CoSchedule–The Content Marketing Editorial Calendar to Beat All Others?

calendar and pen 2 - Tatarnikov

Are you using an editorial calendar for content management yet? As a blog owner or content marketer, you might have a love-hate relationship with the process of running your blog and juggling multiple content providers and social media platforms. It isn’t easy and it usually involves several tools. That’s why I was so excited to […]

10 Reasons to Use TONS of Copy on Your Landing Pages

movable type

You’ve heard the old cliché, “A picture is worth a 1,000 words.” If this saying were true in marketing, every landing page would comprise blocks and blocks of photos with very little copy. Oh wait! That’s Pinterest, not a landing page. You’ve probably noticed, the overwhelming majority of web pages don’t look like Pinterest. They […]

Are You Unknowingly Using Bait-and-Switch Marketing?


It’s no secret that bait-and-switch marketing techniques are dishonest. In fact, in many countries true “bait and switch” has been made illegal through different forms of consumer protection legislation. In the United States, for example, consumers can file a lawsuit against a marketer for false advertising if they’re using the technique. In case you’re not familiar […]

Why Your Marketing Generates Yawns, Not Sales

buyers ask what's in it for me

My mentor in this crazy world of direct response copywriting was Andrew Wood, also known as “The Legend.” An excellent marketer and copywriter, Andrew hired me to write some copy and he gave me a checklist… One item: Always answer the most important question the customer is asking: What’s in it for me? As a […]

When Fear-Based Marketing Stops Working, Try This Instead


If you have any copywriting training, you’ve probably been taught to find the emotional “pain button” of your prospect … and push it until they’re practically begging for your solution. While this technique is actually quite effective to capture attention and get sales, if you’re using it too much, you may be hurting your repeat […]

How to Write Like a Hipster (And Be Professional Too!)

hip yet professional

Hipster is sort of a dated and overdone term, but we all understand what it means. A hipster is someone who’s super cool, ahead of the times, and has a little bit of an edge. A hipster is found at an underground club in an indie urban neighborhood, rather than in a suburban shopping mall. […]

The Key to Creating Loyal Customers

loyal cusotmers

The secret is out: Repeat customers—or loyal customers—are the best customers! Just look at these findings from the European Management Journal: The cost of acquisition happens only at the beginning of a relationship, so the longer the relationship, the lower the cost. Long-term customers help spread free word-of-mouth promotions and bring in referrals. Regular customers […]

AIDA: A Proven Copywriting Formula for Generating Leads and Revenue


No, it’s not about Verdi’s Opera. AIDA stands for: Attention Interest Desire Action If you’re new to copywriting, or you’re a copywriter staring at a blank page, the AIDA copywriting formula is an “old standard” that routinely produces rock-solid results. You can use AIDA for every type of direct response ad: sales page, squeeze page, […]

The Dynamic Power of Headline Influencers

headline influencers feature

Have you ever tried hitting a moving object, except the moving object is a millisecond glance? That’s what crafting digital headlines feels like, at least for some of us. Internet surfers glide through dozens of headlines daily, stopping to click only when… Only when what? When they see how many people tweeted it? When a […]

Writing a Guarantee That Converts

Hand and stamp Guarantee

Regardless of what many businesses believe, a guarantee is more than a promise to return the prospect’s money. The right guarantee builds relationships with your customers and inspires trust. It’s much more than a return policy with strings attached. The guarantee is possibly the strongest sales tool anyone can leverage. It tells the prospect that […]

What 7 Legendary Copywriters Can Teach Us About Web Copy


It’s an easy mistake. Each generation of copywriters is probably the same. We think that writing has changed. We try to re-invent the wheel. We hunt the web for the latest, newest, shiniest tips. Web copy is different from old-fashioned ad copy, isn’t it? Yes, of course, some things have changed. We have to deal […]

Can These Old-School Ads Help Your Bottom Line Today?

old-school ads

If you come across a marketing guru who claims to be “innovative” and “cutting edge,” then run the other way. It’s true that innovative, cutting edge technology can make marketing easier (sometimes), but when it comes to direct marketing techniques, what worked 100 years ago (in those old-school ads we often roll our eyes at) […]

