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Crafting Words that Get Results.

The travel industry\'s profit-boosting web copywriting specialist.



Online Video Marketing, Rolling Luggage, and the Power of Big Ideas

Big ideas in travel

Have you ever heard the expression, “You don’t need to reinvent the wheel?”

Well, in Bob Plath’s case, he actually did reinvent the wheel.

Up until 1987, hauling big, heavy, clumsy luggage through an airport was a real drag. Baggage claim areas were crazy (even more than they are now) with people strapping bags together and trying to manage unwieldy suitcases.

“It seemed like chaos that could be cured,” says Plath, a former Northwest Airlines pilot.

He found a simple, brilliant solution: Insert two wheels into softside luggage, flip it from horizontal to vertical, add a pull-out handle, and voilà! The travel industry was revolutionized almost overnight with the Rollaboard®.

Initially Plath only sold them to fellow pilots and flight attendants, but by 1989 his company, Travelpro, was selling to everyone. Today it’s rare to see someone not using some kind of rolling luggage.

Video marketing for travel companies

What does rolling luggage have to do with your travel business?

I believe we’re on the verge of another breakthrough idea, this time in marketing your business.

The key questions are always the same.

How do you attract more viewers to your website? What do you do you to engage them more? And how do you convert more of them to buyers?

Four words: Online video sales letters.

As a web copywriting specialist, I keep up with the trends. I wrote a video script for a fitness marketer last year that increased their sales by 50%. I’ve studied the classic, “End of America” online video by Porter Stansberry, an absolute blockbuster ad.

Last week I sat in on a session with million-dollar copywriter Clayton Makepeace as he outlined the 17 points that every video sales letter needs to have. If Clayton is sold on something, so am I.

Online video marketing on a budget

I’m not talking about producing Hollywood-quality videos here. And they don’t need to be 77 minutes long like the “End of America” video.

A simple “talking video” will suffice. You just have to incorporate direct response elements to draw the viewer in, hold their interest, and get them to buy.

That’s what I do as a direct response copywriter.

Include things like a “Big Prediction” that tells the viewer about an exciting change or scary event that will change his life.

Infuse the video sales letter with credibility and emotion.

Dimensionalize your product’s practical and emotional benefits.

Provide testimonials and other proof.

Present an irresistible offer. Trivialize your price. Ask for the sale and close.

Outsource or do it yourself?

I can give you the other ten items you need to include (too much information for a short blog post.) But even if you know what all 17 elements are, do you have experience crafting online videos that get results?

If not, I can help.

The same structure that produced stellar results for my client in the fitness industry will work for you, too.

Like rolling luggage 25 years ago, I predict that online video sales letters will be the next breakthrough to help travel-related businesses (and others) grow.

Let’s talk. Call me, Steve Roller, at 608-848-COPY (608-848-2679) or email Steve@WebContentCopywriting.com.







A Brilliant Marketing Idea from Zappos.com

Travel businesses: go where your customers are

As a travel copywriter, I’m always looking for inspiration when I travel, which is quite often.

Last week I was in the security line at La Guardia when I noticed the advertising inside the bins where you put your shoes.

Yes, none other than online shoe giant, Zappos.com. Brilliant! Tens of thousands of people are taking off their shoes every day, and putting them in a bin advertising shoes at the precise moment they realize they need new shoes.

“Place shoes here. Buy shoes here. Zappos.com”

Think it’s working?

It has to be. Apparently I’m late to notice. A quick online search shows that they’ve been doing this for years.

What’s the lesson? Three takeaways:

1. Do the unexpected (as long as you do it where your customers are.)

Maybe it’s a creative video marketing campaign like Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” video for the Sienna. Or an email marketing campaign that combines romance and storytelling a la J. Peterman. Whatever you do, add a dash of panache.

2. Don’t rest on your laurels. Think big.

Zappos.com is already the largest online shoe retailer in the world. They probably don’t need to advertise in the security bins at airports. But this online giant is constantly thinking of offbeat and offline ways to continue their domination. You should, too.

3. If it strikes a chord, you’ll get both raving fans and hate mail.

One look at the Zappos.com customer service blog shows that a lot of people don’t like that Zappos.com is supporting TSA with their ad spending. But it’s also hitting people right when it’s top of the mind, when they’re taking their shoes off.

My suggestion? Be bold and don’t let the haters bother you.

Travel marketing and copywriting expertise

Let’s say you don’t have an in-house marketing department with a copywriter on staff, and you don’t want to pour out the big bucks for Zappos.com-style or Toyota-type ad agencies. Here’s the next best thing: a freelance travel copywriter who gets inside the mind of your customers, crafts profit-boosting sales messages, and keeps your travel marketing fresh and productive.

I’d love to talk about the possibilities. Take your shoes off and call me toll-free at 1-888-207-4916.



Five Direct Response Copywriting Tips from the Airlines

Travel copywriter Steve Roller

Travel copywriting is my specialty, and I seem to get my best travel marketing and copywriting ideas while … you guessed it, traveling.

Last week  I spent six days in New York City and out on Long Island with my youngest daughter. It was a leisure/reward trip for her, leisure and work for me (I write wherever I go, and am almost always on assignment.)

