by Harlan
144 replies
I haven't held one of these in years.

I'm looking for exercise copy.

I want a 2 page sales letter selling any imaginary exercise program.

Your letter will not be used in any way but I'll determine who to hire from your submission.

Assuming you want to participate, you will get me a 2 page proof read sales letter.

I will critique the best letters and pick the best (in my opinion letter).

Top letter gets a $1000 job in the exercise niche.

I determine if a prize will be awarded.

Your letter is due midnight 12/01/12.

The letters you submit in the contest will not be used in any way. So you own the rights to those letters.

By participating, you give me the right to post your letters on YouTube and in the forum here.

To play - if you like - message me your letter. Just 2 pages - I want to see what you can do with shorter copy.

Good luck.
#contest #copywriting
  • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
    Sounds like fun. Always looking for ways to stretch the creative muscles.
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  • Profile picture of the author hayfj2
    What about a second contest - maximum 140 characters

    to engage with fans, friends and followers via twitter, a facebook update, linkedin update, ping.fm and other social book marking / social networking sites etc...

    ..and pull them to the sales letter page above

    what do you think?
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Heck, I could use a new sample and I'm more motivated when it's for a cause (other than "portfolio buffer"). Unfortunately I can't send PMs yet; is there an email address where I could send my entry?

    *edit* Nevermind, wasn't that far off so I just bumped up my post count...
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    So tell me about this prospect, Harlan.

    Male of female?

    Looking to lose weight or tone up?

    Baby boomer?

    What products has the prospect likely bought in the past?
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  • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
    I think we're pretty much free to determine all that on our own. Kinda fun that way.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
      Originally Posted by JRVogt View Post

      I think we're pretty much free to determine all that on our own. Kinda fun that way.
      I think the product creation part of this can be a good indicator of copywriting knowledge as well - lets him know that we understand the components of a worthwhile product.
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      • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
        Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

        I think the product creation part of this can be a good indicator of copywriting knowledge as well - lets him know that we understand the components of a worthwhile product.
        Exactly so. That was an intriguing part of the process for me, actually. Figuring out a different slant on the usual fitness-type programs that already swarm the market. What niche might stand out a bit more?
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Hint: If you're not taking into account a New Year's Resolution mindset of the market, (eg. "New Year, New Life... New Body") you're probably leaving money on the table.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Hint: If you're not taking into account a New Year's Resolution mindset of the market, (eg. "New Year, New Life... New Body") you're probably leaving money on the table.

      - Rick Duris
      Hence, my new product.
      Signature

      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
      http://overnight-copy.com
      Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
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      • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Hence, my new product.
        Curious. I know we'll learn more eventually, but I'm wondering with the linkage between fitness and New Years Resolutions (a natural niche, to be sure)...seems like you'd want to develop a time-specific product which could be generalized for the rest of the year to keep sales going. Or vice versa, where you have a general fitness product that is being repackaged for the New Year's gonna-get-healthy demo.

        I'm guessing both of these scenarios are already taken into account, of course. Just wondering if it's going one way or the other.
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        • Profile picture of the author JakeDaly
          Dang, I just saw this thread. I'll try to scratch something up in the next 36 hours just for fun. Should be a good opportunity!

          I was searching for long-tail keywords related to copywriting for my blog a couple of weeks ago and 'Harlan Kilstein' popped up and had about 1,600 global hits a month. This may provide me a valid reason to write up a post on you and steal some of your inquiring traffic Although I'm sure your own websites and about 15 other NLP ones out-rank me... but still. I'ma take yo traffic.
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    • Profile picture of the author NickN
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Hint: If you're not taking into account a New Year's Resolution mindset of the market, (eg. "New Year, New Life... New Body") you're probably leaving money on the table.

      - Rick Duris
      Damn!

      So obvious, but I didn't even think about it as I was writing the letter.

      I foresee myself being docked a few points for that omission.
      Signature

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      • Profile picture of the author Harlan
        Originally Posted by NickN View Post

        Damn!

        So obvious, but I didn't even think about it as I was writing the letter.

        I foresee myself being docked a few points for that omission.
        There isn't a point system.

        I'll be looking for copy skills and imagination.

        Glaring errors will be noted.

        I'm not interested in website copy about a news years resolution. It would have to change in a month. :-(
        Signature

        Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
        Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
        http://overnight-copy.com
        Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
        Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by NickN View Post

        Damn!

        So obvious, but I didn't even think about it as I was writing the letter.

        I foresee myself being docked a few points for that omission.
        That's kinda why I pointed it out. No one ever buys an exercise program as Harlan described it in his original post.

        Given the timing of the contest, the overwhelming opportunity if you did some research, would be to leverage the (emotional) feelings of wanting to improve different areas of one's life in the new year.

        Don't beat yourself up, it's NOT as obvious as you'd think. Especially as Harlan framed the contest.

        - Rick Duris
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          I promise you that you will learn something valuable about your copy if you participate.

          I'll be giving feedback to everyone.

          So get it in by the deadline.
          Signature

          Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
          Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
          http://overnight-copy.com
          Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
          Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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          • Profile picture of the author Harlan
            Go crying to mommy?

            We may have our first withdrawal from the contest.

            Some one is afraid that a critique may run his career.

            Getting your copy critiqued is probably the best thing that could ever happen.

            I still pay thousands of dollars to get my copy critiqued.

            What will you say when the copy doesn't sell?

            Blame the stupid customers?
            Signature

            Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
            Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
            http://overnight-copy.com
            Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
            Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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            • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              Go crying to mommy?

              We may have our first withdrawal from the contest.

              Some one is afraid that a critique may run his career.

              Getting your copy critiqued is probably the best thing that could ever happen.

              I still pay thousands of dollars to get my copy critiqued.

              What will you say when the copy doesn't sell?

              Blame the stupid customers?
              Copywriting, as with other professions, requires a thick skin - to withstand criticism - and a real desire to become better.

              Unfortunately, most people want the second but don't have the first.

              That's probably why there are so few genuinely good copywriters.
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            • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              We may have our first withdrawal from the contest.
              Well, I just sent mine in... feel free to rip it apart, as I appreciate hearing what the experts think. I was a bit rushed between working on it and client projects, but it was a fun challenge!
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              • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
                Harlan,

                I got bored, so I started.

