Small Business Copywriting Ideas & Tips

Charlie Cook

How to Write Great Ads! Marketing Copy That Pulls in Prospects and Sales

Charlie Cook

During a recent phone conversation with my client Bob, I asked him what was and wasn’t working with his small business marketing. His response was instantaneous.

He said, ‘My ads aren’t working. Each month I’m paying $500 to run an ad in an online publication read by my target market. Last month I only got 21 clicks to my site from the ad!’

Bob was paying almost $24 a lead and not getting very many of them. He was right to be upset with the response he was getting. He went on to say that it probably wasn’t worth spending money on advertising; that it just didn’t work.

Have you ever spent $500 or more on an ad and gotten a similarly limited response? Have you ever felt discouraged about your advertising campaign and the lack of results?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, you’re not alone. Everyone who has ever advertised has run an ad that failed at least once. Doing it once is educational; running an ad that isn’t working a second time is throwing good money after bad.

If you run an ad and get hardly any responses, running it again and again isn’t going to make it work any better. It’s like trying to pedal a bicycle with a flat tire. You get on the bike and it takes great effort to go a short distance. Is pedaling harder and harder the solution? Of course not.

If your bike had a flat you’d change the tire and get moving. If your ads aren’t working, rethink and rewrite them and you’ll start attracting more clients.

To get more leads through your advertising, give your prospects what they want, then build trust and you’ll close more sales >>

Are you still guessing at what marketing copy and layout gets the best response?

I had one client who was struggling to attract new clients with his ads. Each week he was spending money advertising his property management business in three local papers and getting zero response.

His ad was all about his company instead of about his prospects’ problems. I showed him how to rewrite his ad focusing on his prospects’ biggest concerns. He started running the new ad and within the first three weeks he added nine new clients worth close to two hundred thousand dollars. He’s still running the ad and his phone is still ringing off the hook.

Are you writing your own marketing copy or supervising the person who is? Not sure how to get your prospects’ attention?

You may be an expert in your business and provide the highest quality services, but knowing which words will grab your prospects and get them to contact you can be be puzzling. Frankly, even the professionals in advertising don’t know for sure.

Fortunately the Internet gives advertisers a unique advantage. You can try out different ads and different wording in your ads and test the market response at a very low cost. Google’s Adwords makes this possible.

When I initially told Bob about trying Google Adwords’ pay-per-click advertising, he was apprehensive. His concern was that it would cost too much, that was until he understood the math.

Bob was paying $500 a month for advertising that was attracting 21 to 40 prospects. With pay-per-click advertising, you pay only when a prospect clicks through to your site. If you set the maximum you’ll pay-per-click at 25 cents, for each $500 you spend, you’ll get 2,000 prospects.

Not convinced?

One of the biggest benefits of using Google Adwords is that you can test a handful of ads. Whether you want to test an ad you plan to run in print or you want to find out which book title will pull the best, you can use Google Adwords to show you what your prospects respond to. Within a week and for a cost of $100 or less you can discover which keywords your target market searches for the most frequently and which ad headline gets the best response.

The first step is to setup a Google Adwords ad account and create an ad. After at least 25 people have clicked on your ad, you’ll have a good idea of how well it is working and how it compares to your other ads. It’s like having your own market research firm working for you and costs hundreds instead of tens of thousands of dollars.

Wishing, hoping and guessing have no place in your small business marketing. Don’t keep running ads that aren’t generating leads. Stop guessing at which ads your prospects will respond to. Write client-focused ads and test them. You’ll end up with advertising that works and your phone will be ringing off the hook with new business too.

Ready to start earning 2 to 10 times as much with your web site? You can when you know what information to give your prospects to grab their attention and convince them to buy.

You’ll find out exactly what to do, including a detailed explanation of how to set up your Google Adwords campaigns in Creating Web Sites that Sell. Use this link >>

Are You Losing 50% Or More of Potential Sales?

Charlie Cook

How can I attract more clients? Over the last few years I’ve thrown away over twenty thousand dollars on failed marketing approaches.

