High Impact Copywriting – Making the Mundane, Fun!

For business owners looking to create high impact marketing and high impact copywriting, so their product or service stands out, one of the greatest challenges is to make otherwise mundane features and benefits, sound fun, new and exciting.

This is why top marketing copywriters get paid so well.  It’s not easy taking something ordinary and wrapping it with high impact copywriting in order to wake the reader up and get them engaged. Unfortunately most business owners gloss over the important need to make their products and services sound extraordinary.

Just yesterday I was on a consulting call with one of my Private Client Group members who has an exceptional training course and as I read through his sales letter, he dropped the ball when it came to naming his course modules so they sounded unique and valuable.  As it stood, his this part of his letter put me to sleep.

High impact copywriting SNAPS, CRACKLES and POPS!  It’s lively, fun to read and the words jump off the page, captivates the reader. And it’s a skill all marketing-oriented business owners should practice.

To illustrate what I mean by high impact copywriting, here are two, real-world examples.  You may have seen this first one before.  It’s a classic email written by the founder of CD Baby, Derek Sivers.  This email was sent to a customer just after they ordered a CD from CD Baby.  Read it and study it.

That’s high impact copywriting at its finest.  It transforms and ordinary “your product has shipped” email and made it fun and exciting.  This didn’t take a top copywriter to write.  It just took some creative thinking on Derek’s part to craft the email, which has since become a classic in the […]

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    First Time Available: Two Year Collection of the Mike Capuzzi Newsletter – SMART Ideas

First Time Available: Two Year Collection of the Mike Capuzzi Newsletter – SMART Ideas

For the first time ever, a just released two year collection of the Mike Capuzzi newsletter – SMART Ideas is available as a two CD-ROM & two yearbook collection.  This Mike Capuzzi newsletter collection includes all the 2012 and 2013 issues of SMART Ideas, including the valuable marketing templates included with each issue.

You can grab a copy of either the 2012 or 2013 or both yearbooks by visiting: http://www.smartideasformarketing.com.

SMART Ideas is a one-of-a-kind print and digital newsletter published for marketing-oriented business owners looking for high impact marketing ideas and campaigns to implement in their business.

Each eight-page issue focuses on one specific and important marketing strategy and each print issue is also accompanied by at least $500 worth of valuable, digital content including customizable templates, graphics, articles, videos, presentations and more!

SMART Ideas is perfect for business owners and entrepreneurs (bricks and mortar, professional practice or online – it doesn’t matter) who want timely and easy-to-implement marketing templates and ideas. It’s the only print marketing newsletter, I’m aware of, that not only shows you what to do, but also gives you the files, copy, templates and more to implement them! This means you can take the ideas I share in each issue and literally implement them quickly and easily by using the templates and content included in this collection!

Good, effective and consistent marketing is the lifeblood of all profitable businesses.  Yet, as a busy entrepreneur, you have customers to take care of, employees to deal with and there’s a very good chance that you’re marketing is not as good and consistent as it could be. Coming up with and developing marketing campaigns each month is no easy task. Even the best struggle at times to come […]

Thinking Inside the Box & Missed Opportunities

I had a disturbing conversation the other day.  It was with a friend who is also a bricks and mortar business owner and after years of preaching the gospel of marketing to him, I’ve come to realize he likes “thinking inside the box” when it comes to marketing his business.

So as I pulled up to the restaurant, I promised myself I would keep the conversation about everything but business (since I know from experience any marketing ideas I share typically land with a solid THUD). Nope, this time I was going to keep it strictly at a friendly level and stay far away from talking business or marketing.

This lasted about 10 minutes (we hadn’t even gotten our eggs yet).

It started innocently when he mentioned a recent solo email he sent to his list (I think he was trying to let me know he was marketing his business before I even asked the question).  He described what he did and I could sense a level of impending frustration in his voice.

I bit my tongue and kept my mouth shut.

“So I sent this email and it offered great prices on a few select products, but nobody bought…”

I kept my mouth closed and simply nodded in understanding, but I could feel my resolve weakening as I continued to listen.

“I sent one last month and one this month and no sales.”

And then “it” came over me and I couldn’t help myself (so much for my promise to myself before I got out of my car).  If you’re like me, you know what “it” is.

“It” is the unbridled passion for direct marketing and thinking creatively about the ways you promote your business.  The result was a tidal wave of […]

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    The differences between a free newsletter and a paid subscription newsletter

The differences between a free newsletter and a paid subscription newsletter

With the recent release of my Subscription Newsletter Success Blueprints home-study course, which shows entrepreneurs how to publish a paid subscription newsletter, I’ve received a few interesting emails.

One in particular was asking why I created this course, when there were so many other resources available that covered publishing customer newsletters.

My short answer back was “A free customer newsletter, while hugely valuable to the business owner, is a completely different animal than a paid subscription newsletter.  It’s like comparing a horse to a zebra.   There are similarities, but they are definitely not the same.”

