james kippax

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James Kippax

Author Archives: James Kippax

Electrical Smart Meter Copywriting Tips

The other day I was reading a hair-raising article about electric smart meters.

Smart meters are currently being pushed on the public as a way to cut electricity bills and create a greener home.

What they don’t tell you is that the meters have a dark side. A creepy element that will most likely be abused and affect your home.

Smart meters can measure a household electric consumption at a fantastically accurate rate. The monitoring is so accurate that meter manufacturers state they can tell exactly what you’re up to in your house. It’s possible the meters can be used to identify what films and TV programs you’re watching.

So, the next time you watch ‘Frozen’ with the kids, you’ll probably be sent various Disney adverts through your smart TV, phone, tablet.

Scary isn’t it?

But it’s surprising how much data we give away without knowing it.

Now you can sit there feeling all violated or you can use this to your advantage. Just ask yourself:

Do you want to sell or to be sold too?

If you a rational business owner I imagine you want to be the one doing the selling.

If you want to do more selling then you should use info like this to your advantage. That’s what I do when I write advertising copy.

I build a detailed picture of your best customer. I use various data sources to find out everything from your prospects favorite films, hobbies, and family life. This allows you to talk to your prospect in words they understand clearly, and language they can relate to.

Jim Camp was one of the most feared negotiators in the USA. He used to perform negotiations for Fortune 500 companies and billion dollar businesses deal. He once said that:

“You’re always safe when you’re in your prospects world.”

If your customer can relate to your because you look and sound like them, you’re on to a winner. They’ll feel safe because you are in their world.

After all, we all prefer to hang out with people who look and sound like ourselves. This how communities, religions, and cults are formed. It’s a well-known psychological phenomenon.

Talking like your customer is what I do when I’m writing copy, a web page or a series of emails.

It works very well and in extreme cases have dramatic effects on your sales.
Get in touch today and I’ll start building a profile of your prospect just like an electric smart meter.

All the best

James

Sheepishly Bad Ad

I might have mentioned this before but I occasionally help out on my parent’s farm.

Whilst at the farm I was flipping through some farming magazines and I came across a pullout advert from the wool marketing board. The particular ad was an offer wool carpets for the home. I take particular interest in the adverts in farming magazines as it’s tough crowd to sell to.

The legendary copywriter Gary Halbert once wrote,”avoid selling to farmers as they just seem to help each other, and don’t like spending money to solve problems”. I grew up on a farm and know this to be very true.

Anyway, back to the story…

The ad pullout had a picture of a sheep with sunglasses with the title “It’s cool to buy wool #naturally”. The sheep looked funny, just the sort of thing you might find on a postcard from the Lakes.

However…

I turned over the leaflet over and on the back are 5 money saving offers for wool carpets.

For me, this is an example of back-to-front marketing. Let me explain:

Everybody likes to save money. It doesn’t matter if you are selling to rich people or to other businesses. We all like a bargain. If you can make a good offer, you should make sure it’s easily seen in your adverts.

In the case of the wool board pullout I’ve mentioned, the offers were buried in size 8 print on the rear of the advert. I’d bet you one of my dad’s sheep that if you placed these offers on the front it would pull more sales/leads. Especially, if you are selling to farmers who have deep pockets and short arms.

Also, the size 8 print makes offers hard to see if you have bad eyesight. By choosing a small font like this you’re reducing your potential audience who can easily read your advert. You should never make it difficult for people to read your promotions because they’ll simply be ignored.

To make matters worse the headline says nothing too.

David Ogilvy, who was one of the best advertising minds of the 20th century, once said:

“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar.”

A good headline is hard to create. It should be. It’s the most important factor in your advert. Without a good headline, chances are your advert will be ignored. And an ignored advert is like throwing money down drain.

One of the easiest types of headlines you can create are ‘offer’ headlines. Here are a few examples:

Offer 20% off… free voucher when you spend x… buy one and get one free (BOGOF)…and so on…

Now you might be saying, “But James, we see these offers like this all the time, they don’t stand out” – you are wrong. These headlines do work and they often sell more than ‘creative adverts’ when they are tested against them. Why? Because everyone loves to save money.

The legendary copywriter John Caples said in his classic book ‘’Tested Advertising Methods”, in 1932, wrote:

“the best headlines appeal to a reader’s self-interest”.

This works as well today as it did back then. After all, advertising mediums change but people’s emotions don’t.

So, if you’ve got a good offer make sure people can see it. Don’t hide it away in small print and behind some ‘creative’ ad imagery. You’ll sell more and you’ll waste less money.

