Bob Bly… John Carlton… Mark Ford… Bill Bonner…. Brian Clark… those are some of the best direct response copywriters in the world. And there is so much that you can learn from them about the craft of copywriting.
As a marketer, you should study the work of the best, adopt their habits, and avoid their mistakes to produce successful marketing campaigns. And as a direct response copywriter, I have found two online resources that will help you to learn (quickly) from the best direct response copywriters.
The first resource is an article written by Neil Patel for The Crazy Egg. “5 Things to Learn from Direct-Response Copywriters” is a crash course in direct response copywriting. This article teaches you how to improve your campaigns and experience the success that comes as a result.
The second resource is another article, coming from Tony Ho Tran and GrowthLab. The “Top 20 copywriting books every direct response copywriter should own” piece offers you – as the title suggests – 20 books for an aspiring direct response copywriter to read. You can use the knowledge in those books to build a million-dollar business by applying the knowledge that each book gives out.
What the Best Direct Response Copywriters Do
Drawing from the information I gathered from the resources I mentioned, as well as my experience as a direct response copywriter, here are the three most valuable lessons to learn from the best direct response copywriters in the world:
It All Starts with the Headline
Your headline is the most important piece of copy you will write. It’s what will bring people in or send them away.
If you present a poorly drafted headline, people will not read your copy. And copy that people don’t read is copy that doesn’t sell anything. That is why you must take the time to produce the most unique, useful, and ultra-specific headline you can design.
Legendary advertising like “The One-Legged Golfer” and “How to Win Friends and Influence” start with a headline that lets you know exactly what you’ll get if you buy the product they advertise. They highlight the product’s usefulness to the market and let you know what makes the product different than its competitors. That’s why they succeed.
Take as much time as needed to develop a headline that is unique, ultra-specific, and useful to your audience. And, if possible, add a sense of urgency for readers to buy at once.
Inform to Persuade
The more information you can add to your copy, the better chances of converting prospects you’ll have.
While it is true that people make buying decisions based on emotion, they still need to rationalize the purchase they’re about to make. You must give away as much information as you can about the offer you’re making. But here’s the trick – instead of telling the prospect how formidable your product is, tell them about the amazing benefits they’ll get when they buy your offer.
Have you heard of “The 2-Billion Dollar Letter”? If you haven’t, I suggest you check it out. in that letter, Martin Conroy promotes the Wall Street Journal – not by talking about how great their reporters are or highlighting the technology they use to print their paper. Conroy lets the reader know what they’ll get by subscribing to the Journal: useful information that could make the reader a wealthier person.The more information you can place in your copy, the more persuasive your ad becomes. #copywriting Click To Tweet
The information doesn’t sell. But adding the right facts to your sales letter can help amplify the desire your reader has for your offer. Getting you closer to sealing the deal.
Test. Test. Test.
An advertisement hasn’t proven its worth until it’s out on the field. Its performance will determine whether you have a winner or a loser in your hands.
That’s why it is so important to conduct A/B testing for all your marketing and advertising. Without assessing your copy constantly, you’ll never know whether which ad to keep sending out – and which to set aside.
Let’s go back to the 2-Billion Dollar letter. You’d a letter that generated that much money would have an impressive headline. Well, you’re wrong. The letter goes from letterhead to “Dear reader” without any fanfare whatsoever. As it turned out, that’s what people wanted to read – a simple letter letting them know what they get when they subscribe to the Wall Street Journal. But WSJ wouldn’t have known that if they didn’t make the effort to assess the letter against other letters and see what they got. Which, in this case, was over 2 billion dollars in revenue.
No idea is stupid until it’s proven that it is. If you don’t test your ads, you’ll never know what you have in terms of success rate. Test every single piece of copy you have as much as possible to decide which copy you should send out, and which you should cast aside for good.
3 Lessons to Learn Today
Today you’ve learned that the headline is the most important part of your copy. You also learned that the more information you can place in your copy, the more persuasive your ad becomes. And finally, make sure that you test your copy as often as possible to determine its true worth.
What else have you learned from the best direct response copywriters in the world? Leave a comment explaining your side of things. And if you think this article could be useful to someone you know, feel free to share it with them!