Direct Response Copywriter on My 2nd Biggest Challenge

As a direct response copywriter, my biggest day-to-day challenge is writing copy that generates cash for my clients. My copy – or at least one version of the copy – has to perform. I’m a sales person and when sales people fail, they get fired … and that’s totally understandable.

But here’s another challenge: speaking with a potential client who has endured a bad experience with another direct response copywriter.

Typically, the potential client has hired a copywriter, paid a sometimes significant fee, and watched the copy fail miserably. There may have been other issues like missed deadlines, a haughty attitude, or something else. But the biggest problem is usually the poor return on the investment made in the copy.

I rarely get into the gory details with the potential client. But I often ask a simple question: “How aggressively were you testing?”

The answer is usually the same: “there was only one version of the copy … and it stank.”

And there’s the real problem. The potential client isn’t letting the copywriter fail. The first attempt at the copy fails – as it often does – and the client thinks the copywriter is a dunce – an expensive one at that.

The clients I have worked with who have enjoyed the most success are the ones who EXPECT me to fail. That’s because they test like crazy … constantly. After a lot of copy that fails to beat the control, one attempt will hammer the control and everyone will be happy.

I’m upfront with potential clients about copy. I say what I just wrote: you have to test. If the potential client isn’t with that plan, then the whole situation is probably going to end in tears.

If you've had a bad experience with a copywriter, that's understandable. But ask yourself this question: "am I testing enough?"


I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here if you have a project you'd like to discuss. I'm also a Dan Kennedy certified copywriter for information products.