How to Super-Charge Your Copy

You’ve just finished that script for your next infomercial or DRTV spot, and it’s a killer. But what can you do to make sure that it’s absolutely the best it can be?

If you’re smart, you’ll go back over it one more time, making sure that it meets all the touchstones of great direct response writing. Here are 11 of the most important points to look for:

#1)  USP

What’s the reason somebody should buy your product and not the other guy’s?  It’s supposed to be what legendary copywriter Rosser Reeves called your USP, Unique Selling Proposition. There has to be some compelling reason that your goods are better than the other ones out there. You, as the creator of your little sales message, ought to not only know what that is, but be able to state it succinctly–and probably use it in your commercial.

It’s not enough that you have a good product that’s pretty much like the other ones in the marketplace. Do you have a feature nobody else has?  Is there a problem you deal with that the others don’t?  Are you cheaper, or faster, or better-designed or made?

These are the “big questions” that writers for a digital marketing blog have struggled with for years. Don’t think they don’t apply to DRTV. In our live-or-die world that demands we get immediate results from our copy, they’re doubly important.

#2)   Tighter is Better

By the time you’ve finished your script, you’re in love. That poetic wording, the way you built your sales argument, the clever way you used that problem-solution setup are priceless, aren’t they, destined to live forever in the Direct Response Hall of Fame. Now cut them.

The novelist William Burroughs once said that he thought advertising was the most difficult kind of writing there is. Why?  Well, Jack Foster, one of LA’s most famous creative directors once explained it to me very clearly. He said that advertising was more “idea-intensive” than other forms of communication. He was talking about the fact that there’s so much thinking behind each sentence, each point you make in advertising, that’s it’s just a lot harder to do than, say, writing a page of your novel. Everything you’re trying to say must be boiled down into its tightest, purest essence, especially if it’s going to make it into your :60 TV commercial.

That I know my own scripts go through 10 or 15 revisions before I’m done with them. In each pass, I’m constantly looking for ways to say things crisper, shorter and cleaner. My advice to anyone in this medium is to go line-by-line through your script and throw out anything that isn’t absolutely essential.

#3) Get to the Point

Want to know the easiest place to shave time?  It’s usually the beginning. In my experience, there’s usually the most fat in a script right at the top.

You’d be amazed how many scripts I’ve seen that have two or three paragraphs of copy that are unnecessary, totally cutable. It’s almost as if the writer needs a little warm-up before he gets to the point.

Here’s a rule of thumb I use:  if you’re not showing and saying the name of the product by about :10 into the CTA, you’re wasting time. Busy prospects need you to get to the meat of your little coconut sooner. Besides, if you don’t, you’ll never have time for all the rest of your points before the fade out.

#4)  Testimonials, Anyone?

It’s a cruel reality, but, try as we might, we professional writers and producers aren’t always the best salesmen. Oftentimes, it’s the average, ordinary man or woman who beats us out. And for good reason:  he or she has actually plunked down money and used the product, in the real world to solve their own, real needs. They know what they’re talking about, and so they’re the ones who often sell it the best.

One time I was creating a sales video for a retirement community in Arizona. I’d packed by show with industrial strength sales copy, my best material. But the real star of the piece turned out to be this old guy I’d interviewed by the swimming pool, saying:  “I’m gonna take a picture and send it back to my friends in Detroit. Here I am, barbecuing hamburgers, and they’re up there freezing their butts off.”  Gee, I thought, how come I didn’t write that?

On a special effects stage

#5)  Make it Visual

TV is a visual medium. But selling is often a verbal one. I mean, in the end, what we’re really doing is “talking people into buying,” right?

The best TV scripts blend the two worlds into one powerful whole. They show and tell powerful points about their product. They are interesting to look at, and convincing to listen to.

I once did a TV campaign for a company that leveraged purchases of precious metals. It doesn’t exactly sound like the kind of subject that lends itself to sparkling visuals, right? Actually, the solution we came up with was. We had piles of gold and silver bars and coins “grow” before your eyes, visually emphasizing how leveraging works to your advantage. It was a powerful visual that pulled a ton of calls, yet very inexpensive to shoot, once we had the right idea.

If you’re a writer, you may feel most comfortable building concise, pithy statements about your product first, then sitting down and thinking of great ways to visualize them. It takes work, and time, but you have to come up with ideas for images and pictures that get your point across.

