What's wrong with "Who Else Wants To Blah Blah Blah"?

66 replies
Is it me alone or are you also tired of Sales copies and Squeeze pages starting with the following command: "WHO ELSE WANTS TO ........ YOU KNOW WHAT"

Personally, I'm just sick of it, and 99% of the time I don't even bother to read the rest of the copy. I don't care how good the product is, whenever I see "Who Else Wants To ....", I hit 'next'.

I'm amazed how some copies are just plain, xerox copies of others without any creativity or added substance.

Looks to me like some fast and slick peddler is out to hustle my cash away. With a little creativity, standing out from the rest of the pack, I believe that most copies will convert well than the usual "Who Else Wants To Blah, Blah, Blah".

What say you?
#copywriter #good copy writing tips #sales copies #squeeze pages
  • Profile picture of the author Juan L Costa
    I don't like that headline neither, if think it doesn't add any credibility at all, and it's kind of outdated, many people have already seen it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stephen Dean
    It might be outdated in the IM market because everyone started using it once they heard how well it works. That said, everyone started using it because of how well it works.

    You are on to something. Markets have to adjust to ever changing details and consumer awareness, and the "Who Else" headline may not stop people in their tracks the way it used to.

    Cheers,
    Stephen
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  • Profile picture of the author dorim
    When I see the words "who else" I click off the page without reading any further. Another expression that is overused is "Dear frustrated marketer".......
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  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    The IM niche's got more sophisticated, as soon as a prospect sees 'Who else....' they realize the rest is a sales pitch.

    It's still worth a try in other markets though.
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    Andrew Gould

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  • Profile picture of the author ina696
    Yeah, me too! That and the phrase nearer to the payment button (...even if it's 2:00 a.m.). I've seen that copy so often on PLR content that it makes me shudder. Like Andrew said, it might still work in some markets but ... urrrgghhhh!

    Ina
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    There are three kinds of people: Those who want to replace tired old headlines like 'who else' with a brand-new zinger, even if it's 2 a.m. Those who don't. And those who wonder, who else wants to reuse overworked cliches?

    Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by RareGoodStuff View Post

    Is it me alone or are you also tired of Sales copies and Squeeze pages starting with the following command: "WHO ELSE WANTS TO ........ YOU KNOW WHAT"

    Personally, I'm just sick of it, and 99% of the time I don't even bother to read the rest of the copy. I don't care how good the product is, whenever I see "Who Else Wants To ....", I hit 'next'.

    I'm amazed how some copies are just plain, xerox copies of others without any creativity or added substance.

    Looks to me like some fast and slick peddler is out to hustle my cash away. With a little creativity, standing out from the rest of the pack, I believe that most copies will convert well than the usual "Who Else Wants To Blah, Blah, Blah".

    What say you?
    It doesn't matter how "Who Else Wants" headlines make you, me, or any other copywriter feel. What matters is how the specific market you're writing for responds.

    Alex
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    • Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      It doesn't matter how "Who Else Wants" headlines make you, me, or any other copywriter feel. What matters is how the specific market you're writing for responds.

      Alex
      Who else wants to stop guessing at what will work based on their own preferences and test multiple headlines in the market to see what actually works?
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      • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
        You may not like " Who Else...".

        But what do the people that click the buy button think.

        -Bill
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        • Profile picture of the author RareGoodStuff
          Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

          You may not like " Who Else...".

          But what do the people that click the buy button think.

          -Bill
          Good point from Bill Jeffels, but if someone like me who is not sophisticated but spends fairly on digital products, finds 'Who Else Wants To....' less appealing, I wonder what the conversion rate with a different opening pitch would be?

          Do you see my point?

          Just wondering?!

          The fact that 'Who Else' still converts does not mean that it is the best option available.

          Think!
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
          Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

          You may not like " Who Else...".

          But what do the people that click the buy button think.

          -Bill
          They think okay I'll take a look when they see it the first time and they think can't anyone show any originality by the 17th time they read it in sales copy.

          Its like "cash sucking" this or that. Firt guy or gal that used it great. Now it just causes the eyes to roll.
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          • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
            Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

            They think okay I'll take a look when they see it the first time and they think can't anyone show any originality by the 17th time they read
            Okay, who are they. The cash buying public. Are you speaking on all their behalf now?