If you need help with this just get in touch. I’ll help craft you an offer that’ll beat your control by a mile.

All the best

James

Carl Jung Business Blind Spots

We all have blind spots in our perspective.

The great psychologist Carl Jung called them our “shadows”.

If you are wondering what I’m talking about, let me explain.

Have you ever had a friend (or heard someone) who says things like:

“Why does everybody I date always cheats on me?”… “Why don’t people understand me?”… “Everyone seems to betray me”… and so on

People who act like this are blind to certain aspects of their own behavior and actions. The bad things that keep happening to these people are the results of patterns in their behaviour that they’re unaware of. Even if you were to point these destructive patterns out to people they will deny they exist.

Carl Jung said: “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life, and you will call it fate”.

Now, if you’ve been on this earth for a few years you’ll have heard people refer to bad things happening as ‘fate’. After all, it’s easy to blame some unprovable thing than to admit you’re at fault. No one likes to be wrong.

This sort of behavior is rife in the marketing world. I’ve even done myself. Especially when I’m working on my own promotions.

How often have you put out a marketing promotion only to have it fail. And for some reason you cannot understand why this happened. Before it flopped you tell yourself: “if I’d saw an offer like that I’d buy it”.

It pushes all our buttons. But when it’s released upon the market it sinks like rock thrown into a lake.

Some business get stuck in endless loops like this.

Here’s the kicker…

What you’ve done is sold to yourself. You are not selling to your market.

And it gets even better…

You’re blind to the elements that are stopping your promotion from working as well as it should. It’s not your fault, it’s just part of Jungian psychology. It’s very easy to be too close to your product and be unaware of things that actually convince people to buy it.

Sometimes a fresh pair of eyes is all it takes to get a campaign moving again.

If you feel like your marketing isn’t moving why not give me a call. Together I’ll help you understand where the blind spots are in your sales process are.

Sound good?

Then why not call me today while it’s fresh on your mind. You can reach me on 01282 420906.

All the best

James

Don’t market Like the BEEB

Have you seen the news recently about the BBC canning its recipe website?

It’s a fantastic website that’s used by millions of people every day, a food website that’s impartial and free from adverts.
And now it’s going dumped in the virtual wastebin.

When a thing that’s loved by many is destroyed it causes an outrage. And there’s been lots of that in various corners of the internet. There’s also been monumental effort by some people to archive this data before it vanishes into the culinary ether. This is no easy task as the BEEBs food site is massive  – it’s 1000’s of pages. The people who are trying to save this delicious treasure trove should be applauded.

Now, there’s a lesson to be learnt and here it is…

Don’t bin, destroy, or delete your old material – always keep a copy of it.

You should do with your marketing materials, even the ones of campaign that did not work.

When stuff doesn’t work it’s easy to get frustrated and want to bin it. I know I’ve done this in the past. And in certain cases I’ve later regretted it.

Does this sound strange? Then let me explain:

When I’m working with a client I ask them to provide as much marketing materials as possible. Old stuff, and new stuff. Stuff that worked and stuff that didn’t.

It might sound an obvious step to look at the marketing stuff that worked, but looking at the bad stuff can tell you an awful lot too. It can point out problems that are killing your sales process.

Any marketer worth his salt should do this.

Don’t act like the BBC and delete everything on whim without providing an alternative. The BBC recipes could have been turned into something useful – like a series of books. And the revenue generated from these could have gone back into the taxpayer’s pockets.

The moral of the story is that everything (even the bad stuff) can have a use.

Need help finding the problems with your sales process. Then just get in touch and I’ll go through your marketing bin and tell you where you’re going wrong.

All the best

James

How child labour can make you a quid or two

Here’s how you can put children to work and make a couple of quid.

Find a child – preferably your – own. A stranger might not too impressed if you ask theirs to perform this task.

Anyway… Here’s what you do:

  1. Load up your businesses website.
  2. You are going load one of your main sale pages, but before you do you need to ask your child something.
  3. Before loading the page ask them,”if i click on this link, what do you expect the page to be, and what do you expect to find?”
  4. Click the link
  5. Ask them if the page that they’re on is what they expected. Listen to what they say carefully.

You will be able to deduce one of two things. One is that your page matches is titles and links; they are so clear that a child can understand them. Well done, you are rare breed of business on the internet.

Your titles, page and header links don’t match. You’ve confused your child. You’ll also be confusing many website visitors too. And this will result in people leaving your website and you missing a sale.

