Great book on copy writing. The cover made me skeptical, but the contents convinced me. It does exactly what it promises.

23 min read

The P.S is one of the most important parts of any sales letter, and it's often read first, before the body copy. Use it to restate your offer. Repeat contact information, and push your prospect to take action.


The Bottom Line: The Goal of Advertising Is to Get People to Act

The most important thing to do with this book? Put the principles into action.


Studying psychology to boost the effectiveness of your ads isn't evil. It simply teaches you:

  1. What people want.
  2. How they feel about what they want.
  3. Why they act as they do.

And once you know this, you can:

  1. Better understand how to satisfy your customers.
  2. Influence more people to buy.
  3. Get your quality products into more people's hands.
  4. Help add more satisfaction to their lives.

What People Really Want

People care about what your products will do for them; how they'll make their lives happier, more fulfilled, better.

The Life-Force 8

Human beings are biologically programmed with the following eight desires:

  1. Survival, enjoyment of life, life extension.
  2. Enjoyment of food and beverages.
  3. Freedom from fear, pain, and danger.
  4. Sexual companionship.
  5. Comfortable living conditions.
  6. To be superior, winning, keeping up with the Joneses.
  7. Care and protection of loved ones.
  8. Social approval.

Two strongest appeals: sex and self-improvement.

"People buy because of emotion and justify with logic. Force an emotional response by touching on a basic want or need." (p. 23)

The Nine Learned (Secondary) Human Wants

  1. To be informed.
  2. Curiosity.
  3. Cleanliness of body and surroundings.
  4. Efficiency.
  5. Convenience.
  6. Dependability/quality.
  7. Expression of beauty and style.
  8. Economy/profit.
  9. Bargains.

These are strong, but don't come close to the LF8. There's nothing as powerful as tapping into a desire that you can't shake (LF8).

What is desire? It is a type of tension you feel when a need isn't met.

The simple formula for desire, and the result it sets in motion:

Tension → Desire → Action to Satisfy the Desire

When you appeal to people's LF8 desires, you create a drive that motivates them to take an action that will fulfill that desire as soon as possible.

Not only is it pleasant for us to satisfy our eight primary desires, but it is also pleasant for us to read about how others have satisfied them. (we imagine ourselves doing the same)

By using specific visual words, you can give your audience a sense of what it's like to actually interact with your product or enjoy the benefits of your service — to demonstrate its use inside their minds — long before they actually buy it. This is where the persuasion begins because the first use of any product is inside the consumers' minds.


The less imagery you convey, the less your message occupies consumers' brain, the less likely it is that you'll influence them.

Action words create moving pictures. (Go to the kitchen, open the oven, and get food).

Chapter summary

  1. People have eight basic wants — the LFS (survival; food and drink; freedom from fear, pain, and danger; sexual companionship; comfortable living conditions; to be superior; care and protection of loved ones; and social approval).
  2. The strongest advertising appeals are based on these eight basic wants.
  3. The most effective way to create an appeal based on these eight wants is to write ad copy that cases your prospects to visually demonstrate your product or service inside their heads, sufficiently enough to build desire for the satisfaction of the want(s) that your product promises to provide...and then to choose your product to attain it.
  4. Now that you've got them wanting fulfillment, your next job is to influence them to believe that your product actually delivers what you say. It's credibility time. (discussed in Ad Agency Technique #15: The Psychology of "Social Proof" and Ad Agency Technique #33: Guarantees that Guarantee Higher Response.)
  5. They believe you. They want it. Yippee! Time to count your money, right? Wrong! You now have to push them to act. (Discussed in Ad Agency Technique #10: Battling Human Inertia. Also some quick tips in Chapter 4 Hot List sections "22 Response Superchargers," "13 Ways to Make Buying Easy," and "11 Ways to Boost Coupon Returns."

How to Get Inside Their Heads: The 17 Foundational Principles of Consumer Psychology

Principle #1: The Fear Factor — Selling the Scare

Fear sells. It motivates. It urges. It moves people to take action. It drives them to spend money.

