CopywritingInternet Marketing

Sales Letter Copy Secrets

Psychological ‘triggers’ can massively increase your sales letter success.

Do you remember the stupid beer commercial a few years back with the tagline “Why Ask Why?” Well, completely unknown to the ad agency, they had almost stumbled onto a breakthrough marketing concept. Telling people the reason why you are doing something is one of the most powerful influencers of human behavior.

Robert Cialdini, Ph.D. in his book “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” talks about an experiment by Harvard social psychologist, Ellen Langer, that concluded people like to have a reason for what they do.

Her experiment consisted of people waiting in line to use a library copy machine and then having experimenters ask to get ahead in line. The first excuse used was “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?”

This request coupled with a reason was successful 94% of the time. However when the experimenter made a request only: “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” this request was only granted 60% of the time. A significant drop!

Okay now for the shocker. It may seem like the difference between those two requests was the additional information of “because I’m in a rush.” That’s not the case. Because in a third experimenter, the experimenter asks “Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?”

There’s no reason mentioned or new information presented, just the words “because.” This time a full 93% of the people said yes simply due to the word ‘BECAUSE’! And it didn’t even matter that there was no reason given. Just the word because triggered a magic response.

More psychological ‘triggers’ that can massively increase your sales letter success, whether you’re writing online sales copy or direct mail copy.

Max Sackheim, famous for the long-running ad “Do You Make These Mistakes In English” and originator of the book-of-the-month concept, says “Whenever you make a claim or special offer in your advertising, come up with an honest reason why, and then state it sincerely.You’ll sell many more products this way.”

Here are two examples:
. Instead of yelling ‘ SALE’ like so many other stores would, John E. Powers, one of the top copywriters wrote this ad giving prospects a legitimate reason why they should spend their money at a Pittsburgh department store in severe financial trouble:

“We are bankrupt. We owe $125,000 more than we can pay, and this announcement will bring our creditors down on our necks. But if you come and *buy* tomorrow, we shall have the money to meet them. If not, we shall go to the wall.”

This ad was responsible for saving the store. Another ad written for a different merchant by Powers proclaimed, “We have a lot of rotten raincoats we want to get rid of.” This sold out the merchant’s entire inventory of raincoats by the next morning. And this powerful sales letter and ad copy strategy works just as well today.

Using this secret weapon, I helped a medical equipment company produce a massive 1,073% return on investment simply using “reason-why” copy. The premise was how we can sell a product for the incredibly low price of only $477. Regularly this product sells for about $695 – $895.

Then the ad explained that the price was so low because the manufacturer wanted to gain market share and get more nurses and doctors accustomed to using their product. It was a huge winner and a big moneymaker for the client.

Here’s how can you apply emotional, psychological triggers to your sales letter copy: Let’s say you have a slow time of year and you want to increase your business during this period. Write a simple sales letter to your customers making a special offer, only good during your slow period.

Maybe you’ll throw in extra free bonuses, extra services, or special discounts simply because it is your “slow time” and you need to pay your staff anyway. Let people in “behind the scenes” at your company…

  • Are you overstocked on merchandise because for some reason customers only want the deluxe widget – but you ordered tons of the basic one?
  • Did you have a flood and you need to liquidate your inventory?
  • Do you need to raise cash so you can pay for your nose job?

Whatever the reason is, tell your prospects the truth. For some reason everyone wants to be mysterious about their business. If you’re lowering the price nobody thinks you’re doing it just because you’re “such a nice guy”. So let people know the reason why.

I know this probably goes against every grain of business sense, but I promise if you give people a good, believable reason why they’ll respond with an open minds and more importantly, an open wallet.

(c) Surefire Marketing, Inc. Reproduced with permission.

About the Author
Leading Online Copywriting Expert, Yanik Silver has helped tens of thousands of companies just like yours create a surge of hot, new, qualified leads, sales appointments and customers with killer sales letter copy that actually sells. Now you can go to & get 49 of Yanik’s hardest-hitting, profit-generating sales letter templates guaranteed to help you quickly and easily create a sales letter guaranteed to sell your product or services.

Internet Marketing

Sales Lead Generation Strategies

8 Powerful B2B Sales Lead Generation Techniques To Help You Reach Your Sales Prospects.

Most of the fastest growing B2B companies do not rely solely on just one sales lead generation method. They have a complete arsenal of sales lead generation tools at their fingertips, that they can use at ay given time.

