[Quiz] Okay, So What’s Your NEXT Step?

exlim-6-09-105

Saturday, 8:42pm
Reno, NV
“Look Dave, I can see you’re really upset about this. I honestly think you ought to sit down calmly, take a stress pill, and think things over. (HAL to astronaut Dave in “2001”)

Howdy…

Okay, let’s do a quickie quiz, what d’ya say?

It’s Saturday evening, after all… and I just got my ass whupped by Michele at Scrabble (her first win, ever, in 10 years of trying) (and I don’t expect to ever hear the last of it anytime soon).

(What’s the time limit on doing the “Ass Whup” dance, mocking your partner, anyway?)

So, to keep my mind off the misery of such a wrenching loss (she accidentally used all 7 letters in her third turn, and that bonus 50 points is what beat me), I’m hiding in my office.

I’ve got maybe 10 minutes before I have to come out and face more taunting and jublilation.

Thus, a quick blog post.  (“Get out of here!  I gotta work…”)

I’m giving a prize away, of course.

Let’s se… how about a fresh copy of “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets of a Marketing Rebel” to the first right answer.

I’ve got a nice new one burning a hole on the shelf across from my desk.  It’s got your name on it, Mr/Ms Winner.  I’ll sign it, and have Diane ship it out asap.

Sound good?

Okay.  Here’s the quiz:

The most common question I get from entrepreneurs who are stuck on some part of their marketing…

… is “what do I do next?

Let’s break it down a bit first:  In the general flow of things, online, you generate leads either from pay-per-click or some mutual affiliate-back-scratching or cool social media blitzing…

… and then you bring those hot, nubile leads to the gateway of your world (which is usually a name-capture page, if you’re looking to build your list)…

… and you proceed to entice them with your evil skills of grabbing attention, and luring them hither…

… into whatever manner you choose to begin your sales process.

The basic structure of this “Hey, c’mere, I wanna show you something” approach hasn’t changed since Web marketing began in earnest.

It’s the part after the basics that get people all hung up and bothered.

Your options within this basic structure, it turns out, are numerous.  Couple of examples:  Straight-on sales page, free offer to dig deeper into your pile of wonder, trial membership…

… you have some choices to make to encourage further engagement with what you offer.

Still, it ain’t rocket science, folks.

If you have a product that your average warm-to-hot prospect should or does want…

… then your main job is to make the process of discovering who you are and what you offer…

… as easy and comfortable as possible.

Yes, there are a few proven steps to go through to ensure the highest possible probability of success (see: Simple Writing System)…

… but the main thing is this: There is no mystery to the “menu” of steps you need to take.

There are choices, sure.

And you gotta make some decisions.

For experienced marketers, this decision-making process is easy, however.

For rookies and entrepreneurs struggling with moving into the Big Leagues… not so much.

So here’s the Big Damn Question for today’s quiz:

What is your first — and only logical, reasonable, righteous and suggested — step to take when presented with a choice of what to do next?

When you’re looking at your pay-per-click campaign, wondering which path to take in cutting up bait for your target market… what do you do?

When you’re crafting a hook for your name-squeeze page, trying to corral as many visitors as possible and build your list to ungodly size… what do you do?

When you’re greasing up your “sales slide” on your main site, looking to bring in the maximum amount of moolah possible with a fast, direct sale… what do you do?

Well?

This is “one answer fits all”.

It is, in fact, a single word.  (Oh, I’m giving it away, aren’t I…)

This is, essentially, the most common question I run into… whether I’m doing bonus “question and answer” teleseminars with new subscribers, or cashing those huge consulting checks that folks pay me for a private hour.

And I sound like a freakin’ broken record answering it.

What do you do?

There IS a single, fabulous answer.

Do you know what it is?

Be the first to nail it in the comments section, and you win that signed copy of “Kick-Ass Copywriting Secrets”.

Okay… go.

Answer (and winner announced) first thing Monday.

Good luck.

Stay frosty,

John

Leave a Comment:

269 comments
Allen "Big Al" Wagner says June 27, 2009

Headline.

Reply
K says June 27, 2009

Something.
Anything.

Do something and see how it works. Dig?

Reply
    John Carlton says June 27, 2009

    I like your thinking, K…
    … but no.
    Not the answer.
    C’mon, folks. This should be obvious…

    Reply
Twitter says June 27, 2009

TEST.

Reply
    Twitter says June 30, 2009

    Yes, I am the WINNER.

    Check me out on Twitter @JonathanDune
    and @TWOCOMMACOPY.

    How did I answer so fast you ask?

    John posted the message also to his Twitter account @johncarlton007 . I just happened to be working for two clients doing some TESTING on Twitter when I came across John’s message about this Quiz #5. If you’re not on Twitter, keep reading and you can get in too.

    I quickly, well, as quick as click the link in John’s Tweet (as it’s called) and was here instantly.

    The question John asked for a specific word that summed up ‘What to do next…”. In my experience(now over 35 years writing in direct response), ALL of my clients have this problem. Great thing for me though, my mantra is TEST, TEST, and TEST some more. If all else fails, TEST it again.

    But all testing aside, if you fail to make your writing measurable, you CANNOT validate your TEST. So code each TEST so that when it proves to be a winner by your set standards, you can reproduce that effect over and over again until it burns out.

    Don’t look for me on the internet, cause most of clients find me through other clients, often direct competitors. Yea, I can hear you saying to yourself, “From direct competitors? This guys blowing smoke up my…” To make a very long copy story shortened for those of you who believe short copy outsells long, it’s true.

    Because of the unique nature that’s YOU, YOUR idea, YOUR product, and YOUR service, YOU ARE UNIQUE. You just have to put that into your writing, your sales letter.

    So, thank you John for your prize. And for all of you rookies, newbies, and all of you who took the opportunity to throw your hat and comments into the fray, BRAVO! And as I say to those on Twitter: U ROCK!

    Cheers!
    Jonathan Dune
    [San Diego CA USA & Sydney NSW Australia]

    P.S. Check me out on Twitter @JonathanDune
    and @TWOCOMMACOPY. And make sure you follow John @johncarlton007. Hey John, U SUPER ROCK!!!

    P.P.S. Not on Twitter Yet? Go here now and sign-up! http://www.twitter.com/

    Reply
K says June 27, 2009

Well if it’s obvious, I’d go with test.
However you get ’em to pay attention, test and see what works best. Keep testing to see what works better.

Yeah?

Reply
    K says June 27, 2009

    bummer. quick draw got it while I’m here considering. Well done sir

    Reply
ari says June 27, 2009

test

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Josh says June 27, 2009

Great post John as this is exactly the battle I’m fighting right now with my boss about trying something new since what they’ve been doing doesn’t work. Only one way to find out what will work.
My best,
-Josh

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John Thomas says June 27, 2009

I have to go with test, as well.

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Lee says June 27, 2009

Test seems the best answer to me too.

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    John Carlton says June 27, 2009

    Seems to be a theme running in the answers now…

    … but are you sure you’re right?

    Reply
arun says June 27, 2009

offer

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Hadds says June 27, 2009

Research.

Find out what your market is and what it wants.

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Joe says June 27, 2009

Follow-up

in my case, with a personal phone call, since I have now made phone number a required field.
Follow-up, personally.

Hey, Its my birthday June 28, i’d like a prize for my birthday. Is that possible?

Reply
Peter says June 27, 2009

Know your market inside out so whatever you tell them resonates with them and they know you understand them and their problems.

Regards
Peter

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Phil Duprey says June 27, 2009

Answer to tonight’s quiz:

Relate

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    John Carlton says June 27, 2009

    Definitely part of the sales process, but not the answer to the specific question tonight. Nice try, though, Phil.

    Reply
Andy says June 27, 2009

Research

I was going to say test. But but its taken. So here it is – research.

Reply
Joe says June 27, 2009

Second guess… Curiosity or intrigue…. Get them curious to learn more… Want more, crave more… Get the naughty tingles … 🙂

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Joe says June 27, 2009

Last Guess, since I’m going for the Gold…

Reassurance-
Congratulate them on the wise decision going down this path, acknowledge them for being so smart…
and make them feel good about this, and doing EVEN MORE!!!

I’m putting in a good effort, don’t you agree?

🙂

Reply
Farhad says June 27, 2009

“Survey”. Use surveymonkey to find out what people want in your selected niche, and give it to them.

That’s the essence of online marketing!

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David Sharpe says June 27, 2009

:sigh: just got the email notice about the quiz, and got beat to the draw!

The phrase “one answer fits all” gives it away–I can only think of one answer that fits all in this game: TEST.

Good job, guys.

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Ian says June 27, 2009

My answer is “Sell”.

Sell them on moving deeper into your rat maze.
Sell them a product.
Sell them on the fact they made a good purchase.
Etc…etc…

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    John Carlton says June 27, 2009

    This is a damn good answer, Ian…

    … alas, not the right one, though.

    Still, I like your thinking.

    Reply
Mikhail says June 27, 2009

?alculate the percentage of CONVERSION

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Raahul says June 27, 2009

“Ask” those who know what works, and use your own mind to determine if it will. Be open-minded, and try out things you’re not sure about.

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Gaj says June 27, 2009

Hi John,

Doing surveys if you have your own list .
If you they don’t have a list , do enough testing to find out some good converting offers in winning markets.

hope this makes sense.
-Gaj

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Mike Singer says June 27, 2009

Swipe.

Ethically, of course. I recently listened to a teleseminar with David Garfinkel re his brilliant Copywriting Templates, and you teach the same concepts in different words in your courses, John. Why reinvent the wheel when you can just model proven copy and tactics? Testing is good, but if you can swipe what’s worked before (for you or someone else), you can move into the testing phase faster, and you have a better chance of positive results (with less effort).

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Olive says June 27, 2009

Free

Reply
Pete Bass says June 27, 2009

Tweet,
You tweet because it is the fastest and cheapest way to get people to see what it is you have been doing. So tweet it to your list.

Reply
Geo. McCalip says June 27, 2009

FREE always gets their attention and helps build a relationship.

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Ruth Deutsch says June 27, 2009

My one word is STRATEGIZE.

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Faliq says June 27, 2009

I’ll go with :
Offers

Its the most logical, reasonable, righteous and suggested. Dont waste time on testing at this moment, just give that unresistable offers.

Reply
John W. Furst says June 27, 2009

Dear John,
Damn it, that I did not see this earlier. Re-reading your question, “… step to take when presented with a choice of what to do next?”

“TEST” seams to be the most obvious answer, maybe I can qualify for the prize with some clever variations: “split-test,” “optimize”; The goal is to “convert” as many as possible.

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Rhen says June 27, 2009

Empathy.

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Geraldine says June 27, 2009

decide
you have to make a decision on what action you now make, then make another and another.
Sort of one step at a time, if one way doesn’t work make another decision.

Reply
    John Carlton says June 27, 2009

    Good guess, Geraldine.
    Wrong, but a good try.
    Thanks for joining the fray.

    Reply
Trevor John says June 27, 2009

“REPEAT”

When you need to know what to do next…just keep on repeating the basics…

Reply
Karen says June 27, 2009

Ha! Go Michele you good thing! I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall of the “Ass Whup” dance floor!

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Yoav says June 28, 2009

Hey John,

I’d ASK my leads. I’d call several of them up and ask what I can give/say/write that’ll blow their mind.

And then I’ll say it to them in the adwords ad. on the landing page and in the autoresponder sequence.

Reply
Teresa Blaes says June 28, 2009

up sale. They’ve already shown themselves to be in a buying mood capitalise on it offer them more After this, then you can test to see how well said offer is working

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Simon says June 28, 2009

Give

can be phrased as adding value, share, give the gold. The more value you give the greater the results every time. Sure you can test and experiment but above all the clever scheming the best relationships come when you give so much value that you become priceless

Just look at how much frosty gives us all the time

Reply
Geraldine says June 28, 2009

promote, promote, promote

Reply
Steve Ovens says June 28, 2009

My answer:
ACT!

You gotta do something – heck, do ANYTHING. See how that works (test it) and then do something else to improve.
Taking action to get your offer in front of prospective customers forces you to get unstuck with whatever you’re stuck on and will get you a result. (Might not be the result you hope for, but at least you’ll know if you’re on the right track or not)!

Cheers

Steve

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Karin says June 28, 2009

Ok since lots of folks have said test which was my first choice i’ll go with Give

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Linden says June 28, 2009

Sleep

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Joe says June 28, 2009

So, you got me awake… How about “deliver”.
If they opted in, you want to demonstrate high value, by delivering big.

