Aug 29, 2010

Ad Man's Book Club: August 2010 Choice

A Technique for Producing Ideas -
James Webb Young

"James Webb Young is in the tradition of some of our greatest thinkers when he describes the workings of the creative process. He not only makes this point vividly for us but shows us the road to that goal."

–William Bernbach, Former Chairman and CEO, Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB)

This book is a step by step guide for producing ideas for anything. Before I tell you what the steps are, let’s look at the man himself.

James Young Webb is ranked at the 52. of Advetising Age’s Top 100 People of The Century. He is listed higher than Lester Wunderman, Victor O. Schwab and J. Walter Thompson.

James Webb Young build a successful mail-order business after he retired from JWT advertising agency, where he worked as a creative director and vice president.

Five steps to big ideas

1. Gather material about the problem
2. Digest it
3. Let go of the problem
4. An idea will appear
5. Shape the idea

Now, I won’t tell you exactly how the process works because I want you to read James Webb Young’s A Technique for Producing Ideas. The paperback has only 64 pages. It takes less than an hour to read. Amazon sells it for 6.95 $ last time I checked. Order it here.

Aug 14, 2010

Checklist: How to design a landing page that sells

1. What are you trying to achieve? If you are trying to create a landing page that converts your visitors into paying customers, I can help you.

2. Does your opening has a strong promise that leads the reader into your copy? Don’t give away everything at once. News and benefits in the headline work every time.

3. For example: the title of the bestseller book “How to win friends & influence people” still sells today – after 70 years. Why? Because it promises a benefit that appeals to the reader’s self-interest, and has the words “How to” that command you to find out more.

4. Do you demonstrate the product? The internet allows you have as many videos, pictures and words as you want. Try Before & After shots. They tend to work.

5. Don’t be afraid of long copy. Be afraid of not being interesting. Say enough to make the sale. To get ideas on what say on your website find out what are the most common questions people ask from your customer service. You will help everyone if you answer them in your copy.

6. Do you use active language and short, simple words? Instead of “we utilize” say, “we use.”

7. Are you appealing to logic only? Humans are emotional creatures, even business people. Did you know gimmicks work especially well on them? Many of them are bored behind their desks.

8. Add icons of banks and credit cars to your website to increase your credibility. Make your phone number visible – and answer it if someone calls.

9. Mention your money back guarantee early in your copy.

10. Have you tested different versions of your landing page? Here’s one free tool for that:

11. Do you have high production quality? It builds trust. Clear pictures are important because the reader cannot see the physical product.

12. Do you show people on your landing page? This also build trust.

13. Testimonials from your customers and respected authors in the field are convincing and should be used lavishly.

14. Do you have an incentive if the visitor acts today?

15. Do you ask for the order at least three times? McGraw-Hill research revealed that an average salesman makes the sale after the fifth call. 

16. Captions under the picture are read more carefully than rest of your website. Use them to sell.

17. When you design your web site ask what the visitor is looking for when they arrive? Where do they come from? Directly or through a special ad? Are they able to find the information they are looking for quickly?

18. Is the message personal, clear and direct? Claude Hopkins, the author of Scientific Advertising says: "Your message should single out your prospect like a bell-boy paging a man in a crowded hotel lobby."

19. Are you talking to yourself or to the prospect?

Please write to comments what would you add?

Aug 11, 2010

A free gift for Finnish readers

As the rest of Europe is still on summer holiday, us Finns are working. Here's something for Finnish readers only:

Tulospohjainen internet-mainonta Suomessa: Näin kasvatat myyntiäsi ja voittojasi ilman riskiä  Lue ilmainen 8-sivun opas.

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