Bullet 14

6 Little Words That Boost Your Sales

Because They Make Your Advertising
More Interesting and Believable

Dear Marketing Top Gun,

“You can’t save souls in an empty church,” said David Ogilvy.

“And you can’t bore people into buying your product.”That’s why Ogilvy sought to hire copywriters “with richly-furnished minds.

“How can you have a richly-furnished mind and write copy so interesting that, in the words of legendary Copy Chief, Vic Schwab, it’s “easier to read than to skip”?

You can start with this advice to young writers, from poet Ezra Pound:

“Curiosity. Advice to the young. Curiosity.”

Substitute “copywriters” for “the young,” and you’re seeing the light.

And how can you easily become more curious and thus more interesting? I commend these words from Nobel prize-winning poet, Rudyard Kipling:

      “I keep six faithful serving men
      Who teach me well and true
      Their names are What and Where and When
      And How and Why and Who.”

Journalists call this the “5W1H” formula for investigating any subject. It’s quite useful in marketing. For example:

      Who are you advertising to?
      What does your product do for them?
      Why is it superior to alternative products?
      How can you prove your case?
      Where should you advertise to reach prime prospects?
      When is the best time to reach them?

Each of these five “W’s” and one “H” will lead you to a dozen more, after your first pull at the ball of string.

The team captain of your six faithful serving men is Mr. Why. If you aspire to write compelling copy or be a marketer with a Midas touch, ask at least one good “why?” every day and, like a dog with a bone, gnaw on it until you’re satisfied.

      Why is this product such a red-hot seller?
      Why did this headline outpull the control by 60%?
      Why is our renewal rate falling?
      Why are our sales much higher in California?
      Why do women comprise 80% of my practice?
      Why do I want to take on this project?

There Are No Boring Subjects, Only Boring Writers

When you research a product, send your six faithful serving men into the field to inspect everything—look under every rock, poke into every closet, roam and rummage through back offices, interview the product’s creators, best salespeople, enthusiastic customers and anyone else standing around.

Appoint Mr. Why as your lead detective. Instruct him to come back with at least seven times more information than you can use, and he will dump on your desk a gold miner’s sack of fascinating factual nuggets, each of which will outweigh 100 airy adjectives.

Chisel away the encrusted dirt from your golden nuggets, refine them into gleaming insights, hammer them into logical sequence, fasten them to reader benefits, then polish and polish until your fingers ache, and you may create a glittering necklace of persuasion that seduces the eye, charms the imagination, and dazzles the reader with so much human interest that it is indeed easier to read than skip.

Like gold in many forms, your copy will not only attract attention, but simultaneously trigger a lust for possession.

“Curiosity. Advice to copywriters. Curiosity.”

Sincere wishes for a good life
and (always!) higher response,

Gary Bencivenga Signature

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