Deliver the goodies.

Reply
Veit Mehler says June 28, 2009

A Good Day from Australia!

Hi John,

the answer is Close. Close the deal.

Reply
Joe says June 28, 2009

Get a red hot branding iron, bend them over, and brand them in the ass. For real.

REAL branding!

Reply
Toni says June 28, 2009

Just SELL the thing!

Reply
barbara says June 28, 2009

Checklist

Reply
Teresa Blaes says June 28, 2009

this one’s for all the gold, because you have me salivating over that freaking course but then that’s what you do best isn’t it. Oh well, here goes
ask as in ask them for a testimonial then use scial proof to givve credability to your productyou can

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barbara says June 28, 2009

Checklist

– resubmitting as I gave you the wrong email

Reply
barbara says June 28, 2009

fundamentals, basics, checklist

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Scott Harvey says June 28, 2009

I was going to say “something” or “anything” as well (being a long-time paralysis-by-analysis kind of guy myself), but I do think the answer is “ask” (your customer/market).

Scott

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Lee says June 28, 2009

“Split-test”, which is better than “test”. ‘Cept, that’s two words (unless it becomes one by virtue of the hyphen).

Reply
Arman Vakili says June 28, 2009

I’d say… Serve.

That should be the mentality behind every piece of marketing that you write and the actions that you take in your business.

Verdict please.

Reply
Michael Schofield says June 28, 2009

Test

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Mike the Thai guy says June 28, 2009

Hi John,
the answer is research. Understand what your markets buttons are and how to press them …and then…well you just press ’em.!

cheers,

Mike

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Mike the Thai guy says June 28, 2009

Me again,
there’s also stuff like your USP but you can’t do that until you understand your market so I’m sticking with research…again !!!

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Ron "The Juice" says June 28, 2009

Bribe! … or incentivize. Either that or influence in some way, but hmm, the best way I know to influence is bribe.

BTW, nice meeting you in Vegas.

Ron

Reply
David Kartuzinski says June 28, 2009

The one “word” to rule them all is – “TEST”.
-DK

Reply
    David Kartuzinski says June 28, 2009

    I hadn’t read all the comments, there are like a million “test” answers. It still seems to be the one “word” to “rule them all. Shucks. Where was I when the email hit…
    -DK

    Reply
Craig T says June 28, 2009

OK John
If it hasn’t been said yet, and it should have been, the singe word should be – Action!
CT

Reply
Michael Blaes says June 28, 2009

I think someone may have already said this but I think the answer is action

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James says June 28, 2009

Hmmm…funny…

I’m playing mental tabletennis between what I think – and what I think you think…

…OK.

“copy” is my answer.

I mean – in the examples you gave John, in kinda all starts with getting something written.

I know that a lot of my early money-repulsing activities were killed by following some simple advice:

Just Start Writing.

So:

**COPY**

J.

Reply
Chu Donald Obii says June 28, 2009

Make an Irresistable “OFFER”! I believe the “offer”is the next best thing to do.

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Peter says June 28, 2009

John
My answer is TEST your market

Reply
Wayne Pratt says June 28, 2009

Action,
You need to take action.
WP.

Reply
Zach says June 28, 2009

Give

as in “give something away”

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    Ron "The Juice" says June 29, 2009

    This is a basic repeat of my “Bribe” answer.

    Reply
Dave says June 28, 2009

PLAN

I wrote a post about this on my new blog

Reply
    Dave says June 28, 2009

    “A fool with a plan can outsmart a genius with no plan.” T.Boone Pickens

    Reply
Eric Rosen says June 28, 2009

Find the HOOK.

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Ola says June 28, 2009

USP or Hook.

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Jac says June 28, 2009

NICHE

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Christoffer says June 28, 2009

Question yourself with: WHO are you writing for?

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Chris says June 28, 2009

Value

I think it’s always about offering enough value to keep them interested – I know it’s not typical ‘affiliate thinking’ but I do think it’s what makes successful affiliate (and of course other sites). They need to win out of the process too – when your prospect is winning, they’ll help you win (if you let them).

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David Norden Secret Marketing Links says June 28, 2009

Imagine and create a perfect prospect, give the benefits more than features of your product.

Focus on what will bring you the most beneficts, and forget all the hype than is coming towards you.

Discover the tools you need to implement your core strategy and lrearn to use them.

Action. Do something is better than learning alone.

David

Reply
Cyndi says June 28, 2009

T-E-S-T
(Just logged on and see I wasn’t first with this, but wanted to add my voice to baying pack).

Reply
    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Ah, the baying pack, God love ’em. I’m proud to be a member.
    Some smart dogs in this pack, Cyndi. Thanks for writing… even though, you know…

    Reply
seano says June 28, 2009

target your market and choose your keywords to match, test competitor sites keywords and use them and more, define the keyword match to your product or offering and use your adcopy to do the rest, ok you can also affiliate with other sites for commission offerings generally google will do the job of bringing customers to your site just by defining your keyword search specifically and maybe some more. this is what i do and it works for me.

sean

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Elsa says June 28, 2009

TEST

(written without looking)

though I’m sure it’s somewhere above

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Jason says June 28, 2009

Test.
(you are already acting by crafting your hook and greasing up your sales slide.)
Definitely, confidently… TEST!

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Joe says June 28, 2009

I never wanted to be original anyway – just right. So I’ll join the crowd.

TEST

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Tom says June 28, 2009

Swipe!

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    Tom says June 28, 2009

    I just noticed someone already said Swipe… So my answer is…

    Empathize

    You tell them you know how they feel and that you’re just like them.

    Reply
Jonathan says June 28, 2009

“BUILD” credibility, likeability, anticipation and reciprocity. Could be through additional social proof, high value content, steps in the solution process or teasers about a solution soon to roll out.

Slow burn the build and people will begin begging for the sale when the time comes.

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Alex says June 28, 2009

Is the answer “decide” John?

Alex

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Bruce says June 28, 2009

Test.

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Shaun says June 28, 2009

perusuade

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mischa says June 28, 2009

copy what’s already been proven to work.

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Greg Johansson says June 28, 2009

Hi John, my response would be, a very convincing list of …’Testimonials’. (One word 🙂 You have done all the hard work of pulling them in, kept them reading, sold them on the result, this really adds that final touch of credibility.
I really enjoyed meeting you in Brisbane…awesome presentation, I hope you will continue teaching long enough, so I can learn half what you know!