            And how are you think, as a consumer or a marketer... 17th time they've read something.... get real.

            Oh, here's something by one of the most respected copywriters in this entire world I just happen to come across...


            "Who Else Wants John Carltons Copywriting Secrets
            To Transform Their Sales Copy?



            So, What I think you should do, contact good ole Johnny,his assisant is Diane... tell Johnny this type of Sh*t don't work no more.

            And he can just stick to using the word " Humiliated " and dumping yellow highlighter on everything.

            -Bill
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            • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
              Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post



              So, What I think you should do, contact good ole Johnny,his assisant is Diane... tell Johnny this type of Sh*t don't work no more.
              l
              Touchy touchy touchy. Why the venom guy ? and frankly I don't respect the attempt to slide by the language filter. look toning it down - Its a simple common sense observation. No one is saying that a copywriter can't EVER use this or that phrase. What people are telling you is that overall when too many people latch on to the same phrase it loses its effect over time. Isn't that elementary? You want to test that ice melts in the sun?

              What does your example Prove? Nothing, NYET. That one good copywriter uses a term or phrase doesn't mean everyone else should or that because it works in that case that it should now become a word formula for all other copywriters to copy.

              You can bust a capillary it won't change the natural human response to hearing the same thing over and over and over again. thats all thats really being said.
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              • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
                Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post


                What does your example Prove? Nothing, NYET. That one good copywriter uses a term or phrase doesn't mean everyone else should.
                Listen,

                You obviously don't know very much about copywriting because anyone that did would not of said that.

                I'm gonna give you a little lesson. We as copywriters use time tested proven phrases. Some fizzle out some stay around for along time. But it's all basic formulas and techniques you use over the years.

                My first year of copywriting a wrote a letter that took a company from bankruptcy to making 6 figures... all with in 12 months.

                So, I know a few things about copy

                But, when it all comes down to it... the main way to find out is... TEST

                -Bill
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                • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                  Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

                  Listen,

                  You obviously don't know very much about copywriting because anyone that did would not of said that.

                  I'm gonna give you a little lesson.
                  Thanks. I don't need it though even if it were a valid lesson. I have studied enough copywiting to know whats bunk and what isn't and whats obvious bunk is this.

                  We as copywriters use time tested proven phrases. Some fizzle out some stay around for along time. But it's all basic formulas and techniques you use over the years.
                  Then you need to pull out the books and read you some old school. Yes its basic formulas and techniques but it isn't one everlasting lego block construction of "tested proven phrases". The classic piece of direct advertising didn't follow a color by numbers use this phrase and that phrase architecture. They understood persuasion, techniques of closing, excited interest not copied and pasted phrases. Now you are showing that you don't understand copywriting.

                  My goodness its sad that anyone claiming the word "writer" of any kind in their profession would rail so hard against some creativity and originality. The real masters brought a fresh look at their product offering not just repeat what worked for the last campaign. If its all canned phrases then who needs a copywriter? So either you are the one that didn't understand what I wrote or you just shot your profession in the foot

                  My first year of copywriting a wrote a letter that took a company from bankruptcy to making 6 figures... all with in 12 months.

                  So, I know a few things about copy
                  and I know a few things about posturing (which is what I see almost every time I stumble in this section). The million dollar copywriters don't come on a board and argue about reusing the same phrases over and over. Even if they did use them they'd realize its not productive to their business and frankly they 'd be too busy to do it or to affluent to care.

                  But, when it all comes down to it... the main way to find out is... TEST

                  -Bill
                  Thats right . On that we agree. So until either of us put that test result that can be verified by something more than anecdotal evidence anyone my statement stands. Fact and obvious fact - reusignthe same phrase s over and over on the same target market begins to wear down the effect of the phrase.

                  OR do you still jump when you TV anchor says " breaking news"?
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                  • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
                    Originally Posted by Mike Anthony View Post

                    Thanks. I don't need it though. Yes, yes you do!
                    OR do you still jump when you TV anchor says " breaking news"?
                    Listen son,

                    I was reading Hopkins, Caples, Shwab, schwartz and the masters... taking notes. Reading them again, writing them out by hand.

