Crititique Plz... So close to walking away.

by JonoC
32 replies
So I wrote an ebook about depression about a year ago.

So far I have hired 2 copywriters and am working with a third currently.

The results of this have been discouraging to say the least (0.45% conversion rate is the best I've gotten)

I think this niche is particularly difficult to market to.

While I am waiting for my current copywriter to get back to me I thought I would give it a go for myself. I have created this based on a template of a video sales letter course that I have.

I am very close to walking away from this whole thing so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance.

EDIT: not looking for a critique on my copy anymore. This was my own attempt at creating copy while I was waiting on my copywriter to get back to me with a revision. I will leave it up to him as it seems there is too much to be done on this copy.
Free-Tips | The Truth About Depression
#close #crititique #plz #walking
  • Profile picture of the author sthomas
    You're right, a very difficult marketplace
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  • Profile picture of the author Hans Klein
    A couple of quick notes for you...

    >>> Comprehensive Literature Review Reveals:

    Simplify the language.

    Write like how you would talk if you were there in person.

    You probably wouldn't say something like "Comprehensive literature review."

    Get emotional.

    The other thing is from scanning your story is you use a lot of "I," and I don't see where you're tying this back to your reader. For example, you might set up your story by saying, "I've been exactly where you are. I did X, I did Y, I did Z. Does any of this sound familiar?"

    Always bring it back to the reader.
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  • Profile picture of the author Corey Geer
    Originally Posted by JonoC View Post

    So I wrote an ebook about depression about a year ago.

    So far I have hired 2 copywriters and am working with a third currently.

    The results of this have been discouraging to say the least (0.45% conversion rate is the best I've gotten)

    I think this niche is particularly difficult to market to.

    While I am waiting for my current copywriter to get back to me I thought I would give it a go for myself. I have created this based on a template of a video sales letter course that I have.

    I am very close to walking away from this whole thing so any advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance.

    Free-Tips | The Truth About Depression
    Reading into the first couple sentences of this post actually stuck out to me. I can tell you that this isn't a hard niche to market to because I myself had a little bit of depression and a lot of people with depression have anxiety disorders as well.

    Anxiety disorders aren't anything I would wish on any of my enemies because it's an awful nightmare.

    These people are desperate for help and usually don't have medical insurance, have some medical bills racked up and don't have thousands to spend on years of psychological counseling. A doctor's first course of recommendation is of course going to be to push pills on the people who have anxiety disorders, hypochondria or depression. A lot of the time, those three tend to go together in some people and some people get severe anxiety known as "General Anxiety Disorder".

    Every time you feel a symptom, you think something serious is wrong with you and you'll usually head to the internet only making things worse because you read about all the horrors or different things that "could" be wrong with you. The reality is, you're more than likely completely fine but trust me when I saw those people desperately want to be freed from their depression or their anxiety.

    I had it for a couple of years until I scoured the internet for months and just used some general advice and pretty much dealt with it myself. It still hasn't completely gone away but hey, alcohol makes it go away

    Seriously though, it's not that your market is tough, I'm going to look at the page to see if I can chime in on this.

    The headline really doesn't read that well to me and I wasn't sure if it was written by someone who knew what they were talking about because it just didn't sound like that's how someone would talk.

    I can't read all of it at the moment, but I can see where some parts will hit hard at home for some people but it's more an interesting story than it is a call to action to purchase anything. There's also a ton of facts on there making it way longer than necessary (in my opinion) that could be included in the product rather than on the front of the sales page.

    It could be a tad more aggressive and connect more with the people who suffer from the three mental disorders I've mentioned. Trust me, the more you reach out to those people and connect with them, the more they're going to shell out money to you. Your demographic and target audience will more than likely be people who can't afford a therapist who specializes in mental disorders and people without insurance. The majority of people without those two things look to the internet for answers.

    I'm answering this based on my own perspective because I was depressed at the time I had an anxiety disorder. It was awful and I was looking furiously for a clue. Anxiety is one of the worst things your body can do to you without actually harming you. It can replicate pain, symptoms of serious diseases and this usually causes people to go to the doctor or ER depending on the symptom and every test will be confirmed as you just being paranoid or looking like an idiot. Especially if you're as young as me and continually go to the doctor like I did, they just think you're insane or on drugs.

    I had one doctor give me some large white pill because he said "hrm.. could be your heart", and 30 minutes after taking it I had the worst sharp chest pain I've ever had. I went to a real city (I live in a town of 10,000) and went to their ER and the doctor told me that the particular drug he's handing out to people will kill people if they don't have what it's intended to treat and I should consider myself lucky... and that the doctor was a complete f'tard.

    They did all these fancy and expensive tests just to put me at ease but even then, it still took me months to come to terms that I had a mental disorder.

    I know this is rambling at this point, but I just want to get the point across that the majority of people who have any kind of mental illness or disorder will do just about anything to become free of it and be happy again. People with a mental illness for more than 6 months usually can't remember the last time they were truly happy.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Unfortunately...

