Archive for the ‘Copywriting’ Category

I’ve posted a few things about Mr. Fire, Dr. Joe Vitale regarding the Gravity Defyer Shoes. I am an owner of several of his books and frequent reader of his Mr. Fire Blog. Today, he posted a blog about an amazing hoax he hired Alan Abel to stage in order to promote his incredible book “The Attractor Factor”.

I spent some time on Alan’s website today reading the various stories about his hoaxes and watching video from some of the most entertaining hoaxes I’ve ever seen. My personal favorite was in regards to the Citizens Against Public Breast Feeding, which loosely ties into my previous blog about the Tiddy Bear.

Well, see for yourself. You will get a great chuckle…

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Buying and selling real estate depends on three things:

  1. Location
  2. Location
  3. Location

Writing copy also depends on three things:

  1. Benefits
  2. Benefits
  3. Benefits

What’s a benefit? I’ll tell you what a benefit is not. If it has anything to do with the product, it is NOT a benefit. WHAT?

Here is where it gets really tricky. When I say ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE PRODUCT, I mean ANYTHING. Keep reading, you’ll be able to sell better than ever by the end of this article. For example: Let’s say you are writing about a ladder. Here are examples of what you could say about the ladder:

  1. The ladder extends to 12 feet, making clearing the rain gutters easier than ever
  2. Clearing your rain gutters will be so much easier than ever with this new ladder
  3. Every time my wife would ask me to change a light bulb or clean the gutters, I would always make some excuse not to because it is such a chore. Until I got this ladder

Each of the above make it clear that your life will be easier than before because of the ladder. At first glance, these might even seem like you are talking about a benefit. After all, isn’t having an easier life a benefit we are all after?

I’ll go back to my definition of what a benefit is *not*: If it has anything to do with the product, it is NOT a benefit. All of the above examples have something to do with the product. So, how can you write about the benefits of the product without writing about the product itself?

Going back to the ladder example:

  1. Become a virtual Superman!
  2. You can be the star of your own do-it-yourself television show
  3. Be the neighborhood handyman you’ve always wanted to be

Sound like tall tales? Well, you aren’t selling someone a 12′ ladder. There are hundreds (if not thousands) of choices of 12′ ladders. You are selling him the excitement, the thrill of becoming a virtual Superman who can save cats stuck in a tree. You are selling him on being the guy that everyone goes to in order to find out how to clear rain gutters. You are selling him on being such a great handyman around the house that his wife is going to brag (NOT nag) about him to all the neighbors.

NOTE: I want to clarify that I am not saying to NEVER write anything about the product. You MUST write about product features. However, features are what people look for AFTER they are sold on the item, not before.

After you’ve hooked him with the virtual Superman line, you can give him all the features of the item. Now, when you describe the features of the product, it should be in line with the virtual Superman theme.

For example

  • Leap into action when your cat is stuck in a tree with a sturdy 12′ reach

instead of…

  • You can help save your cat when she gets stuck in a tree. The extra 12′ reach you will have with this ladder will turn into a virtual Superman

Even though the second example utilizes the virtual Superman idea, it doesn’t hold true to the idea of Superman. Remember, superman is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s faster than a speeding bullet. More powerful than a locomotive. When you tie your copy to that powerful of an image, you need to make sure that the rest of your copy is not a bunch of Kryptonite.

NOTE: In this example, I used a male subject. Same thing applies to women. Obviously, becoming a virtual Superman might not appeal to a woman, but becoming a virtual Oprah or having a virtual Superman husband might.

Now, let’s hope this helps the guy I’m coaching on writing copy for his email marketing campaigns 😀

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Do I have a product that will sell and will this advertisement sell? Two questions posed by everyone in business, and particularly marketing. I have the secret formula for you right here.

Its late September, and I’m sitting in a product meeting unlike any other product meeting I’ve seen before. Alexander Elnekaveh (he’s not Alexander Innovation Wizard yet) is talking about the product of the future. In marketing, you must have bravado about your products. If you don’t believe in them, you won’t convince anyone to purchase. I’m thinking, I’ve heard Alex say many of the same positive things about other products of his in the past but they didn’t pan out into best sellers.

Something is different about this new product. I’m sitting there staring at a pair of men’s dress shoes. What’s so special about these shoes? They have spring in the heals, reducing the impact walking has on your ankles, knees, hips, and spine. The shoes are incredibly comfortable too. AND they are dress shoes. This means, I can walk into a client’s office and be both comfortable and good looking at the same time. That’s a rarity in the world of professional business attire.

As an advertiser, I know my gut feeling is only going to get me so far. I need something concrete to know that a product or an advertisement is going to work. There are several traditional options, such as focus groups and testing. People even have “experts” look at the ad and tell them whether the ad is going to sell or not.

