My passion for direct sales began before the web even existed. Back then, I studied the mail order business and came across a master of direct sales, Joseph Sugarman. He wrote an amazing little book called “Triggers” that examines and explains 30 powerful persuasion techniques for marketers. He also wrote a classic training manual for copywriting called “Advertising Secrets of the Written Word”.
Years later, when I made the leap to start marketing on the Internet, I kept right on looking for every resource I could find about how to create effective sales tools online. That was when I first came across a DYNAMITE book called “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion”, by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini. This is a mind blowing book written by a guy who studied top sales people in many different industries and determined the core reasons for their success. He boiled everything down to 6 ‘psychological triggers’ that powerfully influence every human being on the planet. And, the book presents them in a way that makes it easy to figure out how to put them into action.
Dr. Cialdini’s work has influenced thousands of marketing pros, and the more I studied the top people in the industry, the more I kept seeing those 6 triggers popping up in various forms. The materials coming from the most successful Internet marketers kept hitting on these same 6 triggers and showing innovative ways to use them online. Mark Joyner’s “Mind Control Marketing” and Mike Filsaime’s “Butterfly Marketing Manuscript” are both take full advantage the 6 triggers Dr. Cialdini wrote about (and I suspect they have both studied his work.)
I was beginning to recognize the 6 triggers in action and learning to appreciate people who used them well in their marketing. That’s why I gave Frank Kern $2000 of my hard earned money to study Mass Control.
A key selling point in the Mass Control marketing campaign was the inclusion of a special training program called the 4 Day Cash Machine. That’s just a fancy name for a special 4-day discount offer sale.
Frank Kern is a master at persuading people and getting them to take action (meaning, give him money.) His launch campaigns (and the millions they generate) speak for themselves. He has devised some very effective strategies for integrating the 6 triggers into product launches and promotions. The reason that the 4 Day Cash Machine is more than a simple email promotion is because it is centered on 3 powerful triggers that Dr. Cialdini wrote about.
I’m about to pull back the curtain and explain what this promotional technique is all about and why it is so effective. Then, you can create your own version of it and start putting these powerful ideas to work in your business.
So, what is a 4 Day Special Offer Sale?
The 4 day cash machine is just a 4 day sale, turbocharged with 3 psychological triggers to boost your results.
Here is what you do:
“You offer 50%-off of your product and throw in some bonuses (Frank uses five), then email your list for 4 days in a row about the sale.”
Wait a minute, THAT’s the amazing technique???
You bet, that’s it!
The basic 4 Day Cash Machine is hardly an original or unique concept. Businesses run special sales all the time to boost revenue. The rocket fuel that makes this sale massively successful is that the entire promotion is tightly focused on hitting 3 powerful motivational triggers. Every message re-enforces the same triggers and so does the landing page copy.
These psychological triggers work. When you use them intentionally and consistently, you get results.
Breaking Down the 4 Day Sale
The first psychological trigger involved is the “reason why” trigger. If you’ve never read Dr. Cialdini’s book, he mentions an experiment done by a Harvard Social Psychologist named Ellen Langer which demonstrated that people are significantly more likely to respond to a request when a reason is given – even if the reason doesn’t add any meaningful new information. You don’t need a ‘GOOD’ reason, you just need to ‘HAVE’ a reason. This is not one of the 6 core triggers mentioned in Dr. Cialdini’s book, but it is a powerful and consistent tactic you can employ in your marketing.
So, the first step of the process is simply to make up a reason for running your sale. In order to massively amplify the power of your reason, we add two ‘magic words’. The ‘magic words’ to include in your reason are “Thank You“.
“I wanted to thank you for being a loyal reader of my newsletter, so I decided to give you an amazing deal”
Do not over-think this part. You can just copy this reason. Remember, the actual reason isn’t really all that important. You just have to have one and then tie in the ‘magic words‘. The reason that the words “thank you” are magic is because they invoke another powerful psychological trigger that Cialdini discussed, “reciprocity“.
When you do something nice for someone you unbalance the relationship you have with them. Psychologically, they ‘owe you’ and will look for some way to ‘repay the favor’ in order to re-balance the relationship. If they don’t do this, subconsciously their minds are keeping a tally of how much they ‘owe’ to you. When the favor is repaid, they can let it go and move on.
During this special sale, you are giving them a gift by offering a generous discount on your primary product and also giving away valuable bonus products. The only option available for them to repay the favor is to buy your stuff! What a swell person you are!
When choosing your reason, avoid tying your sale to a holiday or other big event (like a major Mass Control launch by Frank Kern.) The simple reason being that lots of other people will be running sales at the same time and yours might get lost in the clutter.
