"Titans of Direct Response" Event - Great Sales Letter?

103 replies
https://titansofdirectresponse.com/

Lot of good copywriters here, so I'm just curious of what you all think of this as a sales letter...

Great? Worthy of the event? Underwhelming?

Thoughts?
#event #great #letter #sales #titans of direct response
  • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
    Underwhelming to be sure.

    But the list of attendees sure helps conversions I am sure.
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    • Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

      Underwhelming to be sure.

      But the list of attendees sure helps conversions I am sure.
      Care you explain why you think it's underwhelming?

      I can see why this approach might not work for some niches but for a letter aimed at copywriters it seems perfect.

      Drops the right names, tons of background story, good LONG length, etc...
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
        Originally Posted by Andy The Copywriter View Post

        Care you explain why you think it's underwhelming?
        I'm pretty much a lone voice in the woods - and I'm not in the mood to schlock it out here for hours - I have copy to write
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        • Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

          I'm pretty much a lone voice in the woods - and I'm not in the mood to schlock it out here for hours - I have copy to write
          That's cool man I was just genuinely interested in hearing your perspective
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    If you knew what the conversions were on that letter and where they stood in terms of selling out six weeks prior to the event, you'd be taking a closer look.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      If you knew what the conversions were on that letter and where they stood in terms of selling out six week prior to the events, you'd be taking a closer look.
      My guess is that it has more to do with the offer and the traffic than the copy. You disagree?
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    John, you can opine all you want.

    Results are what count. Of course, you already know that.

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

      John, you can opine all you want.

      Results are what count. Of course, you already know that.

      - Rick Duris
      Agreed.

      But - as you also know - some projects are lay downs while others are like fighting upstream. I'd put this closer to the former.

      I also know seats are being 'sold' in the traditional sense - by people reaching out via email/phone to those with a heartbeat. I would assume that might skew the numbers as well.

      It is definitely opining but it is instructive for the young lads.
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      • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
        Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

        Agreed.

        But - as you also know - some projects are lay downs while others are like fighting upstream. I'd put this closer to the former.

        I also know seats are being 'sold' in the traditional sense - by people reaching out via email/phone to those with a heartbeat. I would assume that might skew the numbers as well.

        It is definitely opining but it is instructive for the young lads.
        I'm amused by your lack of appreciation and empathy for the magnitude of undertaking. I really am.

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

          I'm amused by your lack of appreciation and empathy for the magnitude of undertaking. I really am.

          - Rick Duris
          I am glad you are amused. I will stick to my opinion.

          I would almost think you wrote it - if I didn't know otherwise.
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          • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
            Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

            I am glad you are amused. I will stick to my opinion.

            I would almost think you wrote it - if I didn't know otherwise.
            Nope, I didn't write it. I just bristle when somebody takes a crap on a piece of copy without knowing the details.

            I would think YOU would know better.

            While I'm not in a position give details publicly, I can tell you management is pleased with the progress.

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

              Nope, I didn't write it. I just bristle when somebody takes a crap on a piece of copy without knowing the details.

              I would think YOU would know better.

              While I'm not in a position give details publicly, I can tell you management is pleased with the progress.

              - Rick Duris
              I didn't take a crap on it.

              The OP asked for opinions on the copy so that is what I gave. I didn't say it was shit.

              If my opinion is wrong - so be it.

              But you do know that less than adequate letters can still sell if the offer and audience are good. So far you haven't shown that this isn't the case here.

              Maybe that's not the case. But newbs should know that it is at least a possibility.
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      • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
        Results are what count.
        Yes, but if the results are not due to the copy but to other factors, you would be wrong to take this as a model or even to analyze it.

        My guess is that almost everyone who is going decided to sign up on the basis of the speaker lineup and didn't even read the letter.

        Marcia Yudkin
        Signature
        Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
          Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

          Yes, but if the results are not due to the copy but to other factors, you would be wrong to take this as a model or even to analyze it.

          My guess is that almost everyone who is going decided to sign up on the basis of the speaker lineup and didn't even read the letter.
          You said it more succinctly than I....but that is what I was trying to say.
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        • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
          Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

          Yes, but if the results are not due to the copy but to other factors, you would be wrong to take this as a model or even to analyze it.

          My guess is that almost everyone who is going decided to sign up on the basis of the speaker lineup and didn't even read the letter.

          Marcia Yudkin
          All I'll say is... try it sometime. I have. Multiple.

          PS: You do know the VIP offer is sold out, right?

          "...didn't even read the letter." YGBFKM.
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          • Profile picture of the author splitTest
            Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

            All I'll say is... try it sometime. I have. Multiple.

            PS: You do know the VIP offer is sold out, right?

            "...didn't even read the letter." YGBFKM.
            I was a little worried when I posted the thread that there might be writers here connected to the letter.

            Before I post my thoughts about it, I'll just go ahead and ask: Is anyone here connected with this letter or this marketing effort? The last thing I want to do is tear down some other poster's venture if they didn't ask, so if anyone is going to be hurt by a critique, I'll just keep my opinion to myself.

            Rick – you posted a thread a few days ago asking if anyone was going to this conference, but then the thread disappeared. Not sure if you deleted it, or the mods. You already made it clear you didn't write the letter – but are you connected to this venture in some way?

            We all know you're a pretty good copywriter, so if you're not connected to this, I'd definitely be interested in hearing what you like about the letter...

            Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

            I just bristle when somebody takes a crap on a piece of copy without knowing the details.
            Eh, it's a copywriting forum. We talk about copy here, right? Sometimes it gets praised, other times it gets picked apart. But as I said, if someone here is connected to it, I'm not going to "player hate"...
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          • Profile picture of the author MikeHumphreys
            Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

            All I'll say is... try it sometime. I have. Multiple.

            PS: You do know the VIP offer is sold out, right?
            According to the website of the copywriter who wrote it (who I don't believe is a member of this forum), the VIP offer sold out in 21 days, 3 months before the event.
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
              Originally Posted by MikeHumphreys View Post

              According to the website of the copywriter who wrote it (who I don't believe is a member of this forum), the VIP offer sold out in 21 days, 3 months before the event.
              No, I don't think he's a member.

              If the VIP offer sold out in 21 days, that is awesome. But it still doesn't preclude the possibility that a lot of the success has to do with the reputation of the organizer and the speaker line-up.
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              • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                If the VIP offer sold out in 21 days, that is awesome. But it still doesn't preclude the possibility that a lot of the success has to do with the reputation of the organizer and the speaker line-up.
                Agreed.

                Quite honestly, I have never seen a more distinguished lineup for a copywriting/marketing seminar in my 25 years in the business. And Bottom Line/Boardroom Reports sure know their stuff. So I don't understand why Rick is so determined to give the credit to the sales letter.

                Marcia Yudkin
                Signature
                Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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                • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
                  "...didn't even read the letter." YGBFKM.
                  I buy tickets when violinist Anne Sophie Mutter is going to perform at Tanglewood, near me, without even reading the program. She's that great.

                  For many people, this program has three or four such superstars (and several lesser ones) at one event. Why would they need to read the letter to decide whether or not to attend? Many people probably don't even care if the event is in Chicago, Las Vegas, Tampa or Stamford, Connecticut. They'll go.

                  Marcia Yudkin
                  Signature
                  Check out Marcia Yudkin's No-Hype Marketing Academy for courses on copywriting, publicity, infomarketing, marketing plans, naming, and branding - not to mention the popular "Marketing for Introverts" course.
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              • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
                Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

                No, I don't think he's a member.

                If the VIP offer sold out in 21 days, that is awesome. But it still doesn't preclude the possibility that a lot of the success has to do with the reputation of the organizer and the speaker line-up.
                Originally Posted by marciayudkin View Post

                Agreed.

                Quite honestly, I have never seen a more distinguished lineup for a copywriting/marketing seminar in my 25 years in the business. And Bottom Line/Boardroom Reports sure know their stuff. So I don't understand why Rick is so determined to give the credit to the sales letter.

