Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful by Bill Glazer

My Notes on “Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful” by Bill Glazer:

Recipe for a 5 Page Sales Letter51-3Sx8fMwL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

  • Page 1: Tell your story, the reason why you’re doing this, and why buyers should buy
  • Page 2: The details, what’s for sale, who you are, how much they’ll save
  • Page 3: Offer free gift “premium”. A deadline. Write directly at them. Hint at coupons coming up on the last page.
  • Page 4: Personal message reminding them how great you are, that they are your preferred customers, and not everyone is getting this offer, but they will later and then all the best stuff will be gone so they better act now. Another hint of the coupons on the last page
  • Page 5: Use P.S. and P.P.S.

Continue reading “Outrageous Advertising That’s Outrageously Successful by Bill Glazer”

What? You’re Still Not Text Message Marketing To Your Customers? No Excuse, Because Now It’s Free From Vodafone’s Website

In a moment I’ll tell you how to start Mobile Marketing (with txt msg’s) to your customers from Vodafone for free, but first…

In my opinion, not enough businesses use Text Messaging (SMS or Txt Msg) to communicate with their customers.

  • Do you get txt reminders from your mechanic when your WOF or your next car service is due?
  • Do you get txt reminders from your dentist or hairdresser or physio reminding you of your appointment?
  • Do you get txt notification when your library books are due the next day?

Sure, there are email notifications, but nothing gets your attention like a text message alert.

And sure, some of these business are set up with SMS systems, but not all of them. Why not?

Q: “Is an SMS system expensive?”

A: No.

Vodafone offers the ability to send SMS from the vodafone website (they call it Web2Txt). You just pay 20c for your text messages (no monthly fees, no other fees).  The only catch is that you can’t use txt bundles such as “200 free txt’s a month”.  There are no special deals, it’s just 20c per message.

(There is also a free way, that I will tell you about very soon)

More about Vodafones Web 2 Txt Service for Personal and Business Use

Q: “Is an SMS system easier to use than punching the message into my phone?”

A: Yes.

It takes me ages to punch a message into my phone using the keypad and one thumb, but I can type at 90 words a minute so Web2Txt lets me use my computer keyboard to write messages (and use copy and paste for sending multiple messages).

Q: “Is it true that my text messages will get piped directly into my customer’s brain?”

A: Yes.  Here’s 5 reasons why:

  1. It’s easy to mute the TV during the ads.
  2. It’s easy to switch radio stations during the ads.
  3. It’s easy to delete an email newsletter before you read it.
  4. It’s easy to throw the junk mail into the bin before you read it.
  5. But you cannot ignore a txt message beeping and vibrating in your pocket. It will get read. It gives you a chance.

Q: “Can I use Web2Txt for FREE?”

A: Yes.

You can send up to 20 Web2Txt messages a day – FOR FREE.

Go to www.vodafone.co.nz/free2txt/ to find out how.

There are 3 catches:

  1. It’s only free if the person you are sending to is on Vodafone too
  2. Vodafone will add a short advertisement to the end of your message (at the moment it’s about the Vodafone warriors)
  3. This is the 8th month of the Beta version of this Free2Txt system, so there maybe a few bugs

Because of the advertisement on the end of the message, it is not advisable to use this service to txt your customers if you are a business. You’ll look like a cheap-ass.

Q: “What should I do next?”

A: If you haven’t already, start collecting mobile phone numbers of your customers.

  1. Ask them for permission to send the occasional special offer
  2. When you have something special to say to them, for 20c each you can send your marketing messages directly into their brains.
  3. Don’t SPAM them. Only tell them things that they will find very interesting or very useful (like the examples at the top of the page). Because it is hard to unsubscribe for txt msg’s, you can get into real trouble if you’re annoying.

Need more help with your Mobile Marketing? (Or any other type of marketing for that matter)

Talk to me, by email, or phone (07) 575 8799

(Or txt me on 021 128 5046!)

What’s Your Excuse For Having a Crap Website Or Not Having One At All?

