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  1. #1
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    Do you guys have any tips on writing glowing ad copy for merchants you feel less than enthusiastic about? Sometimes I look at my pages and it's totally obvious who I love and who I only feel so-so about. There's nothing wrong with the companies that I'm lukewarm on (if I thought there was, I wouldn't put 'em up) - they're either just not my thing, or something I'd never use (case in point: a company that sells "made for TV" type exercise devices - some people use these things, I don't. In fact, on my content site, I make a point of emphasizing that good, old-fashioned crunches work just as well and usually better!).

    Thinking about the money I might make does not motivate me to dress up my copy, unfortunately. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] When you guys look at a merchant or a product that just doesn't thrill you (and everyone must have them - I mean how enthusiastic can anyone get over stuff like wireless companies, inkjet printers or office supplies? But people need 'em and they gotta be sold), how do you go about designing a sales pitch? Are there any tricks or tips for this?

  2. #2
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    In the past, while selling nutritional supplements I came across the same thing. Perhaps I was trying to sell something that I never used and just was not enthusiastic about. What I did was use testimonials. Let them do the selling for you.
    Hope it helps. :cool:

  3. #3
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    Just use lots of adjectives and exclamation points! (But don't put exclamation points after EVERY sentence, or they stop working...same with bold and other stuff like that. But don't be shy about pumping it up!)

    In other words--if you're not excited, fake it. Eventually you will get good enough that the viewers won't be able to tell that some of it is dull to you, although you yourself will most likely always notice the difference.

    It does help when I remember that what sells the best for me is stuff I'd never buy!

  4. #4
    ABW Ambassador erninator's Avatar
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    Sometimes it helps to check out the merchant's site for some ideas on verbiage. See what the merchant is saying about themselves. Look for testimonials from their customers. If you can't come up with anything just sleep on it. Maybe your'e just have a low creativity day. I'm having such a day today. That why I'm here at ABW. :rolleyes:

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    I guess I am going to go across the grain here when I say: if it is difficult or uncomfortable for you to promote the product, DON'T.

    That is my definition of the line between salespeople and swindlers.

    If money is your only concern, promise everything. No problem.

    But you indicated something else concerns you...

    Go with the gut feeling.

    Doc

  6. #6
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    Some really good advice here - Leader's comment, "It does help when I remember that what sells the best for me is stuff I'd never buy!" intrigues me, since I'm definitely not part of the mainstream. If I ever had a site completely made up of stuff I would never, ever in a million years, want to buy, I'm sure stuff would sell like hotcakes! That is, providing I become a master of faking it beforehand! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    And, also considering that I'm really an outsider on this planet, I really have to take a couple of steps back when I'm not enthused over a product. Like Doc says, there's a line between salespeople and swindlers, but sometimes people just want stuff and while I don't get it, I'm probably shooting myself in the foot if I don't offer it. Case in point: those dumb "made-for-tv" devices I mentioned earlier. They aren't harmful, many of them work if used on a regular basis - it's just that there are better ways to get fit. Many people, however, don't want to hear that - they just want the quick, easy way to get fit and thing these contraptions are it. All the brilliant writing in the world isn't going to change their minds (if they wanted advice, they'd be at the content site), so I might as well just sell 'em the thing. The smart people will go with the product I'm promoting at the top of my fitness page. This is the way I look at it - if it's not harmful and people want it, I just need to find the right words and number of exclamation points to move it. If it's potentially harmful, like a controversial supplement (chitosan and HGH come to mind), then I'm certainly not going to promote it. That's my personal bottom line.

    Anyhow, thanks much for the advice - needed as I'm about to start building some more pages!

  7. #7
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    Doc, I want to make it CRYSTAL clear that I'm not swindling, nor do I "promise 'everything'"!

    Promises are limited to those on the Merchant's site. If the merchant says, "you can lose 6 inches in a month", then I say--"according to the Merchant.com's site, you can lose..." I never make a promise myself, I simply tell the customer the MERCHANT'S OWN claims for specific things like that.

