How To Sell Fleas To Dog Owners!

10 replies
There was a recent debate in a group I belong to on copy versus offer.
I expanded the discussion to the actual 3 elements of 'thing' being sold, copy and offer.

They were discussing what element was most important.

If you look at history it is ALWAYS copy and offer.

We have been 'sold" some horrible things (think war, harmful beliefs) with the right copy and offer...

On a practical level there will always be things, there have always been things, some great things have gone unsold with crap offer/copy and some crappy things have sold like crazy with the right message. Biggest sellers today include bottled water

To illustrate what you can do with copy I figured I would demonstrate that one could EASILY sell fleas to dog owners.

For your amusement here is the copy but PLEASE PLEASE make sure you send me 40% commissions for every vial of fleas you sell if you swipe my copy ;-)

Epidemic Killing Dogs In Florida

"I woke up and he was dead sobbed Chris a 51 year old in Tampa that lost his "only companion" an 8 year old beagle named Jingles. After the passing of his wife from cancer only 8 months ago Jingles was this 62 year old mans only companion.

"How could this happen he said through tears, the vet had just given him a clean bill of health..."

Experts have no idea why in less than 24 hours perfectly healthy canines are being subjected to an excruciating death.

"They go to sleep and begin yelping uncontrollably as their organs actually get attacked and liquified" said Dr. Rick Benson with a look of utter horror on his face as he explains the unimaginable pain they must go through.

He is warning canine deaths will be in the thousands but one man is feverishly breeding a cure to save as many family pets as he can.

Max Branson of Tampa seems to have been spared the heartache of losing "his baby" Missy a 4 year old Pug even after both of his neighbours lost their pets. The only anomaly experts have found is that Missy was infested with fleas after a recent trip to Peru with her owner.

These "Peruvian sand ticks" seem to carry an antibody that protects any infested animal from the current epidemic.

Working with local experts Max is extracting and breeding these ticks and express shipping them across the Tampa area to other pet owners across Tampa until doctors can develop a shot.

The process of breeding and extraction is expensive and demand is so high that one of Max's friends, Mark a techy has built a Facebook page where you can order a lifesaving cure for your canine online. If you live within 100 miles of Tampa you are advised to act immediately.


The process is simple. Open the vial and shake the ticks onto your pet. Once an inject-able cure is found a simple anti tick shampoo will remove the ticks from your pet.

Max can only produce so many vials and timing is critical, hurry now to XXX to secure your pets life saving vial now...
#dog #fleas #owners #sell
  • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
    Originally Posted by Peter Lessard View Post

    We have been 'sold" some horrible things (think war, harmful beliefs) with the right copy and offer....
    Like selling us on taxes, eh, Pete?

    Well, that may have had more to do with the THREAT of fines and jail time.

    Circumcision comes to mind. No matter how good the copy, don't know that they'd be able to sell me on that one again.

    YIKES!!

    Ron
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    • Profile picture of the author socialentry
      Originally Posted by eccj

      Product and offer are way more important in the vast majority of commerce.
      The thread is about copy, but you could ask the same question for most forms of marketing.

      Ironically, the greater the gap between the prospect's and the seller's expertise, the greater the product's sophistication, I think the more "marketing" knowledge is needed to succeed.

      The thing is for a lot of products, it's not obvious which one is the best from the get go.

      For a lot of B2B technical products, it's very difficult to make the best decision even for professional buyers.

      People have found errors in a well known scientific programming library after years in industry.
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  • Profile picture of the author eccj
    Eh, it seems the example of copy wouldn't work unless the story was actually true. In that case, ability to make things die and then have the cure would trump copy.

    If someone's dog was going to die unless they bought the fleas than that would be a good offer and a good product and good copy.

    If people already knew about the fleas and the disease then a good offer would beat copy since the product was a need.

    All a gas station has to do to sell gas is to put up a cheaper price than the guys next door and they will sell more gas. Why? Because people with cars are already convinced that they need to buy gas They don't need to send out sales letter. Copy in that case is irrelevant. Price is extremely relevant.

    (many copy writers will say that price is not important and they are wrong)

    Most copy writers are just that, copy writers. They are not business people in a general sense but practitioners who believe they hold the magic key to the kingdom.

    It's BS.

    How many copy writers are on the Forbes 400? I can't think of one. Maybe the guys who own Guthy-Renker?

    Product and offer are way more important in the vast majority of commerce.

    I don't remember Google ever sending out a sales letter. They have a really good product and a really good offer; it's free. They do send out really great offers to business owners to buy their ads with very little copy.

    There are so many things that go into it that I would place above copy.

    Product. Positioning. Offer. Distribution. Sales. Service. Market Demand. Productivity. List. Business Model. Margins.Trust. Recognition.

