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The Maverick Advertising Checklist


The reason most advertising pieces receives only a one or two percent response rate is because they lack the essential elements that trigger action.  If you’re going to invest your precious resources in some kind of print advertising (sales letter, brochure, postcard, email, periodical, billboard, etc.), make sure it has its “work clothes” on.  This isn’t a beauty contest.  You are not Coca-Cola doing brand recognition ads.  Pretty images and a slick logo aren’t going to get the job done. 


Incorporate as many of the following elements into every piece that goes out.  Strive for all ten if at all possible:


1. It’s the right message to the right people in the right media.  Craft a message to very specific groups and use appropriate media.

2. There is a very SPECIFIC offer or offers.  Vague generalities get ignored.

3. It focuses on benefits and outcomes, not features.  What’s in it for them?

4. There is a compelling reason to respond immediately.  Use deadlines and limited availability to put some urgency in your offer.

5. It clearly instructs what you want the recipient to do.  Stop sending things out assuming they’ll know what action to take, even if it seems obvious.  Tell them exactly what to do, then tell them again.

6. There is captivating, compelling copy.  Make it personal, emotional, and for an audience of one.  Read up on the subject or hire a pro.

7. There is a system in place to carefully measure results.  You need hard facts (response rate, conversion ratio, cost per lead, cost per sale, etc.) to make smart marketing decisions.

8. There is a system in place to capture every lead and follow up relentlessly.  Response rate goes up exponentially with repeated exposure and follow-up.

9. There is a split-test running with this ad.  Try to always test two pieces against each other to hone in on maximum response.

10. It is in a tried-and-true direct response format.  Don’t re-invent the wheel.  Stick with what works.