I’ve tried everything from display ads to putting on seminars, none of which translated into sales. No matter what I do, I can’t seem to attract enough new clients. What do you suggest?”
John from Boulder, CO

When I asked John to tell me about his business, it quickly became clear that after over a decade in financial services, he knew what he was talking about. He knew which products clients needed, how to help them create financial independence and how to save them m0ney. He had a wealth of sensible ideas to share about financial planning.

I asked John if any of these ideas were in his marketing and he admitted they weren’t. Despite being an expert in his field and a top-notch service provider, John was missing hundreds if not thousands of potential clients because prospects weren’t aware of his level of expertise and how he could help them.

If your prospects don’t know how you can help them or view you as an expert you’re not going to get their business! If your marketing doesn’t help them instantly understand why they need you and then go on to educate them about ways you can help them, you’re wasting thousands of dollars on your business marketing and your advertising.

Say you’d scheduled a meeting with a prospect for a lucrative project. You wouldn’t show up in a worn out suit or deliver a presentation that put your prospects to sleep. You’d want to look sharp and impress your prospects in order to prompt them to sign a contract on the spot.

Now take a look at your small business marketing. Is it like an outdated suit? Does it put your prospect’s to sleep? Ready to change your small business marketing and start attracting more clients?

Stop wasting money on your small business marketing today by discovering what works to grow you business. Use this link to find out how >>

Like John you could be attracting all the clients you can handle with a marketing strategies based on what works. Here are a few tips to boost your sales.

1. Give examples of the solutions you provide so that prospects can see how helpful you can be and how much you know. Don’t just tell people you’ve been in business for 100 years; demonstrate your ability to solve their problems and answer their questions. Don’t let your expertise be hidden behind boring marketing copy.

2. Earn the trust of your prospects. What’s the quickest way to do this? Leverage the trust you’ve garnered over the years from past clients and collect testimonials from them. Once you have these gems in hand place them up front or near the top of your marketing materials.

3. Motivate your prospects to contact you. If your prospect doesn’t take immediate action when they see your ad, your web site or your sales letter, chances are they’re never going to. Give them a reason to contact you; motivate them to act right away.

4. Help your prospects get to know you, understand more about how you can help them and have a u.rgent reason to spend their hard earned dollars. Don’t expect prospects to take the imitative to seek this information out on their own.

Expect to need 5 to 7 contacts to demonstrate how helpful you can be and to educate prospects about how much better off they’d be with your products and services.

Don’t let your expertise be obscured by outdated marketing. Put your best foot forward by using a marketing system that generates more leads and clients each month.

Stop trying to guess at how to grow. It’s so much easier and more profitable when you know what works. Get all the details with this URL >>

The Problem With Copycat Marketing

Charlie Cook

What’s the difference between you and the Olympic athletes that have been earning a spot on the medal podium in Turin, Italy these past couple of weeks?

The answer is very little. While you may have no interest in learning how to do jumps on ice or ski downhill at up to eighty miles an hour, you are more like an Olympic athlete than you realize.

The winter Olympics may be over for this year but next month and next year these athletes will be doing the same thing you’ll be doing. They’ll be pushing to distinguish themselves from their competitors and they’ll be working full time to beat past records and be the best. You’ll be doing the same.

Just like an Olympic athlete you want to beat the competition and take it your business to the next level. Isn’t that right?

So what’s the key to marketing your business like an Olympian?

I started skiing when I was four years old at Cannon Mountain in Franconia New Hampshire. (This was twenty years before Bode Miller was even born.) As a youngster, I was dubbed “Cannonball Cook” because my approach to skiing was to head straight down the mountain at top speed and then inevitably fall with an explosion of

I rarely took ski lessons, and then only because my parents insisted. I thought the way to learn to ski well was to watch other skiers who looked good and copy what they did. As you can tell by the nickname my parents gave me, I was wrong.

Using the ‘watch what others do’ approach my skiing improved marginally over the years and I became an okay intermediate skier. When I was in my forties, I decided that wasn’t good enough, I wanted to be an expert skier.

Finally after waiting decades I was ready to acknowledge I could use some help and that it was time for a lesson or two. What I discovered was that many of the techniques I’d picked up from watching others were outmoded or just plain wrong and were keeping me from being the skier I wanted to be.