Working with Alex on the shoes, I discovered a new method for determining if an advertisement is going to be a success. It’s pretty simple, actually. Here it is: If everyone is telling you no but the sales are showing otherwise, you have a great ad.

When I first told SkyMall that we wanted 2 pages for the shoes, they said we were crazy. The shoes are outselling the next best selling item by 4x. SkyMall is notorious for being conservative with their products. On the other hand, Popular Mechanics is well known for being cutting edge and keeping up with the latest in technology and innovation in both content and advertisements. They were pleased to have the two page advertisement on page 4 of their February issue. Of course, the shoes are selling great! Going back to conservative publications, Scientific American shunned the idea of the advertisement in their magazine completely. It wasn’t just the advertisement, it was the product. This was proof positive that we are on the right path. Scientific American is much more conservative with their publication than Popular Mechanics. Not surprisingly, you will see more innovative products advertised in Popular Mechanics, which also boasts a circulation 3x the size of Scientific American.

You might be thinking, Jared is crazy! Well, I won’t rule out that idea. However, when you compare the direction that publications like Popular Mechanics are going (increasing circulation while competitive magazines are stagnant or decreasing circulation), it makes sense. These kinds of magazines are winners because they are willing to remain competitive with their advertising costs while staying fresh with both their content and advertising.

People subscribe to magazines not just for the content, but for the advertisements as well. Don’t agree? Two words: Super Bowl. Still don’t agree? Comment.

While there seems to be a never ending list of people with great things to say about the Gravity Defyer Shoes (such as Dr. Joe Vitale, who literally wrote the book on Direct Marketing), there is a long list of people who think it’s crazy! The only thing crazy about the Gravity Defyer Shoes is how much people love them when they try them on.

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A while back, I had written about an amazing encounter with Dr. Joe Vitale (aka Mr. Fire) regarding the Gravity Defyer Shoes. Well, Dr. Vitale is not the only one who has fallen in love with the Gravity Defyer Shoes. The Alexander Innovation Wizard booth showcased them at the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Checkout what people have been saying about the shoes. It’s better than anything I could have written myself!

P.S. The shoes are now also available through SkyMall!!

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Blogged with Flock

If you are like me, the primary functions that your PC or MAC serves
are to surf the web, watch videos on YouTube, and blog. Perhaps you are
a variation of those. Maybe you even use your computer to write a daily
journal.

Well, I’ve been journal-less for months since my old laptop died. I
purchased a MAC, which came with a trial version of MS Office. When the
trial expired, I didn’t want to spork out the 500 bucks it costs for
MS Office. Sure, I could have just purchased MS Word, which is what I
primarily use. However, I held my ground in not wanting to spend money
on an office sweet.

I recently purchased a laptop from newegg.com.
This too came with a trial version of MS Office. I used it a few times,
but I really didn’t want to get used to using the Office suite because
I’d then feel a need to go spend another half a grand on MS Office. I
held out again.

I’m glad I didn’t purchase MS Office. I was working on an
advertisement with someone in my art department the other day. They
opened up the Word doc I had sent from my computer at work in a program
called OpenOffice.org (OOo). I remembered back to the old days of that POS Star
Office (nerds in the house, lemme hear you say wOOt wOOt!!!) Anyway, OpenOffice.org offers an MS Office type suite for FREE!

But that’s not where the coolness ends. Sure, free is great, but there
is one very sweet feature that I will be utilizing soon: export to PDF.
I’m going to start working on my new book soon. Of course, the best way
to get an eBook on the market is as a PDF! So, I’m going to be doing
this all for FREE.

Now, even if you’ve already sporked out the money for MS Office,
download OpenOffice.org for free. Yes, it’s completely free. Yes, it
offers pretty much all the same functionality as MS Office. Plus, you
can save/open MS Office documents whenever you want with
OpenOffice.org. When the latest version of MS Office comes out, you can
spork out another 200 bucks if you like. When the latest version of
OpenOffice.org comes out… Just download the puppy!

Now, I’m sure there is some ultra-nerd out there who is going to read
this and have plenty of bad things to say about OOo and how slow it
might be and blah, blah, blah. In my experience, OOo used no more
memory than Internet Explorer after having viewed a few flicks on
Youtube and spent some time on my other favorite websites. In my every
day use, OOo has not been too slow. If you are an every day person
(non-ultra-nerd) like me, OpenOffice.org is the Office suite for you.

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It turns out that my screenwriting and directing debut also turned into my acting debut. You are probably wondering, “What the hell is Jared talking about?” A few months ago, the CEO of the company that I work for decided to start making short infomercials about the products that we sell so that we can send them to the companies that buy our products. It was something he pretty much took on for himself. I gave him tips here and there, but I had very little involvement with it.

