Everything you read below is from Dan Kennedy. If you have no idea who he is (have you been living under a rock). He is probably the premier copy writers in North America. The story below is an excellent example.
Create Marketing Fireworks by “SUCKERING EM IN”
Ok, now that I have your attention, let me talk to you about financial planning.”
This is an ad gambit as old as the hills. Call it whatever you like: lying, bait ‘n switch, trickery. You yell out one thing to grab attention, then switch to an entirely different subject once you have eyes and ears. Sometimes it works. More often it backfires because the people instantly feel cheated or conned, and either exit as quickly as they entered, or are loathe to trust you. When it does work, the switch needs to be to something pretty darned interesting itself, and leads to such an appealing offer that people with distrust still in their mouth, respond anyway. So, in the above example, it would at least need to go from the big SEX headline to “Slashing Your Tax Bill By At Least 33% (Guaranteed) Is Even Better Than Sex! – that’s what my top clients say.”
The ad shown below suckered Platinum Member Ron Caruthers in (and yes, that does say something about Ron). He saw it in the Entertainment Section (NOT the ‘churches section’) of an alternative weekly paper, “NewTimes,” in Phoenix. The ad IS for a church. Its “wild girls/ bad boys” referenced are characters in the Bible and, presumably, representative of the reformed sinners you’ll meet there, a more interesting crowd than at most churches. That, however, should have been said, and the ad does fail to capitalize on its very effective opening; after suckering you in with the promise of “wild girls and bad boys”, it fails to convince you that, if that’s you, you will meet kindred spirits at this church, you’ll feel more at home at this church than at traditional churches, that you should check it out even if you don’t like traditional churches. This is all IMPLIED – but that’s just not good enough. It also fails as a direct-response ad: no incentive offered to visit the web site, no free recorded message at an 800#. These things are easily fixed and this could be a really great ad, with “suckering ’em in” working just fine. The added virtue of this “Outrageous Ad Bill Glazer’d Love” is its potential to garner free publicity, by being talked about on radio and TV, written about in newspapers. THE QUESTION FOR YOU is: is “suckering ’em in” a strategy you ought to use? There’s no easy answer. It is best considered when one or more of these conditions exist:
1. Your core product/service/business is instantly rejected by prospects who will want to buy/patronize it if they hear the whole story.
2. There’s enormous competitive clutter in the ad media or marketplace, with many other marketers essentially saying the same things and looking too much alike.
3. You’re “tired” and “known” in your marketplace and people are immunized to your ad messages. You need to shake things up.
4. Your ‘control’ ads, mailings, etc. are wearing out and delivering diminishing results.
5. You want to get a double whammy; not just attract ideal prospects from your advertising, but create buzz, be talked about on a wider scale.
By the way, when he sent this to me, Ron said “I’m not sure what to file this under, except maybe to slap in the face of the next dummy who insists ‘but Dan, MY business is different!'” Yes, it does speak to that, doesn’t it? After all, this is a CHURCH. A lot of people wouldn’t be aware, but I was once a featured presenter at a multi-day “church marketing conference,” have had churches as clients, and we have quite a few church pastors as GKIC Members. This is a very good illustration of the fact that NO business is different; the fundamental needs and objectives to be met by effective advertising and marketing are EXACTLY THE SAME, which is why nearly everything in every Issue of this Letter does apply to every reader’s business – and if you think otherwise, the problem isn’t with the content here, friend, it’s with you!