Successful Presell

Lesson 3

Presell means educating your readers instead of pushing them to buy immediately. Your job is to prime for the sale so that your readers come to the buying decision on their own.

Note: There are circumstances when your pre-sell needs to be cut short. If your potential client has a leaking roof, your presell sould be limited to a couple of paragraphs.

Now we are going to cover the ingredients of a successful presell.

#1. Your Unique "Big Idea"

The success of marketing and selling hinges on your marketing BIG Idea, the hook that pulls in your prospects and gets them interested.

The Big Idea forms the logic behind the theory expressed in your marketing and sales letter.

When I say “Big Idea”, I’m not talking about the type of idea like “let’s start a Facebook group”, or “let’s create a webinar funnel”, or “let’s sell this same product to a different niche”. Or an idea for a new product.

Those may all be good ideas, but they are not Big Ideas to frame your sales funnels.

quote You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent big ideas David Ogilvy

"You will never win fame and fortune unless you invent big ideas. Unless your advertising campaign contains a big idea, it will pass like a ship in the night." David Ogilvy said.

A true marketing big idea is one that grabs your audience's attention, so they tune into your marketing message. It has to be new, unique, compelling and interesting to your market.

A great example is the original ShamWow infomercial.

It takes some creativity and market research to get it right.

#2. Framing

The Framing effect is a cognitive bias in which the mind makes decisions about information depending upon how the information is presented. Framing is often used in marketing to influence decision-makers and purchases. When the frame emphasizes a desirable attribute, the customer is more likely to take action.

Marketing, in general, is taking information and framing it in the most influencing way. A talented marketer can communicate to people in a way that they care about.

You can improve your thinking as a marketer with a better understanding of the framing effect. 

Your Big Idea works because of the framing effect.

The context in which we present information, and how we frame that information, affects and shapes the reader’s viewpoint.

  • In this mini course selling is framed as ineffective and presell is framed as more friendly and effective.

Anchoring is a framing technique where people tend to compare to a stated or implied reference point.

  • It might seem like a good deal if a price sticker says “Regularly priced $24.99. Our price $14.99.” The regular price is an anchor point just there to make the purchase price look better.

A frame is a like a filter; it colors their interpretation, experiences,
and emotions. And it impacts how they think, feel, and behave.

#3. Expertise — Authority — Trust

We all saw opinions about EAT, but it wasn't until recently that Google actually posted about it: 

For topics where quality information is particularly important—like health, finance, civic information, and crisis situations—we place an even greater emphasis on factors related to expertise and trustworthiness. We’ve learned that sites that demonstrate authoritativeness and expertise on a topic are less likely to publish false or misleading information, so if we can build our systems to identify signals of those characteristics, we can continue to provide reliable information. The design of these systems is our greatest defense against low-quality content, including potential misinformation, and is work that we’ve been investing in for many years.Google

In other words, Google is creating authority profiles. It’s setting up and constantly updating the parameters that determine authority. 

It has profiles of what authority looks like, particularly within the Finance and Health niches, and is stacking that ever-evolving profile up.

Google, when looking at sites it knew it could trust around YMYL topics, determined that these had no marketing language on informational pages. Strictly adhering to an informational tone on vitally informative pages became a part of the authority profile.

If a site lacks in its authority profile, that influences not just its ranking in Google, but also whether someone will buy its products.

The main factor that makes people buy is the trust that your product will fulfill its promise.

There are two major takeaways from Google comparing sites against an authority profile: 

1. Focus on a core topic and branch out from there

One of the key points embedded in the statement from Google is that they are looking at how a site handles a given topic from an “authority” point of view. As in, “We’ve learned that sites that demonstrate authoritativeness and expertise on a topic…”

In other words, Google is thinking topically. Part of that is looking at how a site handles a given topic. That goes beyond the page and considers how the site deals with a topic overall. Google isn’t trying to just determine if a page is authoritative but if the site can be relied on when it comes to a given topic. 

2. Watch the super-authorities in your niche industry very carefully

Start profiling the known authorities within your niche and qualitatively evaluate their various types of pages. 

Just by way of a quick example let's examine a keyword, see how some of the more authoritative sites and the worst-performing sites treat the topic.

Let's see what content we find for the keyword "cancer and diet". When you compare the titles of the content for those sites that are authority superpowers versus those sites known to be problematic, a clear contrast becomes evident.

