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The simplest list-building trick I’ve ever seen…

My mentor Drayton Bird once told me, “Relevance beats brilliance every day of the week.”

I was trying too hard to be a Don-Draper-style creative maverick. Until I realised the simple fact which underpins everything in marketing, I could never get to grips with what he meant: Marketing, first and foremost, is a bridge.

You are bridging the gap between your prospect’s problem and your solution.

It really is that outrageously simple.

And you don’t have to do anything particularly ‘creative’ to make this principle work for you.

If you want to see the best marketers at work, you should follow a few financial publications. They are getting so sophisticated at meeting the customer’s needs, it’s difficult to think of new ways they might improve.

The other day I was on Zacks, the financial site. I was researching the pharmaceutical company Merck, when what should pop up? This opt-in box asking me to sign up for a free report…all about Merck.


“Where’s it headed in 2019?”

There’s nothing particularly ‘creative’ about this. It’s a straightforward headline. But they somehow met my exact problem at the very moment I was in search of a solution.

This opt-in box at GuruFocus is even better:

“GuruFocus has detected 6 warning signs with American Electric Power Co,” reads the headline. How can I possibly ignore this?

Obviously, I’m reading about American Electric Power, because I’m interested in buying shares. What are the warning signs? Why haven’t I seen them?

“People fear to lose, more than they hope to gain.” That’s another lesson from the book of Drayton Bird. Never forget this. If you can convince people they’re about to make a terrible mistake, you are almost guaranteed to get them reading.

Maybe you haven’t the sophisticated software to pull off something this clever…

You can still make this principle work for you.

One of the simplest ways to boost your results is to use your packaging as an advertisement for your product – like this packaging I have for a pair of ‘heat-holder’ socks.

Ever since I moved to Canada, I’ve had family members bombarding me with these socks. I must have gone through a dozen pairs. Here’s a list of phrases on this packaging…

  • “No more cold feet!”
  • “TOG rating 2.3”
  • “The Ultimate Thermal Sock”
  • “Advanced construction holds more warm air close to the skin, keeping feet warmer for longer!”
  • Over 7X warmer than a basic cotton sock!

…Meanwhile, the back gives you 3 reasons why Heat Holder Socks are so unique:

This packaging is absolutely loaded with benefits – selling you the solution in the exact moment you’re considering the problem.

Alternatively, you can place an offer at the end of an ebook, course, or podcast. Somebody who has invested a few hours solving their problem will be highly likely to accept your offer for a solution.

So give them what they want. Make them an offer.

Relevance beats brilliance.

Now go get ’em.

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