Should You be Using OPGI?

Donovan Baldwin

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What is OPGI?

There's another term for it, but I prefer OPGI for three reasons:

1. Nobody's ever heard of it and it arouses curiosity,

2. I think it's more complimentary to the people involved,

3. It's less likely to turn people off than “swipe" file.

So what DOES OGPI stand for?

It stands for Other People's Good Ideas.

Let me ask you a blunt question. Just how creative are you? Do you believe that you can write exciting, order pulling ads off the top of your head? Sure you can, but are there other people doing it more effectively than you could? Really, just how good are you at that sort of stuff?

(Aside here: If you are really great at it, have I got a deal for you! Now back to the rest of us. )


Most of us are not that great at creating effective ads and ad copy. Simple fact. Even if we have the basic talent, there's going to be a lot of trial and error before we get it right.

Whenever we want to learn a new technique or skill, we go to the experts. We read books, we watch professionals at work, we listen to the instructions of those who have been there. . . done that. We do this all in order to acquire the basics and refine our skills as they develop. This works in the world of business as well.

By the way, did you ever see a fast food company establish a new location? Shortly after, there were several other fast food facilities there as well, weren't there? They saw what the first one did and learned from their research, didn't they? It's a lot easier to plan something if you can see who's being successful and how they are doing it.

That's what you need to do. That's why you are going to learn from your competition (and others) and not just read books on marketing. A book can give you some great generic tips and ideas on product, location, presentation, etc. but what is going to show you what actually works? Simple question, simple answer. What's working for others is what will probably work for you.

To use Other People's Good Ideas, you first want to establish a “swipe file". This will be a collection of advertisements, letters, and other marketing material that appears to be successful, eye catching, or of other value to you in preparing your own ads and copy material. Now, you are not going to use someone else's material word for word, but if a technique, headline, or turn of phrase is working for someone else, surely there is some way to adapt it to your needs.

If something stands out or catches your attention, you want to keep a copy of it and see if you can use a variation of it in your own marketing. Something a little less obvious is the ad that doesn't seem to that great, but keeps running week after week, or month after month. It will usually only keep running like that if it is helping someone make money! You may have to study the ad carefully, maybe even order the materials offered, or acquire a sample of the product in order to determine the effectiveness of the ad.

Maybe it's the guarantee, the service after the sale, the quality of the product. Maybe it's the backend.

In marketing, companies often lead with a freebie or inexpensive item in order to elicit inquiries. Once the marketer establishes a relationship with the customer, he or she begins to present other products to the customer. This will be the backend, or the actual product the marketer wants to sell.

For example; I could offer a free network marketing report, such as this one, which cost me nothing to acquire, since I wrote it myself. When someone requests the report, I can include an offer for a collection of my network marketing reports for a small fee. . . barely enough to cover my mailing and advertising costs. . . maybe even at less than my cost. If the customer is willing to part with cash to order these reports and trusts me enough to believe that I will fulfill my end of the bargain, it is time for me to present my backend (no, not that backend). . . the product or service on which I really hope to make money.

That's an overview of the backend, and that is where the money is made in direct marketing. Ads requesting up-front payment for products or services don't do very well overall, but once trust is established you can start asking for money. If you don't believe me, just order my report on the two-step marketing process. It's only a dollar!

I'm just kidding. It's free, and there will be a link to it at the bottom of this report.

There are two other areas in which OPGI's can help us.

First, the products other people offer may be important to us. Sometimes people new to marketing see a large group of people marketing the same or similar products and conclude that the market is saturated. Let's take a fresh look at this. All this activity may very well indicate a hot market or product. If a lot of other people are selling something, it may very well be because they are successful doing it!

Secondly, see where ads are being placed. In terms of types of products and services, there isn't much new under the sun. There may be a new weight loss product, but weight loss products have been around for a long time. If people selling a certain product or opportunity are not advertising in an established publication or at an established site, it is probably because it has already been tried and didn't work. Don't reinvent the wheel. If exercise equipment is not being advertised in a quilting magazine, there may be a reason! If fourteen ads offering power saws are found month after month in a woodworking magazine, there may be a reason.

Of course, if you have the insight to establish a link that has not been seen before, that is great. For example, I marketed weight loss meals that required no refrigeration and could be prepared several different ways. I marketed to truckers who not only tend to have a problem finding healthy meals on the road, but who are constantly searching for less expensive ways to eat while over the road. (I know because I was one once. ) I made the point to them that using my meals, they can eat for a day for about the same amount that one truck stop meal would cost. . . plus they eat a healthier, balanced diet and are less likely to gain weight while over the road.

Anyway, if you are selling drill bits, ask yourself, “Where are drill bits being sold?" Is it in cooking magazines or in woodworking magazines? Look thru a magazine for computer games. How many ads for weight loss products do you see? Now look thru a health magazine. Did you find some weight loss products? If you did, ask yourself why that company chose to buy that expensive ad in that magazine. The same steps apply to the internet. Just look at web sites instead of magazines.

By the way, if the ad looks great, add it to your “swipe" file.

The way to be successful is to copy what successful people are doing.

The author is retired from the Army after 21 years of service, has worked as an accountant, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, and instructor. He has been a member of Mensa for several years, and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. He has been an active internet marketer since 2000, and now makes his living online. To read about the two step method with classified ads mentioned in the article, please visit Using Classified Ads Effectively . He offers the opportunity for a complete education in internet marketing at .


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