11 Delicious Recipes for Successful Advertising
by Dean Rieck
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a fondue pot. Stir in 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour and cook on low heat for about 2 minutes. Mix in 1 1/2 cups of dry white wine and stir constantly until thick. Add 1 1/2 cups grated Swiss Cheese and stir until melted.
Beat 4 egg yolks and 2 tablespoons of thick cream, then stir into the cheese mixture. Season with 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/4 teaspoon white pepper. For an extra kick, add a dash of Kirschwasser. Serve with cubes of your favorite breads and diced vegetables. Serves 2 to 4.
If direct marketing were only as simple as this delicious cheese fondue, I'd write a book, sell a few million copies, and retire.
There are plenty of recipes for success out there. I have quite a few of my own. But despite what some gurus would have you believe, selling is more complicated than cooking. And though many of these recipes are helpful for analyzing and discussing what works, I have yet to see one that provides a clear-cut guide for whipping up a winning ad or mailing from scratch.
Nevertheless, I've collected a few of my favorite selling recipes and present them here in the hope that they may provide inspiration at a moment when you need it most.
- AIDA This is the best-known recipe of all time. It suggests that every successful selling message must attract Attention, arouse Interest, stimulate Desire, and present a compelling call for Action.
- ACCA Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action. This is similar to AIDA, but Comprehension stresses the importance of clarity and understanding, which is vital for any persuasive message. Also, Conviction is much stronger than Desire. It suggests certainty.
- Attention-Interest-Description-Persuasion-Proof-Close This is another AIDA variation by Robert Collier. Intended for sales letters, it outlines what he thought was the correct sales sequence.
- AAPPA The eminent Victor O. Schwab suggested this commonsense, clear formula. Get Attention. Show people an Advantage. Prove it. Persuade people to grasp this advantage. Ask for Action.
- AIU This is my own formula for envelopes. It stands for Attention, Interest, Urgency. Something about an envelope must get your Attention, whether it's teaser copy, graphics, or just blank paper. This should lead to Interest in the contents and a sense of Urgency to open the envelope immediately.
- PPPP This is a formula by Henry Hoke, Sr. It stands for Picture, Promise, Prove, Push. In many ways, it's easier to implement than AIDA because it shows you four basic tasks you must perform to make a sale. Picture: Get attention early and create a desire. Promise: Make a meaningful promise or describe benefits and what the product will do. Prove: Demonstrate value and support your promise with testimonials. Push: Ask for the order.
- Star-Chain-Hook This is Frank Dignan's charming and surprisingly fresh way to approach an advertising message. Hitch your wagon to a Star with an attention-getting opening that is positive and upbeat. Create a Chain of convincing facts, benefits, and reasons and transform attention into interest and interest into desire. Then, Hook them with a powerful call to action, making it easy to respond.
- ABC Checklist William Steinhardt's formula is more detailed than most and very practical. Attain attention, Bang out benefits, Create verbal pictures, Describe success incidents, Endorse with testimonials, Feature special details, Gild with values, Honor claims with guarantees, Inject action in reader.
- The String of Pearls This is a particular method of writing copy. The idea is that you assemble details and string them together in a long line, one after another. Each pearl is complete in some way. Collectively, their persuasive power becomes overwhelming.
- The Cluster of Diamonds Similar to the String of Pearls, this formula suggests assembling a group of details under an umbrella concept. For example, an ad might have the headline "7 Reasons Why You'll Save Money With XYZ." The copy would then list these seven reasons. Each detail is a "diamond" in a particular setting.
- The Fan Dancer The analogy here is perfect, though a bit racy. The idea is to tantalize with specific details that never reveal any actual information. It's like teaser copy or what one influential writer called "fascinations." For example, let's say you're selling a book on reducing your taxes. Part of your copy might read: "The one secret way to pay zero taxes and get away with it page 32. How the IRS uses your mailing label against you page 122. Three clever ways to turn a vacation into a business tax deduction even if you don't own a business page 158." As with a fan dancer, you're left wanting more.
Copyright © 2001 Dean Rieck. All Rights Reserved.
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