Here are my eight proven B2B sales leads generation techniques gleaned from helping over 170 B2B companies reach their sales prospects:

1. Sales lead generation using relationship marketing. Relationship Marketing is the approach underlying all of the “sales-lead-generation-success” methods. Relationship marketing simply refers to cultivating a personal, sales-winning relationship with your prospects. It’s about developing longer-term relationships with customers rather than individual transactions.

During my 20+ years of experience in B2B sales lead generation, I’ve discovered the key to picking up sales others leave on the table is to keep in touch with your prospects via a series of ongoing communications and offers throughout your prospective customers’ consideration processes.

2. Sales lead generation through complementary partner referrals. By joining forces with complementary partners, you can instantly multiply your sales lead generation pool and make it easier for companies to engage in doing business with you. Out of all the sales lead generation programs available to you, complementary partner referral programs can generate the highest qualified B2B sales leads.

3. Sale lead generation using search engine optimization and Internet marketing strategies. Business buyers are more sophisticated and getting harder to reach than ever. Studies show that about 90% of business buyers start with research on the Internet, therefore it’s critical to have a well-tuned sales lead generation program that includes search engine optimization (SEO)/Internet marketing strategies to attract prospects at the beginning of their buying cycle.

4. Sales lead generation via telemarketing. Even though many people despise the thought of telemarketing, when executed properly it is a very effective sales lead generation tool. Telemarketing is a personal marketing and sales lead generation technique that offers a cost-effective, efficient alternative to field selling. However, it can be significantly more expensive than direct mail or email.

By including telemarketing in your B2B sales lead generation marketing plan, you can reach up to thirty decision-makers a day at a cost of $15 to $20 per contact. In contrast, with field sales you can reach only four or five decision-makers a day at an average cost of $392 or more per contact.

Direct mail may cost as little as a dollar, and email is often much less. However, if you consistently prospect and nurture leads via phone, you will consistently generate qualified sales leads.

5. Sales lead generation with email publications. By creating your own email newsletter, you could send out industry news and tips to suspects in your market. Since you will be on your prospects’ minds more often than your competition, eventually, your sales leads will turn into actual sales.

If you subscribe to my e-newsletter, Sales Lead Report, you will see an example of an email publication that keeps my name and business in front of over 8,000 people every month.

6. Sales Lead Generation With Direct Mail. There is an entire industry of people like Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, and Bill Glazer who are dedicated to business-to-business selling through direct marketing. Sales letters can be an excellent sales lead generation method. But, most sales and business professionals do not know how to use this lead generation technique effectively and efficiently.

The complaint is a common one among B2B companies that depend on direct mail and direct response marketing as their only sales lead generation program: “I’m sick of spending a fortune to send out thousands of full-color catalogs and direct-mail pieces only to get a measly 1% response rate.

How can I cut costs and find a more practical way to get my target market to respond to my direct mail or catalogs?” My clients have found that the best place to start revamping their direct response marketing is by determining who their best customers are, then trying to target their database marketing efforts at companies and individuals who are similar in nature.

7. Sales Lead Generation Using Print Advertising. When done correctly, print advertising can be a highly effective sales lead generation activity. When using print advertising as your B2B sales leads generation method, you must remember to focus your advertising’s message on the benefits and applications of your products or services. Then let the layout and design of your ads enhance your company’s image. And, don’t forget to only use publications that deliver messages directly to your targeted audience.

8. Sales Lead generation via Event Marketing. Whether you do it live, through the telephone (teleseminars) or via the Web (webinars), seminars and workshops are a great sales lead generation tool. People who attend your seminar have an interest in the information you are presenting and a need for your product or service.

The goal: Connect with customers in a meaningful way By using these eight proven B2B sales leads generation methods gleaned from helping over 170 B2B companies reach their prospects, you will capture more sales-ready opportunities for your salespeople to turn into new business, meaning greater sales revenue and profits for your company.

About the Author
As one of today’s leading business-to-business marketing consultants, M. H. “Mac” McIntosh uses the latest in lead-multiplying tactics and strategies that are working NOW to drive up leads and sales. As an expert on the subject of B2B lead generation, he can help you increase your bottom line by converting more sales leads into actual sales. Get his Free Sales Lead Report® newsletter at

Direct Marketing

Zero in on the Right List

You can boost your chances of attracting subscribers to your new magazine by asking your list broker for specific information tools.