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Lamide says June 28, 2009

Copy/ salespage

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Janice says June 28, 2009

Write !
🙂

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Rick says June 28, 2009

Write!

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Rick says June 28, 2009

Go!

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Allan says June 28, 2009

RELAX

Much easier to make decisions when you are relaxed.

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Bill Sadick says June 28, 2009

-Test
-Simultaneous
-Action
Yes I know there are three words, but I didn’t want to loose the scrabble game.

Bill Sadick

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Paul Campbell says June 28, 2009

Hello John, guys.

My answer is you “ASK”. You ask your customers what they want. That becomes your great hook and headline. Then you “GIVE” them what they want.

Warmly

Paul Campbell
Scotland

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Marc V. says June 28, 2009

PROOF.

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Jeremy Reeves says June 28, 2009

I’m gonna say…RESEARCH

You def. have to research the market before doing ANYTHING!

It’s gotta be that….right?

Jeremy Reeves

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Steve Foste says June 28, 2009

I’ll go with “Trust”
Test has been the favorite.

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John Melanson says June 28, 2009

If it’s only one word, and I haven’t seen this listed I would say:

FOCUS

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Robert Reuter "Black Belt Bob" says June 28, 2009

USP = Unique Selling Proposition
Write = Compelling Offers, Just start writing
Irressitible Offer = add so much value
FREE = free trial, risk reversal
Action = you need to act on your thoughts
Test = split test everything
Persuasion = Win the trust to overcome barriers

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Jeff Smith says June 28, 2009

Segment

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Amy McFarland says June 28, 2009

“Information” to meet the needs of your optins

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Jeff Smith says June 28, 2009

Geez, I blew it. The word is THINK! As in — think like you are your customer and what it is that THEY need!

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    Jeff Smith says June 28, 2009

    Let me clarify that just a bit, not only think, but think BENEFITS, not features. In other words, determine how your product will effect your target market, not just what it does.

    Reply
Ron says June 28, 2009

Headline

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Rod says June 28, 2009

Start.

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jd says June 28, 2009

Answer to question:

Test

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Achu says June 28, 2009

Think!

Analyze

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anna says June 28, 2009

Lead. Become a leader and teacher. Give clear instructions, valuable info, be personable and people will follow.

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Jackie Mackay says June 28, 2009

TRUST

This underpins action, aim, deciding, love, inspiration, courage and more. It is what people seek to understand when they test. In a state of trust … it feels great…. heals aches and transmits through your eyes and voice and face and feel. Who knows ….there’s prolly a smell of trust like there’s a smell of fear… maybe it’s even the antithesis of fear.

TRUST

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Rich says June 28, 2009

Given the visual clue, I am going to go with

‘JUMP’

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    Rich says June 28, 2009

    To qualify that, as in ‘LEAP’ ie: leap into action, any action that start’s the process.

    In Stephen Kings book, ‘On Writing’ he talks about how often people say to him that they would love to write a book, but they just do not know where to start.

    He say’s, it’s no more complicated that this; Just sit down and start writing.

    Reply
Roxanne Green says June 28, 2009

ACTION – you must take action.

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ken says June 28, 2009

ENGAGE.

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Akihiro says June 28, 2009

PROMISE

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lawton chiles says June 28, 2009

listen

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    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Hi Lawton.
    The “pack” here has laying the correct answer all night long. There is wisdom in crowds.
    These other answers — even the one-word ones like you have here — are good, though. Everyone is thinking hard, outside the box when they can, and focusing on fundamental parts of being a Conscious Dude — able to consider a perplexing puzzle, and come up with brainstormed answers that may not be the exact right answer, but are good attempts anyway.
    So, nice try.
    But the right answer has been given, many, many times now.
    I’ll expand on it tomorrow.
    Thanks for writing, Lawton.

    Reply
Paul Talbot says June 28, 2009

Test

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carolz_place says June 28, 2009

TAKE ACTION!

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Peter says June 28, 2009

You must “FOCUS”.

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Akihiro says June 28, 2009

My second guess is CONVINCE.

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Miles says June 28, 2009

Since my first answer has already been said, which is “action”, my second answer would be “outsource”.

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Gail says June 28, 2009

Test would be my answer…. but the other word that kept coming to mind was “punt” 🙂

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    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Hi Gail. You’re cracking me up.
    Punting is definitely a tool in your Bag of Tricks… but not what you’d use here.
    Still, you’ve given an idea for a future post… thanks.

    Reply
Emette Massey says June 28, 2009

Greetings John,

As usual I’m chiming in on the tale end. But my answer is:

DELIVER . . .the goods you promised. Simply put do what you say you’re going to do. This sets you apart of most “newbie” marketers these days. Underpromise and over deliver keeps you heads above of everyone else.

Great contest by the way!

Peace,
Emette Massey

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Kat Caverly says June 28, 2009

There are THREE things to do next:

Test, test, test!

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Marjan says June 28, 2009

Ask the marketplace (visitors), find where the hot button is.

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Peter says June 28, 2009

Test

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bruce says June 28, 2009

copy

Using what proven, thus it’s already had much test and verify.

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janet says June 28, 2009

emotion – illiciting emotional response to a word, phrase or statement. Can be positive or negative.

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Jake Steingart says June 28, 2009

Sell

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Aaron says June 28, 2009

test

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Bruce says June 28, 2009

I’ve found you have to find a word that triggers a emotional response.
Take that which has a proven track record, test it, and adjust as necessary.
So…
copy, test, adjust

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Simon says June 28, 2009

Create

(this is a one word answer-all that covers everything whether it’s doing your research, writing your hooks, headlines, or copy, getting inside your prospects head & their internal dialogue, and crafting them that offer, compelling them to act.. or seeking out joint-ventures and the like to boost your ‘moolah’ as you put it)

If I was selling myself to a client, this is the only single word I’d use John, because very simply it’s the only thing that separates me from everyone else *uniquely*.. unless you’re going to get creative and rise above the crowd, how else are you going to go after (and get) what it is you seek – by satisfying what others want.. better than any other ‘also ran’?

It also happens to be the only word I don’t see listed above… and is my ‘creative’ answer to your question (seeing that I’ve only just logged in & picked up your email two minutes ago).

