Marketing Minimalism – Do Less Marketing. Better!

I am on a mission to help bricks and mortar business owners around the world create better, more profitable marketing, which is why I wrote the High Impact Marketing Manifesto and created the High Impact Marketing Club.In the Manifesto, I outline four fundamental cornerstones to developing High Impact Marketing for your business.  In this article, I want to focus on Cornerstone #2: Do Less Marketing… better!

At first glance, this may appear to be a contradiction or even blasphemy for a marketer to even utter these words, but it was none other than Albert Einstein who, when describing how to develop a good theory, is said to have asserted, “everything should be kept as simple as possible, but no simpler.”

For much in life, this is not bad advice.

For example, for the past two years I’ve been working out with nothing more than a cannonball with a handle (a.k.a. the kettlebell).  My trainer is Pat Flynn, who during these two years has become an internationally recognized expert on fitness minimalism and kettlebells, taught me the importance of doing the least amount of training to get the most benefits.  I am now a firm believer I can maintain a decent level of fitness and conditioning with nothing more than a single, heavy kettlebell and a place to walk, sprint or crawl.

Compare this approach to all the fancy gadgets and gyms I could be spending my time with or in (as a side note Pat’s Chronicles of Strength blog is quite the interesting read and is recommended if you’re looking for a different approach to getting fit).

While I didn’t realize it initially, I’ve taken the same stance with marketing. I’m a strong believer in doing fewer things in […]

“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

It’s a classic line from the original Godfather movie (first released in 1972), uttered by the character Peter Clemenza to fellow thug Rocco who just executed a co-worker in a parked car.  Clemenza was instructing Rocco to get out of the car, leave the murder weapon behind and grab the tasty Italian dessert he brought along.

It was a recent quiet weekend night and when I saw the Godfather was on cable, I had to watch it, since it had been decades since first seeing it.

Clemenza’s order caught my attention for two reasons.

Growing up in an Italian family, I know just how serious they take food and the eating experience.  Italians allow little to stand in the way between them and a meal, so Clemenza’s request is not an unrealistic one and is expected.

The second reason this caught my attention (I literally rewound and played it several times) was the simple picture it paints for the business owner.

“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”

Clemenza’s statement is all about priorities.  In the thugs’ world, the cannoli were more important to them then getting rid of the murder weapon.  There was no doubt or hesitation.

We, as marketing-oriented business owners, should be so clear and decisive.  Unfortunately, we don’t have a director, directing us or a team of writers giving us the perfect line to say next.

We have to do it all on our own.

In my recently released High Impact Marketing Manifesto (which you can get here), I outlined three critical priorities I believe ALL bricks and mortar business owners should follow everyday they’re in business (even though the Manifesto was written for traditional bricks and mortar business owners, it’s applicable to any type of business owner).

The three priorities […]

High Impact Marketing Funnels Workshop

If you own or are responsible for the marketing of a bricks and mortar business or any other type of business which has a physical location, employees, overhead and a very real need for a systematic way to convert visitors into prospect and prospects into customers (or clients, patients, students, etc.) – I have an important invitation for you.

On May 12, 2014, I’m hosting an intense, no-fluff one-day, “small-group” workshop where I will show you every tactic and high-level strategy to help you build marketing and lead-generation funnels to create a sustainable and profitable flow of leads and customers for your business.

Unlike some of the other marketing funnel training you may have come across, this workshop is designed to ONLY help the bricks and mortar business owner (who has very different requirements than the Internet marketer selling ebooks or info-products).

Creating and sustaining High Impact Marketing funnels for the restaurant owner who has to fill her restaurant every night or the chiropractor who needs a steady new flow of patients is a specialized craft I’ve focused on since 1998 and is dramatically different than the hype-filled, often ridiculous examples you see in the online community.

Bricks and mortar business owners ARE DIFFERENT, which is why I am hosting a laser-focused, one-day High Impact Marketing Funnels workshop just for them.  Click this image to learn more:

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    High Impact Marketing Manifesto Available on Amazon and Kindle

High Impact Marketing Manifesto Available on Amazon and Kindle

This month, I released the High Impact Marketing Manifesto to help business owners around the world create more profitable, authentic and integrity-based marketing.  The Manifesto is a collection of unconventional, yet time-tested and proven strategies for “real world business owners.”  I define these types of business owners as bricks and mortar business owners, professional practice owners and any business owner who serves a local market and requires face-to-face contact.

The High Impact Marketing Manifesto is a short, quick read, but don’t let its small size fool you.  It’s the result of the last 20 years of being in the marketing game – every day.   The High Impact Marketing Manifesto is a proven prescription for real-world business owners who are looking to rise above their competition, attract more prospects and leverage existing customers, all while delivering authentic and immense value.

