Who Do You Rate As The Number One Copywriter Of All Time?

24 replies
I am really curious about the answer to this one. It would be a great list to give to fellow warriors since so many of us have traveled so many different roads of learning.

From that point on fellow warriors can grow from your research and studies of the greats in this field.

Thank you all.
#copywriter #number #rate #time
  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    Wow, so many greats. I can't imagine narrowing it down to just 1.

    My favorites are...

    Gary Halbert
    John Carlton
    Gary Bencivenga
    Joe Sugarman
    Clayton Makepeace

    There are many others that I'm forgetting as well. Older and younger than those mentioned above.
    Signature
    "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want."
    ~ Zig Ziglar
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Hard to say who the number one copywriter of all time is.

      But I have no hesitation saying who I believe the best copywriting teacher is... Clayton Makepeace.

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        Dan Kennedy prepared me for Ted Nicholas and
        Gary Halbert.

        Gary Halbert prepared me for John Carlton.

        John Carlton prepared me for Clayton Makepeace.

        Clayton Makepeace prepared me for Gary Bencivenga.

        Gary Bencivenga prepared me for his Persuasion Equation.

        Not sure who prepared me for Eugene Schwartz

        Now I'm free.

        Best,
        Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author Brettman
    I have a huge stack of copywriting books, and I think the best is Eugene Schwartz's Breakthrough Advertising. No other copywriter has gone so deep into the psychology of why people buy and what makes ads work.

    If you're new to Schwartz, here are his 8 rules of copywriting (not from the book, but from a speech):
    1. Be the best listener you ever met.
    2. Work extremely intensely in 33 minute spurts.
    3. Never create. Know the product to the core and combine the details in new ways.
    4. Write to the chimpanzee brain. Simply. Directly.
    5. Channel demand. Never sell.
    6. Think about what a product does -- not is -- and demonstrate this.
    7. Make gratification instantaneous (that's why I'm posting this list here!)
    8. Failing often and testing big differences shows you are trying hard enough.

    Hope that helps.

    Cheers,
    Brett
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  • Profile picture of the author Pusateri
    Saul of Tarsus - seriously.

    Show me another writer with a control that's been running for two thousand years.
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  • Rather than give even more plaudits to the ones mentioned (I've been doing it for years and have any of them ever said thanks? lol. After all the money I've spend with them. I appreciate the deceased ones can't).

    Makepeace probably wins because he's still working and sells more stuff.

    But the best copywriter varies all the time...

    It's the one who persuaded you to buy whatever it was you last bought.


    Steve
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  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    I wonder what Claude Hopkins would say about this thread?

    My fav's are:
    Claude Hopkins

    Claudes nemesis; J. Walter Thompson, was pretty good too

    Ben Hart, just because he was my mentor and got me started writing copy.

    John Carlton

    Dan Kennedy

    Jimmy D. Brown

    Marlon Sanders

    Paul Myers

    Bill Glazer

    Of course everyone mentioned above

    Mel Martin

    Ralph Ginzburg
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    They all do different things and you can learn from all
    of them.

    One key characteristic of great copywriters is they have
    their own unique voice so picking the number one is likely
    to be impossible because you're comparing apples with
    oranges.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh

    P.S. Most of the greats have already been mentioned
    in this thread so I won't do that again.
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Check out this list. No I'm not there but some of my students are:

    phrase HQ

    -Ray Edwards
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    The most powerful and concentrated copywriting training online today bar none! Autoresponder Writing Email SECRETS
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  • Profile picture of the author gjabiz
    Consider that Robert Collier sold millions of dollars of products during the Great Depression, with unemployment as high as 25% how could he not be one of the greats? Almost all by sales letters direct to consumers.

    Frank Cawood had 100 employees during his peak, he's still going strong by running full page ads in newspapers. Hard to beat his track record.

    Ben Suarez has sold billions just with his copy alone, let alone his in-house copywriters too. And by the way Ben wrote most of the ads you see in PARADE and USA Today and Weekend for the Eden Pure Heaters (Sales have topped a Billion with that product).

    Rod Napier has written most of the ads for the Amish Heater, also selling millions of dollars of products.

    Many guys whom you have never heard of, John White for example, have written copy which tops most of what Halbert/Kennedy/Abraham have done.

    So, if it is about results and numbers, add these guys to your lists, OK?

    gjabiz
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    • Profile picture of the author JakeDaly
      How is Thomas Paine not listed somewhere in this thread? And don't give me any of that "Well because he wasn't a copywriter hurr hurr hurr!"

