Archives for May 2010


Good news for marketers… or is it news?

NEWS FLASH: Long copy ads make a comeback.

Or did they actually go anywhere?

One of the longest standing debates online is whether long copy or short copy works better.

Short copy advocates say “no one will read all that text”.

Long copy advocates say “without the text they have nothing to base a decision on”.

As you probably know by now, I am a BIG believer in long copy ads.

So when I saw this article by Marketing Forecast, it wasn’t a big surprise to me.

The summary – short copy ads are increasing prevalent on the net, and increasing difficult to stand out from the crowd with.


Who’d have thunk it?

Imagine that…

…someone interested in weight loss goes online and sees one page with some pretty pictures of people who lost weight – and an order button.

The next page they go to shows the pictures, and actually tells the story about how Joe was 84 pounds overweight, had poor health, his children were worried about him, his boss gave him an ultimatum about dressing properly to be in front of clients, and his wife stopped having sex with him a year ago.


He finds a simple solution… and follows it to the T.

It shows his journal entries… and his weight loss records. Then it explains what his life is like now being 75 pounds lighter, happy kids he can play with, his wife is constantly dragging him back to the bedroom, and his boss gave him a raise thanks to his increased confidence and sales numbers.

What do you think…

…pretty pictures

…or an actual story explaining the pictures

Which will make more money?

Not too hard to figure out.

If the long copy ad is targeted at people who are overweight and experiecing problems liuke Joe was, the long copy ad will SMOKE the short copy ad.

It. Just. Makes. Sense.

But it is news on the internet.

For some reason.

The point is… long copy is (almost) always easier to tell a story with.

Picture ads look nice, but are MUCH more costly to try and get the sales numbers.

And the small business owners and entrepreneurs I work with are wayyyyyy more concerned about their bank account and ability to feed their family, than the beautiful branding campaign that cost them a second mortgage and brought them nothing in bankable revenues.

I LOVE working with entrepreneurs.

Their passion is contagious.

Their drive is irreplacable.

Their ability to see and do things mere mortals can’t is admirable.

And their entrepreneurial spirit is what drives economies back from the brink.

I never left long copy – and if you did – now is the time to get back!

Let me know your thoughts on the long copy vs short debate.



Bad marketing at its finest

Another classic example of stupid lead generation.

This showed up in my inbox this morning (should have been filtered to Spam or junk but wasn’t)

Hi Sir

Are you interested in morden abstract oil paintings? We mainly wholesale, also retail.

100% handmade oil paintings on canvas, could be used for home / hotel / office decoration.

Our price is low.

If you’re interested, please tell us the item number and the size you want.

Thank you and best regards,

Painting factory in China

Maybe this is legit – I would never click on the link to find out though.

Let’s assume this IS legit.

Could this actually GET any worse?

First, what is  “morden abstract oil paintings”. A quick search on Google shows me it is a town in Manitoba, or the last name of a guy in Calgary.  Nothing I can find says it has anything to do with art.

If they meant “modern” they should try this thing called a spell check machine!  Especially (!) if you are writing marketing materials in a language you are not familiar with.

If this is how they actually generate business, and it works, imagine what would be possible if they actually had it proof read by someone who does speak English. Imagine if they actually took some initiative and learned a couple things about writing sales copy.  With all the free articles on sales letter writing and copywriting out there, it would cost them nothing and have a significant impact on their sales.


“We mainly wholesale, also retail.” – need I say more?  Yeesh.

By the looks of this email it is a spam email sent to millions in hope someone would buy from them… and maybe they do.

Imagine if they had written something like this instead (took me 3 minutes to draft – and could be dramatically improved with more work):

Fellow entrepreneur. (first name is better)

I won’t take much of your time, but I do have something for you that could dramatically impact your customer relationships.

First,  the reason I am contacting you is that I found you online and realize that you run a marketing company.

Marketers like you and I know that customer retention is critical for our long term survival.

And we both know that yet another golf shirt or ball cap won’t build the good will in your client base that you want.

What will?

Something different.

Something dramatically different.

What better than a client gift that costs you very little, yet they will proudly display on their walls for many years to come!