Why does it work? Fear causes stress. And stress causes the desire to do something.

You can use it to sell.. If you product offers the appropriate solution for a fearful situation. It's ethical if you are selling a truly effective solution.

If it's possible to use fear to effective sell a product or service, it means that inherent in that product or service is the possible resolution to that which is feared. If not, no matter how much fear you try to conjure up, your appeal will fail miserably.

The Four-Step Recipe for Inducing Fear

The fear appeal is most effective when:

  1. It scares the hell out of people.
  2. It offers a specific recommendation for overcoming the fear-aroused threat.
  3. The recommended action is perceived as effective for reducing the threat.
  4. The message recipient believes that he or she can perform the recommended action.

You need all four of these.

Too much fear can paralyze - inspire inaction. You need to make the consumer believe that they can change the situation. Your ad must contain specific, believeable recommendations for reducing the threat that are both credible and achieveable.

The fear appeal is more successful if the fears targeted are specific and widely recognized.

Your goal is not to create new fears, but to tap into existing fears, either those on the forefront of the consumers' minds, or those that require a little digging to uncover.

A common way fear is used to simulate action is via the use of deadlines and scarcity. Phrases and slogans such as limited offer, one-day-sale, and while supplies last have the effect of scaring consumers into believing that unless they act now, they'll miss a fantastic opportunity to save money (secondary want #9).

Fear is simply one way to motivate your prospects to investigate your product further. You still need to convince him that your product provides the solution to the fear you just instilled. You still need to persuade and motivate him to take action and grab his wallet, visit your website and place his order.

Principle #2: Ego Morphing — Instant Identification

"By purchasing the 'right stuff', we [the consumer] enhance our own egos and rationalize away our inadequacies" (p. 34).

This technique allows you to create a certain image, or identity, for a product, in order to appeal to a particular section of the audience that feels that their personal image and ego either match it or could be improved by it.

Wow. Apple REALLY comes to mind here.

Your goal is to cause consumers to become so closely associated with the product's image that it almost becomes a part of their own identity; thus, you're "morphing" their ego to fit your product.

By representing your product through carefully chosen images and personalities, you can persuade your prospects that, by purchasing or using your wares, they'll immediately become associated with these images and attitudes.

Most high-end product-sellers do this. For example, the perfume business. 99.9% of the ad has NOTHING to do with the product being promoted. It's pure imagery. The man or woman in the picture might not even be wearing the perfume!

Principle #3: Transfer — Credibility by Osmosis

No matter how wonderful your ad, brochure, sales letter, Web page, e-mail, or radio or TV commercial, if your prospects don't believe you, you've flushed your ad money down the toilet. Your offer must be credible.

Transfer is a strategy that involves using symbols, images, or ideas — cues, if you will — commonly associated with people, groups, or institutions of authority or respect, in order to persuade your prospect that your product or service is in some way acceptably endorsed.

Ideal strategy = Get a respected institution to provide its official endorsement. Doing so instantly transfers their authority, sanction, and prestige to your product or service.

If you can't get a full endorsement — a testimonial, for example — you can achieve similar success by spotlighting readily recognized symbols that carry the weight of endorsement.

For example, if you are in some organisation (ADD for fitness-centers in DK), you can add their logo and therefore gain credibility.

This is the same as when products show "Featured in" and they show logos of NYT or WSJ etc.

Here's what happens. Your prospects:

  1. See a symbol of credibility (logo, endorsement, and the like)
  2. question less of your sales argument

Also for example when products or services uses people in lab-jackets. That can also do well.

Principle #4: The Bandwagon Effect — Give Them Something to Jump On

According to Maslow's Hierarchy of Human Needs, the need to belong is third only to our physiological needs (food, clothing, and shelter) and our safety needs (security, stability, and freedom from fear).