;o)

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Brendan says June 28, 2009

TESTING is the one and only reasonable thing to do.
Therefore when faced with a decision, pause then ACT.

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DB says June 28, 2009

Testing is for suckers – Think

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Steve Rodriguez says June 28, 2009

action

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Brian says June 28, 2009

Hey John,

How’s this for a generic answer?

SOMETHING!

I figure I have the right answer even if I’m wrong 🙂

Thanks dude,
Brian

Reply
    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Actually, Brian, you’ve discovered the true value of this kind of quiz: The right answer is almost always hinted at or given early… but the thinking (especially out of the box thinking) you do trying to sneak in around the “obvious” is GREAT MENTAL EXERCISE.
    So, yeah, I’m gonna count you as a “secondary” winner here. You weren’t first with the right answer, but you definitely nailed a deeper reason to participate.
    Good job.

    Reply
kelly says June 28, 2009

Write…write to them with a goal in mind. Close the sale, make the offer, give them a free gift, whatever it is…just write to them.

Reply
Kyle says June 28, 2009

You do what needs to be done.

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    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Nice try, Kyle.

    Reply
Shirley Bass says June 28, 2009

Keywords.

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Elly says June 28, 2009

Test

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Randal says June 28, 2009

Three words really…test, test, test. I figure that testing something three times is a great way to make a semi-clear picture very clear. How can you be sure of something you only test once?

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Mark Duin says June 28, 2009

Great posts, great points. Here’s my contribution…
“Action”
or
“Determine” then “Focus” then “Action”
Don’t get paralyzed, just turn on that magnificent brain, determine your next move, get focused on it, and get up off a that thing and take action! It’s about forward motion, even when it’s 2 steps forward and 1 step back, keep pushing forward! Determination always wins a prize!

This wisdom took me from a former street addict and a 9th grade drop out till age 27, to earning 6 figures in the corporate world hiring and managing people who have masters degrees. I figure it will work for Internet Marketing too! 🙂

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    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Hi Mark. Congrats on accomplishing so much, so soon in your life.
    Good thinking here, too. The accumulated wisdom just in this thread is pretty heavy and hard-core. Your mantra is a good one.
    Thanks for writing.

    Reply
Michael Sheward says June 28, 2009

Obviously you need to ACT, but the answer is
TEST
And I did not look at any of the previous comments before coming to this conclusion and scrolling down to submit my answer. Thanks for a Sunday morning brain stimulator.

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Frank Daley says June 28, 2009

My first thought is test but what exactly? (although to be fair the answer might present iself depending on the situation). But if it didn’t, then before testing I would get a bird’s eye view of the problem and analyze it Discover what it is that I should do next. Don’t go off half -cocked.

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Cody says June 28, 2009

What is Track?

Reply
Mary Nolan says June 28, 2009

Model
Find someone successful and DO what they did.
Persevere is good.
Focus
Wait.
M

Reply
Mary Nolan says June 28, 2009

Simplify,

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Michel Hage says June 28, 2009

Since time is of the essence first my answer, an explanation will follow suit.

Answer: Acknowledge

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John Carlton says June 28, 2009

Hi Ansub.
I cannot answer your main question for you — only you can do that.
However, I can offer you some encouragement, and a dose of reality.
First: Changing your life like this, exercising and doing in-depth study, is great. I did the exact same thing when I began my career (speed-reading my way through the library’s biz and sales and marketing and writing sections). Consider it “continuing adult education”, though, not a brief spurt. You’ll want to invest in your new habits of digging deep for the rest of your days.
Second: Often, our first goals we really go after are not the goals we end up with. It’s actually hard to set goals, because at first we don’t know what we really want. The over-arching reason to pursue any goal should be a better life, however you define it.
I think you’re over-reaching, as a rookie goal setter. Singing, weight loss… these are highly competitive fields, and you’ll need to spend some serious time in the trenches to succeed. Success will not be handed to you, no matter how much you “want” it. Only action on your part will get you anywhere.
Nail some easy goals first — ones you can achieve in a few weeks or months. Make your first dollar as a business owner. Get your first review, or gig, or whatever, as a singer. Move on from there, knocking off “doable” goals one by one.
I actually know some folks who are making a living as singers — not as performers (that game is mostly out of your hands, since other people decide whether you’re going to be the Next Big Thing or not), but as teachers. They have been at it for a long time, and are only making a modest living. The happier ones consider singing as a fulfilling hobby. (I do this with playing music. I have formed bands, written songs, had a blast… and not cared a whit about earning money at it, or getting recognized — I do it for fun. Very relaxing. Pro musicians starve in this country.)
Your Big Answer will not come easily to you, just because you ask. It’s like a long journey — you will not get there just by taking the first step… but if you take that first step, and keep taking small steps, you WILL get somewhere. If you never take the first step, you will get NOWHERE.
Good luck. Struggle and self-doubt are part of the process. We ALL go through it. It’s part of life. Be thankful your self-doubt has launched you on this journey, in fact.
You’ll get somewhere. Action always produces results. Maybe not the exact results you throught you’d get… but the universe does reward positive action.
Stay with it.

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Patricia says June 28, 2009

TEST!

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Elyse says June 28, 2009

Hi John,
Looking at the picture above the word “risk” came to mind, after reading the answer was revealed many times over, it has to be test.

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Scott McCollum says June 28, 2009

Accommodate

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Kim says June 28, 2009

“one answer fits all” = Action

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Brian says June 28, 2009

survey

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Michel Hage says June 28, 2009

As promised my explanation:

Put all synonyms of ‘Acknowledge’ in a certain order and it provides you with a logical step-by-step procedure to engage any kind of sale or call to action.

‘Acknowledge’

Step1.‘Admit’ – admit to struggles owned by your target group.

Step 2.‘Recognize’ – recognize their needs and obstacles to solve this problem.

Step3.‘Deny’ – deny the need to struggle.

Step4.‘Accept’ – accept responsibility for the answer.

Step7.‘Concede’ – concede one or more of your trade secrets.

Step5.‘Allow’ – allow them access to a ready-to-go kick start solution.

Step6.‘Grant’- grant access only if their willing to form a relationship.

Step8.‘Reply’ – reply with a sales offer.

Sorry, John for taking so much space with my explanation. But I wanted to give it my all.