                And I basically finished about 2 hours later.

                And then I read it was about an "exercise program".

                I did a weight loss program. Opps.

                And it exists. Double oops.

                Anyway, since i blew the assignment, I attached it instead to sending via PM. (why not go a hat trick).

                adam

                p.s. I'm sure I could tweak it and make it work, but ah, the hell.
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                The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

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            • Profile picture of the author NickN
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              Go crying to mommy?

              We may have our first withdrawal from the contest.

              Some one is afraid that a critique may run his career.

              Getting your copy critiqued is probably the best thing that could ever happen.

              I still pay thousands of dollars to get my copy critiqued.

              What will you say when the copy doesn't sell?

              Blame the stupid customers?
              I've posted stuff much worse on here than what I sent you.

              And a public critique on here would only ruin your rep if your only clients are Warrior members (which ain't a very good business plan), and your copy completely sucked.
              Signature

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              • I'm working on my entry now. I'm pretty much a total newbie, so I welcome the ripping.
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Yeah, it's cool, but it's not a normal copywriting assignment where you have to use what you're given, so I don't think it's the best test of skill personally
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    • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      Yeah, it's cool, but it's not a normal copywriting assignment where you have to use what you're given, so I don't think it's the best test of skill personally
      You think? When I have something to work from (i.e. a framework) I find it's a lot easier to brainstorm. Like JR said, there are tons of fitness products on the market. A copywriter can make an average product sound great, but it's a lot easier to make a great product sound amazing. The contest makes you think about what would constitute a better-than-average product, proving you have knowledge of the market.

      And that you're grounded in realism... saying the product was created by a team of Olympic athletes, helps you lose 40 lbs in one week and has 100% efficiency would be the easy way out. So it also shows you can walk the line between what people will believe and what would make them read "scam."

      Just coming from a different mindset!
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    • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      Yeah, it's cool, but it's not a normal copywriting assignment where you have to use what you're given, so I don't think it's the best test of skill personally
      I think both ways can test your skill, just in different manners. Not with one being necessarily better than the other. Sure, you can request as many details or requirements as possible and benefit from have a bit more creative focus. On the other hand, this kind of challenge might give a bit more insight into how your overall approach works not just in regards to copywriting but also product development and demographic analysis.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    I'd love to see someone talk about the often disparaging effects that working out has on the body (acknowledging major objections.)

    Things like:

    ...The amount of energy it takes for the body to tear lean muscle and burn fat (and how this can get in the way of people's everyday lives - if they don't full understand what's going on.)

    ...Why people get run down and tend to get sick when they push their bodies. Teaching prospects about how working out typically depletes magnesium (essential for creating energy and relaxing the muscles) and inhibits the immune system.

    ...Talk about the lymphatic stress that a new fitness program can create (and how to prevent unnecessary downtime between workouts.)

    ...Maybe also illuminate the up and down nature of starting a fitness program (i.e. some days you feel amazing, while others you can't even form a proper sentence.)

    Helping prospects understand why they've hit (predictable) barriers in the past and never gotten beyond certain plateaus or goals will give a new fitness program that leading-edge advantage.

    Just my two cents.

    Great opportunity for someone who needs to take their copy to the next level (and by the way...who doesn't?)

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
    Can't wait to get my copy critiqued, to say the least. A pity some can't stand honest feedback.
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    • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
      Well, let's just dispense with the mystery here...

      I contacted Harlan yesterday and asked a simple question: I know you mentioned you would be putting the critiques on YouTube and doing a public critique here on the forum for the contest...Can you tell me if the sales letters will be presented anonymously? I generate most of my business here on the Warrior Forum, and I'm not sure it would be a good idea to undergo a very public dressing down of my copy at the same time I'm trying to generate business for my copywriting here on the forum.

      There was nothing said about withdrawing. I just asked a pretty straightforward question. Rather than give me a direct answer, Harlan posted his "Crybaby" message here in this thread.

      I don't know why I couldn't have gotten a simple answer...I didn't think it was a big deal...But I've since told Harlan to keep my sales letter in the contest...judging his public response here it seems I'd far from entered the winning submission, but I told him at the beginning the only reason I wanted to enter the contest was for his critique...So I'm not sure what all the drama is all about.

      I have no qualms about public critiques. I've posted my own work here for criticism on several occasions and learned greatly from the feedback...Hell, there's a post a few threads down I made asking for a critique of my own sales letter I did for my band.

      I'm preparing another sales letter for a Virtual Hot Seat with John Carlton and Stan Dahl...I've been trying to save money for a coaching/critique session with another prominent coach/writer here on this forum.

      I certainly understand the value of criticism and have a thicker skin than anyone would probably give me credit for (you don't go through the kind of public floggings I've been through in my career and survive without a pretty high tolerance for pain).

      I respect Harlan and I was looking forward to his insight and learning from him. I know he's highly respected and is great at what he does.

      So I'm not sure why the need to chum the waters here with a cryptic fiction about someone "running to mama", but rather than leave some sort of festering mystery open to speculation as to who, what, or why someone would want to "withdrawl" (which never was mentioned), let's just dispense with the drama and move forward with the contest.



      Jeremey
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  • Profile picture of the author Harlan
    Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

    To play - if you like - message me your letter. Just 2 pages - I want to see what you can do with shorter copy.

    Good luck.
    A lot of people are having problems following this direction. MESSAGE ME YOUR LETTER.

    This means, no email. no posting it in the thread. Follow directions or your entry will be disregarded.
    Signature

    Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
    Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
    http://overnight-copy.com
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      OK, all entries are in.

      Do you guys want to share your comments on the entries before I do?
      Signature

      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
      http://overnight-copy.com
      Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
      Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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      • Profile picture of the author NickN
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        OK, all entries are in.

        Do you guys want to share your comments on the entries before I do?
        Writing a tiny, two-page sales letter is tough. I had to cut a lot of stuff I thought would help sell my product.

        I'll post the notes I made for my imaginary product, just to give everyone some context when they see my letter.

        Feel free to let me know if you think this product would sell. I have zero experience in the exercise niche. I just thought about what I would want in a lifting program, and distilled it into what you see below.

        Product: "Ripped in 27 Days"

        This is a muscle-building program for guys who want to get ripped quickly.
        It's a physical manual that gets shipped to you, along with a DVD with the same info.
        Both the manual and DVD contain examples of proper lifting techniques.