    Of course, if you are selling polished turds or pure information, then yeah, copy is king, as the copy writers will say in their forums. And that makes sense since most copy writers tend to sell polished turds (supplements, IM, MLM, get rich quick, golf swing fix, how to get laid or paid), or information.
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    • Profile picture of the author SARubin
      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      Most copy writers are just that, copy writers. They are not business people in a general sense but practitioners who believe they hold the magic key to the kingdom.

      It's BS.

      Wow eccj, that's a little bit harsh.

      I agree, the copy above probably couldn't sell a cancer treatment at an oncology convention. But that doesn't mean you gotta throw all copywriters under the bus.

      From what I've seen, Peter Lessard has a pretty good marketing mind. So I'm assuming he was just playing around with this copy, and not actually trying to sell anything?

      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      Of course, if you are selling polished turds or pure information, then yeah, copy is king, as the copy writers will say in their forums. And that makes sense since most copy writers tend to sell polished turds (supplements, IM, MLM, get rich quick, golf swing fix, how to get laid or paid), or information.
      For some of us, it's not about selling polished turds. It's more about about presenting an offer in a compelling way. So customers will choose our clients products over the competition.


      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      . Copy in that case is irrelevant. Price is extremely relevant.

      (many copy writers will say that price is not important and they are wrong)
      Sure, price is important, but it's not the only factor. Value, compared to price, is always relative.

      If you can offer a higher value, then many people will pay a higher price.


      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      There are so many things that go into it that I would place above copy.

      Product. Positioning. Offer. Distribution. Sales. Service. Market Demand. Productivity. List. Business Model. Margins.Trust. Recognition.
      many of the things you list are part of the research that goes into good "professional" copywritng...

      A copywriter who actually cares (and knows what they're doing) will research

      Product. Positioning. Offer. Sales. Service. Market Demand . List. Trust. Recognition.

      Because understanding these things makes good copy work.

      It all comes down to psychology and numbers


      So while I respect your opinions, eccj, and I think I understand your frustration with copywriters, please don't compare us all to the $5 amateurs, on the low end content farms. Thanks.

      All the best,
      SAR
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    • Profile picture of the author Peter Lessard
      Originally Posted by eccj View Post

      Of course, if you are selling polished turds or pure information, then yeah, copy is king, as the copy writers will say in their forums. And that makes sense since most copy writers tend to sell polished turds (supplements, IM, MLM, get rich quick, golf swing fix, how to get laid or paid), or information.
      Appreciate all your input and observations. I tend to look at this far removed from the internet marketing world and things like sleezy products etc...

      Copy to me is messaging, messaging is just communication with others. The people that have moved mountains are the greatest communicators and to me their speeches are copy at its finest form.

      It is absolutely true that anything with staying power requires both communication (copy) and be offering something of value. I used my "selling fleas to dog owners" as an over the top example, mostly kidding around to show you can sell anything with copy.

      You mention Google, did they ever engage in copy. Oh hell ya, right at the core of their profit centre. I started with them the first day they offered pay per click. Back then their messaging was targeting people like me and it was all about "partnering" with Google to bring PPC to business owners. They were very much about pushing my success so they could be successful. When I spoke to their reps back then they were building my dreams up.

      Fortunately for me they also had a great vision and product and working with them I went from being just a guy building the occasional site some 17 years ago to landing hundreds of clients in less than 4 weeks after being featured on local news as the guy that had "partnered with Google" and could put you at the top of search. It was like printing money. The fax machine just kept ringing with credit card numbers...Today they are such a goliath people forget they once courted the little guy like me through messaging and copy to go out and sell for them.

      If we are talking Fortune 500's etc.. then unbelievable communications skills of Steve Jobs allowed Apple to become what it is. I agree had they been selling turds they would of gone under after a while but were he not so masterful in communication they would not even had a chance at winning.

      In regards to copywriters thinking they have the keys to the kingdom we can start to lump people into groups but I don't think they are any more normal or odd than a group of ceo's or salespeople or assembly line workers... I know a forklift operator that is absolutely convinced the huge company he works for would fall apart if he wasn't there and that the ceo of that company is an idiot and needs to come work with him for a day to really "get it".

      Each group in business has its own anecdotal personality traits. Further each group in business that is at the top of their field is often there because of certain personality traits often associated with alpha personalities and views of themselves that we have branded as unhealthy but frankly are often important to the success in their field.

      Personally I would not pay a copywriter 15k for a sales page if he exhitibed any doubt about his skills... ;-) if he isn't sold 100% on himself he ain't selling me.

      Many studies show that the most successful CEO's lean strongly in the direction of being slightly psychopathic in nature and no that doesnt mean they go around hiding bodies :-)

      I brought up this subject because it is an interesting debate.
      If I was given the choice between the ability to persuade or one great product I would choose the ability to persuade.

