Free Marketing Course – Lesson #12 – “How To Increase Ad Response By 500% (or more) Right Now

In this lesson you’re about to learn how to get 500% greater response from all your advertising without adding a single penny more in cost than you’re spending now…

How would you like to see a 500% instant increase in all the advertising you’re doing right now? Who wouldn’t, right?.

Well, maybe not everyone.

There are some businesses that advertise for no reason other than to stroke their egos. To see their names in print. They could care less if the ad is making money or not. Their reward is to hear people say, ‘hey, I saw you in the newspaper this weekend.’

If that’s the kind of advertising you like to do, STOP READING RIGHT NOW!

you’re not the type of person I want to speak with at the moment. I want to speak with people who want their advertising to make money. If that is you, you’re in for a treat.

Before we get started, I want you to look at this ad and tell me if you think it’s a good ad or bad ad.

If you say this is a good ad, you’re partially right. If you say it is a bad ad, you’re more right (if there is such a thing).

Anyhow, these are the strengths of this ad:

  • Contact info is present.
  • A specific offer is being made (a seminar)
  • A call to action is present (i.e. “For Reservations Call”)
  • FDA implied endorsement (if you trust the FDA)

Now for the bad:

  • No urgency.
  • The text is hard to read against that dark background (I gray scaled the ad so it is more legible online).
  • The call to action is inappropriate for this type of product.

Here’s why…

The people who want this type of surgery fall into two categories:

The vain and the self-conscious.

Few of the people who even notice this ad will respond to it (even if they are curious about attending) because of fear.

  • Fear of admitting they feel they have a flaw of some kind (whether they really have a flaw or not).
  • Fear the person on the other end of the line is gonna ask for a telephone number and then hound them for months until they buy something.
  • Fear the other person is gonna ask, “what is wrong with you? how are you screwed up? What is it about yourself that is making it difficult for you to look in a mirror? is it true you were so ugly your mom used to feed you with a sling shot for fear of getting too close to you? You sure must be ugly to want to go sit in a room with a bunch of strangers and risk possibly being seen by people you know. Hey, is your big brother named Shrek? ’cause you sure look just like him!”

Ok, maybe some of those questions won’t go through their mind. But they will feel the person on the other end of the line might be judging them. I know that’s what I’d think if it came to calling that number.

‘The receptionist must be thinking I’m pretty ugly and self-conscious and either arrogant or have no self-esteem to want to call that number for RSVP. She’s probably gonna be on hand at the door of the seminar just so she can see the freak show and match faces to names.’

So if this approach is so wrong, how do you really go about getting people to identify themselves as having a need for what you’re selling, while feeling they are free of the risk of identifying themselves to you?

You use a two-step, direct response, editorial-style ad that offers a free special report, video, CD, DVD, etc..

Your ad must emulate as much as possible the exact same layout and fonts used in the actual stories and articles of the publication you’re advertising in.

The point is to not look like an advertisement.

People read the publications for the articles. So this kind of editorial-style layout has a higher readership than ads. Most ads are skipped over without a second glance and they are perceived as annoyances. Not so with the articles that people want to read.

When your ad looks like an editorial from the publication, your readership goes up… and so does your response.

Here’s an example of an editorial ad I threw together after looking at the above ad. This ad is totally fictitious so don’t go crazy worrying about “mushroom skin.” I made that up. (I hope it doesn’t really exist)

Lets say my “Botox Warning” ad appears on the same page as the ad about the free seminar. What chance do you think anyone is gonna respond to that seminar ad without first calling for this free report?


This ad scares the hell out of people. Anyone with half a brain ain’t gonna show up for no stinkin’ seminar without the “ammunition” they need for protecting themselves from mushroom skin, paralysis and death.

This scare tactic is only one emotion to use in direct response marketing. There are at least 37 others that you can hammer away at in an editorial-style ad and get greater response than a traditional ad.

Ok so you’re sold on the concept of editorial copy. How do you convert the people who requested your free report into seminar attendees?


First off, the report MUST give the information you promised or else no one is gonna trust you further.

Then at the end of the report mention that as a free gift for requesting the report you have included two complementary certificates for your next $199 event (or whatever price you want to set). 

If you live anywhere near a big city you’ve probably received unsolicited offers for seminars that included complementary tickets, haven’t you? Good.

I hope you kept those seminar invitations and the accompanying letters.

If not, then the next ‘free seminar’ invitation you get in the mail, keep.

Then copy the ideas (not the content) to use in your offer. Make sure to include complementary seminar tickets along with your report. Assume people are going to attend. Don’t beg them to be there.

If you really want this to work well, you must consider these things:

  • In your 24-hour message do not ask for their phone number. Only ask for their name and a mailing address. 85% of the people who call will immediately hang up if you ask for a phone number. You see, the reason they called in the first place is because they didn’t want to speak with anyone by phone. Don’t scare them off before you get a chance to identify them.
  • Make sure the number you give out for them to call is an 800# so you can match the caller’s name and address to the phone number they called from. Then you or a staff member can call and ‘confirm’ their attendance at the event, i.e. do telemarketing to make sure a high percentage will be attending.  (clever huh? and to think they thought they were calling anonymously)
  • Do NOT include your company name, address, or contact info in the ad. To be effective it must appear to come from an independent advocate. Which you are. If they detect in your ad that someone from the same industry is running the ad the effectiveness will fall to nil.

As powerful and profitable as the editorial style ad is, compared to a traditional ad, there’s a problem with it.

It isn’t “professional”.

Your ad agent will tell you not to run an editorial type advertisement. He’ll tell you his company doesn’t run “that type” of ad. He’ll come up with a million reasons why you shouldn’t do that type of advertising.


The last thing your ad agent wants is for you to create any type of ad that is trackable and doesn’t rely heavily on graphics that make the ad look “pretty”.

To heck with pretty. You want sales.

Tell your ad agent to do a split run and see which is most effective. If your ad out produces his “pretty” ad he will pay your ad cost for both tests. But if his ad out pulls yours, you will pay for both test ads.

He won’t take you up on this offer.

As I said, the last thing an ad agent wants is to be held accountable for response to your ad. Instead they just want your money and will do everything possible to blind you from using an ad that actually is measurable and predictable.

Just follow the examples of what I’ve mentioned and your ad will be 500% or more effective than the ads you’re using now.

Have a great day.

PS: If you’d like to learn more about creating the types of emotional response editorial copy as above, add this resource to your library:

Direct Mail Copywriting Templates – ready-to-use

If you would like to find if Andre is currently available for consulting please Contact Us here.

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