Author: Brian Clark

How to Hook Your Ideal Prospect with Content that Connects

When it comes down to it, “content” is simply information. And in an age of information (and opinion) overload, your content can contain incredibly valuable information and still be easily ignored. This is the opposite of the “clickbait” problem. In that case, you have a compelling headline that leads to worthless information. The ideal scenario
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StudioPress Acquired by WP Engine

I’m pleased to announce the acquisition of StudioPress, our WordPress design and hosting division, by WP Engine. With this move, the world’s most popular WordPress design framework — Genesis — will now be paired with the world’s leading managed WordPress hosting platform. Thank You to Brian Gardner and the StudioPress Team As 2018 began, it
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Web Personalization: The Future of Digital Marketing and Sales Is Now

In the beginning, the business website was a mere brochure. Low value, low shareability, low findability. Around 2005, a big shift happened thanks to content. Cutting-edge business websites became educational resources with valuable content that ranked well in search engines and benefited from the sharing functionality of emerging social media. Soon, “cutting edge” became the
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How to Turn Leads into Clients with Modern Email Marketing

When it comes to building an audience that builds your freelance or consulting business, email remains the undisputed heavyweight champion. Email was the original “killer app” — everyone uses it, and that’s why it’s been the absolute best channel for digital marketing and audience building. And yes, that’s still true in 2018. The stats don’t
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Rainmaker Digital is at Your Service

We’ve launched a lot of things over the last decade. Software, SaaS, WordPress hosting, WordPress design frameworks, themes, courses, certification, live training, conferences, and membership communities. And we’ve delivered tons of free content to teach you how to perform digital marketing, design, and copywriting in a way that works. But we’ve never offered to do
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Supercharge Your Benefits with Contrast Storytelling

Your copy has to convey the benefits of buying, period. But have you thought about how to best frame those benefits? The Framing Effect is a psychological response in which people react to a particular choice in different ways depending on how it’s presented. For example, we tend to want to avoid pain more than
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5 Ways to Convert More Prospects by Making Your Case

Your headline draws them in, while your opening copy maintains the magnetic hold. The express benefits give them hope that they may have found the solution they desire. And then you ask for the sale with an explicit call to action. A total win, right? Then why are you still disappointed with your results? You’re
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Capture and Hold Audience Attention with a Bold Proclamation

Quick Copy Tip

If you’ve studied copywriting, you know the purpose of the headline is to get people to click and start reading. And your opening copy needs to continue that momentum all the way to the offer or conclusion.

One way to do that is to make a bold, seemingly unreasonable assertion in your title or headline. A proclamation so jarring that the right person can’t help but keep reading, listening, or watching to see where you’re going with it.

As far as I can tell, copywriter John Forde (whose site tagline is, not coincidently, “Learn to sell or else …”) was the first to define the Proclamation Lead:

A well-constructed Proclamation Lead begins with an emotionally-compelling statement, usually in the form of the headline. And then, in the copy that follows, the reader is given information that demonstrates the validity of the implicit promise made.

This type of lead works for both sales copy and persuasive content. Let me give you a couple of examples.

Forde illustrates the Proclamation Lead with a direct mail report that is ultimately selling an alternative health newsletter. Written by Jim Rutz, the piece immediately startles and tempts the prospect with a bold statement:

Read This Or Die

Today you have a 95% chance of eventually dying from a disease or condition from which there is already a known cure somewhere on the planet. The editor of Alternatives would like to free you from that destiny.

The copy continues not by jumping to the offer, but instead by backing up the proclamation. In the process, the piece systematically removes the objections raised in the reader’s mind about the scientific validity of the bold assertions.

If you feel that example is a little too “direct marketing” for your audience, consider this from respected best-selling author Austin Kleon:

Steal Like an Artist:
10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative

It’s the exact same technique for a completely different target market. The intent is to startle people interested in becoming more creative, while concurrently tempting prospects to further explore what Kleon means by “steal.”

The first example is copy designed to make a sale. The second example is content (a book) that is the product itself. But the reason why both “sell” is the same.

The key to these bold headlines and leads is the immediate emotional response provoked by the assertion. More importantly, that emotional trigger leads to immediate motivation to investigate further — and that’s what every copywriter aims to achieve right from the beginning.

