If you just know your business could be doing better, but aren't quite sure what to do next, just ask yourself….
Which would you like to accomplish starting tomorrow?
· Grow your online brand presence -- professional online / SEO copywriting, social media, video scripts, AdWords campaigns, generate testimonials, email / autoresponder campaigns, landing pages, squeeze pages, and mini-sites
· Boost your brand's reach with powerful content using sales letters, narrative advertising, brochures, direct mail packages, telemarketing scripts, emails, e-zines, print ads, case studies, white papers, and radio / TV spots
· Engage your prospects at their deepest psychological levels using emotional triggers and "story-selling" so that buying from you becomes an entirely natural and desirable transaction based on trust
"I'd like to Tell You a Story…"
… about a letter mailed to Liberia years ago, and how lessons learned from it could add major $$$ to your bottom line this year
Dear Business Owner or Executive,
Picture an unsophisticated country kid (me!) growing up in southwestern Oregon, in a little town called Jacksonville -- population 1,200. Jacksonville was a gold rush boom town in the 1870s, and many of those old brick buildings still stand along California Street. Our modest house was on a hillside, right next to national forest land. I loved hiking in the woods and playing baseball. And going for long rides on my 10-speed.
If you had told me then that a decade later I'd be living in Tokyo -- population 12,000,000 -- and traveling around the world, well, I'd have told you that you must be crazy. But sure enough, 10 years later there I was -- marveling at the view from 40,000 feet while on my way to meetings in yet another foreign capital. Gee whiz… how'd that happen?
The answer to that is an unusual story about how I got started in marketing, why I do what I do, and most importantly, how the insights I've gained can help ramp up your sales and profits. Also, in a moment I’m going to share a "secret something" with you that is the key to selling anything to anyone. First things first, though….
It started with a letter to Liberia
Some years ago I was hired by a philanthropic non-profit foundation headquartered in Pasadena, California. The organization's founder often traveled to foreign capitals on personal appearance tours that my supervisor would set up for him.
One day he asked me to write a letter to the organization's magazine subscribers in Liberia, a country on Africa’s west coast. (The magazine was sent free of charge.) I was to invite them to the founder’s upcoming personal appearance in the capital city of Monrovia.
I had never written a promotional letter before. And although I had recently earned a Masters Degree from a respected school, I had had no formal training in marketing yet. I did the best I could and wrote a one-page heart-felt letter, explaining how the subscriber would be encouraged, inspired and uplifted by coming to hear our dynamic speaker.
People walked for days because of a few words on a sheet of paper
The results from that simple letter both elated and humbled me. I learned that the sports arena had been packed. And that many had walked for two or three days to get there -- just to hear a 90-minute speech. The letter was a success.
It also had a profound effect on me. I was beginning to understand the power of words. Just a few typed words on a sheet of paper. And yet they were powerful enough so that people walked for days just to hear a speech.
That was my entrée into the world of marketing. A rather unusual beginning, wouldn't you agree?
Soon after that, I moved to Japan to become Associate Director of the foundation's Tokyo office. Although based there, I spent most of my time traveling to other countries throughout Asia, Africa, Europe and the Caribbean promoting the foundation's activities to senior government officials. Heady stuff for a 25-year-old.
During those travels, I even worked for a month in Liberia. Appropriate, since Liberia is where that first letter I wrote taught me the power of the written word.
And that's how it all began.
Those early experiences later led to an understanding of the "secret something" I promised to share with you….
Well, it isn't a secret in the usual sense. It’s actually a set of 11 Keys. However, many advertisers and ad agencies, in their attempts to be "cute," have utterly forgotten how to use these keys that unlock the door to human motivation. Or, to put it more simply -- what causes people to buy your stuff.
The first 10 Keys are the need every person has…
- to feel loved
- to feel important
- to feel the approval of others
- to experience joy
- to be treated with dignity and respect
- to believe we matter
- to feel safe and secure
- to be treated honestly
- to be treated with kindness, and,
- to have someone empathize with our hurts, disappointments, fears and frustrations
Those are what engage every human being’s deepest emotions and desires. And one or more of those are the emotional triggers that underlie every purchase your customers or clients make!
If you want your marketing strategies and advertising to become more effective -- if you want to sell more things to more people -- then remember those keys and place them foremost in your thoughts as you write to your prospects, clients or customers. In some way, your product or service will relate to one or more of those desires. Your job is to find out how it relates. And that, then, becomes the foundation for your approach.
Throughout my career I have been showing clients just like you the deeper psychology behind people’s buying decisions -- what makes them choose one product over another, or one company over another. And what strategies, tactics, methods, layouts, colors, words and phrases are effective in helping generate a purchase or a request for more information -- once your prospect’s deeper motivations are known. Which brings us to the final Key....
You cannot create motivation in others.
Instead, you can do this….