Don’t make the same mistake with your marketing. Don’t waste your time copying others and only making marginal gains. Discover what actually works >>

From then on, I signed up for lessons whenever I could. My skiing has dramatically improved. Now I enjoy skiing challenging, expert terrain and am having more fun than ever.

After over a decade of regular instruction most people would say I’m an expert but I’m aware that there’s still room for improvement. Isn’t there always?

On a recent ski trip to Utah I spent a whole day with my friend and ski coach extraordinaire Peter Keelty, focusing again on the basic stance for carving clean turns. The result? I’m skiing even more smoothly with less wasted effort.

I’m not planning on entering the next winter Olympics in Vancouver and I doubt you are either but I do have a burning desire to excel, to improve at my sport and in my business. I bet you are the same.

Whether you’re managing a startup or have been in business for a decade, you want to maximize your profits and see your business grow. You may know many of the business marketing techniques that work, but are you applying them correctly and consistently? Staying focused on the basics of what works in marketing can help you double your business.

Don’t wait to take the next step and see your business grow. Why not find out what works so you can grow your business with less wasted effort? Start here >>

How Much More Could You Be Making With The Right Marketing Message

Charlie Cook

Bob called from Phoenix, Arizona with some stunning news about his web site. He first contacted me in the fall of 2003. He had a web site that was helping him generate a healthy income but he sensed he could be doing even better. He wanted to get more visitors to his web site and get more of them to contact him about his retail liquidation services.

Are you interested in getting more prospects to your web site and prompting more of them to contact you?

Over the two months I worked with Bob to help him clearly define his target market, identify the problem he solves, and clarify his marketing message. We improved the copy on his web site and the structure of his web pages to prompt more people to contact him. I showed him how to write articles and use them to generate a steady stream of visitors to his site.

Bob was happy with the results of these changes, but I wasn’t. He was getting more visitors to his site and more inquiries, but I thought there was potential for even more growth. I knew that Bob could be doing better if he would just change his strategic marketing message. Despite my best efforts to persuade, cajole and prompt him to rethink how he talked about what he did, Bob was happy with his existing marketing message.

Discover how to get more attention and generate more business >>

Prior to working with me, Bob had spent ten years regularly experimenting with his marketing message and had found a sentence that generated the best response he’d ever had. It was working; he was keeping busy, making money and didn’t want to mess with success.

We finished our work together almost a year ago, so I was surprised when Bob called last week. It turns out that he hadn’t stopped experimenting. He had taken my advice to heart after all and been fine-tuning his marketing message so that it described the problem he solves for his clients clearly and concisely. With this new marketing message at the top of his web page, Bob is getting 3 times the number of inquires about his services.

How much more could you be making if you had 3 times as many people contact you about your products and services?

When your prospects are considering a purchase, they are looking to solve a problem. They might want to eliminate back pain, fund their child’s college tuition, sell off their excess inventory quickly so they have more operating cash on hand, as in Bob’s case. In every case your prospect has a problem or need that prompted their purchase.

Your prospects are hoping you can help them. They’re hoping you have the solution to making them happier, smarter and richer. They are buying the result you provide.

When a prospect meets you or visits your web site, the first item they should see is a statement of the problem you solve. Your prospects then immediately know whether you can help them.

Find out how to get more attention and generate more business >>

Create marketing messages or an elevator speech that will increase the response to your business marketing so you can sell more of your products and services.

Why is your sales or marketing message – your elevator speech – and the way you talk about what you do so important?

At ten to twelve words long, your marketing message won’t cover all the problems you solve, establish your credibility or the value you provide. But if the first thing you say to a prospect doesn’t get their attention, they won’t stay at your web site, read the rest of your marketing materials or listen to the rest of what you have to say.

Bob spent over a decade experimenting to find a strategic marketing message that helped him generate a steady income and then in a few months discovered he could improve on it by three hundred percent. Don’t wait ten years to do the same with your marketing. Write, test and use a problem solving marketing message and more people will contact you about your products and services.

Which Marketing Copy Gets Prospects Begging to Buy

Charlie Cook

Here’s one of the most important ideas you can use to explode your sales. No one talks about it, either because they don’t know about it or because they don’t know how to do it.