You can boost your chances of attracting subscribers to your new magazine by asking your list broker for specific information tools.

So you plan to produce a new, surefire magazine? Congratulations! But remember, to stay in business, you need to attract subscribers. This is where dry testing your direct mail can help. Dry testing–a smaller-scale direct-mail test of a market–is an adventure with any offer. But in a launch situation, everything’s an unknown: the creative, the offer, the product, the price point–and especially which lists to use. To help make that initial dry test a success, try winnowing your list by following these tips.

Because a launch mailing is almost guaranteed to under-perform, you should structure it so that you at least learn about your market in the process. The information you should be looking for can come from these questions: What is the size of my viable prospect universe? What interests are primary to my prospects, and which are secondary? What is my competition doing that I can learn from? What selection criteria are the most productive? What can I do to tailor my list markets by my package or offer?

Ask for the following tools
Once you have these answers, work with your list broker to decide what subscribers you are looking for. This will help you with the next step–picking what parts of which lists will be right for your magazine. To do this, you must ask your broker to give you the following tools.

A prospect universe analysis: When asking your broker for a list recommendation for your test mailing, make sure the broker also supplies a spreadsheet that recaps all lists. For each list, request a recommended test selection (the portion of each list that your broker thinks you should test) with a current count of how many names are available within those criteria. Make sure this spreadsheet is provided to you not only in print, but also on disk so that you can refine it as you trim the recommendation down to what you think makes the most sense for your offer. Then, keep tabs not only on what the lists total today, but what they total after the results are in and the poor performers are cut.

A categorical review
Ask the broker to allocate each list to a single interest category (e.g., crafts, sports). This way, you can evaluate your market by the importance of each category before you mail. Test a minimum of two or more lists within each category that is important to your market. By doing this, you’re really testing the category itself. If the category produces a prime prospect, it should be pursued avidly. If it doesn’t, you know that category is not as important as you thought.

A competitive review
Even if what you have is new, there’s probably a magazine already on the market today that you’re going to compete with. So what’s your competition doing that can help you to minimize your risk? Ask your broker for the sample mail pieces of those publications you feel come closest to your publication’s.

Are they all sweepstakes offers? Are they all monthlies? Are they all priced the same? This will help you set your own strategy. In terms of lists, ask your broker to find out who mails to your competitors’ names. Odds are that if your competitors’ names work for these other mailers, these other mailers have lists that will work for you.

Finally, give your broker the names of up to 10 mailers. Then have your broker give you a report showing the mailers across the top, the recommended lists down the side, and a “XXX” in the cells where one of your top 10 mailers shows up on the usage list. If the resulting spreadsheet shows that some lists are used by more than 60 percent of these mailers, odds are the list will work well for you.

Sample mail pieces
Once you’ve selected the lists you want to mail, you want to be sure you’re testing a productive selection. Ask your broker to give you as many sample mail pieces as possible for the lists being recommended. Sort them based on the look of the piece (e.g., 6″ x 9″ envelope with a brochure versus a double postcard) as well as by offer (e.g., sweepstakes versus premium on payment). Then concentrate on those lists generated from packages and offers similar to those you intend to test.

With large universes, increasingly powerful psycho-graphic selection criteria and much lower prices than most response lists, you may find some of these names so productive you will continue to use them well after your launch mailing.

Internet Marketing

Create an RSS Feed for Your Website

Syndicating your own website content is a great way to provide information to your readers with little or no effort. Using RSS, your updated content is delivered to individuals who have subscribed to your feed automatically. In this article, I’ll briefly explain RSS and show you how to syndicate your own website content – even if you know very little about RSS feeds.

RSS Defined
According to Wikipedia, RSS is a simple XML-based system that allows users to subscribe to their favorite websites. Using RSS, webmasters can put their content into a standardized format, which can be viewed and organized through RSS-aware software or automatically conveyed as new content on another website.

A program known as a feed reader or aggregator can check a list of feeds on behalf of a user and display any updated articles that it finds. It is common to find web feeds on major websites and many smaller ones. Some websites let people choose between RSS or Atom formatted web feeds.

Feeds are typically linked with the word “Subscribe”, an orange rectangle, , or with the letters or . Many news aggregators publish subscription buttons for use on Web pages to simplify the process of adding news feeds.

