When we marketers and copywriters approach a prospect with a direct-mail piece, an e-mail blast, a print ad – or any other kind of sales promotion, for that matter – we are interrupting his life.
The simple act of putting sales copy before a prospect brings him to a fork in his road – forcing him to make a decision to either (1) read or (2) not read our message.
And every time his eye moves from one sentence to the next… from one paragraph to the next… or from one page to the next… he reaches yet another fork in the road – and gets to decide whether he’s going to keep reading our message or abandon it.
Writing a kick-butt headline to grab his attention is only the beginning. Our job is to make sure the prospect makes the right decision – the decision to continue reading – at every one of these forks in the road.
So what could make your prospect make the wrong decision and drop your promo into the nearest trashcan?
Off the top of my head? Here are five:
1. Interruption. Your prospect’s kids just shoved the family cat into the dishwasher. He hesitates, but ultimately decides that dealing with the immediate crisis is somewhat more pressing than reading your message.
Remedy: Pray for the cat.
2. Unsuitability. Your prospect already has a computer and quickly decides your computer catalog is of no interest to him whatsoever.
Remedy: Shoot your list broker.
3. Disbelief. Your claims seem so exaggerated or even dishonest, the prospect figures he can’t trust anything you say.
Remedy: Tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
4. Boredom. Your copy is so brain-dead boring, he’d rather eat week-old sushi than continue reading.
Remedy: Get a personality.
5. Exhaustion. Your copy is so dense, difficult to read and impossible to follow, he simply gives up.
Remedy: Copy that’s so good it takes no effort to read it.[Ed. Note: Master copywriter Clayton Makepeace publishes the highly acclaimed e-zine The Total Package to help business owners and copywriters accelerate their sales and profits. Claim your 4 free moneymaking e-books – bursting with tips, tricks, and tactics that’ll skyrocket your response – at MakepeaceTotalPackage.com
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