#6)  Value Built to Last?

If your commercial or show doesn’t work, what went wrong?  Well, here’s one simple way of explaining what happened:  you didn’t build up enough value in your product to justify the price.

When a consumer watches TV, she wants to see products and services that can have a positive impact on her life. She wants something that can save her time, or trouble, or money. She’s looking for fun, or security, or love, or a dozen other things. It’s your job to make sure she gets it.

Commitment Assured Not the Results

Clients often seek guarantee from attorney SEO firms as a proof of its credentials before assigning the job. But in reality no SEO firm, practicing ethical search engine optimization norms, can confirm you a top-notch position in the search engine rankings. Because we can’t influence the search engine ranking process.

The search engine results and index are the exclusive properties of the search engines. What an honest SEO firm does is that it makes your web site compatible for winning the top positions in search engine rankings.

We guarantee you our expertise, our dedicated effort and our vast experience in SEO to churn out the best. The rest is controlled by the search engines.

Guarantee is an alluring bait that the fly-by-night SEO firms dangle before you to win your confidence. Beware of them!

Popularity of the Search Engine Matters Not The Numbers

Some search engine submission and optimization firms play with the numbers to woo the clients’ psyche. They promise you plum rankings in more than thousand search engines. This is extremely ludicrous. They tend to distract you from the reality. The reality says that 95% of the traffic is controlled by 15-20 search engines.

So, top search engine ranks in few quality search engines are much more desirable and useful than futile rankings in countless mediocre search engines. So before going ahead with your SEO firm, we request you to make sure that your web site would be submitted to the major search engines, not to run-of-the-mill ones.

The lists of search engines that the crooked SEO firms flaunt to substantiate their baseless claims include innumerable FFA pages and link farms. These pages can hardly win any traffic for you. Not only that, your web site may bear the brunt of your hasty decision. Hiring the service of such dubious SEO firms can have adverse effects on your web site’s popularity and credibility.

Specialty Materials That Make Our World

Our vision is to be the world’s preeminent specialty materials company and number one carbon steel plate supplier.

Specialty materials are our strength. We are a market leader in:

  • Stainless Steel Sheet and Strip
  • Nickel-Based Alloys and Superalloys
  • Precision Rolled Strip® Products
  • Stainless Steel Plate
  • Premium Titanium Alloys
  • Zirconium and Related Alloys
  • Tungsten Powder

Our company is one of the world’s largest and most diversified producers of specialty materials. We operate production facilities, service centers and sales offices throughout the United States and in 17 other countries. Our 8,800 talented people use innovative technologies and systems to offer growing global markets a wide range of specialty materials.

Managed Care

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO). A PPO is a form of managed care closest to an indemnity plan. A PPO has arrangements with doctors, hospitals, and other providers of care who have agreed to accept lower fees from the insurer for their services. As a result, your cost sharing should be lower than if you go outside the network. In addition to the PPO doctors making referrals, plan members can refer themselves to other doctors, including ones outside the plan.

If you go to a doctor within the PPO network, you will pay a copayment (a set amount you pay for certain services—say $10 for a doctor or $5 for a prescription). Your coinsurance will be based on lower charges for PPO members.

If you choose to go outside the network, you will have to meet the deductible and pay coinsurance based on higher charges. In addition, you may have to pay the difference between what the provider charges and what the plan will pay.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO). HMOs are the oldest form of managed care plan. HMOs offer members a range of health benefits, including preventive care, for a set monthly fee. There are many kinds of HMOs. If doctors are employees of the health plan and you visit them at central medical offices or clinics, it is a staff or group model HMO. Other HMOs contract with physician groups or individual doctors who have private offices. These are called individual practice associations (IPAs) or networks.

HMOs will give you a list of doctors from which to choose a primary care doctor. This doctor coordinates your care, which means that generally you must contact him or her to be referred to a specialist.

With some HMOs, you will pay nothing when you visit doctors. With other HMOs there may be a copayment, like $5 or $10, for various services.

If you belong to an HMO, the plan only covers the cost of charges for doctors in that HMO. If you go outside the HMO, you will pay the bill. This is not the case with point-of-service plans.

