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Amazing secrets?! Desperate Nerds?! Does this shit actually work? I’d never buy from these guys.

ChrisV

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I’m reading this article "The Five Sales Letters Every Marketer Should Know” including “Amazing Money Making Tips from a Desperate Nerd in Ohio” and "Would You Like Me To Personally Double… Your Business, For Free?” And I’m just thinking “does anyone seriously fall for this shit?”.... Like I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams this shit would work. The only compelling advertisement on the entire list was the Wall Street Journal letter. Because it was just chill and middle of the line. But the other ones.. does this type of sleazy, click-baity bullshit really work? And is there an alternative. I really don’t want to pitch my products with tagline like “7 Amazing, incredible INSANEEEEEE secrets you ABSOLUTELY NEED to know or your dick will fall off by 12 noon” or “12 money making secrets a 1-armed mother of 37 used to become a millionaire in just 8 seconds!" I can’t even believe people click this bullshit.
 

GoGetter24

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I can’t even believe people click this bullshit.
I'll admit I've clicked some of that just for the comedic value.

This is what most people aren't getting about the "InfoWars" controversy. Alex Jones is comedy, just like The Onion. He's a clown. The fact he might actually believe the government is releasing chemicals into the water supply that "turn the frogs gay", just makes it even better.

But to answer your question: yes, they do click on it and buy it. By definition, 50% of the population is sub-average intelligence, and even the top 10% do dumb things all the time.

My favourite example was a guy who was raking in bulk cash by selling dick pills until the FTC got him. Yes, dick pills. Advertising "buy [fancy sounding pharmaceutical name] and double your dick size" on porn sites.

Now, you'd think no sane human being would ever believe there exists a pill that makes your dick grow. You'd also think no sane human being would buy and consume magic pills bought from strangers on the internet. However the numbers didn't lie: his profit margin was 100%. $1 in in clicks, $2 out in revenue. The stupidity market is deep and monied.
 

TonyStark

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I'll admit I've clicked some of that just for the comedic value.

This is what most people aren't getting about the "InfoWars" controversy. Alex Jones is comedy, just like The Onion. He's a clown. The fact he might actually believe the government is releasing chemicals into the water supply that "turn the frogs gay", just makes it even better.

But to answer your question: yes, they do click on it and buy it. By definition, 50% of the population is sub-average intelligence, and even the top 10% do dumb things all the time.

My favourite example was a guy who was raking in bulk cash by selling dick pills until the FTC got him. Yes, dick pills. Advertising "buy [fancy sounding pharmaceutical name] and double your dick size" on porn sites.

Now, you'd think no sane human being would ever believe there exists a pill that makes your dick grow. You'd also think no sane human being would buy and consume magic pills bought from strangers on the internet. However the numbers didn't lie: his profit margin was 100%. $1 in in clicks, $2 out in revenue. The stupidity market is deep and monied.
I need to cash in on this. :eek:
 

jon.M

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"This bullshit" you're referring to is written by some of the most legendary marketers of all time. Gary Halbert went from door to door trying to sell stuff in person, observing how his prospects reacted to certain pitches and optimizing it accordingly -- before even putting it on paper!

Joe Sugarman sold 20 million pairs of those BluBlocker sunglasses with "sleazy, click-baity bullshit". He once ran America’s largest direct mail catalogue for space-age products.

But sure. You think it sounds dumb so it cannot POSSIBLY work. And no. You're not going to test it yourself. So instead you go to this forum, write a terribly formatted post and ask US whether or not this bullshit works...

Let me tell you something:

Your opinion doesn't matter
Our opinion doesn't matter
The marketmind decides

And you're asking if there's an alternative. Yes, there is. The "bullshit rainmaker" Joe Sugarman even said it himself. Create the optimal buying environment for your prospect.

I'm not going to explain that any further than need be, but Google that if you can't wrap your brain around it.

What the optimal buying environment is for your product only you can decide, since it varies so incredibly much.

For example, I'm working with a company that sells a world-renowned cold sore treatment device. I know very well which kind of approach works best for selling it. Why? Because I didn't sit on my a$$ and say:

"That wouldn't work! How could people fall for XXX?"