I am a huge fan of the free prospect, customer, client or patient newsletter and have used them in my own business and have helped my clients create them, but publishing a free newsletter is nowhere near as complex as publishing a print newsletter you expect to be paid for, month after month.

To help clarify the difference, I thought I would highlight what I believe are the biggest differences between the two.

Perceived Value

Though I can make the case just about every business owner should send out their own free newsletter customers and prospects there is a huge difference in perceived value with a free newsletter that starts showing up in the mailbox one day vs. the newsletter somebody is paying for and expecting each and every month.

You will not find too many who save their free newsletters, whereas you will find shelves of binders filled with back issues in the paid subscriber’s office or home.

Subscriber Marketing

There is little marketing required when you send a free newsletter to your customers.  Essentially, these types of newsletters are sent with no cost to the person receiving it.  They’re getting it simply because they are a […]

A simple example of thoughtful target marketing

If you’ve read any of my previous articles, read my books or seen any of my webinars, you know I constantly preach the critical importance of knowing “who’s your who.”  There are a number of reasons why knowing who your who is important and one particular reason is the notion of what I call “thoughtful target marketing.”

I’m sure you’ve heard of target marketing, which essentially means crafting your marketing message around the pains, wants and needs of a specific target recipient.  It’s a very powerful concept a lot of business owners either forget or ignore.

Thoughtful target marketing goes one step deeper and uses language and imagery to evoke a certain emotion in a very specific recipient.  Whereas many people who will see the marketing message will gloss over the copy and images, for a certain few there will be an instant and powerful connection.

This connection will get their attention (marketing’s difficult first task) and gets them engaged in the message.

One business owner and high-impact marketer who does this right, over and over again, is Richard Hauswirth, owner of Hauswirth & Sons Insurance Consultants in New Jersey. Richard and his team create some of the most engaging and attention-grabbing “Main Street-type” marketing I’ve ever seen (which is why his agency is so successful).

During a recent consulting day, Richard showed me a graphic that shows all his various marketing systems and campaigns and to say I was impressed is an understatement.  His marketing is dialed in and works.

One particular campaign he showed me and one I want to share in this article is a postcard campaign to a very specific target market (which I’m sure you can identify immediately) and illustrates the concept of thoughtful target marketing […]

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    My Seven Blueprints to Successfully Publish a Paid Newsletter

My Seven Blueprints to Successfully Publish a Paid Newsletter

After months of research and content development, I’m pleased to announce the availability of my seven personal blueprints to successfully publish a paid newsletter in my brand new Subscription Newsletter Success Blueprints course.

Publishing a paid subscription newsletter can be one of the smartest and most profitable things you can do and done right, your newsletter can make you rich and famous. If you’re like me, it’s the “perfect” business, which offers you:

The ability to create monthly or annual continuity income
A high return on your money and time investment
The opportunity to have a monthly conversation with your subscribers
The ability to build and leverage your own marketing media (which can become a $$$ asset)
A proven media that can be the foundation of a profitable membership program
And perhaps the most important benefit, flexibility and freedom to run the business with few (if any) employees, little overhead and around your life!

Subscription Newsletter Success Blueprints is the most comprehensive, in-depth and practical study and how-to guide for any entrepreneur who wants to leverage his or her business expertise, hobby or passion with a paid, print newsletter.

 

This past October, business owners from all over flew into Philadelphia to spend a day with me learning how to get into the paid subscription newsletter business.  This one day workshop was the culmination of hundreds of hours of research and content development and by the end of the day I had delivered over 1,000 pages of tips, guidelines, marketing examples, newsletter examples, interviews and more.

Unfortunately, there are few resources available showing aspiring publishers how to start and publish a paid newsletter, which is the why I hosted the workshop.  I’ve now taken the best of the best of this workshop and turned it […]

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    The Power of Pause & Creative Thinking Strategies for Entrepreneurs

The Power of Pause & Creative Thinking Strategies for Entrepreneurs

Given the time of year we’re entering, I thought it would be helpful to offer some sage advice for all business owners and entrepreneurs.  Between the holiday season, wrapping up end of year tasks and preparing for 2014, the next six weeks will be hectic and frenetic. Like many of the articles I write for this blog, I am writing this article, on creative thinking strategies for entrepreneurs, to myself – as a personal reminder to follow my own advice.

Thumb through your marketing library and I doubt you will find much written about the “power of pause.” In other words, the power of simply taking time to quiet one’s surroundings and mind with the intent of deep, creative thinking, reflection and in some cases, cooling off.

As busy entrepreneurs and business owners, we tend to be in constant “go-mode” and rarely give ourselves time to simply be quiet to clear our heads.  Hopefully most folks reading this take time out of their day to eat right and exercise, but do you also spend time quietly, clearing your mind of mental clutter and noise?

If not (or you don’t do it on a regular basis), I would like to challenge you to consider adding quiet time to your workweek and add the power of pause to your schedule.  If you can be intentional about this effort, I truly believe you will experience positive and possibly even extraordinary results.  Here are some creative thinking strategies for entrepreneurs to consider.