                Marcia Yudkin
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                • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
                  Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

                  My turn to be amused....
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                  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
                    Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

                    My turn to be amused....
                    Fair enough.

                    And I mean that sincerely. In every marketing endeavor, multiple factors always determine its outcome. The fact in this case the seminar's speaker roster is so lopsided with some of the most well-known marketers and copywriters alive... promoted by a respected, if not hallowed name in direct response... it would be easy to point a finger and say... "THAT's why it's selling out."

                    It's why I opened this thread with "take a closer look."

                    It's why I would offer a different perspective. I've been personally thrust into too many situations with supposedly an all star speaker line up and supposedly "no brainer" copy, only to witness anemic registrations.

                    Nothing is for sure in the seminar business, no matter how stellar the roster, especially with the Internet gumming up the works. You gotta play every point as if your life depended upon it.

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

                      I've been personally thrust into too many situations with supposedly an all star speaker line up and supposedly "no brainer" copy, only to witness anemic registrations.

                      Nothing is for sure in the seminar business, no matter how stellar the roster, especially with the Internet. You gotta play every point as if your life depended upon it.
                      That is also fair enough. That's your real world experience in this industry which I respect.

                      I was truly unimpressed by the letter. But I am not saying it was a bad letter. I am not so arrogant as to believe I have some 'bad copy' detector.

                      The problem is that newbies - thanks to the bravado of our brethren - often feel like copy is the end all and be all when it is not.

                      I just wanted newbies to understand that there can be more at play in a campaign than meets the eye. Like - as I said earlier - the fact that they were selling spots by approaching people in LinkedIn (as an example).

                      Oddly enough...

                      This thread has done more for my desire to attend than the actual letter.
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                    • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
                      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

                      The fact in this case the seminar's speaker roster is so lopsided with some of the most well-known marketers and copywriters alive... promoted by a respected, if not hallowed name in direct response... it would be easy to point a finger and say... "THAT's why it's selling out."
                      I know from first hand experience in the corporate world that a stellar lineup isn't enough. My first copywriting and coaching gig was at (what was once) the world's largest business seminar company.

                      Our stage featured Zig Ziglar, Dan Kennedy, George Foreman, Mayor Rudy Guiliani, Suze Ormand. A line up that would make any entrepreneur drool. And you know what? (I can say this now because they went out of business two years after I left)....they had some ridiculous bombs.

                      One of them was so bad it put the company out of business and they had to restart under a brand new business license. When I arrived there, they were struggling. Their marketing department was jam packed with eager young marketing students, fresh out of college....people who couldn't sell a hand grenade to a man trapped inside a house surrounded by flesh eating zombies.

                      A couple years in, they hired this dude with 40 years of door to door sales experience. This guy could write copy that lept off the page, kicked you directly in the balls and ran off with your credit card. He was my first mentor. It wasn't until he came on the scene that things started blowing up for them.

                      Five years later, he left. I was right behind. 18 months later, they went the way of the Titanic.

                      Maybe there were other factors, but I suspect they had a hard time replacing their best copywriters.

                      (he said, humbly)

                      That said...

                      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post


                      Nothing is for sure in the seminar business, no matter how stellar the roster, especially with the Internet gumming up the works. You gotta play every point as if your life depended upon it.

                      - Rick Duris
                      Well put. The moment you start leaning on your pencil and watching your product do all the hard work is the day you start slipping into obscurity as a sales person/copywriter.

                      I've read this sales letter. Copied some of it by hand. There's damn good stuff in here. Does it work as hard it would if it was written for a seminar which featured a few lesser known marketing experts? Of course not, that would be foolish.

                      Considering that it already had a ton of leverage with the lineup, a more aggressive sales page would likely appear oversold and hurt conversions. The copywriter, Rory I guess it is, did exactly what the recipe called for. He let the lineup do it's share of the work and the copy do it's share.

                      Not to mention that, when I saw this, my first thought was...

                      "I already read these guys books.I know what this is about. I don't need it."

                      Maybe that's shortsighted of me, but the bottom line is that it didn't sell me. And I love stuff like this. People who read this are likely already sold on the lineup. So that's a done deal. But you still have to sell them on getting their butts out of the house, buying a plane ticket and clearing their schedule for the day.

                      That takes some salesmanship.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Pescetti
    Roy Furr, the copywriter, did a great job.

    Whether you agree with his approach to leverage Marty Edelston's death, it doesn't matter.

    It performed well.

    I think the question that's being ask here is...

    If Roy didn't have the rather extraordinary line up of name speakers to hang his hat on, would the copy still have performed so well?

    Mark
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Well, is anyone here going?
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  • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
    I agree with Marcia Yudkin and John Russel.

    The VIP offer was sold out before the letter went public.

    We do promotions like this, but what most people are failing to realize is a letter like this isn't used primarily to sell the event. It's to get those who are planning on attending to hurry up and register.

    Most who are already planning on going will read or scan the letter and realize the excitement it builds. They'll start thinking everyone else will get excited and register, so they'll jump in immediately to secure their spot.

    This is a prime example of a sales letter who's main focus is not to sell, but to build a fear of loss, and in turn sell the event out quickly, mainly to those who already would consider attending.

    No, I wouldn't recommend swiping this for another product, unless you understand the reason for the engineering behind it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lance K
    There's no denying that it's a great offer. Regardless, I thought the letter was great too. Superb message to market match.
    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 LinsaySmith
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  • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
    Too many Sunday morning quarterbacks here...the event has sold out...the letter did the job...sure there were other factors...great speakers etc...so what?

    You can say this about any good sales letter..other factors usually apply...so what?
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    • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
        Originally Posted by LinsaySmith View Post

        What would you like to talk about Thomas OMalley?

        Is there something you want to bring up but couldn't because some were discussing this sales letter?
        Clarity...Daniel, son...clarity? What are you talking about?
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        • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
      Originally Posted by ThomasOMalley View Post

      Too many Sunday morning quarterbacks here...the event has sold out...the letter did the job...sure there were other factors...great speakers etc...so what?

      You can say this about any good sales letter..other factors usually apply...so what?
      I think it's Monday morning quarterback

      Why it matters is because the OP asked our opinion. Ostensibly to learn.
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      • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
        Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

        I think it's Monday morning quarterback

        Why it matters is because the OP asked our opinion. Ostensibly to learn.
        I gave my opinion. Read what I said. If people would actually learn to read posts...it would be a big improvement...lol

        I don't think I've met a copywriter yet on this forum who doesn't think they can write a better sales letter than a proven sales letter that has made tons of sales...yes...you get a little jaded when you've been here long enough...I have to vent somewhere you know!
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
          Originally Posted by ThomasOMalley View Post

          I gave my opinion. Read what I said. If people would actually learn to read posts...it would be a big improvement...lol
          You said 'so what'. I told you why 'so what'. I read your post.
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          • Profile picture of the author ThomasOMalley
            Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

            You said 'so what'. I told you why 'so what'. I read your post.
            Helpful answer...tell me more....lol
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
    Relax everybody. Don't get this thread shut down. I'd like to pick apart the damn letter (if no one else will) when I have a little more time.
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  • Profile picture of the author splitTest
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  • Profile picture of the author Copydog
    In my opinion it's an excellent sales letter.

    Why?

    VIP seats already sold out.

    And the copywriter Roy Furr leveraged the
    reputation of the speakers, which is what
    will drive people to sign up for the event.

    I have no doubt all the seats will be sold
    and that there will also be a WAITING
    LIST for cancellations.

    Well done for an excellent sales letter, Roy.

    Plus, would Brian Kurtz have hired a second-rate
    copywriter to write him such an important letter?
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    • Profile picture of the author splitTest
      Originally Posted by Copydog View Post

      In my opinion it's an excellent sales letter.