There is no excuse.

If you spend anytime on the internet (and if you’re reading this, you do), then you will come across hideous websites all the time.

Here are 2 I came across in the last 10 minutes:

all-about-sports-screenshot1. www.AllAboutSports.co.nz

3 Reasons why this website sucks:

  1. Broken/lost images
  2. It was built with Microsoft Word (which is NOT for website building!)
  3. Most of the links go to mht files which spew unreadable text onto the page

3 Reasons to make this website cool:

  1. It has a pretty cool domain name
  2. It’s a Cambridge based, community website that isn’t trying to sell anything, it’s just providing a service to the community
  3. It’s easy to make a cool website for free using WordPress, so there is no excuse

celsius-screenshot2. www.Celsius-Ltd.com

4 Reasons why this website sucks:

  1. It is a .com instead of a .nz, so if a prospect ever sees it in search engine results they will think it’s American
  2. It uses frames which forces the user to scroll in small windows
  3. The text is light grey on red. Very hard on the eyes
  4. “Celsius” is too hard to spell

3 Reasons to make this website cool:

  1. It’s offering a cool sounding service – thermal photography (thermography). Cool!
  2. The owner, James Doyle, is a decent, hard working kiwi bloke in Hamilton, NZ (probably. I don’t know him actually)
  3. It’s easy to make a cool website for free using WordPress, so there is no excuse

How to use WordPress to make a cool website for free, in 7 easy steps:

  1. Download the latest version from WordPress.org
  2. Upzip the files and upload to your webhost via ftp (eg I use Ramsu for $15/month)
  3. Login to your webhost control panel and create a new SQL Database
  4. Add these new settings to the wp-config.php file, and upload that file by ftp
  5. Go to yourwebsite.co.nz/wp-admin/install.php and click on install
  6. Login to your WordPress control panel for the first time and start building your website
  7. Choose from hundreds of sexy themes, and hundreds of action-packed, feature-rich plugins (all free of course!)

Too lazy? Need me to do it for you?

I dunno, I’m pretty busy… but ok, I spose I can do it for you, I’ll charge you at least $600+gst though, so if that’s acceptable email me, or call me on (07) 575 8799 (Tauranga, NZ).


Call Your Cat Bob And See If It Still Wants Dinner – Do Your Customers Care About Your Name?

gary-larson-what-we-say-to-dogs-what-dogs-hearOne of my favourite Gary Larson cartoons is “What we say to dogs, and what they hear. What we say to cats, and what they hear”. (Shown on right. Click to enlarge).

I thought my cat was smarter than that. I was convinced that she responds to her name. But as an experiment I started calling her Bob.

I was dismayed to get the exactly same result. She still knew I was talking to her.  She doesn’t care if I call her Muffin or Bob or Cookie Shoes, as long as I call her. She just likes the attention (and the food).

Do you think your customers care about your product name or even your brand name?

Well they certainly don’t care about your brand name or product names as much as you do.

All they care about is what’s in it for them.

So next time you are coming up with a name for your product or service or brand, don’t be a sucker for a name that sounds cool but doesn’t hint at the benefit to your customers.

For example, Telecom is spending millions on advertising for their “XT Network”.  I can’t even be bothered wondering what the X and the T stand for.

However, I hear about 2degrees and I “get it”. It’s about helping me to communicate, it’s about making it easier to connect with people because everyone is only 2 degrees of separation from me.

The benefit is embedded into the product name / brand name.

What examples of piss-poor brand names can you think of?  What about examples of benefit-embedded ones? Share them in the comments below.

Need fresh ideas for your product names or brand names? Let’s talk.

If You Don’t Like The Movie, Can You Get a Refund?

I get very nervous when I go to the movie theatre.

Not about the chance of soiling my pants with explosive diarrhea after eating too much from the all-you-can-eat Chinese smorgasbord from next door.

Not about the possibility of dropping my frozen coke onto my lap and leaving the theatre looking like I pissed my pants.