Pause to Clear Your Head

Even the most top-performing entrepreneurs need down time.  And by down time, I don’t mean pursuing your outside-of-work hobby or passion – I mean quiet, solitude time with the intention of clearing your head and thinking […]

New Domains Coming Soon (Marketer’s Alert)

This is a marketing alert about the new domains coming soon and offering smart marketers unique new ways to get their message on the Internet. For some time, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been preparing to introduce a whole new range of generic top level domains and if you’re like me, this like being a kid in a candy store.

Since I use GoDaddy, I can sign up to be alerted when these domains are available for registration.  According to GoDaddy’s web site (non-affiliate article link here), there are several categories of new names, including:

Business
Commerce
Education
Food & Drink
Generic
Geographic
Government
Health
Industry
Lifestyle & Identity
Media
Money & Finance
Professional
Real Estate
Sport
Technology

And as a quick sampling, some of the more interesting new domains coming are:

A — .academy .ads .app .art
B — .blog .book .business .buy .buzz
C — .ceo .club .coupon
D — .deal .deals .dental .doctor
E — .expert
F — .finance .free
G — .gives .gift .guru
H — .health .help .how
I — .inc .insurance
L — .lawyer .love
M — .management .marketing .money
N — .news .now
O — .online
P — .party .promo
R — .realestate .reviews
S — .save .school .shop .site .solutions
T — .tech .technology .tour .trading
U — .university
V — .ventures .vip
W — .web .wow

I’m sure even this short list gets your marketing juices flowing.  I know it did mine.  You can visit GoDaddy’s web site and put yourself on a notification list, which is what I did.  I’m not sure which domain registrars will be carrying these new domain names and if you use a different registrar, you should check with them.

When these new domains become available, it will be a mad rush to snatch up the best of the best and if this article and list inspires you, you don’t want to miss out!

 

Improve This Advertisement – Recap & Winners!

In my last article, I posed the challenge for readers to improve this advertisement from Philadelphia furniture-retailer, Oskar Huber furniture.  I want to thank all the thoughtful response and input readers sent and congratulations to Tim Turner and Edwin Soler for winning a copy of Mustard Seeds, Shovels and Mountains from the late, great Jim Straw.

By the way, I saw one of the owners of Oskar Huber last week at a local event.  He had not seen the original article and I suggested he do so immediately.  He is a student of direct response marketing and knows better.  Hopefully all the “crowd-sourced” ideas will help him the next time around.

There many very good ideas on how to improve this advertisement and to make it easy for you, I’ve outlined what I thought were the top 10 ways to improve this advertisement. They are in no specific order.

1. Lacks benefit-driven headline to quickly identify who this ad is for and why they need to read it.

2. Light color, small-font text on dark background is hard to read.  Very typical of an agency-designed ad.

3. The copy is “all about me” copy.  It should be focused on the reader – their pains, wants, desires, etc.  Should be written with the affluent buyer in mind.

4. Copy is boring and is void of energy, however serving the Philadelphia area for four generations is definitely a unique value proposition (however I noticed one younger reader did not care about this fact, which is interesting in and of itself).

5. Lacks social proof.  Why not feature a multi-generational customer who has been an Oskar Huber customer for decades?

6. Missing a clear call-to-action.  The discount is a typical, “plain-vanilla” offer.  Generic discounts like […]

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    Can You Improve This Advertisement? – A Direct Marketing Strategies Contest

Can You Improve This Advertisement? – A Direct Marketing Strategies Contest

One quick and easy way to hone your own marketing skills is to review other’s marketing and advertisement materials with the intent of trying to improve them so they follow the direct marketing strategies we all know and love.

Since often times we cannot see the glaring mistakes and areas for improvement in our own marketing because we’re too close to it, studying and dissecting other’s magazine ads, direct mail and web sites is “marketing mind exercise” and is typically a trait of marketing junkies like me and hopefully you.

To inspire you to take a few moments to exercise your marketing brain, I will randomly pick two different readers who leave their thoughtful suggestions below on how to use direct marketing strategies to improve this magazine ad for a local furniture retailer.  The prize is a great little book, Mustard Seeds, Shovels and Mountains from the late, great Jim Straw.

So here’s the full page, ad agency-inspired ad for Oskar Huber furniture hear in the suburban Philadelphia area.  You can click on it to enlarge.

 

 

In the Philadelphia-area, Oskar Huber has a long-time, deeply established and respected name and brand.   They’re market is higher-end and they typically target a more affluent buyer.  On a side note, last year’s Super Storm Sandy wiped out their Jersey Shore location, but I’ve heard they have rebuilt and are stronger than ever.

Interestingly, I know the owners of this local business. They’ve done a consulting day with me and one of the owner’s was part of the Glazer-Kennedy group I ran for five years.  There’s a very good chance he’s reading this article and I hope he knows my intent is only to help my readers and his family’s efforts.

Looking at this […]

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