                    All the while you were trying to figure out how Don Lapre did it... " With all those tiny classified ads..".

                    Bill
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                    • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                      Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

                      Listen son,

                      ll

                      Do I really have to read further? If you have any answer to the points raised besides posturing about what you allegedly read and when let me know. Besides that it s not a constructive road to go down.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                    Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

                    Actually, yes I do since it usually is... more so when it's followed
                    by kids that shoot up a school or planes crashing into buildings.

                    I think we ALL perk up when we hear that. Maybe it's just you

                    bad example
                    Then you must like in the sticks. Sure you listen but we all don't jump in the big city market. If I jumped every time I heard my channel say breaking news "amazing story" or "you won't believe" I'd need knee replacement. The first time one particular channel use to do it in my area you would spin around and stop what you were doing but the 70th time with it being no big news but a rating grabber - No. You now reserve your excitement. Fact. example works fine in my TV market. .
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                • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
                  Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                  You also wrote:

                  "You obviously don't know very much about copywriting because anyone that did would not of said that."


                  I bet you can't figure out why that's funny as hell.
                  Ya, ya, as soon I clicked it and looked backed I noticed.

                  But trust me Ken, you've posted some pretty stupid things as well.

                  -Bill
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                • Profile picture of the author dorim
                  Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

                  You also wrote:

                  "You obviously don't know very much about copywriting because anyone that did would not of said that."


                  I bet you can't figure out why that's funny as hell.
                  Is it the grammar error he made? Wonder if anyone else noticed it.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Adam Kenzington
                    I, too, hate the "Who Else?..." headline. To me, it seems to be an "Also ran" type of "me too" appeal. Sheep following the crowded beaten path. I'm not interested in safety in numbers. I was to secret strategies that the crowd hasn't exploited, yet. The insider information that gives me the competitive edge that the "who else" crowd hasn't yet discovered.
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                    "I can" is much more important than I.Q.

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                    • Profile picture of the author ImportEyedea
                      Originally Posted by Adam Kenzington View Post

                      I, too, hate the "Who Else?..." headline. To me, it seems to be an "Also ran" type of "me too" appeal. Sheep following the crowded beaten path. I'm not interested in safety in numbers. I was to secret strategies that the crowd hasn't exploited, yet. The insider information that gives me the competitive edge that the "who else" crowd hasn't yet discovered.

                      Wholeheartedly agree. Once I hear everyone else is doing it, I run!

                      From my thinking, I don't really want to attract team members with the Follow mentality. Yes there is a such thing as coachability,(sp??) but at the same time, your team can't grow if there aren't people thinking about how to move it forward.

                      People that only want to copy, don't grow as far or as wide.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
            Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

            I bet in a month someone else creates this same thread...:rolleyes:

            We have a bunch of people not out there grinding, testing
            or anything else (usually why we end up here tearing things
            apart)

            If you have not done a split test on a 'who else headline' please
            save your philosophies for something you know.
            Most if not all the people in this thread are consumers. We might not be the whole picture but we are a part of it. You don't have to do a split test to determine that any term or phrase used over and over again will begin to lose its value on sentient human beings. That one has been tested and proven over and over again.

            So yeah a copywriter can write all about cash sucking as he wants but its natural some people will find it annoying after a while and they'll say so no matter how sublimely a copywriter tells them to shut up.

            Meanwhile I don't see how it advances a copywriter when we see him/her use the same things over and over. We know its not his and we aren't paying him to be a copy copywriter.
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    It's nothing wrong with it. It is just a tested method of opening a copy.
    Creativity most of the time kills response. This is not because your creativity is bad, but most of the people may not understand your metaphor or event try to understand what you've wrote there.
    Scientific advertising beats creative advertising every time.
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  • Profile picture of the author NetWorth
    The industry is always changing and the "Who Else" start once got the job done. If you don't like it just make sure you don't use it
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  • Profile picture of the author John_S
    But what do the people that click the buy button think.
    The problem I have is the implication behind the fact there is no question mark at the end of this sentence.

