The Ugliest Couch in the World

For those of you who didn’t know, I’m in the marketing and advertising business.

I help people sell stuff.

A great headline has many jobs to do with just a few words. It gives a first impression of a business, product, or service; it attracts attention; and it must persuade people to read the ad, to ACT.

Headlines accomplish these three objectives in a variety of ways. Here’s a list from a short video offered by the 30 Day Challenge that offers 7 possible angles for headlines. The samples are my own creations ::

· Ask a question.

“Are you happy with your paycheck?”

· Allude to a surprise.

“You may have money hidden around your house!”

· Share a secret to stir up curiosity.

“What Your Boss Doesn’t Want You to Know”

· Offer a relevant tidbit of news.

“Niche Internet Marketer Makes $10,000 in first month”

· Appeal to a deep desire.

“Do you want the peace of mind that comes with financial security?”

· Offer a quick fix or easy solution.

“You can get out of debt in 6 months.

· Offer a benefit

“Spend less time worrying about bills & more time doing what you love.”

Another effective angle that I have discovered through experience involves a dash of humor, a pinch of hyperbole, and a just a smidgen of defying people’s expectations, offering the exact opposite of what you think your target audience wants or needs. Take, for example, the Craigslist ad that I posted yesterday. My mom bought me a couch at a garage sale, and my new roommate has much nicer furniture. What to do?

The Ugliest Couch in the World

The Ugliest Couch in the World

Just in case you can’t read it, here’s the text::

Today is the best day of your life.

Why?

Because you have the chance to own the Ugliest Couch in the World.

This abomination was produced sometime in the 80s. It had to be. The broad stripes of hunter green, marigold, navy, and red look like they belong on a Ralph Lauren sweater from that era.

This seating solution would be the perfect compliment to a frat house, sorority slum, or opium den. It can comfortably accommodate 4 generous backsides.

This couch is 100% all-natural. No testing on animals. No genetically modified materials.

Decrease your ecological impact by saving this unique piece of furniture from the landfill.

Enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’ve done your part to preserve our planet for future generations.

But wait…there’s more!

This stylish sofa comes with a slipcover!

The purest of chocolate browns, this bonus item is less than a year old and comes with its very own carrying case.

Though the cover alone could cost you almost one hundred smackers on the internet, you get both the couch and the cover for…

the low, low price of…

$50.

Or best offer.

Please act quickly because this lovable lounge-piece is one of a kind.

Moral of the story:: People love the absurd. Give it to them. It rarely undermines your professionalism or credibility, and you’ll probably sell what you want to sell. I sold the couch in less than twenty-four hours. For more than I originally asked.

Comments Closed

2 Comments

  1. holly
    Posted January 15, 2011 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    i wish there was a “love it” button. cause i would click it. im coming to you next time we need to sell something on craigslist :)

  2. Posted January 15, 2011 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    I’m at your service. Everybody loves a good story, and a funky price like $77 stands out from the round numbers. The best part about a creative Craigslist listing is the colorful people it brings into your life.

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  1. […] price and lose money, or you could make people laugh. You may remember my other post about “The Ugliest Couch in the World” that I sold on Craigslist—for more than I originally […]