Three Types of Groups

  1. Aspirational — Groups to which you'd like to belong.
  2. Associative — Groups that share your ideals and values.
  3. Dissociative — Groups to which you do not want to belong.

By linking products and services to any of these three reference groups, you can persuade your prospects to make decisions upon the group with which they identify, or want to identify.

Bandwagon effect = if a large enough group holds a favorable opinion about a product, then that opinion must be correct.

If seeking aspirational group influence — people your prospects aspire to be similar to — you must make sure your prospects can easily identify with them.

Gaining associative group influence requires that you link your product to a certain societal group, while often alienating others. Two ways to do this:

  1. Closely associating your product with the target group through advertising that specifically appeals to the attitudes and values of that group
  2. Disassociating your product from other groups within society, in order to make it appear more accepted, or, in the cases of a younger audience, simply more "cool".

Does your product lend itself to using the human need to belong appeal? If it does, don't just think about ways to describe its features and benefits. Put at least equal effort into telling your prospects how buying your product makes them (aspirational), keeps them (associative), or helps them show the world that they're not a part of a particular group (dissociative).

Principle #5: The Means-End Chain — The Critical Core

"Don't buy my product for what it does for you today — buy it for what it will do for you tomorrow!"

That's what this principle says.

Strategy is based upon the theory that many consumer decisions are taken not to satisfy an immediate need, but for some future objective.

The strategy is to persuade your prospects that your product — although desirable in its own right — will prove additional secondary benefits to them or their family.

Using the Means-End Chain, you simply do it by shifting the consumer's focus to your product's ultimate value or benefit. The benefit of the benefit.

Formula for activating Means-End Chain mindset:

Your copy and images should always represent the positive end results.

In this way, your prospect is less likely to critically analyse the pros and cons of the actual product, and base their purchase decision on the ultimate benefit it will provide them.

I just realized that this is important to use for making thumbnails as well. Currently, I'm using the title of the video/post - which is shown anyway - in the image. I should be showing the benefits of doing what I say!

For most products, it's not the product itself that people want, it's the bottom-line benefit they're buying.

Principle #6: The Transtheoretical Model — Persuasion Step by Step

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) divides consumer knowledge and behavior into five stages, and it provides the guidelines for persuading your prospect so they move from complete ignorance of your product ("What the heck is this?"), to making it a regular purchase or an integral part of their lifestyles ("Doesn't everyone buy this?"). When you're aware of these stages, you'll better understand how and where to begin your sales message.

  • STAGE ONE: Precontemplation — People in this stage are either ignorant of your product's existence — or they're unaware they need it.
  • STAGE TWO: Contemplation — Prospects in this stage are aware of your product and have thought about using it.
  • STAGE THREE: Preparation — This is the planning phase. Your prospect is thinking about buying from you, but needs more information about your product's benefits and advantages.
  • STAGE FOUR: Action — Success! Your prospect has arrived at the coveted action, or purchase phase.
  • STAGE FIVE: Maintenance — A nice place for your prospects to be. In this phase, your product has become a part of their everyday lives. They continue to buy your product without giving it a second thought. It's their product of choice.

The aim for advertisers who use this technique is to move the consumer through the stages one at a time, until using your product becomes a habit. The challenge? Dealing successfully with consumer groups at different stages of the process. Two options to tackle this:

  1. Create ads that address all five stages. This lets your prospects focus on whatever stage is personally relevant to them. Simply include all the details someone would need to be fully informed about a product they might know little, if anything, about.
  2. Create a series of ads that, throughout a period of time, progress from stage one to stage five. Stage one, therefore introduces your product to the marketplace. Each successive ad builds upon the last, and can begin highlighting key features and benefits.

Principle #7: The Inoculation Theory — Make Them Prefer You for Life

Used to reinforce a consumer's existing attitudes toward a product or service by presenting a "weak" argument that tricks the consumer into defending his position and therefore strengthening his attitude. The three steps are:

  1. Warn of an impending attack.
  2. Make a weak attack. (it NEEDS to be weak!)
  3. Encourage a strong defense.

Example of the process on page 48 and on 49.

