Book Summary:
Cashvertising by Drew E. Whitman

Cashvertising by Drew E. Whitman

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🗒 Note: My notes are a mix of key ideas and quotes from the book as well as my own thoughts.

Life-Force 8 (LF8) — Eight desires that every human being have:

  1. Not dying; staying alive
  2. Satisfying hunger and thirst
  3. Being safe and free of pain
  4. Sexual companionship
  5. Comfortable living conditions
  6. Feeling superior to others
  7. Protecting your loved ones
  8. Social approval

🕺 Every product and sales pitch in the world appeals to one of the LF8 desires.

Selling with fear works, but only if it follows the following criteria

  1. It’s a real, relevant fear that you can describe vividly.
  2. Your product solves what causes the threat.
  3. You don’t use too much fear. Otherwise, it sounds fake or just paralyzes, like a deer caught in headlights.
  4. Your solution is practical enough for the customer to actually implement it.
  • People buy products to satisfy their egos and raise their social status. They want to show that they belong or do not belong to a certain group. Example: people who buy Mercedes show that they belong to a group of wealthy and successful people.
  • On the other hand, we often describe ourselves by saying what we are not. Example: An atheist doesn’t believe in god. Which means he wants to separate himself from god-believers. So by buying vegan milk, we show that we’re not part of the people who consume meat/dairy.
  • Add facts. Although most purchases are driven by emotion, we still need facts and explanations to justify our decisions.

Competitors — There are three ways to approach them.

  1. Ignore them and hope that your customers don’t notice them. Con: They will.
  2. Bash them. Con: Makes you look childish and draws a lot of attention to your competitions, too.
  3. Be nice to them. Praise them, even. For instance, you can make a comparison article, showing all the great things about their product while still hinting how and why yours is still better. Readers will see how confident you are about your product.
  • People always feel like they need to do some research before buying. If you did all the research for them, they could stop looking. You probably think: “ok, but why would they trust someone who’s trying to sell them?” It’s because they don’t have time. This purchase is not the most important thing in their lives. As soon as they can tick the research box, they’ll be happy to go on their way.
  • Elaboration Likelihood Model
    • when considering to buy decisions that can have a big impact on our lives, we do more research and use our logic.
    • when buying relatively cheap products, we don’t stop to think. We use our intuition based on more superficial cues like images, shape, color, and smell.

60% percent of people only read the headline. So make sure to:

  1. Mention the main benefit in the headline
  2. Mention the audience in the headline (e.g., Workaholics, New Yorkers, etc.)
  3. Add words like “new,” “how,” and “free”
  • Readers always ask themselves (often unconsciously): WIIFMwhat’s in it for me?
  • Break the fourth wall — speak to the audience; speak about what’s going on as if it was an ongoing conversation. Example: “Now listen close,” or “here’s what is going to happen next,” etc.
  • Use portraits — Human faces attract the readers’ attention. That’s why magazine covers and so many ads show real people. It works. To grab even more attention, make sure that the person is looking at the reader, like the Mona Lisa.
  • Benefits vs. Features — the difference:
    • a feature — printer that holds 500 sheets of paper
    • a benefit — don’t replace your paper more than once a week. How to identify benefits? Take a feature and ask: WIIFM, or who cares
    • the pricing — a fractional price like $49.99 is associated with cheap products. If you sell a high-value product, sell it for $50 dollars sharp. Still, fractional prices perform better. It makes consumers assume that the business did everything to reduce the price as much as they could.
    • White space — instead of filling 100% of your space in copy and pictures, leave 50% empty. The white space around the ad grabs people’s attention more.

22 Proven Headline Starters

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THIS: “This New Invention Stops Any Attacker in His Tracks Without a Gun, Knife, or Black Belt in Karate”

ANNOUNCING: “Announcing the Hottest New Sandwich Craze From Southern California: The Malibu Crust Pocket!”

WARNING! “WARNING! Some Dog Groomers Wrap a Noose Around Your Dog’s Neck!”

JUST RELEASED: “Just Released: Psychologist’s Study Reveals Little-known Speaking Patterns That Immediately Put Rude Salespeople in Their Place”

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HERE’S: “Here’s How a 95-Pound Granny Made a 275-Pound Psychopathic Killer Cry Like a Baby for its Rattle….”

THESE: “These Three Very Italian Men Make a Pizza to Kill For”

WHICH OF: “Which of These Hot Bodies Would YOU Like To Show Off?”

FINALLY: “Finally… a Self-Improvement Seminar That Moves, Empowers, and Transforms You for Life!”

LOOK: “LOOK! Now You Can Buy Cotton Candy Machines at Wholesale Prices”

PRESENTING: “Presenting the Easiest Way Ever Developed To Learn the Piano”

INTRODUCING: “Introducing the Only Water Ice Stand in Philly that Uses Real, Fresh Fruit”

HOW: “How to Sing Like an American Idol in 90 Days or Less — Guaranteed”

AMAZING: “Amazing New DVD Lowers Your Blood Pressure by Just Watching It!”

DO YOU: “Do You Know How To Stop Vicious Dog Attacks With the Push of a Button?”

WOULD YOU: “Would You Trade $2 for Our Famous Brick-oven Pizza?”

CAN YOU: “Can You Be Sure Your Child Won’t Get Kidnapped?”

IF YOU: “If You Hate Cleaning Your Pool, This Ad Brings Good News!”

STARTING TODAY: “Starting Today, You Can Dance 97% Better… if You Follow These Rules”

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