    You're boring your prospects. The emotional value of your copy is low.

    Your desire to give depression remedies in the copy is undermining your ability to sell the book.

    Parts of your copy are too technical and will lose the prospects. If you're trying implicitly prove how smart you are, they're not impressed (and they're not buying either.)

    Copywriting-wise, you're violating lots of rules. Subheads like "Stop Reading Now" and "Leave This Page Right Now" aren't helping.

    The $4.95 price point is probably too low and is causing credibility problems.

    The title of the book is a yawn. Maybe something like "Defeat Depression in 90 Days".

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      Full of trite phrases and dramatic exclamations - promises of a "cure" and statements that confuse the disease of depression with the "feelings".

      I know a LOT about clinical depression and about both medical and self treatment - and what you have there is a bunch of hooey. A better approach would be to present the book as a personal journey of conquering depression without drugs.

      If you had a DIAGNOSED case of depression and "cured" it without medication, that might be an interesting read. A cure of a self-diagnosed disease doesn't work for credibility, though, and you don't seem to mention a professional diagnosis in your sales copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
      Banned
      I don't mind sticking my oar in since I was one of the copywriters mentioned at the outset, although not named directly.

      Rick has it spot on Jonathan. All stuff I've told you before. Proved right again. I did tell you ages ago, last spring was it that this would be a hard sell.

      Of course it didn't help too much on supplying you with my original sales copy for this product, you first pretty much butchered the copy to pieces changing out something like 90% of the copy supplied but also patently obvious, you didn't heed any of my advice at the time.

      This on the back of receiving your positive review on supplying the sales copy for this product, namely...

      "When I received Mark’s copy I was blown away by how persuasive it was and I have no doubt it will convert a hundred times better than what I could have ever come up with.

      Mark was very professional and quick to answer all questions I had after receiving the copy.

      I will use Mark for any future copy-writing that I use and I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

      Thanks Mark"

      - Jonathan USA

      ***

      Now here you are again still suffering low conversion rates. With a sales letter which doesn't resemble anything like that which was supplied to you in the first place. Which raises the question...

      Why hire a copywriter, why ask for their advice if upon doing so you first butcher the sales copy supplied to the point it's unrecognizable and second, rewrite it yourself even though you know you have next to no experience in salesmanship-in-print?

      Only it seems like an incredibly cock-eyed business approach to take if you ask me. If you'd just done what I suggested to you in the first place you wouldn't now be experiencing this problem.

      What can one say? You've basically brought this situation on yourself. If you had listened in the first place to said advice given to you and not changed out almost all the wording in your sales copy, you wouldn't be facing this problem period.

      Sincerely,


      Mark Andrews
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
        Comprehensive Literature Review Reveals:
        What is a "Comprehensive Literature Review? Is that what you are calling this page? Are you referring to a published article or scientific report? Prospects won't have any clue what you are talking about before you even get to your headline.

        The Shocking Truth About Depression That The Medical Profession Doesn’t Want You To Know and How You Can Defeat Depression Naturally Without Resorting To Ineffective Antidepressants
        This headline is less of a headline than it is a giant run on sentence with one vague benefit to your reader buried at the very bottom. Just cut out everything else and say "How You Can Defeat Depression Naturally – Without Resorting To Ineffective Antidepressants" - Now fix that so you can explain WHY your prospect should care about not having to resort to "ineffective" anti-depressants and add a few more benefits.

        “For The Longest Time My Mind Was Hijacked By Depression. I Was Never Able To Have A Real Moment Of Happiness. Now I Am Finally Myself Again, Living Again and Not Just Existing…”
        Why would that lead in capture anyone's interest in reading any further? Nobody cares about your depression, they care about their own. Work on a lead in that offers another benefit or sparks some attention in your prospects.

        In the following article I will explain how I did it, as well as:
        This is not an article. It doesn't even resemble one. It's a sales page. Nobody wants to read an article, they want to hear HOW you can help them fix their depression.

        Exactly what the underlying cause of depression is and why it is not your fault you feel the way you do.
        3 unusual tips that you can start using today to finally free yourself from depression.
        How antidepressant are far from the best treatment for depression and how your health may actually be at risk if you’re taking any of them right now.
        Most importantly however, you will get the answers to WHY you feel the way you do, and why you are not to blame for your depression.
        A number of ways in which to help a loved one beat their depression once and for all.
        Again, no benefits at all to your prospects. Why should it matter what the "cause" is of depression? They don't care, they just want relief. 3 unusual tips? How will they help me? How will my life be any better if I follow them? "A number of ways to help a loved one?" That's just a throwaway phrase to add another bullet to your list, isn't it?

        NOTE: I don’t know how much longer I will keep the valuable information on this page up, so read this now while you still can.
        Well, why would you take it down? Is it the cost of having it hosted? Is it because you may change your mind about helping people? The statement doesn't make sense.