Choosing the Content you want to Syndicate
Okay, so you’re interested in syndication but aren’t exactly sure what you should be syndicating. There’s really no hard and fast rule here. However, keep in mind that anything you plan to syndicate via RSS should be unique, of value to a given audience, and something that gets updated on a regular basis.

Some individuals syndicate their content by placing an RSS feed on their home page. As the website is updated, and a new feed is produced, content is sent directly to subscribers. Others choose to provide a feed of specific content pages on their site. The choice is yours.

So How do you Create an RSS Feed?
All RSS feeds are written using a code type called XML. If you’re not familiar with XML, don’t let that scare you off. I’ll provide the specific code you need and instructions on what to do with it.

To begin, you’ll need to create an RSS file that contains a Title, Description, and Link URL. This information will be used by the RSS reader when individuals subscribe to your RSS feed. Follow these simple steps.

1. Go to your “Start Menu” in the lower left-hand corner or your computer screen. Click on “All Programs” and navigate to Accessories. There you’ll find an option called “Notepad”. Notepad is a simple text editor that you will use to develop your RSS script.

2. Write the RSS script which contains information about your website or content page and information about the content you’ll be syndicating. To do so, copy the following into Notepad. Replace the bold content with your own site’s information.

<?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”ISO-8859-1″ ?>
<rss version=”0.91″>
This RSS feed should be viewed using an RSS Reader or RSS Aggregator. Firefox users click the Subscribe to feed icon.

Feed URL:

<title>Marketing Articles</title>
<description>Marketing articles covering a variety of marketing topics</description>

<title>How to market your small business</title>
<description>If you own a small business, you probably don’t have a lot to spend on marketing. These simple techniques will help you generate more referrals than you can handle. </description>

That’s it. As noted above, be sure to replace the Title of your website and article, links, and descriptions. When your done, save your file by selecting File, Save as, from the top bar in the Notepad window. Warning: name your file with a .xml extension but save as text. (example:

Be sure not to use any ampersands or quotes in your code as this may cause an error. XML requires ampersands to be replaced in the code with “&amp” and quotes with “&quot; whatever is included in your quotes&quot; The best advice I can give is just don’t include quotes or ampersands and you won’t have any coding issues.

3. Save, Upload, and Validate your .xml code. After saving your RSS file via notepad, the next step is to upload your .xml file to your web server. This file should be placed on the same directory as your homepage or the directory of the page you’ve selected to syndicate.

Now that we’ve created and uploaded your RSS feed, we must validate it. By doing so, we know that the feed is active and will work when individuals subscribe. To validate your feed, visit and enter your feed URL. The URL of your feed is simply the URL of the .xml file you just uploaded to your server. So, if your file was saved to your website’s main directory and was called “rssfeed”, then simply enter your website’s URL, followed by /rssfeeds.xml. Once validated, your RSS feed is ready to be syndicated.

4. Place your RSS code on your website. The best way to do this is to copy the RSS button and include a link to the RSS feed you just created. You can grab the RSS or XML image by simply visiting a website like and right mouse clicking the image. Save the image (give it a name like RSS.gif) and copy it onto your server. The code should look like this:

<a href=””> <img border=”0″ src=”images/rss.gif” alt=”rss feed for my website” width=”36″ height=”14″></a>

Be sure to replace the information above with your own feed link and image link.

5. Subscribe to your own feed. After you’ve uploaded all of your pages to your live site or testing server, open Internet Explorer and click on your own RSS button. You should be taken to a dialogue box that asks if you’d like to subscribe to your feed. Subscribe and confirm that the feed has been added to your list of RSS feeds (it should appear in a dialogue box on the left hand side of the page).

Note: If you’re using Firefox, you will only receive a text page when clicking on your RSS button. Those using the Firefox browsers can click on a small icon that resides on their browser nav bar to add your feed. Additionally the text file contains your feed URL which can also be used.

6. Ping aggregators to let them know that you’ve created an RSS feed. In order to let the world wide web know that your feed is up and running, you must give them a Ping. This is very easy to do – just go to and choose the appropriate sites to inform. Select blog related sites if you’re a blog and non-blog related sites for other content. Complete the information and Ping.

Another site you should Ping is Yahoo! Simply visit the Yahoo! RSS submit page at and add your feed URL. This will let the big boys know that your syndicating.

A final note. Whenever you want to syndicate new content, you will need to update your .xml file with a link to the content and a revised description. Once you’ve done so, upload to the file to your server, replacing the existing .xml file and the code will do the rest.

