Secrets from Bootcamp:
The 21-Day Promo Package (With a Day of Golf Thrown In)

Last week, I promised to give you some highlights from Bootcamp – but that has turned into a bigger order than I expected.

I’m writing this on Friday, with only one full day of Bootcamp behind us (and a wonderful presentation by Michael Masterson on Wednesday evening), there is so much I could tell you, I'm nearly overwhelmed. (And I don't overwhelm easily.)

Paul Hollingshead and Mike Palmer to the rescue! These two highly successful copywriters with very different approaches to writing million-dollar copy combined their individual styles into one master plan for how to write a winning package in just 21 days.

And they had the Bootcamp attendees laughing through the entire presentation!

So, with no further delay, here it is: Paul and Mike's 9-Steps to a 21-Day Winning Package …

  1. Decide on a Theme (1 day)

    The theme of your package is an overriding idea related to your product that excites YOU. It's similar to the Big Idea, but is more general and less focused.

    For example, the theme could be a new way to make money when the value of the dollar drops. And the Big Idea might be that Bernanke and the Federal Reserve are deliberately depressing the value of the dollar in order to balance international trade.

    You come up with the theme of your package from past promos, past issues of the newsletter you're selling (if a newsletter is your product), conversations with people directly involved with the product … and from your imagination.

  2. Hunt & Gather (3 days)

    The core of any strong package – as you've heard many times – is research. However, Mike Palmer cautions that research does not mean just the Internet.

    If you want a really strong package – and if you're concerned about finding a compelling Big Idea for it – you'll research books and magazines, talk to product managers, product developers, and product users too.

  3. Identify the Big Idea (2 days)

    You decide on your theme at the beginning of this process, but the Big Idea comes out of your research. In the course of all your digging, an idea – a Big Idea – will pop up. The Big Idea is something exciting and NEW that's happening, that's about to happen, or that just happened.

    The Big Idea is a compelling concept that will overcome your prospect's complacency and skepticism.

    Cast a wide net and keep an open mind. If something catches your attention, follow the thread – even if it seems to be only distantly connected to your product. It might end with a story that fits like a glove – one that few people know about – the perfect Big Idea. (We'll discuss the Big Idea in detail in a future issue of The Golden Thread.)

  4. Assemble the Offer (1 day)

    The offer is everything pertaining to cost, guarantee, premiums, discounts, and the like. Paul and Mike suggest structuring the offer upfront, but with one warning: Do not let it come to the forefront. It must take second place to the Big Idea and the benefits.

    You have a great deal of power over the offer. For instance, if you think a particular special report would make a good premium, push for it with the client.

  5. Work on the Headline & Lead (3 days)

    The headline and lead account for 80% of the success of your package, so it makes sense to spend a lot of time writing them. (In last week's issue of The Golden Thread, we talked about headlines. We'll be covering leads in an upcoming issue.)

  6. Write the Rest of the Package (6 days)

    "The rest" includes everything from the end of the lead to the proof, the offer, and the close. And while you're writing "the rest," make sure you don't forget about subtly weaving the golden thread – the main theme, Big Idea, and Big Promise – throughout the entire package. You never want to let the proof push out these important components that are the core of your sale.

  7. Play Golf (1 day)

    Okay, maybe you don't like golf. So go to the movies. Or go shopping. But it is very important to take a day off from the package and do something entirely different. This break gives you the perspective you need for the next step.

  8. Review, Edit, Rewrite (2 days)

    Your day away from the package makes proofing and editing easier. You've had the opportunity to step away from what you've been so close to for almost 3 weeks, and now you'll see it differently.

    After you've done your own proofing/editing, give your copy to a few other people and ask them to identify any CUB spots – places where the copy is Confusing, Unbelievable, or Boring. Once those spots are identified, fix them.

  9. Work with the Graphic Designer (2 days)

    Great graphic design cannot help poor copywriting. But poor design can kill great copywriting. Sometime during this entire process, work with the graphic designer to prevent that from happening. Ultimately, it's up to the client to schedule this, but the sooner the better for you.

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Published: October 15, 2007

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