        You may think you have seen it all and tried it all, but you have never seen anything like this before, and I promise you that the tips and information on this page will shock you.
        Immediately skim skim skim down page...no...nothing shocking...back to the deck...

        But first, I need to share my experience with depression:
        I don't mean to be glib, but that's probably the last straw for even the most patient prospect...You do not need to share your own experience. Your experience, as you laid it out on your page, has no connection with the reader or how your experience will help them get over their depression.

        Then I skim - Literally over 5,000 more words...to get to an offer for a $4.95 product.

        I don't mean to be harsh, but I hope those few observations on just the first few paragraphs of your page can guide you in a different direction, because as it is, I will guarantee you, nobody that hits your page is reading very far beyond that.

        I think you need to ask, if you've been through 3 copywriters, spent what must have been a HUGE amount of time writing over 5,000 words to sell a simple $4.95 product, is it really worth the time, effort and expense with as little as you've gotten out of it? It may very well be time to move on and work on discovering another product.
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  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    OK Jono. I can give you some feedback here.
    I want to pre-empt this by saying I do suffer from depression and have been to hell and back a few times so I do know what I am talking about.

    1. As a sales letter, it is WAAAAYYYYYY too long and boring. You need to catch the attention of people with depression with a shorter, punchier letter. It sounds like perhaps you need to revisit Mark's material as I know he writes the best stuff.

    2. You need to use simpler language and remove yourself from the equation to a certain extent as it all seems to be I I I I I and that doesn't attract anybody's attention.
    You need to talk more about the reader.

    3. I don't know what your actual book is like but if it is anything like the letter, no wonder you can't convert.

    4. Maybe you need to revamp your book as well. Perhaps a writer can help you (maybe myself?) to turn it into a better product.

    I am not sure what else to say at this point but if you want to make it a success, you need to make some radical changes to what I can see at present.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Jonathan, given what Kay, Mark, Jeremey and Laurence have contributed, it's time for you to seriously reevealuate your approach.

    In other words, it's not just copy and wordsmithing, it's your overarching positioning, offer and strategy.

    For instance "Comprehensive Literature Review Reveals:" right out of the gate implicitly conveys what I'm about to read is regurgitated. Meaning I can find it for free on the Internet.

    No one likes to be told their baby is ugly, but at least you can better appreciate why the piece isn't converting.

    - Rick Duris
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    • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
      Just a quick question but have you thought of working with a copywriter who actually has experience on this subject?

      The reason I ask is that marketing something like this would probably require quite a bit of personal experience to truly understand the problems, benefits and solutions related to the product. You basically need someone who knows how to speak directly to people who are suffering from depression.

      Other than that, don't give up!
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Copywriting Problem #1: It's too wordy, academic and unfocused. Take your headline for example:

    The Shocking Truth About Depression That The Medical Profession Doesn't Want You To Know and How You Can Defeat Depression Naturally Without Resorting To Ineffective Antidepressants

    Too wordy, sounds needy. I can draw 5 headlines out of what you've got written up there ^:
    1. What is Your Doctor NOT Telling You About Your Depression?
    2. How to Conquer Depression WITHOUT Medication
    3. How I Discovered the Natural Cure for Depression
    4. What You're About to Read About Depression Might Shock You?
    5. The Natural Depression Cure Your Doctor Doesn't Want You to Know About

    There's a winner in those 5, just test them and you'll find it.

    (There's a simple formula I'm following here, it's in this )

    Copywriting Problem #2: Your opening is too "I" focused. Needs to start out "You" focused and join the conversation already in their mind.

    Here's what you've got now:

    "For The Longest Time My Mind Was Hijacked By Depression. I Was Never Able To Have A Real Moment Of Happiness. Now I Am Finally Myself Again, Living Again and Not Just Existing..."

    This could work if you used the "How I discovered the natural cure for depression headline" AND if it were more compact.

    "Depression used to own me. I was never happy. (continue list of common symptoms, ones they're familiar with). That was until I discovered..."

    Or, you could make it "You" focused and contrast their present experience with the experience they want:

    "Is depression dominating your life? (continue with questions about symptoms) What if I were to tell you your depression could be overcome...without medication or expensive therapy?"

    I counseled people with depression back when I was in the ministry. You've got some fantastic facts and scientific explanations here. Problem is, most of your readers won't get past the clunky headline and opening.

    Try some of this on the opening and headline. Don't worry about the rest of the page just yet. Start with the opening, measure your results and work your way down from there.

    Offer Problem #1: Price is WAY too low.

    Raise your price, add a view extras to make it multi-media (videos, audios, worksheets etc). Multi-media products have a higher percieved value. But right now, the price point is killing you.

    I lost confidence in your credibility when I saw the 4.95, and that's AFTER being impressed by the rich scientific points you have in your page.

    Offer Problem #2: Credibility isn't there

    You either need their pictures or links to their FB accounts, something that validates the reviews. Too many people making up fake reviews these days, plain text isn't going to get it.