That’s because implicit in the proclamation is a promise. In the Rutz and Kleon examples, you’re promised that you’ll learn about hidden cures to common diseases and the way creativity really works, respectively.

How do you come up with these types of bold beginnings? John Forde says they’re found via research, not conjured up out of the ether — and I agree.

For example, people often assume creativity comes from introspection, perhaps during long sessions of gazing out the window.

But if you research how artists throughout history actually work, creativity is much more about starting with something already out in the world — often the work of someone else — and making it into something new.

Austin Kleon discovered that truth, and then boiled it down to its shocking essence. After all, it was Picasso who famously said, “Good artists copy; great artists steal.”

That said, the proclamation approach is not always the right one for every situation. For example, I could have titled this article:

Read This Unless You Want to Starve

But that would have been lame, so I didn’t. There are plenty of other headline and lead approaches that also work well, so that headline wouldn’t be accurate or appropriate.

If you find a counterintuitive truth that’s relevant to your persuasive aim, however, you might just see if you can turn it into an almost unreasonably bold assertion that works wonders. But remember, don’t steal specific copy approaches (in the artistic sense) unless you’re sure you can perfectly tailor them for your audience or prospect.

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Last Day to Get the Rainmaker Platform

Last Chance to Get the Rainmaker Platform at the Current Pricing

This is it … your absolute last day to invest in the Rainmaker Platform at pricing that will never be seen again. The party’s over today at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time (you can read the original announcement with all the details here).

We hope you’ll join the Rainmaker family before we make the switch. Just head over to the site, check out all the amazing things Rainmaker empowers you to do, and start your free trial today.

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The Rainmaker Platform Goes Off the Market this Friday

Last Chance to Get the Rainmaker Platform at the Current Pricing

The Rainmaker Platform is coming off the market this Friday at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time. To get the current pricing, you must start your free trial before the deadline.

Last month I told you about the Rainmaker Platform’s shift from software-as-a-service to a bundled hybrid of technology and client services, all at much higher prices. Before we do that, we’re offering one last chance for people who just want the Platform at the current lower pricing.

If you’re not familiar, the Rainmaker Platform is a complete digital marketing and sales solution. It combines powerful website features with email, marketing automation, and a ton of other powerful tools that you have to see for yourself. And yes, it’s the very technology that powers Copyblogger and thousands of other sophisticated sites.

When you choose the annual plan, you always enjoy substantial savings. But from now until we take it off the market, you’ll save hundreds of dollars more every single year when you get on board with the Rainmaker Platform.

Start your free trial today.

The go-forward development plan

Given the shift in business and operational models, you may be wondering what our plans are for continued software development on the Platform. It’s a great question, and I’d like to quickly address that.

If you get on board before the deadline, you’ll join thousands of existing Rainmaker customers. And we fully intend to keep all of you happy even as we serve a different market segment with the bundled services model. That’s a no brainer, given that the Platform remains at the center of our strategy.

What does that mean for you? Only good things:

  • We’ve already begun work on Rainmaker 3.0, a major new release that will feature automation, email, and interface workflow improvements. We’ll also be adding Zapier for third-party add-ons, and modularizing key areas of the Platform for easier integrations and quicker addition of new features.
  • The annual or monthly price you sign up for today will never change as long as you keep your site active. You won’t pay more even as the cost-of-entry to Rainmaker goes way up for others. And remember, we’re also giving you a substantial discount on the annual plan if you start your trial before the Friday deadline.
  • You’ll also benefit from the software improvements that come from moving upstream. As we do more expensive custom development work for clients, relevant enhancements will find their way into the general platform, at no additional cost to you.
  • Want to invest in additional Rainmaker sites after the switch? You’ll still be able to do that — at the current discounted customer pricing — all from your Rainmaker Portal. Existing customers will literally have access to Rainmaker sites in a way that no one else will going forward.
  • Finally, the move to full service means you’ll never have to experience frustration looking for help with design, content, SEO, and more. And if you have a specialized Platform development need, our new services team can make it happen for a reasonable fee.

You must act this week:

In a nutshell, if you want the best pricing that will ever be offered on the Rainmaker Platform from here on out, you must start your free trial before 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, this Friday, June 16, 2017.

We hope you’ll join the Rainmaker family before we make the switch. Just head over to the site, check out all the amazing things Rainmaker empowers you to do, and start your free trial without delay.

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