Let's start with National Cancer Institute (

cancer and diet

Straightforward informational titles free of click-baity sort of phraseology or anything that even hints at causing an emotional reaction on the part of the reader.

Now let's see a site that Google does not trust. (the Medic Update demolished their rankings):


Compare that to National Cancer Institute, there were no "top 12 cancer-fighting foods." Those sites preferred direct, to the point, information-driven titles. 

Not so here. The titles here, by the use of their "numbers," sound more like a marketing article (such as 10 Ways to Build Your Link Profile...).

To put this bluntly, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with the idea of relying on an article to teach me how to eat while undergoing cancer treatment when it sounds like an article filled with typical fluff. I'm pretty sure you aren't either and I'm definitely sure Google is not as well. 

#4. Educational Content

Educational content is about delivering a WORLD CLASS experience to your audience.

The experience sucks them in, and transforms them to a better state than before they were exposed to it.

Always take into account your reader’s intentwhy are they here, what do they need? The first site to give them the specific information they need wins their attention and gains instant credibility.

#5. Fascination

Why do you recall some brands but forget the rest? Why do some products command a much greater price than functionally equal competitors?  Even more intriguing, why can some people get your kids to change their behavior when you can’t?  The answers may lie in discovering the power of fascination and what triggers it.   

Marketing tries to convince. But fascination is different. It instantly snaps your customer’s focus to your message.

“Without fascination,” Sally Hogshead says, “we can't sell products, persuade shareholders to invest, teach students to read, or convince our own kids to stay off drugs.”

Sally did a survey on fascination and some of the more interesting results are these:

  • Only 9% of employees say their bosses are “extremely fascinating,” but 96% of parents say they’re fascinated by their own children.
  • A fascinating brand can charge up to four times as much as an un-fascinating one.
  • Women will spend more to be fascinating than they spend on food.

People always ask… what is the secret sauce of Apple? 

Quite simply, Apple is above other brands by employing the triggers to create an experience that fascinates consumers … in ways that they will spend more to take a bite of the “forbidden fruit”.

Think back to a time when you were completely engrossed in a television show and you were watching that show or movie with 100 percent of your attention. You weren’t thinking about everything else going on around you. At that moment, you were opened up to the message.

In that moment you were completely accessible. As entrepreneurs, we need to create this kind of bond, this kind of fascination with our clients as well.

When this happens, they’re more likely to listen to us, they’re more likely to believe us, they’re more likely to respect us and trust us. Best of all, they’re more likely to take action on what we say. In this spell of fascination, when they’re truly captivated, they stop being resistant.

In a competitive marketing environment, it doesn’t matter if you’re smart and hard-working and experienced if nobody knows who you are. If your message fails to fascinate, you fail. You’ll lose the sale before you even have a chance to start a connection.

Are your stories interesting or fascinating?

Content marketing can generate interest, while compelling story marketing will fascinate your customers and move them to action.

So tell a story based on a moment of drama, despair, inspiration, epiphany, joy or sorrow that your hero experiences as they create marvelous works.

James Cameron, the director of Titanic, tells a captivating story about the film’s composer, the late James Horner.

Cameron had received a tape from Horner of this piano track with the word “Sketch” written on it. No other instructions came with the tape. He figured it must be the song for the “Drawing” scene when Jack sketches Rose in the nude.

So he pulled up the scene, cued a particular swell in the music to a touching moment where Jack looks up from his drawing at Rose, and then pressed play.

He got goosebumps.

Cameron tells of jumping on the phone with Horner praising how perfectly the music worked. Horner sounded surprised but pleased. He told Cameron that he knew of a gifted pianist who would be perfect to record the song, but Cameron pushed back. He wanted to use this recording.

Horner said it was just him poorly playing a demo track for Cameron to consider, and that it could be much better for the movie.

Cameron said, “No, this is perfect.” He liked the humanity that came through the player’s imperfections, which made the scene all the more powerful.

We often suffer from the curse of being the expert. We share dry, general information, because we want to teach.

Don’t bury your stories. Celebrate them in the opening of your content. Stand for something. Make an argument. And then pay it off throughout your narrative.

Don’t just strive for being interesting. Fascinate.

Powered by Thrive Apprentice