        Target:

        Skinny guys, typically 150lbs or less who can't get results after months of lifting weights. Mid-20s to mid-40s. Guys who'd be ecstatic to cross the 160lb mark without lots of hard work.

        Benefits of product:

        -Intimidate other guys
        -Get women to find me attractive
        -Get guys to be jealous when I lift at the gym
        -Know I can win a fight
        -Be confident
        -Get compliments
        -Not waste a lot of time working out
        -Eating what I want
        Signature

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        • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
          Originally Posted by NickN View Post

          Writing a tiny, two-page sales letter is tough. I had to cut a lot of stuff I thought would help sell my product.
          No kidding. And good point.

          I can't remember who it was who wrote a letter to a friend.

          He wrote - and I paraphrase - "Sorry this letter is so long, I would have made it shorter if I had more time."
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        OK, all entries are in.

        Do you guys want to share your comments on the entries before I do?

        Comments about my sales letter...

        I decided to enter the contest on a whim...I had been watching, I think it was the Ken Strong VSL video, and wanted to try out Carlton's "Go too far, then back it up" approach to headlines. With Harlan's contest instructions in mind, I worked for about 30 minutes on a few different headlines & tried out some outrageous things, then dialed them back in, then came up with something I thought would work...

        Problem at that point was, I didn't have a product, an idea, a concept to sell...

        So I basically used the contest as an exercise for the VSL seminar I had been studying, applying the parameters of the contest.

        I wanted to use a story and a character, something I have very little experience doing in my sales letters...Not a good strategy when keeping your words on a budget... By the time I got 30% into the 2nd page, I realized I was going to have to tighten up and start offering relief.

        Among other areas, I'm sure that's where the letter's biggest weaknesses are. So I came up with a fake product and tried to offer up a solution to the problem...using an approach I've never tackled before.

        I didn't let it "cool," I edited quickly to get down to the two pages and it was in Harlan's inbox within 3 hours of writing the first headline...But I am looking forward to the advice and criticism I'll be getting as it was something totally new for me, and something I'd like to master in future projects.

        Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
    This was fun! It definitely was a challenge cutting down what would normally be longer sales copy to just two pages, but it made me think about what points were absolutely essential to communicate.

    Looking forward to the results. I'll post more about my mindset while writing the letter and all once the critique hits.
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  • I'll admit, I was very close to throwing in the towel, and would have, if I hadn't posted in this thread that I was working on something.

    My entry was the second sales letter I've ever written. I'm working on Six-Figure Copywriting through AWAI but haven't done much to put what I've learned into practice, save for the one practice letter they assigned.

    Anyway, I chose to pitch a kickboxing program to people 50 and over who were not necessarily overweight, but inactive. I tried to emphasize the dangers of inactivity and stress that kickboxing could be great for middle-aged people (I take classes myself and there are lots of people 50 and over, which gave me the idea.)

    Frankly, I'm damn pleased with myself just for getting it done even if it's not very good. I had a long day and a long week and I didn't see this post until Thursday. I welcome any feedback I get- I'm trying to help my own kid understand that we learn even when we do things badly and I need to apply that to myself as well.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
      I was a bit stressed while working on this since I had a client meeting to prep for and only had brief breaks to write (was away from computer yesterday).

      It was one of those instances where I got really invested in writing a meaningful "creator" introduction, then realized that oops, now I have half a page to explain the product. Considering that the concept I came up with was pretty unique (I think), it was a shame I couldn't go back and edit the backstory to play up the studies I found and further explain the benefits of the program.

      Not at all my best work, but all in all, it was probably a useful exercise. I am a SLOW writer, and I fully admit this. I've earned some clients a lot of money, but it generally takes me over a month to write even a short sales letter. I'd like to eventually get more time efficient about it... I think writing outlines with limits (i.e. "only 2 paragraphs allowed here") might help me a lot.

      Originally Posted by Rezbi View Post

      No kidding. And good point.

      I can't remember who it was who wrote a letter to a friend.

      He wrote - and I paraphrase - "Sorry this letter is so long, I would have made it shorter if I had more time."
      Great ironic quote by the way, and it was mathematician Blaise Pascal. "If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Thanks for the vids Harlan. I always learn a lot when I watch guys shred copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Haha! This line reminds me of my own mentor who is always nice but hilarious/snarky in his critiques: "I'm not sure whether shredded is good or not... unless you're talking about cheese."
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    • Profile picture of the author NickN
      I guess I love the word "shredded," haha. I didn't allow enough time to distance myself from the copy -- that's why my intro is shred-tacular.

      Thanks, Harlan.
      Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author JRVogt
    Enjoying the commentary so far! Looking forward to the rest!
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  • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
    Not sure if this would be what you're looking for but, if I was entering this I would have just written out the offer and sent that in.

    And with the time you gave, I would have swiped.

    Ethically, of course.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    I'll bite and critique as well, but to whoever wrote this, no disrespect and I know we were all under a timeline.

    Having read/heard the entire letter, what I'm not feeling is the disconnect between the first and second halves. The first part, really, feels a bit generic. The pacing is good as Harlan said, but if I were in your audience's position I would immediately be wondering, "So what"? Yeah I know other women feel the same, it's a part of life, etc. But I'm not really interested because you haven't promised me anything from the start. If I wanted pure empathy I'd go chat with friends rather than read a story from someone I don't know.

    On the other hand, if you'd strategically linked the speaker's story with the product, it would have been more intriguing. "The typical American diet is so nutritionally wrong, not to mention all the familial pressure we get to 'dig in' during holidays. My friend Ming was always in great shape no matter the time of year and I wondered if there was some sort of crazy Chinese secret. Turns out, there was." (Less cheesy and more in-depth but you get the idea.)

    You address a certain group of people in the headline, but don't go on to explain why your system/product is different until much later. The second half is where things get interesting: You have some unique device that no one's ever heard of before/from some ancient Chinese family. But since you don't go into detail about what it actually is, or at least how it magically burns fat, it feels a bit scammy. There's also the case of the "mystical Mings" who you just so happen to know.