High Impact Marketing solves the pain and frustration of poor results and marketing that doesn’t work and it’s built on four cornerstone principles:

Built on these cornerstones are 27 unconventional, yet proven and profitable High Impact Marketing building blocks and “profit triggers.” Without a doubt, the High Impact Marketing Manifesto should be mandatory reading for any business owner who wants to stand out from the masses.

You can purchase the High Impact Marketing Manifesto here on my site as part of a special package (including a laminated High Impact Marketing tip sheet) or if you prefer you can order the paperback version or Kindle version on Amazon.com, by clicking here.

After reading a preview version, High Impact Marketing extraordinaire, Jeff Giagnocavo of Gardner’s Mattress & More has this to say about the Manifesto, “Just as any God-fearing Christian puts massive importance on the ten commandments so should any business owner […]

Marketing hurdles – the good and bad

When marketing your business, it’s often a smart strategy to place “marketing hurdles” in your campaigns to slow people down in order to do something which measures their interest level in what you have to offer.

A classic example is a web-based squeeze page where you ask somebody for their contact info before presenting the reward.

Another example would be asking a tradeshow attendee to fill out a short survey in order to get a gift you’re giving away.

These are both examples of what I would define as “good marketing hurdles.”

How big of a marketing hurdle you put in front of somebody depends on the context of the situation or campaign, but the bottom line is that good marketing hurdles give a prospect or customer what they want, with minimal effort and provide you with important feedback.

At the other end of the marketing hurdles spectrum are bad marketing hurdles which result in serious problems for your business.  Bad marketing hurdles present unnecessary challenges to your prospects and customers, which will ultimately degrade results and profitability.

Probably the most common bad marketing hurdle is the cancellation/refund/guarantee process some business owners have in place.

So a quick personal story to illustrate what I mean…

The other day I purchased a piece of technology from a “big name” Internet marketer.  I did my due-diligence, checked everything out and made the $300 purchase.

Since I’m very familiar with this technology, as soon as I bought I went to work implementing it and after about 30 minutes I realized it had severe limitations and was not quite up to the level the marketer positioned it at in his front-end marketing.

When it was clear the product would not work for me, I made the decision to […]

WWJCD – What Would John Caples Do?

Recently, I was in need of some copywriting inspiration and whenever that happens one of the places I turn to is my library of classic marketing and business books.  For years, I’ve collected first edition and classic marketing and business books and some of my most coveted books were written by the legendary John Caples.

I’m sure most of you know John was the brains and copywriting behind the famous ad for the U.S. School of Music first used in 1925. The picture above is an original 1925 ad hanging in my office.

If you have never read a John Caples book and you consider yourself a student of marketing and copywriting, you’re missing out.  Time and time again, I’ve gotten powerful and profitable ideas from reading Caples, so much so many times I ask myself – what would John Caples do?

On this particular day, I pulled a first edition copy of Making Ads Pay, published in 1957.  When I bought this book, it was not readily available, but recently the publisher re-released it and you can buy it on Amazon.com for all of $10.20.

The table of contents alone is worthy of your study:

Seven Steps to Successful Advertising
How I Wrote My First Advertisement
How to Write Story Copy
They Laughed When I Sat Down at the Piano
They Grinned When the Waiter Spoke to Me in French
Some Principles Learned in Mail Order Advertising
An Ad That Failed and One That Didn’t
Which Appeals Succeed?……. Which Fail?
How to Think Up Ideas
How to Write Headlines
Ten Ways to Write the First Paragraph
How to Write Advertising Copy
Ten Ways to Make Ads Believable
Six Ways to Prove It’s a Bargain
Nine Ways to Make It Easy to Buy
Six Ways to Make People Buy Now
A Check List for Making […]

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    High impact marketing no-no: a personalized postcard example

High impact marketing no-no: a personalized postcard example

In my last article, I showed an attempt of high impact marketing that goes wrong by trying to personalize in a way I consider deceitful and simply wrong (you can read it here). While high impact marketing is all about personalized marketing, it’s about doing it in an authentic, integrity-based, friend-to-friend way.

The example I am about to show you is a better (not by much) attempt at personalized marketing, but it still falls way short of creating a truly personalized marketing experience. It has several major mistakes. Can you find them?

As a matter of fact, I’m going to turn this postcard autopsy into a contest where I will award a book gift to two random winners. I will also post a second part of this article next week, where I do a quick makeover based on the suggestions received.

So here’s the postcard I received in the mail from a local, franchise-based hair salon (you can click on the images to see a bigger version). Let’s take a look at the “back side” first (not sure if there is a technical front side and back side to a postcard, but I call the side with the mailing address the “back side”).