    Finally, add your contact email. Most of my product sales come after someone has emailed me with questions, so you're losing money by not offering your contact email.

    Good luck. You'll get there.

    Persistence breaks resistance.
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    • Profile picture of the author JonoC
      First of all I wanted to thank everyone for their input; I really appreciate you all taking to time to offer me advice.
      The $4.95 price is for a 3 week trial. After the 3 weeks they are charged $39.95. I should have been more clear about this in the copy. With this being said, is this still too low a price point?

      Taking a look at the clickbank market place, there are a number of products in this niche. None of them have a gravity of more than 2 however, potentially meaning that this is a particularly difficult niche to market to. The fact that I am on my third copywriter might be another hint. All three are good copywriters as far as I can tell but the offer just isn't converting. There has to be a reason for this. I gave one of my copywriters access to my adwords account and this still didn't improve the conversion ratio. So that is not the problem.

      Any thoughts on this?

      What I have up here now was just an experiment on my behalf to see how I could do at creating my own copy while I wait for my current copywriter to get back to me with a revision. It looks like I haven't done too well so I might leave it up to the professionals.

      Corey Geer: thanks for your indepth response. I can see that you've been through something similar to me. I never suffered from anxiety to a significant degree but I can see how harsh it could be. Depression is such a cruel disease, and I would wish it upon no-one.

      It is quite alarming how little some doctors know about these diseases. Some don't even believe them to be a medical issue!

      I haven't looked into the anxiety side of things actually. I will definitely look into that avenue. Thanks for that. If it doesn't work however I might have to walk away.

      Kay King: when you say it is a bunch of hooey, what do you mean by that?
      I was diagnosed with major depression and recovered in about 2 weeks if you can believe that. I didn't state that in the copy because it sounds so unbelievable. My HAM-D was 23 and at the moment sits around 6-7.

      Mark: when I received the copy you wrote me I was very happy with it and I still think it was solid. I had it up for the appropriate amount of time (800 clicks if I recall correctly) and it just wasn't converting. I think this is because of the market as you pointed out but I am rather stubborn so I went wanted to give it my all before I walked away. I should have listened to your advice but I couldn't walk away from so much work. I was very impressed with how much time you put into talking me through things and would recommend your services to anyone.

      I hope that my posting here is not construed as a challenge to your work. What I have up there at the moment is 100% new.

      Jeremy: I put the bullet point up there about helping a loved one beat their depression because I have surveyed the people who go to my site and about a third visit to help a loved one and not themselves. I was trying to show that there are effective ways of doing this and hopefully not lose a third of my prospects.

      Thanks for the other advice you gave me, I will definitely look into those changes.

      Laurencewins: what did you mean by: "3. I don't know what your actual book is like but if it is anything like the letter, no wonder you can't convert."
      I wrote the book to be as concise as possible. I realise that depression is quite a bland subject so I get to the "good stuff" without my readers having to struggle through hundreds of pages of meaningless fluff.

      Shadowflux: One of my copywriters used to suffer from depression, and another one has written for a similar product in the past. All three have good references.

      Sethczerepak: thanks for the advice on the copy and the resources on the headline.

      The $4.95 price point was for a 3 week trial at which point they would be charged $39.95. I should have been a bit more clear about that in the copy. Is this still to low of a price point?
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      • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
        Banned
        You left my copy up for a total of 800 clicks? Wow! Well no wonder you haven't made anything off this Jonathan.

        800 clicks isn't anything to go by. Then obviously your impatience got the better of you and it sounds like you just started from this point in making the most extraordinary bad decisions possible.

        First changing out the copy, butchering it massively before deciding, hey this isn't working, I know what I'll do, I'll employ another copywriter.

        The problem you experienced I can assure you from the copy I supplied to you wasn't anything to do with the copy itself supplied, it was your traffic driving strategy which was at fault.

        This was the reason this project bombed as badly as it did. Not the fault of the copywriter.

        There is a reason I advised you about traffic generation initially. I knew for a fact your success hinged on getting this offer right in front of the target eyeballs you were trying to reach.

        Obviously this wasn't happening so you took an altogether more drastic approach which led to an even worse conversion rate.

        I'm sorry but this just doesn't make any sense to me. I've had too many success stories on the back of similar copy supplied to know for a fact the majority of small time marketers such as yourself, in situations very close to this one, have nearly always without exception sold $10k, $20k, $30k, $50k even $100k+ worth of product in just a few short weeks to know it's your impatience and inexperience which got the better of you.

        Maybe next time you'll pay more attention, give more heed to the advice I give you rather than dismissing it out of hand as having no value.

        Not listening to me, not giving my sales copy a chance to perform has just cost you many thousands of dollars in lost revenue.

        Hmmmmm,


        Mark Andrews
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        • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
          Originally Posted by Mark Andrews View Post

          You left my copy up for a total of 800 clicks? Wow! Well no wonder you haven't made anything off this Jonathan.