    All in all, I would've liked more proof of authority/knowledge from the speaker and her friends, along with more explanation and integration of the product itself. Considering I barely got into the details of "my own" product though, I think you did just fine!
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

      I'll bite and critique as well, but to whoever wrote this, no disrespect and I know we were all under a timeline.
      Pay attention to Laura. Wait until you see her letter.
      Signature

      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
      http://overnight-copy.com
      Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
      Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
      Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

      I'll bite and critique as well, but to whoever wrote this, no disrespect and I know we were all under a timeline.

      Having read/heard the entire letter, what I'm not feeling is the disconnect between the first and second halves. The first part, really, feels a bit generic. The pacing is good as Harlan said, but if I were in your audience's position I would immediately be wondering, "So what"? Yeah I know other women feel the same, it's a part of life, etc. But I'm not really interested because you haven't promised me anything from the start. If I wanted pure empathy I'd go chat with friends rather than read a story from someone I don't know.

      On the other hand, if you'd strategically linked the speaker's story with the product, it would have been more intriguing. "The typical American diet is so nutritionally wrong, not to mention all the familial pressure we get to 'dig in' during holidays. My friend Ming was always in great shape no matter the time of year and I wondered if there was some sort of crazy Chinese secret. Turns out, there was." (Less cheesy and more in-depth but you get the idea.)

      You address a certain group of people in the headline, but don't go on to explain why your system/product is different until much later. The second half is where things get interesting: You have some unique device that no one's ever heard of before/from some ancient Chinese family. But since you don't go into detail about what it actually is, or at least how it magically burns fat, it feels a bit scammy. There's also the case of the "mystical Mings" who you just so happen to know.

      All in all, I would've liked more proof of authority/knowledge from the speaker and her friends, along with more explanation and integration of the product itself. Considering I barely got into the details of "my own" product though, I think you did just fine!
      Considering I only spent about 20 min on it, I'm pretty happy with it.

      Funny... I like the first half more than the second.

      And the reason is because the market is at the highest level of maturity.

      I think it takes a lot to get their advertising guard down.

      I would even take this and use some advertising camouflage... make it look like a blog post or article.

      In the second half it lacks credibility.

      Normally I let the product, proof, and the market write the ad.

      In this case I only had 2 pages and no proof elements to work with.

      Not all headlines and leads need to be benefit oriented, but that's just the way I see it.

      I'd rather get them to let their guard down and know, like, and trust me before I get into sales mode.
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      • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
        Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

        I would even take this and use some advertising camouflage... make it look like a blog post or article.
        Agreed, that's the sort of thing I like to do, and it generally works better if added before an open address. Newsy headlines still promise benefits of their own - i.e. if someone reads, "Woman loses 20 lbs in two weeks with all-natural supplement" or even, "Scientists fascinated by ancient Chinese workout device," readers become interested because they have some sort of curiosity regarding the topic "at worst." At best they want to see if the subject matter could help them as well.

        Like I said, I think you did good too. It's tough to balance logic and empathy in a sales letter normally, much less when you're under at time limit.
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          Let's continue.

          This is an example of "let's scare the crap out of them so they buy."

          Well it hasn't stopped people from smoking.

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          • Profile picture of the author Harlan
            Here'a another entry and this one is a good one:

            Signature

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            • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              Here'a another entry and this one is a good one:

              Copywriting Contest Exercise Harlan Kilstein - YouTube
              Best one so far, IMO.
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            • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              Here'a another entry and this one is a good one:

              Copywriting Contest Exercise Harlan Kilstein - YouTube
              I think if you have all that credibility to work with, then it kind of writes your ad for you.

              That's why I thought it would've been a better test of skill to be given these kind of details at the start and see how we could use them... like in an actual copywriting assignment where you're competing against other copywriters for the same product, using the same credibility elements, etc.

              In my opinion copywriting has nothing to do with how well you can make stuff up. It has to do with using the raw materials you have.

              And it would've been great to know what advertising medium was going to be used... and figure out what type of approach would be appropriate for the list or media.

              I think the ad screams that it's an ad and it reads like an ad. Would probably work well to a warm customer list.
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              • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                credibility
                That's the word I was looking for.

                It was on the tip of my tiny brain.
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              • Profile picture of the author Harlan
                Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

                That's why I thought it would've been a better test of skill to be given these kind of details at the start and see how we could use them... like in an actual copywriting assignment where you're competing against other copywriters for the same product, using the same credibility elements, etc.
                Everyone had the same chance to invent.
                Signature

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                Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
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                • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                  Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                  Everyone had the same chance to invent.
                  It's cool. I'm just a competitive A-hole.
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                  • Profile picture of the author Harlan
                    As he kicks himself for not going to town...
                    Signature

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                    • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
                      Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

                      As he kicks himself for not going to town...
                      Nah, I just wanted to bang something out, get a critique, improve my chops and see if I could win

                      I've always been open to the idea of getting my foot in the door and being a cub for someone like you, so I wanted to see where this would lead me... That said, I've already got a profitable biz, plenty to do, and wasn't planning on accepting the prize if I did happen to win.
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                      • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
                        One other thing I was mulling over based on the critique of the "stars" workout:

                        I'm kind of surprised Harlan doesn't like the use of questions. It's a pretty common practice in both sales and copywriting to try and build "yes momentum."

                        I.e. "Do you want to get an amazing body that attracts the attention of any man/woman? Want to learn the easy secret to burning fat while you relax on the couch?" And so on. Feeding people questions that are easy to say "yes" to so that they're more primed to say yes to the purchase. As far as big name copywriters go, pretty sure Dan Kennedy regularly teaches this.
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            • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
              Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

              Here'a another entry and this one is a good one:
              Very strong. Perfectly balanced between introducing the product owner's credibility (bonus for using celebrity names) and explaining how the program itself is unique. I like how he/she found space to throw in some testimonials as well.

              My only gripe is that Kim and J. Lo were born with big butts; it's in their genetics. Even if you followed the same workout as them it's highly unlikely that you're going to add inches to your ass. In fact, if the program was too cardio-focused, you may actually make it smaller without the muscle to replace fat you're losing. The only way to get a larger butt is pretty intense (like 100%+ of your own body weight) weight training, and I didn't hear the letter discuss that.

              I'm a fitness nut and a hard sell though, so that's knowledge 98% of consumers wouldn't have. If anything, they'd be too dazzled by the celebrity names to give a crap. And if the owner had before/after photos, it wouldn't matter. Great work!
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          • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

            Let's continue.