You’re giving away a signed book!! So, you kinda brought it on yourself. LOL

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Jeff Smith says June 28, 2009

I am getting the feeling the answer to your main question is “test”. but the answer to this question: “What’s the time limit on doing the “Ass Whup” dance, mocking your partner, anyway?” Is NOT test because no further testing is needed and there are two correct answers. If you are the one doing the dancing — maybe once! If you are the one being danced at — eternity. Just try to appreciate the fact someone is dancing for you!

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David says June 28, 2009

Hi John,
TEST
Of course the only answer is already in the questions:
When you’re looking at your pay-per-click campaign, wondering which path to take in cutting up bait for your target market… what do you do?

When you’re crafting a hook for your name-squeeze page, trying to corral as many visitors as possible and build your list to ungodly size… what do you do?

When you’re greasing up your “sales slide” on your main site, looking to bring in the maximum amount of moolah possible with a fast, direct sale… what do you do?

Each of these questions has only one possible solution: testing changes for results.

Which path in PPC? Which ideas catch the most fish.

Which “hook” catches the most fish?

What grease gets people sliding the fastest to your close?

The ONLY way to find the answer to these questions is testing the words, copy or language whether it’s a headline, the copy itself, offer or close, you will never know the answer until you test for variations large or small.

Thanks for the “TEST” John. A synonym for quiz is what?

You’re sneaky Dude!

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Michel Hage says June 28, 2009

I forgot to say that the antonym of ‘Acknowledge’ – the word ‘Deny’- is needed to disrupt behavior.

If you want people to move to a new proposition. They first must be willing to leave their old one.

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Louis says June 28, 2009

Action
… everything begins with taking action.

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Michel Hage says June 28, 2009

Sorry people for messing up the numbering in the steps to take.

Shame on me for not checking before posting. Completely overlooked it.

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Scott McCollum says June 28, 2009

The one word is “Adapt”

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Kamau says June 28, 2009

Act.

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Al says June 28, 2009

Decide

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Jordan says June 28, 2009

Think: Do that till you turn purple; won’t help you grease the funnel. Think about testing.
Focus: Great, but focus on what? On testing.
Headline: A part of the testing process.
Leverage: Test which lever to use.
Offer or Pitch: Test which offer works better.
Strategy: Test your strategy.
Close: Close what?
Something or Anything: That’s too much like wasting time not knowing what your doing.
Followup: Test their response with a followup.
Relate: Test to see which lines they relate better with.
Curiosity or Intrigue: Test to see what makes them curios and intrigued.
Action: What action to take? Testing.
Give: Test to see which one you give is more effective.
Plan: A plan is great, but it should include serious testing.
Copy: Test your copy.
USP: Not really a part of the test. You gotta have a USP to present in your test.
Close The Deal: I won’t buy anything from you, too much like a car sales-man.
Deliver The Goods: Test delivery method returns the highest ROI.
Bribe: Test which bribe works better.
Empathize: Part of the research.
Persuade: Test which methods persuade better.
Research: Really comes before testing.

Well anyway, this could go on an on. TESTING is what you should be doing. Your landing pages, your ads, the images, the copy, the offers, the bribes, etc. Many of the above are part of the testing process, but in and of themselves are not the correct answer.

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bud says June 28, 2009

I test everyhting before I make up my mind. I let my costumers tell me the answer.

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Dave Kotecki says June 28, 2009

Hey John,
I’m gonna go with act.

Dave

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John says June 28, 2009

The answer has to do with the ” Unstable cliffs, keep clear” sign.

The answer: NEWS!

Put it in your headline!

Reply
Mike Singer says June 28, 2009

Very thought-provoking comments! I found Jordan’s comment above, relating every other possible answer to testing, particularly useful. My own answer (once I saw that “test” was already given), was “swipe”–in the sense that ethically modeling something that’s been proven to work before saves time. However, Jordan’s comment now provokes me to ask, “How do you know what to swipe?” Test!

The fact that testing is so easy (especially on the Web) was eye-opening to me when I first learned that’s how direct marketing works. Concepts like “controls” in copy were new to me, but made perfect sense.

Testing is seemingly the simplest yet most important thing ANY copywriter/marketer can do, and most folks never even consider it, instead thinking they need to build and rely on their own knowledge, skills, or external resources … amassing huge collections of unread books and courses. (I’m a poster child ….)

Thanks to this quiz, I just realized that the true value of embracing testing is that by definition it forces you/frees you to ACT NOW … because doing it wrong quickly and making a course correction is what testing is all about! The fact that you don’t have to get it right the first time (in fact, you probably won’t) is incredibly liberating.

I’d argue that “test” is more than an answer to the question of what to do next in any marketing situation. It’s the crucial MINDSET you need to adopt if you want to succeed as a marketer. This seems simple, but is revolutionary stuff for some of us. I think it’s the most important thing for beginners to learn, and the first thing that should be taught in internet marketing books and courses. Adopting a testing mindset wipes out fear and procrastination while simultaneously helping you find the most profitable path. This is huge. Thanks for the big epiphany, John!

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Earnst says June 28, 2009

Bikini

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Gary says June 28, 2009

Make it their decision to buy. “Empower” the buyer to take action.
Daniel Ariely says in his book “Irrationally Predictable” we already own it if we can easily visualize it as ours. The longer or easier the visualization is the more powerful the perceived ownership becomes. Let them own it and then empower them to take action.

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John OLeary says June 28, 2009

Write

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LawrenceTabak says June 28, 2009

sleep!

take a little nap to clear your head

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Hermann Hoerter says June 28, 2009

Bonus

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Earnst says June 28, 2009

Hypnotize

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Susie Nelson says June 28, 2009

I would say “test”
Of course, that assumes that you take “action.”

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Gary H. says June 28, 2009

Women. Get some pussy in your life

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Kevin DaSilva says June 28, 2009

Hey John,

Of course, making sure your always taking Action and Implementing what you learn is greatly important. As long you apply it… AS YOU LEARN IT!

BUT, most importantly, the one word WINNER for me is always to…

K.I.S.S (Keep It Simple Stupid)

Which is one of the most profound things I have ever learned from you John because I have to use it EVERY HOUR OF EVERYDAY…

Kindest Regards,
Kevin DaSilva

Reply
    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Hey Kevin.
    Yeah, KISS is a good motto to guide your movement, but it’s not a specific action.
    I, too, use it every day.

    Reply
Pegamoose says June 28, 2009

Sweeten!
sweeten the deal if they act now.