That’s right… we have a specialty program for Marketing companies like yours.  Smart Art is our flagship program for building customer relationships and sales.

How does it work?

Instead of giving away shirts or ball caps this golf season… why not give them a beautiful piece of art they can proudly display in their home or office?

The cost is similar… the impact dramatically different.

Go to our Smart Art page to see the impact this has had for other Marketing companies like yours

Pay close attention to the feedback other entrepreneurs have given.

Look through the gallery section to see what we can offer you.

Most importantly… sign up for our Smart Art Membership for FREE.

Sign up and you will get your first piece of art for free.

As a member in our community, you also get first rights on our newest art work, and (this will be important to you), you also receive one free customer print (framed) for every 4 pieces you buy.

Invest in 4 customer relationships and we help build the 5th.

Not only that, we also supply you with custom engraved name plates for each print (at less than a dollar a piece).

One last thing, we also will supply you with a greeting card (complete with art work on the cover) you can use when you proudly hand these out to your clients.

There is no risk or catch to claim your first print.

go to and look through our Smart Art section.

Choose which art work you want in your home or office.

Become a member and let us look after you.

No catch or hook.

Free help to build stronger ties with your customers.

Last, if you want to speak directly with me, please reply back and let me know the best time to contact you.

Thank you.

First name and last name

Actual company name

phone #


PS: There is no catch to this offer.  You can claim your Free Smart Art Customer Retention membership by visiting this site now  Once you sign up, we will send you a free oil painting for your home or office.  Not only that, we will also provide you with all these bonuses (list) and tools to help you build a rock solid relationshgip with your customers this year.   Customers absolutely love these hand made works of art.

[testimonial of actual customer]

Don’t delay… this can make a dramatic difference in your business and there is no risk or cost involved for you to get started.

See all of our customer comments here

See what a difference that makes!

Again, with more thought and preparation, I could make this shine much more.

But the point is this…

…invest the time in learning how to do PROPER lead generation.

Learn how to write simple sales letters. Learn how to do lead generation campaigns.

And make your marketing efforts pay off for once and for all!

Yes, it takes work – but any real business I know of was built with actual elbow grease… not magic pills and little shiny internet marketing objects.

To your lead generation success!



Strategies for local search engine mastery

One of the best things you can do for getting qualified people to
your site is to learn some of the simpler seo strategies.

I am not an seo person.  But I have played with it over the years
and have done well through trial and error on some fronts.

But I have also missed far more opportunities than I should of.


Because I didn’t ask the experts.

David West and Stuart Crawford are 2 friends of mine in Calgary
that ARE experts.

Their entire business is designed around local search engine
for small business owners.

And they are having a class next Tuesday in Calgary that you
should attend.

For all the details – see

Side note:  David, Stuart and I are going to be holding an email
marketing, autoresponder training course next month.  If you
decide to attend the search engine class, and want to attend the
email class, let me know and we will work out a special deal just
for you.

Speaking of stories, I have just posted a simple checklist you
can use to start coming up with stories in your marketing.

As you should well know – story telling is incredibly powerful
for marketing and bonding with your clients.

The problem is… few are good at it.

I am an introvert and struggle with story telling – but I have
found some easy tools you and I can use to become much more
proficient at telling a story that tightens the bond.

Have a look at my newest blog post:

Thanks, Troy


Story telling for non story tellers

Are you taking yourself for granted?

You have heard me talking about the power of story telling in your marketing and you know how important it is.

Despite that, few do anything about it.

Why?  They are either scared of sharing their story or just don’t know how to tell their story.

Which is why you must practice.

Very few people are gifted story tellers.

The majority of entrepreneurs are like me… struggling to get a story out.

An admission: I am an introvert.

Not exactly earth shattering news.

If you have known me for some time, it is probably quite obvious.

Story telling has always been a struggle… still is.

BUT, I practice.  I learn. I do the drills. That is the difference between mediocrity and success.

You must learn to tell stories too!

Because a great story can do more for growing your business than near anything else.  People are CRAVING a good story right now.  Tell it, and they will be drawn to you.

Here are some pointers that will get you started.