            This is an example of "let's scare the crap out of them so they buy."

            Well it hasn't stopped people from smoking.

            Copywriting Contest Exercise Harlan Kilstein - YouTube
            I think it's already been proven people prefer a cure to prevention...

            And vanity is the main reason for wanting to lose weight, etc.
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  • Profile picture of the author HKSEO Jonbones
    So do we have a winner?
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  • Laura, I agree with you, questions can build up a "yes" set.

    Although, sometimes you want the answer to be "no"

    The secret is to always ask a question where the prospect absolutely has to answer in the way you want.

    Open ended questions are a good of doing it.

    How, What, Why, Where, When, Who.

    And "tie downs" virtually force the answer you want.

    Don't they?, Isn't it?, Wouldn't it? etc.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Thanks Steve, that's a good way to put it. I'm surprised you like using open-ended questions though, as I would think those would allow the prospect to waffle around. In the example, who's going to say no to having the best buns of their life? Where if the writer had used, "What body part do you think people love staring at the most?" Then you'd get a variety of answers that may not align with your topic.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

      Thanks Steve, that's a good way to put it. I'm surprised you like using open-ended questions though, as I would think those would allow the prospect to waffle around. In the example, who's going to say no to having the best buns of their life? Where if the writer had used, "What body part do you think people love staring at the most?" Then you'd get a variety of answers that may not align with your topic.
      Gary Halbert and Gary Bencivenga often used it once for the opening..

      as in this sequence...

      "If you want, then xxx"

      But that's a statement, not a question.

      Seems to me being tricky to ask questions further in as it can slow the mental flow,
      when we want them to slide down the greased chute.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
        Good to know. I used a question in the subhead of my letter, but if most of the masters are saying if/then statements are more effective, I might stick to that instead.

        Found the area where Dan Kennedy mentions it as well, but looks like it was just a short blurb on page 91. For anyone interested this is a full copy of his "Ultimate Sales Letter" by the way, which is a nice read: http://www.entropycreations.com/imar...s%20Letter.pdf
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        • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
          More of a case of observing what they did than what they said.

          Best,
          Ewen

          Originally Posted by LauraKryza View Post

          Good to know. I used a question in the subhead of my letter, but if most of the masters are saying if/then statements are more effective, I might stick to that instead.

          Found the area where Dan Kennedy mentions it as well, but looks like it was just a short blurb on page 91. For anyone interested this is a full copy of his "Ultimate Sales Letter" by the way, which is a nice read: http://www.entropycreations.com/imar...s%20Letter.pdf
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  • Laura, very quickly, lets try a few open ended questions on the best buns (lol I so nearly typed ass).

    Anyway...

    "How good will you feel having the best buns in town?"

    "What pair of sexy jeans (remember they'll be 2 sizes smaller) are you going to buy when you have your perfect buns?'

    'Where are you going to put the chairs knowing you'll much prefer to stand so everyone can see those beautiful buns?"

    "When you have those super sexy buns you'll need to get used to a lot of extra compliments and just sway them a bit more when you get the wolf whistles"*

    "How amazed will your husband be when he sees your wonderful buns?"

    "When your friends say "do my buns look big in this" you'll secretly smile knowing yours look absolutely gorgeous"

    And so on...


    Steve


    P.S. In case this doesn't happen in the USA the UK definition of a "Wolf Whistle" is -

    "it tends to occur the most when a lady walks past a building site with very attractive buns or other noticeable and alluring parts of her body, causing the workers to immediately stop work and give very audible whistles"
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Ah I see, as they say in NLP, future pacing.

      Thanks Steve!

      Best,
      Ewen

      P.S. Let me know when you have finished that mailer.

      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Laura, very quickly, well lets try a few open ended questions on the best buns (lol I so nearly typed ass).

      Anyway...

      "How good will you feel having the best buns in town?"

      "What pair of sexy jeans (remember they'll be 2 sizes smaller) are you going to buy when you have your perfect buns?'

      'Where are you going to put the chairs knowing you'll much prefer to stand so everyone can see those beautiful buns?"

      "When you have those super sexy buns you'll need to get used to a lot of extra compliments"

      "How amazed will your husband be when he sees your wonderful buns?"

      "When your friends say "do my buns look big in this" you'll secretly smile knowing yours look absolutely gorgeous"

      And so on...


      Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Aah, I got you Steve - get the senses involved in the best ways possible. Great illustration!
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  • Well it is Harlans competition so I guess NLP should be used.


    Steve


    P.S. Yes, the latest postcard is coming along well, although laura did distract me a bit talking about her buns...

    I've just had a thought if I did a double sided Postcard I could have entered the contest.

    On the first side it would say "Get Laura or Ewen to write the copy"

    And on the second side "Share the prize money with Steve"

    What a winner!
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Maybe have a before and after photo...
      Laura being the hot after photo?

      Best,
      Ewen

      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Well it is Harlans competition so I guess NLP should be used.


      Steve


      P.S. Yes, the latest postcard is coming along well.

      I've just thought if I did a double sided one I could have entered the contest.

      On the first side it would say "Get Laura or Ewen to write the copy"

      And on the second side "Share the prize money with Steve"

      What a winner!
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      • Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Maybe have a before and after photo...
        Laura being the hot after photo?

        Best,
        Ewen

        In that case Laura definitely scoops the prize!


        Steve


        P.S. Ewen, don't let Laura see this - but whatever happened to our very special friend Donna - Aka Miss Kiefer - ace copywriter and graphic designer? She once said some very complimentary things about us - she too was obviously a highly intelligent lady, maybe she had a change of heart (lol).
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    I'm assuming he means Yes/No questions.

    What
    Why
    When
    How
    =
    Can Be Good

    Is
    Are
    =
    Not Good
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      I'm assuming he means Yes/No questions.

      What
      Why
      When
      How
      =
      Can Be Good

      Is
      Are
      =
      Not Good
      Or, open ended questions and closed questions.
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  • Profile picture of the author DougBarger
    [DELETED]
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Here's another entry.

      This one wasn't a very good one.

      I'm not sure where you guys are learning copy but we are seeing the same mistakes again and again.