      Why?

      VIP seats already sold out.

      And the copywriter Roy Furr leveraged the
      reputation of the speakers, which is what
      will drive people to sign up for the event.

      I have no doubt all the seats will be sold
      and that there will also be a WAITING
      LIST for cancellations.

      Well done for an excellent sales letter, Roy.

      Plus, would Brian Kurtz have hired a second-rate
      copywriter to write him such an important letter?
      VIP seats were 30 slots max. Says so right in the letter. 30 ain't much. Easy to sell out 30 seats for the networking oppty the VIP ticket represents - as well as - one-on-one attention to your specific marketing problem in the VIP "hot seat" session.

      I also have a feeling that there's some kinda "commission" "affiliate" thing going on, what with so many copywriters' sites linking to the event and the code in those URLs... I could be wrong about that, but it would explain the success of the event more than this letter.

      The star line-up is a big draw too, of course. Speaking of which, I don't think the letter does it justice. The star line-up is great "product" with genuine value, yet the only angle the letter could come up with was something as implausible and unconvincing as "A Few Minutes or Hours with These Titans — In the Flesh — Will Completely Alter the Course of Your Business, Your Career, Your Life!"...? Eh.

      Now, don't get me wrong. It's an okay letter. Besides, this guy is earning kudos from the likes of Gary Bencivenga, while yours truly still bids for work on Elance. That doesn't mean, however, that this is a great letter, worthy of a conference and an all-star line-up like that.

      IMHO, the sales letter would've done well to pick up stuff from the "Lessons" video. The first few minutes of the video even mention the word "value," as in what lessons attendees will get that add value to the conference. As in real value, real benefits for your $3000 and travel time and hassle.

      The letter's central value proposition --

      "Your Path to Greatness Will Only Be Accelerated
      By Working With, Learning From, and Implementing the Teachings of These TITANS."

      ...and...

      "If You Don’t Get the Idea That Doubles Your Business in the First 3 ½ Hours, You Must Be Asleep At The Wheel!"

      ... is unconvincing.

      Generally, when I write copy, I try to think myself into the shoes of the "avatar" and write a sales appeal that would convince me to buy. It can make the difference between coming across as genuine ...and insulting the intelligence of your audience. I don't get the feeling that this letter writer genuinely believes the things he's writing.

      Lots of exclamation points, lots of caps, but the letter doesn't come across like he believes " this is the live, once-in-a-lifetime event that can and will change your business and your life...".

      I don't believe his central selling point for a second, to paraphrase one poster's earlier comment. And I don't think the writer believes it either.

      And speaking of the exclamation points and the caps, the letter comes across as "hypey" too. All the mention of "secrets," all the empty promises, "unfair and extreme advantage over others"... it reads too much like something written for a clickbank product.

      Direct-response marketing pros ain't clickbank buyers. The great "product" represented by that star line-up ain't clickbanky either, and the letter could've done better by it, IMHO.

      Part of the problem is in its positioning. Not sure how much influence the writer had on the positioning, but this event might've been better positioned as a learning and networking event centered around speeches by (and hobnobbing with) the titans.

      The Titan's stuff is a big draw, but with the world of direct marketing as in flux as it is these days, the letter could've more credibly sold the "hobnob with the Titans" theme wrapped in substantive stuff like learning how Guthy-Renker is working the internet and and how Bottom Line Personal is working email marketing ... plus the big-time networking opportunity the conference presents.

      He gets to that kinda stuff somewhat, but too late in the letter and without enough specificity, IMHO. I sense he didn't have a lot of specifics to work with when writing the letter...

      Essentially, I don't think a sophisticated audience of entrepreneurs and business communicators is going to find the "one-time event can and will change your business and your life" argument credible -- especially not at $3,500 a pop.

      Okay, with that said, there are parts of the letter that are also downright clunky. At minimum, a letter for an event like this should flow right, right? But we get headlines like:

      "There’s ONE Answer to What Will Help You
      Get From Where You Are To Where You Want To Be
      In The Fastest, Most-Effective Way Possible..."

      "And Frankly, This Is Why The Titans of Direct Response
      Are Coming Out In Droves for YOUR BENEFIT, At This
      Once-In-A-Lifetime Commemorative Event for Marty!" (...Is it for me or Marty?)

      There are other awkwardly written patches, too. Stuff that doesn't flow well. I get what he's saying in these passages, but you really don't want your reader to stumble. Copy should be smooth, easy reading as much as possible, correct?

      Again, it's not a horrible letter, but I'm looking at it as a letter for an event where the main draw is tete-a-tete with titanic direct response communicators. ... So it's an interesting letter to dissect, and the standard is high.

      I mean, we are the target market, at least in part. The hypey stuff that's going to work on a clickbank offer ain't gonna work on marketing communicators like us, who can spring for $3,500 to jet off to a conference.

      Some say the letter is well done, but judging from the resounding chorus of ***crickets*** I got when I asked "so who's going" I don't think the letter has done such a good job. (Yes, we're a small sample size. But I sense there's not a lot of excitement to attend this. The letter could've spoken to our needs and our dreams a whoooole lot better than it does.)

      And last (and probably least) it's kinda tacky to publicize that you wrote the letter when it's “from the desk of” Brian Kurtz and signed by him. How much are we supposed to "play along?" We're supposed to believe it's really Kurtz's voice we're reading, but you're sloppy enough to reveal it's just a copywriter's. We're supposed to believe that a few hours time with the Titans is going to change our lives. How much skepticism are we supposed to suspend?

      Anyway, Monday morning quarterbacking is just monday morning quarterbacking. But this is a copywriting forum so again, I just thought this might be an interesting letter to discuss just because of the stature of the event in the copywriting universe.

      And I'd be the first to advise you take these criticisms with a grain of salt: this guy has a testimonial from Gary B, while I still hustle my services on Elance. And if the dude is a member here, just let me know, and I'll be happy to delete my critique.

      But on the other hand -- there, I said it. The emperor has no clothes. Get at me, dog..

      I'd honestly like to hear others tell what makes it such a great letter (other than the politics ). Always open to learnin'...
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      • Profile picture of the author perryny
        Originally Posted by splitTest View Post

        And if the dude is a member here, just let me know, and I'll be happy to delete my critique.
        Whether or not the dude is a member here, you shouldn't have to delete this critique. Well done.
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  • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
    I think it's the headline, subhead and profiles before the meat of the letter that do 99% of the work, though.

    For me, that first, above the fold, section is so strong that the letter didn't have to be great after that.

    I also think the layout is excellent.

    It must be a very good letter, but for me, if I could afford to go, I would go based on that above the fold section. I wouldn't need to read the rest.
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  • Profile picture of the author mdzarate
    Who are the top 3 copy writers from this forum that you guys would recommend 100% without a doubt?

    I read your responses and I can tell you are good at this, but I am looking for the best to do a project for me

    Thank you and great input on the copy. I learn a lot and I am sure there is a lot more to learn from this group, but I am sure I will never become as good as you so I need your help
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by mdzarate View Post

      Who are the top 3 copy writers from this forum that you guys would recommend 100% without a doubt?

      I read your responses and I can tell you are good at this, but I am looking for the best to do a project for me

      Thank you and great input on the copy. I learn a lot and I am sure there is a lot more to learn from this group, but I am sure I will never become as good as you so I need your help
      What market?

      What product or service?

      What medium?

      What budget?

      What timeline?

      Is there the opportunity for royalties and commissions or profit participation?

      You might be better served looking the Warriors for Hire forum.

      - Rick Duris
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      • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
        I really enjoyed the letter. Roy has a lot of talent. It reminded me of those great Jay Abraham letters and emails that disprove the "5th grade" readability rule again and again.

        Congratulations Roy if you are "Google alerting" yourself.

        --- Ross
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        • Profile picture of the author Harlan
          It never fails to amuse me how the copywriters here are such experts.

