More On How to Get Your Customers to Choose Your Product

I read pages 136–145 of Cashvertising (Chapter 3) today and found more insights on how you can get your customers to choose your product.


Whitman continues with his outline of the 41 techniques used by ad-agency professionals to drive sales. He covers three more secrets.

Ad-Agency Secret #19 — Battling Human Inertia

For an ad to be effective, it must move people to buy.

Getting people to act requires two steps:

  1. Making it easy to act, and then
  2. Asking for action

According to Whitman, humans are lazy creatives.

We want convenience.

We want to be satisfied now.

We want results yesterday.

We’re also avoidant of things that are troublesome, which is why we stay away from things that appear bothersome or unpleasant.

So if you want your customers to act and buy, make it as easy as possible for them to make the decision to buy.

Provide strong guarantees that your product will be of high quality; accept all forms of payment; offer a payment plan; offer online ordering.

Whitman’s summarization of this principle:

People want more ease in their lives. Tell them how easy it is to buy from you.

Photo by on Unsplash

— — — — — —


In this day and age of online e-commerce, you have to make it easy for your customers to buy your product.

Make it hard for them by forcing them to jump through hoops and you risk having your customers put off their buying decision or think you’re scamming them out of their payment information.

Fortunately, many payment portals now exist that standardize the payment process.

PayPal’s checkout process makes it quick and easy for customers to pay for your product while feeling assured that they’re not being scammed.

Affirm provides payment plans for a wide range of products.

Refunds and quality guarantees have become a standard part of a product purchase. Not satisfied? You have 14 days to ask for a refund!

Nowadays, the battle for ease of purchase seems to have moved into the world of UI/UX.

Take Amazon’s “Buy Now” button.

Imagine how many impulse purchases were made possible by that little button.

How did it manage to pull this off?

By minimizing the number of screens a user had to see before getting to a point where they had to make a buying decision (last I checked, the number was one — the checkout page).

And minimizing the number of clicks a user had to make before getting to the buying point (one).

Ad-Agency Secret #20 — Establish Your Unique Selling Proposition

People need to be able to distinguish you from the competition so they can prefer you.

So be proactive — tell your customers why you’re so great.

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Going back to Ad-Agency Secret #8 — what interesting story can you tell about your product or service?

  • What interesting story can you tell people about your product or service?
  • How can you educate them about what you do or how you do it?

Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP) has to be something true about you as a business, what you do differently or do better, and why it matters to your customers.

To attract the attention of your target customers, use positioning — a hook that sparks their curiosity.

Here are two examples of headlines that Whitman uses to make this point:

Work from Home and Turn Your E-Mail Into Big Profits!

19-Year Old College Kid Discovers Clever Way to Persuade People to Send You Money Via PayPal.

While both are attempting to sell the same product (a way to make money via email), the second headline creates an image in the minds of your customers (a kid in his dorm room making money through email) that’s fresh and different. Your customers are probably thinking: “if he can do it, maybe I might be able to as well!”

How you present your product matters, which is why Whitman recommends that you:

Give your image a twist, and stand up and stand out!

— — — — — —


Ads, ads everywhere.

And with that, USPs being touted from every corner.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Having a USP, especially in the startup world, has become second-nature in marketing and sales.

So with every company touting a USP, how do you ensure that you as a business can still stand out?

Promote a USP to people who care.

Don’t just promote a USP and expect customers to buy out of simply appreciating the sheer uniqueness of your product.

Start first with the unique benefits that you’ll be offering with your product, and the unique ways in which you’ll be offering those benefits.

Once you understand what benefits you’ll offering to your customers, think of how you to present those benefits so as to target people who you think will care.

— — — — — —

Ad-Agency Secret #21—Buy Your Own Island

The Half-Page Island is a type of newspaper ad that is two columns wide and three-quarters of a page deep.

Visually, it takes up almost the entire page of a newspaper and renders the remaining space on the page unusable for other ads. This ensures that only your ad is the ad in focus on the page.

While you don’t always need huge ads to sell your product, a half-page island can give your product the spotlight it needs and boost your product by tapping into the Length-Implies Strength consumer psychology heuristic that was discussed in Chapter 2 (for a quick refresher, check out this post).

— — — — — —


Here’s what a half-page island ad looks like.

Notice how your attention is drawn more to the ad than to the gray region bordering the ad.

— — — — — —

Ad-Agency Secret #22— Authority Positioning

Authority figures tend to have credibility.

Therefore, the claims that they make are widely believed.

How can you present yourself as an authority?

Step 1 — Regard yourself as someone who has a lot of valuable knowledge and information to share with others.

Step 2 — Make what you know available to the public in as many forms as possible.

Spread your knowledge by putting out ads, sending out emails, creating informative webpages, creating 3–10 page reports on your subject, creating editorial style Q&A ads in your local newspaper, blogging, writing a book, doing radio, and so on.

That’s how you make people comfortable with you.

That’s how you get your customers to view you as someone who knows what they’re talking about.

Once you’re everywhere, they’ll begin to trust you and as a result be primed to do business with you.

— — — — — —


Authority positioning lives on to this day in the form of brand equity. Trust in brands is what determines whether a consumer continues to do business with you or not.

That trust can grow through continual exposure to the messages and ideas behind a brand, especially if what’s being given is truly valuable like advice, quality recommendations for products or even free rewards.

Hence the rise of influencer marketing and content marketing, which are now ways for companies to present themselves as trusted brands in their respective industries.

Photo by Maddi Bazzocco on Unsplash

Influencer marketing as a way to build trust with prospects by having influencers (whom these prospect already trust and follow) promote a company’s products.

Content marketing as a way to directly build trust between a company and its prospects.

— — — — — —

That’s all for today. I will be reading pages 146–155 tomorrow.




I write for lonely creators - people like myself who are trying to create something of their own and feel isolated in the process.

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Jason Cheung

Jason Cheung

I write for lonely creators - people like myself who are trying to create something of their own and feel isolated in the process.