Seducing Strangers by Josh Weltman, A Review

Seducing Strangers by Josh Weltman is the story of how he has spent his last twenty five years in advertising, and what he has learned from it.  Josh was also involved with the TV series, Mad Men. His job was to make sure that the process of creating ads and servicing clients in the show was depicted accurately.

What Is The Job Of Advertising…?

To make people happy by setting customers’ expectations at a level their products and services can meet or exceed. The persuaders job is to make promises that motivate, sell, and seduce. These promises are kept by the actions, products, or services or others. Persuading someone is getting them to do what you want them to do. You want your customer to get emotional.

Ads Evoke Emotions- this picture here creates the wish for freedom.


You have to have insight and you need to be sensitive. Seduction requires you to listen to you customers and be able to understand their feelings, wants, needs, and motives. People want to hear about themselves and you tell them just that. You have to evoke their emotions.

Does Advertising work…?

Yes, it does. In the United States alone, companies will spend $140 Billion (yes, that is billion with a “B”) this year alone. If your company can meet the expectations that your customers are looking for, that it’s products will meet or exceed those expectations, you will have happy customers. For example, you have a better product and you advertise the heck out of it. People will come and buy it. Remember, “better” is in the mind of the person who is buying the product. Your advertising must live up to your promise or you will fail. You have to know what your customers really want.

Consumer Insight…

That is the one thing that makes customers tick that no one else has ever figured out. It is the single most important element of effective communication. People are driven to act on their own impulses more than on outside forces.  Advertising does not change their beliefs on things they are driven by, it confirms them. You need to know what motivates people to make the choices they make and nudge it. You want to persuade people to do a little more of what they are already doing.

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Where Is The Money…?

In telling people that they are right and to keep on doing what they are doing. Preferably, it will be with your brand, product or service.

Do You Want To Sell Or Seduce…?

People do not want to be sold. We all know that. When people buy something, it is not about the product, but about themselves. How the product will benefit them. It is better to tell your customers about the benefits to them, rather than to sell your products features.

Engagement Is What It Is All About…

Getting your customers involved is what it is all about. One way to do this would be to use a confusing picture, with the headline explaining. The reverse would be to have a confusing headline, with the picture explaining.

What Is A Brand…?

A brand is basically a reputation. A brand represents the reputation of your business. Your reputation is built one successfully fulfilled promise at a time. The brand is the reputation the company earns for how well it delivers. Remember this equation: Promise + successful delivery = good reputation. Products and services are the way a company delivers on it’s promise; the brand is the reputation the company earns for how well it delivers. Using the word reputation instead of brand  cause people to care a little more.

Four types of ads

What Are The Four Types Of Ads…?

1.  Introductory

This type of ad is designed to inspire curiosity. Emotional appeal will power the message. It will also increase inquiries.

2.  Trial Ads

This type of ad is designed to create a sense of urgency. This might be a limited time offer. (LTO). These are driven by fact-based limited time offers. These offers will temporarily bump sales or trials.

3.  Differentiating Ads

This type of ad is designed to build on the brand relationship. They will increase market shares by defining a product or services most memorable differences.

4.  Mutual-Love-And-Respect Ads

This type of ad will keep customers by making them part of an exclusive club. This also known as “insider advertising.” Emotional appeal will power the message. These can be either emotional or fact based, and protect profit margins. These will also cement customer relationships.

4 Questions!

What Are The Four Fundamental Questions…?

If you are trying to sell, persuade or seduce, you have to answer these four questions. Answering these questions is the art of advertising.

1.  What Is it?

This works well with Introductory ads.

2.  Why do I need it now?

This works well with limited time offers.

3.  What makes it different from other things?

This works well with differentiating ads.

4.  Who thinks it’s good?

This works well with mutual-love-and-respect ads.

Which Is Better? Content Or A Message…?

There is a saying that “content is king.” However, no one waits in line to see content. Content is mindless, and made up of features without a thought about the real benefits of a message that informs, entertains, inspires or motivates. Messages are different from content. Messages are sent from one person to another. It is a way of connecting. Messages are personal.


Persuasion requires two things. It must transfer real facts and make real emotional connections with real people. You need to know your audience and care about their satisfaction. In the world of persuasion, it does not matter how great your ideas are; it only matters what you can sell.

A Key To Selling…

Do not sell them who they are; sell them who they want to be. When possible, use pictures and show them who they want to be. Show them the story they want to believe about themselves. You want to make their fears and anxieties go away.

Mathematician and engineer Claude Shannon said “information is a message that removes doubt.”

To Your Success,

Roy Miller

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