    That doesn't mean I can't sound excited about the products, even if the exitement is faked. The fact that I do not really get excited about ink does not affect the quality of said ink one iota!

    As for my comment that I'd never buy some things myself:

    I would never buy a clock for instance, I unplugged mine after I quit the last j*b. But to not sell any clocks would be a foolish move, considering that most people can't live without the darned things for some reason!!!

    To go ahead and sell clocks even though I think timing things closely enough to need a clock is an idiotic human convention (for the most part) is NOT swindling!!!

    I would also not buy ANY piece of exercise equipment and can't see spending my time that way--I'm a committed desk potato--but lots of people like to exercise and it is NOT "swindling" to sell them a machine to do it on!

    Whatever floats the customer's boat, is what's on my site. If I only sold what *I* would buy, there would just be a link to buy Barq's, cigarettes, games and other software, a few gardening things, and clothes.

    I would also be living on Cardboard Box Avenue real fast, since none of those things (except maybe cigs) sell worth a tinker's d*mn on the net.

    There are a few things that I won't promote, J*bs being one of them--but if I covered my site with j*bs links it still wouldn't make me into a swindler!!

    Whether something is a "swindle" or not depends on if the buyer gets what he believes he is getting--NOT whether the one selling it would ever buy it her/himself.

    If you go to the grocery store, do you REALLY think it's a SWINDLE if the CEO of the Piggly Wiggly doesn't buy Pillsbury Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, yet has a sign saying "Great Pillsbury Sale" over the display of it?!?!??

  8. #8
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    Leader,
    I honestly don't think Doc was accusing you or anyone else of swindling! You can see from my most recent post above how I interpreted what both of you had to say. There are certain products sold on the web that are questionable - some snakeoil cures and lots of the MLM schemes and such - and I assumed that was the type of thing he was referring to, certainly not to things that neither you nor I would care to buy, but stuff we need to sell anyhow if we want to eat and pay rent. Those are exactly the sort of things where the faked enthusiasm comes in. Like I said earlier, who can really get all that excited about inkjet cartridges (apologies to any inkjet cartridge merchants/ affiliates who may be reading this!). But selling inkjet cartridges is by no means immoral or wrong, and I really don't think that's the sort of thing Doc meant. Or clocks or dumb fitness contraptions, etc. - you get my drift. You're right - we have to please the customer first! If we were only in this to please ourselves, then we might as well have a vanity site on Geocities or something. [img]tongue.gif[/img]

    I normally don't try to play peacemaker (in fact I love watching human fireworks, to be honest!), but hopefully Doc will show up and agree with what I just posted (if he doesn't - oops! :eek: )

  9. #9
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    It appears that what Doc is trying to say is, simply, that some people set standards for themselves.

    If somebody takes that personally... :eek:

  10. #10
    2005 Linkshare Golden Link Award Winner  ecomcity's Avatar
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    Just investigate the sites/products thta your normal visitors seem to buy or those that generate the most page views. Tweak the pre-sell text there and hype up those merchant's that seem to be able to make lookers into buyers.

    Use some logic too. If your promote a merchant selling those Made for TV Infomercial items ..make sure they don't prominently dispaly the "easy 3 payment plan". If they do this, over outright purchase, you'll never see a dime on commission from them. Franklin Mint collectables -Dell and those wine a month programs all PUSH payment plans ..not sales.

    Get some Ad copy and testimonials from the merchant site in case of writers block. If all else fails just honestly perk some click activity by tells your visitor honestly they are a NEW unknown quantity merchant ..take a look..or that their prices suck beyond their "Clearence Center" listings. Do not promote/showcase "list price merchants, since online shoppers will not buy what they don't perceive as a real bargain online ..they go local for those purchases whewre they see -touch and smell them.

  11. #11
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    I don't think Doc was saying you have to be in love with everything you sell, but rather that you have to make decisions about what you're comfortable selling and IF you have issues with a product (such as thinking it can do harm), don't sell it.

    For me it's the difference between selling a "bed-in-a-bag" set and selling credit card services.