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john caples says June 28, 2009

freebase!

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Claude "da man"hopkins says June 28, 2009

opium worked good for me

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Peter says June 28, 2009

You have to “START” first, right?

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    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Re-read the question, Peter. It’s what to do next, after you’ve established your fundamentals… so you’ve already “started”, and gotten past that pesky part of taking the first step.
    Now what do you do?

    Reply
Toni says June 28, 2009

Storytelling

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Carlos Duran says June 28, 2009

Test.
~Carlos

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Darrel Hawes says June 28, 2009

PERSUADE!

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Ron says June 28, 2009

story

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Randall T says June 28, 2009

I can’t help myself…
I want to be just like Michele and use 7 letter words in my WINNING answer:

ACQUIRE, then RESPOND with a BONDING WELCOME.
FULFILL your PROMISE to PERFORM, PRODUCE and DELIVER.
PERFECT your opt-in and conversion rates through TESTING.
And above all, help them KICK-ASS and you will most definitely SUCCEED.

Thanks, John. This is fun! Great comments too…

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Nathan says June 28, 2009

Clearly a trick question, very clever John. You must FOLD under the pressure and DRINK yourself stupid. But I’m never sure which one to do 1st… Is that what you’re going to expand on in tomorrow’s post?

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    John Carlton says June 28, 2009

    Ha! Truly an insight to the minds of many marketers, Nathan. (Not you, I’m sure, though.)
    You’d be astonished — even frightened — to know how many of the big, respected dudes at the top of the game are just one binge away from destroying their lives and biz.
    I’m gonna post on this subject later on… the very human frailty of wanting to crawl back under the covers and get oblivious when things get tough.
    You must resist, however. Like Churchill, you can both drink yourself stupid every day AND be a mover/shaker on the world’s stage.
    But it’s not recommended…

    Reply
Geoff says June 28, 2009

Phone

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Greg Schmid says June 28, 2009

SURVEY! (Your inquirers)

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Roon says June 28, 2009

Ask

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lawton chiles says June 28, 2009

John, I assume it was Test then, but you never said who was right 🙂

I got in TotalAccessClub.com which is ALL about testing. I gotta tell ya, testing is the key b/c I can think that I’ve got a great offer, but the opt-ins just aren’t there-

So back to testing.

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JP Goodchild says June 28, 2009

I would say persevere

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Clay Franklin says June 28, 2009

test
everything is all set so just test against a control and then beat it and use it as a new control to test against.

Of course if you do not take “Action” nothing will happen.

Thanks for the fun contest John!

Reply
Manju Thirani says June 28, 2009

Howdy John,
Reassure.
That’s the word you are looking for !
Bingo.
You need to reassure your prospects at that time that you have the answer to their problems.

Reply
Earnst says June 28, 2009

Rinse and Repeat

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Mike says June 28, 2009

Hi John, at first I thought it was “sell”. Then I thought it was “intrigue” or “tease”. Then I thought it was “involve” as in: get them involved in your message. But now I think it’s “engage” – which, you do with your headline or opening statement. You must engage your reader. If not engage … then … it’s “qualify”. Show her that this message is for her and her alone – so “qualify” her for the message. As you can see, I don’t know what the one word is. I just wanted to get involved with your quiz. Thanks John, love your work.

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John Gilger says June 28, 2009

Sell!

Quit dithering and just sell the damn thing.

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Mike says June 28, 2009

On second thoughts, and after rereading your post, I think you’re asking “what do you do AFTER” you’ve grabbed your readers attention and more or less intrigued them in to wanting to know what you”re going to do about the problem or opportunity at hand? In this case, I would say the thing you do next is give them a fair smack of “proof” that you’re their man (or woman). Proof this this really IS for them.

So the word is: “proof” or in action terms “prove” buddy. You’ve go to “prove” you’re authentic and that what you’re saying is for real.

Thanks again John.

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Diane says June 28, 2009

Click here …

Ask for the sale.

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Hogni says June 28, 2009

It’s been said, that the only thing anyone can do wrong is to do nothing. When it comes down to it, it’s not so much the hours invested in any project (quality is better than quantity)

I heard this from Eben Pagan: 80% of the profits comes from 20% of the work (the 80-20 rule)

Get crackin’

Get involved in people’s lives, give them value.

I think it’s all been said on this site before. I wanted to toss in my 2 cents worth.

Keep on keeping on

Reply
Toni says June 28, 2009

The “Promise”

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Andreea says June 28, 2009

try

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Anthony says June 29, 2009

Test…yeah right! Test my ass.
Sell. Well yeah we do that.
But nowadays we copy.
1 word copy. c-o-p-y. Copy what already works and improve upon it!
Catchyalater!

Reply
James Schramko says June 29, 2009

FILTER

Reply
    John Carlton says June 29, 2009

    I missed this response earlier, James.
    What do you mean by “filter”?

    Reply
      James Schramko says June 29, 2009

      I mean when I face new opportunities (too many to act on) I have to run them through a filter (or matrix) to see where the best use of my energy lies.

      Reply
Jason Moffatt says June 29, 2009

Clearly the answer is “surf”.

“All I need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and I’m fine.” ~ Jeff Spicoli

You can’t really argue with that kind of wisdom right there.

Reply
    John Carlton says June 29, 2009

    And clearly Spicoli was, and continues to be, right.
    But, jeez JayMo, I gotta keep up appearances here. There IS a real marketing answer, you know…

    Reply
Jack Causevic says June 29, 2009

Hmmm… Who knows?

Ima throw’ in my two cents and say:
ROB

after optimizing your PPC campaigns, it’s pretty obvious that you’re trying to ROB your customers.

After making a lead gen page, it’s obvious that you’re trying to ROB your customers.

After all, ROB is the essence of internet marketing! Isn’t it?

Reply
    Jack Causevic says May 20, 2011

    Well, not quite. This is, of course, not according to ethical people such as myself. More like people like you, Frank and the rest of your little syndicate cult.

    All you guys are good for: scamming, robbing, etc.

    Reply
Chris in Prague says June 29, 2009

I’m going to go with what I always tell my students they should do before making any important action: research!

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RK Castillo says June 29, 2009

I’m gonna go with the word: Wait

You can wait to see your conversions, what your tests show, wait til you get your copy of Kick Ass Copy Secrets and then do what it says. It works for everything!

