Michel Fortin

fashion, clothing, shop

Use Scarcity To Sell, Not Scare

March 28, 2005

Takeaway selling, for the uninitiated, is a way to limit the supply of a product or service in some way to increase scarcity of an offer. Because it's a proven fact that scarcity sells.

It's that ageless law of supply and demand. The less the supply is, the greater the demand will be.

People don't know how much they want something until it's about to be taken away from them. As Jim Rohn once said, “Without a sense of urgency, desire loses its value.”

Why? Because procrastination is the biggest killer of sales — particularly online where the chances of a prospect staying on or returning to a website (in order to think about buying), in today's click-happy world, are just as scarce.…

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justice, hammer, judge

Can Your Prospects Take An Oath?

March 24, 2005

One problem in copywriting (or any kind of communications, for that matter) that I often see is the fact that the audience is not targeted for the message, or the message doesn't march the intended audience.

When it comes to copy, for example, an untargeted, unqualified prospect won't buy, no matter how good the copy is. Or at least, they will ask for a refund once they smell the coffee.

When the message is targeted, however, it can still miss the mark because it doesn't speak to the customer at the stage of awareness at which they happen to be.

This is absolutely essential to ensure that the copy is long enough and strong enough to appeal to, qualify, educate, and sell the prospect.…

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notebook, pen, table

Three Tips For Getting Copywriting Work

January 5, 2005

I often get many questions. Of those, the most common is when aspiring copywriters ask me how to get started in the copywriting business.

It's not about how to write copy specifically but about the marketing aspect of the freelance copywriting business.

There are three things I recommend if you are just starting in the copywriting field. In fact, I did these three myself when I first started out, which springboarded my career.

1. Pick a Niche

Niche marketing is extremely powerful. People often have the erroneous assumption that by narrowing their focus to a specific market, industry, or specialty, they are lessening the chances for more business.…

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Aim for 100 actions not traffic

You Need “Actions” To Take Action

December 20, 2004

Someone once asked me, “How many visitors do I need to determine the validity of my split-testing?” For example, if you're split-testing two different headlines, how much traffic do you need to make a good judgment call on which headline is the real winner?

That's an interesting question, and one with no real answer, other than “a lot.” And there's a specific reason why…

Gary Halbert once said you need 40 actions. John Reese says 200.

Personally, I like 100. You see, both Halbert and John are right, since Gary is referring mostly to offline direct mail and John to online marketing.…

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printer, scanner, technology

Ordering Offline Boosts Online Sales?

December 4, 2004

In another forum, a listener to my call with Gary Halbert, where Gary mentioned that ordering online is a strategic error, asked me the following question:

“After listening to your seminar with Gary Halbert, what's your opinion on Gary saying not to take orders online?”

That's a great question. As you know, I conducted a free teleseminar with Gary Halbert Tuesday night. (You can access the recordings by clicking here.)

My personal opinion is that Gary's right in principle — but not in practice.

Here's why…

For example, he's right about efficiency versus effectiveness, and that it's better to be effective than to be efficient.…

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students, adult, asia

Long Copy Or Short Copy?

October 1, 2004

Here's a reprint of an answer I gave a student in another forum who asked:

“Long copy? Or short copy?”

1. Long copy versus short copy has been the single greatest debate since the beginning of the printing press. But long copy always outperforms short copy. Don't be long for the sake of being long. Be long for the sake of providing as much information as is needed to make the sale — and not one word more.

2. People object to reading copy because: a) they are not targeted and b) the copy is boring. “Length” is the excuse because it's a common currency.…

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coffee, caffeine, beverage

How Long Should Headlines Be?

September 21, 2004

Someone once asked me what my strategy is behind using long headlines.

As I'm sure you know, various other marketers teach that one should write headlines no longer than 17 words. Whereas others teach that headlines should be real short as their testing has shown those headlines to pull better than long ones.

Here's my answer.

Either one is fine. I usually like to test both.

Granted, I'm a follower of Dan Kennedy, who's a big believer in long headlines. And I've tested short headlines, too, and they do pull better in terms of response, clickthroughs and readership.

But not necessarily sales.

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Strategic marketing consultant Michel Fortin