    The "who else" head*line is based on the original clas*sic, "Who Else Wants a Screen Star Figure?" This type of head*line is the winner is most of my tests, and now used by countless marketers. I'm sure you've come across at least one of them.

    Mind you, the second winner in line is not too far down. So "Who else" may be the winner but the margin is slim. Plus, recent tests show that the response for a "who else" headline is declin*ing, likely due to is overuse.

    In other words, just like the benefit-​​driven head*line, too many marketers use "who else" nowadays, and there*fore people are becoming more aware of it. It screams "salesletter!" and thus scares readers off when they see it being used.

    -- Put Your Copy To The Test, Michael Fortin
    This is vomited up like "salesmanship in print." Few understand the concepts behind the parroted phrases.

    Who else works because it implies you are not the first, the pioneer, the guinea pig for an unproven product. Now it is a flag for "just about nobody else bought" newbies -- who refuse to test and want the answer from the back of the book.

    These people don't understand Who Else headlines demand certain other elements go into the body copy. And they don't know what else they're missing which makes Who Else headlines work.

    The question is can you come up with an alternative based on the same concept that revives this played out headline? Most can't.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    There are a lot of headlines I don't care for. Anything with the phrase 'Cash Sucking' or 'Dirty Little Secrets' or 'Ninja Tactics' makes me cringe. The list goes on. However, these all work in certain markets. So... I rarely take assignments writing for markets where people respond to stuff like this. Simple.
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  • Profile picture of the author aaallday2010
    Yes I agree, i hate that too.

    I also hate the SHOCKING: or JUST REVEALED: types of headlines.
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    • Profile picture of the author AustinLadyTam
      ...and let's not forget "Discover how YOU..." and "Finally--A Way to..."
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Once an audio engineer develops their ear enough,
    they begin to notice things in the audio and the music
    that the general public never does.

    Sibilance... that "SSSSsss" sound that whistles like a
    spike in your ear.

    Hypercompression... that massively squashed "wall
    of sound" that eliminates all dynamics and makes
    everything loud as hell.

    Tubby bottom-end on the kick drum, flabby bass tone with
    no definition, grainy sounding sample rate conversion.

    It's MADDENING... because you can never go back to
    just experiencing the music the way the audience does...

    Well, guess what?

    ...same story as your develop your marketing chops.

    You spot something in the sales copy or the offer and your
    mind says, "AHA!... I know what they're doing there...."

    "They're using a big promise with specifics in the headline
    and here comes the social proof... Yep! I was right...."

    Often the interpretation of that reaction is, "I hate that...."

    Do you really? Hate that?

    I don't believe you do.

    Now, don't get me wrong - crap is crap.

    But I'm often a bit amused when I see the pile on that typically
    develops in these conversations... with people who purport to
    have a vested interest in selling things to others...

    Inevitably folks begin rattling off all the "marketery" phrases,
    approaches, tactics, and strategies they can think of.

    "I hate ______... As soon as I see that, I'm gone..."

    The IM space is full of consumers who think they're sellers.

    And their protestations are more buying criterion than they
    are marketing philosophies.

    You're hearing sibilance. A tubby kick drum...

    Why HATE that...

    I'd rather think about how I'd notch the mids and boost a few
    db at 4.5K to give it some "click" then smack the bottom end
    with a multiband compressor and tighten it up.

    And... yeah. I HATE SSsssibilance too.

    Brian
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post


      .Do you really? Hate that?

      I don't believe you do.

      Brian
      Nice. Very nice.

      Bill
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    • Profile picture of the author RareGoodStuff
      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      Once an audio engineer develops their ear enough,
      they begin to notice things in the audio and the music
      that the general public never does.

      Sibilance... that "SSSSsss" sound that whistles like a
      spike in your ear.

      Hypercompression... that massively squashed "wall
      of sound" that eliminates all dynamics and makes
      everything loud as hell.

      Tubby bottom-end on the kick drum, flabby bass tone with
      no definition, grainy sounding sample rate conversion.

      It's MADDENING... because you can never go back to
      just experiencing the music the way the audience does...

      Well, guess what?

      ...same story as your develop your marketing chops.

