How to substantiate claims in nutritional supplement advertising

Real quick one today—a crash course on how to substantiate advertising claims based on FTC guidelines. Right, the first thing you should know is that substantiating (“backing up”) your claims usually requires competent and reliable scientific evidence.  And, if a particular claim or your ad as a whole lends itself to more than one reasonable interpretation, you are responsible for substantiating …

The best way to write an opening paragraph

According to the great David Ogilvy, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy… … so and if your headline is no good, you have wasted 90% of your advertising money.  It follows then, that the headline is the most important element of an ad. So, what is the second most important element?  Some claim …

Top 10 copywriting/marketing resources

No messing around. Here they are, my top 10 favorite copywriting/marketing resources… 1. Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins 2. The Eugene Schwartz Phillips Publishing speech 3. John Carlton’s “Kickass Copywriting Secrets” 4. The Gary Halbert Letter 5. Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz 6. No B.S. Direct Marketing for Non-Direct Marketing Businesses by Dan Kennedy 7. “Look Over My Shoulder” newsletter …

4 ways to beef up your offer and increase sales

If you read yesterday’s post, you might remember me rambling on about how your list and offer are more important than the copy in direct marketing. Sure enough, I was analyzing an online sales letter control for a pain relief supplement this morning and found lots of room for improvement in the offer. Now, this sales letter was produced by …

Here’s something you won’t hear from many copywriters…

Copy isn’t all that important. Here’s what I mean… Jay Abraham has a terrific chapter in his book Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You’ve Got (terrifically valuable read, by the way), about creating breakthroughs. According to Jay, most people operate under the misguided assumption that success comes from making one small step at a time. But in fact, …

It took me 10 minutes to write this terrible headline…

Today is one of those days where I’m finding it difficult to get anything done. My mind just isn’t playing ball. But here’s the thing… The market doesn’t care. The fact that I’m not firing on all cylinders is completely irrelevant. I just have to get to work. So, I’m writing. Fair warning, though: there’s every chance this post is …

Handyman accidentally discovers secret marketing strategy

Recently, I noticed some rot in one of my windows at home, so I asked my handyman Marcus to make the necessary repairs. The plan was to remove the rot and fill in the gaps. But for the filler to stay in place, it has to bond with dry wood. Otherwise, it falls out of the window frame in clumps. …

Why the sign on my office door is designed to insult

My new office door sign: If you’re not familiar, “bugger off” is a less polite version of “go away”. Needless to say, my wife wasn’t overly impressed with the new sign. In fact, she keeps taking it down… … only to find it hanging again as soon as I find her hiding place. But all jokes aside, when I say …

Churchill’s marketing masterclass

June 4, 1940. It was the most troubled time in our history. Almost the entire British Army was enclosed by Nazi troops in Dunkirk, and a German invasion of Britain looked imminent. Civilian morale was at rock bottom. Churchill had no support from his war cabinet to fight back—they all wanted to negotiate with Hitler. So, Churchill was tasked with …

This is the most under-exploited marketing opportunity of all

There’s no doubt about it… … marketing is complex. It can be a real mind-fook. And when you try to find answers and piece the jigsaw together, there’s a lot of information out there to decipher. There are lot’s of goo-roos—some legitimate; some less so. Each has their own ideas, advice, strategies and tactics. But you’d be hard-pressed to find …