I’m nervous that the movie will be crap.

If so, I’ve wasted 2.5 hours of my life (including travel time), and more importantly, $24 hard earned dollars (2 tickets).

I did ask for a refund once (and I’ve been too scared to try again). It was for Sudden Death (1995) starring Jean-Claude Van Damme.

Right in the middle of the climax when the helicopter is falling in slow motion onto the ice hockey rink (sounds exciting? well, it wasn’t!), I got up, stormed back to the ticket window and demanded a refund.

“Sorry, we don’t give out refunds” she replied.

“I’m serious, the movie is crap-tacular, I just walked out during the climax, it really is terrible, I think I should get a refund!”

“Sorry, I can’t help you” she replied.

I stormed back to my seat in the cinema and very grumpily watched the epilogue.

The Movie Theater Business Is Dying, Maybe This Idea Could Save It?

We often hear about how movie piracy and illegal downloading is killing the profitability of the movie industry.  And certainly the ticket price is high (and bigger TV’s are more affordable and convenient), but maybe the movie theatres could change all that by offering a Money Back Guarantee?

Would you go to the movies more often? I would.

Would you get a refund sometimes? Sure.

But if they are getting your butt into the movie theater seats an extra 10 times a year, isn’t it a good investment?

Can you think of one other product or service that doesn’t offer a Money Back Guarantee?

I can’t.

How come we have let the movie theatres get away with it for so long?

If you have an awful restaurant meal do you have to pay? No.

If your plumber screws up your new toilet installation do you have to pay? No.

If your dentist gives you buck-teeth do you have to pay? No.

Sure, give them a chance to put things right before you take it to this extreme.  Same for the movies then.  Give me a voucher so I can come and see another movie.

Your Challenge, and Your Marketing Lesson

First, your challenge: I challenge you, the next time you fork out $25 of more for a crap movie theater experience, demand a refund.

It shouldn’t make any difference whether it is in the middle of the movie, or you waited until the closing credits to see if it would turn around in the closing minutes.  You probably won’t get it, but it’s your right to ask for it!

Second, your lesson: Offering a money-back guarantee is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it works.  So do you offer one? Do you make a big deal about it? Perhaps you should.

2 reasons a Money Back Guarantee works:

  1. It reduces risk for the buyer
  2. Most people are too lazy to ask for it

Good article for more info about Money Back Guarantees

(One more thing: Why is the word guarantee so bloody hard to spell?)

Do You Make Your Most Loyal Customers Furious?

I have been with Genesis Energy for 12 years. I’ve spent about $20,000 – $25,000 with them in that time.

6 months ago they did something that made me furious, and this morning they did something else.

That’s twice in 6 months!

Will they get the next $20,000 that I am likely to spend on electricity in the next 12 years?

(Yes, probably. I’m too lazy to change, and they’re the cheapest)

What made me furious 6 months ago?

I had been receiving my bills by email as attached pdf’s for 5 years (I think they were the first to start doing it). It was an awesome setup. I felt that I was doing my thing for the environment, and it was super convenient.

But that all changed 6 months ago.  Genesis announced that they were no longer doing that (which took 1 click to view), they now required this process:

  1. Visit the Genesis Energy website
  2. Have several attempts at remembering your username and password
  3. Click about 3 levels into the account to find your bill
  4. Download the pdf
  5. Repeat this process every month

I complained at the time and asked them to keep my set up as it was. They explained they couldn’t.

Oh well.

What made me furious this morning?

I got an email this morning telling me to sign up for Brownie points. The thing is, I am already enrolled. – FAIL!

Why send this email out to people it is not relevant to? It’s confusing.

Anyway, I thought I’d hit “reply” button and let them know I’m already enroled. But the email bounced because it is “no-reply@genesisenergy.co.nz”. – FAIL!

The “reply” button is the most natural button in the world to press but Genesis Energy has disabled it.  It’s like a slap in the face. It says “we don’t want to hear from you so shut up”.

