can…

A few posts ago I explained how my friend, UK Internet Marketing Expert, Ed Rivis acted as the inspiration (and provided the know-how) for me to create this blog.

And I told you he was planning to hold a crazy 24-hour launch special of his ‘Ultimate Guide to Highly Profitable Small Business Blogging‘ DVD tutorial programme, which has previously only been available with his ‘Shrink Wrap Your Brain’ programme.

He’s decided to go for it – and in my opinion he’s nuts!!

The normal price of the product is fantastic value – especially when you consider the time and aggravation his tutorial saves you. But that’s not good enough in Ed’s opinion.

Oh no!!

He’s decided to reward those people who are astute enough to realise how valuable blogging is for their business and take swift action.

But he’s only giving this massive 65% discount during his 24-hour launch special to invited visitors. And you’re invited because you checked this blog.

The launch special starts at 2p.m. GMT today, Tuesday 30th October, which means it finishes at 2p.m. tomorrow; Wednesday 31st October. Just follow this link to Ultimate Business Blogging

It’s only a short time-frame, but I promise – if you have any interest at all in keeping your communication channels with your customers and prospects open by hosting a blog – then this could be the most valuable link you follow today.

You owe it to yourself to at least look to see why I’m raving about how easy he’s made it and all the valuable marketing tips he includes…

Check out Ultimate Business Blogging now… if you leave it to later you may forget and miss the special launch bargain.

Oh, and one other thing… let me know when your blog is up because if it’s an interesting one I’ll announce it to everyone through this blog. Just pop a message with the URL over to me using my blog question form

~ Carol

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A tense situation…

The tense you use in your writing makes a surprising difference.

Present tense is so much more active – it breathes life into your sales letter.

Describe something as if your reader is experiencing it right now and it is easier for them to visualise owning whatever it is you are selling; whether a solution to a problem, a service or a product.

So should you always use present tense?

Absolutely not!

Let me explain…

Anything written in future tense is not so vivid; it’s something that may happen – but could just as easily not. And your reader may not see himself in that particular scenario. And there are times when you don’t want him to.

Here’s an example…

You write your letter or advert or web page describing the pain or problem he is experiencing; or the pleasure he is missing. You paint the glowing picture of the relief or joy or satisfaction or status he does have because he took up your offer. That’s how you want him to see himself.

Offer a guarantee and your prospect is ethically persuaded to take your offer; especially if you include a risk-free money-back guarantee. But you do not want your new customer to visualise himself asking for a refund. So you use future tense:

“If you are unhappy, for any reason, all you have to do is ask for a refund and we will give you your money back, no questions asked”.

In this way you are showing that asking for a refund is a possibility – but not a definite.

~ Carol

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It must be true.. the scientists have told us

Yes – it’s true… we buy emotionally.

Mind you that’s something we copywriting and marketing experts have always known; emotions play probably the greatest part in our decision making. And the scientists have proven what we’ve known all along.

That’s why in any sales situation; whether face-to-face, on the web, in an advertisement or through direct response letters painting the picture of the pleasure or satisfaction a purchaser gains or the problem or pain they avoid or cure they find is the most powerful way of persuading people to buy and is frequently used in marketing material, especially direct response material.

Scientific Proof…

Unsurprisingly, that’s what scientific research says too according to the studies carried out by Dr Joe Arvai, who is a professor of judgement and decision making and heads up the Skunkworks Lab at Michigan University.

He and Dr Robyn Wilson ran a study on decision making; they asked 210 participants to judge how much of a budget should be allocated to risk prevention in two areas in a National Park; Mugging and Bag Snatching or Accidents Caused by Wandering Deer within the park. They published their results in March 2006. And even though statistics indicated the deer problem was actually a slightly higher risk the volunteers judged it as lower and therefore a higher budget allocation was given to the emotive problem of mugging.

So how does this impact on our marketing material? It demonstrates that emotion, experience and perception all affect our decisions. Which is why it is crucially important to really understand your target prospect.

What are their experiences; what appeals to them; what excites them; what angers them; what worries them; what do they REALLY WANT – rather than need? What colours their world and influences their thoughts?

Remember people take more notice of their emotions than any logical argument.

And of course we see this all the time – why do people buy high-status cars or houses or designer clothing when a cheaper unbranded item does the job just as well? They want to enjoy the status, and maybe even envy, in the eyes of their friends and colleagues.

Before starting to write any sales letter, advert, brochure, email, web page or even a blog post like this, define your ideal customer. Then when you craft your message keep this picture in mind and describe the results they can expect to enjoy.