You can warn of an attack, present what ANOTHER (competitor) would say (weak attack), and then present a strong defense (in favor of you / your product).

The key is to make your prospects process your competitors' claims through your filters.

Principle #8: Belief Re-ranking — Change Their Reality

Most people don't like change. Even their belief - and even if they know that it's wrong.

Change the Focus of the Beliefs

In order to influence beliefs, advertisers use images and statistics that appeal either to emotions, such as fear, humor, or guilt (affecting the right-hemisphere, creative brain), or to the consumer's intellect, through factual evidence and examples (affecting the left-hemisphere, logical brain).

Your beliefs about a product can change if you are given new ways to think about it.

Change the Importance of the Beliefs

The most successful method is to strengthen your prospects' current beliefs either by supporting them with factual evidence (pouring on the stats, reports, studies, testimonials), or by using everyday examples (success stories from other users, for example) with which your prospects can identify.

Can take this one step further and reinforce additional beliefs, which are unlikely to meet resistance because they don't conflict with existing beliefs.

The strategy of manipulating current beliefs, either through reinforcement or undermining, is far easier and more likely to succeed than attempting a wholesale change of basic beliefs.

Avoid consumers' becoming defensive:

  1. Reinforce the beliefs of those prospects who already hold a positive view about your product, or
  2. By subtly offering an alternative set of beliefs to those you wish to convert.

You want to change their belief without causing a negative, defensive reaction.

You want your prospect to think that they've made their own decision.

Done by removing your prospects' need for cognitive (critical) thinking. Helpful principle:

Principle #9: The Elaboration Likelihood Model — Adjust Their Attitude

The Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) suggests that there are two routes to attitude change: the central route and the peripheral route.

  • The central route: Persuading using logic, reasoning, and deep thinking.
  • The peripheral route: Persuading using the association of pleasant thoughts and positive images, or "cues".

Which method to use depends on product.

The ELM Rule of Thumb

If your product requires central route processing, then do this:

Pour on the facts, stats, evidence, testimonials, studies, reports, and case histories. WEave them into your most persuasive sales argument.

If you product requires peripheral route processing, then do this:

Load your ads full of colorful, pleasant images, humorous or popular subject matter, or the sponsorship of celebrities.

Cues Feel Good, But Central Route Processing Makes Them Prefer You

Attitudes developed using central route processing will last longer than those formed by the peripheral route.

Principle #10: The 6 Weapons of Influence — Shortcuts to Persuasion

These cues are mental shortcuts, and are effective in many different situations — especially when your prospect isn't using careful, "considered" thought. Use these cues when writing an ad using the peripheral route to persuasion, but don't if your product requires lots of thought, reasoning etc (fx. its a luxury item, high-cost anything).

Known by the mnemonic CLARCCS:

  1. Comparison: The power of your peers.

    1. People don't like to be left out. "Everybody else is doing it, why aren't you?"
  2. Liking: The Balance Theory. "I like you...take my money!"

    1. Cue comes when consumer feels a connection with a representative of a company, the characters or personalities in an ad, or another user of the product. "Because you like be, you should do as I say: BUY!".
    2. The better they look, the more others like.
      1. Men like pictures of other men, women like pictures of other women. This is because of identification: no one is more important than oneself; so we think of us as the pictured (attractive) person.
  3. Authority: Cracking the code of credibility.

    1. Relying on "man in white coat".
  4. Reciprocation: What goes around comes around...profitably!

    1. When we received something, we feel obligated to give something back.
    2. You want to give something of value, something that makes them "wow, that was thoughtful". Free samples, gift certificates etc. If you are a consultant, give 30 min of your time with no obligation.
      1. If you have to request the free thing, its not a gift; its a favor. And its not something you give me in return for something i've done (thats a thank you).
  5. Commitment/consistency: The "Four Walls" technique.

