Feb 3, 2004 Volume 3 Issue 31
Going Out with a BANG!
Andy Owen is DM pro from the UK.
And a whale of writer. His Copycat articles in his E-zine are wonders every issue.
Well, Andy decided to finish off 2003 with a collection of four articles, each penned by a different writer ... this one included. This is that series. Here's how he begins;
Well, I promised you something very special and I'm not going to disappoint you. They are four giants of our business ...Living legends ...
Drayton, Herschell, Murray and Ray are also great pals of mine.
We talk regularly and exchange ideas and share frustrations on the state of contemporary communications. Here are their unique observations on copywriting for response.
Mystery I shall never fathom: why do marketers persist in ignoring the best deal around?
By Drayton Bird
When I was young and interested in religion (an interest fast resurfacing as I near the grave), I heard of a Roman Catholic doctrine called Invincible Ignorance.
If I recall correctly, it posited that even if B or possibly because - something was incredible, you had to make a blind leap of faith and believe in it.
As far as I can make out, a similar doctrine has seriously infected many, if not most, of those who control marketing budgets. Every year they happily squander squillions on the latest half-baked, unproven communications theory, whilst perversely ignoring the best marketing investment they can ever get.
I refer, of course, to good copy.
It costs no more to run than bad, yet what a vast difference it can make! A good example is Martin Conroy's letter for the Wall Street Journal, which Andy has highlighted before in this column.
I believe it has run for nigh on 30 years now, harvesting a good $12 billion in subscriptions. How much did they pay him? $5,000, maybe.
Is that a bargain, or what?
Even a relative amateur like me has been known to improve people's stuff a little. Why be shy? I recently improved one organization's ROI by somewhere between 1,000% and 1,200%. No computer was involved.
No phony management jargon. Just the application of a little knowledge of what works and what doesn't.
Unfortunately, few marketers are interested in something so obvious and dull.
They all want to believe that a magic silver bullet will do the job for them. For the last few years it's been called CRM. Or is it One-to-One marketing?
Frankly, who cares? None of it will do as much for your money as a well chosen selection of words that persuade people to do what you want.
The Drayton Bird Partnership
Copywriting foibles and miscues
by Herschell Gordon Lewis
The World Wide Web has wrought cosmic changes within the world of what we quite correctly have called "Force-communication" B the honorable and professional technique of causing someone to perform a positive act as the direct result of exposure to our selling message.
Those changes aren't always favorable.
Early, first-generation e-mails brought results regardless of how amateurish, how greedy, and, yes, how phony they were. That was expected, because the medium was still emerging from its embryo.
But now we're in the third e-mail generation, and too many of the early practitioners still employ their now-obsolete and now-obnoxious tactics.
The result is rampant skepticism aimed at all online messages Y and that attitude is bleeding over onto print, broadcast, and direct mail.
May I suggest a simple cure, one that will benefit all of us who toil in the dungeons of direct response? And by simple, I mean simple!
Here is the cure: When you make a claim, prove it.
Now, you have to agree – no little rule could be simpler. But, regrettably, for too many copywriting poseurs, no rule could be more difficult to implement, because we've been invaded by the Term-Throwers.
We constantly see adverts employing the first-generation e-mail philosophy B unexplained, unjustified superlatives and comparatives.
This is "Best" or "Better" without any rationale behind it. I submit that this is both cheating and unprofessional.
Worse, in the year 2004, it's amateurish.
So, on behalf of all direct marketers – who should resent having our offerings regarded as counterfeit, bogus, specious, faked, false, counterfeit, or any other pejorative adjective that might apply B I suggest that for this point forward, for the rest of your life plus six months, you as force-communicator dedicate yourself to a rule only legitimate salespeople employ:
If you make a claim, prove it.
What a wonderful world we'll create: People actually will believe us!
Words, Words, Words
By Murray Raphel
"When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, "It means just what I choose it to mean - neither more or less"
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."
Words - and what they really mean, are the basis for any successful direct mail program.
Good words . . .
We're not talking about dictionary definitions, because that gives general meanings. We're more interested in what words mean to a specific group we are trying to attract to buy our product.
Many copywriters try to be clever with word play that they forget the object is to have someone buy something, not congratulate them on their brilliant writing that doesn't give me a reason to buy.
Where are the words that surprise, delight, enchant us?
Where is the story that brings us into the selling message? Where is the focus on me, the reader, my wants and desires? As important, do the words you write relate to the product you sell?
Take slogans: the best slogan should have the name of the product and a specific advantage. I liked the earlier Ford slogan: "There's a Ford in your future" better than the new one: "Quality is Job Number One."
Ask ten people who words in this slogan relate to and listen to the range of answers...I like the slogan for Smuckers jams and jellies:
"With a name like Smuckers, it has to be good."
Contrast that with a recent group of car slogans. Can you match these words with the car they represent?
"Own one and you'll understand."
"What a luxury should be."
"The relentless pursuit of excellence."
"Let's go for a drive."
Give up? Here are the answers in correct order (It's not fair looking before you try to match the words with the brand).
Infiniti, Lincoln, Lexus, Isuzu, Saturn, Impala.
Here's my favorite slogan of all, using great word choices, from W. Attlee Burpee who produce packets of flower seeds.
Mr. Burpee once gave an interview where he said, "Our slogan is the best because the first word tells you who we are, the second word tells you what we sell and the third word tell you what it does: "Burpees Seeds Grow."
The strongest advantage of direct mail is the ability to concentrate on a very specific market with very specific needs. It then follows that this specific group has a specific language.
If an American child misbehaves, his mother says "be good" which implies the child is being bad. The French mother corrects a child with "be wise" .
The Scandinavian mother says, "be friendly."
