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Why Odd Numbers Add-Up to Bigger Profits in Your Sales Lead Generation Campaign

When you're creating your marketing messages - especially when it comes to direct mail sales lead campaigns - there's a little secret you might want to remember as you put together your advertising copy. 

For some reason, even numbers are not as effective as odd numbers in sales letters and advertisements.

Example: "The 6 Energy Stocks You Must Own Now" is somehow less appealing I love odd numbers!than "The 5 Energy Stocks You Must Own Now" - even though it promises an extra stock recommendation.

And you almost never see a book titled "100 Ways to do X." It's always "101 Ways."

Copywriter Gymi Slezinger has a theory about this...

"Even numbers have balance and closure," says Gymi. "They don't need you. Odd numbers have something hanging. There is urgency in them."

Exception: 10 works well in sales copy (e.g., "10 Tips for Better Technical Writing") because, according to Gymi, it is authoritative.

Remember that little marketing fact as you put together your next sales lead campaign!

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9 Comments/Trackbacks

Talking of numbers, always list everything you have. Let's say you are selling a compliation CD make sure you list each and every track. You can bet that any collector will be looking for a track they can't find anywhere else. For the sake of missing off one listing you could lose the sale.

» Good Point Made by Reader On Selling With Lists and Odd Numbers from TopLeadGenerators
Richard Michie, a TopLeadGenerators reader, pointed out something worth repeating.  He was commenting on my post about building lists with odd numbers, and how it can increase your chances for making a sale because of how our brains react to ... [Read More]

Using odd numbers instead of even when listing items is an idea that I haven't heard before. I will keep it in mind when writing articles. Most lists that I see online end with either 5 or 10 items. I usually shoot for listing 10 items. From what you are saying, my list would be better written with either 9 or 11 items. I actually did a list of 10 items once and then added a number 11. I commented that I could count and the list wasn't finished until I added number 11 to it. Have a glorious day. Thanks for the thought provoking idea.

1) Humans like to view asymmetrical objects
2) Bouquets of balloons are always in 3's, 5's, or 7's
2) Floral arrangements typically display an odd number of flowers.

Perhaps this is the subliminal reason for odd numbered lists.

Great Tip. It was great when I read it word for word in a Bob Bly newsletter 8 months months ago too. You really should give credit to the person who actually wrote your post.

Dan I think I owe you an apology for my comment above. The more I look the more I think part of your post is simply something out there that's attributed to no one.

I hope you'll delete both the above comment and this one. I don't want you to be accused of something you didn't do.

Again accept my apology.

Dear "annonymous",

No problem with the comments at all. I'm leaving them as is.

I love Bob Bly, and think he is a great sales communicator. If you read stuff here, or over at LandingTheDeal.com, you know that I reference him often.

I can't remember who passed me this tip, but I couldn't find who wrote it originally - it could be Bob Bly. If so, he should get the credit. But I can't find the source...I just think its a good tip, and wanted to share it.

I try hard to attribute tips and quotes and original writings to the person who wrote them, along with a link back to their website if I know it. I love "sharing the love" and try to do it often. But I'm not sure who wrote that, to be candid.

Thanks for pointing out that it might have been a Bob Bly original. This text was passed to me, and I posted it without knowing who wrote it.



Yeah I've thought about this as well, now when you brought it up it's seems quite logical with the even numbers being even and odd not complete, something on the subconscious level I assume.

i believe

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