I acted, assessed and adjusted. The product I mentioned before didn't sell terribly great when doing what works in some other industries and with other products. I know since I've tested it.

Medical treatments are a lot about trust. Trying to sell something too hard backfires. Instead, in my case, it was as simple as stating the benefits, backing it up with facts and using a trustworthy language. Almost like emulating the aura of a medical doctor but on the web.

Same goes for ANYTHING. Trying to sell an expensive painting? Create an exclusive, high-end buying environment!



Selling cheap stuff? Create a buying environment that gives that cheap vibe!



To sum it up: It depends on everything. On circumstances. On what year it is. On what month it is. What are you selling? What's the essence of the product? Who are you selling to?

My favourite example was a guy who was raking in bulk cash by selling dick pills until the FTC got him. Yes, dick pills. Advertising "buy [fancy sounding pharmaceutical name] and double your dick size" on porn sites.
Reminds me of good ol' Vince James (Passafiume). The ultimate scumbag marketer who sold subscriptions for supplements that would enlarge the more private areas of one's body. Scammed nearly half a million people -- raking in about $70 million until the FTC or IRS got to him over some petty mistake. Lost it all and did some time in prison.

Interestingly enough, Vince afterwards went and wrote a book called "The 12-Month Millionaire" to start making money again. Describing the process of how he sold his crap to all those people. Although it's paved with bullshit, it's an interesting read about direct marketing and OG funnels if you learn how to filter the crap. Yes, even if you're a legitimate business.

Some time later he stopped selling the book, and instead Russel Brunson -- now CEO and founder of the million dollar company ClickFunnels -- repackaged Vince's story in a video interview series and sold it himself.

 

Fotis

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You've gloriously missed the point of direct response advertising.

The magic is not in the words (aka copy). The magic is in the offer ("what's in it for me") and the list/people you'll reach.

You've probably heard the saying "good copy can even sell the sand on the beach". No, it can't. It will help (especially if you're selling information since bullet points are mucho importante) but there's a limit to it.

Are you interested in learning copywriting? If yes, then study the greats like Gary Halbert, John Carlton, Robert Collier, David Ogilvy, Joe Sugarman and all the old-school guys. You'll discover that they give zero focus on tactics ("Oh, I'm gonna say amazing instead of great and this will get the silly buyers to send me their money!") and more on principles (offer, list, proof, storytelling, scarcity, handling objections, readability etc
 

ChrisV

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"This bullshit" you're referring to is written by some of the most legendary marketers of all time.


Jeez bro.... did you get sand in your shoes today lol. But minus the cunty attitude, the rest of the answer was helpful, so thanks.

You're not going to test it yourself. So instead you go to this forum, write a terribly formatted post and ask US whether or not this bullshit works...
You’re right... I should have just started a million dollar advertising campaign instead of asking.

The magic is not in the words (aka copy). The magic is in the offer ("what's in it for me") and the list/people you'll reach.

You've probably heard the saying "good copy can even sell the sand on the beach". No, it can't. It will help (especially if you're selling information since bullet points are mucho importante) but there's a limit to it.

Are you interested in learning copywriting? If yes, then study the greats like Gary Halbert, John Carlton, Robert Collier, David Ogilvy, Joe Sugarman and all the old-school guys. You'll discover that they give zero focus on tactics ("Oh, I'm gonna say amazing instead of great and this will get the silly buyers to send me their money!") and more on principles (offer, list, proof, storytelling, scarcity, handling objections, readability etc

No I get it.. but if it works so well, why don’t any Fortune 500 companies do this?

I’m not saying it doesn’t... i’m asking an pretty legitimate question. You can’t deny that much of this sales copy seems like it was written by a shady used car salesman.

I can’t imagine myself ever buying from this type of ad:



This.... I would buy:



Now that being said.. I would buy Gary Halbert’s products. But the reason I would buy them is based off how highly recommended he is. Not that ad. An ad like that I would just roll my eyes at and skim over.