          The copywriter who wrote that letter did a fantastic job.

          The event is selling very well.

          Some of the geniuses here wouldn't recognize great copy if it slapped them in the face.

          I'll be attending the historic event with some of the legends of direct marketing.

          Of course, the experts on the Warrior Forum will still be whining about the copy.
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          • I'm no expert, just a student of the craft.

            This type of sales letter reminds me of the old event sales letters.

            I swiped the letter and can't wait to study it in detail.

            My pdf is 27 pages long. Nice!

            Thanks Roy wherever you are.
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

            It never fails to amuse me how the copywriters here are such experts.

            The copywriter who wrote that letter did a fantastic job.

            The event is selling very well.

            Some of the geniuses here wouldn't recognize great copy if it slapped them in the face.

            I'll be attending the historic event with some of the legends of direct marketing.

            Of course, the experts on the Warrior Forum will still be whining about the copy.
            To be fair, I think I am pretty much the only one who was 'whining' about the copy.

            Nice that you have come to grace us with your presence, thanks.
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Originally Posted by Harlan View Post


            Some of the geniuses here wouldn't recognize great copy if it slapped them in the face.

            .
            Now c'mon Harlan, many top copywriters at Gary Bencivenga's
            seminar couldn't pick the winners Gary showed.

            Best,
            Ewen
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    There are plenty of high-performing sales letters that I personally find underwhelming.

    You know what it means? I'm not the target market.

    If it spoke to the target market well enough to make them get out their credit cards, then it's anything but underwhelming to the people it was meant for.

    That is the point, guys.

    Obviously you're not the ones who are going to shell out several grand (even though it's a deductible business expense) to learn from these titans.

    I'll admit to being skeptical of seminars, but the few that I've chosen to attend have been invaluable. Personal opinion? This is one of those invaluable ones. If they share even 10% of what they've learned in their careers and you have the testicular fortitude to put it into play...you'll be ******* thrilled you shelled out the cash.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      There are plenty of high-performing sales letters that I personally find underwhelming.

      You know what it means? I'm not the target market.

      Obviously you're not the ones who are going to shell out several grand (even though it's a deductible business expense) to learn from these titans.
      I am the target market actually. And I did just this week shell out several grand to learn from a well respected copywriter.

      And, for sure I am not saying that the letter had to sell me to make it good. It just didn't speak to me - so be it.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      I'll admit to being skeptical of seminars, but the few that I've chosen to attend have been invaluable. Personal opinion? This is one of those invaluable ones. If they share even 10% of what they've learned in their careers and you have the testicular fortitude to put it into play...you'll be ******* thrilled you shelled out the cash.
      Could you share 10% of what you've learned about copywriting or music in an hour or two? Unlikely.

      Those who breathe the rarefied air can't either.

      In my view, there's only two reasons to spend $5,000 for a seminar... promising networking opportunities or specific technical training.

      I guess having the experience of being in the presence of titans is another... but that one seems kind of lame to me.

      Alex
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  • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
    Maybe 10% was an exaggeration, but I consider myself a perpetual student. I always find value in learning from others, even if it's what not to do. And I agree with you... The networking opportunities are stellar.

    And as far as paying for the privilege of being in the presence of titans and/or personal heroes? When my favorite band comes to town, you can bet your ass I pay more for the VIP treatment. I get to talk to people I admire one on one, even if it's talking about booze. It's a worthwhile investment for me. For others? They're happy with YouTube. But to each his or her own
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    • Profile picture of the author BudaBrit
      Originally Posted by angiecolee View Post

      Maybe 10% was an exaggeration, but I consider myself a perpetual student. I always find value in learning from others, even if it's what not to do. And I agree with you... The networking opportunities are stellar.

      And as far as paying for the privilege of being in the presence of titans and/or personal heroes? When my favorite band comes to town, you can bet your ass I pay more for the VIP treatment. I get to talk to people I admire one on one, even if it's talking about booze. It's a worthwhile investment for me. For others? They're happy with YouTube. But to each his or her own
      I just go to my favorite, free, festival, and the bands come to me to share a* drink

      *ok, 5 or 6. Or 7...
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      • Profile picture of the author angiecolee
        Originally Posted by BudaBrit View Post

        I just go to my favorite, free, festival, and the bands come to me to share a* drink

        *ok, 5 or 6. Or 7...
        There's a difference between general music/bands in a genre you like and your favorite band, dude.
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  • Profile picture of the author royfurr
    Hey guys. I'm spying on you. It's Roy, the dude who wrote the letter for Brian (which I wasn't announcing until Brian started shouting it from the rooftops and telling me to tell everybody).

    (I actually accidentally stumbled on this thread -- obviously it caught me due to personal interest -- landed on WF for another reason.)

    I think this thread is a great learning experience. There's often no better opportunity to improve as a copywriter than to have a bunch of folks -- especially experienced direct response folks -- rip apart your copy and let you know their biggest objections. (Nothing here is straight "hating" and nothing here should be deleted -- I'm glad there's a week's worth of honest feedback before I discovered the thread.)

    Clearly I didn't entice a few of you. And that's fair. Clearly my writing style didn't work for a few of you. And that's also fair. I'm not going to fight any of it.

    Instead I'm going to ask you -- especially those of you who were underwhelmed -- what monumental shift-change you would make in how this was presented (with specifics!) if you were asked to promote the event?

    What would be the core selling idea that you'd put right up front, that I totally missed or buried? Not only that, what's your thinking behind whythat selling point should be up front, rather than the WHO (the Titans) followed by the WHY (the Marty story) followed by the WHAT (the content of the talks) and the rest what I have?

    This is clearly an event of WHO. My thinking -- expressed very early on in private conversations -- was that as long as the copy didn't get in the way of the WHO, I'd be doing a pretty good job. And because this is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of WHO -- that yes, I do agree with -- there better be a pretty good WHY to back up what brought them together.

    I will not contest that given a similar offer, I'm sure a lot of folks here would put together a similarly-good letter.

    As a serious student of direct response, I'm not going to -- for one moment -- think that my copy is more important than the "Titans" featured. In fact, given the choice, I'd much rather spend 99% of my time and energy working on incredible offers like this where the offer itself does much of the heavy lifting. In other projects where it's not there, it's what I try to engineer, to give myself every dang advantage possible when I write copy.

    Don't know where I'm going with that, other than to say I agree. It was a great offer. The kind that I covet. We should all be so fortunate as to get the opportunity to work on similar offers at one point or another in our copywriting careers.

    Lookin' forward to rubbing elbows with the few of you that said you would be there when we meet in the flesh in September.

    Best wishes,

    Roy
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    • Profile picture of the author Harlan
      Roy, if you took special attention to what was said here, you'd be wasting your time. I spoke with Brian about the letter and thought it was terrific.

      Congrats on a great letter and look forward to meeting you in September.
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      • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
        Originally Posted by Harlan View Post

        Roy, if you took special attention to what was said here, you'd be wasting your time. I spoke with Brian about the letter and thought it was terrific.

        Congrats on a great letter and look forward to meeting you in September.
        Wasn't a bad letter, but didn't really do anything for the event.

        Anyone that was going to go was already sold. Anyone that wasn't going to go probably didn't read the letter. Let's be honest here.

        If President Obama was coming to town, most that wanted to see him would be lined up waiting. Same with former president Bush. Wouldn't need a long 20 some page letter to convince someone.

        The event would have still been sold out without the letter. As I said earlier in another post, the letter just got people to hurry up and register.

        Don't think studying the letter in great detail does anyone any good unless they've got a guaranteed sell out product. It's like giving away free money. Just takes word of mouth. A long letter explaining free money would be useless.

        Congratulations to Mr. Furr for being chosen, but some like Mr. Kilstein are going a little overboard with their fanatical attitude that everyone should bow down and worship this letter as being responsible for selling out an event that Mr. Bencivenga and other greats are guest speakers at.

