Climbing the AdWords Mountain and an Unusual Offer

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The Introduction (In Which You Are Introduced to the Problem and Made to Feel Like Shit About It)

Do you ever get overwhelmed by AdWords?

All the techniques, all the networks, all the settings, all the tricks and strategies and best practices.

And they’re constantly changing, aren’t they? What was a best practice in 2010 is illegal in 2011, or outdated, or just plain stupid.

While I would love to tell you that AdWords is actually quite simple, I can’t.

While I would love to tell you that you can read a 20-page ebook and compete with the best of the best, I can’t.

While I would love to tell you that the latest under the radar trick will get you tons of leads and sales at half the cost per click you’re currently paying, I can’t.

After all, I’m the guy who makes a living writing 400+ page books on the topic. And my agency runs AdWords campaigns that require dozens of hours per month of expert attention and optimization. If we could work less and get the same results, we sure would!

But here’s what I can tell you: most advertisers don’t understand the true power of AdWords.

They don’t know what Search really is.

In other words, they don’t have a feel for the fundamentals.

 Fundamentals First

Most advertisers (and agencies, from my experience) treat AdWords as a technically complex series of pipes, in which marketing messages travel from the merchant to the searcher. They don’t realize that the AdWords machine is the least important part of the equation.

It’s like taking a huge, strong guy and trying to turn him into an offensive lineman in football. You could teach him blocking techniques. You could have him memorize the playbook. You could explain every single rule and infraction and penalty. But if he doesn’t understand that the big goal of the offense is to score touchdowns, he’s not going to be an effective lineman.

Regardless of his skills, and regardless of his strength, and regardless of his knowledge of the playbook and the rulebook.

In fact, until he understands the big picture, teaching him the technical skills and strategies and rules will be excruciatingly slow, difficult, and ineffective.

 The AdWords Fundamentals

I don’t feel like writing a really long sales letter teasing you by talking about the AdWords fundamentals and not telling you what they are.

So here they are:

  1. AdWords is a tool that allows you to dig deep empathy with your prospects
  2. AdWords is a positioning playground where you can define your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) in triangulation with the market and your competitors
  3. AdWords is a test bed for your best guesses on 1 and 2 above

Not complicated. Not technically challenging. Nothing you need to memorize to pass the AdWords Qualified Individual exam.

Just the three key concepts that separate the AdWords success stories from everyone else.

And once you understand these three concepts – not intellectually or theoretically, but practically and experientially – then all the technical details fall into place.

The Checkmate Method – The Missing Part of Your AdWords Education

I’ve taught Checkmate to about 3500 people in the entire world, through Camp Checkmate events, workshops, webinars, private consultations, and the Checkmate home study course that I’m about to ram down your throat on this page ;)

When I share it with students, the responses vary from “I can’t wait to implement this” to “I feel like I’m finally meeting my customer for the first time.” And once they implement, they see the vistas and opportunities opening up as soon as the first results come in.

When I shared Checkmate with Perry Marshall, his response was, “I wish I’d thought of it.”

When I shared Checkmate with Glenn Livingston, his response was, “This is awesome. Let’s do a teleseminar.” (Thanks to Glenn, the method grew larger than a fill-in-the-blanks table in a Word document on my hard drive.)

When I shared Checkmate with the legendary direct marketer Drayton Bird, his response was, ” I’ve seen many people around the world try to teach people to sell things. Howie enables you to do this supremely well, in a way which is almost childishly simple, but hugely effective. You should give him a shot.”

Like I said, Checkmate is the fundamentals part. But it’s more than that. Checkmate is also a method that allows you to write better ads than you’ve ever written before in about 30 minutes.

It isn’t magic. But it helps you access knowledge and insight and intuition that you may not have realized that you already possess.

What You Get With Checkmate

Checkmate Fundamentals

Quick Start Guide (1 page!)

Ever buy a home-study course and get overwhelmed? The quick start guide shows you, step by step, how to get the most out of Checkmate in the least time. You’ll be writing awesome ads in a couple of hours by following these simple steps.

Checkmate Package

The Checkmate Matrix

The Matrix is a one-page blank table that’s the heart of the Checkmate method. You’ll use the matrix again and again to insert yourself into the sweet spot of your market for any given keyword. At first, you’ll complete a matrix in about 30 minutes. With a little practice, you’ll get it down to 5.

