The Top 5 SUICIDE Missions in Marketing, and How To Avoid Them
© 1999, by Harmony Major
"THIS IS *NOT* A SCAM!"
How many times have we seen ads that begin like this, that we
just skip right over? Or delete?
I'd have to say a countless many. I felt compelled to write this
article yesterday as I was going through ads that people placed
in MY own ezine. Even with my high-visibility, "no hype," ad
placement, they're STILL lost if they write a terrible ad.
So, my duty today is to warn YOU of the many disgraceful faux pas
that can make ANY and EVERY advertising campaign a flop. Each of
the following five ad-writing techniques are SUICIDE missions to
your marketing success. Let the user beware!
SUICIDE MISSION#1: Use phrases like "This is NOT a scam!"
First of all, if it's not a scam, you shouldn't need
to waste valuable advertising space to tell me that.
Talk more about your product and what it IS -- not
what you claim it ISN'T. In addition to lessening the
credibility of your ad, you're also telling us that
you're not confident enough about what you offer
to leave that judgement up to us!
SUICIDE MISSION#2: Use phrases like "HEY you! FREE SEX!!"
Now, just why would you think I'd want to buy
something from (or work with) someone that uses
street corner "Cat Calls" to get my attention? This
seems to be a popular technique designed to make
readers notice an ad due to the shock factor in
seeing the word "SEX" in huge letters - but it's
most commonly (and disgracefully) used to
advertise BUSINESS opportunities!
Again, spend your time telling me about your product,
not yelling offensive obscenities at me. And, if sex is
irrelevant to your offer, why run the very likely risk
of tar getting the WRONG audience??
SUICIDE MISSION #3: USE ALL CAPS IN YOUR ENTIRE AD.
Not only is this unnecessary, it's also considered
to be rude on the Internet. All caps means that you're
"yelling" at your readers, unless it's used selectively
to stress certain points. It also makes your text
VERY hard to read.
SUICIDE MISSION #4: Write a down-right BORING advertisement,
"If you ever wanted to make money on the Internet,
you can do it now, with XYZ Company. My sponsor
makes money like this every day. You can be like us
and sell what we sell. http://Im-a-Loser.com"
Not only was that ad BORING, it told me nothing
but the fact that you make money, your sponsor
makes money, and you sell some mysterious product
that you think I'll make money from. If your ad doesn't
get your prospect EXCITED about what you offer, it's
*not* doing its job! Which leads me to number five...
SUICIDE MISSION #5: Spend a lot more time telling me how
your product works than how it can improve my life!
I don't care that SpeedyCleen Vacuum Cleaners have
a 75ft long hose. I want to know how SpeedyCleen
guarantees that a 4ft 10inch woman will finally be
able to reach those cobwebs in the formerly
impossible-to-reach crevices in her vaulted ceiling!
We don't care that ZippyLemon Laundry Detergent
has a garden-fresh lemon scent. We want to know
that ZippyLemon will blast out the three-year-old
mustard stain on my husband's favorite shirt... with
only ONE washing!
To make a long story short, spend more time telling
you readers HOW your product can make THEIR
lives easier, not how the gadgets on it work!
So, now that you know what NOT to do, let's talk about how to
write an ad that virtually FORCES your reader to respond!
Remember these five important tactics that'll turn ANY suicide
marketing mission into a bonafide success!
BONAFIDE SUCCESS TACTIC #1
Don't use credibility-crushing phrases like "This is
NOT a scam!" If it's not, then you shouldn't need to
tell us. And, why would we take a stranger at his
BONAFIDE SUCCESS TACTIC #2
Don't use the shock value of SEX-related words to
get your reader's attention. Focus on tar getting the
RIGHT audience for your purpose!
BONAFIDE SUCCESS TACTIC #3
Only use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS when stressing
important points in your ad. Remember -- an ad in
all caps is both rude AND hard to read!
BONAFIDE SUCCESS TACTIC #4
Use "excitement" words and symbols to have your
readers salivating for more. Replace a few periods
(.....) with exclamation points (!!!!!).
INSTEAD OF THIS:
"Subscribe to ABC Ezine for the best freeware,
tutorials, and references on the web, for those
with no advertising budget. Delivered to your
"ARE YOU BROKE? Let ABC ezine find YOU
the best FREE business software and "How-To"
tactics - EACH WEEK!
BONAFIDE SUCCESS TACTIC #5
Talk about how your product will enhance various
aspects of my life make work easier, make me money,
make me beautiful, etc. Don't waste time on telling me
how your gadgets work and why they work that way.
Make your *target audience* understand EXACTLY how your product
or service will benefit them, and your ads will go a long way!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harmony Major is the author of Yahoo! Secrets, where she reveals
how YOU can drive HUNDREDS more visitors to your site each day,
by getting a #1 listing on Yahoo. Don't just settle for "getting
listed." Use her instantly-effective tactics to boost your site
traffic with a TOP Yahoo listing! Visit: http://YahooSecrets.com