What’s Really Bugging Me…YOU!

What’s Really Bugging Me…YOU!

It’s true. You’ve really got under my skin of late because of this one thing. Like a stone in your shoe. Or an itch which won’t go away. Let me explain…

This is a special Rant. It comes to you from Nashville, Tennessee in the US. I’m here to present at the GKIC Info Summit with Dan Kennedy.

Beautiful city, Nashville. About 1.5 million people so it’s not too crowded and the hotel we’re at has 2,800 rooms and is nothing short of spectacular.

Also, the Fall (autumn) is in full swing and the countryside is awash with many colours as the trees get set for the winter.

I’m alone in my room at the moment. My travelling companions are off doing their own thing… Ian Marsh is working in his room. General Manager Adam Webb and Copywriter Steve Plummer have taken a trip downtown to sample the live music scene.

So I’ve had time to contemplate.

And yes, you’re bugging the heck out of me because…

Almost universally I’m seeing WEAK, LAME, UNINSPIRING offers in the copy I’ve been critiquing.

So I thought I’d give you a quick mini-class in offer construction which is my next direct mail secret for you. Because one of the key principles I’ve built my fortune on is…


Makes sense because THEY BUY THE OFFER.

It never ceases to amaze me how often even experienced marketers get this wrong.

So here are the 4 key components you MUST include if you are to have any chance of hitting it out of the park.

  1. It might seem obvious enough but always follow the principle of “give them what they want”. If you just sell what you’ve got and not what the market wants your business will suffer. This is where you must know your market. Their fears, wants, frustration, needs and desires. It takes thought and work. Get to know them and what makes them tick. Only then can you offer them what they are interested in and want (which is different by the way, to what they need, but that’s a whole other Rant).
  2. Add bonuses. Make their value bigger than the product itself. But make sure everything you offer is what they want. I love a saying from the great copywriter Ted Nicholas… “If you can’t sell it you can’t give it away either”.

    One of my most successful promotions ever offered free airline tickets to Hawaii with ticket purchase. It’s called “taking their eye off the price”. So what can you add to the offer to take their mind off the money they will have to part with?

  3. Tell them what to do and how to get it. Assume nothing. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your market is sophisticated and will automatically know what to do. So tell them. Pick up the phone and call toll free 1800 000 000. You will be greeted by a recorded message and asked to leave your details… is just one example.

    Make sure they know what to do and what will happen to them because people don’t like walking into a dark room. So switch the light on for them by telling them what will happen.

    Makes the sale easier when you do.

  4. Deadline. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have a deadline. You must include scarcity and urgency. ALWAYS. Limited time. Limited number. “Call now” without pain or penalty if they don’t does NOT work. If it doesn’t have a deadline, it’s not a REAL offer. This is no place for wimping out. This is where the sale lives and dies.

Remember… they buy the offer and weak offer = weak response. So get to work and make sure you nail this most vital part of your marketing.

All the best,

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  1. Hi Mel,

    Very nice of you to think about me whilst you are overseas on a business trip. 100% agree with you post, and yes I remember the Hawaii promo. The cure for stop having to think about work is few good drinks my friend.
    Safe journey home.

    – Mark Fregnan

  2. Hi Mal,

    Your subject line really got me because it was personal (note to self: swipe this one for the file). I read all about your overseas adventures and heard the event in Nashville was a fantastic one indeed.

    Sorry I missed you on the GC… Been so swamped with work lately I couldn’t get away.

    I just wanted to say thank you. I really appreciate your insights and generosity in sharing your knowledge with your readers.

    Your sage advice comes as a reminder to never let the eye off the ball.

  3. Hey Mal, thanks for sharing so much with us, I live for the day when I can put to use what you and so many others have taught me about putting compelling words on paper. Not able to do much because of my pain and drugs, I try even on my bad days to learn at least one thing about the craft.

    What you shared from the stage a few years back, gave me a goal and something i thought I could learn, I have been able to make so many contacts with others among it, by following your saying ” success leaves traces”

    I wonder if people realize how much your formula above could change their business.

    Thanks for helping me to understand what the masses don’t.

    Cheers Konrad

  4. thanks Mal for the four tips in offer construction which is your direct mail secret. What are my chances of uploading (or email) recent examples of weak and strong offers? keep the tips coming Mal – great and thanks for sharing.

  5. Gday ol mate Mal,

    Thank YOU.

    You’ve pushed the envelope some more..

    YOU chose wise “Mateeyes” All the best. Kind regards.

    God bless.

    Rodney joy.

  6. Hi All,

    Thanks for your comments. Just remember above all else, “They Buy the Offer” I am not saying you can get everything else wrong but if you get the offer right, the rest can pale into insignificance. I know there’s lots of ways to skin the cat but I would argue write the offer, urgency and scarcity before all else.

    Hope this helps further.

    All the best,

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