Last week, I attended a conference in New York City. Digital Marketer marketed and organized the event. They organize quite a few events including the well-known and well-attended Traffic and Conversion Summit. They also sell marketing advice and related items. I’ve actually worked for them in the past.
The event in Manhattan was primarily for the people who own and run digital agencies.
“What’s a digital agency?” you might be asking.
It’s sort of like an advertising agency but it’s primarily focused on PPC, SEO, lead-generation, email, social media, and the like. Perhaps some of these agencies provide other services.
I attended because I knew there would be plenty of people and organizations looking for copywriters. I’ve been to conferences for direct response copywriters and I’ve enjoyed them … and learned from them … but there are lots of copywriters there and not many people looking for copywriters.
Ryan Deiss, one of the founders of Digital Marketer, spoke twice at the event. In both speeches, he helped my cause, and the cause of all professional copywriters, by talking, at length, about the vital importance of copy when it comes to marketing and agency success. Ryan even pointed the amassed to several books about copy including Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples.
You can see a review of Tested Advertising Methods and other direct marketing books here.
On one hand, it’s surprising that someone has to tell a bunch of marketers about the importance of copy. But, on the other hand, I’m not especially surprised: it’s rare in the advertising and marketing world for agency types to take copy seriously.
Why the latter?
There are lots of reasons. There are some people in the field who don’t know much about advertising. Shocking but true. There are lots of people who think “branding” is the answer and that’s a huge mistake ... they don't even know what a direct response copywriter does. Very few people in advertising truly understand direct marketing because it’s not taught in business schools … or anywhere. You have to learn about direct response and direct response copywriting on your own. This takes a special type of dedication. And many agency owners don’t want to be accountable and so they pursue the branding path.
The agency owners at the conference had one thing in common: the desire to improve and succeed. All good. There was a serious commitment to attending this conference. Hopefully, they listened to Ryan Deiss and have already ordered the books he recommended. Direct response copywriting is not the "latest greatest sexiest" thing in marketing but it can still produce massive revenue.