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Archive for March, 2006

Benefit Headlines Don’t Work

March 15th, 2006 by Bob Bly

In a shocking teleseminar today, superstar copywriter Clayton Makepeace told attendees that benefit headlines don’t work any more, for 3 reasons:

1. Yours is the 200th ?benefit? head your prospect has seen today.
2. Your benefit head screams, ?THIS IS ANOTHER AD!?
3. Benefit heads increasingly make customers think, ?Yeah, RIGHT!?

So what works?

One technique Clayton teaches: address the reader’s skepticism in the headline instead of promising a big benefit.

His example: a promotion for a nutritional supplement to improve vision that began with the headline, “Why Billberry and Lutein Don’t Work.”

What do you think? Is today’s customer too smart, sophisticated, and skeptical to respond to traditional benefit-oriented advertising? If so, what are you using instead?


Category: Direct Marketing, General | 196 Comments »

What Works Best in Direct Mail: Sales Letters or Postcards?

March 8th, 2006 by Bob Bly

In his latest e-newsletter, copywriter Alan Sharpe says: “In business-to-business direct mail lead generation, letters invariable outpull self-mailers, including postcards.”

Yet many b-to-b marketers I talk to favor postcards. They note that postcards eliminate the need to convince someone to open an envelope’ the sales message is right in plain sight.

What works best for generating leads in YOUR experience: a sales letter in an envelope — or a postcard? And why?


Category: Direct Marketing, General | 126 Comments »