Point-of-Service (POS) Plan. Many HMOs offer an indemnity-type option known as a POS plan. The primary care doctors in a POS plan usually make referrals to other providers in the plan. But in a POS plan, members can refer themselves outside the plan and still get some coverage.

If the spine institute doctor makes a referral out of the network, the plan pays all or most of the bill. If you refer yourself to a provider outside the network and the service is covered by the plan, you will have to pay coinsurance.

A Pain Management Practice

New Jersey Pain Center has established itself as one of the premier pain management practices in North America. It is also a teaching practice that has trained many fellows in this focused area of expertise.

Every member of the practice continually seeks to find a balance between the severity of the medical condition, and the patient’s desire and ability to be part of their own treatment. We work in partnership with our patients to treat the entire spectrum of impact that chronic pain has on their lives. It is very common for patients to arrive at our practice in a state of clinical depression, without having slept for months, as a result of pain-related sleep disorders.

Click here to learn more about our practice!

Pain – a roadblock to healing

There are many causes for pain, and every case is based on a search for the root cause of a patient’s pain, not just a “quick fix” approach aimed only at symptomatic relief. When pain is managed properly, the net result is a more active lifestyle, which in itself leads to a healthier existence.

Here are just a few causes and types of pain:

  • migraines and cluster headaches
  • reflex sympathetic dystrophy
  • failed back surgery syndrome
  • fibromyalgia
  • immune system disorders
  • vertebroplasty (vertebral compression fracture)
  • herniated disc
  • failed discectomy
  • osteoarthritis
  • cancer
  • back pain
  • neck pain
  • myofacial pain
  • complex regional pain syndrome

“Pain management is not just injections, physical therapy, relaxation techniques, or biofeedback, or pain medication. It is a combination of all of these aspects. It is multidisciplinary and multifactorial.”

Working With The Photographer During The Wedding

At the ceremony, listen carefully to the photographer’s direction. You have more control of your wedding party than the photographer so you are influential in getting people lined up for photos, and especially more control than a  photo booth Orlando. Remember, time is money. After the receiving line, have the wedding party remain seated up front so the photographer can work quickly. If you have to be aggressive with your family, do so. This way the photographer does not have to, like good cop, bad cop. You do not want guests complaining that the photographer was rude.  Your guests will never say YOU were rude, they’ll understand that you’re upset with the lack of quick response on everyone’s part.  Your guests should stand clear when the photographer is setting people up and they should not take photos, as their flashes will set off the photographer’s remote slave strobe lights, which take several seconds to recharge. This is portrait time only, and you are paying big money for so your guests must be patient and stand clear.  Have someone with authority carry this out.  A truly professional photographer knows that your guests want photos in the church badly.  Your aunt Rose flew 2,000 miles and damn it, she’s going to get a photo.  So the better photographers will wait until the full bridal party shot has been taken, then announce that guests can take a minute to shoot pictures.  This is usually the best, most picturesque shot anyway, all posed for you by the photographer.  At a friend’s wedding, the photographer after taking the shot stated “Stop, don’t move, anyone who wants this shot come get it right now”.  A smart photographer would make this the last shot at the church.  As an added plus, they might even leave their strobe on for a few minutes for people with decent cameras, so they get great fill lighting.   This way, unavoidable conflicts don’t arise with guests wishing to take pictures. At the reception milestones like garter toss and cake cutting, don’t start until your photographer is in place with a good angle to take the shot. A good photographer is already in place if they work closely with the DJ, but things happen and you do want to make sure they don’t miss it.

So what package did we get for our wedding? 

We got the 6 hour plan with 62 8×10’s, a Leather Craftsman Upgrade, a 16 x 20 bridal portrait and portable studio setup displayed at the reception, and a proof book with 420 proofs. These were 375 proofs from the wedding, and 50 from a location shoot with the family 2 days prior to the wedding. Also included was a parent album with 24 5×7’s.  This package was $2299.  Ouch! We paid $300 extra to get the upgrade from Art Leather PermaBound to Leather Craftsman, and were real glad to do so.  It’s like paying extra money for a Lexus.  Sure it’s a lot of cash, but it’s worth it. But we originally signed the contract for Art Leather, waited to think about it, and when all 63 of our 8×10’s were ready and we reviewed them with the studio, we used some of our gift money to upgrade to the Leather Craftsman. Cool idea, huh? This type of package is not suited to everyone, but it was for us.