        Geez people, chill.
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    • Profile picture of the author Chriswrighto
      Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

      Instead I'm going to ask you -- especially those of you who were underwhelmed -- what monumental shift-change you would make in how this was presented (with specifics!) if you were asked to promote the event?
      Roy,

      The intro didn't do it for me.

      It felt flat, and I don't really like talking about death so early on in a conversation.

      It's certainly got a place in the copy but I don't want to know why you're running this seminar yet, I want to know if it can help me... (even if the names are awesome.)

      Which is why I think the call out (No matter how you're involved in the direct response industry...) is where the letter really starts.

      From there on it's awesome... I love the story and all the time it's positioning YOU as being in Marty's shoes and needing to bring in the titans (attend the event) to send your business rocketing.

      Anyhoo...

      Just my opinion.

      Chris
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      Wealthcopywriter.com :)

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      • Profile picture of the author royfurr
        Originally Posted by Chriswrighto View Post

        Roy,

        The intro didn't do it for me.

        It felt flat, and I don't really like talking about death so early on in a conversation.

        It's certainly got a place in the copy but I don't want to know why you're running this seminar yet, I want to know if it can help me... (even if the names are awesome.)

        Which is why I think the call out (No matter how you're involved in the direct response industry...) is where the letter really starts.

        From there on it's awesome... I love the story and all the time it's positioning YOU as being in Marty's shoes and needing to bring in the titans (attend the event) to send your business rocketing.

        Anyhoo...

        Just my opinion.

        Chris
        Chris, I get this. No issue here. I think that yes, that was a calculated risk (which was discussed to great lengths as we were putting this together). And in your case, it might not have worked. Thank you! And feel free to shoot me a private message if you have anything you'd care for me to give a quick review on.
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  • Profile picture of the author royfurr
    Hey man, Gary Bencivenga and Dan Rosenthal used to flag down the mail carrier, the pizza delivery guy, or anyone else who would sit still for a minute to read and comment on their ads at CPRB. I'm happy to hear feedback. I'm certainly able to assign my own weight to it. Gary B already told me it sings. I know the interest this is generating. But that's not saying there's not a better idea out there -- and I'd love to hear specific suggestions for making it better. I'm always hungry for ways to get better.

    Thanks though for the support Harlan. I've always admired you -- albeit often from afar.
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  • Profile picture of the author royfurr
    Harlan, thanks for paying your membership dues in the Church of Roy. And for your work as a missionary, disciple, and prophet.

    Now as for that free money... If only there were someone selling that to prove we didn't need a long sales pitch for it...
    (All in fun, of course!)

    Originally Posted by LinsaySmith View Post

    Wasn't a bad letter, but didn't really do anything for the event.
    Back to my first request... Do you have a specific idea that would have helped the letter sell the event to folks who weren't, in your estimation, already going to go?

    I believe in consistent improvement. And that it rarely comes from within.

    So I'm looking for real feedback not on what you think is bad (anyone can poo-poo on something -- especially in an internet forum) but on how it could have been done better. I'm happy to return the favor if you have a project you're interested in a second set of eyes on (unless you think I'm just a lucky hack who landed this project by accident and whose opinion isn't worth your time).

    Best wishes,

    Roy
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    • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
      Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

      Harlan, thanks for paying your membership dues in the Church of Roy. And for your work as a missionary, disciple, and prophet.

      Now as for that free money... If only there were someone selling that to prove we didn't need a long sales pitch for it... Kevin Trudeau's: Investigating Free Money - YouTube

      (All in fun, of course!)



      Back to my first request... Do you have a specific idea that would have helped the letter sell the event to folks who weren't, in your estimation, already going to go?

      I believe in consistent improvement. And that it rarely comes from within.

      So I'm looking for real feedback not on what you think is bad (anyone can poo-poo on something -- especially in an internet forum) but on how it could have been done better. I'm happy to return the favor if you have a project you're interested in a second set of eyes on (unless you think I'm just a lucky hack who landed this project by accident and whose opinion isn't worth your time).

      Best wishes,

      Roy
      I like reading sales letters, but honestly this one made me want to pull my hair out.

      It was like a circus act. I'm thinking your thoughts were along the lines of a trailer for a movie, the way you moved from thought to thought.

      The whole thing was like reading something someone wrote while they were on some kind of something. It was troublesome.

      Didn't say you were a hack. Obviously someone knows you're good or they wouldn't of hired you.

      Yea, you can read some of my stuff, but don't think it would fit your niche.
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  • Profile picture of the author royfurr
    Linsay, I'm not just looking to read others stuff. I can do that all day long. My offer was contingent on specific helpful advice, and not just more criticism.

    So again, I ask you or anyone else... Do you have a SPECIFIC idea that would have helped the letter sell the event to folks who weren't, in your estimation, already going to go?

    That's what I'm most interested in. (There was a hint of it here and there before, but I'd love a direct answer to that question.)
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    • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
      Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

      Linsay, I'm not just looking to read others stuff. I can do that all day long. My offer was contingent on specific helpful advice, and not just more criticism.

      So again, I ask you or anyone else... Do you have a SPECIFIC idea that would have helped the letter sell the event to folks who weren't, in your estimation, already going to go?

      That's what I'm most interested in. (There was a hint of it here and there before, but I'd love a direct answer to that question.)
      I have tried almost 7 times to force myself through this letter. I've yet to succeed.

      I would suggest a video that puts all this into a quick hard hitting message. Like I said, most already plan to go and the ones that aren't won't be persuaded by this letter. You bore people to death after going on and on and on and on.

      I have no doubt at all that the copywriters on this forum and other blogs will be going into detail on why this was a great letter.

      Guy, listen, the ones who were going to go will go. Your letter is aimed at those who already know these guys.

      Who that doesn't know these guys is gonna spend 3 grand based on this letter? All the stuff you sell isn't for anyone new to these guys. Everything you sell is for people who already know these guys. Your whole letter is based on the premise that everyone knows who these guys are.

      Great letter to get people to hurry up and sign up, but other than that it's useless in the marketing world.
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      • Profile picture of the author royfurr
        Originally Posted by LinsaySmith View Post

        I have tried almost 7 times to force myself through this letter. I've yet to succeed.

        I would suggest a video that puts all this into a quick hard hitting message. Like I said, most already plan to go and the ones that aren't won't be persuaded by this letter. You bore people to death after going on and on and on and on.
        Linsay, answer these three questions directly. Say anything superfluous and I'll believe all the troll accusations...

        1. Why in heaven's name have you subjected yourself to the masochism and horror of trying to force yourself through this 7 times? What compelled you to read again and again?

        2. When is the last time you made a similar investment in your professional education? Honestly?

        3. Why would someone who is obviously a bad fit to read a long letter care about a short video?

        Remember... Direct answers. Anything else and yer a troll!
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    • Profile picture of the author jjosephs
      Roy, you met the forum troll. Don't feed it.

      Can people stop replying to "linsay smith" already? Geez.
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      • Profile picture of the author LinsaySmith
        Originally Posted by jjosephs View Post

        Roy, you met the forum troll. Don't feed it.

        Can people stop replying to "linsay smith" already? Geez.
        Ouch, that hurt guy.

        Got anything intellectual to say about my comments, or should we just consider this one of your best posts?
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    • Profile picture of the author splitTest
      Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

      Linsay, I'm not just looking to read others stuff. I can do that all day long. My offer was contingent on specific helpful advice, and not just more criticism.

      So again, I ask you or anyone else... Do you have a SPECIFIC idea that would have helped the letter sell the event to folks who weren't, in your estimation, already going to go?

      That's what I'm most interested in. (There was a hint of it here and there before, but I'd love a direct answer to that question.)
      Roy,

      As jjosephs said, Lindsay is the resident troll. I'm surprised she hasn't been banned yet.