      You spot something in the sales copy or the offer and your
      mind says, "AHA!... I know what they're doing there...."

      "They're using a big promise with specifics in the headline
      and here comes the social proof... Yep! I was right...."

      Often the interpretation of that reaction is, "I hate that...."

      Do you really? Hate that?

      I don't believe you do.

      Now, don't get me wrong - crap is crap.

      But I'm often a bit amused when I see the pile on that typically
      develops in these conversations... with people who purport to
      have a vested interest in selling things to others...

      Inevitably folks begin rattling off all the "marketery" phrases,
      approaches, tactics, and strategies they can think of.

      "I hate ______... As soon as I see that, I'm gone..."

      The IM space is full of consumers who think they're sellers.

      And their protestations are more buying criterion than they
      are marketing philosophies.

      You're hearing sibilance. A tubby kick drum...

      Why HATE that...

      I'd rather think about how I'd notch the mids and boost a few
      db at 4.5K to give it some "click" then smack the bottom end
      with a multiband compressor and tighten it up.

      And... yeah. I HATE SSsssibilance too.

      Brian
      BrianMcLeod, you have a point.

      I won't challenge your premise as such. I'm more interested in challenging copywriters to come up with new materials instead of overused copies with poor conversion rate.

      If one loses more sales due to worn out copies, it's time to shake things up a bit.

      Simple!
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      • Profile picture of the author John_S
        If one loses more sales due to worn out copies, it's time to shake things up a bit.
        The mindset out of which Who Else Wants To Fill In The Blank and Call It A Day arises hasn't the ability to shake things up. That would be the problem.

        First, if the headline works at all -- no matter if effectiveness has declined -- it's unlikely fill in the blank copywriters will know to question a better alternative. If you don't know when a headline or approach is worn out before selecting it, you won't know to fix it.

        These people think "if everyone is using it, it must be the most effective," which evidences a certain naive optimism unencumbered by sound judgment (or acquaintance with the term herd mentality).

        "Who else" attracts because it practically removes any thought process from creating a headline. That's not the foundation for a shake-up.

        The web attracts wannabe marketers because your next sales letter is a couple right-clicks and a cut-n-paste away. Monkey-see, monkey-do is not a recipe for innovation. Put the two together, and the status quo becomes an immovable object.

        Even the notion that a headline could wear out is probably a novel thought which occurs to few of these carbon-copier-writers.

        The rate at which the web has calcified in its thinking is staggering. You'd expect it to take five decades to reach this advanced stage of decrepitude.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bret Ferguson
      I love the "Music Mixing/Mastering" analogy. That was great. I had a friend who said nothing works all the time and everything works some of the time.

      (The rest of this isn't directed toward you just the thread, but I loved your analogy)

      Like music, advertising/copy whatever, has it's seasons to. I think of Cher on that song....whatever it was where she did the pitch correction on her voice. Mainstream people loved it and then everyone was doing it. Until it ran it's course. Now it's rare you hear it at all.

      I personally don't like the phrase "Who Else...." I believe it had it's season of greatness and now it will be something else and in the near future it will be something else etc.etc.etc.

      And a lot of it will depend on the market you are in. What works in one market won't work in another. So while most of us don't like it, someone came up with it, it worked, probably really well at one time and everybody started using it.

      Kind of like the overcompressed loud beefed up mainstream music. It works in that market but won't work in the "blues" market or maybe the "light and easy" or "jazz" market.

      So if you are in business for sales (duh) use whatever it takes, as long as it's honest, legal and ethical.



      Originally Posted by BrianMcLeod View Post

      Once an audio engineer develops their ear enough,
      they begin to notice things in the audio and the music
      that the general public never does.

      Sibilance... that "SSSSsss" sound that whistles like a
      spike in your ear.

      Hypercompression... that massively squashed "wall
      of sound" that eliminates all dynamics and makes
      everything loud as hell.

      Tubby bottom-end on the kick drum, flabby bass tone with
      no definition, grainy sounding sample rate conversion.

      It's MADDENING... because you can never go back to
      just experiencing the music the way the audience does...

      Well, guess what?

      ...same story as your develop your marketing chops.