    1. You create an ad that poses four questions to your prospect, with each answer leading logically to the next, until, at the end of your ad, your prospect is all but committed to making the purchase.

      1. How/why it works: If you take a stand, you feel that you must remain consistent with your beliefs.

      Example on page 63.

      When using written copy: The Idea is to elicit a string of "yes" responses from your prospect, each successive answer adding momentum, creating a snowball of interest and desire, and presenting your product as the path to fulfillment.

  6. Scarcity: Get 'em while they last!

    1. We want what we can't have.
    2. one-day sale, limited offer, only while supplies last, or first come, first serve etc.

Principle #11: Message Organization — Attaining Critical Clarity

If your ads are disorganized or poorly structured, your cash register ain't gonna ring.

Simplicity is important — but not always easy.

Principle #12: Examples vs. Statistics — And the Winner Is...

Examples are king because emotions are the key to sales.

Until you can get your prospects to imagine themselves using your product or service, they're not going to take the next step and buy it.

Featuring colorful examples causes "self-demonstration" and boosts your prospects desire to own and motivation to buy.

Depending on your product, it could be a great idea to INCLUDE statistics. But examples sell.

Principle #13: Message Sidedness — Dual-Role Persuasion

You can present your side or your side AND you competitors side in a head-to-head product comparison.

Can be more persuasive, but only if they stick to the format of defending their own position while also attacking their competition.

Present both but only advocate your own. How? By making your two-sided message appear to the reader as fair-minded and balanced.

You can also do comparison chart — but make sure yours is best.

Don't ever be afraid to tell people why they shouldn't buy what you're selling. Not only does it boost your credibility, but if they're true prospects, it'll also add fire to their desire.

Principle #14: Repetition and Redundancy — The Familiarity Factor

Repetition (so that people see your ad repeatedly) is good, but there is a limit. If you go over, you'll breed contempt.

Run different versions of the same ad.

Multiple sources and multiple argument: The more different sources that expose a subject to the same message, the more convinced the subject will become.

Principle #15: Rhetorical Questions — Interesting, Aren't They?

The idea is, if consumers aren't thinking carefully about an advertiser's message, slipping in a rhetorical question grabs their attention and encourages them to fire up some brain cells and think about the message.

The use of rhetorical questions may be beneficial for increasing message retention.

The more you think about something, the more brain cells you devote to it, and the more likely you are to remember it.

Principle #16: Evidence — Quick! Sell Me the Facts!

People buy from you when they believe what you are selling is of greater value than the dollars they need to exchange for it.

People always think WIIFM: "What's in it for me?"

If they don't know, they'll be reluctant to make the deal.

How do we make them believe? We can use persuasive evidence.

Facts, figures, testimonials, endorsements, research, charts, videos and so on. As long as you didn't create it yourself.

Principle #17: Heuristics — Serving Billions of Lazy Brains Daily


A product or service is more likely to be viewed favorable if the ad is long and contains numerous, credible facts and figures.

Loading your ads with testimonials is one way to tune your prospects' brains to "Heuristic Channel #1".

Another is to write long, engaging copy.

Ad-Agency Secrets: 41 Proven Techniques for Selling Anything to Anyone

Whenever you study someone who was successful at a task you're preparing to attempt, you pave yourself an incredible shortcut to success.

Ad-Agency Secret #1: The Psychology of Simplicity

This is the FOUNDATION.

The goal of advertising is to get people to act. To do that, we use words. So to be effective at making people act, we need to be effective at using our words. The audience must understand what we're saying.

The #1 key to all effective written communication: Write so people can understand.

How to you write so that people understand? Use the

The Flesch Reading Ease Formula

  1. Count the words
  2. Count the syllables
  3. Count the sentences
  4. Determine the average number of syllables per word (divide total syllables by # of words)
  5. Figure the average number of words per sentence (divide # of words by # of sentences)

The result is your readability score.

The best sentence length is of approximately 11 words.

