Sock Monkay

In today’s economy you can’t monkey around and send your copy out in the world naked and cold. Use Carlton’s strategies to bundle your marketing messages up so that they get your target audience hot and bothered, ready to whip it out and pay you to service them.

Hey You,

It’s Lewis aka Nerd #2.

Today I’m sharing with you an incredible refresher… or a crash course on the elements that should be included in any marketing copy that you write according to the advertising genius John Carlton.

These are rapid fire highlights he pointed out to his intimate audience who paid a fat ass fee to have him shred their salesletters one by one pointing out everything they could do to make sure what they wrote from there on out was going to have the highest chance of succeeding.

This is an amazing list you’d do well to print out and commit to memory so that anytime you sit down to write an email, a blog post, a salesletter, any thing you need to use to influence anyone,  your unconscious is automatically following each of these pro-level guidelines.

Let the party begin…

  • Identify the target market in the headline
  • Use a super script to identify the market (unless you use adwords which identify the market). E.g. Attention Bowlers (as a super script above the headline)
  • Active words such as active verbs (he walked down the street) and active phrases are powerful
  • Reading is a passive state and retention is low (unless you take notes, then it’s higher). Power words and big verbs are tools to bring them out of passive and into a semi-agitated state
  • People do not wake up and hope they get sold, you are going to be an interruption in their day. Where is the pain level of your market, on a scale of 1-10. You want to go for the 8-9-10 pain markets
  • Look over your copy and start changing the words you’re using and make them more impactful
  • Clever kills ads, you don’t want fat words
  • If you can strip out all your adjectives, it will almost always make your copy better
  • Just because someone’s in pain, doesn’t mean they are looking for a solution
  • Don’t make your salutation cause people to think (like Dear Broke Loser With No Money). You want your copy to be like a ride, they get in, the bars come down, then you are off
  • You can use specific salutations for some types of sales (if it ties in with the value add in the headline for example) so test it out
  • Not everyone will like you, but who says they were going to buy anyway. So if you start growing the hurt and some people leave, who cares, they were not going to be sold anyway. If you aren’t getting complaints then you aren’t trying hard enough
  • When people get attacked they go into fight or flight. You want to guide them to fight (buy) as opposed to flight (procrastination)
  • Anything that can be interpreted in more than one way, don’t do it
  • Think of your prospect as a 3 year old baby who is not going to focus on your story unless you get him engaged and curious/excited
  • Start with the markets awareness not yours
  • Get out of your ego, out of your head, and find out why people are really buying your stuff
  • Every word matters
  • Exclamation points are almost always like a bluff (it’s like your point was not good enough)
  • Use 3X5 cards and put your major copy elements on there, and mix and match them. Try to come up with different combinations
  • Don’t be worried about boring people you’re not going after
  • Think in terms of 3 when telling a story: bring it down to the basics. People can handle batches in 3’s. 3 elements, 3 characters, 3 mini acts, 3 benefits. It will help you get started
  • Stories need to come with some twist. If everything is obvious and comes to a logical conclusion, it’s not a good story
  • You can’t have a weak close and feel bad about selling your product. You provide something of value and people PAY YOU FOR IT. If you have a product that solves a problem, then shame on you if you don’t make the case for him/her to buy and shame on you for not making him feel like there is no risk and that it’s the next most effective step
  • People hate hype and hard sell. Hard sell works over no sell. Hard selling at the point of limitation works (scarcity)
  • Good jokes have an appropriate pause. In writing you need to understand where the pause should be delivered. John’s equivalent of a pause is a paragraph followed by a 1 word paragraph. Ellipses (…) will also cause readers to pause (especially in the middle of a sentence). John uses dashes and ellipses as his primary punctuation
  • You can use sub heads as entrances to new paragraphs or as starts of paragraphs (they both work, it’s a matter of style preference)
  • Unless your product was created to be a headline, do NOT use your product name in the headline
  • No pictures without a caption (complete sentence with a benefit)
  • You need to set the relationship up fast and on the right track
  • Price in the headline or price comparisons (“for less than the cost of XYZ you can…”) are generally bad because you haven’t sold them on the concept yet
  • Women read more than men do
  • You shouldn’t need to tell the person how to FEEL (“hold on to your hats”) but you can start them off (“this is an exciting time…”) but then PROVE it right away
  • Make sure you don’t disconnect from the audience. If $40k a year seems out of this world to them, then talking about a million will not connect you to them at all
  • Carlton’s USP not about unique selling proposition. It’s about uniquely positioning yourself in your market to sell. Know what the competition is doing and uniquely fit in there and that it rings true that you fill that gap
  • Put people in high anxiety so that they are scared shitless to let this pass. If they simply like it, that’s too boring
  • When you say “that” you can usually take it out. “That” is a word you should remove whenever you can. Every “that” in your copy is on probation and can be taken out in the next edit
  • Avoid casual numbers (30 minutes, 5 minutes, 1 hour etc) try to make it have more impact: 44 minute solution, 1.2 hours etc
  • Try to find sub niches within your niche. They may be easier sells as they are neglected, and if you talk to just their hot buttons it can convert like mad
  • People are anxious for human interaction, it’s a lonely world out there. If you can be the “go to guy” you are going to be a real hero
  • Use verb-nouns
  • Make sure words mean something (instead of just hype). E.g. “top producer” means nothing, anyone can say that. Saying “we closed 14 of the 16 houses in the last 5 months” means something
  • It’s not about “the one guy who got results” (anyone can get lucky), it’s about the sustained average results everyone can get when they use your product/service.
  • People don’t want to read your stuff because they want more negativity in their life. Be positive, solve the problem
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