      You spot something in the sales copy or the offer and your
      mind says, "AHA!... I know what they're doing there...."

      "They're using a big promise with specifics in the headline
      and here comes the social proof... Yep! I was right...."

      Often the interpretation of that reaction is, "I hate that...."

      Do you really? Hate that?

      I don't believe you do.

      Now, don't get me wrong - crap is crap.

      But I'm often a bit amused when I see the pile on that typically
      develops in these conversations... with people who purport to
      have a vested interest in selling things to others...

      Inevitably folks begin rattling off all the "marketery" phrases,
      approaches, tactics, and strategies they can think of.

      "I hate ______... As soon as I see that, I'm gone..."

      The IM space is full of consumers who think they're sellers.

      And their protestations are more buying criterion than they
      are marketing philosophies.

      You're hearing sibilance. A tubby kick drum...

      Why HATE that...

      I'd rather think about how I'd notch the mids and boost a few
      db at 4.5K to give it some "click" then smack the bottom end
      with a multiband compressor and tighten it up.

      And... yeah. I HATE SSsssibilance too.

      Brian
      Signature


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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Brian, if I understand you right:

    Who else wants to use a tube preamp's euphonious even-harmonic distortion to gate the output of a plate reverb that provides automatic double tracking to thicken their headlines?
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    • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
      Originally Posted by Mr. Enthusiastic View Post

      Brian, if I understand you right:

      Who else wants to use a tube preamp's euphonious even-harmonic distortion to gate the output of a plate reverb that provides automatic double tracking to thicken their headlines?
      I hate all the "tube hype"...

      A chinese 12AX7 under a backlit plexiglass cover is not Class-A!

      I'm outta here!

      LOL

      +1, Chris.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zero
    I really do hate the "Who else" headline. I'll still read the copy, but it really does make me cringe.
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  • Profile picture of the author TheGraduate
    I strongly believe that copywriting skills and all that relates to it when it comes to mini sites (squeeze pages, sales copy etc) are totally overrated. I personally do not read headlines or whole sales letters. I am opted-in to almost every online marketer out there. I received more than 300 emails from online marketer everyday, when I visit the mini sites I go directly to the bullet points to find out exactly what it is that I am going to get, if they do not have bullet points in the salecopy with specific information on what it is that I get I just click away and move on to the next email. I do not have time to be reading "success stories", and lines trying to make me dream of becoming a billionaire, nor I have time to read the "this is not about" stupid bullet points, and the "imagine this" paragraphs, I also click away even if it is a video, if the video hides the controls not letting me fast forward I am out to the next email also, all it matters to me are the bullet points stating exactly what I get, I don't care if the salecopy was written by Mike Tyson or by Albert Einstein.

    note: I am just stating how I react in front of squeeze pages and salecopies, not offense intended. I am sure there is more people like me out there.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
    Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post

    Mike,

    I have noticed you like to come in here and go against the
    grain. It's almost as if you have something against copywriters.
    Nope. If theres anything that riles me in the copywriting section its posturing. The shut up I know everything I'm a copywriter of a certain standing (most of the time propped up by not one singular fact besides board politics) that is soooo prevalent in this section .

    So the OP is saying he doesn't like to read a certain phrase and some people chime in that they agrees. So what? Has anyone thrown salt on you grandma?

    Instead of trying to shut them up or belittle the sentiment use it as limited market research.

    "Okay some people are getting tired of this and they are consumers as well. I'll note it even if not follow it"

    Now if you feel its still working for you in your target market then fine but who gives any of you the right to look at the op and say you and those that agree with you don't count?

    First of all its sophomoric market analysis to say that a phrase universally works. Why? Nothing works outside of application to a target market. A phrase that works to one group may tank in another. So you can't do what my alleged writing instructor just did and point at one product being offered by one copywriter in one target market and say voila! the phrase still works. It may in that market and not in another - in one demographic and not in another.

    So to me the less abrasive and intelligent way to approach a thread like this is say hey - what is it about this group of people that doesn't like the repetition? Do they have something in common? because I may just get a job whose market has that characteristic and it may give me some clues on what to TEST - not assume.