Reply
Romeo Blais says June 29, 2009

Persistance

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Chris says June 29, 2009

“Anything”

Do what ever works for you, 80/20, what got you here, get off your butt and do SOMETHING..

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Gary I Write Good Copy! says June 29, 2009

To coin a phrase from the movie “Blade Runner”

“This is a TEST designed to provoke an emotional response!”

I kinda have to go with “test”. (Hmmmm…. synonymous with ‘quiz’ actually)

Thanks John for a good read and a thought provoking question.

Cheers
Gary

Reply
Toni says June 29, 2009

Have a “conversation”

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Terry says June 29, 2009

TEST!!!!

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Jack says June 29, 2009

Quit!

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Marvin says June 29, 2009

Survey

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Kevin DaSilva says June 29, 2009

Whats up John,

Dude I am going nuts here cuz I want that signed copy bad (Great Tactic)…

Alright how about…

“BRAINSTORM”

Write down whatever comes to mind OVER & OVER AGAIN… And then Again!

Avatar! Get into the mind of the prospect and tell a “Story” that will “Relate” to them…

After that I would say…
Everything, Anything, Something…
Organize!
Write! As much as you can!
Strategize!

P.S. This contest is making want to BUY a “signed copy”… GREAT TACTIC!

Reply
Kevin DaSilva says June 29, 2009

Hows about…

Marketing!
No Matter What you have to “Market” whatever it is you have and get the word out about…

Who You Are? What You Have? Why They Should Listen To You? And What They Should Do Next?

“Advertise” You need to run ads to bring them into to your funnel so they can get to your “sales slide”…

“Salesmanship”… Sell what you have with your “storytelling” and “persuading” your prospect to “take the action” you want them to take…

a.k.a Buy Your Stuff!

Reply
Don't be fooled says June 29, 2009

Warning: This is a scam!

“John Carlton’s Infamous “Indirection” Technique
he uses to get FREE leads”!

Want to be fooled? Want to get suckered?

If so, put an answer on this blog thinking you’ll get a FREE copy of whatever.

Why? Easy. So Johnny boy can secretly capture your name and e-mail and sell you a product that will stuff his pockets with green.

Reply
    Rich says June 29, 2009

    Yes, but it can also be used by cowards who hide behind their anonymity to take potshots at people who they are envious of.

    So you see, you get a free platform to spout your nonsense!

    Did I win a prize?

    😉

    Reply
      Nathan says June 29, 2009

      I didn’t know he liked to be called Johny boy. You learn something new each day. Maybe it’s just the booze talkin’ John (I jsut landed a big job!) , but I learn a lot from you and I’m grateful for this blog and the effort you put into it. Any leads you get from this are not free. They’re paid for by your sweat and your generosity. Thank for your help, Nathan.

      Reply
      Rich wanna be says June 29, 2009

      Rich, you’re not the brightest, are ya?

      That post was suppose to be a joke. Get a life.
      Yeah, like anyone is gonna believe this is John’s ultimate plan. Idiot.
      Envious? It should be you envious of me. Fool.

      Reply
    Marvin says June 29, 2009

    If you really were concerned about people not getting “fooled” or “suckered” by similar media as this, you should have signed your real name and offered a better alternative (In which case if you’re in “the same business” you would have gotten the “free leads” instead of “Johnny Boy” [funny how your accusation can turn against you in that perspective]).

    Otherwise, you’ll just come across as a Class A “A-hole” who’s trying to muddle up an otherwise healthy brainstorming activity.

    Go take your crappidoo some place else where you can flush it.

    **I’d still go for “SURVEY”. 🙂

    Reply
      Marvin the moron says June 29, 2009

      WoW! Another dumbs$%#!

      In Reality, why would I even be concerned about people being “suckered by John? DUH!
      People know John better than that.

      Hey greaseball, go eat your mama mia’s crappidoo canoli.

      Reply
        Marvin says June 29, 2009

        ‘Rich wanna be’, ‘get a life’, idiot, fool, ‘Marvin the moron’, dumbs$%#, greaseball, ‘mama mia’s crappidoo canoli’…

        Heck of a vocabulary there! 🙂

        You sure you even should be following this blog?

        Pitiful, pitiful… (Sorry John…)

        Reply
        Marvin the moron says June 29, 2009

        Talk about making a moron out of yourself, Marvin.

        That’s the same VOCAB you use in writing effective copy.
        You really are gonna need John’s help!!!!

        still smiling Marvin the martian?

        Reply
        John Carlton says June 29, 2009

        Hey!
        Play nice, guys.
        Don’t make me come over there.
        Note: I’ve never, since starting this blog in December of ’04, deleted a non-spam comment. And some of you guys can get downright insulting.
        But as long as you’re not violating basic social rules (in other words, not saying anything that would start a fight in a bar), then you’re fine.
        The folks reading this blog — an international crowd covering the globe — are grown-ups, and can figure out who’s the jerk and who’s the good guy.
        Real-world dialog is messy.
        Thick skin required.
        Still, though, don’t hide behind the anonymity of fake names if you’re gonna vent. Okay?
        Okay.

        Reply
J says June 29, 2009

I will say provide/ give a solution:)

Reply
Jan says June 29, 2009

Coaching

Reply
Earnst says June 29, 2009

on 26 Jun 2009 at 8:16 pm

Is it too late to guess? I say……

TEST

I hope I got it.

Reply
Failure. Just Do It. says June 29, 2009

[…] Carlton had an interesting quiz that got a bit of attention over the weekend. Really it was a little ‘test’. Of coure in […]

Reply
Sridhar says June 30, 2009

Google Quiz

Reply
Jaky Astik says July 1, 2009

Just do it!

Reply
Anastacia Hauldridge says July 14, 2009

Take Action! Do it now!

Reply
Will Stirrup says July 15, 2009

I didn’t read the previous 218 entries, so I don’t know if someone has already said it, but I’m guessing the word is “BENEFITS”.

Obviously sell the benefits. the biggest first – that’s your headline…

So you need to understand your product or service and think like a customer to know which benefit is the most important.

Get that in first and you’re half-way there.

Regards

Will Stirrup

Reply
Bruce says June 10, 2012

Test and/or track

Reply
Bob Dewey says July 7, 2013

Re read everything in the instruction manual and complete each task until you complete it successfully

Reply
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