So I clicked on the “contact us” hyperlink at the bottom of the email instead and got this contact form:


What do you notice about this contact form?

There are 11 fields! – FAIL!

How much information do you need from me just to send a friggen email?

Worst of all, the Consumer Number is compulsory so I have to dig up an old invoice to find my consumer number (surely my email address is enough to find me in the system?). – FAIL!

What’s the point of this rant?

My point is this. What are you doing to annoy your most loyal customers?

Is the door to your restaurant sticky?  Is it hard to find your phone number on your website? Do you impose a system on your customers that makes it easy for you, but annoying for them?

Bed and Breakfast Marketing – Ideas for Marketing Your New Zealand B&B

A client of mine runs a Bed and Breakfast in Papamoa.  I built the website for her in June 2009, and we’ve been disappointed with the web traffic to date so she asked me look into Bed and Breakfast Marketing for her.

Do you need help with the marketing and advertising of your Bed and Breakfast too?

If so, this to-do list of 11 B&B marketing ideas may help you too:

  1. Read the marketing chapters in all of these books (most are available in your local library for free):
    1. The complete idiot’s guide to running a bed and breakfast / by Park Davis and Susannah Craig
    2. The business of bed and breakfast / by Sharron Dickman and Mary Maddock
    3. Getting into bed & breakfast in New Zealand / by Stewart Whyte
    4. Open your own Bed & Breakfast / by Barbara Notarius
    5. Running a Bed & Breakfast For Dummies / by Mary White
  2. What makes you unique? Is there something truly remarkable about your B&B that is newsworthy that will get free publicity?
  3. What other Bed and Breakfast‘s around the country do you think are 1st class? Can you contact the owners, befriend them, and ask them for marketing advice? What works well for them?
  4. Can you ask past guests to suggest which of their friends you can contact directly and offer a discount too (only $10/$20 off)?
  5. What national and international Bed and Breakfast directories are there online? What free ones can we get listed on today?
  6. What are the biggest Bed and Breakfast blogs (freelance journalists) online? Could you offer a free night to them in exchange for a review?
  7. What are the biggest B&B forums online? Can you contribute to the conversation and provide a link back to your website?
  8. Are there NZ tourism websites that will provide a link to your website?
  9. What Bed and Breakfast Magazines are there around the world? What are their costs?
  10. What Bed and Breakfast Guidebooks are out there? What does it take to get listed? Which ones will provide you with a review for a free or discounted stay?
  11. What is the cost of Rack Cards and Brochure stands at Tourism Info Centres in NZ?

Do you have more ideas? Add them to the comments below.

How an author creates mystery, buzz, anticipation, and a community of die hard fans that do his marketing for him

Quite by accident I came accross the first book in a trilogy (my mother-in-law got it for $1 from a book fair). In fact, I didn’t realise it was a trilogy until I got to the end of the book.  It was a very interesting story (read about it on Wikipedia), and I enjoyed the sequel too.  But you can imagine my disappointment when I found out that the 3rd book wasn’t due to be published for 18 months!

I don’t want to talk about the book today, I want to talk about the author.  The author is John Twelve Hawks.  This is a pen name, the true identity of the author is a mystery.  On his/her official website, John Twelve Hawks explains that this pen name enables them to step out of their normal style of writing and to talk about issues that are controversial.

Excerpt from Wikipedia:

Both John Twelve Hawks and his American publisher state that he has never met his editor and that he communicates using the Internet and an untraceable satellite phone, usually employing a voice scrambler.

How exciting!

There’s more.  Today I got an email from the John Twelve Hawks website (I signed up to be notified when the 3rd book is published), which suggested that because the author wants to remain anonymous, he can’t appear at book signings for the 3rd and final book in the trilogy, so he wants us, the fans, to be John Twelve Hawks on his behalf!

The John Twelve Hawks Email I Received This Morning:

Dear Readers of the Fourth Realm trilogy:

As many of you know, THE GOLDEN CITY — the third and final book of the Fourth Realm trilogy — will be published in the US on September 8th.