Success in marketing and advertising comes more readily after you realize that you and I cannot create motivation in others -- as much as most marketers try. What we can do is discover what motivations already exist, and develop your strategy to tap deeply into those existing motivations. And that, you see, is the ultimate key to successful marketing, advertising and selling.
Today, when we help a client hit a home run, I still get that same sense of joy and satisfaction as I did after writing that first letter to the magazine subscribers in Liberia long ago.
And that's why I do what I do.
Now, I hope I will have the sincere enjoyment of talking with you sometime soon, and learning all about why you do what you do! And while we're at it, let’s also talk about what motivates your clients or customers…!
With warm regards,
For more details about how we approach both marketing strategy and copywriting, please click on the Marketing Myth page.
For Michael's Global Brand Development bio, please click here.
"The best move we made was to hire you to assist us with the design of our products and literature. These have increased our brochure response rate. We've also had a substantial reduction in returns. There isn't another affiliate that I enjoy working with as much as I enjoy working with you. Your enthusiasm is contagious and your ideas are the greatest."
Vice President, Operations
Hooked On Phonics (Gateway Educational Products, Inc.)
"Thank you for the incredible job you did on the sponsorship press kit. You put on paper what we were able to envision. I would highly recommend your services to anyone searching for creative help with design and advertising."
David J. Shoulberg
National Production Coordinator
"Thanks for the sunshine you've brought into my life! Working with you and your team is a wonderful experience."
Personal manager of Kenny Rogers, Trisha Yearwood and Travis Tritt
Organizer of "We are the World"
"The ad you wrote for our industry newsletter generated a call to my office from one of the largest and most prestigious potential clients in Southern California. Choosing you to assist with our marketing was the right decision."
Don S. Myers
The Polaris Companies
"You have been able to solve every problem I have presented… every job I have received has been of excellent quality… being able to provide what the client needs and wants without prejudice is what sets (you) apart…."
Senior Vice President
"To the best team anywhere! Thank you! If we haven't mentioned it lately, can I just say again that you guys are dynamite!"
"I just wanted to personally thank you all for going the extra mile, and helping to create such a world class product for Dr. Atkins. Everyone who has seen it is shocked. I truly think we have set a new standard in the infomercial industry. It is gorgeous. Even more important, I know this will help lower the return rate! Well done! I look forward to working with all of you again in the near future."
Incubation, Infomercial Development
"Just wanted to add my congratulations for the amazing sales results your brochure, direct mail package and TV commercials generated for Wolfe Fitness Systems. When sales rocketed from $50,000 a month to over $200,000 a month in just 60 days -- without increasing air time -- that brought the house down. But to also learn that your direct mail package had a 10% closing rate for an $800 item customers couldn't touch or try out before buying, well that was nothing short of amazing. What's your secret?"
Deryl W. Wright, Partner
Wolfe Fitness Systems
"Testing your direct mail letter for the Crib Safe crib monitor produced an immediate strong desire to see the product. Talk about a gut-gripping headline -- the moment people see it, they just can't put the letter down until they learn all about the product. From beginning to end, readers are held spellbound. Hard to believe for a six page sales letter, but the reactions I see prove it's a winner. I can't wait to roll it out!"
Kevin Dean, President
"The brochure you created has positioned us as serious competition to the larger companies (and) has permitted our operation to increase 33% over the past year. The input you offer in all areas improves our knowledge and has allowed us to make well informed decisions. It is a pleasure to work with a team I can trust to design any piece. I have to give very little guidance, which is a relief with my busy schedule. You take care of all the work -- management, quality control, design -- and I don’t have to worry. The Dive Travel brochure was exceptional, of the highest quality, and it was in the hands of my customers on time! I look forward to the same success with the ski brochure you are working on now."
Lauris Bye, Vice President
"I appreciate the great amount of extra effort you put into making sure that our finished product was something we could all be proud of. The Viewbook is unlike any other college publication I’ve seen, and we have received nothing but praise for it from the USC community. It’s bright, contemporary, sophisticated and fun at the same time, and it definitely invites students to open and read it."
Assistant Director for Publications
USC Admission and Financial Aid
"We can credit your staff with many of our successes and achievements. Thanks for the great efforts and I look forward to working with you again."
Ryck Kirby, Art Director
"… you have taken our promotions and created pieces which have been very instrumental in increasing our sales. Thanks for your continual efforts and high standards."
Marketing Services Manager
"Just a quick note to express my appreciation for an outstanding effort in the creation of the new Bonded brochure -- we finally have something we’re truly proud of!"
"I wanted to drop you a note expressing my thanks and appreciation for the outstanding response and performance…. The managers at Apple Computer that have seen the draft materials are suitably impressed."
"I thought you would like to see how the Super Job Search book came out. The market reaction has been very positive and the book is on its way to libraries and even selling in Canada... part of that success belongs to you and your team."
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