      Weak, zero benefit headlines.

      too...many...ellipses...can...get...annoying...so. ..cut...them...out...entirely...unless...you...kno w...what....you...are...doing...and...you...don't.

      Use of questions make your copy wimpy.

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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Important note to rookie copywriters and others who may be unaware: The list of A-level copywriters (collectively responsible for billions of dollars in sales) who use questions in their copy reads like the Who's Who of Copywriting.

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

          Important note to rookie copywriters and others who may be unaware: The list of A-level copywriters (collectively responsible for billions of dollars in sales) who use questions in their copy reads like the Who's Who of Copywriting.

          Alex

          NLP Copywriting Harlan Kilstein » Blog Archive » Using Questions In Your Copy

          There are right ways of asking questions and wrong ways...Harlan, for those of us still learning the ropes, could you share here the "right" way of asking questions? I couldn't find the follow up in your blog or I would have linked to it here.

          Thanks!
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

          Important note to rookie copywriters and others who may be unaware: The list of A-level copywriters (collectively responsible for billions of dollars in sales) who use questions in their copy reads like the Who's Who of Copywriting.

          Alex
          And Alex is going to share that list of A-list copywriters who use questions like the contestants do (with examples).

          So nice of you to share.
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          • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

            And Alex is going to share that list of A-list copywriters who use questions like the contestants do (with examples).

            So nice of you to share.
            Nice reframe Harlan.

            Your statement simply said, "Use of questions make your copy wimpy."

            Now if you want to discuss how to use questions, that's a different matter completely.

            Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    You guys are too much.

    I don't get the ellipses fetish either. I guess people hear A-listers say to use them "strategically" and go all out. Kind of like questions. Too many and the copy comes off as disjointed and confusing.
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  • ... I like eclipses but they are expensive (because your prospects can leave without buying) they can't be bothered following the dots.

    So use them sparingly... (oops)


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      ... I like eclipses but they are expensive (because your prospects can leave without buying) they can't be bothered following the dots.

      So use them sparingly... (oops)


      Steve
      I like eclipses, too...

      ... But you don't see too many of them.

      And when you do, you need to make sure to wear sunglasses... or ... don't look into them directly.

      Sorry, Steve...

      ... couldn't resist.
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
        Ellipses being used for emphasis or drama seem to be a widely accepted practice. Whether in headlines or to set up a reveal or trigger a reaction, I have to believe they're an effective tool, because you see them all the time in some really top notch copy.

        I don't understand the "writing as though I'm rambling" use that seems to be all over the place....where it sounds like...you're on a sedative....Or maybe....just got hit on the head...and it's hard....to form words.....

        Getting back to questions, I've always been trained (in sales at least) that you never want to ask a question you don't know the answer to. For example, "Isn't it time for a new pair of shoes?" Well, no it is not. I just bought a new pair of shoes.

        But if you're targeting a very specific market or asking a question you've already set up the answer to, then it's a very effective way to sell. For example, your traffic is coming from a cigar aficionado's forum that targets people you already know love cigars. Then a question like "Is there anything better than sitting down to relax with a great Montecristo? The aroma, the texture...What if there were a direct source of these legendary cigars?" blah blah blah.

        I'd love to hear more insight on the above, as there's a lot of good questions and ideas being thrown around in this thread. Real specific and concrete advice that can help everyone is always appreciated.
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          Originally Posted by Jeremey View Post

          Ellipses being used for emphasis or drama seem to be a widely accepted practice. Whether in headlines or to set up a reveal or trigger a reaction, I have to believe they're an effective tool, because you see them all the time in some really top notch copy.
          All the time in really top notch copy?

          You must be learning from Alex.

          Specifics and examples please of using them as people have used them in this contest.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

            All the time in really top notch copy?

            You must be learning from Alex.

            Specifics and examples please of using them as people have used them in this contest.
            My reply was a response to your previous question, "not sure where you people learning copy?"

            The entries in the contest are not "top notch" copy by any means. What I meant was, a lot of rookies like myself see it being used by successful copywriters. And then without any sense of discretion or taste sometimes apply it liberally throughout their own work....

            ....and it's distracting....and doesn't work...

            So I think that's why you have seen it cropping up quite a bit in the entries.
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          • Profile picture of the author NickN
            I vote for the one about J-Lo's butt.
            Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    The point of using "..." is it makes it easier for the eye to follow. Personally, I don't think they replace a comma, but in certain situations they can be very useful.

    Over my career my writing style has changed a lot. One thing I used to do was use more of them. I also used to use them to start a new paragraph...

    ...like this.

    But these days I do it...

    Like this.

    Regarding the question thing, Jeremey brings up a good point. But another way they can be used is to make the reader think. I know that's viewed as a "no no" sometimes, but if you're taking a controversial stance it can be effective to use them to shake up the reader's viewpoints (you see this a lot in financial controls - Jack Forde does it superbly).

    -Daniel
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    Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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    • Profile picture of the author Rezbi
      Originally Posted by Daniel Scott View Post

      The point of using "..." is it makes it easier for the eye to follow. Personally, I don't think they replace a comma, but in certain situations they can be very useful.

      Over my career my writing style has changed a lot. One thing I used to do was use more of them. I also used to use them to start a new paragraph...

      ...like this.

      But these days I do it...

      Like this.

      Regarding the question thing, Jeremey brings up a good point. But another way they can be used is to make the reader think. I know that's viewed as a "no no" sometimes, but if you're taking a controversial stance it can be effective to use them to shake up the reader's viewpoints (you see this a lot in financial controls - Jack Forde does it superbly).

      -Daniel
      I do it the second way, too.

      If you notice my last post I did it the first way. But, I was doing it on purpose... just to exaggerate it.

      As for when ellipses should be used, like with everything else, at the right time... in the right place... in the right way.

      Same with questions. Wouldn't you say?
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  • Now... Now... (ignore the eclipses - I just prefer that word - ellipsis sounds like a medication).

    Alex and Harlan - aren't you a bit old to be fighting?

    The pair of you must be pushing 35 plus.


    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by Steve The Copywriter View Post

      Now... Now... (ignore the eclipses - I just prefer that word - ellipsis sounds like a medication).

      Alex and Harlan - aren't you a bit old to be fighting?

      The pair of you must be pushing 35 plus.