A few weeks ago, he scheduled the video shoot. I tell him that he should probably write a script for the whole thing. He says he will work on it. Of course, nothing happens with the script and it is now the day of the shoot. Suddenly! A panicked IM, “Jared! I need you here right now. Read this script that I put together, and let me know what you think.” It is horrible, to say the least. I hop in my car and head into the hills of Sherman Oaks.

I arrive at a house filled with models having their makeup done, a videographer setting up the lighting, and one of my employees shooting a behind the scenes video. I find my boss in front of a computer trying to type out a script. He hops out of the chair and say, “Here! You do it.” I sit down and ask him questions about how much interaction he wants with the host. Does he want to say the big words? See, English is not is first language, so words like ancillary don’t just roll off his tongue.

I’m finished with the first script. BLAM! I hand it to the hostess/model and she nearly faints. “It would have been nice to have this earlier than today. This is well written, but I’m not going to be able memorize half of this in 10 minutes. Can I just improvise?” Hey! I just got a compliment about my writing from a woman who’s been on Broadway. Nice!

My boss and the hostess interact with each other on the camera a bit. Well, there goes that plan for the script I wrote. Damn! Now, I’m going to have to rewrite everything. No big deal. I start slicing and dicing. Heck, I’m a virtual Veg-o-matic with words. A couple of minutes later… BLAM!!! Script, versions 2.0 is in their hands, printed in 40 pt font so that they can read it from across the room.

Cameras rolling… blah blah blah CUT! WTF? What happened to the script? My boss is reading from the script. The model is reading from… Well, not really sure. She’s doing a great job though. She’s a very effective ad-libber, but she’s totally stealing the show from the CEO. The day just seems to keep going. More ad lib. More uh?!? Well, let’s just say that the CEO wasn’t too happy with the outcome.

A few days later we have the DVD of the shoot so that we can start doing some rough editing. What’s next? Well, looks like we are doing another shoot. Stay tuned for another story about My Acting Debut followed by another about My Directing Debut and My Editing Debut. Coming to a bulletin and blog near you!

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I’m sitting in my office and I receive an email from the from the assistant to Dr. Joe Vitale. Vitale? That name sounds really familiar. I pull up his website: mrfire.com. Yet, Dr. Vitale goes far beyond his website. He has a blog: mrfireblog.com. But there is even more. For those of you who have seen “The Secret“, you will recognize Dr. Vitale as one of the several powerful contributors to this transformational film.

Dr. Vitale has written dozens of books (and multi-media products) on marketing, positive manifestation, and empowerment. He is a best selling author as well as a best selling eBook author on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. This is merely a glimpse into the success of Dr. Vitale. Given Dr. Vitale’s background, you can understand why I am beside myself when the next day starts off with him telling me that he loves the copy I wrote for the Gadget Universe Gravity Defyer shoes.

I’ve been pinching myself all week. It’s hard to fathom that a master of marketing would have such great compliments for my copy. I enjoy writing, so to have my work validated by someone like Dr. Vitale is a phenomenal compliment and a tremendous professional accomplishment. The pinching stopped today when I received an email from Dr. Vitale and checked out his latest blog. I have my interview with him Monday morning at 8 o’clock! Early bedtime on Sunday for me.

Here is Dr. Vitale’s original post regarding the copy I wrote for the shoes. I am so excited about my accomplishment! Adding to the recognition from Dr. Vitale is the recognition from consumers. The Gravity Defyer Shoes are outselling the next best selling product in the Gadget Universe catalog by 2 to 1, and they are the fastest selling new product in the history of the catalog. Keep a lookout for a new version of the two-page ad coming to SkyMall Q1 of 2007. A single page version of the ad is being prepared for my 2007 magazine campaign.

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Original blog on my myspace

This email from a StrongIdea.com visitor is just great. I’m glad we can provide people with entertainment. Be sure to checkout the item this person was talking about in the link below

Names have been changed to protect the innocent

 

 


From: Ken Nelson
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 11:48 AM
To: Jared Tracy
Subject: FW: I am just dying to know …

 

😀

_________________________

Ken Nelson | | IT Director ||

| www.strongidea.com |

 


From: Whynot Girl
Sent: Friday, September 22, 2006 11:35 AM
To: Ken Nelson
Subject: I am just dying to know …

 

Ok. I opened srongidea.com today and saw a very unexpected line of text …

“(What’s with all the Wood on the Froogle Link Above?)”

My jaw dropped. I gotta hand it to you guys, you definitely know how to get someone to keep your page open even
when it is currently NSFW.

So … how did you do it? Pretty neat trick. The current skin on my browser is woodtones. There. I’ve answered your question …
looking forward to the answer to mine!

kudos,

thewhynotgirl