Direct Response Copywriter on What Really Works

I just wrote the copy for a product in the golf space. As soon as the product launched and the shopping cart opened, the shopping cart crashed due to sheer volume/demand. A good problem to have.

The company that is promoting the product had to shut down the launch, beef up its server capacity, then relaunch. Everything is hunky dory now. It was a blockbuster launch, despite the glitch.

I'd like to take credit, as the copywriter, for copy that shut down the servers but I can't. Here's why this launch was so successful.

  • A big list with globs of hungry and highly-qualified traffic.
  • An excellent relationship with the list based on superb content.
  • Awesome "teaser" emails to get everyone fired up about the product.
  • A unique, top quality product that is different from the typical "how to hold the club" golf DVD.
  • Three major revisions of the copy before it went live. A healthy dose of persistence.
  • A strong and clear sales page.
  • The ability to add server capacity at the last minute to avert final hurdle disaster. Flexibility.

As a direct response copywriter, I wish I could claim total credit but direct response copy is just part of a successful launch. If the product has no merit and there's no traffic, there's nothing a direct response copywriter can do to help. If there's plenty of traffic, the offer is exceptional, and the product is great, then I'm simply closing the sale and helping to break records and shut down servers. However, with moderate traffic and a modest product and offer, I can help to make a significant difference.

Still, while it's never good when the shopping cart shuts down due to demand, it's a good problem to have: you've discovered what really works.

*

I'm a direct response copywriter. I specialize in providing direct response copy for the direct marketing environment for clients around the planet. I specialize in sales page copy, landing page copy and copy that persuades readers to pull out their credit card and buy. Enter your info 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 me to quote.

I'm also a Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers.

*

Disclaimer for the above.

The Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification is awarded to professional copywriters who have successfully completed a course of study of preparation for such copywriting.  This Certification has not been provided by an accredited education institution.  It does not constitute endorsement of or liability for any individual copywriter by Mr. Kennedy or any companies or organizations affiliated with Mr. Kennedy. The client's relationship is solely with the individual copywriter retained via any agreement.

What this Direct Response Copywriter Thinks About the Toyota Space Shuttle Stunt

Nice Stunt but…

On October 13, a Toyota Tundra, a pickup truck, will tow the 300,000 pound space shuttle to its final resting place at The California Science Center.

The choice of truck is no accident: it’s an advertising stunt organized by Saatchi and Saatchi to promote their client, Toyota.

Don’t believe it? Click here.

It will be amazing advertising with a 'to-die-for' message: "our truck is so strong it can tow a space shuttle."

The creatives at Saatchi and Saatchi who have organized this ad are giddy with themselves. Toyota got the nod, evidently, because it already had a ‘relationship’ with the aforementioned California Science Center.

OK. Follow the money. Whatever.

There will be plenty of free pub but the actual advertising will be on YouTube. It’s not actually that difficult to rig a vehicle to tow something big but that’s neither here nor there. A tug can tow a 747-8 that weighs over 975,000 pounds (442,253 kg) MTOW.

 

One of the people involved in the stunt has breathlessly declared: “This isn’t advertising. It’s history.”

 

Publicity comes and goes. It mostly goes. Tuesday’s news is usually forgotten by Thursday. It might be history but it's forgotten eventually.

If I were the marketing manager for Toyota, I would say to the advertising genii, “Nice stunt. Well done. Throw a party. BUT...how are we going to measure the direct impact on Tundra sales? Will it affect overall Toyota sales? What’s the ROI?”

As a direct response copywriter, I can be creative but there’s only one reason to get my creative boots on: drive response.

The people involved in the project are:

  • Executive Creative Directors Chris Adams and Margaret Keene
  • Senior Copywriter Graham McCann
  • Creative Director Erich Funke
  • Senior Art Director Verner Soler

Chris, Margaret, Graham, Erich, and Verner: please tell me how many Tundras the stunt sells. If it sells TONS of Tundras, hats off. But if Tundra sales fail to increase enough to justify the cost, what’s the point?

If you tell me it’s all to promote the brand then it’s ALL a waste of time…to this direct response copywriter. We don't do branding in direct response because you can't directly measure ROI.

And if you disagree with my logic, go here and tell me why David Ogilvy is wrong.

Hat's off. Great stunt. What's the ROI?

*

I'm a direct response copywriter. I specialize in providing content and copy for the direct marketing environment for clients around the planet. I specialize in sales page copy, landing page copy and copy that just plain persuades readers to pull out their credit card and buy. Enter your info 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 me to quote.

 

Direct Response Copywriter Word of the Night: AIDA

OK. Admittedly, it's an acronym. But for the direct response copywriter, AIDA is an extremely important word. It’s the baseline copywriting formula for direct response copywriting.

A = Attention

I = Interest

D = Desire

A = Action

Let’s go through these briefly.

The headline and opening must get the reader’s attention. The reader is the target prospect.

Interesting facts come next in order to hold the interest of the reader. The deeper the research, the stronger the overall interest. It’s where the direct response copywriter states the problem.

In the desire section, the product/service gets introduced as the solution to the problem. It’s time to discuss features and benefits and also include testimonials and proof. Don’t forget the guarantee and the offer.

At the end, demand action by telling the reader what you want them to do.

Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

It takes a lot of work to get it right and convert readers, viewers, and listeners into buyers.

However, for any copywriter, including the website copywriter, it’s important to use the AIDA formula.

*

I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. I increasingly specialize in sales pages and landing pages. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here.