3 Steps To Use The Overton Window When Writing Copy

3 Steps To Use The Overton Window When Writing Copy

November 10, 2020

(Warning) If you continue reading, you’ll read sentences like…”Letting toddlers freely buy and use LSD at your local mall.” …I promise it’ll make more sense in context…

In the picture below, you’ll see Treviño’s degrees of acceptance… PLUS the Overton Window (OW), which Wikipedia defines as: The range of policies that are politically acceptable to the mainstream population at a given time:

So, in the middle of the OW, you’ve got “Policy.”

Then, the conversations can move in either direction toward “More Freedom” or “Less Freedom”

With the ideas getting wilder and wilder as you move away from the center…

As you can see, this spectrum is usually used in the context of political ideas…

But I think it can be useful when writing copy too…

First, let me show you how the OW works…

Let’s take the topic of DRUGS in the USA as an example…

So, a drug Policy might be the idea that: Kids should not do drugs…

This is accepted both socially and in government law.

Then as you move toward More Freedom…

Something that would be considered “Popular” might be: The idea to legalize marijuana…

Decriminalizing weed is generally accepted socially and many state governments have done this already.

So as the ideas keep getting more away from the mainstream…

You’ll start to head in the direction of “Unthinkable…”

Which—toward More Freedom—might look something like: Letting toddlers freely buy and use LSD at your local mall…

Or in the other direction—toward Less Freedom—

Might look something like: Armed government agents visiting your home to force-feed you daily sedatives, which they call “Happy Pills.”

And you might also notice that the OW tends to change…

One idea could be completely rejected in a specific country or period of time…

While the very same idea becomes widely accepted in a different context… (cough, cough, 2020… cough)

So what does this have to do with writing copy and making you big bucks?

I think the OW has a lot to do with persuasion too…

Most offers in direct response have something to do with “sharing secrets…”

Which if I were to place on the OW would be somewhere around “Sensible” or “Acceptable.”

And I’m now playing around with a new mental model that uses the OW in 3-steps:

  • Step 1: Use a “Radical” (but still relevant) idea to grab people’s attention.
  • Step 2: Use a “Policy” or “Popular” idea as a metaphor/anchor to sell your…
  • Step 3: …Product or service that is positioned as a new “Sensible” or “Acceptable” way of doing things

Reasons being…

Use Step 1 because people usually pay attention to crazy stuff…

Use Steps 2 & 3 because you will want to communicate your value in terms that people can easily understand & relate to.

And of course, a solid Call To Action (CTA) as a bonus Step 4. 

As a condensed example, let’s say you’ve got an online course that teaches people to sell products on Amazon…
 
– Step 1 (radical): “There’s an army of people across the world that want to make you rich. They are waiting for your orders to start working for free… Sound crazy? Let me explain…
 
– Step 2 (policy/popular/mainstream): “Everyone knows that tens of millions of people across the world use Amazon to make purchases every day. Billions of dollars flow through their commerce platform at the click of a button…”
 
– Step 3 (sensible/acceptable): “…What most don’t know is that everyday people are actually selling their own products on Amazon to make an extra (or even, full-time) income! And Amazon even pays for the delivery! So you’ve got an “army” of mail-people ready to deliver your products for free… Let me show you how this works…”
 
So there it is… the OW in copy… use it.
 
 

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern

decentralized economy

Write Words That Sell Big: Copywriting And Marketing In The 2020 Crisis And Beyond

Write Words That Sell Big: Copywriting And Marketing In The 2020 Crisis And Beyond

May 21, 2020

Everyone knows that the world has changed…

But most people think that this change started happening in March 2020.

When the entire planet started shutting down, businesses scrambled to reach their customer-base remotely…

And some people had to adjust to working (and selling) from home for the first time.

Many business owners have pivoted to online strategies as a temporary survival mechanism…

Like a failed Las Vegas circus performer, they’ve started setting up their own big tent out of necessity…

While secretly hoping they’ll make it back to the big city…

They think: “If we can just hold on, we’ll be good when things return to normal…”

This is dangerous thinking…

Because I’m here to tell you:

“Normal” will never re-emerge the same way again…

This is because the biggest exodus in human history already started 25 years ago:

The move to an online world.

