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No Muse, No Fuse!

Wanna' sell units? Make ads that promise to whisk away life's more odious tasks.

Can you take a tiny capsule and cram in all the nutrition said to be the vaunted "five-a-day" fruit and veggie regimen?

Probably not yet. But that doesn't stop nutritional-supplement manufacturers from trying because they know that convenience and simplicity sell no matter what the product. Take the automatic nasal-trimmer, for example. I never found hand trimming particularly taxing, but I went high-tech anyway. And, yes, I've also got the battery-operated necktie carousel.

So the perception of new convenience is powerful stuff, especially in advertising. That's my message to John Haberkorn of Naples, Florida, who runs I AM Unlimited, a maker of reference software for the natural-health field.

Haberkorn's product, Health Software, has data on thousands of natural curatives. It's apparently used by pharmacists and others as an alternative to poking through books on a shelf. However, the product's mailer doesn't reflect that. One suggestion is a gigantic headline saying: "Natural Healing's New Looker-Upper!" This is followed by visuals showing a bookcase full of books as the "before" and the software as the "after." The captions read: "Switch from searching this way . . . to this way!" Finally, here's a catchy new name for the product itself: Minute Clinic-bespeaking quick-to-find cures. These ideas should give a healthy new boost to Haber-korn's promotional efforts.

Before:

A self-mailer-the most dissed of ad vehicles-needs to attract with a strong , unified benefit message.

1. Unfortunately, the front of this mailer is a hodgepodge that doesn't focus on the product's benefit.

2. "Order risk free today!" is good support, but not the line to lead with.



After:

The front of this mailer makes the product's benefit clear in an instant.

1. The headline sparks interest and gives a research product a spunkier name.

2. A quick way to convey the new convenience being offered is before-and-after visuals.



Jerry Fisher is a freelance advertising copywriter in the San Francisco Bay area and author of Creating Successful Small Business Advertising (available through Bookmasters, 800-247-6553). If you'd like Jerry to consider your materials for a makeover in this column, write to him c/o Entrepreneur or e-mail him at jerry228@aol.com.

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This article was originally published in the July 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: No Muse, No Fuse!.

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