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Getting Direct Response Down to a Science

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Posted 1st June 2010 at 10:09 AM by Len Bailey

Getting Direct Response
Down to a Science

You know those bundles of flyers that arrive in the mail each week?

I always make it a point to sit down and read them … usually as soon as they hit my mailbox. Because sometimes, amidst the pizza coupons and satellite TV pitches, I’ll stumble across a great swipe for my collection.

Like the swipe I have for you today.

Chances are, you’ve seen this ad before. Or you’ve seen one like it – because this baby has been running in one form or another for pretty much ten years straight. And that means one thing: It works.

Now, I happen to know a little bit of the background on this particular piece. The company running the ad is Littleton Coin, where I spent a couple years cranking out copy for their catalogs … website … direct mail packages … and plenty of ads like this one.

Back then, this was one of their best performing ads for bringing in new customers. They’d been running it for years, testing (and re-testing) virtually every element of the piece from the headline and layout to the premiums, "Yes!" copy and guarantee.

Each time a coin in the series was released, we would add the new coin’s photo and tweak the copy to make it as strong as possible. But for the most part, once we had a winner, we left it alone.

So needless to say, I wasn’t the least surprised to find this ad still running. Because unlike most advertisers, Littleton Coin understands two great truths in advertising:

Test everything … but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

Littleton has direct response advertising down to a science.

The company was founded in 1945 by Maynard Sundman, who previously ran a successful mail-order stamp business from his home from the mid-1930s until he was drafted in 1941. And while it originally occupied two second-story rooms above the small town’s Main Street, today the industry icon employs more than 300 people in its 85,000-square-foot headquarters.

Maynard was one of those businessmen who really got advertising. He wrote ads that spoke directly to his prospects’ desires, with results that spoke for themselves. And although Maynard passed on a few years ago, you can still feel his spirit, enthusiasm, and experience in his company’s advertisements.

That’s why I urge you to study this week’s swipe in detail. And don’t rush, because there’s a lot going on in this ad – all of which represents hundreds of thousands of dollars in testing.

Take in every word of the copy, from the headline to the last word of the continuity program disclosure.

Notice how the layout showcases product and premium … and how the order form is both straight-forward and contains an upsell that perfectly complements the main product.

From the burst shouting the 67% savings to the placement of the guarantee, this ad covers the essential elements with one exception: it has a noticeable lack of testimonials.

And since I happen to know Littleton has binders overflowing with letters from delighted customers … it’s a safe bet this is not an oversight at all, but rather the result of testing.

So click here to download a PDF copy of the Swipe of the Week … and enjoy!

Best wishes for success,


Note: This article was first published in The Total Package. To sign-up to receive your own FREE subscription to The Total Package and claim four FREE money making e-books go to The Total Package.
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