    Oh and by the way my old beef stands. Every time certain people bring up what is proven they are always at a loss to point to ANY data that proves it. Its always anecdotal. sales rates can be affected by lots of things beside a particular phrase in copy so pointing to MR X and saying "oh he sold a million copies and he used that phrase" doesn't go one wit to prove that the phrase and not something entirely different caused the sales

    Really guys I was just referring to the natural common sense reaction of people to lock down after hearing a phrase 17 times before. I didn't think it would be a point of contention but this is the copywriting forum so protect the turf. I should have known better.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr. Enthusiastic
    Paul, if I got a Frank Kern headline that said "Who else wants to learn how to make cool, fun videos that get unbelievable orders and publicity" - I'd jump for it! That's because Frank is clearly successful with this area himself. If he says "who else" I know two things. 1. He really could teach me how to do this. 2. There might not be anyone else who could teach me as well as he could. It's something that appeals to me with a potential huge payoff in both money and happiness.

    But if I see a headline that says "Who else wants to learn how to wash the dishes," I'd be bored bored bored! For one thing, I already know how to wash the dishes, for another, there's a million ways I can learn for free. And it could be that the person selling the dishwashing guide is a slob!

    To me, the key point is not whether or not a phrase is re-used. "I'll give this to you for free, and you only pay if you like it after a month" is something many people have said. I wouldn't mind hearing it again! The key point is whether the phrase is an excellent way to communicate a valuable offer.

    From the right person, any number of "tired cliches" could be appealing. Frank could also write, "They laughed when I said I'd sell business services with cheap videos, no suit and a beach bum's hairstyle... but when they saw my profits..." Or, "At sixty orders a day the loudest sound in this office is the crashing of the surf..."
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  • Profile picture of the author dorim
    Rinse and Repeat - that's another overused phrase I am getting tired of hearing............
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  • Profile picture of the author dtendrich
    Hey :-)

    I agree with ya.

    So if I'm writing to a niche that has seen "who else" headlines to the point of crying their eyes out...

    I like to keep the concept but switch up the words (cause I think the "jump on the bandwagon" concept is great)...

    So I might say...

    "If you too want to..."

    Or something like that.

    I agree with you though - I usually start with a "who else" headline just to get the juices flowing, and to get the most obvious thing down on paper. But then I refine it until I'm satisfied.

    David
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    • Profile picture of the author Kevin Rogers
      I'd have to point to the "Blah Blah Blah" part of it.

      Up till there you've got a pretty good headline, then it's like you just gave up.
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      • Profile picture of the author Ken Strong
        Originally Posted by Kevin Rogers View Post

        I'd have to point to the "Blah Blah Blah" part of it.

        Up till there you've got a pretty good headline, then it's like you just gave up.
        Not really -- LOTS of people like to blah blah blah every chance they get. I bet there's a huge market for it.
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        • Profile picture of the author Matt_L
          Yeah, I agree. And while we're on the topic of the over-used and cliched ...

          Who else is tired of long form sales letters with big red hypnotic hyperbolic headlines that subtly whip even the most suspicious cynic into a frenzied "buy now or die" purchasing mode that she is helpless to control?


          C'mon, who's with me!?!

          (Just kiddin'.)
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          • Profile picture of the author David Raybould
            Originally Posted by Matt_L View Post

            Yeah, I agree. And while we're on the topic of the over-used and cliched ...

            Who else is tired of long form sales letters with big red hypnotic hyperbolic headlines that subtly whip even the most suspicious cynic into a frenzied "buy now or die" purchasing mode that she is helpless to control?
            Probably not the guys who use those
            letters to make tens of millions of dollars.

            Just a guess.
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            • Profile picture of the author Matt_L
              David -

              You missed my joke.

              Whether we attribute this to my poor joke telling or your rapid jump to defend the art of the long form sales letter, I don't know.

              Predilection (knowledge of my own poor joke telling) moves me toward the former, however, I suspect in reality the answer lies somewhere in the combination of the two proposed answers.

              In any event, here's the joke, or pun, or insight, or blah blah blah:

              "Who else wants to ..." boasts a proud history as a money maker. And, the phrase usually makes it rounds on the front end of long sales copy.