O.K., so my eyes fall naturally to seeing my own name in print (first to ensure it’s indeed for me and second on the left hand side with the “Hello Mike” text).

Do not scoff at this simplistic form of personalization. Even today, seeing your own name in print is a powerful eye-magnet and should be used as a minimum in all high impact marketing campaigns. Simple “mail merge” personalization like this can be done by any business owner, in-house or with a printer-partner.

After this minimal […]

Bad marketing example: doing the right things wrong.

If you’re like me, you treat your mailbox and email inbox as an opportunity to learn.  Sure, 90% of the stuff in either box is NOT worthy of your study, but I guarantee 10% or so of the mail and emails you’re getting offer ideas on what to do (good marketing) and what NOT to do (bad marketing).

This particular example I want to show you falls in the latter category in my opinion.  The reason I wanted to show it to you is because it does a number of right things in the wrong manner.

I should let you know after doing some quick research, I realized this letter is coming from a very experienced and rather well-known marketer, which just proves how easy it is even for seasoned and successful marketers to make fundamental mistakes.  Obviously, I have no idea how this letter is converting for him, but when you see it, I think you’ll agree it fumbles the ball. You can click on the images to enlarge.

Right thing #1: Highly-personal looking, hand-crafted envelope. This letter did almost everything right when it arrived in my mailbox.  It was sent in a personal-looking, plain-white #10 envelope with real handwriting and a first class stamp.  Nothing to criticize so far.

Right thing, wrong #1:  In my opinion, these days if you leave off a return address it’s a classic tell-tale sign that what I am about to open is “marketing and advertising.”

Why do I say this?

Simply because these days if you were to send a letter to a friend, there is a 99.9% probability you would include a return address.  Chances are you would even include your name, right?

Since I am a proponent of crafting marketing that […]

52 High Impact Marketing Examples Featuring CopyDoodles®

One of the most satisfying benefits of bringing CopyDoodles to the world are all the amazing success stories and testimonials we’ve received over the years.  The number of high impact marketing examples and campaigns created by our members astound me almost as much as the improvements in response and results these real-world business owners get with CopyDoodles.

I’m just about to put the finishing touches on a new CopyDoodles ebook and I wanted to give you a free copy.  A gift from me to you.

This little ebook is meant to showcase the unique, high impact marketing our members have created and when you see some of these examples, I’m sure you’ll be impressed as much as I was when first saw them.  Folks are putting doodles on every marketing piece they want to draw attention to, including direct mail, books, emails, websites and advertisements.  The kind of things you would expect to see a CopyDoodle on, but then there were the more outside-the-box examples, including:

Using CopyDoodles on broadcast television commercials – A few of our members have done this, but Michael McLean, of McLean Insurance did it first.  As matter of fact, Michael has put CopyDoodles on the side of his office, in his newsletters, you name, Mike’s “put a doodle on it.” Check out one of Michael’s televisions commercials.

CopyDoodles rap video – When CopyDoodles member Greg Russell sent me his “Put a Doodle On It!” rap video he put together (to get my attention), I nearly fell out of my chair laughing (and amazed).  This is a CopyDoodles classic (by the way, the farmer/business guy is a real-life pastor – go figure).

Restaurant menu mailer – One of the coolest uses of CopyDoodles I’ve […]

High Impact Copywriting – Is Your Copy Readable?

I’m getting old and as I approach my next birthday, I’m noticing a few changes…

I definitely feel more of a draft when I don’t wear a hat on cold winter’s day.
Waking up in the morning is typically accompanied by more creakiness than I remember.
And when did everything start being printed so small?

If you’re under 40 and smirking as you read these words, you’ll join the club soon.  For the rest of us, I want to use this high impact copywriting article to remind you of a critically important fact…
If your advertising, marketing promotions and content is physically difficult to read, it won’t get read!
Pick up any magazine and try to read the advertisements.  The vast majority use a font that’s so small and difficult to read, most people skip it.

When one of your readers picks up one of your sales letters, postcards, newsletters or visits your web site, are you making it easy for them to read your text or difficult?

The recent redesign of the GKIC No B.S. Marketing Letter is a classic example of making content hard to read.  I’ve heard from many people, including myself, who find their body font choice way too small and way too hard to read and knowing a good chunk of their subscribers are over 40, this is a mistake.

I recently purchased a book on bourbon only to realize after getting it home, the print layout is so small, I could barely read it.

The above is a single-page scan of the book, which is much taller than it is wide and besides the odd layout of a narrow column page, the font is excruciatingly small.

Knowing most bourbon aficionados are probably 40+, I have no idea why the […]