I’m dedicating this final novel to my readers, and would like to mark its publication with a fun and highly unusual event by you and for you. Instead of the typical bookstore signing, I’m inviting you to create an “I am John Twelve Hawks” event in early September — one of many held around the world. I’d like you to be me, John Twelve Hawks, to read from THE GOLDEN CITY, answer questions about the trilogy and highlight ideas and scenes you think are notable.

Anyone who has visited johntwelvehawks.com knows how much I enjoy hearing from my readers. Your encouragement has sustained and motivated me for years. Because I am committed to living my life according to a philosophy that underlies the themes of my writing, I cannot publicly promote my books with events where I show up in person. I’m not going to change that now — and yet I’d like to sponsor a chance for fans of the Fourth Realm trilogy to gather, celebrate and talk about the ideas that matter to you and to me.

You’ll be able communicate with me — over email — to prepare yourself to be John Twelve Hawks. And everyone who participates will receive a signed copy of THE GOLDEN CITY from me as a “Thank you.”

You (and your friends!) should find a bookstore, bar, or some other public place. Read from the book, lead a discussion, take questions, act out a scene — do whatever you think is the right thing to celebrate THE GOLDEN CITY. If you record the event on video and post it to YouTube, I’ll check it out and post it on the website we’re building – iamjohntwelvehawks.com.

Be creative, have a party, include music — make it the kind of book event that you would want to go to.

If you’re interested, send me an email at johntwelvehawks@yahoo.com and let me know what you have in mind. I’ll help you get ready — and I would be honored if you would become me for one night.

Thank you,
John Twelve Hawks

What can we learn from this?

  1. What event can you organise to generate some buzz and anticipation? (It’s scary to think that no-one will turn up, but sometimes you’ve just got to set a date and go for it!)
  2. How can you create a bit of mystery for your business?
  3. Can you find the die-hard fans of your brand/products and help them to do your marketing for you?

How I Launched a Small Online Business for $29 Which Several Newspapers Including the NZ Herald Interviewed Me About So They Could Run Stories On It

The Story

You have probably heard that a good way to learn is to read, but the best way to learn is to do.

I agree.

And so in June 2005, I decided to put together everything I had been learning at university about marketing, advertising, public relations, graphic design, and programming. So I built NZHotPools.co.nz.

  • It generates 250+ unique visitors every day from all over the world
  • It is #1 for several common phrases on Google.co.nz
  • It earns me some passive income from sponsoring commercial hot pools and adwords

The Objective: To spread the word about my new NZ Hot Pools website, and not spend a cent

I achieved this objective in two ways:

  1. By researching how to build a search engine friendly website so Google would send me tons of free traffic
  2. By generating press attention (for free)

I received a huge amount of free advertising for it when I launched it.

I had articles in the NZ Herald, the Waikato Times and the Rotorua Daily Post. The link that NZ Herald provided on their website generated 1500 visitors in a single day!

Lesson Learnt: Newspaper journalists are always looking for content for their newspapers

  • So the lesson is: don’t pay for advertising/editorial, just package your product/brand into a newsworthy story.
  • Phone the newspapers you want to be in (don’t just send a press release and hope for the best), ask to talk to the journalist in charge of that section, and tell them the best parts of your idea in 30 seconds
  • Focus on the local angle.
    • For example when I called the Daily Post in Rotorua I told the journalist how I grew up in Rotorua and was always going to hot pools and that’s when I built the website.
    • For the Waikato Times I told the journalist how I was loving Waikato University and building this site put everything I was learning together and how it was a shame their weren’t many hot pools in the area.
    • It’s the law of proximity: “The closer the story is to the reader, the more interesting it is”. So that’s why you need a local angle.
    • The NZ Herald picked up the story from one of the regional papers. The article in the paper that day was pretty small, but the link they put on the website generated a huge amount of traffic and publicity for my website

Could your business benefit from results like these? It’s time to hire your own marketing department (but at a fraction of the cost)