In this, the third of a short series of posts on how to be a better copywriter from my good friend and colleague Clive Cable focuses on product naming and product slogans.
Or as Clive likes to put it…
The Name Game.
Why Your Product Name and Slogan Matters
Years ago, I remember an advert that said, “Say it with flowers.”
To a seasoned direct response copywriter that’s like mistaking the wrapping for the present.
I suggest you don’t make the same “mistake”.
When I first started out in January 1990 as a copywriter, I had no idea what I was doing.
I was offered a position as the head of marketing at a toxic waste disposal company.
I had never heard of the idea of writing to sell.
The only credentials I had for the job were that I was excellent at selling face to face. Every other person I met bought from me.
Keep in mind when I met my prospects, I was a total stranger to them. And I was selling the most expensive home improvement products in the UK at that time.
After reading the book, “Positioning – the battle for your mind” by Al Reis and Jack Trout, the first thing I did as a newly formed wastes disposal company was to change the name.
The fact is, Bennet & King Partners wasn’t a sexy name, and it didn’t explain what we did.
I knew the competition was fierce and one of our main rivals had a much better name – Cleanaway.
I knew I had to come up with something better.
The name I thought of and the one we used to launch our new business was ‘ChemClear.’
And it worked.
We were able to get some of the largest, most prestigious companies to work with us, mostly because the name stood out as a brilliant concept.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out (with tongue firmly in cheek) my latest unique concept around direct response copywriter that I call “Influence Intelligence.”
To every good copywriter, the offer is the most important part.
But a lot of copywriters don’t pay too much attention to it.
Some say you must always write the offer first.
And we agree.
After all, without the offer, you’re not going to make any money.
That said, let’s take a deep dive into the offer.
In the fabulous book, “Overdeliver” the author Brian Kurtz has his own unique take on the triangle treasure map.
He claims (and he has plenty of experience and evidence to back it up) the following.
The list (Your reader) counts for 41% of the success of any promotion.
The offer counts for 39% of your campaign success.
And only 20% (your concept and your choice of words) make up the last part of the persuasion puzzle.
As hard as you try, and knowing Brian’s outstanding history, neither you nor I could disagree with his numbers.
When you look at any of the eye-popping videos on acquisition.com you come across the ‘offer matrix.’
Hang on while I explain…
Imagine a quadrant. In the top left are the words “Dream Outcome.”
The top right has the words “Perceived likelihood of achievement.”
Before I tell you what the bottom two are – and they are far more important than the top two – it’s only fair to point out that almost every marketing professional only talk about the top two.
And they use hype to increase your desire for their product. And they overcome every possible objection to make you feel you are likely to achieve your desire or overcome your problem.
When you look at the myriad of messages that try to sell you something you’ll see words that describe the life you want followed swiftly by the word “without.”
Write high-converting sales copy without ever spending a minute to learn the craft of copywriting.
Okay, that’s an obvious use of hype, but it does explain my point.
The simple truth is you’re living in the enchanted forest of stupidity if you believe you can write sales copy that converts without studying what makes people buy, the nature of a product, and making the right offer.
And that means you either spend blood, sweat, and years learning to write copy or hire a copywriter you can trust.
What makes an offer irresistible?
Now we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty.
The bottom left is the words “Time Delay.”
This and the bottom right will make every offer you make from now on almost impossible to resist.
In fact, my book, “Influence Intelligence” refers to this point in its subtitle, “why people resist you and what to do about it.”
Let’s talk about time delay before we explore the last section in the four quadrants of the irresistible offer.
Your reader has a dream outcome, and they want to know from you what their perceived likelihood of achievement is.
More importantly, they want to know how soon they can get what they want.
I want it now.
Think fast food.
Or even the best weight loss product concept ever – “Slimfast.”
The problem with most products or services is the time delay from buying to achieving.
The reality most people hate to admit is, there is no simple solution to a complex problem.
However, when you’re writing to sell your job is to convince your reader you have a simple solution to their complex problem.
I know that’s like trying to straighten out a bowl of spaghetti, but it can be done.
When you’re writing to sell think “how can I give my reader a quick result?”
You may be selling a long-term solution, but when you fix a small problem fast, they will stay for the long haul.
So, instead of wishful thinking use, the top two quadrants increase the desire for the dream outcome and the perceived likelihood of achievement,
Then use the bottom two quadrants to decrease the time delay and the most important factor which we’ll get to after we finish with the time delay.
Believe it or not, you can make time speed up.
Einstein proved that time was relevant.
Trying to understand time is like wrestling with the tail of an excitable crocodile.
All you need to know is how to compress or speed up time.
Make your reader feel that she is getting the results she wants right now.
The quickest, easiest way to do that is o give her a reason to buy today, right now, this very second.
The best part is that when someone buys, they automatically feel like they have reached their dream outcome or have solved their pressing problem.
What this means is the minute someone buys from you they believe their problem is solved or they have reached their goal.
Please understand, you’re not tricking anyone, it’s just the way the mind works.
Okay, you might be asking, what’s the last section in the offer matrix?
And we’ll give you that in the final post in this series.
Author: Clive Cable
Clive Cable has been writing winning sales copy for over 30 years and is the author of “Influence Intelligence – why people resist you and what to do about it.”