The key to this is to let loose.  This is a unique way of getting inside your head and finding real life ways to position you and your business in the buyers mind.  Don’t worry about if it is too much or too little… just dump your thoughts on paper. Sometimes the most unusual of things about you can be the big breakthroughs we are looking for in the marketing and positioning of you.  Have fun… share freely.

  • Pet Peeves
  • Physical Characteristics (Uniqueness)
  • Core Beliefs
  • Politics
  • Birthplace
  • What Are You Pathological About?
  • Religion
  • Significant Childhood Events
  • Beliefs
  • Hobbies
  • Education
  • Skills
  • Interests
  • Family
  • Talents
  • Life Events You Remember Most
  • Adventures You Will Never Forget
  • Incompetence At?
  • Anything You Are A Legend Of?
  • Successes
  • Likes
  • Curiosities
  • Failures
  • Dislikes
  • Are People Amazed By Anything You Do Or About You?
  • What Are You Ambitious About? What Fires You Up?
  • Self Disciplined About?
  • People Are Envious Of You Because _______?
  • Do People Desire What You Have?

Please go through this and fill these out.

You will find more gold nuggets in there than you will need – and each one of them you fill out can add $ to your business.



Affluent Marketing

Depending on who you talk to, the economy is either well on track to a recovery, or is on the verge of the next BIG downturn.  Some people say this downturn will be bigger than the last one we just went through.

To me, one of the tell-tale signs of the REAL economy is the spending going on.

Go to a shopping mall on the weekend – if there are lots of people there with bags in their hands, money is being spent.  Mall empty?  Or just full of browsers and not buyers?  Not good.

There is some GOOD new among the highly affluent though – they are spending.

Some recent research came out from Pamela Danzinger of Unity Marketing.  If you don’t know of Pamela, you should.  Her company specializes in the spending habits of the affluent.

Her recent research findings:

“Affluent consumer confidence is splitting according to income.  Those with incomes of $250,000 or more and called ultra-affluents (which represent the top 2 percent of U.S. households or about 2.5 million households) increased their spending on luxury by 22.6 percent, while the lower income ‘aspirational’ affluents with incomes between $100,000-$249,999 increased their spending by only 1.9 percent from fourth quarter 2009 to first quarter 2010.”

“The aspirational affluents which make up some 21 million households are going back to acting like middle-class rather than luxury class consumers. This shift will have significant impact on luxury marketers and retailers revenues over the next six to nine months,” Danziger warns.

“The latest luxury tracking survey shows that the ultra-affluents are spending at pre-recession levels, while the aspirational consumers are holding back.  But even with their exuberant amounts of spending, the ultra-affluents can’t sustain recovery in the luxury market alone.  In order to generate real growth in the luxury market, marketers and retailers are going to have to entice the aspirationals back to spending.  So far aspirationals are holding back.”

What does it mean for you?

2 things it could mean:

* If you have a product or service that COULD be sold to the highly affluent – now is the time to act.  Is there any possible way you can create the ultimate high end bundle that could be sold for 10X the price (and 100X the value) of what you sell now?  Think hard here.  I am willing to bet that if you put pen to paper, and get yourself locked away for a few hours without distraction, you can find some ideas floating around.  All it takes is a slant on an old idea, made to fit a new industry. much like the Million Dollar Lobster Report I wrote.  They took a commodity type business, repositioned and repackaged it, and sold memberships to the affluent.  Read that report if you haven’t yet… soooo many ideas in there. After you read it – immediately put your ideas down on paper.

* The second thing you can do with this information is to take the comment here to heart: “ entice the aspirationals back to spending.” They are the majority of the affluent. Their numbers are staggering.  And right now they aren’t spending.  They are looking for a company they can connect with. A company with personality that actually DOES care about them.  How do you do this?  You have to learn how to create rock-solid bonds with your clients.  I call it Marketing Velcro and you will hear from about this system soon.  Think about ways you can make that customer relationship sticky like velcro.  Things you can do to get them talking about you. Things you can do to

Both are fantastic opportunities for the astute marketer.

Question is… will you take the research and do something with it?

Or let a MAJOR opportunity pass you by?


David Ogilvy – Making Money in Your Marketing

David Ogilvy – Making Money in Your Marketing