Direct Marketing Notes from the U.K. Direct Response Copywriting Archive April 2018 2

April 2018 2

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter, Aspen, Colorado.

Direct Marketing Notes from the U.K.

Thoughts from the U.K.

I’m sending this email from the U.K. where I’m spending a few days seeing family and friends plus attending a wedding.

There are so many similarities between America and U.S. yet so many subtle and not-so-subtle differences.

Let me focus on a few differences that seem salient when it comes to direct marketing.

Print still exists in the U.K.

Newspapers are dying in the U.S., and, as a former employee of a major newspaper, it’s not a huge shock. But, in the U.K., people still want their physical newspapers and their physical magazines.

Look at just a small portion of a newsstand in a town in the U.K. ... hundreds of specialty magazines.

What’s totally remarkable is the variety of and depth of niches. The U.K. offers thriving magazines in everything from knitting to trucking.

Many copywriters believe they need to rush into a niche and specialize in a niche. That’s fine provided there’s plenty of business in the niche.

So there are two lessons here.

First … there’s a rampant thirst for information and this will never change. Good news for copywriters who help clients to sell information.

Second … it’s not all digital. Print is alive in certain areas and this can translate to direct mail. One of my clients has sent 2 million post cards in the past 12 months for a client in southern California in the health space.

TABLOIDS. You see them in New York City but nowhere else in the United States ... unless I’m missing something, which is very possible.

But daily tabloid newspapers are huge in the U.K. Deep inside these tabloids, the advertorial is prevalent. Yesterday, I saw an opt-in page ... in a newspaper.

You’ll see some magnificent headlines and copy in these newspapers. But you’ll also see some superb examples of advertorials. In fact, you’ll also see them in the broadsheet papers, like The Daily Telegraph. You will also see them in certain magazines.

Yes … direct marketing is alive and well in the UK plus there’s something else I’ve noticed in the U.K. People are more interested in deals.

It’s all apocryphal, of course, but I sense that people in the UK are more tuned into deals and promotions than they are in the U.S. Maybe it’s because the cost of living is so much higher in most of the U.K. than the U.S. but fatigue in the U.S. may also play a role.

Yes … direct marketing is alive and well in the U.K. So is print.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter

Playing Hard to Get. Advice from a Direct Response Copywriter. Email archive March 2017.

March 2017

From the desk of Scott Martin, direct response copywriter. Aspen, Colorado.

Dear :

Should You Play Hard to Get? The Answer Will Surprise You.

I keep a close eye on my competitors. I like (almost) all of them a great deal and consider them to be colleagues and not the competition.

Many copywriters are open and friendly and always willing to speak with potential clients.

However, some copywriters play “hard to get” by saying things like “I’ll see if I can fit you on my schedule” and “I’m really not speaking with potential clients right now.”

If I get to the point in my career where I’m genuinely booked for the next several years then maybe I will say things like “I'm genuinely booked for the next several years.”

I know a copywriter who is … genuinely booked for the next several years! But on his website, he says he has room for one client. Is he lying? Not really … I’m sure he will have room if the current client decides to work with another copywriter. Maybe he would create bandwidth to speak with a mega client.

Some copywriters believe that, by saying they’re booked, they will make themselves more desirable to potential clients. I’m not one of these copywriters. And other copywriters set fees artificially high in order to give the impression they are one of the top copywriters.

Setting fees is a subject for another time but the whole “let me see if I can fit you in” is a bit much.

I was just speaking with a potential client the other day. I was interested at first in writing for him but then had second thoughts … for a variety of reasons. Was this playing “hard to get” hoping he will come back with more money? No. It’s not totally about the money.

Look at my website and you’ll see that I’m available to speak and always open to a conversation with potential clients. Does this say “I’m desperate for work?” Absolutely not.

I also have a page on my website that asks the question, “are we a good fit?” On that page, I simply seek to attract top-quality direct marketing clients who are likely to be a good match. I also seek to keep poor potential clients from contacting me in the first place. It’s a tried and tested direct marketing tactic and I get very few bad potential clients contacting me.

I’ve even had people say to me … “don’t ever return phone calls or emails right away as this will make it seem like you’re desperate.” I don’t understand this logic. I return calls and emails promptly.

Should you play hard to get? With poor potential clients … ABSOLUTELY! But with good potential clients, I’m always open to a conversation.

Scott Martin Direct Response Copywriter