The simplest way to get more people calling you and buying from you is to increase their motivation to buy. The more people who really want what you sell, the more sales you’ll make.

Imagine that you have a thousand prospects. You send out a mailing and on average 5 people pick up the phone and call you. How frustrating is this, when you know that over 50% of the people you mailed to would be better off with your product or services?

The problem isn’t that you’re not great at what you do, or that people don’t need your products and services. The problem is that you aren’t motivating people to buy from you.

What’s the easiest way to get more people to really want your products and services?

Your Small Business Marketing Can Create A Desire To Buy
People are always seeking better solutions to their problems. It’s human nature. Show your prospects how much better off they will be and you’ll increase their desire to buy.

Here’s how it works. You’re thumbing through a magazine and you see an ad that gets your attention by promising a 10% higher return on your savings account. Or you’re in the grocery store and you see a package of cookies that promises more chunky chocolate pieces and you start salivating.

For each product or service that you market, there is a set of ‘hot buttons’. These hot buttons are the key benefits and descriptors that create a burning desire in your prospects to purchase your product or services.

Hot buttons for small business owners are ways to generate more leads, attract the right clients and close more sales. If you knew of a better way to attract more clients with your web site and grow your business, you’d take advantage of it, wouldn’t you?

Discover how to create a burning desire to buy your products >>

Want more examples of hot buttons?

Landlords, hot buttons include: making more money, filling empty apartments, managing paperwork, and reducing maintenance costs. Hit these buttons with your marketing and landlords respond in droves.

Use your prospects’ hot buttons in your marketing, make them crave the solution you provide, and they won’t be satisfied until they’ve bought it from you. It’s like waving a chocolate bar in front of a chocoholic.

Each time you use one or more of your prospects’ hot buttons you begin to change their minds. They start to think they could be better off with your products or services. Like turning up the heat on ice cubes, it melts their resistance and moves them from prospects to clients.

If you want to generate a flood of sales, your marketing needs to do more than just generate awareness; it needs to transform your prospects’ thinking. Move your prospects from thinking they can live without your product or your service, to thinking they can’t live without it and need it today.

If your business marketing isn’t getting immediate and ongoing results you can bank on, then it’s time to change the way you think about small business marketing. Being patient isn’t the answer.

Discover how you can writing instant cash copy >>

The Simple Secret To Getting People To Read Your Marketing Materials

Charlie Cook

When your prospects see your marketing materials, your brochure, your web site or your ads you want them to read them. You want prospects to read not just the first sentence but the majority of your marketing copy. Once they’ve read it, you want them to decide that they need your product or service and either make a purchase or contact you for more information.

When prospective clients and customers see your web site, ads or brochures, you want them to be captivated and impressed. You hope they’ll read not just the headlines, but all the way through the marketing copy. And you want this scintillating copy to motivate them to take the next step, and make a purchase or contact you for more information.

Is it working?

Do prospects read your business marketing materials? Does the copy convince them that they need your products and services? Do they understand the value you provide?

Do they contact you?

What’s the key to writing marketing copy that grabs your prospects’ attention, overcomes common objections and leads to a sale or an inquiry?

Discover how to write compelling marketing copy now >>

When you finally call a plumber to fix that leak under the sink, does he spend ten or fifteen minutes talking about how long he has been in business, the wrenches he uses or the process he uses to solder a joint together? Of course not.

You have a problem and, in most cases, you need it solved immediately. You don’t necessarily care how he does it you just want your leaky plumbing fixed. Of course you want to spend as little as possible, but you see the plumber’s fees relative to the damage you’re incurring from the leak.

Prospects’ problems come first, then your solution. Problem; solution. Prospects want to see themselves and their concerns clearly identified in order to feel confident that you understand their needs. By addressing this, you create the context so that when you do describe your products and services, they are the obvious solution to your prospects’ needs.

Take a look at your marketing materials, including everything from your business card to your web site. Who and what are your small business marketing materials about; you or your prospects’ concerns?