The final powerful trigger involved in this technique is “scarcity”. The offer is only available for 4 days and then it’s gone. So, you better get it while you can.
Juicing-Up Your Emails for Maximum Impact
As a quick recap, the 3 psychological triggers involved in this promotion are “reason why”, “reciprocity”, and “scarcity.” Each is powerful on its own and together they really turn up the heat on your promotions. Every email you write for this promotion needs to hit all three elements in order to keep the intensity levels up.
Before you start to stress over whether your copywriting skills are up to the challenge of writing these emails, I’ve got another secret. You don’t have to have brilliant promotional copy to get results. A simple message that hits all of the triggers will do the job. And, according to Frank, you can use essentially the same message every day with just a few minor tweaks and the results will be the same as if you slaved for hours over the email copy – so don’t bother.
Creating a Landing Page that Converts
Want to know the ‘big secret’ to creating a killer landing page for this special offer?
“Use the same basic copy as the email and stick it on top of a copy of your regular sales page.”
It’s helpful to put a graphic that shows the main product and all of the bonuses at the end of the promo copy, but you can make it work either way.
Again, don’t kill yourself trying to write a brilliant sales page for your special promotion, just copy your normal salespage and stick a few paragraphs on top that hit the 3 triggers. Mix in a special product graphic, and insert your order buttons. Don’t forget to change the order button in the original sales copy to lead to the discounted version (and draw attention to the normal price and the amazing discounted price.)
You may wonder whether sending a 50%-off discount to your list will upset the people who paid full price. If you maintain a separate list of customers, just filter them out of the promotion. Again, Aweber makes things like this very simple. But, in the 4 Day Cash Machine training materials, Frank insists that the incidents of people getting upset enough to write in are very rare. If you do get an irate customer, just give them the extra bonuses and a special gift to let them know you value them – you can even give them a credit toward one of your high-end products and treat it as an upsell opportunity.
Another concern you might have is that your subscribers will react negatively to this relatively blunt promotion and unsubscribe in mass (mass exit versus Mass Control.) I was worried the first time I tried this with my own lists. But, after two separate tests, I discovered that my unsubscribe rates were virtually identical to when I send out a regular mailing. Your results, of course, may vary.
Incorporating the psychological triggers of “reason-why”, “reciprocity”, and “scarcity” into your promotions will have a powerful impact. You could just stop there and count the money. But, with a little more effort, you can refine the process further. Split testing your promotions will help you discover the exact headlines and copy that get maximum results in your market.
When you plan your next promotion, try testing two versions of each headline to improve your open up rates. Autoresponder Services like Aweber make it easy to run split tests on a broadcast email campaign and also to track open-ups and click-throughs.
Every extra person you can get to open your email improves your odds of making a sale. If you want to learn more about how to use split testing to increase your profits, I recommend reading “Small Changes: Big Profits”, by Paul Hancox and Lee McIntyre. It takes the very complex math behind testing and makes it easy to understand and implement.
The secret is out, now you know the hidden truth about the why the 4 Day Cash Machine is more than just a limited time sale. The most important thing that you can do to ensure your success is to take this knowledge and put it into action.
The 5-Day Sales Machine
Since the original publication of this e-book, one of Frank Kern’s students took the basic concept of the 4-Day Cash Machine promotion and automated it. The result is called the 5-Day Sales Machine.
The setup of the 5-Day Sales Machine is fundamentally similar to what you have learned about in this article. But, instead of offering the special half-off discount to existing mailing list subscribers, it is offered to every first time visitor.
Another feature of this implementation is an integrated countdown timer that heightens the intensity of the scarcity trigger and integrates it with the email messages.
If you would like to see this in action visit:
Easy Deal Builder
One of the most tedious elements of putting together special offer deals like those described in the 4-Day Cash Machine is actually building the landing pages. Frank Kern says that you do not have to create a fancy landing page, but including elements like visual countdown timers and videos can have a profound impact on how customers perceive your special offer.
Another product released since the original 4-Day Cash Machine was published is called the Easy Deal Builder. This software solution resides on your web server and lets you use a point and click interface to quickly design and build professional looking special offer landing pages.
Software like this is not required to create a successful promotional campaign, but it can make the process much faster and yield a higher quality result.
If you would like to see how a tool like this can help you make special offer promotions like the 4-Day Cash Machine, check out:
4 Day Cash Machine EXPOSED – Email Swipe Files
Would you like to see the EXACT email sequence I sent during my campaign? Well, click and download a PDF file with the entire email sequence. These are copies of the full email sequence I used for My First ‘4 Day Cash Machine’ inspired 1/2-off w/bonuses promotion.