      His pamphlet, Common Sense, helped to spark the American Revolution. Men with English accents and attitude like the Copy Nazi could very well be ruling the world right now if it weren't for him. While many of you try like all hell to think up witty sales points to drive home in your postscripts, just remember the words '-Written by an Englishman' brought an indescribable pride into the hearts of American colonists, in a time when the only thing resembling a modern 'copywriter' were a few select men writing ads for London papers.

      Many of you are good folks. But you must step out of your boxes and dream a little.
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      • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
        Banned
        Originally Posted by JakeDaly View Post

        How is Thomas Paine not listed somewhere in this thread? And don't give me any of that "Well because he wasn't a copywriter hurr hurr hurr!"

        His pamphlet, Common Sense, helped to spark the American Revolution. Men with English accents and attitude like the Copy Nazi could very well be ruling the world right now if it weren't for him. While many of you try like all hell to think up witty sales points to drive home in your postscripts, just remember the words '-Written by an Englishman' brought an indescribable pride into the hearts of American colonists, in a time when the only thing resembling a modern 'copywriter' were a few select men writing ads for London papers.

        Many of you are good folks. But you must step out of your boxes and dream a little.
        Drop dead.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonwebb
    I don't know who the best is, but I do know who has helped me along the most:

    Gary halbert
    Dan Kennedy
    Michael Masterson

    these three are directly responsible for all the successes I've had.

    - Jon Webb
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    • Profile picture of the author Raymond Duke
      Donald Draper

      But on a serious note, the number selling book of all time, the Bible, is the most powerful piece of rhetoric ever written. If you think about it, the writers of the Bible were the most powerful copywriters, ever. Think about how much $ that book has raised. Think about how it has influenced the decisions of mankind. If you dissect the Bible, you'll find stories, answers to problems, and the solution to everything.

      Whether or not you are religious, you can't turn a blind eye to the Bible's effect.
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    • Profile picture of the author Goroddy
      Originally Posted by emelef View Post

      John Carlton - amazing! Read his book!
      Which book is that emelef? Can you provide the title?
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  • Profile picture of the author max5ty
    If you're just basing it on how much money they made for their clients...

    it would have to be Lou Taylor Evendole.

    Lou wrote letters in the 50's and 60's that made almost 4 billion for his clients.

    The guy was a genius.

    He wrote a book that only sold 149 copies...but all 149 people that bought the book became millionaires.

    I did an extensive search back in 83' for the book and found it...it's beyond words...

    I'd recommend anyone dig, scratch, claw, tunnel their way to a copy of his book.
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    • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
      Originally Posted by max5ty View Post

      If you're just basing it on how much money they made for their clients... it would have to be Lou Taylor Evendole.

      I did an extensive search back in 83' for the book and found it...it's beyond words...
      Interesting. A check of Google and a couple of book sites didn't bring up anyone with that name... even with a couple of other spellings. Where did he work?

      Marvin
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Funny that we're throwing all these names around, and the OP didn't even define the criteria!

      Should it be...

      1. Total sales?
      2. Highest number of controls at one time?
      3. Most respect from his/her peers?
      4. Best positioning?
      5. Best teacher?
      6. Highest fee charged per sales letter/magalog?
      7. Something else?

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author cskaminski
    After mailing out my batch of letters in an attempt to make money with a chain letter, (and yes, I did send out the $1 to each name on the list as to not jinx the effort) I received a sales letter from:

    Tom Mudry

    I couldn't buy what he was offering quick enough, which was a how-to about direct mail marketing..

    "Direct-Mail & Direct Response Advertising Techniques - the "Experts" Don't Want You To Know About!"

    It definitely delivered what he said it would.

    I bought any product from him I could afford.

    He get's my vote...

    -Chris
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  • Profile picture of the author BloggerSpeed
    Originally Posted by LastingLifeSuccess View Post

    I am really curious about the answer to this one. It would be a great list to give to fellow warriors since so many of us have traveled so many different roads of learning.

    From that point on fellow warriors can grow from your research and studies of the greats in this field.

    Thank you all.
    What are the basic requirements for one to be rated a good copywriter? It's hard to say choosing one coz there is a bunch of these people...
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce Wedding
    These threads are pointless and ridiculous. There is no such thing as the best copywriter ever. And I find it especially humorous that some random list of copywriters on tumbler is being passed around as the 101 best copywriters ever. And the ones passing it around are the ones with their names on the list LOL.

    I imagine if the top copywriters in direct mail, the ones writing for 6 and 7 figure mail drops which bring in 10s of millions, looked at that list, 80 of the names would prompt them to ask, "Who the hell is <insert IM copywriter name here>?"
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