Once your prospect has made a decision to buy they need to justify the purchase to themselves – and perhaps other people – especially if your product or service has a high-ticket price. You can help them do this by describing the features and reasons why their decision to buy from you is a wise choice to make.

Having trouble describing or picturing your target prospect? Look at your existing customers; why did they buy from you? What influenced their decision? Is it something you can use to encourage other prospects to make a good buying choice in your favour?

~ Carol

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Marketing – Hot Topics

How can you grab your prospect’s attention? If you’ve read any of my material you’ll know I advocate talking about your prospect; their desires; their worries; their problems and describing solutions for them.

There’s another way of catching their attention. Tie your offer in with a breaking news story; a seasonal event or a current trend like fashion or health. ‘Piggy-backing’ on events that are in the news places the focus more keenly on what you are promoting because the topic is already in your target’s mind.

For example – at the moment a vast majority of people are concerned about their health. There is a huge industry based on the consumption of anything that promises to deliver health benefits.

  • 5-a-day for fruit & veg;
  • drink plenty of water;
  • take vitamin supplements;
  • eat so-called superfoods because of the antioxidant benefits they deliver.

But people still want to enjoy treats like biscuits, cakes and chocolate. That’s why it was such ‘hot news’ when researchers discovered dark chocolate was good for protecting against heart disease.So it made sense that a chocolate producer would create a healthier chocolate that delivers the naturally occurring health-enhancing antioxidants found in cocoa beans.

Tying the indulgence of a chocolate treat with a real, scientifically researched health benefit makes marketing sense – visit www.delvaux-acticoa.com to see what I mean.

So how can you tie your product or service in with a news event or current trend? Scan the newspaper headlines or listen to what’s going on around you. Can you put out a timely offer that fits neatly with what people are talking about and looking for? Is there a PR story you can send out?

Keep your eyes open for every opportunity to grab attention for your business.

~ Carol

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Blogging for Business Profit

“A lot of small businesses can benefit from blogging!” claimed my web marketing expert pal Ed. “How so?” I asked.

You see I must admit I was highly sceptical when he first said that – after all it’s just basically someone pouring out whatever is in their head; a bit like a personal journal – isn’t it?

But having watched how Ed has constructed his blog at www.edrivis.com and the immense wealth of information he gives each time he puts an entry in, I started to think a little differently.

After all it’s similar to the articles and newsletters I send out; just it’s all on-line in one easy-to-access spot. And of course, that means if you want to check back on an earlier article (blog) you don’t have to go searching through your emails trying to find it – you simply visit this site to look it up.

So how does a blog help you in your business? When you consider some experts claim up to 68% of business is lost through apparent indifference then it becomes obvious communication is key to keeping your customers (and prospects) happy. And blogging is a relaxed, informal and easy ‘no-brainer’ way to do that.

You can share information about your services or products – I’m not talking about your mainstream business marketing here; this is complementary to that day-to-day activity – I’m referring to the snippets you reveal to customers or prospects or discuss with colleagues during your daily business. The little ‘aha!’ factoids that people in your profession or industry regard as ‘normal’ but everyone outside thinks is a surprising revelation.

Want to know how to do it? Well the good news is Ed is about to launch a DVD/video called ‘Ultimate Guide to Highly Profitable Small Business Blogging’ as a stand-alone tutorial – I’ve already worked through it (I got a copy with his Shrink Wrap Your Brain programme) and he makes it amazingly easy to get started (believe me it has to be for me to bite the bullet as I have done with this blog!

Oh, and he’s told me he’s going to run a 24-hour launch special of the DVD at a ridiculous price. And I’ll be adding a timely post on this blog when it goes live. So, if you’re itching to know the easiest way to create a professional looking blog, subscribe now to make sure you don’t miss out when I post.

~ Carol

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And About Time Too…

I’ve been threatening to set up a copywriting blog for what seems like for ever and a day but never quite got around to it.

I think one of the things that discouraged me was knowing how to get a good, professional looking blogging layout set up. But now, thanks to my good friend Ed Rivis who created an easy to follow DVD on the simplest way to set up your own blog, I’ve done it. And here’s the proof!

So what can you expect to see here? Well, in spite of the website address being copywriting4B2B.com, the insights I plan to share apply as equally to ‘business to consumer’ markets.

Bookmark this page, or sign up for blog announcements, if you want to know about writing sales letters and other marketing materials; marketing strategies and ideas; business promotion tools; business networking – in fact anything I come across that I find helps me in my business – because then there’s a fair chance it could help you too.

And if there are any specific copywriting or marketing questions you’d like to ask, that you think would be interesting for my other blog visitors, you can use this form to send it in. Your question and my answer might appear on this blog at a later date.

~ Carol

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