Fascinate, Tease & Shoot to Kill! How to Use Bullets for Better Results

inforgraphic design

Think about the last time you read some copy and bought the product. It likely had a headline, an offer, a call to action, plus some body copy. And if it was effective copy, it also likely had bullets. Bullets are simply short, bite-sized pieces of copy that focus the reader’s attention on key features […]

7 Quick ‘N Easy Split Tests That Can Increase Conversions 10% Or More

increase conversions

We all have grand schemes to start split-testing. We get all the software setup, get excited about increasing our conversions, and then… … things get busy again and we forget. That’s why I’d like to reveal seven tests I’ve personally done either on my own sites or with my clients that have all achieved conversion increases […]

The Little-Known Trick for Higher-Quality Content and Landing Pages

research for better copywriting

There’s a little-known “trick” for higher-quality content and better-converting landing pages. The best writers swear by it. Non-writers avoid it like the plague. What is it? Research. When I first became a freelance copywriter, I had a hard time with research. I knew I needed to do a lot of it, but I didn’t know […]

The Simple Trick that Makes Your Website More Engaging and Persuasive

engaging website

Would you like to learn a trick that can make your website more persuasive? And help you win more customers? Implement today’s tips and your videos and blog posts will become more engaging. Your web copy will become more compelling. Your web design will become more seductive. Sound good? The power of describing your buyer […]

How to Get High-Performance Sales Copy Without Hiring a Copywriter

write your own high-performance sales copy

One of the hardest things to do as a business owner is write and research your own product. It’s pretty common to sit down in front of a computer screen and think that you’ll turn out ready-to-use copy in a jiffy. But, more often than not, you’re left scratching your head and wondering what’s wrong […]

Selling Sunlamps in the Sahara: The Formula for a Powerful Offer

business hand holding earth

I’m sure you’ve heard a version of the old saying, “That salesperson…they’re so good, they could sell sunlamps in the Sahara—or ice cream to the penguins!” My travels have not taken me to the Sahara but I’m extremely confident that when I finally take my Saharan adventure, I’m not going to run into someone selling […]

How Power Words Can Help You Sell

powerful, strong woman

We know great marketing copy when we see it. With just a few words, brands are able to appeal to our deepest desires, personal goals, and hopes to be our best. Without even blinking or thinking twice, we’re ready to click ‘add to cart’ or ‘learn more.’ And it’s because of great copywriting. How do […]

21 Call to Action Examples and 3 Rules for Effective CTAs

Act Now - Red Button

I started this article looking for 101 call to action examples. My plan was to review the all-time great copywriting controls and find the calls to action that made them so effective. After all, they were written by the historical greats. But I hadn’t read more than a handful of mailings when I discovered something […]

Two Words To Turn Ho-Hum into Powerful Copywriting


Two words are all that stand between you and better copy. What are they? I won’t keep you in suspense. It’s a simple two-word question: “So what?” Asking yourself this one simple question will dramatically improve your copy. And yield powerful copywriting. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing an email to a colleague, a memo […]

Talking Salesmanship: John Carlton on the (Un)Importance of Design & Crime Fiction

People shaking hands in a real estate transaction

Welcome to Part 2 of my interview with marketing legend John Carlton. In the first installment, John discussed the importance of salesmanship in marketing. Here in Part 2, John talks about the single element that trumps even great salesmanship when it comes to successful selling. Plus — you’ll discover the relationship between design and copy, […]

Talking Salesmanship: John Carlton on the Art of Feeding a Hungry Crowd

People shaking hands in a real estate transaction

You may bristle at some of the ideas covered in this interview. If you do,  it’s a really good sign you need to pay extra close attention. Why? This interview digs into one of the most important (yet distasteful to many) concepts you have to understand to be a successful marketer: Salesmanship. And there’s truly […]

Are You Committing This Business Writing “Sin”?

man trying to understand web copy

Marketing is all about communication. And when it comes to business writing, communicating your message clearly to your prospects is priority number one. Unfortunately, this basic principle seems to go unnoticed far too often — especially in the world of business-to-business (B2B) marketing. It doesn’t matter if you’re writing to the CEO of a billion-dollar […]