Discover how to apply simple marketing copy strategies and tactics to build revenue for your business >>

Make a list of five to fifteen things that your prospects want. Turn these into questions or statements about your prospects’ problems. Asking questions is particularly effective in getting prospects to think about solving their problems.

If you’re a financial advisor you might ask, “Do you want to learn how to make more in both up and down markets?” If you help people with marketing their businesses you might ask, “Do you want to learn how to attract more clients and increase sales?” If you sell golf clubs you might ask, “Do you want to hit further and more accurately with less effort?”

To attract new clients you need to get their attention, demonstrate that you understand their concerns and clarify the value your products and services provide. Focus your marketing copy on your prospects’ problems, ask them questions and couch your solutions in terms of their objectives. You’ll start more conversations, sell more products and sign up more clients.

Got Meme? The Secret To Marketing Copy That Get’s Results

Charlie Cook

No “meme” isn’t a typo and Got Milk, the more commonly know phrase, is actually a marketing meme. If you’ve opened up a magazine or watched TV in the last ten years you’ve seen either the Got Milk ad campaign or the fun and memorable milk ad campaign using celebrities with a milk mustache. Chances are they got your attention and you remember the phrase, “Got Milk”.

A good meme is simple, provocative and infectious. An effective meme rolls off your tongue and sticks in your mind. Others remember it and pass it along to their friends and colleagues. It’s the cultural equivalent of a gene. For those of you without a national advertising budget, helping prospects and clients quickly grasp what you do and having them spread the word about your services is a form of zero cost marketing that you can use.

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant marketing message you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 Second Marketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

You may already have a tagline, slogan, or catch phrase you use in your marketing copy, but does it work as well as a meme? Like a gene, memes synthesize complex information, concepts and ideas and pass them along with little effort. They communicate what you do in a few words or in a short sentence. They enable you to get across the benefits of your products and services to prospects in a form they’ll remember and repeat to others.

Does your current title, tagline, or catch phrase:
– Tell people what you do?
– Create a perception of need?
– Start conversations?

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant marketing message you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 Second Marketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

– Labels such as “Trial Lawyer” or “Copy Editor” or ” Computer Specialist”. The problem with labels is that they don’t tell anyone how you can help them, or which problems you solve. In most cases they kill further conversation.

– Descriptions of work processes and methodologies. These usually start with “I …”. While at some point a prospect may want to know how you work, it is their problems and concerns which interest them the most and are the best place to begin.

– Offers such as “Buy this and get two free.” Your meme isn’t meant to convince someone to buy but rather to get his or her interest and start a conversation.

Effective marketing memes focus on a specific clientele and a solution, or better yet a common client problem. For example, “I help independent professionals attract more clients”, identifies a market and a client problem. It also invites the follow up question “How?” FedEx grew their now billion dollar business with the meme, “When it absolutely, positively, has to be there overnight”.

Whether you use a meme in the elevator, on your business card or in your mailings, it should help your prospects know whether you are taking to them and define you as someone who can help them solve a problem, and prompt prospects to ask if your products and services could help them, too.

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant elevator speech you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 Second Marketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

The “Got Milk” campaign used both words and images to get their message across. If you are only relying on words, you may need more than two, but limit it to less than ten. Use the following steps to write your meme.

– Identify your target market.

– Define problems you solve for clients.

– Clarify the benefits you provide.

– Determine what you would like people to do after they hear or see your meme. What question do you want them to ask or what action you want them to take?

– Use this information to write five conversation-starting phrases that summarize who you help and the problems you solve.

Once you have these draft memes, try them out. Some may elicit blank stares; others will prompt people to ask questions or start listing names of people they know who could use your products and services. A good meme can start a chain reaction in people’s minds and prompt them to move from prospect to client. When you hear people repeating your meme to others, you’ll know you’ve got one that works.

Coming up with an effective meme isn’t easy, but its the lowest cost and most valuable tool in your marketing tool kit.You may be pushing prospects away with your current tagline instead of helping people understand what you do and, more importantly, what you can do for them. So get meme, and get going with writing your marketing copy.

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant marketing message you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 Second Marketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

Which Words Attract Clients and Sales

Charlie Cook

Whether it’s your business card, tagline, article title, web site title and description or ad, just the difference of a few words can either pull in prospects and clients or push them away. Effective marketing copy can determine whether your phone is ringing off the hook or you are twiddling your thumbs hoping someone will call.