    Personally, I'm MUCH more likely to pay $49.99 for a single pillow case than an entire bedding set, but I don't have any issues with people who like the bed-in-a-bag scene and I don't think selling them does any harm.

    OTOH, I know there are a lot of scamming credit card services out there that do way more harm than good. Some people would argue that it's the fault of the user not the service (a valid argument to an extent) and intellectually, I can get to the point that there are many reputable cc services out there, but my personal belief is that cc are basically a Bad Thing. And because of that, I don't promote them.

    I know I could be making money with them, but it's not worth it to me. OTOH, I have no problem selling cheap bedding all day/night long. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    I think Doc was talking about (feel free to correct me, Doc) the CC-type issues, not the "what the heck can I possibly say about a comforter with a four-foot head of Elvis grinning out of the center?"

  12. #12
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    >>"what the heck can I possibly say about a comforter with a four-foot head of Elvis grinning out of the center?"<<

    Have Elvis smiling over you while you dream! This durable comforter will keep you warm and cozy on chilly nights, and you'll still be cool with this artistic, 4-foot rendition of the King's famous grin, imprinted in lifelike colors on top. Great price - get it now!

    Um, something like that?

  13. #13
    ABW Ambassador Doc Sawyer's Avatar
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    Jeepers!

    Whether concious or subconcious, everyone has a standard of ethics...a line that person will not cross.

    The line is in a different place for every person.

    I didn't mean to infer that anyone here was a swindler. Only this: when one crosses their personal line of ethics by doing something for personal gain that makes them uncomfortable, that action constitutes MY definition of the line between sales and swindle.

    My opinion and my recommendation to Janiss was to simply "go with the gut feeling". Listen to the part of you that is warning when you are about to cross the line...

    Doc

  14. #14
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    Oh, okay.

    I guess I saw this line: <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>if it is difficult or uncomfortable for you to promote the product, DON'T.~Doc<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    and interpreted it different than you seem to have intended, because of the context: Janiss had only mentioned ink and TV exercise equipment, and not the moral type of discomfort (rather, she said she had a difficulty in generating excitement over dull products).

    And, your post happened to come in two posts after mine so I thought it may be an "indirect-style" insinuation. After the fighting which had been going on here at ABW just a few days before, I was "on alert"!

    I agree fully that promoting "iffy" (or worse) products/services are to be avoided! I have my "Do Not Promote" categories, myself. Some of them are the ones most people would call shady, and others--like the j*bs category--are those who I have more personal reasons for disliking.

    Glad to know you weren't accusing me of swindling. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  15. #15
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    Selling stuff you have no personal desire for isn't that hard.

    What you do is look at the product and tune yourself to the personality that will like it. You do this by imagining the product in your mind. Now look and see who is using it. Address yourself to this person as if you were their twin.

    For instance - you have this burning desire for an excercise bike. This mean you like to be fit and attractive and think you could use a little improvement - but don't want to go outside and get all polluted and sunburnt or have to leave the house.

    Imagine a person with highlighted hair and maybe some kiddies. Perhaps a sightly older person with some excess weight. Whoever they are, they are probably busy people. The word 'convienient' might go down quite well.

    They are plainly intending to put in a bit of work though, so don't promise them it'll be effort free (save that for the diet pills).

    A sentence or two, a link and a picture should get a click through. I get the feeling most people know already what the item they want might look like. They just recognise it. I personally would put the most archetypal example at the top of the page, then slightly different ones in order of popularity.

    Then, so long as whatever you say doesn't actually put them off, they should click on something.


    I

    [ 08-03-2002: Message edited by: Icicle ]

  16. #16
    ABW Veteran Student Heyder's Avatar
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    Honesty I would sell just about anything as long as it was legal. By legal I don't mean someone found a way around this law or that one, I mean legal.

  17. #17
    ABW Ambassador webmarm's Avatar
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    I can almost always tell the difference when I'm faking it (I almost never do in "real" life). But when I've taken the time to do what Icicle is describing, sometimes I convince myself that I want that product!