      Steve
      Fighting?? Nah. Just two guys remembering the "good old days" on Fortin's now defunct discussion board. LOL

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author Harlan
        Here's the final video in the contest.

        Please share your thoughts.


        Then go back and share YOUR opinion on which copy is the best.

        We have a few contenders here.

        What do YOU think?
        Signature

        Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
        Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
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        • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
          Thanks for the honest critique, Harlan. Your thoughts pretty much fall in line with what I posted earlier...

          My intro was strong (aside from a few areas I recognize I should've pulled back on), but by the time I'd reached the offer I was out of time for edits and lost some of my pacing. I would've liked to involve more explanation of the course and it's benefits/why it's fun instead of rushing through the perks, which arguably should've been the most important part of the letter.

          Overall, the Gunnar Peterson letter was the best. It had great balance, was believable and focused on an intriguing offer. I think my product is the one that would hold the most interest in the fitness niche and would've been the strongest if I had edited more thoroughly, but that's going into "woulda shoulda" land. I sent in what I sent in and I'll stand by it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    "..." is used for pacing.

    So...

    If using the ellipsis accomplishes your pacing needs, use it.

    If not...

    Rework your copy - so you don't need to rely on it to create your desired effect.

    Mark

    P.S. Some people take long pauses when they talk. The ellipsis is perfect to communicate that expression-nuance. Other people are more in your face and don't take those kind of pauses. So... Write the way you talk (or reflect your client's voice.)
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  • I vote for J-Lo's butt as well.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Yes I too am very fond of J- Lo's butt.

    And the pitch was excellent.

    But Laura did point out the inescapable "flaw." J- Los's tush is deliciously big and the exercise program is designed to trim buns down a few sizes.

    I would vote for Laura's piece because it felt real. Without the hype you get bombarded with in this market. But I would have used the "fun" trigger much sooner blending it with the main theme.

    Headlining it with something like this -

    "You'll Really Want To Stick With This Easy And Incredibly Effective Exercise Routine

    Not Only Is It Proven To Work - It's So Much Fun To Do"


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    I vote for running some traffic to them in a split test and see which one gets the most clicks on an order link... even if the page after it says "This is Just a Market Test. Thanks for Participating."

    Opinions mean jack.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      My pick is the J-Lo ad, because celebrity trumps all else
      as seen over at American Telecast Corporation.

      Their informercial writer won't run them until he gets a
      trusted celeb. He's got 80 so far.

      Here's the product names, celeb names and revenue made.

      Brands | American Telecast
      Steve’s Bio | Steven K. Scott

      Even sold life insurance on a 1 minute spot
      He enlisted the guy who impeached Nixon as the insurance spokesperson.
      His respect was so high that when people saw him in a airport
      the people would stop what they were doing and clap hands.

      J-Lo ad wins in my books.

      Best,
      Ewen
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      I vote for running some traffic to them in a split test and see which one gets the most clicks on an order link... even if the page after it says "This is Just a Market Test. Thanks for Participating."

      Opinions mean jack.
      Dude, get real.

      Throw traffic at unfinished unedited letters?

      I don't think so.
      Signature

      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
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      • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Dude, get real.

        Throw traffic at unfinished unedited letters?

        I don't think so.
        Because ???
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

          Because ???
          Because who's traffic are you going to throw at them?

          Would I risk my lists on a fake offer? No.

          Paid traffic from Google and possibly lose my account? No.

          You want to test them? Feel free and report back.
          Signature

          Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
          Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
          http://overnight-copy.com
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          • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

            Because who's traffic are you going to throw at them?

            Would I risk my lists on a fake offer? No.

            Paid traffic from Google and possibly lose my account? No.

            You want to test them? Feel free and report back.
            Nope, I do not.

            It's not my contest.

            I'm just sayin'...

            John Caples and Claude Hopkins would tag team and body slam us all for calling a winner without actually testing it.

            (John E Kennedy would be ringside saying, "That's gotta hurt Gene!"
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    • Profile picture of the author NickN
      Originally Posted by JasonParker View Post

      I vote for running some traffic to them in a split test and see which one gets the most clicks on an order link... even if the page after it says "This is Just a Market Test. Thanks for Participating."

      Opinions mean jack.
      While it might be kinda shitty to "trick" people like that, I agree with your overall sentiment.

      Sales are all that matter.
      Signature

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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
        I vote for the celebrity endorsement ad. Not so much for the copy (I actually thought the Ming fitness product and Laura's letter were pretty evenly matched for copy)...But for the imagination and "outside the box" thinking that went into coming up with a completely fanciful endorsement to build authority.

        Wouldn't your letters convert much better if you could just say, for example, "Hi. I'm Jack Crawford...You may know me better as Oprah Winfrey's personal masseuse. I'm here to share the 7 tips that Oprah and I use every morning to give her more energy and flexibility every day."

        Well played, and good writing chops as well. So they get my vote.
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Of all the letters, the one I think has the most potential is Laura's.

    The "I like big butts and I cannot lie" letter is more of a puff piece.

    I think the letter Laura wrote speaks more directly to those in the niche.

    I'm basing my decision solely on the rules Harlan set up in the contest. I realize some writers can't just pump a letter out as quickly as others and need more time to perfect things.
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      Of all the letters, the one I think has the most potential is Laura's.

      The "I like big butts and I cannot lie" letter is more of a puff piece.

      I think the letter Laura wrote speaks more directly to those in the niche.

      I'm basing my decision solely on the rules Harlan set up in the contest. I realize some writers can't just pump a letter out as quickly as others and need more time to perfect things.
      Please say more.
      Signature

      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
      http://overnight-copy.com
      Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
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      • Profile picture of the author max5ty
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Please say more.
        Guess what I'm saying Harlan, is that I realized the time frame everyone was working in...so I went beyond just what they wrote and looked for certain characteristics in their style.

        One thing, among several, was who I thought had the best ability to connect with their audience. I thought Laura was the winner.
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  • ...the tension mounts.

    The red carpet has been rolled out, and the contestants are pacing up and down nervously...

    Harlan is busy writing out the check.

    The guest celebrities are knocking back the champagne (by the case load).

    And Jo - Lo and her entourage are busy making her ass look even more phenomenal in case her piece wins.

    Anytime soon the winning copywriter is about to be announced...
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Contest Winners!