Checkmate Crash Course (Print Manual and Audios)

Part 1: Checkmate Revealed

  • The single most important and overlooked factor in searcher’s decision-making process
  • The importance of the searcher’s “story” – and how to uncover it
  • The hidden search motivator: the trigger
  • How to balance relevance and difference in your ads
  • How to sneak through the filter in your prospect’s mind
  • Should you use the keyword in the headline? Some surprising advice
  • How to craft a powerful USP (and evaluate whether yours is up to snuff)
  • The nine elements of every ad (knowing these will allow you to evaluate any SERP in minutes and find your own Checkmate positioning)
  • A live example – applying Checkmate to the GMAT Prep market

Crash Course Review

Simple two-page fill in the blanks quiz to keep you focused on the most important concepts and skills. Complete this review as you read and/or listen to the Crash Course. (Comes with answer sheet – but no peaking ;)

Part 2: Checkmate in Action – Example, Analysis and Coaching

Checkmate Applications (Print Manual and Audios)

Live Coaching in 3 Diverse Markets:

  • Goal Setting (selling education)
  • Backup Cameras (selling a physical product)
  • Septic Problems (selling a service and product)

Checkmate Tools (Print Manual, and Audio Instructions)

6 easy-to-complete tools that lead you to finding your unique Checkmate Voice, as well as the Tools “Personal Trainer” (step by step instructions to complete the tools)

The most powerful and overlooked ad writing technique is what I call “voice” – the way your prospect hears your ad in their head as they view it. The 6 Checkmate Tools allow you to put an attractive and unique voice into a 4 line pay per click ad that speaks directly to your customer. It cuts through the clutter of the page and makes your ad stand out like new white shoelaces under black light.

Bonus: The 7 Levels of Persuasion

There are 7 levels of persuasion that marketers use to convince prospects to buy. The 3 highest and most powerful levels are rarely used, and used correctly even less often. Discover them in this bonus recording.

How Much Would You Pay For Checkmate?

Usually, when you read that line in a sales letter, you know you’re about to be subjected to a “value build” – where I tell you how much every component is worth (usually ending up with a total of $24,875 or some such number) and then reveal the actual price to be many orders of magnitude lower (only $3997!).

I’ve done that in sales letters. It works pretty well, too. But not today.

Inspired by my friend Tad Hargrave of Marketing for Hippies, I’m actually serious when I ask how much you would pay. Because when you give me your answer, I’ll respond by saying, “OK, it’s a deal.”

Announcing the “Pay What You Can” Checkmate Sale

Checkmate, the home study course, has sold for $467 or $497, depending on whether you wanted all the goodies.

As an experiment, I’m offering a sliding scale on price designed to make price a non-issue.

You can pay any of the following amounts and get the entire digital Checkmate course (eliminating the production and mailing of a manual and CDs allows me to offer a full range of pricing options):

$37           $97          $177          $247          $497

It really makes no difference to me which one you choose. You have to pay something to complete the energetic exchange, but the amount is up to you. After all, different people have different abilities to pay, and depending on what sort of business you have and what level of AdWords you’re playing at, the information in Checkmate will have different value to you.

And of course, whatever you pay, if you aren’t happy with the product, you get a full refund (of the amount you paid, not any other amount ;)

This offer feels very good to me. I hope it feels accessible and risk-free and good to you to.

What’s the Catch?

Were you wondering about a catch? I mention it in the video above, but I’ll spell it out here.

I believe that once you discover and begin implementing Checkmate, you’ll want to experience it in a group setting, with my guidance. So within the next two months I’ll be letting you know about a Virtual Camp Checkmate (that will also be offered on a sliding scale).

You’re much more likely to join an interactive Checkmate group if you own and use the Checkmate home study course. So that’s my hidden agenda. (Oops, not hidden anymore.)

The Obligatory Big Fat Bowl of Urgency

(In my best car commercial announcer voice) You must act now to get this incredible deal. Quantities are limited.

What? No they’re not!

But you do have to make up your mind relatively soon. As I said, this is an experiment. I reserve the right to stop it at any time if it doesn’t feel right.

And as an added incentive for quick action, I’ll hold a bonus webinar on November 30 for everyone who’s signed up by then. The topic: The Magic Shortcut Called “Last Ad Standing.” (I’ll share a Checkmate shortcut that you can use to write great ads when you don’t have time to do full Checkmate.)

Ready to get started?

Click the amount you feel comfortable paying to head to the checkout page.


Want to read more? Here’s the original Checkmate sales letter – but come back here to order if you don’t want to pay full price.

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  1. #1 • Lyena Solomon said on November 22 2011:

    Congratulations on your spectacular home (back yard)! And on your 3rd edition of AdWords for Dummies. Yey! What an accomplishment!
    I think it is a great idea to focus on basics in your Checkmate course. It would be very helpful for the beginners. You are a great teacher and I am sure the course will be super helpful for the students.