The German mother says, "be in line."
And the Hopi Indian mother says it best, "That is not the Hopi way."
Direct mail concerns itself with words. So you must concern yourself with what the words mean to your customer.
"How forcible are the right words" - Job, 6:25.
Copywriting for Response in the 21st Century
by Ray Jutkins
There is a one and only one reason Coca Cola is the world's most recognized brand: repetition.
It has nothing to do with product. Little with distribution. Most to do with pounding the message over and over, again and again.
You have not and you will not live a day of your life without hearing or seeing (or tasting) something from Coke. I've traveled to 164 countries on 7 continents and have yet to be in a place without Coca Cola. It is everywhere.
Why is repetition necessary? And, what difference does it make to you as you create your plan? Because every day this is what happens in the marketplace;
And this happens every single day!
Is it any wonder repetition is necessary to get your message to your buyers? That creating your creative is not a one time quick and dirty option? That the creative process is as important to your biz success as your financial plan? That repetition builds your reputation?
The nine-second sound bite of television has become such a part of our life, we expect everything to be short. Bang-bang. Sadly, being fast just plain does not work when you're seeking long term and meaningful results. Instead, it takes time - and a tad of creative brain power - to make the bottom line. Yes, the creative process IS important.
Period. Don't think otherwise. Not even for a minute.
Those that feel a one-shot effort is all it takes are living in an era that never existed. And certainly will not in this first decade of century number 21. " Build it and they will come" made a good story for Field of Dreams. That isn't how it works.
repeat your message ... Repeat Your Message ... REPEAT YOUR MESSAGE! Or, someone, me or your nearest competitor, will eat your lunch before breakfast.
Rockingham Jutkins Marketing
And ... you can reach Andy and read more with a visit to
Andy Owen & Associates Ltd
After a dozen grand years in the deserts of southwest Arizona, ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing is moving to the seaside coastal town of Morro Bay, in central California.
With the WWW, E-mail, overnight delivery and an ever ready airport that allows me to hop quickly to SFO or LAX for points onward, our business model will not change. We'll still be here to work with you!
When all the details are in place you'll be the first to know. Looks like the move is on for the end of February. We already have a phone number (will share it later when it goes "live"). Along with a mailing address and all contact specifics.
Isn't moving soooo much fun!
"It IS What's Next!"
It's become known as "the story".
I've shared it with a number of health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a publishing organization, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-60 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. If you want a half-day interactive seminar, that can happen, too. For your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Your school or University. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.
It IS What’s Next! is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
from The Baker's Dozen Collection
The13 Prime Direct Marketing Numbers
Direct marketing is a numbers business.
Most often we think of the back-end, the results, when we think DM and numbers. This Baker's Dozen Collection is about the creative process. And how to " think" your writing. So it will be read. So it will be understood. So you will get a higher result - a larger and more profitable back-end.
For the most important DM numbers, "click" here ... www.rayjutkins.com/baker/baker15.htm
... and one more Idea
An eon ago Burt Dubin came into my life. And has stayed. We continue to swap ideas.
One area of common ground is we're both speakers. And, Burt is a "teacher" ... working with professionals helping them grow to masters - as well as new comers just breaking in to the speaker business.
To learn more about what Burt might offer you, visit his exclusive resource and most interesting web site. Plus, you may wish to opt-in for his FREE E-zine. It's easy - surf to www.SpeakingBizSuccess.com and take a tour. Or send an E-mail to email@example.com.
A FREE Audio Tape for YOU!
Because Ray Speaks ... it is expected he'll have audio and video tapes.
Why? To share with speakers bureaus, meeting planners and others interested in what he may have to say. So "yes", there is an audio tape. And he'll be happy to send you a copy. FREE. No strings attached.
The tape is a selection from several speaking gigs. A few case histories, some "how to..." ideas. And such. About an hour's worth of chatter ... some of it actually very entertaining!
If you'd like you very own copy, send an E-mail to ...
Your tape will be on the way to you within the day.
Oh, when you have a need for a speaker, and feel a demo video tape could be valuable to you, just ask for a copy. Not much use for video these days - with the Web - still, we'll be happy to forward one to you.
This is a smile from Anonymous. Not practical - still enjoyable.
An Anonymous Spanish proverb says . . .
"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
... another Idea
New business friend Gerry Sacks of Houston, Texas sent me here. It turns out this leading information resource from the financial world offers a collection of marketing & sales ideas. Still, no matter your business, you will find good material here. Offered by 80+ experts (including me!) ... visit ProducersWEB.com
. . . and one more loose thought
Friend Ernie Schell brings you this message.
Direct commerce order management systems have changed a lot recently. The Annual Conference of the eCommerce & Catalog Systems Forum will showcase what's new.
Designed for CEOs and CFOs as much as CIOs and IT Managers, the Conference features Case Studies, Best Practices, Fraud Prevention, attendee roundtables, and an Exhibit Hall. If you want to "compare notes" and "network" with your peers, this is the place to be.
For more details, see www.ecsforum.org. PLUS - get a $50 discount (off the posted price) for each attendee. Just put "RAY" in the "Reference Code" box when you sign up.
Magic Marketing Minutes
What is it that will make your prospect take some action?
Your offer must be perceived as having value to your prospect. Make the
most attractive offer you can.The most attractive!
Your offer must be outstanding. The most attractive you can afford. A very small percentage of your prospects will become your customers. They'll buy from you no matter what you say or when you say it or how you say it.
But the vase majority won't give you the time of day. No matter how good you are or how attractive you may be.
The difference is where it's at. It's where you make it or not. The fence sitters - make your offer to the fence sitters. Win them over to your side.
Do you want me to buy? Make me an offer I can't refuse.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.