Not just a sale.
A BANGIN’ sale. That brings in the big bucks.
Say it slowly with me. “BANGIN’”.
Here’s a story to show you how …
It was January 2020, and Australia was on fire.
Coronavirus? Never heard of it.
Depression? Ha, stocks are at all-time highs!
Race riots? Nah.
The topic du jour in Australia was bushfires.
You couldn’t turn on the TV without seeing bushfires.
You couldn’t check the news without reading about bushfires.
You couldn’t open Facebook (not that I do anyway, but my wife does) without seeing people posting about bushfires.
To NOT talk about bushfires was to show what an uncaring bigot you were.
And in that context, one of my clients called me in a panic.
“What are we going to do about the sale?” they asked.
See, we had a big campaign coming up … potentially worth millions of dollars.
We’d written all the copy, lined up the emails, and set up the sales page.
There was just one problem:
None of it had nothing to do with bushfires.
Should we scrap it and redo it for something more appropriate to the moment?
“No,” I told my client.
“Run it as-is. People will still buy.”
And … we did.
And … it was a huge success.
I don’t mean “I’m-a-poser-who-made-my-client-two-grand” huge. I mean seven-figure huge.
’Twas a BANGIN’ sale indeed.
Which is why it amuses me to see so many marketers scrambling to stay ‘relevant’ to the latest news cycle right now.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mean big brands. Their marketing ALWAYS sucks.
I’m talking the copywriters whose lists I am on, who should know BETTER than this.
In the last few days, many have come out to tell me how woke they are, how this is the most important cause EVER, and how “silence is violence” (though funny how I never heard a word on this major issue from YOU for the last 10 years, lol).
But hey, at least those people are voicing something they believe in. I can respect that even if I disagree.
Could be worse … like the marketers who mention what’s going on (so they don’t look “insensitive”), but are too scared to give an opinion.
The best course of action in my view?
Ignore it totally and just press on with your marketing.
(I’m bitter that I’ve had to violate this rule to write this email.)
But, I wanted to tell you this.
So, here are some rules for selling when it’s insensitive:
1. ‘Reacting’ to news cycles in your marketing is usually idiotic.
Not only are you talking about the same thing as EVERYONE ELSE …
But it also means you’ll be left in the dust when the news cycle changes (and it will).
(How’s that COVID-based marketing campaign working for ya now?)
2. Sell when nobody else is selling.
Bushfires, pandemics, depressions, race riots … they’re all times when it’s considered “insensitive” to sell.
In other words, your competition are stepping back.
Which only makes it an even BETTER time to sell.
So if you have a product that will truly change people’s lives … why wouldn’t you?
3. People actually WANT to see other things in their inbox.
Bad news is like high-sodium junk food. People can’t help but binge. But it leaves them feeling thirsty. And they will ALWAYS try and quench that thirst with something refreshing or entertaining.
So if your marketing is the good news, the laugh, the smile in their day … you will be where they WANT to go when they’ve had enough of the bad news.
4. “Keep your opinions to yourself” is WRONG.
That said, I’m not here to tell you to ‘stay in your lane’. If you have a view, go for it. People love to hear strong opinions. And if yours is liberal, be liberal. Don’t ever fake it one way or another.
But you should ALWAYS have that opinion. Don’t just pop up when it’s convenient. You’ll look like a poser.
And beware, because …
5. You’ll never be woke enough for the woke.
At the same time I was telling one client to press ahead with their sale, another client decided to postpone theirs.
They wanted to position themselves as a champion of the oppressed. To sell during bushfires was ‘insensitive’. And they wrote a long Facebook post to their audience, explaining how noble they were for doing that.
And guess what?
When they did launch, they were widely condemned anyway for … wait for it … SELLING.
Their own audience turned on them. “Ugh, we thought you were one of US!”
If you want to fight for the oppressed, that’s great. Just don’t expect them to take kindly to realising you only sucked up to get their money.
But there’s a silver lining, because …
6. People who say they hate you will still buy.
Here’s a surprise: hypocrites are great at being hypocritical.
Which means that even when they skewer you for not holding the party line, they may still realise you’re selling something they want … and buy it.
Just don’t expect them to post it on Facebook.
There, in a nutshell, is your playbook for selling when it’s “not cool” to sell — from someone who has seen it done right (and very wrong).
Yes, even most other ‘pro copywriters’ can’t tell you about this, because they are wusses who freak out along with their clients, and therefore don’t know what it’s like to make a couple million bucks when it’s “politically incorrect” to be selling.
But I do.
So if you would like help for your politically incorrect sale?
Or if my despicable, conservative-leaning, capitalist tendencies have offended and sickened you, I invite you to click another link below (it starts with ‘u’ and rhymes with … uh … fun-subscribe?)
I don’t mind which you choose.
All I’m focused on right now is what crazy fun topic I can write about tomorrow, that has absolutely nothing to do with anything in the news.
Now that’ll be a fun-subscribe …