Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

 

Power Direct Marketing: The Book


Getting Started with Creative by the Numbers:
A List of 99 Creative Ideas

1. Before putting pen to paper, know as much as you can about your audience.

Put yourself in the place of the person to whom you’re writing about the product. What are the outstanding benefits? What are the primary needs of your prospect? What would make you buy it? Write to that person.

2. Before putting pen to paper, know as much as you can about your product.

Research your product until you find the unique benefit—the one your competition can’t or won’t match.

The one big benefit (sometimes there are two or even three—rarely more) of your product is what will make people buy; and it’s what you should build your story around. Find that benefit. Then run wild with it.

K.I.S.S.

K.I.S.S. as a philosophy works best in direct response. Here are a few IDEAS that follow that thinking.

3. K.I.S.S. Keep It Short & Simple.

The apostle Paul knew the importance of being simple and clear. He said:

Except ye utter by the tongue
words easy to understand,
how shall it be known what is spoken?
For ye shall speak into the air.

Keep your words, sentences and paragraphs short. Stay away from long or complicated words. A good rule to follow: For every 100 words you write, double check to make sure 70 of those 100 words are 5 letters or less.

4. How long should a sentence be? SHORT!

Dr. George R. Klare of Ohio University reports his research says:

Rating
Words per sentence
very easy to read 8 fewer
easy 11
fairly easy 14
standard 17
fairly difficult 21
difficult 25
very difficult 29 or more

Sentences should be short. Only one idea to a sentence. Keep sentences to an average of 14 words/25 syllables. In all of Hemingway’s writings, his sentence length ranged from 1 to 49 words. Average: 13.5. Write like Hemingway!

Remember Western Union telegrams that said "Stop" after each brief sentence? Try it with your writing. Simply put a period—a stop—in more often.

If you do this you will be read more, because you have made your copy easy to read.

5. Paragraphs should be short.

Paragraphs should have no more than 7 lines of copy before you break for a new paragraph. There is no rule that says the same thought can’t carry over into two or three or more paragraphs—limit your paragraphs to 7 lines.

It will make your copy easier to read.

6. Words should be short.

Five-letter words are readable. Yes, you must use the language of your audience. If that audience is highly educated or has much technical knowledge and expertise and they expect you to be likewise, you must talk to them in their language.

But that does not mean your copy should become difficult to read. They are still people—and the easier your words are to them, the more likely they will understand your message and respond to your offer.

Use lots of 1-, 2-, 3-, 4-, and 5-letter words. Use short words. They work.

7. Use familiar words.

Avoid difficult words. Your copy must be familiar to your audience. If you are introducing a new concept, keep your explanation simple by couching your appeal in the language of the audience.

Doctors don’t respond to the same appeal as plumbers. Teenagers as grandparents. From mountain climbers to beach bums, they are all different audiences—use the words of the audience you are reaching with your message.

Facts Are Stubborn Things

Facts are believable. Whereas general statements are generic. Using FACTS in your creative will make you more believable—and gain you more response.

8. Give your copy news value.

It takes hard writing to make easy reading.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Use facts, use names, and be specific.

Tell who, what, why, when, where, and how.

9. Copy that sells is copy that is long on hard facts and benefits.

Copy is not short or long, it is interesting or uninteresting. It is really as simple as that.

If the copy is interesting to your reader, your marketplace, then they will read it or at least review it, and there is a good chance they will take some action. If the copy fails the "interesting" test, nothing will happen.

10. Be as exact as possible.

481 is much more believable than almost 500. $16.42 is more believable than the retail price of $14.95. It is not always easy to be exact with your information, but when you can, your message is more likely to be understood and acted upon.

Here are some very specific and some generic "numbers:"

Specific
Generic
60 seconds 1 minute
60 minutes 1 hour
24 hours 1 day
30 days 1 month
12 months 1 year
365 days 1 year

Here are several specific examples:

Last year attendance at harness racing tracks totalled 26 million people. They wagered just under $5.2 billion dollars on 57,000 horses, who raced for $511 million dollars.

YKK accounts for 51% of the world’s zipper supply. They churn out 1.1 million miles of zippers annually—enough to circle the earth 44 times!

Over the prior 12 months, according to a report from Nielsen Clearing House, 215.6-billion money-saving grocery product coupons were distributed in America. Consumers redeemed 7.15 billion of them, saving nearly 40¢ each time, or over $2.84 billion dollars.


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