7 Joseph Sugarman Pointers On Profitable Advertising

Involve Your Reader

Once Sugarman ran an ad in The Wall Street Journal for an expensive spelling computer. He littered the ad with orthographic errors. He told his readers to circle the spelling mistakes, return the marked-up ad, and take $2 off the computer’s advertised price for every mistake they found. Orders poured in.

Talk Turkey

In an ad for a thermostat, Sugarman promoted its features and benefits, but “admitted” that the product was ugly and had a stupid name. Despite those two drawbacks, the ad said, the thermostat was a great buy. Disarmed by the ad’s air of candor, consumers reached for their credit cards.

Defuse Doubt

If an offer sounds too good to be true, most people think that it can’t be on the level. If you are advertising a product at a rock-bottom low price, for instance, Sugarman urges you to spell out what makes the bargain possible (for example, you have bought out an overstocked manufacturer’s entire inventory).

Set A Deadline

Sales-sparking advertising conveys urgency, Sugarman says. Your ad should stress that your product is almost sold out…that your advertised price is for a limited time only… or even “Buy one now and get a second one FREE!”

Sell One Product Only

Offering multiple products in a single ad may seem economical, but it’s likely to be a sales bomb, Sugarman says. In a test, a single-product ad for one of his clients pulled three times more orders than an almost identical nine-product ad.

Use Specifics

If you’re advertising a product that improves blood circulation to the feet, Sugarman says, a statement that “There are 72,000 nerve endings at the bottoms of your feet” will pull orders better than “There are lots of nerve endings at the bottoms of your feet.”

Guarantee Satisfaction

Sugarman doubled the response rate of one ad, offering membership in a discount purchasing club, by closing it with “But what if you never buy from us and your two-year membership expires? Fine. Send us your membership card, and we’ll fully refund your money, plus interest.”



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