What’s In A Name? How To Use Naming Conventions To Convert

the right name makes a difference

When parents welcome a new baby into the world, they grace their child with a name. My parents chose Emma, and that name followed me through infancy to school to college, and then to adult life. Names conjure up certain ideas and preconceptions, whether we like it or not. A name’s important, and not just […]

10 Tips to Energize Boring Copy (And Increase Sales by 30%)

plasma lamp

If you’re serious about marketing, then every word of copy has only one purpose: persuade the reader to take the next step in the sales process. The next step could be calling a toll-free number, filling out a form, or reaching into a pocket or purse and pulling out a credit card. Whatever the next […]

Put the Power of Story In Your Sales Copy

boy reading a story

Stories are powerful. For ages, they’ve been used to convey messages, teach values, and pass on wisdom from one generation to the next. They can tap into our deepest emotions… entertain us… inspire us… and move us to action. That’s why if you’re serious about improving your results, you’ll want to put the power of […]

5 Tips to Boost the Credibility of Your Sales Messages and Sell More

puzzle piece with key

It’s tricky. Why would people believe your sales messages? You’re just trying to sell them something, aren’t you? You use social proof to show your popularity. You display security badges to tell web visitors you can be trusted with their credit card details. Maybe you even use quotes from authoritative figures to vouch for your […]

Create Loyal Customers and Raving Fans With Just Your Website

thumbs up

How do you turn casual browsers into loyal customers who rave about you to their social circles? You might be surprised to hear it starts with your first encounter. Assuming that first encounter is your website, you need web pages that capture your visitor’s attention, build relationships, and generate the “know-like-trust” factor that everyone’s talking […]

How to Make Effective Calls to Action in Every Channel

improve results

You’ve heard it before. No communication should ever leave your office without a call to action. Every page… every email… even your Facebook posts… need one. What does that mean? It means you need a game plan that details the path customers should take as they move through your funnel. You need to be crystal […]

“Say What!?” Why WHAT You Say In Your Sales Copy Matters More Than HOW You Say It

what you say matters

When it comes to writing effective sales copy — the kind that moves people to action — knowing what to say is far more important than how you say it. Far too many copywriters and marketers spend the bulk of their time obsessing over choosing the perfect words, checking their grammar, and revising countless drafts, […]

6 Tantalizing Techniques for Writing Seductive Sales Copy

seductive sales copy

It happens to all of us. We’ve developed a new product. We’ve worked hard to get the product right. We’ve slaved for hours to get the launch prepared. A new brochure has been designed and a web page is almost ready to be published. And now we only have to write the product description. It’s […]

Direct Response Versus Branding: How to Write No-Hype Copy that Sells


I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of business jargon. Piercing headaches overwhelm me when I hear words and phrases like blamestorming, right-sizing, and synergistic. During a business meeting, someone told me to “birddog that information” and I almost collapsed. (On a side note, if you’ve been on-boarded or parachuted into a new […]

The Secret to High-Impact Sales Copy (Hint: Your Customers Already Use It)

inforgraphic design

I have bad news and good news. First the bad: It doesn’t matter how good your sales copy, it doesn’t really sell. Which means all that work: the well-chosen words, the descriptions, and especially your lists of features and benefits… they aren’t doing the job. Now for the good news: Your customers don’t need a […]

9 Tools that No Serious Online Writer Should Be Without


When it comes to writing for the web, competition is steadily growing fierce.  We’ve had it drilled into our heads that “content is king” but great content is what gets results. The thing nobody ever tells you, though, is how you are supposed to create all this great content. If you dread staring at a blank screen […]

5 Tips for Injecting the Like-Factor into Your Sales Copy


It’s true. We buy from people we like. Not the ones who give us the best deal or the best service. Not the ones who do the best work. But the ones we like the best. That being the case, getting your prospects to like you is an important part of the selling process. So […]

How to Create Winning Headlines in 9 Simple Steps

heart shaped magazines

Imagine a newspaper or magazine with no headlines. Imagine a print ad with no headlines. Imagine a long-form sales page with no headlines. It would be confusing and tedious. In a newspaper, headlines steer the reader from story to story. And it’s pretty much the same with magazines. In copywriting, the headline is the advertisement […]

