You Know You've Got a Great Letter When...

28 replies
...you read it, forget you wrote it and want to buy the stuff yourself.

I always strive for this, don't always achieve it. When I do, I know I have a winner. How bout you? How do you know when you have a great letter?
#good #great #letter #when… #when…
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    How do you know when you have a great letter?
    That's something only the market can decide. How I feel about it or the effect is has on me is irrelevant.

    Alex
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002232].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Bill Eliott
      A great letter in the copywriter realm only[?}; can't do an input.
      To this point a copy-reader not copywriter.

      Crafted a letter of poem once, to accompany a sculpture I was commissioned to do.
      Later to find the prose had been put under glass, framed, back lit with soft light.
      He thought it a great letter.

      Could have done better.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002370].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
      Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

      That's something only the market can decide. How I feel about it or the effect is has on me is irrelevant.

      Alex
      I agree. Personally, I love everything I write...probably for the same reason masturbation brings such amazing orgasms. But if no one buys it, it's just that...verbal masturbation.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002383].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author ARSuarez
        Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

        I agree. Personally, I love everything I write...probably for the same reason masturbation brings such amazing orgasms. But if no one buys it, it's just that...verbal masturbation.
        I've always tried to identify the particular kind of pleasure I get from copy. Now I know. And the imagery is incredible.

        Thank you, Seth.

        Best,

        Angel
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002428].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Bill Eliott
        I agree. Personally, I love everything I write...probably for the same reason masturbation brings such amazing orgasms. But if no one buys it, it's just that...verbal masturbation.
        Verbal? That's a soundtrack I'll turn down. Is that self manipulation only?

        Nice tug ... 'er turn of phrase though, gets the point quickly to a climax.

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002430].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
        Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

        I agree. Personally, I love everything I write...probably for the same reason masturbation brings such amazing orgasms. But if no one buys it, it's just that...verbal masturbation.
        Personally, I dislike everything I write.

        I look at my work and wonder how everyone else does it.

        I recently to offered to rewrite copy for a client for free because it wasn't converting. He told me the copy was fine: The market's crap.

        I'm just a self-hater, I guess.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3004987].message }}
        • Rezbi,

          Don't worry - it's takes me weeks before I even begin to like what I've written.

          And then about 27 edits before I really like it.

          Don't be a "self hater" for goodness sake.

          Look at it a different way - if you must - start by "disliking" (although it's best to see it as a "work in progress" - anyway you'll always be improving it until it becomes excellent.

          And get to like it (you may as well because it should be good).

          And at times - even if the "piece" is outstandingly good - the market can be agonizingly "stupid" or suddenly for no good reason becomes non existent.

          (many may argue against this but after years in the game I've seen it happen many times).

          Fortunately it usually goes in cycles - one minute it's gone - then it comes back.

          As an example every so often "scientists" say coffee is good - tea is bad.

          The media pick up on it and everyone hates tea.

          So if you're in the tea market you're f*****.(of course a clever marketer might leg it to the coffee market)

          Anyway... lo and behold...

          Some more "scientists" now say tea is good - coffee is bad.

          Again the media pick up on it.

          And ...

          Utopia - if you're in the tea market all is good.
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3005161].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Thanks for your contribution, Alex. I remember when you started in this business. You make a good point but disregard experience. This intuition of mine has never let me down.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002374].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      Thanks for your contribution, Alex. I remember when you started in this business. You make a good point but disregard experience. This intuition of mine has never let me down.
      You're welcome.

      A recent criticism of a sales letter contest comes to mind. The fellow running the contest was criticized because he picked the winner without testing. I guess he wasn't allowed to rely on experience and intuition.

      Alex
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002449].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    How bout you? How do you know when you have a great letter?
    I get a phone call or an email from my client who can't wait to tell me how well it's converting.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002551].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    It seems like its a crap shoot for you guys. I know how to sell. When I finish a letter, I'm not worried about whether it will sell or not. I'm worried about how much it will sell.

    And I'm not inconsistent, Cohen. I don't claim to be able to tell from 10 letters, which one will be the best (assuming they're all decent letters).
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3002725].message }}
    • For me three things happen -

      I like it, the client likes it and the market likes it.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003493].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author VyctorB_10
        I indulge in delving in it for awhile and enjoying it... that is until, I hen-pick it for any improvements and start the next new masterpiece process all over again.




        Victor~
        Signature
        "To learn is to unlearn, to know is to unknow, rediscover & remaster everything...then relearn it ALL again!"
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003779].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by Steve Copywriter View Post

        For me three things happen -

        I like it, the client likes it and the market likes it.
        I have the same criteria.

        And I have one more: Copywriters swipe the piece. Business owners steal the piece and try to use it as their own.

        - Rick Duris

        PS: And Bruce. Let me understand this. Your definition of "great" is your pieces are forgettable?

        Am I correct? By the copywriter, himself? Hmmmmmm... Seems your definition of "great" and mine are different.

        (Last PS offered up with tongue firmly inserted in cheek. :rolleyes: )
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3003970].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
          Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post


          PS: And Bruce. Let me understand this. Your definition of "great" is your pieces are forgettable?

          Am I correct? By the copywriter, himself? Hmmmmmm... Seems your definition of "great" and mine are different.

          (Last PS offered up with tongue firmly inserted in cheek. :rolleyes: )
          Rick,

          While I do not exactly agree with what Bruce has said about the greatness of his letters, I can certainly relate to the fact that very often if you know what you are doing in copywriting, you come back a few months/years later to your own piece and be amazed by it.

          And no matter how great, people always forget a part of their past. In fact the glorious past if often forgotten much faster than the dark phases.

          -Lakshay
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3016006].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post


      And I'm not inconsistent, Cohen. I don't claim to be able to tell from 10 letters, which one will be the best (assuming they're all decent letters).
      Here's the commonality: both copywriters are basing their decision on a factor apart from testing.

      Alex
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3008471].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
        Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

        Here's the commonality: both copywriters are basing their decision on a factor apart from testing.

        Alex
        Which begs the question; why didn't you point it out when Harlan made the claim?
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3009890].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Hank Rearden
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      It seems like its a crap shoot for you guys. I know how to sell. When I finish a letter, I'm not worried about whether it will sell or not. I'm worried about how much it will sell.

      And I'm not inconsistent, Cohen. I don't claim to be able to tell from 10 letters, which one will be the best (assuming they're all decent letters).
      Thinking like this is dangerous.

      Eugene Schwartz and Claude Hopkins couldn't pick winners. They also ran national advertising tests for dozens of years, with full ability to submit ANY variations they wanted.

      No one knows how well a letter will do until it is tested. Period.

      There is no shortcut for this.

      As for forgetting you wrote it... I don't know how that's possible. After the hundred or so hours you invest in editting, you should know every nook and crevice and word by heart.

      My 2 cents.

      - HR
      Signature
      I swear by my life and my love of it that I will
      never live for the sake of another man, nor ask
      another man to live for mine.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3014513].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author J. Barry Mandel
    Agreed Bruce.

    I have mentioned this to my recollection twice in here.

    After I was told that I couldn't know because as Alex said "it's only what the target market could decide".

    My response both times is that I *AM* part of the target market


    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    want to buy the stuff yourself.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3004149].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author colmodwyer
    Alex is right, in my opinion...

    I wouldn't write a sales letter I didn't think was going to be a blockbuster. My employer wouldn't approve a sales letter they didn't think was going to do well... and yet, I still have packages that bomb.

    I also have packages that work really well... and because I think all my packages will work well in advance... I can say I knew it'd be a hit before it went to market...

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing... whee!

    Colm
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3009405].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    I could relate to what Bruce is saying in the sense that when
    I'm far removed from my own writing by time I'm more impressed
    with it than when it is hot off the press.

    As I tell my congregation I often get a blessing from listening to
    my own sermons from long ago.

    -Ray Edwards
    Signature
    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3009432].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author M Stevens
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    ...you read it, forget you wrote it and want to buy the stuff yourself.

    I always strive for this, don't always achieve it. When I do, I know I have a winner. How bout you? How do you know when you have a great letter?
    Haha, that made me laugh

    Thanks
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3011917].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    Anyone familiar with Bencivengas persuasion equation?
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3015795].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author virginiad
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      Anyone familiar with Bencivengas persuasion equation?

      Find out what people want and show them how to get it.
      Signature

      Virginia Drew


      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3015898].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
      Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

      Anyone familiar with Bencivengas persuasion equation?
      Its just a way of knowing if the sales copy has the potential to be great. BPE doesn't guarantee positive revenues. It just highlights the blunders that might be.

      -Lakshay
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3015987].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author lakshaybehl
    Originally Posted by Bruce Wedding View Post

    ...you read it, forget you wrote it and want to buy the stuff yourself.

    I always strive for this, don't always achieve it. When I do, I know I have a winner. How bout you? How do you know when you have a great letter?
    For me its been about ROI so far. If ROI is positive, I deem the letter great. Else it is trash, especially if multiple sources of traffic produce similarly negative ROI.

    If my yardstick to measure greatness of marketing materials were ever to shift from ROI, I'd let you know.

    -Lakshay
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[3015979].message }}

Trending Topics