      I'd like to expand a little on what I thought of the letter, and (since you asked) I would enjoy reading your thoughts on other approaches to it. I'll post a bit more when I have more time.

      As I said before, I'm sure you're not earning testimonials from the likes of the great Gary B for nothing, and it will be a privilege to talk shop with you here. I'm sure I'm not alone on that.

      You seem like a class act. Glad you stopped in.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

    So again, I ask you or anyone else... Do you have a SPECIFIC idea that would have helped the letter sell the event to folks who weren't, in your estimation, already going to go?
    Ok, Roy, here's the big strategic problem with the current copy--specifically when selling the event to folks who weren't already going to go:
    You lift the Titans up on pedestals from the get-go, but a visitor doesn't *LEARN* anything from reading the piece. (I'm not talking about studying the mechanics of the actual sales letter itself.)
    There's no pay-off, emotionally or intellectually.

    The pieces that are pulling right now have consumable, actionable CONTENT strategically embedded in them that pull the reader through. Please understand: The reader is skimming for CONTENT.

    If they don't find it, they're gone.

    As you know, the readers have known all these TITANS--for decades. They stalk. (Which is GREAT.) So strategically and judicially lay fresh, relevant content IEDs for the readers to trip over. All the way to the registration/call-to-action.

    You want them getting an endorphin rush from tripping over something really relevant and useful.

    Here's the one piece of content you've got which is AWESOME:

    ----

    Marty Edelston’s four core principles for business and life success:

    1. He outworked everyone
    2. He had insatiable curiosity
    3. He surrounded himself with people smarter than himself whenever and wherever possible
    4. He always thought about what he could do for YOU first...and he was committed to saving lives both literally and figuratively

    ----

    But Roy, you need more content like this.

    One or two for each Titan. That's what I would have done. Make the reader work for it a bit to appreciate. Along the way, they'll be sold as to the incredible relevance to their business and skill set.

    The more they skim and uncover these gems, the more they're thinking they just gotta be in that room when the lights go down.

    In other words, what I'm advocating you do is "show a little leg". Reveal, not just hint at, what they'll takeaway from the event.

    But there is an art to this. Because it is possible to reveal too much.

    And I know it's counter-intuitive. But Boardroom folks are MASTERS at this type of copy in the health markets.

    ----

    So what's it going to take to pull out one or two more gems out of each Titan? I don't know.

    Actually, I do know for one.

    Let's take Jay Abraham.

    In my world, Jay was the original growth hacker. A pioneer when it comes to strategically engineering geometric growth rapidly.

    But that was yesterday.

    What are Jay's thoughts about growth hacking in 2014? In the age of intentional viral marketing, social media and social networking, crowdfunding, big data, analytics, etc.?

    Does he have case studies? Are there specific strategies he's used RECENTLY that have gotten big wins he can reveal?

    Lay THAT IED for the reader to step on. Give them that reason for coming. (What you'll also find is Boardroom's retargeting campaign will be more effective because people will want to review the letter again and again.)

    It's these kinds of strategies I hope Brian pulls out of Jay. And if Jay does it as I know he can do it, every business owner there will have gladly paid 5X the price of admission just to be in the room. Let alone have a chair.

    Why do I say that? Because that's what Jay ALONE is worth. And to have a guy like Brian Kurtz interview him? A guy who knows how to get the best out of someone?

    ----

    Now combine that Titan with every other Titan's gems and you can easily see how valuable that event could be to someone who wasn't already going to go.

    Just one idea could change their life. Put THAT idea in the letter and let them discover it.

    ----

    Let me give you one idea which helped me sell high ticket seminars. And when I say high-ticket, I'm talking $25K+ and up.

    When I sell for instance, a $3500/seat live seminar, in my mind's eye, I'm actually writing to sell a $35,000 seminar. Everything is magnified in my mind.

    Try that next time and see how it transforms your copywriting. It'll be 10X stronger--guaranteed.

    ----

    Please understand, Roy. You did a great job. I'm not taking anything away. I believe the event will sell out without changing a word.

    But if you've got the time, motivation and incentive, and Boardroom wants to move the event to a bigger ballroom, it's time to rework the copy.

    Does this help? Let me know.

    - Rick Duris

    ----

    PS: A couple more things:

    1. The design sucks. It's dated. 15 years old. Have someone who knows what's working today freshen it up. You may have sold the old timers but it needs an up-to-date look. This is probably the quickest thing that can be done to pull in more attendees.

    Second, Marty's passing is a good reason, but it is far from being a good enough story. There's too much logic and not enough emotion.

    What's in it for the reader?

    PPS: I have another idea in the works. Stay tuned.

    PPPS: If you study this post Roy, I've just demonstrated the technique of laying content IEDs along the way. Making you want to read more. Even though this is an unusually long post.
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    • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
      Roy, to add further to Rick's case for showcasing
      each Titan's new discoveries, Dan Kennedy has been doing
      the "new" thing for what seems like decades.

      First it was to position others as teaching theory as they
      had never done it, or are no longer doing it, therefore it ain't working now.

      He would also tell what he's going to reveal has never been revealed before,
      or only partly revealed to those that had paid him, say $100,000 as an example.

      This creates new intrigue and kills any thought of "probably heard it before".

      If there could be some context as to why the new discoveries are so relevant now.
      It helps to showcase they are meeting a new trend which the attendee is going to be first onto this cutting edge.

      An example in the world of early stage investors, is where they love to see where the market was, where it is now and where it's heading. Sharing these deep insights gives reasons why a new strategy is working and can be deployed by the attendee in his or her situation.

      Leaders want and seek out an edge they can have.

      You'll be meeting this intrinsic desire of the 1%'rs.

      So by dropping a few new shiny pearls from each Titan,
      you are taking the burden off the speakers "names"
      and spreading it across the new knowledge which will be shared at the event.

      Interviewing all the Titans with the intention of learning
      their new discoveries, recording it and then pulling out what will be reader usable
      and what will be bullet teasers.would get you the raw material to work with.

      They hold the hidden gold you seek.

      Best,
      Ewen
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      • Profile picture of the author royfurr
        Originally Posted by ewenmack View Post

        Roy, to add further to Rick's case for showcasing
        each Titan's new discoveries, Dan Kennedy has been doing
        the "new" thing for what seems like decades.

        First it was to position others as teaching theory as they
        had never done it, or are no longer doing it, therefore it ain't working now.

        He would also tell what he's going to reveal has never been revealed before,
        or only partly revealed to those that had paid him, say $100,000 as an example.

        This creates new intrigue and kills any thought of "probably heard it before".

        If there could be some context as to why the new discoveries are so relevant now.
        It helps to showcase they are meeting a new trend which the attendee is going to be first onto this cutting edge.

        An example in the world of early stage investors, is where they love to see where the market was, where it is now and where it's heading. Sharing these deep insights gives reasons why a new strategy is working and can be deployed by the attendee in his or her situation.

        Leaders want and seek out an edge they can have.

        You'll be meeting this intrinsic desire of the 1%'rs.

        So by dropping a few new shiny pearls from each Titan,
        you are taking the burden off the speakers "names"
        and spreading it across the new knowledge which will be shared at the event.

        Interviewing all the Titans with the intention of learning
        their new discoveries, recording it and then pulling out what will be reader usable
        and what will be bullet teasers.would get you the raw material to work with.

        They hold the hidden gold you seek.

        Best,
        Ewen
        Ewen, I completely agree that I would have had a dossier of breakthroughs and content from each speaker. But per my previous comments to Rick, it just didn't work out for getting that letter out on the deadline it needed to hit. So I probably leaned a bit hard on the names.

        Perhaps this is why the absolute best bullets in the piece are the ones I admit to having not written... The ones for Gary B, who sat down and planned his presentation prior to writing those bullets and sending to me...