You should also refer to people (Bob, Eileen, he, him, she, her, and so on) at least 14 times every 100 words.

Longer sentences mean longer thoughts, which requires more mental effort to follow them. The more you ask people to think, the more likely you'll lose them.

Prescription #1: Use Short, Simple Words

Prescription #2: The Shorter Your Sentences, the Better

Rule of thumb: Express only one thought in a sentence, no more.

Prescription #3: The Short, Short Paragraph Trick

Limit your opening paragraph to a maximum of eleven words. Write like this:

Dear Bob,

Would you like to know a secret way of making money simply watching TV?

I thought so.

Now let me explain...

Prescription #4: Pile on the Personal Pronoun Personality

Load your copy with pronouns such as you, me, I, he, she, him, they, and them. Especially you and I.


To be successful with your advertisements, be aware of how people might not understand you. Write shorter sentences, use smaller words, and smaller paragraphs. Don't write like you would in college. Use questions to draw people into your copy and keep them reading. Use pronouns. Use the Flesch formula to test your readability.

Paragraph leaders are a powerful way to increase reading speed and establish an upbeat tempo in ads. Repetition increases the reader's perception of volume (Length-Implies-Strength says that this boost credibility).

You learned

We guarantee

We promise

You'll receive

Ad-Agency Secret #2: Bombard Your Readers With Benefits

You need to write the benefits to the user.

Benefits = those things that offer your prospects value. Benefits ≠ features.

Features = attributes. Benefits = what you GET from those attributes.

Remember WIIFM: What's in it for me?

Always on your customers mind.

Loading your advertising with benefits is the key to add successful advertising.

Ad-Agency Secret #3: Put Your Biggest Benefit in your Headline

"Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money." — David Ogilvy.


  1. Always put your biggest benefit in your headline.
  2. If you can write two equally effective headlines, the shorter one will likely be read by more people, all other variables being the same.

NEVER ignore #1, but only keep #2 in mind.

Ad-Agency Secret #4: Crank up the Scarcity

You want people to act NOW. You want a deadline in your copy.

Ad-Agency Secret #5: Psychologically Potent Headline Starters

Two critical things that your headline needs to do:

  1. Grab their attention, and
  2. motivate them to keep reading.

It needs to do both.

"There are four important qualities that a good headline may possess. They are:

  1. Self-interest
  2. News
  3. Curiosity
  4. Quick, easy way"

— John Caples

To appeal to a consumer's self interest, simply write a headline that promises a personal benefit: whiter teeth, higher income, healthier body, better relationships, and any others. (especially if they tap into LF8).

22 good headline starters:

  1. FREE
  2. NEW
  3. AT LAST
  4. THIS
  8. NOW
  9. HERE'S
  10. THESE
  11. WHICH OF
  13. LOOK
  16. HOW
  18. DO YOU
  20. CAN YOU
  21. IF YOU

Ad-Agency Secret #6: 12 Ways to Lure Readers Into Your Copy

  1. Continue the thought in the headline
  2. Ask a question
  3. Quote a respected authority
  4. Give them a free taste
  5. Challenge them to prove it works
  6. Start with a story of skepticism
  7. Tell what others are saying (bandwagon effect)
  8. Play reporter
  9. Get personal with you you you
  10. Tell a dramatic story
  11. Give super-detailed specs
  12. Lure them with a very short sentence

Examples in chapter. p. 101-103.

Ad-Agency Secret #7: 360 Degrees of Attention-Getting Power

You can differentiate yourself with graphic design.

Instead of a square, maybe use a circle.

Ad-Agency Secret #8: The Reverse-Type Pitfall

Don't reverse.

Reverse = black background with white text.

Ad-Agency Secret #9: Crush Your Competition With Extreme Specificity

When describing your products or services, be extreme specific.

What interesting story can you tell people about your product or service? How can you educate them about what you do or how you do it?

