"Big Ideas" Mean Big Sales in the Financial Market

For some, the prize niche in direct marketing – meaning the most profitable one for writers and designers – is the financial market.

But to be successful in this arena, it’s critical that you know that financial prospects have some quirks that set them apart from those in other DM niches.

For instance, financial prospects are enthralled by what we call "Big Ideas." A financial prospect believes that parts of his life – especially his financial life – are being deliberately influenced by outside forces.

For example, he may believe that the government is deliberately trying to invade his privacy in order to squeeze every cent out of him that it can.

The Big Idea approach simply does not work in a lot of other DM niches. But it is one of the most successful approaches in this one. And if you want to be one of the top writers for the financial market, you must understand how Big Ideas affect your prospect.

This point is driven home in AWAI’s new "Secrets of Writing for the Financial Market" program. In it, Don Mahoney, a top financial copywriter as well as Co-Founder of AWAI, gives his take on using Big Ideas to create compelling, winning financial copy.

According to Don:

One of the unique traits about people who subscribe to financial newsletters is they love ideas. Ideas that can help them make more money.

That’s one of the big benefits they get from newsletters. More than just stock tips, they love receiving a continual source of new ideas that offer them a financial advantage.

So one of most important things you can do, when writing a lead for financial product, is give the reader an exciting new idea he can sink his teeth into. An idea such as…

  • a new trend
  • a new company with an exciting new product
  • a fast-growing industry few people have heard of
  • a new insight into the world economy or current events
  • a bold prediction
  • a new way to make money from the stock market
  • an exciting type of investment few people know about

The bigger the idea the better, so long as it has the potential to generate profits.

Of course, when presenting this Big Idea, you’re also promising your prospect that your financial product will continue to supply him with Big Ideas just like this one.

For example, here’s a headline from a promo for Strategic Investment

{BEGIN HEADLINE AND SUB-HEADLINE}

Protect Your Money and Pile Up
as Much as 794% Profits During…

China’s Deliberate
ECONOMIC ATTACK ON AMERICA!

Beijing just unleashed a deadly three-prong
attack that will levy a FINANCIAL FIRESTORM
on the American economy. Before it’s over,
many billions of dollars will vanish into thin air!

WATCH OUT!

China’s "UNRESTRICTED" ATTACK on the American Economy Has Already Begun

Find out about two simple investments to completely "China-Proof" your wealth AND to rake in safe-haven profits that could go as high as 794%…

{END HEADLINE}

Don continues:

The Big Idea here is that China’s growing economy is changing the world economy in ways that will affect every investor’s portfolio. This particular lead is also a good example of the use of fear in a financial promotion. Big Ideas are often about change. And change can be scary if you’re on the wrong side of the trend.

But notice the writer also promises that the prospect will be able to protect himself from the danger and make huge profits as well. What’s implied is that he will also prove himself smarter than the majority of investors.

The writer also uses a technique that we call "Creating an Enemy." This involves taking sides with the reader against a common enemy or threat. By putting the spokesman in the role of a friend and ally to the prospect, the copywriter builds trust.

The trick when creating an enemy is to choose an enemy the reader already distrusts.

China is a good choice here, because…

  1. China’s phenomenal growth has been in the news lately.
  2. It has historically been viewed as an enemy of the West.
  3. Most Americans know little about China. And ignorance breeds mistrust.
  4. And most importantly… the writer can back up his claim with solid arguments.

Some other "enemies" that financial copywriters have successfully used include the U.S. government (but not the president), brokers, corporate insiders, bankers, IRS agents, and anyone else who has been getting rich at the expense of the average investor.

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: February 28, 2005

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