Direct Response Copywriter Reads The New York Times and Sees Something Missing

On Sunday, while getting my coffee in the local Starbucks, I splashed out $6 for the elephantine Sunday edition of The New York Times. I love visiting New York and, periodically, I like the full ‘old-school’ feel of a big city newspaper.

From a content standpoint, the sheer depth and breadth is impressive. A lot of typing. The quality of the writing surprisingly varies from the sublime to the shoddy. And the writers, fully supported by the copy editors, are never afraid to insert an adverb or adverbial clause between the infinitive version of a verb.

Memo to said writers and editors...a split infinitive is poor writing.

But moving on…

After reading chunks of the content, I read every page looking at the ads.

This exercise coincides with going through Gary Bencivenga’s 7 Master Secrets of Wealth Creation for Marketers and Copywriters DVD product.

Full disclosure: no affiliate deal here.

Much of Gary Bencivenga’s work appeared in newspapers. Here’s an example.

Direct marketers, armed with a direct response copywriter, earned millions through these relatively simple space ads. The copywriter charged a lot and the space was expensive but the ROI was through the roof…on the front end and back end.

I saw just ONE ad in The New York Times that may have qualified as a direct response ad…for The Great Courses. I saw a lot of expensive branding ads and it was hard to find an offer, CTA, or arresting headline.

And all of this in a city that remains the epicenter of direct response advertising.

Yes—circulation numbers are down for print versions of newspapers but I still think there’s a massive opportunity for the serious direct marketers to generate leads and revenues in newspapers.