      Third Place Winner: Jason Parker - The "You Ate Too Much on the Holidays" Letter.

      Second Place Winner: Tony Wells - The "J-Lo's Butt" Letter.

      First Place Winner: Laura Kryza - The "Exercise Should Be Fun" Letter.

      All three win an hour of mentoring on whatever aspect of copy or marketing they want.

      Laura wins a job with me (if she wants it.)

      She will have to sign an NDA on the project however.

      So she can't share it until it's live.

      Would the 3 winners please contact me to arrange prizes.

      Thanks to everyone who entered.
      Signature

      Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
      Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
      http://overnight-copy.com
      Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
      Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        I'm appreciative of what you did Harlan, and the way you did it. It's a great, inspiring way to give folks here a boost, both in terms of improving their copywriting skills and giving them an opportunity for a little publicity and business.

        Congratulations Laura and Tony and Jason!

        It was an opportunity for anyone to shine. You guys rocked it and the world should know it!

        - Rick Duris
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        • Profile picture of the author NickN
          Congrats to Laura, Tony, and Jason.

          All good letters with different approaches.

          J-Lo's rump would be proud.
          Signature

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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    Good job Laura. You got quite a boost to your resume.

    Congratulations to the other winners as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shazadi
    Wow, very exciting! Thank you Harlan and to everyone who thought my letter had a decent approach. Congrats to Tony and Jason as well.

    *edit*
    As luck would have it a client contacted me today to follow up on a project we've been discussing, so I'll need to focus on that in the coming weeks. Told Harlan and so Tony will likely be getting the job. Best wishes on the project!
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  • Yes, well done everyone.

    And thanks to Harlan, it was a great contest.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author JasonParker
    Congrats Tony and Laura
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Well done Harlan for bringing out new talent.

      For the entrants who missed out on a place,
      it's great learning experience.

      For the runner ups, not only did you learn,
      you got encouragement for being so close.

      And Laura, this is your time to shine.

      Best wishes everyone of you.

      Best,
      Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Paul Silver
    Truly a great thread, it would be cool if we could find a way to do this on a more consistent basis.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tony Wells
    Congrats Laura and Jason! Also congrats to everyone who entered.

    A big warm thanks goes out to Harlan for holding this contest and providing critiques.
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    • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
      Harlan,

      I hate to say this, but I regret not tweaking the copy I attached and submitting via private message.

      The feedback you've provided on the letters is really helpful.

      I'm sure the time-value of money spent helping out folks here, plus the money you pay in winnings (who should get a 1099 btw) will be less than the social value (and potential copy cubs) you'll get out this.

      In other words, I think this was a classic "win-win" for everybody involved.

      Next time I'll follow directions!

      Adam
      Signature

      The Most Bad-Ass Tax Reduction Strategist for Internet Marketers who HATE paying taxes. See my happy clients

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      • Profile picture of the author Harlan
        Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

        I'm sure the time-value of money spent helping out folks here, plus the money you pay in winnings (who should get a 1099 btw) will be less than the social value (and potential copy cubs) you'll get out this.
        Now you're my accountant?

        What if they don't live in the US?

        And how is this remotely your concern?
        Signature

        Harlan D. Kilstein Ed.D.
        Free NLP Communications Course at http://www.nlpcopywriting.com
        http://overnight-copy.com
        Get Fit In Four Minuteshttp://just4minutes.com
        Learn how to build a Super Site Without SEO http://supersiteformula.com

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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
          Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post

          Harlan,

          I hate to say this, but I regret not tweaking the copy I attached and submitting via private message.

          The feedback you've provided on the letters is really helpful.

          I'm sure the time-value of money spent helping out folks here, plus the money you pay in winnings (who should get a 1099 btw) will be less than the social value (and potential copy cubs) you'll get out this.

          In other words, I think this was a classic "win-win" for everybody involved.

          Next time I'll follow directions!

          Adam
          Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

          Now you're my accountant?

          What if they don't live in the US?

          And how is this remotely your concern?
          Seriously bro? What the hell?

          Lesson learned...

          Don't ever try and say something nice to Harlan.

          -Daniel
          Signature

          Always looking for badass direct-response copywriters. PM me if we don't know each other and you're looking for work.

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          • Profile picture of the author copyassassin
            Now you're my accountant?

            What if they don't live in the US?

            And how is this remotely your concern?
            Harlan,

            I can be, provided we're a good match for each other. Call the office at 626.280.6865 and set up a discovery session to find out.

            I'm not concerned about you as much as I'm concerned about the person who receives the prize money. Prize money is taxable and most people don't know that.

            I've had clients win on the "Price is Right" and see me a year later and they leave the office crying because nobody ever told that prize money is taxable.

            Now, since you are an educated person, you probably already know that. However, it is possible that the winner is not. I don't know either way.

            I'm trying to be helpful, which is what you were in your videos.

            (Although, in a previous post you mentioned you are coming out with new product in this niche and I'd imagine you did this to get ideas and find a potential writer for yourself, which is very self interested. However, I believe in a "win-win" model where everybody gets something out of the deal. So, your self-interested contest has redeeming value)


            Lesson learned...

            Don't ever try and say something nice to Harlan.

            -Daniel
            Daniel,

            Thx for your comment. I felt Harlan's response a bit defensive (and unnecessary) for an acclaimed copywriter and only serves to show a side of him that is less than desirable.

            But, having never met Harlan or talked with him, I have no idea if this is his online persona he's created for himself, or a true reflection of the type of man he is.

            But, he does convert. And in every market there is a buyer willing to deal with "personality" for the sake of profit.

            I used to work for a business management firm with oscar winning clients. Some nice, most not.

            And the managing partner would say, "Hey Adam, don't take it personally. Just charge a premium for dealing with him!"

            "Mr. X" billable rates were about 30% higher and he paid on time.

            I'm sure under all the persona is a nice person.

            I think ???
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            • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
              Originally Posted by copyassassin View Post


              I'm sure under all the persona is a nice person.

              I think ???
              It's just a discussion board persona.

              People who know him personally say he's a nice guy and very helpful.

              Was the contest held for 100% altruistic or 100% self-interest reasons? My guess, some of both.

              Alex
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              • Profile picture of the author connorbringas
                Good Job, I enjoyed the read and reading some good sales letters.

                Thank you to all who participated.
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