Regarding copycats, there is one thing you can bank on.
95% of them are lazy and will not do their homework.. That is why they are knockoffs..
And only a few copycats come out of the woodwork. Often they go back in as fast as they came out.. Some linger.. One might catch on and become a real competitor..
The fact is, this is not as relevant as you are thinking..
I know from 5 years of selling.. If you have a solid ad, marketed right (you do your homework) no one can touch you..
Basically, the idea is the more you improve your ad over a couple months, the more solid it becomes.. Eventually, it is so solid, you don't have to do anything to it, even when new guys come along..
I have had ads where I
didn't even have to do much more than a week or two of testing and I have the same ad now as then..
Some take more work.. The fact is, though, once you got it YOU GOT IT..
So, it makes you money for even years and years.. Could make you a very large amount of money once it is solid..
I have had items that have made me about $100,000 so far.. It was worth that couple months of trial and error.. $100,000 is a lot of money for only a few months of work and then hiring people to ship it out for me.. All I do is put up the auctions and often I automate that also..
Its a good method of getting sales.. It is solid and I have seen many do well doing this.. I do it some... I have a couple products that are just plain curious and the product itself draws
Also, you are right about capturing their attention. There are THREE THINGS that need to be killer to really really capture their attention:
1. The icon next to your title.
2. The title.
3. The first few paragraphs/presentation of your ad.
ALSO, REGARDING YOUR OWN SELLING STYLE:
You should go with what is confortable to you and that you believe in.. Since there are a few ways to approach sales, go with the one that fits you.. It sounds like what you were describing about being outlandish and bringing about curiousity is your style.
If it is your style, I would focus on this and perfect it.. I know that some sellers on eBay use funny icons and curious icons to grab people's attention.. It works.. Some are hokey, but if you are good at it you will know how to
distinguish between hokey and hilarious..
Seriously, this is a fact. Talking straight from experience here.. If you focus on perfecting your ad, perfecting your marketing, perfecting your icons and titles and making the sales, you do NOT need to worry about your competition.
The fact is, if you are making the killer sales and got the solid ad, your competitors are getting a run for their money.. They will either simply be lazy (most will be this) and will do nothing different and settle for less sales.. Or, they will eventually make a better ad..
If your sales go down abruptly, sometimes it can be a competitor with a new ad, or it could be something else.. Only about 30% of the time it is a competitor.. But, if it happens, just improve the ad again..
Every time you improve it, you are inoculating it against it happening again. In other words, your ad is becoming immune to failure.. Sooner or later, it will not matter what happens, you will get the sales... This is when your ad is complete and can run for years without edit.. I have a few like this..
Theodore Simon <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I did like that last email on making money with an ebook. Especially the
part about patterning yourself after the most successful ads. I think that
is really good advice except for the fact that once everyone else figures
what the "hottest" item being sold is, the copycats come out. I read in an
advertising book that
curiosity is the #1 factor in book sales. I actually
think curiosity as well as controversy are the main factors in book sales. I
think using creativity to come up with marketing concepts or advertising
angles is crucial. I know I'm competing with a ton of others on eBay so the
only way for me to succeed is by doing what everyone isn't doing. The ad
copy I'm working on for my first project is coming along nicely and it is
quite different than most. The headline is only 2 words long. What I've
learned is that you need to capture the customers attention fast. The only
way to do this is to get to the conclusion or selling point of your product
as quickly as possible. As well as that your product needs to invoke the
curiosity factor. I won't give away what I'm going to sell for my first
product, it'll be about making money, I'm also mentioning your site
saledaddy at the end of the download area as an additional resource people
can use as I feel that you need mentors to succeed and inspire you. The
perfect example of invoking the curosity factor is this new show on A&E I've
been watching called King of Cars. This guy runs the #1 car dealership in
the world rather unconventionally. First he makes the workplace fun. Second
the TV ads he runs are really hilarious and outlandish. I think a lot of
people want there buying experience to be fun, an emotional experience that
ends in laughter even. My point is sometimes for an ad to be effective you
need to be different than the "pack" on eBay that just copies the
competition. The great thing about ad copy is once I write it, I own the
copyright, therefore it is original and unique. Everyone can pattern
themselves after it, but my copy still will be the most original.
O'REILLY: All right, Lis ... I sell bibles in
Tarzana, CA. Lenny comes in, & he's got a ... beard. He's wearing a dress ... I have to hire him?
LIS WIEHL: You can't not hire Lenny.
O'REILLY: Yes, but ... Don't you see my business point here? ... the state of Calif .. is forcing me to hire people that may be detrimental to my business.
LIS WIEHL: appearance shouldn't matter. When you're selling bibles.
O'REILLY: Ms. Rivers, you understand ... better than Lis because she went to Harvard Law School, and that disqualifies her from common sense.