Internet Marketing

Selling Perspective for Revenue Driven Firms

#1 Selling Perspective for Revenue Driven Firms

Across All Industries, Revenue is King

I listen to talk radio, particularly sports talk. One of the hottest topics, if not the hottest is whether the San Francisco Giants should bring back Barry Bonds. For the two people on the planet that don’t know, he will be a free agent once the World Series is over.

One morning last week, the host was emphasizing the impact that Bonds has on revenue by his presence in a Giants uniform. This particular discussion wasn’t the usual swirl of banter over making the best decision to produce a winner, his diminishing skills, the negativity that surrounds the alleged steroid issue, or the importance of him breaking the home run record in a Giants uniform. More specifically the discussion was about his influence on the numbers. Keep him or lose him, how does it affect company revenue? I think one of the quotes was something like, “At the end of the day, how many rear ends will he put in the seats of AT&T Park and what does that mean to revenue? I guarantee you that’s what upper management is thinking about.” I found the hosts opinion to be honest, refreshing, and cuttingly truthful.

It got me thinking about industries outside of the standard “sales driven” ones that use armies of salespeople (big or small) to proactively bring revenue through the door. Smart companies (excluding non-profits) in nearly any industry make their key decisions based on their impact on revenue. If they aren’t, I believe you’ll find that the company is either struggling or existing well below their potential. There are a tremendous amount of organizations living well below their potential because they are not focused on being revenue driven. Trust me, I’ve seen it throughout my 25+ years of experience in selling, managing, building and leading sales organizations regionally and internationally.

Most people, when they think of the words sales, customer, revenue, they tend to think of those companies that have prototype salespeople whose sole purpose is to proactively bring revenue in the door. But what about those industries that don’t get their revenue through a sales force model. Aren’t Legal, Accounting, Dentistry, Medical, Architectural firms also an example of revenue driven companies?

I mean, call their customers clients or patients, but aren’t they really customers? And, don’t they want to attract more of them so that revenue will grow? Won’t that make for a healthier company? I must admit, that in my work, industries like Real Estate, Mortgage, Broadcasting, Telecom, and Technology where the practice of proactively marketing their respective products and services is the primary strategy is my sweet spot.

Many of my articles can be found on dozens of websites under various topics of executive management, sales management, and leadership. They are usually on sales and marketing sites or those specific to the obvious revenue driven industries that use salespeople to bring the dollars through the door. But something interesting has begun occurring.

I got an email from an accountant who said, “I read one of your articles on The Four Kinds of Sales People and I have to tell you, it’s not just about sales people. We need to break through to the next level too.”

Then I got an email from a website dedicated to lawyers requesting to put one of my articles on “Understanding your sales team” on their website. They wanted to change the word “salespeople” to “business developers. I said OK. I mean call it a patient or a client it’s still a customer. Call it a business developer or an account executive it’s still a sales rep. So I got curious and sent the article that the law site customized to a couple attorney friends of mine and asked them about the importance of revenue. Here’s what I discovered: In industries such as legal and accounting, to actually proactively “sell” is considered distasteful.

To directly pursue revenue in this manner doesn’t work. The key is to “attract” your customers (I mean clients). Attract through being visible, attract through meeting new people, attract through participating in functions, attract through doing a great job for your customers (I mean clients) so that they will become your advocate and refer you to their friends.

Next week I have to go to the dentist for my six-month cleaning. I’m one of his customers (I mean patients). As I’m leaving, they will ask me if I need any more whitener and they will certainly schedule my next six month visit. I like them. They put out a great service, become involved in the community, get themselves known and take advantage of the opportunities that come their way.

Since I’m not directly involved in any of these industries, I’m going to make an educated guess. They have meetings on revenue and how to bring it in. They struggle with partners and associates who do not “indirectly” hunt for new business. Those that bring in the clients are the kings and queens. And, for those that don’t, they have mediocre careers. This is my message for all industries. You have a choice, whether it’s direct or indirect, get to bringing in the revenue, or just be mediocre in your careers.

Chuck Mache, Architect for Breakthrough Achievement & President of Chuck Mache Communications (, has 25+ years of experience in selling, managing, building and leading sales organizations regionally and internationally. Use his knowledge and expertise in building heavy-hitter sales organizations to increase your firm’s productivity and profitability by over 100% with his Brian Tracy endorsed book, The Four Kinds of Sales People: Your Personal Path to Breakthrough Achievement