The lesson to be learned is this…

You need to make your page so easy to understand that a child can use it. Because if they can use it, so can an adult with poor reading skills. And this means a teacher, an engineer, a professor can comprehend your page too.

Do this and you’ll open your website up to a bigger audience. And that always results in more sales and money for your business.

Keep it simple. And don’t make things needlessly complicated.

This is how I build my websites and write copy. It’s very effective. Get in touch with me if you are interested.

How much should I spend on marketing?

This is one question I get asked a lot.

Q: How much should I spend on marketing?

A: Ask yourself these two questions and you will have an idea. Firstly, how much is the average customer worth to your business? Secondly, what’s your average lifetime retention rate for your customers?

Let’s say you sell a service that’s around £2000 per order. You sell this 3 times per year on average to each customer. And your customer retention rate is around 3 years. That customer is worth £18000, not £2000 to you.

Therefore, spending a £1000 to pursue one client is money well spent in the bigger scheme of things. Because you’re going to make more money from them further down the line – not just from their first payment.

Also, you might be able to spend more than a £1000 for customer acquisition, depending on your margins too.  

If you can improve your customer retention rate further you’ll see an even greater ROI.

Sound good.

Wondering how to find new clients? There are lots of ways to find new customers: SEO, direct mail, email marketing, new website, pay per click ads, new copy on your sales pages. Combing a few of these methods often works best. And if done correctly, you should see a good return on your investment.

And provided you can do the business, and keep your new customers, you should make a tidy profit over their lifetime.

Contact me if you’d like me to pitch some marketing ideas for your business. It could mean the difference between you struggling to find work, or having a new paying customer who does business with you for years.

All the best

James

Cat Farts

I have a long haired cat.

It’s the not the most ideal pet when you live on farm. Her long hair is a magnet for turds, twigs, and muck. They get tangled in her underside, producing dreadlocks that a rasta would be proud of.

But one of her worst habits that my furry friend has is her gas.

Like all cats she loves to sit on you. The furry swine then makes herself comfy and goes to sleep. And when she relaxes, her bowels relax too.

And her gas is released…

But you are stuck. Moving her means she’ll dig her claws into your chest. If you stop you’ve got to keep inhaling fishy farts. You either hold your nose or deal with the pain. It’s a predicament.

A similar dilemma happens in marketing all the time. A business uses a marketing tactic. The business likes this tactic, and it’s worked for an age. Perhaps months, or even years. It’s Brought them in plenty of cash & customers.

But something’s changed. Now these tactics produce a stink. And this stink starts to lose them money, time, or clients. But the business is stuck in a bad habit – it’s the only tactic they know. They don’t want to change anything because it’ll cause pain. It’s a hassle finding new ideas and marketing methods – it’s easier to stick with what you know and just use that.

So what’s the answer?

If it’s anything like my flatulent cat, you should pick the bugger up and throw it outside. It’s painful to do, and you may get mauled, but it’s the best choice. It’s better than sitting in a cloud of cat gas.

You’ve to try to get to the root of the problem. Try changing the things: diet, toilet habits, or sleeping arrangements. Or in the case of your business: try a new website; new copy on your sales page; or develop a new sales funnel.

So if you have marketing problems, don’t let them fester, stink and pin you down. Do something about it and change something. The worst thing you can do is nothing at all.

I have marketing packages that are like the best cat fart deodorizer you can imagine. They can remove all kinds of smells from your business. Just get in touch and we can figure the best diet to stop your kitty (I mean business) dropping her guts.

Fancy Wormers

I might have told you this before, but I help out on my parents farm when they’re busy. Now years it’s the busiest as they are lambing around 150+ sheep. It’s tough work but rewarding.

After an ewe has given birth, you need to inject them with CDT vaccine.  This is to stop certain nasty things killing mother and her offspring off. Injecting the ewe at this stage has the added bonus of passing the new immunity onto her young.

The vaccine comes in two forms – an oral, or an injectable version.

Today I saw what happens when a high-tech wormer get it’s wrong…

The time came to inject ewes at my parent’s farm. I opened the wormer, and it was the fanciest vaccine I had ever seen. Inside the tub was a heating jacket that was wrapped around the vaccine bottle. Connected to the heating jacket was a tube that had a switch inside it. It was full of gel and looked high tech.

It was a very elaborate design. It looked the bees knees.

Press the switch and wait 15 minutes for the bottle to heat up to room temperature, the instructions said. So I did it. I pressed the button.

15 minutes went by. And nothing happened.

