No matter if you’re devastated by the pandemic, or you’re making money hand over fist (which some businesses ARE) it’s critical you know how to sell during turbulent times.
And one thing you’ll notice during a crisis…
All those so-called wacko fanatics who are living off the grid in a sod house, or stockpiling 10 years’ worth of beans, or digging a 5-story bunker underground…
… They don’t seem quite so crazy after all.
So let’s check out a few successful marketing examples from the past and see how they cracked the crisis code.
And take heart, because we’ve all been through plenty of crises in the past… and survived!
Like during the out-of-control inflation back in the 70s… the recession in the early 80s…
… Black Monday… 9/11… Hurricane Katrina… the Great Recession of 2008… and many smaller, not-so-noticeable calamities, tragedies, and misadventures.
Yes, COVID-19 is worse than all of them, but the “templates” for marketing during the above disasters give us plenty to go on and show us how to communicate with our target audience.
Here’s a look at some of the hot “crisis” marketing that’ll give you a handle on how to proceed.
Food Crisis? Solve It Here…
One thing you need to address right off the bat is something people usually think when you’re selling during bad times.
It’s what the writer of this 80-page sales letter did in the bottom right corner (the author is the legendary Brian Keith Voiles) where he gives a kind of disclaimer.
Here’s what it says in that little grey box in the corner:
Dear Fellow Patriot,
I hate to be the bearer of bad news… and those who know me will know I’m the LAST person on the planet who wants to be labeled a “fear monger” … but, damn it – the facts pointing to an impending disaster (continued on page 2)…
It’s just a little FYI that the author is NOT a ghoulish ambulance chaser, which is frequently one of the first things that goes through the reader’s mind.
So you just give this little disclaimer and continue on with the copy.
BTW, this sales letter was delivered by mail, and the envelope is also worth noting.
Because even if you’re an internet-only type of entrepreneur, the hard-hitting teaser copy can also be powerful in email or online sales letters.
Another note… products like this, with a $500 price point, are selling like crazy at the moment.
As are the survivalist niches selling freeze-dried foods, non-hybrid seeds, generators, and products of that ilk.
Take a look…
Economic Disaster? Here’s Your Answer…
When the world goes to hell in a handbasket, there are predictable fears that always surface.
Having enough food is one.
And so is how you’re going to protect your money and investments.
So here’s the cover of a 24-page magalog for the famous, “Safe Money Report,” with Martin Weiss as the frontman.
It’s packed with graphs, pictures, testimonials, guarantees, early-bird discounts, bonuses (the four extras booklets are called, “Emergency Investment Guides,”) and plenty of frightening eye-candy images that keep your stomach in a knot… AND keep you glued to the copy.
Here’s a sample of the no-holds-barred copy…
“Our last set of warnings could have saved you from stock market losses of up to 100% as Lehman, Bear Stearns, Fannie, Freddie and other blue chips stocks crashed and burned.
PLUS, our warnings could have helped you at least double your money even as stocks imploded in 2007-2008.
Enclosed is your SECOND set of warnings — and your SECOND CHANCE to protect yourself and profit: Do NOT miss it!”
As you may already know, studies show that people are willing to endure more pain and/or pay more to NOT LOSE something, compared to “getting” or going after that same thing.
So when, as in the above copy, they hit the hot button of having already lost something, it’s painful!!
Protect Your Health? Here’s How…
Now here’s a sales letter that could be used TODAY during the pandemic.
Because it goes right to the heart of our fears about our health.
It mailed 4 years ago, and is eerily prophetic.
Here’s a sample of the copy:
“Quietly Unveiled in an Ivy League Medical Journal. Far from Suitable for Talk at the Dinner Table or in Polite Company. And Definitely NOT FEMA-Approved!
“Here is My Tightly Vetted Report on What Several of the World ‘s Top Medical Experts Are Now Calling …
“THE COMING PLAGUE”
“Dear Independent-Spirited American,
We’re both grown-ups, so I’m not going to sugar-coat this.
The contents of this Bulletin are unpleasant. Politically incorrect. Sorry. And definitely not FEMA approved.
A coming “nightmare scenario,” says a prominent M.D. who could hardly be called an alarmist. I’ll share this and all my sources with you as we go along.”
Pretty intense persuasion–they’re not pussy-footing around.
OK, here’s one last health masterpiece, written to sell the health newsletter, Alternatives.
I especially like this bit of copy that lurks further inside the magalog:
“Most of your friends or patients are doomed to die of some disease or disorder that has already been defeated in a medical laboratory somewhere around the world.
In the most unsung victory of the modern era, foreign doctors and researchers have stopped or reversed virtually every fatal condition that has ever struck fear in your heart.
If you read widely, you know about a few of these breakthroughs. Here is the rest of the story, a story that will banish illness from your life and change your entire future.”
The Way to Dusty Death
is Paved With Ignorance!
Wow, you can’t hit much harder than this kind of copy, and I hope it gives you inspiration for your own marketing in these troubled times.
Special thanks to Lawrence Bernstein of The Ultimate Online Swipefile for these examples. Click here for the full CRISIS COPYWRITING THAT SELLS motherlode.
Enjoy, stay safe, and leave your comments below.