          800 clicks isn't anything to go by.
          He has a point ^
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        • Profile picture of the author JonoC
          Mark: I just dug up the email conversation that we had. I sent 1100 clicks to the site and made 1 sale. I think that is pretty definitive and very much within statistical significance.

          Jeremy: Ah understood, thanks for the clarification.

          Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

          Way, way too much copy for a five dollar product. You should pay someone five bucks for laboring through it. If someone isn't depressed, they will be after reading it.
          Haha well put. Well at least then I would be expanding my market!

          Thanks for your insights. I will definitely take them on board.

          Can someone address this question of mine:

          I've commissioned three copywriters and all three seem to have had difficulties with this market. Clickbank has a number of products in the depression market but none have a gravity of more than 2.

          Is this market viable or should I walk away?.


          Thanks
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          • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
            Originally Posted by JonoC View Post


            Can someone address this question of mine:

            I've commissioned three copywriters and all three seem to have had difficulties with this market. Clickbank has a number of products in the depression market but none have a gravity of more than 2.

            Is this market viable or should I walk away?.


            Thanks
            Depressed people withdraw from interaction. Depressed people have problems concentrating. Depressed people have an aversion to activity. Depressed people feel hopeless.

            And you are trying to get their attention and compel them to action.

            Good luck.

            If I absolutely HAD to give it a go, I would craft a first person narrative and hope experience taking would be enough to move the reader to action at the end of the story.
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          • Profile picture of the author Mark Andrews
            Banned
            Originally Posted by Pusateri View Post


            Depressed people withdraw from interaction. Depressed people have problems concentrating. Depressed people have an aversion to activity. Depressed people feel hopeless.

            And you are trying to get their attention and compel them to action.

            Good luck.
            Precisely. Nail. Head.

            And this information, this advice was given to Jonathan last spring in my email communications with him.

            Originally Posted by JonoC View Post


            Can someone address this question of mine:

            I've commissioned three copywriters and all three seem to have had difficulties with this market. Clickbank has a number of products in the depression market but none have a gravity of more than 2.

            Is this market viable or should I walk away?.
            No difficulties at all Jonathan, it was an easy niche to write for given my vast experience in this particular market.

            The problem wasn't the subject matter, nor writing the copy supplied to you, the problem fair and square was in your inability to market this product effectively for which you need to take full responsibility.

            Your copywriter/s were not responsible for your targeted traffic generation methods, this was solely your responsibility no one elses.

            If you don't know or can't work out how to generate the highly targeted traffic you need to attract to your offer in the first place, then you might as well walk away from it your project altogether, until such time as you do or can acquire this skill.


            Mark Andrews
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      • Profile picture of the author Jeremey
        Originally Posted by JonoC View Post

        Jeremy: I put the bullet point up there about helping a loved one beat their depression because I have surveyed the people who go to my site and about a third visit to help a loved one and not themselves. I was trying to show that there are effective ways of doing this and hopefully not lose a third of my prospects.
        Thanks Jonathan, I apologize, I should have been more clear...what I meant was "a number of ways in which to help a loved one" is not a benefit. What you should be saying in bullet points is how helping a loved one can benefit your prospect.

        In other words...simply saying "find out how to wash your car" is a very weak benefit. You need to build into your bullets the benefits to the benefits to the benefits of each point you make, considering every way your bullet will benefit your prospect, and blowing up that benefit like a balloon...then out of that "balloon" take what is going to be most likely to move your prospect toward action.

        Hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author NiceGuyMedia
    Just wanted to stop by and say awesome thread, I personally learned a lot and if either of you guys ( Mark / Seth ) would like to pm me in the future I would love to chat about future copywriting jobs I have available
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Jono,

    I'm not going to get into whether or not the copy you got was decent here. IMHO, about 1k clicks is a good INITIAL test - to see whether or not it has potential to end up working or not.

    But that doesn't mean it's the copy.

    It could be your traffic. In fact, even crappy copy will usually convert better than 1:1000 with good traffic.

    So... where is your traffic coming from?

    As for this market...

    Viable? I think so. It's about as desperate a problem as you can get.

    Here are a few points though...

    First, you want to be VERY careful about claiming about curing depression. Not just for a legal point (though that's more than valid), but because some people have depression that can't be cured.

    As you may or may not know, clinical depression (or "major depressive disorder") can be either a psychological thing or - in many cases - it's literally a chemical imbalance in the brain (not enough serotonin, often enough, which is the chemical that controls emotion).

    This is what I think Kay's referring to...

    I know a guy who did that test they give you to see how depressed you are. He got a 42 out of 50. He's a pretty sharp dude and VERY on the ball about positive thinking and cognitive behavioral therapy. The fact he could still function while that depressed was amazing to a lot of people.

    He has to take 200 mg of Sertraline Hydrochloride (aka Zoloft) a day. If he misses it, by the afternoon he's moody, irritable, and depressed. Not to mention the crazy anxiety/panic attacks (like Corey referred to).