    And then I watch the conversion rates skyrocket and really wonder what the heat is all about, and shouldn't I get one of those? [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif[/img]

    Also, over the long run, when I look back and think about putting more pages up on ppc or ppi, the pages where I've carefully crafted the excitement (faked or not) are usually the ones I feel a whole lot more confidence about.

    And yes, it's only fake in terms of "I probably wouldn't think of buying it myself", not in terms of whether I think it's legal or helpful (for someone else).

    I think Icicle's post pretty much sums up the answer to your original question. At first it may be hard to "become your customer". Just find one imaginary "typical" customer for this item, though, and you've got a great start on the ad copy. If you've ever been in drama, think of it as becoming the character of the part you're playing. Then write to that person's wants and needs.

  18. #18
    Resident Genius and Staunch Capitalist Leader's Avatar
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>sometimes I convince myself that I want that product!~Webmistress<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Ah, that's the dreaded, money-eating Retail Effect. I know it well!

    The basic thing about the R.E. is that if you see enough ads for a thing, eventually you will want it. It may take days or it may take months, but finally all of those signals to BUY add up.

    For instance, I've gotten more crap [and non-crap] from retail stores I've w*rked in, solely because all the ads, packaging, posters, and store banners finally took effect, than I care to even think about.

    Fortunately, after being in about 5 or so bricks-and-mortar retail stores and having that happen, by the time I started making sites I was pretty well immune to the effects of advertising--even my own!

    It helps to leave your wallet in the other room so there is at least a few steps to think about it between you, your CC#, and that "Buy" link...

  19. #19
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    Retail Effect - I didn't even know there was a name for it!

    When I was in high school, I remember walking into a clothing store, scanning it briefly and saying, "Feh, there's nothing I would ever buy here!" Well, a few months after I graduated, I wound up getting a job at one of their shops (they were a chain, no longer in existence). Much to my surprise, there was loads of stuff I wanted! Since I had rent to pay, having moved out of my parent's house the moment I turned 18, I didn't go hog-wild, but I probably spent more on clothing while working there than I ever have since.

    That was my first and last experience in retail. But I can see how it can carry into what we do - whenever I'm looking through the plus size clothing merchants, I wind up seeing loads of really great-looking outfits that I wish I could buy. The one thing that stops me is I'm a size 5/6! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

  20. #20
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    Sometimes a bit of duff copy might actually beneficial: For instance, say you have a page that sells exercise bikes and you promote three of them. 2 slightly boring, lackluster descriptions may produce more click throughs than 3 glowing ones...?

    Just a hunch, I've not tried it but it makes sense to me anyway [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

  21. #21
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    You're right, Nick.

    When I sold jewelry (offline) I found that sandwiching nice-looking pieces in between lesser-quality items drew more attention to them and resulted in a noticeable difference in sales. The nice ones looked *much* nicer when contrasted with the plain-jane pieces.

  22. #22
    ABW Ambassador affiliatemakeover's Avatar
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    Build trust through credibility.
    Get credibility thru good design, good copy. :cool:

    Then figure out which side of the fence you're going to sit on:

    I wanna make a ton of money no matter what!

    /fence/

    I want to be selective in my offerings/wording because I don't feel it's right to deceive.

    Typically, it's the first group of people who always strike it rich. Sad, but true.

  23. #23
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    Okay, I'm a believer in the Site Sell and Make My Site Sell products.

    There are actually some really good ideas in his e books. And I'm cynical as hell, so that's a rarity for me to recommend something like this. Site Sell.com--p.s. Not an affiliate link!

  24. #24
    Affiliate Marketing Consultant Andy Rodriguez's Avatar
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    John,

    <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif> <IMG src=http://www.abestweb.com/ubb/icons/icon14.gif>


    and his "new one"
    http://myss.sitesell.com/ (not an affiliate link)

    I would recommend 100% to any affiliate. Well worth the $$$$, IMO.

  25. #25
    Affiliate Manager Lionstail's Avatar
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    Check out scientific advertising. It's an old book that offers valuable insights into writing copy. Do a web search for it and you'll find sites that have it published online for free. It's not too long.

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