An easy way to improve your marketing results

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I’ve got good news and bad news about your marketing. Which would you like first?

The bad news? Okay. Here it is:

Most of what you write in your marketing–articles, letters, blog posts, emails–will never be read by the recipient. Even worse, most of the people who do read it won’t take action. They won’t call you for an appointment, Like your page or forward your email.

Most of the writing you do for marketing purposes is wasted effort.

The good news is that this is easy to change.

You can get more people to read what you write and do what you want by getting better at writing, or, more specifically, copywriting–writing that is designed to get a response.

You can subscribe to blogs that focus on copywriting. Learn a tip every day and start using it. There are many books and courses, too. (In the legal realm, check out my own, Lawyers’ Marketing Toolkit).

You can study good copy. The books and courses will supply you with examples, and point out what makes them good and what needs to be improved. You can also find good copy online and in your mailbox. When you read something that gets you to take action, save it and study it.

You can re-write good copy. Take proven sales copy and re-write, ideally by hand, to get a sense for the rhythm of the words and the “staging” of the information.

And you can practice. Write and re-write your letters and articles, constantly seeking to improve them. Over time, you will get better.

Pay particular attention to your headline, opening, offer, and call to action.

The headline (email subject, report title, etc.) is critical. It must capture the attention of the reader and make them curious to read more. If you don’t accomplish this, it won’t matter how effective the rest of your message might be, or how enticing your offer is–nobody will see it.

The title of this post is a good example. It promises a benefit I believe you want: an easy way to improve the results of your marketing. It made you curious to read the post or the email, as you are doing that right now.

Once you get the reader’s attention with your headline, your opening must continue the job. I did that by promising you “good news and bad news”. This is one of many effective openings.

I spoke with an attorney this morning about a sales letter he is preparing to send to his estate planning clients. He wants to get them to come in for a review. I suggested a “bad news/good news” opening and that’s what he’s going with. It works.

I also suggested the following formula for the body of his letter:

  1. Problem (The bad news–what could be wrong with their estate plan or the execution thereof).
  2. Agitate (What could happen as a result. Tell stories about clients who thought everything was okay but found out otherwise. What happened to them? What did it cost?)
  3. Solution (The good news–it’s not difficult or expensive to fix the most common problems you see. An amendment or two, an extra step, a few instructions to carry out.)
  4. Benefits (What they get or avoid as a result of this solution. Peace of mind, security, savings, etc.)
  5. Call to action (Tell them what to do get the solution and benefits. Call for an appointment, send in a form, go to a web page.)

Copywriting can be learned and it’s well worth the effort. Not only can it improve your marketing results, it can help you become a better lawyer. Copywriting is “salesmanship,” something you can use anywhere else you need to persuade people to act.

I used to “write like a lawyer” and taught myself how to write to sell. It is a skill that has earned me a fortune.

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