    That's very different to someone who is experiencing stuff like post-natal depression or PTSD, which are generally cognitive disorders. Or someone who's depressed because their thinking processes aren't always positive and complains about everything.

    Now, I don't want to paint the picture that these problems are any less severe, but what I'm saying is you're dealing with people who have literally tried everything and gotten nowhere.

    That would be a depressing situation in and of itself, but when you add to the fact they have depression, well... it multiplies.

    I'm going to be frank with you... if you had REAL major depressive disorder, you wouldn't have "cured it" on your own in a week. The guy I know has to take tablets the rest of his life.

    It's entirely possible you had something that was messing with your serotonin levels and cured THAT, or maybe just changed your thinking habits, but that's very different to "curing" depression.

    So straight away, by saying you can cure it, you're setting these people's BS meters off. I would be pissed about it, but I don't think you're intentionally trying to mislead, just maybe not as aware of the breadth of this topic as you could be.

    Now, as for the copy, this is a VERY sensitive subject. You have to nail everything JUST RIGHT, or it won't sell. Not many copywriters can pull it off, because they haven't lived it, or spent enough time with someone who has it to truly understand exactly how these people think (and it's very different to regular thought patterns).

    Yes, that was a long-ass post. But this is a subject I know a ton about (probably like Kay). And I can tell it's not something you're that knowledgable about, despite your own success (and congratulations, BTW).

    Yes, you could kick ass in this market... IF you had a product that was out of this world and worked like crazy. Not having seen it, I can't comment. But at this stage, I certainly have my doubts.

    Kind regards,

    -Daniel
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    • Profile picture of the author JonoC
      Daniel Scott: What I have done in my book is scour the scientific literature to find all of the scientifically proven ways in which to find relief from depression. None of the ideas are my own in the book. I have taken the scientific literature as a whole, compiled it, compacted it, simplified it and only kept what is sound scientifically.

      There is a lot of misunderstanding about depression. Some believe it to be solely psychological and others believe it is solely physical, most believe it to be a mixture of the two. I come from the stand point that depression is CAUSED almost 100% by a physically unhealthy brain. There are 7 reasons I think this and they can be found in my copy if you are interested. Psychology definitely comes into play but it is the result of depression and not the cause.
      I tend to shy away from saying it is a “chemical imbalance” which relates to the serotonin hypothesis of depression. There are some glaring holes in this theory – for instance depressed people often have normal levels or serotonin and healthy people often have low levels.

      Serotonin definitely does play a part but the literature points more to depression as being the result of high systemic inflammation. There are multiple reasons that I (and many scientists) believe this. Firstly, inducing inflammation results in depression in roughly half of healthy people, secondly, inflammatory markers are almost always elevated in depressed individuals. Finally, many of the methods that people use to treat depression also reduce inflammation, potentially meaning that they result in the relief from depression due to this effect. Interestingly enough, cognitive therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation.

      Additionally, the brain is an incredibly complex organ with millions of biochemical reactions going on every minute. We get the raw materials for these reactions from our diet. Things like zinc, magnesium, b vitamins, vitmain D, essential fatty acids etc all need to be present in precise quantities or the brain stops working properly - in the case of depression, this results in poor mood. Often times a number of these are deficient making the situation much worse. It is only a matter of supplementing these and returning them to the natural levels at which point the brain recovers the ability to maintain proper mood. See below for how effective this can be.

      There is a condition prevalent in 30-40% of people called fructose malabsorption, in people with FM the prevalence of depression is roughly 10 times that of the normal population. There is good evidence that this is a major cause of depression worldwide. Indeed it was the cause of my depression. In people with fructose malabsorption, the fix is simply removing free fructose from the diet. Within a couple of weeks of doing this, normal mood returns. This is exactly what happened to me. I managed to recover 95% in just over 2 weeks from removing fructose from my diet.

      In the scientific literature I found a total of 9 methods to treat depression naturally by working on the brain. 6 of these have been shown in double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials to be just as effective as antidepressants and often more so:
      • Ledochowski (2000) found a 65.2% improvement in symptoms from reducing fructose and sorbitol consumption for one month.
      • Wirz-Justice (2010) found a 68.8% remission rate after a 5 week intervention of light therapy.
      • In Babyak (2000) found a 60.5% remission rate after 4 months of exercise therapy.
      • Barragan-Rodriguez (2008) found 58.3% of patients taking magnesium supplements improved significantly after 12 weeks.
      • Eby (2006) documents 4 patients who completely remitted after less than a week of magnesium therapy.
      • Fava (2005) found a 38% remission rate from st johns wort after 12 weeks.
      • Legrand (2007) found an 87.5% remission rate in a small 8 week pilot study on the efficacy of exercise therapy.
      • Nowak (2003) found a significant reduction in symptoms after 6 and 12 weeks on zinc supplementation.
      • Su (2003) found a 40% reduction in symptoms from 8 weeks on omega 3 supplementation.
      • Wells (1998) found significant reductions in symptoms after one month on a high fat diet and an increase in symptoms after a month of a low fat diet.

