The No B.S. Rules…as published in Dan Kennedy’s No B.S. Direct Marketing.
“I’ll lay the foundation first (a radical idea, itself!) Please copy these and post them somewhere you’ll see them often until you get them memorized. Do so will keep you on track, save you a lot of money, and dramatically improve your marketing.
From now on, EVERY ad you run, every flyer you distribute, every postcard or letter you mail, every website or landing page you put up, every/anything you do MUST adhere to these rules.
To be fair, they are very simplistic and dogmatic, and there are reasons to violate them in certain situations. But for now, sticking to them as a rigid diet will work. You can experiment later, after you’ve first cleansed your business toxins.
RULE #1 There will always be an offer or offer(s)
A key distinguishing characteristic of direct marketing and direct response advertising from ALL other marketing and advertising is the presentation of a very specific offer or offers. Ideally, yours is a Godfather’s Offer; an offer that the appropriate prospect can’t refuse. (More on this to come)
If you begin paying attention to advertising you’ll see that most of it merely shows up and talks about a product, company or service, but does not directly offer something specific to be had by immediately and directly responding.
A lot of ads and commercials, business cards, flyers and brochures now include websites, Facebook sites you can go and “like”, but present no Godfather Offer as a compelling reason to go there. All this is undisciplined.
It is sending money out to play a backyard game with no rules; worse, no scorekeeping, no clear means of judging victory or defeat. A chaotic mess.
Only direct marketing imposes discipline by always making an offer or offers, so response to those offers can be tracked and measured.
RULE #2 There Will Be Reason to Respond Right Now
Hesitation and procrastination are among the most common of all human behaviors. You’ve no doubt, more-than-once, turned down pages in a catalog of something you intended to buy, only to never buy it. Tried on a shirt, or pants that would be perfect…only to leave the store without them. You’ve seen a commercial or heard a radio ad and maybe even jotted down a website or wrote down an 800# only to never visit or call.
We must be sharply, painfully aware of all the potential response lost to such hesitation. The hidden cost and failure in ALL advertising and marketing is the almost-persuaded. They were tempted to respond. They nearly responded. They got right to the edge of response, but then set it aside to take care of later or to mull it over.
When your ideal prospect gets to that edge, we must reach across and pull them past it. There must be good reason for them NOT to stop short or delay or ponder. There must be urgency!
RULE #3 You Will Give Clear Instructions
Most people do a reasonably good job of following directions. For the most part, they stop on red and go on green, stand in the lines they’re told to stand in, fill out the forms they’re given to fill out, applaud when the Applause sign comes on. Most people are well-conditioned from infancy, in every environment, to do as they are told.
Most marketers’ failures and disappointments result from giving confusing directions or no directions at all. Confused or uncertain consumers do nothing. And people rarely buy anything of consequence without being asked.
In-store signage, restaurant menus, icons on websites – everywhere you closely examine physical/selling environments and media – you will find plenty of assumptions about knowledge people have (and may NOT have) and plenty of opportunity for confusion.
When you put together any marketing tool, ad, flier, sales letter, website, phone script, etc…or any physical selling environment, it should be carefully examined for presumption of knowledge on the consumer’s part, for lack of clarity about what is expected of them, or for wimpiness about asking clearly and directly for the desired action.
Stop sending out anything without clear instructions.”
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