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Direct Marketing And Copywriting Canon 3 Things To Do And Three Things To Avoid
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"I have always believed that writing advertisements is the second most profitable form of writing. The first, of course, is ransom notes."
Since I am not in the kidnap and ransom business I thought I'd share some advice about how to make the second most profitable from of writing more profitable for you.
Three Things To Avoid
Being Lazy - Laziness is the bane of copywriting and marketing - failing to segment for laser precision targeting is one of the main forms of laziness that I see over and over again.
It doesn't have to be hard. I've seen something as simple as inserting an industry into the headline work 'like magic' for boosting response. Where everybody buckles over is the thought of all the extra work.
Segmentation/Targeting is one of the places where the extra work is always rewarded. Embrace the work ethic.
Being Right - One of the worst ways to lose money in marketing is trying to prove that you are right. The market tells you what is right and wrong. LISTEN to it.
If you want to make money in business you need to be willing to swallow your pride. Right and wrong don't matter willing to occupy a position that makes you money, regardless of your opinion of the rightness or wrongness of it.
Moving Too Often - While there is nothing wrong with testing, too many people are looking to jump from a winning marketing campaign for reasons as trivial as 'being sick of it.' Your market will tire of it long after you ever do. When you have a winner stick to it until you have a better winner or it no longer makes you money.
Three Things To Do
Test - Continual improvement is magical once you've experienced it. That on-going uptick as breakthrough after breakthrough is locked into your business. Eventually you get so good that nobody can touch you. However, as an ongoing process it can be painfully slow and frustrating. I know it can be. Testing is how you continuously improve your sales and marketing. So if you aren't testing you are only going backwards.
Manage By Numbers - Business is actually an exercise in objective management. Check your numbers, make your decisions based on them. They are the reality of your business. I find that I feel better when there is thought process and hard data involved in the decision making process. It makes me feel I have made the best possible decision even if it doesn't work out.
This is much more reassuring than decisions made based on 'going with your gut,' 'making stuff up' or 'pulling it out of your rear end.'
Stay Focused - One of the best things you can do in marketing is stay completely focused on the tasks at hand. I could have included 'chasing shiny rocks' as something to avoid. I believe this is better done in the positive. Most people don't know the opposite of chasing shiny rocks.
Know what you need to do to achieve the big picture and stay militantly focused on it until you achieve it.
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