      These are just 10 studies of the over 230 that I cite in my book. I recommend a total of 9 methods in my book, if the depressed person were to follow all 9 at the same time then the odds of them seeing significant improvement within a few weeks is slim. This is not my opinion, this is supported by the scientific literature.

      My book reads like a scientific journal article, ie, I make a claim and then back it up with 1-4 references. The reference section is 30 A4 pages long. But hey, what do I know.

      Maybe another barrier to making sales lies in people like you, people who have their own ingrained ideas about depression from personal experience but are actually way off the mark. Cognitive dissonance can be a powerful enemy when you’re trying to convince someone of something.

      Thanks for the other advice in your post. They are some good points, I will definitely take it on board if I do decide to continue with this project.

      Mark: which is it? Is it my inability to generate highly targeted traffic or is it the market?
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
    Okay...

    First of all, I admire the level to which you've researched this. Kudos. And having heard a little more, the product sounds great.

    I've had a lot of experience with depression. And I know a very well-respected private psychiatrist who disagrees heavily with your information.

    Not saying you're right or wrong... but you're writing this as though this has all been proven.

    Fact is, a lot of the "literature" surrounding antidepressants is based on conjecture, situational evidence, and guesswork.

    Good on you for doing your homework, however.

    Now, you seem to have taken what I said a little personally. I say that because you've pretty much rolled out on the offensive when I gave you a lot of constructive criticism, but you've more or less focused on one thing.

    Now, I noticed you removed this:

    Daniel Scott: First of all, the language you use hints that indeed you do not have experience with depression. Serotonin controls emotion? This is a highly misinformed statement.
    Which makes me think maybe you have already realized you over reacted, or at least you've thought twice about going into jerk mode when a guy who makes his clients a shit ton of money is giving you free advice.

    Fact is, I DO have a lot of experience. And I'm sharing it with you. And instead of doing the adult thing and accepting it as a legitimate point of view - even if it's incorrect, which is arguable - you decide to to say, "Look at how smart I am and how much I know!"

    A much better strategy would have been to say "You know what, I disagree, and here's why, but I appreciate the input."

    You also said...

    Maybe another barrier to making sales lies in people like you, people who have their own ingrained ideas about depression from personal experience but are actually way off the mark. Cognitive dissonance can be a powerful enemy when you’re trying to convince someone of something.
    Ignoring the unnecessary snark, that's a good point. When you're selling, you need to meet the prospect where they are. I don't think you're quite there yet.

    Anyway, one final piece of advice...

    People are giving you criticism because YOU ASKED FOR IT. I don't point this stuff out to make you feel bad, I'm doing it to MAKE YOU MONEY.

    Check the attitude and your ego at the door.

    -Daniel

    P.S. For further reading for anyone interested: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    • Profile picture of the author JonoC
      Yeah sorry mate, I removed that because it did seem a bit inflammatory.

      I went a bit over board on that other comment as well. I just didn't take too well to the comment about not being too knowledgeable about something that I have spent so much time on. No hard feelings tho.

      I absolutely appreciate you taking the time to give me advice.

      What did the ssri article have to do with anything tho? The research that I have looked at says that they are pretty much useless in mild to moderate depression but they can definitely help severe depression.
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      • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
        Blah. Tough market. Depressed people are not
        motivated buyers. Depressed people struggle
        to maintain their daily routines, much less
        explore new ideas.

        Put your energy into something else. If you
        made one info-product you can make another
        in a more rewarding niche.

        Improve your layout and html... it looks like 2006.

        Sales letter language is also ponderous.

        All successful information marketers have a lot
        of products... it's like a movie actor - lifelong
        royalty income is not acquired from one film, though
        there may be a few exceptions.

        Seriously, move on. Come back to it later.

        Don't give up on info-marketing though,
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        • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
          Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

          Blah. Tough market. Depressed people are not motivated buyers.
          When you feel that bad, you'd do ANYTHING to make it go away...

          And spend any amount.

          The guy I know went to a private psychiatrist who charges $300/hour.

          They're more than willing to shell out for a $50 ebook.

          -Daniel
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  • Profile picture of the author BrainCopy
    JonoC,

    Ever morning I wake up depressed.

    I suffer from it greatly after losing my
    best friend 3 years ago.

    From just reading the headline I ran.

    who's your target market?

    Depression isn't a one-sized-fits-all market.

    You have people that are depressed, because:

    They lost a child
    They lost a loved one
    They just got heart surgery
    They just got divorced
    ...etc

    and to be honest, when I read bullets like this:

    Feel significantly better in 30 days’ time
    Say goodbye to persistent sad, anxious or ”empty” feelings
    Put an end to feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
    Sleep better
    Have more energy
    Start living again, rather than just existing

    I instantly call bull$hit!