        Even if you read nothing else in the letter at http://www.titansofdirectresponse.com, you gotta read Gary's stuff...
        In this extraordinary, transformative presentation, Gary will reveal:

        How you can dream bigger and achieve more in your life than you ever imagined possible--starting right now.

        How Gary used these exact principles to rise from mediocrity to success as a copywriter.
        The 8 habits of super successful marketers, copywriters, and entrepreneurs.

        The 12 most powerful secrets of High Probability Marketing. Why settle for a gambler's odds when you can win consistently like "the house" always does? Here are Gary's 12 simple secrets for shifting the laws of probability dramatically in your favor on every campaign.

        How to "reverse engineer" monster breakthroughs. Discover how much easier it is to create big winners when you start by focusing on the end result you want, and then work backwards to create it. This is Gary's all-time favorite secret for hitting marketing home runs.

        The three factors Gary looks for in the perfect headline or subject line.

        Gary's favorite online marketing gold mine. Yours for the taking--millions of dollars' worth of actual test results from current campaigns showing which subject lines are pulling best ... as well as which colors, graphic elements, website tweaks, copy points, calls to action, etc. are winning in A/B split tests.

        The #1 secret of the legendary John Caples (one of Gary's mentors) for boosting response. This secret is almost universally overlooked, even by top marketers and copywriters. Apply it to your subject lines and headlines and watch your conversion rates soar.

        How to put your subconscious mind on "auto pilot" to write more compelling copy, create best-selling products, and expand your business geometrically.

        How to become one of the three most in-demand copywriters in your field. (Don't aim to be "the best," just in the top three. Here's why.)

        The simple 9-part "preflight" checklist that will tell you whether a piece of copy is strong or weak before you run it. Instantly reveals--to expert or novice alike--where copy falls short and where you must strengthen it.

        A fascinating, totally counterintuitive new discovery in the psychology of persuasion guaranteed to increase your response
        (sorry for the hack up on the cut and paste... and by the way, this isn't the only copy any of the Titans snuck in... who can identify other small blocks?)
        Signature

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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      Ok, Roy, here's the big strategic problem with the current copy--
      I'm glad you wrote this Rick. Because after your blatant flogging of this event...and this rather ordinary copy...I was about to unleash my inner Rottweiler.

      You're right on most, if not all, accounts. This was a piss-poor letter that could have been so much better (if you or I had done it ;-) ).

      The tone...the design...the "vibe" (Search for Aussie movie "The Castle" and you'll get it) was WAY OFF THE PACE.

      Yeah I know Kilstein think it's killer. What does that tell you?

      IT'S OFF THE PACE DUDES.

      You've got to be kidding me. In August 2014 this is the best you can do?

      And let's not go into the design...(Jesus Christ it's crook).

      I struggled to keep reading the thing - and I'm the target audience here. I mean Gary B has only done one seminar hasn't he? When he retired?

      BTW "Linsay" is probably the old Max5ty. Some of the stuff he says makes a lot of sense. But he's a dreadful troll. You gotta wonder why he does it. Pathological really. And here's $100 that says he's hiding his I.P.

      Oh yeah...while I'm at it...Rick's little $7 report. Says something about my getting lots of work by critiquing people's copy. Sorry. Nope. I get bugger-all work through here. Get a lot of free-loaders and people who want to pick my brain.

      And Rick - $7??? You kidding me. You should know better. What that says is "This is rubbish". Maybe at $70 we'd be going "Oh boy...Rick's about to give me something that will make me money". How many you sold of this thing? Be honest. 20? And getting guys to beat it up here just looks desperate. You would have been better off saying "This information is worth A LOT of money in the right hands. You have 24 hours to access and download it...then it will cost $1497. Think I'm kidding? Watch this space. up yours, Rick
      p.s. dude...if you can't score at least a $5k copy gig using this technique of mine by the end of the week...something's wrong. (insert mother******* wink here)
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      • Profile picture of the author royfurr
        Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

        I'm glad you wrote this Rick. Because after your blatant flogging of this event...and this rather ordinary copy...I was about to unleash my inner Rottweiler.

        You're right on most, if not all, accounts. This was a piss-poor letter that could have been so much better (if you or I had done it ;-) ).

        The tone...the design...the "vibe" (Search for Aussie movie "The Castle" and you'll get it) was WAY OFF THE PACE.

        Yeah I know Kilstein think it's killer. What does that tell you?

        IT'S OFF THE PACE DUDES.

        You've got to be kidding me. In August 2014 this is the best you can do?

        And let's not go into the design...(Jesus Christ it's crook).

        I struggled to keep reading the thing - and I'm the target audience here. I mean Gary B has only done one seminar hasn't he? When he retired?

        BTW "Linsay" is probably the old Max5ty. Some of the stuff he says makes a lot of sense. But he's a dreadful troll. You gotta wonder why he does it. Pathological really. And here's $100 that says he's hiding his I.P.

        Oh yeah...while I'm at it...Rick's little $7 report. Says something about my getting lots of work by critiquing people's copy. Sorry. Nope. I get bugger-all work through here. Get a lot of free-loaders and people who want to pick my brain.

        And Rick - $7??? You kidding me. You should know better. What that says is "This is rubbish". Maybe at $70 we'd be going "Oh boy...Rick's about to give me something that will make me money". How many you sold of this thing? Be honest. 20? And getting guys to beat it up here just looks desperate. You would have been better off saying "This information is worth A LOT of money in the right hands. You have 24 hours to access and download it...then it will cost $1497. Think I'm kidding? Watch this space. up yours, Rick
        p.s. dude...if you can't score at least a $5k copy gig using this technique of mine by the end of the week...something's wrong. (insert mother******* wink here)
        Meh... Not helpful.
        Signature

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

      Ok, Roy, here's the big strategic problem with the current copy--specifically when selling the event to folks who weren't already going to go:
      You lift the Titans up on pedestals from the get-go, but a visitor doesn't *LEARN* anything from reading the piece. (I'm not talking about studying the mechanics of the actual sales letter itself.)
      There's no pay-off, emotionally or intellectually.

      The pieces that are pulling right now have consumable, actionable CONTENT strategically embedded in them that pull the reader through. Please understand: The reader is skimming for CONTENT.

      If they don't find it, they're gone.

      As you know, the readers have known all these TITANS--for decades. They stalk. (Which is GREAT.) So strategically and judicially lay fresh, relevant content IEDs for the readers to trip over. All the way to the registration/call-to-action.

      You want them getting an endorphin rush from tripping over something really relevant and useful.

      Here's the one piece of content you've got which is AWESOME:

      ----

      Marty Edelston's four core principles for business and life success:

      1. He outworked everyone
      2. He had insatiable curiosity
      3. He surrounded himself with people smarter than himself whenever and wherever possible
      4. He always thought about what he could do for YOU first...and he was committed to saving lives both literally and figuratively

      ----

      But Roy, you need more content like this.

      One or two for each Titan. That's what I would have done. Make the reader work for it a bit to appreciate. Along the way, they'll be sold as to the incredible relevance to their business and skill set.

      The more they skim and uncover these gems, the more they're thinking they just gotta be in that room when the lights go down.

      In other words, what I'm advocating you do is "show a little leg". Reveal, not just hint at, what they'll takeaway from the event.

      But there is an art to this. Because it is possible to reveal too much.

      And I know it's counter-intuitive. But Boardroom folks are MASTERS at this type of copy in the health markets.

      ----

      So what's it going to take to pull out one or two more gems out of each Titan? I don't know.

      Actually, I do know for one.

      Let's take Jay Abraham.

      In my world, Jay was the original growth hacker. A pioneer when it comes to strategically engineering geometric growth rapidly.

      But that was yesterday.

      What are Jay's thoughts about growth hacking in 2014? In the age of intentional viral marketing, social media and social networking, crowdfunding, big data, analytics, etc.?

      Does he have case studies? Are there specific strategies he's used RECENTLY that have gotten big wins he can reveal?