I’m part of a rare breed of travelers who still loves to fly, even with all the hassles. This time I picked up some great ideas while in the air and waiting in airport lounges.

Five copywriting tips to boost your profits

1. Tell your prospect what to do. 

In my case, I was a captive prospect, belted into a seat at 25,000 feet in the air. Still, the small screen in front of me spelled out what I should do three different ways. After the free preview of the movie, I ready, “Your free preview has ended. Swipe now.” Then, “Swipe now.” And finally, “It’s not too late – swipe now.”

What does this have to do with you? Too often, I see tour and travel businesses hold back when it comes to a call to action in their email marketing or on their landing pages.

Tip: Be specific when you tell them what to do, and repeat it several times in different ways.

2. Give them service with a smile. 

I’m talking here about me smiling as a customer, not anyone in the airline industry (unfortunately, pleasantries are rare these days.)

Smiling at these overworked and over-stressed employees got my bags checked for free, an upgraded ticket, and double servings of snacks and drinks for me and my daughter.

Tip: If you “smile” in your ad copy and marketing messages, you’ll be more likely to get your prospects to do what you want them to do. (Not sure how to “smile” in your copy? It’s part of the style I’ve developed over the past seven years, and it gets results. Let’s talk.)

3. “Free” still works.

We got about the first 20 minutes of our movie free before the “swipe now” message I referenced above came on. You can do the same.

Give your prospects a taste of what you do for free.

Tip: Offer a free report, free tips on a YouTube video, or even just free, useful information in your sales copy (again, something I’m pretty good at.) You’ll have a much higher chance of converting them to paying customers by giving them something free first.

4. Appeal to emotions, not logic.

Logically, there’s no reason you’d want to fly anymore. TSA full-body checks and long security lines? No thanks. Plus nickel and dime fees for checking bags, picking your seat (yes, some airlines are doing this), getting any kind of food, and even carrying on a bag (Spirit Airlines.)

I suppose airlines could still make the logical argument that “we get you from point A to point B,” but how boring is that?

Instead, the airlines talk about anything but logical things. “Non-stop you” (Lufthansa’s new tagline), “Hello Tomorrow” (Emirates), or “Grab your bag, It’s On!” (Southwest).

Tip: People buy for emotional reasons, then justify their purchase logically. Sell first to the heart.

5. Thank your customers.

Sounds obvious, right? Well, it’s seriously lacking in most of the business world today, but I still have a glimmer of hope after watching the wonderful flight attendant on my Frontier flight from New York to Denver.

Tip: You can actually thank your prospects in your sales copy by giving them information they’ll find useful. Again, this is something I’ve learned to do as a travel copywriter, and it gets results.

World traveler, copywriting expert, keen people observer

Not sure exactly how to put these direct response ideas to use in your travel marketing? Or maybe you do, but your time is better spent elsewhere?

I help travel businesses like yours make deeper connections with prospects, increase response, and keep customers longer.

And since I’ve been on both sides – as a travel copywriter and a traveler to all 50 states and 28 countries so far – I’ll do it better than the copywriter who hasn’t.

Ready to roll?

Leave a message toll-free at 1-888-207-4916 and we’ll schedule a brief time to talk.



Web Travel Copywriting?

The travel industry’s profit-boosting  web copywriting specialist

Web travel copywriting? If you have a travel-related business, here’s what it means to you:

You’re competing with many other similar businesses. Somehow your message has to reach more people, resonate deeper with those people, and do a better job of converting them to paying customers than your competition, right?

Even if you have no direct competition, you still need to reach prospects and get them to act.

Travel copywriter

As a Web travel copywriting specialist, I help travel businesses like yours increase their profits.

So why not just hire a general copywriter who promises to write “killer copy,” “mesmerize your readers,” and generate “off-the-chart profits”?

Well, you want someone who can not only write great copy that gets results, you want someone who truly understands your clients and your niche.

I have a successful sales and copywriting background, I’m a world traveler who’s passionate about this industry, and I really get this market.

Web copywriter

I also happen to be a successful web copywriter. I’ve studied online copywriting expert Nick Usborne and SEO copywriting pro Heather Lloyd-Martin. I’ve attended AWAI’s premier Web Copywriting Intensive and learned from masters there.

I’ve gotten high praise from people like Rebecca Matter and Dan Kennedy.

Bottom line: I’ll use my passion and skill for travel copywriting and Web copywriting to help you improve what you’re currently doing to build your business.

Tour and travel business operators

If your tour or travel business has been cruising at a nice clip and you have no desire to grow any more, keep doing what you’re doing.

But if you’d like to see a big return on a small investment: increased sales and higher profits on a small investment, we should talk.

Contact me toll-free at 1-888-207-4916 or by email at Steve@WebTravelCopyrwriting.com for a free 20-minute consultation.

About Steve Roller

Steve Roller started Web Content Copywriting to help you maximize your web content and get more customers.

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"“Steve’s writing has been outstanding. He delivers an excellent finished product to us. I give him top marks in all areas, and can’t recommend him highly enough.”"

- Matt Hedman, owner, www.ThePerfectWorkout.com, San Diego