I mean, I feel like this is a valid point, no? Considering the fact that you don’t see Applebees writing ads like “Amazing secret that the RESTAURANT INDUSTRY doesn’t want you to know gets you delicious riblets for $12.99” (nor do you see Ford or Volkswagen advertising like that)... that may imply that maybe it’s not the best way to sell products? I mean I feel like it it were that effective all these big companies would be on board.

I’m not saying this is the case, I’m asking a question.
 

ChrisV

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In comparison to say...

The 17 Best Advertisements of All Time

Nike’s “Just Do It" campaign:
In 1988, Nike sales were at $800 million; by 1998, sales exceeded $9.2 billion. "Just Do It." was short and sweet, yet encapsulated everything people felt when they were exercising -- and people still feel that feeling today.
Absolut Vodka:
When the campaign started, Absolut had a measly 2.5% of the vodka market. When it ended in the late 2000s, Absolut was importing 4.5 million cases per year, or half of all imported vodka in the U.S.
Got Milk? Campaign:

Thanks to the California Milk Processor Board's "Got Milk?" campaign, milk sales in California rose 7% in just one year. But the impact ran across state borders, and to this day, you still can't escape the millions of “Got [Fill-in-the-Blank]?” parodies.
Mac vs PC ads:
The company experienced 42% market share growth in its first year with its help. These commercials tell Mac's audience everything they need to know about the product without being overt -- and in a clever way.
The De Beers campaign literally implanted itself in pop culture so well that it created the idea of a an engagement ring lol to the point where NO ONE gets married without one these days.

My point is... I’m just wondering if there’s a better way
 

rogue synthetic

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A Fortune 500 company will have deeper pockets and a recognizable product compared to most startups and solo entrepreneurs, for one thing.

Direct marketing is a way of helping to reach the people you want to reach and keep your attention on the positive ROI of your ad dollars. Branding ads and mass-marketing ads don't do that.

There's a reason Halbert wrote the headlines he wrote. They pulled their weight. For each dollar of spend he got at least one dollar back.

It's unfortunate that unoriginal copycats have kept the bombastic tone and silly-looking wording when it isn't called for. But as @Fotis said above, that isn't part of the package. The point is to reach who you want to reach and give them a way to respond to you, so you are profitable instead of wasting your money on pretty pictures that don't sell anything.
 
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ChrisV

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It's unfortunate that unoriginal copycats have kept the bombastic tone and silly-looking wording when it isn't called for. But as @Fotis said above, that isn't part of the package.
.
Okay fair enough. I’m thinking when these ads came out, they were revolutionary. But now that the idea had been killed, they take on a new meaning.
 

rogue synthetic

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Well, that's part of it. The marketplace has gotten more savvy to this stuff since Halbert was writing -- remember that most of these ads predate the internet, some of them by decades.

The other thing to keep in mind is that direct response ads are aiming at a particular audience. You aren't sold on them because you aren't part of that audience, which is fine. As Dan Kennedy likes to say, it's important that an advertisement repel the wrong people. You aren't trying to persuade everyone, just who you want. Ads like this get people to put their hands up.

If you're going for a different crowd, you'll need to research THEIR words, what they value, their deepest needs, the pain points, and what kinds of message they'll respond to.

The flip side of this is, as said up thread, there are still HUGE chunks of people who do go for this kind of advertisement. It's a sad thing to realize but the unremarkable masses are unremarkable.
 

ChrisV

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Well, that's part of it. The marketplace has gotten more savvy to this stuff since Halbert was writing -- remember that most of these ads predate the internet, some of them by decades.

The other thing to keep in mind is that direct response ads are aiming at a particular audience. You aren't sold on them because you aren't part of that audience, which is fine. As Dan Kennedy likes to say, it's important that an advertisement repel the wrong people. You aren't trying to persuade everyone, just who you want. Ads like this get people to put their hands up.

If you're going for a different crowd, you'll need to research THEIR words, what they value, their deepest needs, the pain points, and what kinds of message they'll respond to.

The flip side of this is, as said up thread, there are still HUGE chunks of people who do go for this kind of advertisement. It's a sad thing to realize but the unremarkable masses are unremarkable.
Hilarious irony as I’m reading your post...

 

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