October 2017 1
From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.
On the Beauty of Simplicity ... And the Advertorial ... And Tabloids ... I just spent a week in New York and environs, meeting with a client and attending a meeting of the mastermind group run by Brian Kurtz. Then I flew to London to spend a couple of weeks in the United Kingdom.
New York and the UK have something in common: a strong printed newspaper culture. Yes … people in these spots still read newspapers and the newspapers are magnificently written, ESPECIALLY the tabloids.
I pay close attention to the headlines in the tabloids: perfectly written by professionals who understand how to grab the attention of the reader in 3 seconds … or less.
Of course, if you want examples of 7th grade writing, then the tabloids will give you all the fodder you could ever need or want.
Yes … the tabloids are alive and well. So too are advertorials … in both upmarket newspapers and the tabloids.
Here are some thoughts about these advertorials.
I haven’t seen testing data but the better advertorials are in the tabloids. They merge seamlessly with the rest of the content so they totally look like articles … all by design. Super-strong call to action … the next steps are totally clear. There isn’t a whopping amount of space so the copy has to be really clear and really tight. I can write as much as I like on a sales page on the web but I might only get 600 words in the advertorial. They follow the AIDA copy formula. Image selection is picture-perfect. Everything sells happiness and solutions. The design makes it easy to read. The CTA is almost always to call a phone number at a call center. That's where the close takes place.
Every time I visit New York and every time I visit the UK, I see advertorials in tabloids and broadsheets. Clearly these are working. And one more thing … they work successfully for a wide variety of products. I saw health advertorials. I saw gardening advertorials. I saw travel advertorials.
Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter