What do you think of Ted Nicholas?

by fbyrne
35 replies
I was wondering what experienced copywriters here make of Ted Nicholas. He seems very successful as a copywriter. I was offered one of his training packages recently -has anyone tried it out?

Thanks for your help

FB
#nicholas #ted
  • Yes, I bought cassettes of one of his live seminars many years ago (well before CD's).

    It was and still is great stuff.

    I remember listening to one of the cassettes and a member of the audience asked a question.

    "And what's your name?"

    "Dan Kennedy" came the reply.


    Steve


    P.S. A side story - Ted always said make your headlines 17 words or less. For nearly 10 years I never wrote a headline over 17 words. And amazingly when they were exactly 17 words the response improved.

    Years later, it was Dan Kennedy who also did extensive testing and said "you can go over 17 words if you want to"

    So I did. And they worked well.

    But 17 words still seems to be the magic number.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6152834].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Dietriffic
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      P.S. A side story - Ted always said make your headlines 17 words or less. For nearly 10 years I never wrote a headline over 17 words. And amazingly when they were exactly 17 words the response improved.

      Years later, it was Dan Kennedy who also did extensive testing and said "you can now go over 17 words if you want to"

      So I did. And they worked well.

      But 17 words still seems to be the magic number.
      Fascinating.

      Is that 17 words for the whole main headline, or does that include a sub headline?
      Signature

      — Melanie (RD)

      Weight loss/fitness marketers earn 75% per sale with... The Fat Reversal Formula
      Join me: Twitter and Facebook

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6153822].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
    Setting an arbitrary limit of words on a headline is completely ridiculous. I don't recall Dan Kennedy EVER saying that he agreed with that. Ted is a nice guy, but he's not the best teacher. I met him years ago at one of his millionaire seminars in bermuda. I wouldn't buy his products. He had good material, but his stuff was really outdated for a long time. Not sure if he has updated things. And he tends to be a very boring presenter to listen to. If I was buying copywriting courses/seminars I'd stick with Dan Kennedy, Clayton Makepeace, Jay Abraham, and Gary Bencivenga...in addition to the classic stuff like Oglivy, Sackheim, Hopkins, Gene Schwartz and others.
    Signature
    http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ost-sales.html
    Professional Direct Response Copywriting
    50% Off Limited Time Offer!
    "http://www.profitproducingcopy.com"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6155287].message }}
    • Originally Posted by Ken Hoffman View Post

      Setting an arbitrary limit of words on a headline is completely ridiculous. I don't recall Dan Kennedy EVER saying that he agreed with that. Ted is a nice guy, but he's not the best teacher. I met him years ago at one of his millionaire seminars in bermuda. I wouldn't buy his products. He had good material, but his stuff was really outdated for a long time. Not sure if he has updated things. And he tends to be a very boring presenter to listen to. If I was buying copywriting courses/seminars I'd stick with Dan Kennedy, Clayton Makepeace, Jay Abraham, and Gary Bencivenga...in addition to the classic stuff like Oglivy, Sackheim, Hopkins, Gene Schwartz and others.

      I didn't say Kennedy agreed with Nicholas.

      He obviously didn't - most of his headlines are much longer.

      The seminar was over 20 years ago.

      I should have pointed out - the Nicholas 17 word headline "opinion" was prior to the internet and applied to press and magazine ads.

      Personally I don't see why it should make any difference.

      Anyway...

      In those days he sold over $100 million from his Ads.

      And tracked ever Ad and realized that the best results came from headlines 17 words or under.

      So it's not ridiculous.

      And - I can't help this but - when I hit a 17 word headline in the press or magazines the response is always better.

      I have the Makepeace Copywriting System and The Bencivenga 100 Seminar.

      Interestingly, it's unusual to see Clayton or Gary write huge long headlines.

      And their mega buck producing Ads are all under 17 words.


      Steve


      P.S. The most successful ads that Caples, Hopkins, Ogilvy, Sackheim and Schwartz wrote were also 17 words or under.

      You could argue that Ogily's best Ad - “At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock” has 18 words - unless you count Rolls - Royce as one word.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6157222].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Ken Hoffman View Post

      Setting an arbitrary limit of words on a headline is completely ridiculous. I don't recall Dan Kennedy EVER saying that he agreed with that. Ted is a nice guy, but he's not the best teacher. I met him years ago at one of his millionaire seminars in bermuda. I wouldn't buy his products. He had good material, but his stuff was really outdated for a long time. Not sure if he has updated things. And he tends to be a very boring presenter to listen to. If I was buying copywriting courses/seminars I'd stick with Dan Kennedy, Clayton Makepeace, Jay Abraham, and Gary Bencivenga...in addition to the classic stuff like Oglivy, Sackheim, Hopkins, Gene Schwartz and others.
      Arbitrary is not a word I'd associate with Ted Nicholas.

      He is, and always has been, one of the most fanatical testers.

      Matt Furey credits his initial success to one of Ted's books.

      And as far as 17 words go, he actually said if it goes one or two words either way, it didn't really matter if the headline was a good one.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6161952].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
        Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

        Arbitrary is not a word I'd associate with Ted Nicholas.
        Perhaps I used the wrong word. I'm not knocking Ted. However, I have never heard ANY other super successful direct marketer or copywriter put a limit on the number of words in a headline.

        Ted was one of the first people I ever studied as far as copywriting. At the time I thought he was great. However, after comparing other great copywriters and teachers of copywriting, I personally think there are better choices.

        He's a great copywriter, no doubt. However, I think his tremendous success had more to do with his direct marketing ability OVERALL, rather than his copywriting ability. He was a master at strategy. There are other copywriters that generate more emotionally-charged writing. (IMHO)

        Steve, the following was MY comment. NOT something I thought YOU said.

        "State the big idea in the fewest words possible."

        In other words, focus on doing THAT, NOT on focusing on the length.

        I completely understand if you have a different approach.

        I've never been persuaded by statistics. You can always find examples that are contrary. So I don't equate Ted's success to his writing headlines that are 17 words or less. In the grand scheme I think that plays a tiny role in it. His ability to choose the right product, for the appropriate target market, as well as being a master at buying media space at huge discounts were much more important factors.

        That's why I believe it's a mistake to focus on length at all. Especially when there are so many other, critical aspects of a headline to focus on. You can certainly say a lot in 17 words. And sure it's probably not necessary to go longer. But why put a limitation on it?

        It also becomes difficult to quantify anyway, because you indicated that's ONLY for the headline itself. Well, if you ask three copywriters where the headline ends and the subheads start, depending on the example, you could easily get three different answers.
        Signature
        http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ost-sales.html
        Professional Direct Response Copywriting
        50% Off Limited Time Offer!
        "http://www.profitproducingcopy.com"
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6171342].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author fbyrne
    Very interesting. Thanks for your candid reply

    Fegral
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6157162].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
    Focusing on the length of the headline is not the best way to write one. Setting rules about headlines is not conducive to producing a great one. Making a rule like that out of the context of individual markets and media doesn't make any sense.

    There are clearly space limitations in space ads, just as there are in radio ads. However, Dan Kennedy did many long headlines in space ads as well.

    Focus on getting across the big idea as clearly as possible in the fewest possible words.

    That's a function of the editing process. But when you are thinking, "Oh, it's over 17 words so I have to find a few words to cut out," that stifles the creative process in generating a great headline.
    Signature
    http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ost-sales.html
    Professional Direct Response Copywriting
    50% Off Limited Time Offer!
    "http://www.profitproducingcopy.com"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6159981].message }}
    • Originally Posted by Ken Hoffman View Post

      Focusing on the length of the headline is not the best way to write one. Setting rules about headlines is not conducive to producing a great one. Making a rule like that out of the context of individual markets and media doesn't make any sense.

      There are clearly space limitations in space ads, just as there are in radio ads. However, Dan Kennedy did many long headlines in space ads as well.

      Focus on getting across the big idea as clearly as possible in the fewest possible words.

      That's a function of the editing process. But when you are thinking, "Oh, it's over 17 words so I have to find a few words to cut out," that stifles the creative process in generating a great headline.


      In case there has been any misunderstanding.

      I’ve been talking about the main headline.

      Not pre - heads or subheads.


      I never made any “rules” on headlines – neither did Nicholas (it was his suggestion based on extensive testing).

      I don’t have any limitations on space. There’s plenty of room.

      I never said I had to focus on getting across the big idea in the fewest possible words.

      And I didn’t say I ever had to cut any words out.

      If the right headline took 27, 35, 59 or however many words I would use them.

      In 28 years of experience it's never been as effective.

      My clients have spent over £9.5 million in the UK press just in the last 5 years running my ads proving that headlines of 17 words or less – get better results.

      I can’t argue with the stats.


      Steve


      P.S. I'm not totally obsessed with a max of 17 words. Occasionally the count is 18,19 maybe 20. But 17 words or under are the magic figures.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6161184].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author markpocock
    The longest headline I have seen had
    64 friggin words in it.

    By the time you get to the end of the
    headline, you've forgotten what the beginning
    was all about.

    I read a few years ago, that Agora's most effective
    headlines had 8 words or less ....
    Signature

    Get a FREE 20 minute consultation on your sales letter. Contact me today
    And have the secrets A-List Copywriters - David Garfinkel & Parris Lampropoulos
    use in their multimillion dollar promotions
    www.markpocock.com

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6160717].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Andrew Gould
    For anyone wanting a sample of his teaching and writing ability you can opt-in to his list to get your choice of one his books for free:

    Ted Nicholas Free Ebook

    And you can see some of his ads on his site too:

    Ted Nicholas

    (Look at the second advert first, and then the first one to see how he sold the same book but with a completely different, more advanced, hook)
    Signature

    Andrew Gould

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6160878].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Mr. Subtle
      Originally Posted by Andrew Gould View Post

      And you can see some of his ads on his site too:

      Ted Nicholas
      Nicholas always piked pithness, especially at the beginning of a sales letter. This lesson is lost on new online copywriters. I can't remember the last time I've read an online sales letter that started of with short sentences.

      The typical internet sales letter starts off with a MEGAsentence. Then a line break follow by another MEGAsentence. Then another one. And another. And another. WHEW... thanks for making me work to read those long sentences.


      I love my wife. And I understand why she wants me to keep my mouth shut. She just wants to protect me from the IRS.

      But I can't be quiet any longer. I'm angry. We are really getting jerked around. And I'm tired of it.


      The government says one thing. Then does the opposite. Especially Bush. And I even voted for him. One of my biggest mistakes.


      First the Feds talk tax cuts. Then they increase taxes. Remember the "read my lips" promise? Who are they kidding?


      Nicholas is like the Hemingway of sales letters.

      Signature

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6162188].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
    Ted Nicholas is a legendary direct response marketer. A real class act of a person too.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6161354].message }}
  • Great domain name! CopywrightingDiarrhea.com.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6162281].message }}
  • {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6178593].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author videolover7
      Interesting quote from the credibility section of Gary Bencivenga's "Bullets" squeeze page...

      I was blessed to work with a series of tough-as-sandpaper copy chiefs and smart-as-a-whip clients, including Ted Nicholas and Max Sackheim, who taught me their battle-tested secrets for beating control packages and space ads.
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6179224].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      6 billion in sales. Nuff said Ted Nicholas Interview
      I never disputed his success. I was talking about his ability to TEACH it. Along with the length of a headline rule, which is a TINY aspect of his copywriting knowledge.

      Any smart person with critical reasoning ability isn't going to take EVERY single thing someone says to be true...without thinking it through...EVEN if that person is Ted Nicholas.

      It's a mistake to take other people's conclusions/reasons of their own success as the "holy grail" in your own endeavors...without checking them out through your own experiences.

      I'm in agreement with 99% of what Ted advocates. I'm just not convinced of this 17 word thing.
      Signature
      http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ost-sales.html
      Professional Direct Response Copywriting
      50% Off Limited Time Offer!
      "http://www.profitproducingcopy.com"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6185837].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        Originally Posted by Ken Hoffman View Post

        I'm just not convinced of this 17 word thing.
        6 billion dollars. Not 6 million. Not 60 million. Not 600 million. 6 BILLION.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6185976].message }}
        • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
          Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

          6 billion dollars. Not 6 million. Not 60 million. Not 600 million. 6 BILLION.
          6 Billion dollars in sales is impressive but count me on the side of the "anti" 17 word headline rule.

          I've read and written some well-converting headlines that went beyond 17 words long.

          Speaking of copywriting gurus... you'll find some of John Carlton's and Michel Fortin's mega headlines online. Clayton Makepeace frequently used very long headlines as preheadlines or subheadlines in his magalog deck copy.

          But here's an example of one of Carlton's more famous ones:

          "How Does An Out-Of-Shape 55 Year-Old Golfer, Crippled By Arthritis & 71 Lbs.
          Overweight, Still Consistently Humiliate PGA Pros In Head To Head Matches
          By Hitting Every Tee Shot Further And Straighter Down The Fairway?"

          17 words is a good guideline for many people... but IMHO if you can craft a strong, tight headline that converts well then the number of words in it don't matter.

          Or as another guru (Dan Kennedy) is fond of saying... "There's no such thing as too long... only too boring".

          My 3 cents,

          Mike

          P.S. Just to be clear. I'm not knocking Ted Nicholas. He's a brilliant direct response marketer and copywriter too. I don't happen to agree with the idea of "a headline HAS to be 17 words or less".
          {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6186068].message }}
          • Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

            6 Billion dollars in sales is impressive but count me on the side of the "anti" 17 word headline rule.

            I've read and written some well-converting headlines that went beyond 17 words long.

            Speaking of copywriting gurus... you'll find some of John Carlton's and Michel Fortin's mega headlines online. Clayton Makepeace frequently used very long headlines as preheadlines or subheadlines in his magalog deck copy.

            But here's an example of one of Carlton's more famous ones:

            "How Does An Out-Of-Shape 55 Year-Old Golfer, Crippled By Arthritis & 71 Lbs.
            Overweight, Still Consistently Humiliate PGA Pros In Head To Head Matches
            By Hitting Every Tee Shot Further And Straighter Down The Fairway?"

            17 words is a good guideline for many people... but IMHO if you can craft a strong, tight headline that converts well then the number of words in it don't matter.

            Or as another guru (Dan Kennedy) is fond of saying... "There's no such thing as too long... only too boring".

            My 3 cents,

            Mike

            P.S. Just to be clear. I'm not knocking Ted Nicholas. He's a brilliant direct response marketer and copywriter too. I don't happen to agree with the idea of "a headline HAS to be 17 words or less".


            I’ve never done this before – messed about with a Carlton headline.

            But what if he had written this instead?



            How Does An Out-Of-Shape 55 Year-Old Golfer, Crippled By Arthritis & 71 Lbs. Overweight…

            "Consistently Humiliate PGA Pros In Head To Head Matches"

            By Hitting Every Tee Shot Further And Straighter Down The Fairway?


            Is it a touch easier to read?

            Would the response have been even higher?

            We’ll never know.

            But you can – if your heart desires - make any killer headline under 17 words.

            You don’t have to.

            Nobody has ever said a 17 word or less headline is a "rule" it's only been a suggestion.

            But when Nicholas achieved $6 billion in sales by doing it.

            It's worth giving it some thought.


            Steve
            {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6187721].message }}
            • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
              Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

              I’ve never done this before – messed about with a Carlton headline.

              But what if he had written this instead?


              How Does An Out-Of-Shape 55 Year-Old Golfer, Crippled By Arthritis & 71 Lbs. Overweight…

              "Consistently Humiliate PGA Pros In Head To Head Matches"

              By Hitting Every Tee Shot Further And Straighter Down The Fairway?



              Steve
              This is facinating to me. If you read through all the threads there is a common theme that I think we all agree to, yet the debate on the tiny part we disagree on continues.

              One thing I personally would never do is try to mess with a proven winner. It's already amazing that it got by the designer, client, etc. without getting neutered.

              Steve, you didn't shorten the headline here.

              All you did is change the layout by putting space in between each chunk. Then bolding the center portion.

              The one word you took out..."still"...was pretty important to the headline.

              Doing that communicates something entirely different.

              I don't think it would be nearly as effective as Carlton's. (IMHO)

              Certainly, if you could find a way to actually shorten that headline, it would be good. But I think if it were possible, Carlton would have found a way. The reason it's such a good headline is because of all the meaningful specifics mentioned. Unfortunately, that does make it longer.

              Perhaps we should ask Ted to write the short version of Carlton's and test them head to head.
              Signature
              http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ost-sales.html
              Professional Direct Response Copywriting
              50% Off Limited Time Offer!
              "http://www.profitproducingcopy.com"
              {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6189537].message }}
              • Ken,

                Yes the more I look at the one I did of Carltons' the less I like it.

                I was only "messing" with it.


                But for the millionth time (I'll stop exaggerating now).

                I have only ever talked about the main headline being 17 words or less.

                Not including the pre-head or subheadline.

                It's worked extremely well for me.



                Anyway...

                Surely we've hammered this to death.

                Just write whatever brings you the best results.


                Steve
                {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6189671].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jayman
    People like Gary Bencivenga, Gary Halbert, Dan Kennedy and Yanik Silver are students of Ted Nicholas, been to his seminars and consider him to be a Godfather in copywriting.

    Gary Halbert once took notes in Ted's seminar and sold his notes for $10K and Bencivenga has credited his success and ability in copywriting to Ted. So I would consider it worth to study this guy.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6184582].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
    Man, we copywriters/DR marketers sometimes argue about the SILLIEST things! lol

    Of course I'm sure someone will tell me it's NOT silly b/c the headline is the most important part of... haha... I really do find it funny though b/c I know I've been guilty too.

    But I think the point Jason and others are making is that it's more the context of making a point like that. To choose to focus on one little thing when there's so much to learn from a serious DR powerhouse is just a little nit picky.

    Of course everyone knows headlines over 17 words can convert. That's common sense. But in terms of fundamentals, and salesmanship in print... focusing on concentrating the essence of the message into less words - not more - is a good discipline. If someone feels they have a winner that exceeds 17 words, then yes... of course, follow your intuition and run with it.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6186575].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author Ken Hoffman
      Originally Posted by Robert_Rand View Post

      Man, we copywriters/DR marketers sometimes argue about the SILLIEST things! lol


      But I think the point Jason and others are making is that it's more the context of making a point like that. To choose to focus on one little thing when there's so much to learn from a serious DR powerhouse is just a little nit picky.

      Of course everyone knows headlines over 17 words can convert. That's common sense. But in terms of fundamentals, and salesmanship in print... focusing on concentrating the essence of the message into less words - not more - is a good discipline. If someone feels they have a winner that exceeds 17 words, then yes... of course, follow your intuition and run with it.
      I agree with you. But the context was Ted as a teacher. I didn't mean to go on a tangent about one of his ideas.

      I'll add this from my personal experience.

      Years ago I submitted the same piece of copy for critique, to both Ted Nicholas and Dan Kennedy. Ted told me it was a fine piece of work. Dan told me what was wrong with it and what I needed to do to fix it. After I read his harsh critique I realized he was absolutely right.

      While I'm not a fan of Ted's courses I thought his book of all his space ads, with his ratings of which pulled best, was extremely useful. I'm thankful he put that out.

      So if someone was going to pick up something of his, that would be my recommendation, although I havn't followed his stuff for several years, so maybe he has some more up-to-date products that are of equal caliber.
      Signature
      http://www.warriorforum.com/warriors...ost-sales.html
      Professional Direct Response Copywriting
      50% Off Limited Time Offer!
      "http://www.profitproducingcopy.com"
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6186715].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
      Originally Posted by Robert_Rand View Post

      But I think the point Jason and others are making is that it's more the context of making a point like that. To choose to focus on one little thing when there's so much to learn from a serious DR powerhouse is just a little nit picky.
      Yes and no.

      Yes, you can learn a lot of great and useful marketing techniques and tactics from studying direct response marketing masters like Ted Nicholas, Dan Kennedy, Jay Abraham, etc IF their teaching style connects with you.

      The problem is when people start quoting the same master's point/opinion/guideline like it's some type of "etched in stone" marketing commandment.

      There are times where we use tactics that are strategically contrarian despite the copywriting or marketing rules that we've learned to use the vast majority of the time.

      The Rich Jerk salesletter from several years ago (where he reguarly insults and stirs up the reader by telling them that he's rich and they're not) is a great example.

      Conventional marketing says you don't insult or belittle the reader. But when Kelly Felix wrote the Rich Jerk salesletter, he did exactly that and the piece converted like gangbusters for him.

      Back to the "17 word or less headline" debate.

      17 words or less for a headline is a good guideline.

      But the more important point -- which a number of people in this thread pointed out -- is brevity in headlines. No wasted or unnecessary words... get the headline as tight as you possibly can in the editing process.

      Of course everyone knows headlines over 17 words can convert. That's common sense. But in terms of fundamentals, and salesmanship in print... focusing on concentrating the essence of the message into less words - not more - is a good discipline. If someone feels they have a winner that exceeds 17 words, then yes... of course, follow your intuition and run with it.
      In other words, use brevity in your headlines and body copy.

      Take care,

      Mike
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6186788].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author Robert_Rand
        Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

        Yes and no.

        Yes, you can learn a lot of great and useful marketing techniques and tactics from studying direct response marketing masters like Ted Nicholas, Dan Kennedy, Jay Abraham, etc IF their teaching style connects with you.

        The problem is when people start quoting the same master's point/opinion/guideline like it's some type of "etched in stone" marketing commandment.

        There are times where we use tactics that are strategically contrarian despite the copywriting or marketing rules that we've learned to use the vast majority of the time.

        The Rich Jerk salesletter from several years ago (where he reguarly insults and stirs up the reader by telling them that he's rich and they're not) is a great example.

        Conventional marketing says you don't insult or belittle the reader. But when Kelly Felix wrote the Rich Jerk salesletter, he did exactly that and the piece converted like gangbusters for him.

        Back to the "17 word or less headline" debate.

        17 words or less for a headline is a good guideline.

        But the more important point -- which a number of people in this thread pointed out -- is brevity in headlines. No wasted or unnecessary words... get the headline as tight as you possibly can in the editing process.



        In other words, use brevity in your headlines and body copy.

        Take care,

        Mike
        I hear ya man... Good points.
        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6191478].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
    The question is what do you think of Ted Nicholas?

    I've been in a closed room with him and I think he's brilliant.

    He's self-taught. Was an entrepreneur before becoming a copywriter. Was forced to be a marketer to make his business survive ... and learnt things the hard way.

    He's probably the most fanatical tester in the history of direct marketing and he's actually a master of "negotiating" and his understanding of space, lists and back-end marketing are stellar. I've not heard ONE other person talk about negotiating for space ads like he does.

    It's sad that the argument went into the whole 17 word thing. He's broken this rule several times himself, but guidelines (backed by testing) are good to have.

    If you look at Joe Sugarman's ads, the headlines are tiny, but he's been tremendously successful as well.

    As far as being a teacher, I think Ted is an amazing teacher. What he brings to the table in terms of enthusiasm for the art and his own experience is second to none. He's one of the few masters who has actually spent his own money (as compared to the money of some big mailing house) - and he HAS written for some of them.

    The other thing he's a master of that everyone can learn from is publishing. He understands publishing better than anyone I've seen. His fans include Bencivenga, Halbert, Dan Kennedy (steals a ton of lines from Ted such as "There is no such thing as too long ... only too boring"), Eugene Schwartz etc.

    His style seems simplistic at first glance, but I think he gives away diamonds in terms of info - mostly about ROI, negotiating ad rates etc and he tells you that is WHY he's been so successful.

    Ted's famous line, "I see the list price as the seller's wish list".
    Signature

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6189932].message }}
    • Quote - He's one of the few masters who has actually spent his own money



      Yes, when he published "How To Form Your Own Corporation Without A Lawyer For Under $50"

      He literally had a warehouse full of the books.

      Then wrote the Ad - his whole life depended on it working.

      And he sold the lot.

      Here's the Ad that did it.

      http://www.tednicholas.com/images/In...n%20ad%202.jpg

      Notice the rather excellent credibility builder at the foot of the order form.

      Isn't that cool?

      The book became so popular he reprinted it many times and wrote several other phenomenal Ads.

      You can see them all on this link that Andrew gave earlier.

      http://www.tednicholas.com/adsamples.html


      Steve
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6190508].message }}
      • Profile picture of the author sanjaypande
        Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

        The book became so popular he reprinted it many times and wrote several other phenomenal Ads.
        Yet, the book was just a front-end for the company corporation - which went on to become the largest incorporating company ...
        Signature

        {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6190865].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author SuperCopywriting
    I think Ted Nicholas is brilliant, but I'm also a huge fan of
    folks who have studied underneath him. I study is work
    and the work of others to carve out my own way of doing
    things.

    I think the key is testing. And we all know that the masters
    test headlines and have their own rules about what works
    best for them.
    Signature
    Hardworking, Talented, Dedicated, Joy Filled Copywriter For Hire! Contact JS at supercopywriting@yahoo.com
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6189964].message }}
    • To (at last) move away from the 17 word furore.

      I remember listening to Ted's seminar.

      And he mentioned how shampoo manufactures doubled their sales almost instantly with a royal scam.

      On the back on the bottle - they highlighted - "Wash your hair thoroughly...

      Then...

      Repeat"

      He quite rightly wasn't impressed with this type of marketing.


      Steve
      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[6190470].message }}

Trending Topics