5 Common Objections Your Sales Page Must Overcome to Make the Sale

overcome objections

What’s the most important task of sales copy? Driving sales, of course. And what’s the number one reason we struggle to do it? Because our prospects are masters of resistance. That being the case, the most critical task of your sales copy is overcoming objections. So let’s look at ways you can overcome the most […]

How To Write Cool Copy For Unsexy Stuff

company blogs

Are you writing or curating content for a company with a seemingly unsexy product or service? Trust me, you’re not alone. Most writers don’t work for Vogue, Apple, or Ferrari, and we’re faced with writing copy, blog posts, and other material for less than sexy stuff. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to use words […]

The Marketer’s Guide to Leveraging the Know-Factor in Your Sales Copy


They say your prospects need to know, like, and trust you before they’ll buy. Most marketers pay attention to trust-building strategies. After all, direct response puts a lot of emphasis on proofs. But how do you help people know you? Let’s be honest. In digital marketing, your visitors only know what you tell them. So […]

Add This Persuasive Power Tool to Your Sales Pages


Traditionally, direct response focuses on benefits: Pile on the benefits, and you can convince anyone to do anything. But that’s not exactly true. Benefits make features more relevant to your buyers, translating “it does this” to “it does this for YOU.” But without solid proof, these promises more likely to set off your visitors’ BS […]

How a Pro Marketer Would Sell a Used Workout Machine on Craigslist


It doesn’t matter whether you are writing offers for a Fortune 500 company or Craigslist. To get results, you use the same basic techniques. Let’s take a look at some Craigslist ads to see what works. Then try the same techniques on your own sales pages and see if they don’t make a difference. Start […]

How to Establish a ‘Control’ Landing Page for a New Product or Service


You’ve got a new service or a new product. You’re going to drive traffic to a new landing page through PPC, email, affiliates, traditional media, and other sources. You’ve got white space staring at you but the landing page needs to be ready in a few weeks—perhaps sooner. What’s next? Here’s a step-by-step guide to […]

The Secret to Avoiding Content Writer’s Block (& Creating Quality Content)


Let me guess… You need quality content. Lots of it. But the mere fact that you need it — in high volume and high quality — is enough to create a block. You’ve heard of writer’s block, I’m sure. It’s no different with content writer’s block. The challenge to create content that’s engaging and interesting […]

Is Hick’s Law Damaging Your Landing Page Results?

Hicks Law in Marketing

There’s a rule of thumb marketers have been using for years. It’s called Hick’s Law, and whether you know it or not, it has probably lowered the click-through rates on your landing pages. Here’s what you probably already know… According to Hick’s Law, the more choices you give someone, the longer it takes them to […]

When You’re Serious About Maximizing ROI, Start Here…

Writing a Great Offer

It’s not a scientific equation but it’s mostly predictable: Deep Digging = High Conversion To help me buttress and augment my theory, I want you to meet someone. I’m currently watching the DVDs of the Gary Bencivenga 100 Seminar (a $5,000 product and worth every penny) that took place in New York City in 2005.  Now retired, […]

How To Write A Landing Page For Readers, Scanners and Bottom-Line Viewers


It doesn’t matter how good your offer is, if no one reads it, it can’t convert. That’s why you need to write your landing page for all types of people — readers, scanners and bottom-line viewers. To do this, tell your story in these five places: In the headline and deck (subtitle) In the body In the […]

6 Battle-Tested Landing Page Leads That Consistently Sell More


Want better results on your landing pages? It may be as simple as selecting the right opening. A few years ago, copywriters Michael Masterson and John Forde began studying record-breaking sales letters to see if there was a hidden formula among them. What they discovered is that it all comes down to the first 100 […]

5 Essential Qualities of Irresistible Product Descriptions

Irresistible Product Descriptions

Product descriptions aren’t that hard: Just list a few features and move on, right? Wrong. Your product descriptions should position your product, target your ideal customer, and set off a strong buy response. Features alone can’t do that. Just take a look at this high-end retailer’s description, and you’ll see what I mean. Trusting customers […]

22 One-Sentence Stories That Will Emotionally Charge Your Marketing

Customize Social Media Profiles

This might surprise you. If you’ve been involved in marketing for any length of time you know that stories sell. But the most important stories are not the stories you tell about yourself, your company and/or your product or service (though they are important). It’s the stories going on inside the heads of your customers […]