E-Factor: Two Ways to Get More Back from Every
By David Garfinkel
Allow me to
introduce you to the mysterious "E-Factor." It's mysterious
because it has two meanings.
meanings will help you get more business from any promotion
you do. So without further ado, here's how you can use the
"E-Factor" to make more money:
Put "E-Factor" in your testimonials and copy
realize the very best source of new business is almost always a prospect who has been referred to you by a friend
or trusted business advisor? It is. Think about this in your
own life. When you need an accountant, or an attorney, or a
doctor, or for that matter a hardware store in a new town,
you'll probably turn to someone you know, whose judgment you
trust, to refer you to the service or product provider
you're looking for.
OK. But what
does that have to do with direct mail and Web
People are always on the lookout for sources of advice they
can trust. However, since you can't always rely on giving
every prospect for your business personal recommendations
from the prospect's friends, neighbors and advisors they
actually know and trust, you do the next best thing: You
give them copy with recommendations from people who seem
like the people they know and trust.
putting testimonials and case studies in your copy involving
people who will fill the role of trusted friends and
marketers do this but they don't get the desired effect.
Why? Because they haven't put enough productive effort into
the research that pays off. This is in-person research
--especially one-on-one "casual" research, as opposed to
formal focus-group research--with their actual customers,
and people who are a lot like their customers.
high-payoff research gives you in-depth working
understanding of how your prospects think and act in the
world--and how they look at things and make decisions. When
you have this understanding and you weave it into the
language of your descriptive copy and your testimonial
quotes, it's called "empathy."
--that's the first meaning of "The E-Factor." Increase
empathy in your copy and you'll increase sales.
Profit from the second meaning of the "E-Factor" as
another, equally important meaning. Before I tell you what
it is, let me give you a big, fat hint. In his book The
Entertainment Economy: How Mega-Media Forces Are
Transforming Our Lives, author Michael J. Wolfe points out
that American consumers put 8.4%--about one dollar out of
every 12--into some form of entertainment. Currently, that
adds up to $480 billion a year.
As a side
note, Hollywood productions--films and TV shows --bring in
the second largest amount of money from overseas back into
the U.S. economy, after aircraft sales.
other meaning of the "E-Factor" is entertainment. It's huge.
And it applies to marketing and selling. As the late (and
great) David Ogilvy reminded us, "People will not be bored
Many a copywriter less talented and, more importantly, less
thoughtful than Mr. Ogilvy has made the fatal error
including humor, fantasy, drama or thrills in a promotion in
such a way as to not specifically move the sales process
dangerous. Even deadly, sometimes. Here's why: When you
include entertainment, people's attention will invariably be
drawn to it over anything else. And when entertainment does
not directly support moving the sale forward, then it
automatically detracts from the sale.
dozens of examples. The lying Isuzu salesman. Sales went
down. "Plop-plop, Fizz-fizz." Sales went down. I'm sure you
have your favorites of entertaining ad campaigns that
bombed. Now you know why.
isn't bad. But not painstakingly linking the entertainment
to the forward motion of the sale is bad. Very
how do you add entertainment value in such a way as to
increase the sales effectiveness of your promotion? Several
a dramatic story where your product is the hero and saves
the day for the human involved. My favorite example of this
is the newspaper ad for Joe Karbo's legendary book "The Lazy
Man's Way to Riches."
In the ad,
Mr. Karbo talks about his "Lazy Man's Way" which he promises
to reveal in the book he's selling. He tells how, before he
knew the "Lazy Man's Way," he used to work 18-hour days,
7-day weeks and was still perpetually in debt. But after he
learned the "Lazy Man's Way," he became financially
independent by working less and in fact became very
incredible ad combines drama with sales power in an
unbeatable way. And it worked! The ad sold 3 million books
by mail order!
humor that adds emphasis to the value of your product or
service. When you get past the laughter, most humor in ads
just shows off the cleverness of the creative team who
created the ad. (You might say it also shows off their lack
of concern for creating sales.) A positive example, where
the humor shows how the product is so worthwhile, is the old
(and very successful) series of Seinfeld commercials for the
American Express Card.
exciting, colorful language in testimonials when customers
are talking about the virtues of your product. But make sure
it's believable. And don't make fun of the fact that you're
selling something, any more than you would go to target
practice and fire the first shot into your own foot. At all
times, keep your eye on the target--increased
review. How can you use this information to make more sales
in every promotion? Take stock of its Empathy and
Entertainment Value. Be single-minded. Take out everything
that takes away from the sale, and keep in--or boost and
strengthen--everything that furthers the sale. Build the
strongest possible promotion at every point along the
and watch your response rate soar!
David Garfinkel is widely recognized by many "marketing gurus" as their
secret weapon. That is, he is known as "The World's Greatest Copywriting
Coach"; because, he can, like no other, teach you how to turn words into
David is also the author and narrator of Killer Copy Tactics, the Web's
first and only totally interactive audio / visual learning system for
writing killer sales copy. You can master these killer copy tactics by clicking here to discover the secrets of how you can write killer copy.
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