Ask yourself: "What can I say about my product or service that may be obvious to me, but my market knows little about? Can I tell them about the processes used, the time, money, and effort expended? How can I point out the major advantages of my product and make people begin to question the quality of my competition?"

Ad-Agency Secret #10: The Famous Ogilvy Layout Principle

Called the Two-Thirds/One-Third Principle. The top two thirds of the ad is one big photograph. The remaining third of the ad consists of the headline (directly under the photo) and the sales copy beneath the headline, often starting with a large "drop cap". Your company logo tucks neatly into the lower-right corner.

Theres also the reverse-Ogilvy. Same as above but reverse.

"Don't run pictures without putting captions under them. Put a brief selling message or human interest message under every illustration you use" — John Caples.

Ad-Agency Secret #11: The Psychology of Typefaces

Serif fonts make words easier to read. Fx: Times New Roman, Palatino, Schoolbook, Georgia, Courier, Cheltenham, Bookman, and Garamond.

Sans serif make reading more difficult and uncomfortable.

Set Headlines in Initial Caps

For Online reading arial and verdana fonts are good. also use 10 or 12 points. (size).

Arial for 12 point and larger - verdana for smaller than 12. But rarely go smaller than 10 point. Also for a more formal look, use Georgia.

Ad-Agency Secret #12: Insist on the Pro-Design Difference

Don't design your own sales materials. People try to be a graphic designer themselves — but often, it looks horrible.

Ad-Agency Secret #13: The Power of Questions

"What does it do?"

"So what happens?"

"Want an example?"

"Do you want to know one simple technique that will ...?"

Ask questions - it makes the monologue feel more like a two-way conversation.

Ad-Agency Secret #14: The "Granny Rule" of Direct Mail

Act as if your salesletter was a person. You wouldn't talk like a robot.

The best way to write any advertising is to start by making a list of all the benefits your product or service offers. Then rank them in the order of importance — to your customer — so your #1 is now the strongest selling point. Now you have the key selling points of your product.

Take that #1 benefit and work that benefit into the opening of your letter.

People want ease and speed. We live in a quick-fix society. Appeal to that.

Don't start with "Dear friend" or "Dear reader". Start with "Dear Weekend Warrior" or "Dear Soon-to-Be-Millionaire".

Start your letter with a question. It's an extremely effective device for getting people to read deeper.

Especially: "Do you want?"

The purpose of your first sentence and paragraph is to get people to read your second sentence an paragraph — and so on.

AIDA: Attention, interest, desire, action.

Make things personal.

Ad-Agency Secret #15: The Psychology of "Social Proof"

People believe testimonials.

If you want people to respond to your offer, you have to make it as easy as possible for them! Don't you be the lazy one.

Ad-Agency Secret #16: The Guillotine Principle

A head or face is the best attention-getter. Put a photo of someone's head in your ad. Smiling is preferable - depending on the product.

Ad-Agency Secret #17: PVAs — The Easy Way to Boost the Power of Your Copy

PVAs = Powerful visual adjectives.

Don't say: Make lots of money!

Do say: Rake in $2,750 cash weekly!

Use them.

Ad-Agency Secret #18: Directing Mental Movies

All experience is made up of only these five factors: V-A-K-O-G.

  1. Visual (sight)
  2. Auditory (sound)
  3. Kinesthetic (feeling or emotions)
  4. Olfactory (smell)
  5. Gustatory (taste)

We have these internal representations - any time we experience something, a blend of all these elements is present. These elements are the internal representations, because they represent our experience of the world around us internally, in our heads. A memory is just a blend of these elements.

When you are advertising, what you need to do is you nee to increase the strength of the representations in your prospects' brains.

You need to ramp up the intensity of all five elements so that you create a concentrated internal experience with sufficient power to affect his or her behavior. This is how you get people to take action.

Stop being afraid to use your own brain. Forge your own path and leave your own mark. You don't need permission from anybody to do things your way. You be the leader. You be the one people copy because what you're doing is so unique. Shake people up in your industry. Why be just another person in your industry who does nothing new, nothing worth noting, nothing that gets people talking and buying?