              And, long sales copy boasts a proud history as a money maker. (We all agree that it owes some of its successes to the headline "Who else wants to ...".)

              So, in essence we have a micro component ("Who else ...") embedded in a macro component (long sales copy).

              Now that we're on the same page, the gist of the joke/insight was --

              Sure we can throw out "Who else ..." and "If you're like me ... " and "They laughed when I ... " and all the other well-tested, well-known and slightly beat up phrases.

              But if we throw them out, don't we force, by implication, a reexamination of the platform that brought these phrases center stage?

              In the hands of a skilled writer/story teller long copy works. Just as "Who else wants to ... " will work in the hands of a skilled writer. Of that, you'll get no argument from me.
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            • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
              Originally Posted by David Raybould View Post

              Probably not the guys who use those
              letters to make tens of millions of dollars.

              Just a guess.
              As always Dave... you put it so beautifully.

              To the OP...

              Now you've told me what you hate... let me tell you what I love.

              I love the fact that so many "marketers" bitch and moan about stuff being tired and overused... saying it doesn't work... even though they have NO evidence to prove it.

              Because if YOU don't like it... it just won't work... right?

              Then guys like Dave or myself can come along and "clean up"... because instead of spending our trying trying to figure out what works... we've just learned from the 100+ years of direct response secrets from guys like Schwab... Ogilvy... and others.

              I'm not saying creativity is bad... it's a very good thing to have.

              By all means... test new and interesting ways of doing things.

              But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

              The "Who Else" headlines can still kick ass if they're used properly... as do most "cliches".

              -Dan
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              • Profile picture of the author Mike Anthony
                Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

                I love the fact that so many "marketers" bitch and moan about stuff being tired and overused... saying it doesn't work... even though they have NO evidence to prove it.
                They are people it doesn't work on. I would hardly call that no evidence and I haven't seen anyone present the evidence that it still works as an independent factor for all groups either.

                Because if YOU don't like it... it just won't work... right?
                Yes for that group of people. Whats the problem? We are all humans and its just a fact that we get tired of things we hear over and over again. thats self evident and been proven many times.

                Then guys like Dave or myself can come along and "clean up"... because instead of spending our trying trying to figure out what works... we've just learned from the 100+ years of direct response secrets from guys like Schwab... Ogilvy... and others.

                I'm not saying creativity is bad... it's a very good thing to have.
                And Ogilvy and Schwab didn't have it? and that wasn't one of their secrets? Did you really study 100+ years of direct response marketing? and missed some of the drop dead creative can't repeat by color by numbers techniques they used?

                The "Who Else" headlines can still kick ass if they're used properly... as do most "cliches".

                -Dan
                I don't think anyone is really questioning if it ever can have appeal. This thread is about the exact opposite - if repeated too much it can totally suck too. The entire point of a headline is to hold attention. Its the nature of the human mind to get bored with too much repetition.

                I really can't see why a few of you get so bent out of shape over something so obvious.
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  • Profile picture of the author dorim
    "Unless you've been living under a rock." I'm tired of hearing that one too.
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  • Profile picture of the author ImportEyedea
    #1 google search for soload examples yields a site on which the first piece of advice for writing a powerful headline is....

    WHO ELSE WANTS TO....


    when in doubt, blame Google =)
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  • Profile picture of the author RareGoodStuff
    Originally Posted by Paul McQuillan View Post


    People are not dying for a creative headline, they want to buy
    stuff that will help them.
    While I agree that a creative headline is not all that is needed to pull in sales, but a good headline grabs attention and lures the reader to probe further.

    Don't ignore a good headline.

    The ideal thing is to have a solid product that makes a buyer salivate, then unleash a great headline with a powerful copy.

    I like this order and mix:

    1. Solid product
    2. Great headline
    3. Powerful sales copy.

    This is the way I personally see it. I could be wrong but having observed successful copywriters, I see this common touch.
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  • Profile picture of the author Caleb D Miller
    It really makes you stand out in the IM niche when you are willing to give away some actual information on your sales page.

    Like give away one of the steps. You can have hype, but if you're all hype, it seems you're only going to catch the greenest of noobs.
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