Recently I read an interview with multi-millionaire Mark Ford, a master copywriter and marketer and co-founder of American Writer & Artists Inc (AWAI) and creator of Early To Rise.
In the interview, he talks about how his first really successful sales letter that he wrote affected him financially.
When he wrote it, his yearly income was $70,000. The next year his income leaped to around $350,000 and to his recollection, the following year was when he earned his first million.
So how did he get so good at marketing and copywriting? Mark attributes a lot of his success to the fact that he reads one marketing promotion written by a master copywriter every day.
According to Mark, reading and studying a promotion every day can help you master the secrets that make these blockbusters work so well (and, in turn, can make your marketing really good too!) He says that “most of the great copywriters were at one time protégés of other great copywriters” so it would only make sense that reading and studying great marketing will make you successful too.
Additionally, he notes that the knowledge gained from so many different techniques and approaches has made him a much better marketer which has made it easier for him to guide copywriters to write better copy for him.
The key to getting the most out of this valuable exercise is to know what to look for when reading these promotions, ads, newsletters, and sales scripts. Be sure to look for:
1) Structure, Layout and Design. Look at the layout and design of marketing pieces such as print ads, magalogs, newsletters and landing pages. Top marketers test layout and design, which means you can get clues about where to place key elements such as opt in boxes on your landing pages or testimonials in an ad instead of having to guess or conduct your own costly tests. There is a lot you can learn about structure—for instance people read a magalog differently than they read a sales letter. Look for those differences and incorporate or test them in your own marketing. Sometimes a simple change in layout can significantly increase your response.
2) Ideas for copy angles. You will find tons of ideas about how to position your product or service when reviewing marketing pieces. This will save you more time and money than you can imagine—far beyond the few minutes it will take you to read a promotion every day.
Be sure to look at marketing that falls outside of your niche as well as marketing in your niche. (Tweet this!) Often you’ll find some of your best ideas come from transposing an idea outside your niche to your own marketing.
3) Offers. The offer is THE most important element of your ad or promotion. In fact, without a good offer, your promotion can fail. If you see a promotion mailed several times to you with the same offer, chances are good this offer is converting well. Listen for offers when you attend a seminar or webinar.
Look for offers in ads, magalogs, sales letters. Which ones capture your interest and why? Offers are often easy to “swipe and deploy,” so create an “offer file” to spark ideas.
4) Headlines, closes, bullets, stories, etc. You may have read that 80% of readers never make it past the headline. That shows you the importance of writing a GREAT headline, book title, or subject line for your email.
Reading headlines written by master copywriters will give you a goldmine for your swipe file. Not to mention other key copywriting elements you can swipe such as closes and false closes, bullets, story ideas, even how a “character” is presented in a story are all areas you’ll want to pay close attention to when reviewing marketing campaigns.
Ask any master copywriter or marketer, and they will tell you that the last thing you ever want to do is start with a blank page. By reading one great promotion every day, you will not only sniff out master techniques for your own marketing, but you’ll build a huge swipe file to reference each time you go to start a marketing campaign.
You’ll not only save time, but you’ll find that this will help you consistently create better marketing that gets better results. Before you know it, this exercise will help you elevate your status to “top marketer” just as it did for Mark Ford and the other top marketers I know, who also review and study master marketers on a daily basis.
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