Just by changing a word or two or combining a couple of phrases, you can increase your response rate dramatically. Book publishers know that a book’s title can make the difference between it becoming a best seller or a loser. Wouldn’t you like your service and products to be best sellers?

In the past if you wanted to be sure you’d found the best name for your business or the right phrases to use in your small business marketing materials, you needed to hire a marketing research firm to get a reliable answer. Using phone surveys and focus groups, a market research firm can tell you which names turn prospects off and which make people want to buy your services and products.

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant marketing message you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 SecondMarketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

While business marketing research firms may still be the best answer for mid to large businesses, most independent professionals and small business owners, don’t budget tens of thousands of dollars for this type of in-depth analysis. So how do you find out which key words and phrases will attract clients to you?

You can research and test words and phrases to dramatically increase the response to your marketing. Thanks to the development of the internet and a couple of free and almost free online tools you can easily research which words pull in prospects and which push them away. Use the steps outlined below, to refine the words you use in your small businesss marketing strategy.

Start With A Focus On Client’s Problems
Don’t make the mistake of using marketing copy that focuses on your name, professional label, your credentials or processes. Your prospects are concerned about their own problems, issues and needs. For example, the phrase “back pain” is searched for on the internet one and a half times as often as “chiropractor”.

If you’re a chiropractor, your marketing materials should focus on the pain that your clients’ experience. Start with words that focus on prospects’ problems. If you can’t think of any, use words that describe the solution to their problems. What problems and solutions are your clients looking for?

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant elevator speech and marketing message you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 Second Marketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

Use Attention Getting Words
Everyone knows that certain words like “sex” attract attention. The problem is “sex” won’t attract clients for 99.9% of small businesses. It’s not going to help a lawyer, cleaning service, caterer, etc. Other words that get attention are how to, secrets, and free. The title of this article contains at least two attention-getting words. Can you identify them?

Fish Where the Fish Are
Certain category phrases exist to describe most types of businesses or tasks. If you are a web designer, the phrase ” web design” is one. If you sell pyrotechnics, the more commonly used term is “fireworks”; by a factor of twenty-two. Improve the response to your marketing by using the common phrases people use to search online, the same ones
used commonly in association with the services and products you sell.

Overture and Wordtracker provide free online tools to help you find the words and phrases your prospects are interested in. Make a list of all the words and phrases you think people associate with your services whether or not have a web site. Then test each phrase to find out which words attract the most attention.

The easiest tool to test word or phrase popularity is Google’s at

Type in possibilities from your list and look at how many times it was used in a search in the last month. Write the number down next to the word or phrase on your list and continue testing until you have a clear winner. Make sure the keywords you use to describe yourself, and the ones you use on your web pages to help the search engines find your site are ones your prospects use, too.

Almost Free Market Research
Once you know the category phrase that best describes your services and products, the next step is to develop your tagline, or the copy you use in your web site description or even yellow page advertising copy. If you are a lawyer you might have a listing in the yellow pages under attorneys, but what should you say to prompt people to call your office? Do you know which of the following phrases is most likely to pull in prospects?

– Free consultation for serious injuries
– Need legal help?
– Find the right attorney
– Maximum cash compensation

Without doing some market research you won’t know which phrase, if any of these, is the most effective. Thanks to it’s easy to test out your ideas. Depending on the popularity of your key words and how long you run your test, it will cost twenty to fifty dollars or more at Google. You can sign-up, put up as many variations of your ad as you want, and see which ones people respond to.

You may be surprised that changing a word or two can increase your response by factors of five or more. Once you see which phrases are working, try combining them to improve your response even more.

Even if you never run an ad, researching which phrases pull in prospects can help your business grow. Use the results on your business card, in your tagline, as the title to your web site or as the title to an article and pull in many more clients and customers.

Learn how to find the right words to explain exactly how you help prospects. With a brilliant marketing message you’ll attract more clients right away. Use the ’15 Second Marketing’ guide to create more business opportunities.

(VALUE: $200)
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