Bullet 6

The 7-Letter Word That Instantly
Multiplies Your Creativity 11-Fold


Dear Marketing Top Gun:The 7-letter word is SCAMPER.Never heard of the SCAMPER secret?

Top Gun, that’s what I’m trying to give you in these Bullets, little secrets for exploding response you’ve never heard elsewhere, instead of the same old, same old.

This one is a real beaut. It will singlehandedly let you generate more breakthroughs than you ever imagined, and you’ll do so with an ease that will make others think you must have dropped your hair blower into the tub and zapped your brain to a higher level.

SCAMPER is an acronym created by Alex Osbourne, the father of creative problem solving.

Each letter stands for something simple you can do to get a fresh take on anything—a headline, offer, product, market, layout, anything. It instantly gives you 11 easy ways to multiply your number of new solutions.

Whenever you’re trying to solve a marketing problem, just start playing with each of the capitalized words in the following list:

S = SUBSTITUTE (a new, surprising or more contemporary element for a tried and true one).

C = COMBINE (successful elements from two or more different sources).

A = ADAPT (a winning headline, product, offer, etc. from another product category).

M = MODIFY, MINIFY OR MAGNIFY (any element).

P = PUT to other uses (who else can use this and why?)

E = ELIMINATE (one or more of the elements that have always been included, and see what happens).

R = REARRANGE, REVERSE OR REDEFINE (any part or the product, selling process or problem you’re confronted with).

Three Quick Examples…

Take the word, SUBSTITUTE.

The Doubleday Book Club became one of America’s most successful mail order companies by offering best-sellers with the appealing proposition, Take Any 4 Books for 98¢.

(The number of books and price have varied over the years, but that’s the basic offer—an armload of books for a ridiculously low price in exchange for your commitment to buy more later.)

Doubleday wondered, can we conquer lots of smaller, highly profitable niche markets with this same offer?

They substituted other concepts into their winning formula and, voila!—built a sprawling empire of new mail order profit centers, including the Military Book Club … the Mystery Guild … the Quality Paperback Book Club … the History Book Club … the Children’s Book-of-the-Month Club … The Good Cook Book Club … and many others.

Let’s Try the Word, Combine

Many of the hottest money-makers on the internet are sites devoted either to news or pornography. A show called The Naked News combines the two, having good-looking announcers, both male and female, giving straight news as they completely disrobe. (Can revealing their sources be far behind?)

How About the Word, Adapt

One of the most famous mail order ads in history was the Sherwin Cody ad for a course in English grammar. The headline:

Do You Make These Mistakes in English?

The body copy cited embarrassing grammatical mistakes most of us commit, making ourselves seem uneducated and instantly proving why we need the course. This headline was so strong, it was unbeatable for 40 years, outpulling every other ad that the world’s best copywriters could hurl against it.

Can you adapt this powerhouse headline for your product? Sure you can. Every time I’ve adapted this headline to a product I wanted to promote, it’s given me a breakthrough.

Just one example among many….

One of the most successful packages I’ve ever written for the world’s most popular health newsletter, Health & Healing, featured the headline (you guessed it): Do You Make These Mistakes with Vitamins?

Try this proven headline in your own marketing and discover its outrageous power for yourself. The key to making it work: fill your body copy with common mistakes people invariably make when they don’t have your product.

And after you create a new winner with this headline, you can use this same ADAPT process to ride the coattails of many other blockbuster headlines, as you’ll see in future Bullets. You’ll never run out of new ideas to test, and they’ll all be based on proven winners.

Contest: What Examples Can You Come Up With?

Can you think of any breakthroughs that have used key words in the SCAMPER formula?

I ask because I’ve pledged to keep these Bullets short and fast, which is why I’ve given only three examples here. Besides, why should I do all the work … and have all the fun? 😉

Tell you what. E-mail me any example you can think of that uses one of the words in SCAMPER. I’ll share the best submissions in futureBullets. If yours is among them, I’ll give you credit and send you a surprise little gift.

You’ll Thank Me for This One Day

Top Gun, I urge you to start building your own collection of examples that illustrate the amazing power of SCAMPER.

On days when you don’t feel so creative…

…Or if you’ve been working on the same product for years and need to see it with fresh eyes…

…Or when your task is to beat a monster control and everything you come up with seems like a puny David against a menacing Goliath…

…At those desperate moments this precious little acronym will save you. It will instantly give you 11 of the most powerful, easiest–to-use tools anyone has ever devised for playing with ideas and coming up with not just one breakthrough, but many. And any examples you’ve collected for your SCAMPER Swipe File will make the process even easier, almost automatic.

Of course, don’t forget to save these Bullets as well, and re-read them often. Someday I’ll start taking them down from my site, to prevent their value from being depreciated by over-familiarity, and this itself will teach a valuable lesson in value perception. (When something is always free and permanently accessible, it will inevitably be devalued and taken for granted.) These Bullets are too valuable to be treated with such disrespect, and I won’t let that happen.

Among all the Bullets, please be sure to save this one. I guarantee it will be one of the biggest guns in your marketing arsenal. With this tool making it so easy to unlock your potential, you can become a creative genius—without dropping your hair blower into the tub!

In Your Next Bullet

Which headline pulled best for an aspirin company giving away a free sample bottle:

Headline A:

Tension Headache?

Or Headline B:

When Doctors Have Headaches, What Do They Do?

Clue: The real reason one of these outpulled the other by 71% can be found in Bullet #2, which contains one of the most consistent themes I want to teach you to keep boosting your response. See if you can figure it out.

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


P.S. If you know any copywriters or marketers who would enjoy this Bullet, just send them an email with this link:http://marketingbullets.com/

P.P.S. Your e-mail address will never be shared. And if you ever wish to unsubscribe, just let me know and I will vanish from your life like a shadow in the night.

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