Getting Started with Creative by the Numbers:
A List of 99 Creative Ideas
41. Make your copy dramatic. State a specific benefit. Make it so enticing your reader will have to read on. Use words, phrases, thoughts, and ideas that paint a picture, tell a story, get your reader involved.
Remember, you are looking for ACTION. Encourage me to take some.
42. Dick Benson says: "The longer you can keep someone reading your copy, the better your chance of selling them."
Readership studies show that you have the first 50 words in a direct mail letter, in a print ad or a brochure to get your audience. If they read the first 50 there is every reason to believe theyll read the next 500. If they dont . . .
43. From many sources and countless "live" examples in the marketplace come the 13 Magic Words of direct response.
Can you name them?
What you see here are the most effective, proven, and tested magic words in direct response.
44. David Ogilvy says these words and phrases also work wonders.
- How to...
- Last chance
- Remarkable Bargain
- Its here!
- Advice to...
- Just arrived
- The truth about...
45. If youre friendly in your copy, youll make friends for your product and company.
Show your reader theres a warm, honest, flesh-and-blood human being on the other end of that 800 number, order form, reply envelope, or coupon.
Your customers appreciate old-fashioned friendlinessjust as you do.
46. Make your copy as long as it needs to be.
You may want to "tease" and not give all the facts about the product.
But, make your copy long enough to tell your story, then quit. No copy is too long if it holds the readers interest. One sentence is too long if it doesnt. Long copy will outpull short copy if everything you say is interesting.
The Direct Response Marketing to Schools Newsletter reports that for direct mail sales letters, longer usually outpulls shorter. A two-page letter will usually pull about 80% more than a one-page. A four-page sales letter generally pulls 50% more than a two-page.
An exception may be lead-generation letters. Keep in mind that busy executives may not have time to read a long message. And, no one has time to read anything they are not interested in.
47. Attempts at humor in direct mail usually fail.
Like any of the rules here, there can be exceptions.
Humor can be a great attention-getter. For some products, if used well, humor can be used throughout a package to entertain. And to get orders.
Sometimes a little humor will work when tied to a theme, a special limited time offer, something timely.
As with most direct response "rules," test carefully up front before rolling out this or any such campaign.
48. "The more you tell, the more you sell."
There is no such thing as too much copy. Remember, "Nobody reads the white space."
The United States Postal Service, from a recent Household Diary study, found that: ". . . 64% of the households dont really mind an influx of direct mail packages as long as they are interesting."
Similar results are reported by Schlenker Research Services about outbound telemarketing. Overall 38% of consumers "dont really mind" receiving a telemarketing call. And the number gets higher47%with calls to those under 35 years of age.
Make your message interesting and say all there is to say. Never mail blank pages. Use all the space available in a magazine or newspaper. Keep your catalog full. Say or write enough to get the lead. Or enough to get the order. Whatever it takes, do it.
49. Words are important. Here are some big words with little names:
- Life and Death
- Peace and War
- Day and Night
Here are more big things with short words:
- Smile, Cry, and Laugh
- Faith and Hope
- Love and Hate
50. Direct mail great Ed Mayer included on his word list words with grace, with charm, and with impact:
These are powerful words. Use them where they fit.