Why Your Marketing Efforts Aren't Working
Copyright @ 2002 Joshua Rose
A good friend of mine back in college wanted to learn how to
play ping-pong. Every night after dinner he would play with
the dorm Champ. Needless to say, it was a hopeless mis-
I would stop by sometimes and watch him get pounded over
and over again. The Champ was merciless: 21-2, 21-1, 21-3
were typical scores.
Being an acquaintance of the Champ, I asked him once why he
wasn't taking it a little easier on such a novice player. I've
thought about his answer many times since then because it
has come to my aid time and time again.
If you're like the overwhelming majority of netrepreneurs,
I'm sure you've been trying to figure out why your
marketing efforts have been taking a*pounding*. In fact,
it's likely you're even using many of the same techniques
as the *Internet Guru's*, but they just don't seem to work
Why? Well, if you're not attracting traffic, and if you're
not converting visitors into sales, the first place to look
is at *the words* you use. Your *pounding* is very likely
due to your own copywriting: your ad headlines, your sales
page, and your ezine copy.
The one single characteristic virtually every Internet
Expert has in common is the ability to write like the
***ens. And with competition so widespread and so fierce,
if your copywriting is only *average*, or worse, any
marketing effort is unlikely to get off the ground.
I recently used the "Search Term Suggestion Tool" over at
Overture for a little test. Here's what I found in a recent
month. There were:
*****96,000 searches for *internet marketing*
*****152,000 searches for *home business*
*****162,000 searches for *marketing*
*****and 108,000 searches for *advertising*
That's 518,000 searches for marketing related topics.
Now, get this. There were less than 5,000 searches for
*copywriting* and less than 4,000 for *writing skills*.
That's less than 2% of the total … and offers a strong hint
of why 95% of businesses on the web fail.
Admittedly, this isn't scientific, but what it indicates is
that those people who are interested in making money on
the web, are not very interested in learning how to write
great copy … even though this is the very skill that
separates the big money makers from everyone else.
Do you have a copywriting problem? It's easy to know. If
you're short on site traffic and sales, the answer is, *yes*.
There's plenty of ways of getting traffic to your site. If
it's not happening, your promotional copy isn't getting the
job done and needs to be reworked. Ditto for sales.
So, how do you *write for the web*? Here's some quick
pointers to get you started.
1.) Write from your prospects point of you. Keep the *I's*
to a minimum and use plenty of *you's*.
2.) Use powerful words in your headlines, such as
*Discover*, *Breakthrough*, *The Truth About*, *Amazing*,
*New*, *Money*, *Magic* and *Proven* to name a few. Even
the old *How To* keeps on working.
3.) Avoid over hyping. Claiming to have secrets that will
make people rich almost overnight loses credibility.
4.) Experiment with your ad headlines. I tripled the
response to an ad by changing just a few words, from
*Frustrated With Your Online Earnings?* to *Are You
Frustrated With The Money You've Been Making?*.
5.) Use simple, everyday words to make your points. Don't
say, *Use average language to be understood properly*.
6.) Keep your paragraphs short (2-4 sentences) and your
sentences brief. Instead of, *Receive everything you need
in your mailbox in a few moments*, say, *Get it all right
7.) Stress the benefits, not the features. Instead of
*This product comes with a money-back guarantee*, say,
*Think of all the time, energy and money you'll save with
this lifetime guarantee*.
8.) On your sales page, state the problem, stir up the
problem and then solve the problem.
9.) Use *bullets* to list your benefits. Many visitors
will read your sales page only after a quick scan of your
headlines and bullets.
10.) Motivate action by using action verbs throughout your
copy, such as *unleash, explode, break, pull, punch and
spread*, to name a few. This helps the reader get in the
frame of mind for taking action. Then close with an action
statement. Instead of *Build bigger profits*, say *Make
more money now*.
11.) Visit the web sites of known Internet Experts,
subscribe to their newsletters and study, study, study.
There's no doubt that learning to write great copy will have
an immediate, positive impact on every marketing method
you use. And the good news is that it is definitely learn-
So, what was *The Champ's* answer to me and how can you use
it to improve your internet results? I think it's clear.
He said, "Your friend isn't looking for recreation. He
wants to become a serious player."
A month later, he had indeed become a serious player. No,
he didn't get better than the Champ, but he gave him a run
for his money nearly every time … even beating him once in
So, if you've been taking a marketing pounding, learn from
the copywriting champs. And keep on playing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Joshua Rose cuts through the glut of Internet "hype" and
"false promises" to identify the "genuine" marketing
techniques that are REALLY getting the results. For more
"work smart" techniques, or to subscribe to his newsletter,