If you haven’t heard of Dr. Robert Cialdini, you’re probably not a copywriter. And if you are, but you haven’t read his book “Influence,” you’re probably not serious about your craft. To make up for lost time — or as a refresher — watch this video. Powerful stuff…
A lot of you guys have asked how we’ve fared here in Paris, after the shootings on Friday the 13th.
I thank you for that. It was thoughtful, considerate… and heartwarming… to hear from so many people. At last count, probably over 350 or so, between Facebook, emails and calls.
We are fine.
Rattled and sad about it all… but fine.
When the shootings happened, we were out to dinner with friends, about a mile from the attacks. We heard the news when our waiter brought our bill. We high-tailed it home, on side streets, to get back to the kids, who were without a sitter. (They’re getting just old enough.)
Everybody we know here is okay too, though some live close — about 100 meters — up the street from on of the deadliest cafe shootings… another lives near the Bataclan… and one more friend, a journalist, was at the stadium covering the game.
Friends of friends weren’t as lucky. It seems like everybody knows somebody who was killed or injured at one of the sites.
We’ve also been asked many times since what we think about the events and what we expect will happen next. I gave an interview about it to a friend, on national radio. But the truth is… I have no idea. Nor does anybody.
Save for outpourings of grief and sympathy, I’ve heard little that seems like a just response.
Not the political solutions, not the podium pounding, not the peripheral paranoia.
And yet, here in Paris… Already, the cafes are full again. So are the streets and busses. We’re back to business as usual. And I think, but can’t be sure, that’s a good thing.
I’m not unveiling any big secret by telling you that a lot of what you’ll do when selling is all about emotion. And it has to be that way.
Because we humans — the thinking animal — are perversely also designed to be jumpy, reactionary, over-zealous, anxious organisms. If it were ever in my character to use the term “hot mess,” this is where I’d use it (but it isn’t.)
However, if there is absolutely a time in any selling “event” where you cannot afford to let your prospect’s emotions get ahead of you, it’s on the order form. Yet, too often, exactly that can happen. Your prospect can become too nervous to pull the trigger and place an order.
Fortunately, this too is something you can learn to control. Today, I’ll give you fourteen things you could try.
Keep in mind, as you read through, that this list is by no means complete. Nor is it a checklist. You can try one of these things… all of them… or a mix.
And remember, the goal for each is to simply help your prospect scale that last wall of anxiety he or she might have before pulling out a credit card to order…
1) We all know putting a guarantee box on your order form can help ease worries. But in today’s age of online marketing, what about using a recorded “video guarantee” instead? Right there on the form.
2)Are their trade organizations or guilds related to what you’re selling… or if the product pitch is local, is there a trade union you could join? If yes, pay your dues and put the logo (with permission) right there on your order form.
3) Along those same lines, this is an oldie but a goodie… try adding more or larger “secure offer” icons (e.g. not just “Verisign” but “McAfee Secure” and “BBB” and a whopping big, well-designed “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” icon). Aim for at least five icons per reply page.
4) Test placement of these trust logos from the last tip. Some research says that the single best place isn’t at the top of the page or at the bottom, but rather right under or next to the “Place Your Order” button.
5) Try putting a callout box containing a testimonial — with photo — right next to submit button on the form.
6) In fact, if you’re selling online, try putting a recorded video testimonial or testimonials on the side of the reply page.
7) Here’s a twist on the “100% Satisfaction Guarantee” that might work with mid-priced items and higher: “100% + a Buck.” That is, offer a total refund if requested, plus a dollar. It’s just an extra and not too costly twist to up the ante on your guarantee.
8) If your current order form has a lot of “buy now” urgency in the language, try testing it against a “Take your time to decide, there’s no pressure — that’s what the full money back guarantee is all about” version. Urgency is good, but not so much it forces paralyzing panic.
9) Try posting a box on the order form that lists shipping/other service costs… then slashes through them in red and says prominently “Please do not worry about shipping or other service costs. We will assume that responsibility entirely.”
10) Try the same as in the last tip, but even simpler, with a callout logo that says “Free shipping on all orders, guaranteed.”
11) If there’s a discount on the offer, show it graphically and make it actionable. e.g. Instead of just saying “Get 20% Off!” before detailing the deal, say something like “Click Here to Get 20% Off” or even more official “Redeem Your 20% Savings By Clicking Here” and maybe even add a better deal with “Redeem Your 25% Savings By Clicking Here” as a second option.
12) Again especially for online offers, but when the reply page opens — or on the page, in a box — flash a callout that says, “Use this discount code to get 10% off on a two year order: LS4736.” And then auto enter that code on the order form, as though someone typed it in for your buyer.
13) Again with the reply-page testimonials, try testing between reassuring testimonials about the product… and ones directly about the shipping process, e.g. “I got my reports instantly, minutes after I ordered” or “When my order arrived, it was all there as promised… and I really liked the bonus gift you included.”
14) Before we show the reply page, flash a box that says simple, “Before we help you process your order, what name would you like us to call you during the process?” and then personalize the order form that follows according to the name they provide.
Again, just a few ideas.
Feel free to add to the list using the comment email address in the footer of this issue.
Hope you find ’em useful!
David Ogilvy sets the record straight.
Watch and learn…
What’s it mean to be “creative?”
Says the great John Cleese, that’s an almost impossible question to answer. Easier is to ask yourself, “What doesn’t it mean?”
Or as he puts it in the brilliant talk below, think of the sculptor who was asked how he made a beautiful statue of an elephant from a piece of marble.
“I just,” he answered, “cut away the bits that weren’t elephant.”
Watch below and be both enlightened and amazed…
P.S. Thanks for this, via our friends over at copyscience.com.