Why Your Marketing Efforts Aren’t Working

A good friend of mine back in college wanted to learn how to play ping-pong. Every night after dinner he would play with the dorm Champ. Needless to say, it was a hopeless mis-match.

I would stop by sometimes and watch him get pounded over and over again. The Champ was merciless: 21-2, 21-1, 21-3 were typical scores.

Being an acquaintance of the Champ, I asked him once why he wasn’t taking it a little easier on such a novice player. I’ve thought about his answer many times since then because it has come to my aid time and time again.

If you’re like the overwhelming majority of netrepreneurs, I’m sure you’ve been trying to figure out why your marketing efforts have been taking a “pounding”. In fact, it’s likely you’re even using many of the same techniques as the “Internet Guru’s”, but they just don’t seem to work for you.

Why? Well, if you’re not attracting traffic, and if you’re not converting visitors into sales, the first place to look is at “the words” you use. Your pounding is very likely due to your own copywriting: your ad headlines, your sales page, and your newsletter copy.

The one single characteristic virtually every Internet Expert has in common is the ability to write like the dickens. And with competition so widespread and so fierce, if your copywriting is only “average”, or worse, any marketing effort is unlikely to get off the ground.

Yet, learning strong copywriting techniques still appears to be a low priority among many trying to earn money on the internet. For example, I recently used a search term tool and found the following results:

***** 96,000 searches for “internet marketing”

***** 152,000 searches for “home business”

***** 162,000 searches for “marketing”

***** and 108,000 searches for “advertising”

That’s 518,000 searches for these marketing related topics.

Now, get this. There were less than 5,000 searches for “copywriting” and less than 4,000 for “writing skills”. That’s less than 2% of the total … and offers a strong hint of why 95% of businesses on the web fail.

Admittedly, this isn’t scientific, but what it indicates is that those people who are interested in making money on the web, are not very interested in learning how to write great copy … even though this is the very skill that separates the big money makers from everyone else.

Do you have a copywriting problem? It’s easy to know. If you’re short on site traffic and sales, the answer is, “yes”. There’s plenty of ways of getting traffic to your site. If it’s not happening, your promotional copy isn’t getting the job done and needs to be reworked. Ditto for sales.

So, how do you “write for the web”? Here’s some quick pointers to get you started.

1.) Write from your prospects point of you. Keep the “I’s” to a minimum and use plenty of “you’s”.

2.) Use powerful words in your headlines, such as Discover, Breakthrough, The Truth About, Amazing, New, Money, Magic and Proven to name a few. Even the old “How To” keeps on working.

3.) Avoid over hyping. Claiming to have secrets that will make people rich almost overnight loses credibility.

4.) Experiment with your ad headlines. I tripled the response to an ad by changing just a few words, from “Frustrated With Your Online Earnings?” to “Are You Frustrated With The Money You’ve Been Making?”.

5.) Use simple, everyday words to make your points (for example, I could have said, “Use average language to be understood properly”, and it’s just not as simple and effective).

6.) Keep your paragraphs short (2-4 sentences) and your sentences brief. Instead of, “Receive everything you need in your mailbox in a few moments”, say, “Get it all right now”.

7.) Stress the benefits, not the features. Instead of “This product comes with a money-back guarantee”, say, “Think of all the time, energy and money you’ll save with this lifetime guarantee”.

8.) On your sales page, state the problem, stir up the problem and then solve the problem.

9.) Use “bullets” to list your benefits. Many visitors will read your sales page only after a quick scan of your headlines and bullets.

10.) Motivate action by using action verbs throughout your copy, such as unleash, explode, break, pull, punch and spread, to name a few. This helps the reader get in the frame of mind for taking action. Then close with an action statement. Instead of “Build bigger profits”, say “Make more money now”.

11.) Visit the web sites of known Internet Experts, subscribe to their newsletters and study and re-study everything they do.

There’s no doubt that learning to write great copy will have an immediate, positive impact on every marketing method you use. And the good news is that it is definitely learnable.

So, what was “The Champ’s” answer to me and how can you use it to improve your internet results? I think it’s clear. He said, “Your friend isn’t looking for recreation. He wants to become a serious player.”

A month later, he had indeed become a serious player. No, he didn’t get better than the Champ, but he gave him a run for his money nearly every time … even beating him once in a while.

So, if you’ve been taking a marketing pounding, learn from the copywriting champs. And keep on playing.

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