    Not to mention the fact that your book is titled "The Truth About Depression"

    what the heck? - I already know "the truth about depression" - I live with it everyday.

    My advice: research you target market and focus on a very tight audience and test, test, test.

    Mark Andrews is an excellent Copywriter and I listen to everything that he says.
    And the same goes for Jeremy.

    Anyhow, I just wanted to add my $.02

    Best of luck,
    Tony
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    • Profile picture of the author Daniel Scott
      Originally Posted by JonoC View Post

      Yeah sorry mate, I removed that because it did seem a bit inflammatory.

      I went a bit over board on that other comment as well. I just didn't take too well to the comment about not being too knowledgeable about something that I have spent so much time on. No hard feelings tho.

      I absolutely appreciate you taking the time to give me advice.

      What did the ssri article have to do with anything tho? The research that I have looked at says that they are pretty much useless in mild to moderate depression but they can definitely help severe depression.
      You are absolutely correct.

      At least, in my experience (and the experience of respected psychiatrists I know), SSRIs are only useful for correcting a chemical imbalance.

      That is to say, if you are depressed because someone you know died or some other circumstance, that's a cognitive thing. SSRIs won't help that.

      However, if you've been depressed your whole life, and it's not going away, then SSRIs will often have a benefit.

      The problem is everyone responds differently, so while they work great for some people, other people have horrible side effects or just don't get any better...

      Hence the difficulty in pinning down exactly how effective they are in different situations, and why even psychiatrists often take a "best guess" and then work on trial and error to get someone on a good anti depressant.

      The article was just to give anyone reading this thread a bit more info on what I was talking about RE: serotonin.

      Ultimately, the specifics are largely irrelevant at this point however. You're not selling a solution to depression, you're selling hope. Once they get the product, that's where this stuff kicks in.

      If you want to PM me and show me some of the sales letters you're using and tell me a bit about your traffic, I'll let you know if anything sticks out as obvious to me as why it might not be working.

      Originally Posted by BrainCopy View Post

      JonoC,

      Ever morning I wake up depressed.

      I suffer from it greatly after losing my
      best friend 3 years ago.

      From just reading the headline I ran.

      who's your target market?

      Depression isn't a one-sized-fits-all market.

      You have people that are depressed, because:

      They lost a child
      They lost a loved one
      They just got heart surgery
      They just got divorced
      ...etc

      and to be honest, when I read bullets like this:

      Feel significantly better in 30 days' time
      Say goodbye to persistent sad, anxious or "empty" feelings
      Put an end to feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, guilt, worthlessness, helplessness
      Sleep better
      Have more energy
      Start living again, rather than just existing

      I instantly call bull!

      Not to mention the fact that your book is titled "The Truth About Depression"

      what the heck? - I already know "the truth about depression" - I live with it everyday.

      My advice: research you target market and focus on a very tight audience and test, test, test.

      Mark Andrews is an excellent Copywriter and I listen to everything that he says.
      And the same goes for Jeremy.

      Anyhow, I just wanted to add my $.02

      Best of luck,
      Tony
      I'd say this is possibly your big sticking point here. You're attacking something VERY personal, and you need to be VERY delicate about how you present the solution. Empathy and feelings are key... not facts and figures.

      -Daniel
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  • I was raised in a German-Irish Catholic house with 75 kids. We were taught to be depressed.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author Loren Woirhaye
    A faceless marketer with no medical degree selling
    an ebook in a market saturated with real books
    written by real (and well-known) medical doctors
    is up against some very stiff competition.
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    • Profile picture of the author Corey Geer
      Originally Posted by Loren Woirhaye View Post

      A faceless marketer with no medical degree selling
      an ebook in a market saturated with real books
      written by real (and well-known) medical doctors
      is up against some very stiff competition.
      Looking at it like that, every market has stiff competition. There's "experts" and "professionals" in every field/niche.

      It's not about finding an untapped market, it's about doing it better than everyone else.

      Also, while there are some real doctors out there who sell products, there are also just as many people who aren't doctors and have never attended a medical class that call themselves doctors. Some get caught, some don't.

      Speaking of medical books and frauds, how many times has Kevin Trudaeu been sued again? Claiming you know the cure to the common cold, herpes, cancer and other things usually draws some negative attention.
      Signature

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  • Yes, I've tried writing in this market. Very difficult indeed since these people are not actively looking for solutions but rather for an excuse to their behavior.

    It's best to focus on:
    - It's not your fault, it's your bio-chemistry.
    - I know that you've heard that it will pass again and again but they are not in your shoes.
    - More people should understand you and actually help you instead of being so self-centered.

    Right now, from what I've scanned in your letter, it's a far too technical letter for a emotional problem. Depression is emotional. These people feel misunderstood, may have suicidal tendencies and simply want to hear "everything is going to be alright, I love you". Instead, you are treating this as it would be a weight loss product.

    I know the market and I know the problem, personally, so if you're interested in giving it another shot, with another copywriter, shot me a PM.
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