So I tried again. Nothing happened.

And again. And again.

60 minutes wasted… Grrrrr…

In the end i heated the damn bottle up in warm water – like you would a baby’s bottle. Simple, effective and it work every time. And it only took 10 minutes.

Marketing a business is the same. You will hear lots of people saying you need the latest and greatest thing to help you sell. However, old techniques, that are out of fashion, can prove to be far more effective. What techniques am I talking about; here’s a few of the are currently out of vogue:

  • Email marketing
  • SEO
  • Direct Mail (sales letters)

Over the years I have read/heard people sound the funeral bell for each of these. Here’s the truth: a lot of companies get these marketing tactics wrong. Badly wrong. That’s when you start hearing people preaching that these techniques don’t work any more.

Thing is. If you know where to look you can find companies killing it with these old techniques.

And here’s another point. If most businesses think these methods are dead that’s less competition in these fields. Use them correctly and you could find they give you your best ROI.

You just need help make sure you attack them the right way. And that’s where I can help. Contact me today and we can talk about your options.

You don’t need some fancy wormer warming jacket. Just some hot water. Because the old ways – that have been used for decades – can often prove to be the best.

Today’s kids like chicken

Today’s kids buy chicken

I might have mentioned this before.

My parents have a sheep and beef farm. I still help them with the farm work from time to time

Anyway, a year or two back my dad asked me if I fancied attending a local farming association meeting with him. The meeting would be about the state of the UK’s sheep trade. I thought it might be interesting, so I went along.

The 3-hour long meeting consisted of slides and presentations by various UK meat associations.

I remember one slide and comment vividly.

It was slide of the demand in the UK for sheep, beef and chicken meat over the last few decades.

At the top of the chart was chicken. Its demand had risen year on year, decade on decade.

Demand for beef was steady dropping, but it wasn’t going to fall off a cliff anytime soon.

The demand for lamb was the worst of the lot. It was dropping by the greatest amount every year.

Why?

The guy giving the presentation put it bluntly, he said, “the people who eat mutton and lamb are dying. It’s an old persons meat.” He added, “when young people go to the supermarket to buy meat, most will buy chicken over beef and lamb”.

The most worrying part he said was, “the chicken marketing board has done a fantastic job of marketing their product; most young consumers don’t even think chicken comes from an animal. They do know that beef comes from cows. A lot of youngsters hate the idea of eating a cute lamb that they see in the field during the spring – this doesn’t help matters either”

Take what you will from that statement. It shows you a lot of young people haven’t got a clue about the food they eat, but that’s another story. But here’s my point:

Don’t let your business be like lamb meat.

If your business is starting to go slow, could it be that your customers are getting older and retiring. It might be time to try some other way to get more leads for your business. Methods that’ll get right eyes looking at your products or services. I can help you be like chicken meat, instead of lamb or beef.

Interested in becoming successful like chicken? Click here to send me a message and we can get started.

All the best

James

Hellfire missile shipped to Cuba

Did you see the news recently about the American Military shipping one of their top secret Hellfire missiles to Cuba.

The missile was used in a training exercise in Europe. After the exercise it was due to be returned to the USA – only it vanished – and later turned up in Cuba.

It’s a mystery how it ever reached the communist country. Investigators and experts alike couldn’t fathom how the missile had got into the wrong hands.

Was it a simple bonehead mistake or a criminal activity – who knows?

As you can see here, it’s easy for even the most professional organisations to deliver a top secret weapon to their enemy. Albeit, unintentionally.

Do you know that most of your competition is giving away valuable info like the daily?

If you look hard enough at them you can find out some of their top secrets.

This is one of the things I do when I’m creating a marketing campaign for clients. I take a look at all your rivals and find out what they are doing right and wrong.

You can build a damn fine marketing campaign by closely analysing your competition copying their best parts. Like a comic book super villain you can combine all their good bits into a campaign that’s bigger than the sum of their powers combined (super villain laugh – muuuhahahahahahahah).

However, a word of caution with this approach. You need to know what you are looking for. Otherwise, you run the possibility of picking up some of their bad habits. And combining the bad habits of your competitors could have disastrous results.

You won’t be a super villain, you’d be a super idiot.

This is where experience comes in. And that’s why you should choose me to do this work for you. I’m like a Hellfire hitting a bunch of terrorists. I’m deadly accurate at it.

Reply back with the word ‘hellfire’ today and we can get started. Why not send it me an email while it’s fresh on your mind (before you forget).

All the best

James

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