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Your customer likes to cheat… when they feel like it.

Anticipate, Anticipate, Anticipate!

This is one of many Maxims that may seem to contradict a previous one. Bear in mind, these are not written so much to teach technique as to develop a verve, a feel for the “why’s” of marketing. There are few absolute truisms in marketing, and often the same offer can include some approaches that seem to contradict one another (such as combining a bonus close – “you get this and this and this” – with a take-away close such as, “after that, they’re gone forever.”

Your prospect likes to be able to cheat a little, to feel they’re as smart as you, or even test you to see if they’re smarter! They often want to jump ahead of you, but even then they like to be anticipated, and grow in respect when they see you have been there before them.

In any marketing piece, the number one most read item is the headline. Number two?

Your P.S. The second most-read portion of a salesletter (after your headline), is the last thing in the letter. This customer reads the headline, then jumps to the end… cuts to the chase. Hello! Are you there yet? Does your P.S. give some non-essential, unrelated information, like “Gee, I just realized Mothers’ Day is coming… well, gotta go!” Or did you fully anticipate this move and include a compellingly-written synopsis of the offer to remind them of some of the key elements in the body, along with the benefits or incentives to “act now?”

If you did, you’re among less than 1% of all marketers. Even if we eliminate the vast majority who mistakenly believe brevity sells better… only a small percent of the marketing you receive anticipates a curious and eager prospect. Look at the marketing messages you receive! Very few have figured out that some prospects will cut to the chase out of impatience, and the only shot is to anticipate and compensate.

Restate your offer in your P.S.

This just makes common sense. If the second most-read part of your letter is the postscript (and it is), then let them know what the bottom line is… that’s what they’re looking for! You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain! So give it to them, “remind” them how super the offer is, list all the bonuses, and tell them “again” why the product is of value to them and how smart it is for them to respond now.

The readers who jump to the last page will only read more of your glorious copy IF your P.S. has satisfied their “control freak” nature. If they’re interested, they’ll check it out further and read over the letter. If you haven’t anticipated their move, not only will they not respect you, they’ll trash the piece. For this prospect, go ahead and give them pitch first, then the romance.

Think about your website for a moment. In the body copy on the homepage are links… where do they go? “Read The Entire Table of Contents” goes to – wow! A Table of Contents page! Missed opportunity! What if the visitor doesn’t click back to the “sales page?” Just watch the exit page figures on your website tracking report and you’ll see the effect this can have!

Instead, why not include compelling sales copy on the same page? An intro paragraph or two, perhaps. What a great place to restate the offer in compelling terms, ending on, “Just read over this Table of Contents and see for yourself!” Maybe a sales paragraph or two describing key chapters. Sprinkle some call to actions throughout. Include backwards links to help them back to the homepage.

See what I mean? Work with it… anticipate your prospects’ every move. And ask yourself, “Why? What do they want?”

Carpe Diem!

Emerson Brantley

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