Don’t agree?

Ask Jeff Bezos of Amazon what his predictions were in the mid 90s…

And ask him how he’s doing right about now.

Face-to-face interaction will always be important…

But when it comes to marketing and selling in 2020 and beyond…

Ignoring the reach and scale of the internet is an easy way to miss huge opportunities and get left behind…

The difference between success & failure in this new world will come down to having one thing:

A real online marketing system.

Building this asset is much more than an insurance policy against stay-at-home orders…

The ability to get people excited enough to take action on your offers online will likely continue to be the single most important skill in the coming decades…

Imagine having a small army of salespeople that will work for free and never sleep…

Imagine consistently welcoming new, pre-sold customers from anywhere in the world…

24 hours a day. 7 days a week. 365 days a year.

That’s what a semi-automated digital marketing system can give you.

Even before the 2020 crisis, many were ahead of the curve:

>>> For every single-location restaurant owner…

There is a delivery-only “cloud” restaurateur who leverages mobile apps to feed patrons across the country…

>>> For every traveling sales coach who trades their time for money…

There is a sales consultant who gets recurring revenue by providing access to their virtual group coaching calls to reach clients worldwide…

>>> For every professor who teaches marketing theory classes in-person…

There’s a real-world marketing pro who’s built an online video course with up-to-date actionable content for a fraction of university tuition prices…

You get the point…

Building this system is about linking every new tool at your disposal:

  • Emails
  • Webinars
  • High-Converting Landing Pages
  • Social Media
  • Messenger Apps
  • Video Content
  • Sales Letters
  • Etc.

But these tools won’t mean much without persuasive messaging — or copy — that turns simple web traffic into raving clients…

You need to know your the psychology of your ideal client, inside and out…

You need to speak to their emotions. Their dreams. Their fears.

Knowing your market intimately starts with asking the right questions…

That’s why I put together a free video training…

It highlights the 14 copywriting questions you MUST ask yourself before positioning + marketing your business online…

For instant access to part 1, just click the link below:

Click Here For Instant Access <

Change is here… and it’s not waiting any longer.

Photo by Ross Findon on Unsplash

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern

Sell More Stuff with the “So That” Rule: One Big Idea from Copywriter, Gary Halbert

Sell More Stuff with the “So That” Rule: One Big Idea from Copywriter, Gary Halbert

March 2, 2020

On Roland Frasier’s podcast, Business Lunch, he recently interviewed copywriter Craig Clemens, founder of the direct-to-consumer marketing agency, Golden Hippo.

I’ve picked up a lot of gems from both Roland’s and Craig’s content about marketing and copywriting, but there’s one tactic that Roland mentioned in this interview that has stuck with me.

He talked about receiving an insider tip from the late copywriting legend, Gary Halbert.

I took the liberty of giving it an unofficial name:

The “So That” Rule

The “so that” rule is the magical formula that unites the features and benefits of your product/service in their never ending stand-off.

You may have heard people say: “Highlight the benefits, not the features” — I know I’ve probably heard that advice from 20+ different sources when it comes to selling/marketing.

For example: You may be excited about your new invention, the latest and greatest lawnmower, because it comes with a GPS and self-contained navigation automation system…

But until you communicate that this navigation system actually means that the lawnmower drives itself (the feature) so that your customer can relax while drinking an ice cold lemonade in his lawn chair on a hot July afternoon instead of the back-breaking work of doing it himself (the benefit)…

Until you do that, it will be harder to sell.

The “so that” rule allows you to show your prospective client exactly how their life stands to improve by allowing them to partially experience the emotional benefits of your product or service in advance.

So, next time you’re selling, consider weaving this idea into your pitch SO THAT you can sell more stuff and, ultimately, become totally free, insanely rich, and devastatingly more attractive!*

*There is no guarantee that any of this will happen to you but I can guarantee that I’m rooting for you.

Listen to the episode here: https://businesslunchpodcast.com/this-is-your-seat-at-the-table-with-craig-clemens-and-roland-frasier/

© 2020 – Michael J. McGovern