      P.S On a personal level when I examine myself and if I think I hold the keys to the kingdom sometimes I do but it is based on personal experience. Time and again I have taken companies that were doing just ok and with copy and a sales funnel I have multiplied the success of that company many times over in what seemed like an overnight transformation. After you hear how they had tried this and that and were failing miserably and your the guy who took action and now suddenly its all rainbows and unicorns then yes you can walk away with a swelled head. Good news for me is my wife brings me back to reality pretty quick ;-) Seriously though I know better and set myself up for success by finding people to work with that already have the great product, reputation, people, work ethic then I work on messaging and know full well that all their efforts combined with mine just made me look the hero. it is indeed always a marriage between message/offer/product.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ron Lafuddy
        Originally Posted by Peter Lessard View Post

        Appreciate all your input and observations. I tend to look at this far removed from the internet marketing world and things like sleezy products etc...

        Copy to me is messaging, messaging is just communication with others. The people that have moved mountains are the greatest communicators and to me their speeches are copy at its finest form.

        It is absolutely true that anything with staying power requires both communication (copy) and be offering something of value. I used my "selling fleas to dog owners" as an over the top example, mostly kidding around to show you can sell anything with copy.

        You mention Google, did they ever engage in copy. Oh hell ya, right at the core of their profit centre. I started with them the first day they offered pay per click. Back then their messaging was targeting people like me and it was all about "partnering" with Google to bring PPC to business owners. They were very much about pushing my success so they could be successful. When I spoke to their reps back then they were building my dreams up.

        Fortunately for me they also had a great vision and product and working with them I went from being just a guy building the occasional site some 17 years ago to landing hundreds of clients in less than 4 weeks after being featured on local news as the guy that had "partnered with Google" and could put you at the top of search. It was like printing money. The fax machine just kept ringing with credit card numbers...Today they are such a goliath people forget they once courted the little guy like me through messaging and copy to go out and sell for them.

        If we are talking Fortune 500's etc.. then unbelievable communications skills of Steve Jobs allowed Apple to become what it is. I agree had they been selling turds they would of gone under after a while but were he not so masterful in communication they would not even had a chance at winning.

        In regards to copywriters thinking they have the keys to the kingdom we can start to lump people into groups but I don't think they are any more normal or odd than a group of ceo's or salespeople or assembly line workers... I know a forklift operator that is absolutely convinced the huge company he works for would fall apart if he wasn't there and that the ceo of that company is an idiot and needs to come work with him for a day to really "get it".

        Each group in business has its own anecdotal personality traits. Further each group in business that is at the top of their field is often there because of certain personality traits often associated with alpha personalities and views of themselves that we have branded as unhealthy but frankly are often important to the success in their field.

        Personally I would not pay a copywriter 15k for a sales page if he exhitibed any doubt about his skills... ;-) if he isn't sold 100% on himself he ain't selling me.

        Many studies show that the most successful CEO's lean strongly in the direction of being slightly psychopathic in nature and no that doesnt mean they go around hiding bodies :-)

        I brought up this subject because it is an interesting debate.
        If I was given the choice between the ability to persuade or one great product I would choose the ability to persuade.

        P.S On a personal level when I examine myself and if I think I hold the keys to the kingdom sometimes I do but it is based on personal experience. Time and again I have taken companies that were doing just ok and with copy and a sales funnel I have multiplied the success of that company many times over in what seemed like an overnight transformation. After you hear how they had tried this and that and were failing miserably and your the guy who took action and now suddenly its all rainbows and unicorns then yes you can walk away with a swelled head. Good news for me is my wife brings me back to reality pretty quick ;-) Seriously though I know better and set myself up for success by finding people to work with that already have the great product, reputation, people, work ethic then I work on messaging and know full well that all their efforts combined with mine just made me look the hero. it is indeed always a marriage between message/offer/product.
        Pete,

        It always comes back to your own experience, doesn't it?

        Because of your experience, you know what works...and what doesn't.

        You know what to look for in those you'll be working with.

        If the success elements "great product, reputation, people, work ethic", are missing, you KNOW what the results are going to be.

        The customer is also drawing on your vast experience.

        I'm sure the prices that you charge reflect that.

        Ron
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  • Profile picture of the author B Wyatt
    What the heck man? Why do you wanna do that?
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  • Profile picture of the author mrjackpowers
    Good post. I was thinking you could just sell them a second dog lol
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  • Profile picture of the author OptedIn
    I have holy water that I imported from a monastery in Lourdes, France. It is well known that this water has incredible healing powers.

    Because of it's rarity, I only have a little I can part with, but a few drops placed in your dog's food will permanently cure them of this horrible affliction.

    I think I need a good sales letter for this offering. Tough niche, though.

    Thank you.
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