Ad-Agency Secret #19: Battling Human Inertia

Getting action requires two steps:

  1. Making it easy to act, and then
  2. Ask for action.

People want more ease in their lives. Tell them how easy it is to buy from you.

Ad-Agency Secret #20: Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition

When people can't distinguish you from your competition, they have no reason to prefer you. And your goal in business is to have people prefer your product, to choose you over everyone else offering the same or similar thing.

Be proactive. Tell people why you're great. Be more than just your impressive tag line — be what you say you are.

If you want your ad to stand out from the crows, say something different.

Ask yourself "what's unique about what I'm offering? Am I the only one offering this plan, product, or service? What's unique about me that I can exploit?"

Book suggestion: "Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind"

Ad-Agency Secret #21: Buy Your Own Island

Ad-Agency Secret #22: Authority Positioning

How to market yourself as an authority in your field.

  1. Begin to regard yourself as someone who has a mountain of valuable information to share with others. Simple, right? Unfortunately, low self-esteem keeps many people from taking even this first step. If you don't think your knowledge is valuable, you're doomed before you begin.
  2. Make what you know available to the public in as many forms as possible.
    1. Put yourself in all of your sales materials. Headshots etc.
    2. Spread out information by creating guides (pdf etc) — longform. This would feature you right on the cover, with your name and caption under the photo and your business name on the cover.

What do you do with these free reports? Advertise them in your ads. Give them to anyone for free. (I can do this on my Twitter etc).

Make sure to include contact information on them. Give seminars, hold workshops, create educational products, write a book, do radio and TV interviews, blog your expertise.

Ad-Agency Secret #23: A Sales Letter in Survey's Clothing

Put a sales letter at the bottom of a survey.

Ad-Agency Secret #24: Power Your Ads With Pictures

Pictures are good.

Pictures of the product are good. Pictures of the product in use is better.

Ad-Agency Secret #25: Grab 'Em With Grabbers

Grabbers = putting something special at the top of your letters.

Ad-Agency Secret #26: Long Copy vs. Short

Long copy is best.

Ad-Agency Secret #27: Offer Testing

Just as you should test different headlines, it's vitally important to test different offers.

Ad-Agency Secret #28: Survey Power

Ad-Agency Secret #29: Editorial Energizers

Try to make your ad look more like an article / editorial.

Ad-Agency Secret #30: The Coupon Persuader

Disguise your ads as coupons. Coupons are good.

Ad-agency Secret #31: 7 Online Response Boosters

Emails once a week is fine.

HTML emails are better than text emails.

Ad-Agency Secret #32: Multi-page Your Way to Success

Ad-Agency Secret #33: Guarantees That Guarantee Higher Response

Offer a great guarantee. As long as you can. 6 months or more are way better than those 1 month or 60 days etc.

Ad-Agency Secret #34: The Psychology of Size

Ad-Agency Secret #35: The Psychology of Page and Section Positioning

No difference.

All that matters: The strength of its offer, the execution of the copy and design.

Ad-Agency Secret #36: The Fantastic Four

Ad-Agency #37: Consumer Color Preferences and How Color Affects Readership

  1. Blue
  2. Red
  3. Green
  4. Violet
  5. Orange
  6. Yellow

Most liked color combos

  1. Blue and yellow
  2. Blue and red
  3. Red and green
  4. Purple and orange
  5. Red and orange

Most liked → least liked.

Ad-Agency Secret #38: The Psychology of Pricing

xx.99 suggests low quality but xx.00 suggest high quality.

Ad-Agency Secret #39: The Psychology of Color

Color can affect how we think about thinks.

Ad-Agency Secret #40: Wrap Your Ads in White

Have white space around your ad.

Ad-Agency Secret #41: Give Yourself a "Cleverectomy"

In advertising, it's not clever to be clever.

Hot Lists: 101 Easy Ways to Boost Your Ad Response


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