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Gary Bencivenga's Bullets



If you're new to marketing you may not have heard of Gary Bencivenga, but he's considered a formidable powerhouse in the copywriting and persuasion field. Several years ago Gary wrote 29 'bullets' to share with his fellow marketers and dispensed them over time via email. These golden bullets are as applicable to your marketing efforts today as the day they were written.


 


Here are the condensed versions of the first 7 bullets for your marketing and persuasion efforts:


 


1.   Stand for something and you'll never stand alone. Markets are crowded and if you don't stand out, you'll never get noticed. That's why you should have a credo - “an expression of your most strongly held core values which serve as a clarion call to gather the like-minded faithful of your marketplace.”


 


2.    Get the proper ammunition. Just a small group of factors is responsible for the lion's share of success. As a result, you don't need to master scores of rules and learn hundreds of secrets. Just a few – the right few – will bring you outrageous success.


 


3.   Never make your claim bigger than your proof. If your headline generates a “Yeah, sure” response, it won't work. “Lose Weight Instantly!” “Get Rich Fast!” Yeah, sure. Avoid these overworked phrases and instead use the “if, then” technique. “If you've got 30 minutes a day, then I guarantee you can replace your job income in 4 months working from home.”


 


4.   Ask yourself, “What are you really selling?” These 5 little words can make all the difference in your response rate. Remember, advertising is nothing more than salesmanship multiplied by a mass medium. And sales people know you're not selling baseball tickets, you're selling memories of sunny afternoons that a father and his children will cherish forever. Ask, “What are we really selling?” often enough and bold new answers will arise. Soon you'll realize major opportunities to open new markets and explode your response.


 


5.   Look specifically, exclusively and persistently for what you want. Just as you'll spot far more red shirts if you're actually on the lookout for them, you'll also spot more great ideas if that's what you're looking for. You can use this technique to find anything – great headlines, ideas for irresistible offers, ideas for reports that sell like wildfire, etc. “Seek and ye shall find” is one of the oldest truisms of life. But it works only when you seek for one thing specifically, exclusively and persistently.


 


6.   Developed by Alex Osbourne, the father of creative problem solving, here are 11 ways to get a fresh take on anything, whether it's a headline, an offer, a product, a market – anything. Whenever you are trying to solve a marketing problem, just do any of the following:


 


ñ  Substitute something new, surprising or more contemporary


ñ  Combine elements from different sources


ñ  Adapt a winning strategy from another product category


ñ  Modify any element


ñ  Minify any element


ñ  Magnify any element


ñ  Put to other uses (who else can use this and why?)


ñ  Eliminate one or more elements and see what happens


ñ  Rearrange the elements


ñ  Reverse the parts or process


ñ  Redefine the problem


 


7.   Be believable. In today's skeptical, over-marketed world, you've got to offer compelling proof right from the start. Consumers are constantly asking two questions when evaluating advertising: “Is this of interest to me?” and “Is it believable, or is it typical advertising hype?” Most marketers pass the first question but fail at the second. So instead of writing, “How to make a million dollars,” you might write, “How to use Richard Branson's exact methods to generate your first million dollars.” You can see they both make the same promise, but the second one is far more believable because you're offering proof.


 


 


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