      Lay THAT IED for the reader to step on. Give them that reason for coming. (What you'll also find is Boardroom's retargeting campaign will be more effective because people will want to review the letter again and again.)

      It's these kinds of strategies I hope Brian pulls out of Jay. And if Jay does it as I know he can do it, every business owner there will have gladly paid 5X the price of admission just to be in the room. Let alone have a chair.

      Why do I say that? Because that's what Jay ALONE is worth. And to have a guy like Brian Kurtz interview him? A guy who knows how to get the best out of someone?

      ----

      Now combine that Titan with every other Titan's gems and you can easily see how valuable that event could be to someone who wasn't already going to go.

      Just one idea could change their life. Put THAT idea in the letter and let them discover it.

      ----

      Let me give you one idea which helped me sell high ticket seminars. And when I say high-ticket, I'm talking $25K+ and up.

      When I sell for instance, a $3500/seat live seminar, in my mind's eye, I'm actually writing to sell a $35,000 seminar. Everything is magnified in my mind.

      Try that next time and see how it transforms your copywriting. It'll be 10X stronger--guaranteed.

      ----

      Please understand, Roy. You did a great job. I'm not taking anything away. I believe the event will sell out without changing a word.

      But if you've got the time, motivation and incentive, and Boardroom wants to move the event to a bigger ballroom, it's time to rework the copy.

      Does this help? Let me know.

      - Rick Duris

      ----

      PS: A couple more things:

      1. The design sucks. It's dated. 15 years old. Have someone who knows what's working today freshen it up. You may have sold the old timers but it needs an up-to-date look. This is probably the quickest thing that can be done to pull in more attendees.

      Second, Marty's passing is a good reason, but it is far from being a good enough story. There's too much logic and not enough emotion.

      What's in it for the reader?

      PPS: I have another idea in the works. Stay tuned.

      PPPS: If you study this post Roy, I've just demonstrated the technique of laying content IEDs along the way. Making you want to read more. Even though this is an unusually long post.
      Rick, my friend, this entire thing is golden.

      First though, I want to challenge you. Show me a page that has a "modern" design that this should have followed.

      RE the Content IEDs though, that's a bit of an interesting (and perhaps controversial) way to name them. But I'll tell you what... (Warning, I'm going to pitch you AND give you a content IED to boot)... Among the bonuses is an interview Ken McCarthy did with Gary Bencivenga for The System Club. And one of Gary's biggest lessons that made him virtually unbeatable as a copywriter... As told in that interview that I re-listened to TWICE this weekend... Was essentially that. Blow their minds with some content IEDs. Maybe I fell down big here. Maybe I didn't even do what I knew Gary would do (and he didn't chide me for it, instead telling me the promo "sings")... I didn't make the promotion a valuable enough read that you would walk away better for simply having read it.

      Yeah, it was a straight up pitch. Yeah, it was catered to other "gooroo fanboys" (channeling some email copywriter y'all might know)...

      And maybe that was a big mistake.

      By the way, we did turn around and do something like that AFTER the promo was live. I got on the phone with Brian Kurtz for an hour and grilled him about the greatest lessons from EACH of the Titans... The ones he treasures most. Ya gotta opt in to watch the video, but it's at Titans Lessons — Brian Kurtz. And you can opt-out as soon as you get the goodies, if you're a punk like that.

      And I know I shouldn't make excuses... But I would have LOVED to grill each of the titans for an hour or more on what they'd be covering. But based on turnaround time on this (less than 3 weeks) it simply didn't happen. In a perfect world, I would love, love, love to sit down with Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, Jay Abraham, Greg Renker, etc. and ask them what their latest breakthrough is... But alas that didn't happen here.

      Thanks again! And hit me up if you care to get my rank amateur opinion on how I think anything of yours could get a little jolt of response juice!

      Best wishes,

      Roy
      Signature

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

        Rick, my friend, this entire thing is golden.

        First though, I want to challenge you. Show me a page that has a "modern" design that this should have followed.

        RE the Content IEDs though, that's a bit of an interesting (and perhaps controversial) way to name them. But I'll tell you what... (Warning, I'm going to pitch you AND give you a content IED to boot)... Among the bonuses is an interview Ken McCarthy did with Gary Bencivenga for The System Club. And one of Gary's biggest lessons that made him virtually unbeatable as a copywriter... As told in that interview that I re-listened to TWICE this weekend... Was essentially that. Blow their minds with some content IEDs. Maybe I fell down big here. Maybe I didn't even do what I knew Gary would do (and he didn't chide me for it, instead telling me the promo "sings")... I didn't make the promotion a valuable enough read that you would walk away better for simply having read it.

        Yeah, it was a straight up pitch. Yeah, it was catered to other "gooroo fanboys" (channeling some email copywriter y'all might know)...

        And maybe that was a big mistake.

        By the way, we did turn around and do something like that AFTER the promo was live. I got on the phone with Brian Kurtz for an hour and grilled him about the greatest lessons from EACH of the Titans... The ones he treasures most. Ya gotta opt in to watch the video, but it's at Titans Lessons — Brian Kurtz. And you can opt-out as soon as you get the goodies, if you're a punk like that.

        And I know I shouldn't make excuses... But I would have LOVED to grill each of the titans for an hour or more on what they'd be covering. But based on turnaround time on this (less than 3 weeks) it simply didn't happen. In a perfect world, I would love, love, love to sit down with Dan Kennedy, Gary Bencivenga, Jay Abraham, Greg Renker, etc. and ask them what their latest breakthrough is... But alas that didn't happen here.

        Thanks again! And hit me up if you care to get my rank amateur opinion on how I think anything of yours could get a little jolt of response juice!

        Best wishes,

        Roy
        Got it and thanks.

        1. Obviously you had some constraints in terms of access. But next time, I wouldn't have caved so easily as a copywriter, by making due with what you had in hand.

        I would have pushed a little harder.

        You only needed 15 minutes with them each, max. Your question could have been submitted prior. It wouldn't have been a big deal, imo.

        But pulling the idea of what made Gary unbeatable and inserting into the letter? All I can say is it wouldn't hurt. And it could have been leveraged as additional motivation into the call-to-action. For example:

        "What made Gary unbeatable? One simple philosophy.

        Just get 1% better than you were last week.

        That it's and that's all. Just get 1% better. That's how Gary became a copywriting household name. Creating 9-year unbeatable controls like "Lies, Lies, Lies" and...

        But let me ask you a question. What if I said you could get 500-1000% better? What if I told you could do it in just two days?

        How? By getting your ass into one of the 43 remaining seats for Titans of Direct Response..."

        That doesn't do it justice but you get the sequence.

        As you can appreciate, your job would have been so much easier. Reading the piece would be more fun. And you wouldn't have had to relied so much on worn-out copy we've all seen before.

        2. Scooping up those who were already on the one yard line was obviously the best market focus. The only question was how many people are there in that market. Now you know.

        3. I don't know what your association with the project is right now, whether the piece is locked down. But there are some "big rock" ideas which can be used to boost conversions immediately. Would take about a half day to implement most of them.

        4. As for the design, if I trip over things in the marketplace, I'll let you know. I remember the trafficandconversionsummit.com piece had a great design but they've taken it down. And that put 1800 people in a ballroom at $900/seat as I think I remember. Mabe somebody has it in their swipe file.

        Again, I don't know how you're gonna use this info. Time's running short. Every day matters now.

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

          Got it and thanks.

          1. Obviously you had some constraints in terms of access. But next time, I wouldn't have caved so easily as a copywriter, by making due with what you had in hand.

          I would have pushed a little harder.

          You only needed 15 minutes with them each, max. Your question could have been submitted prior. It wouldn't have been a big deal, imo.

          But pulling the idea of what made Gary unbeatable and inserting into the letter? All I can say is it wouldn't hurt. And it could have been leveraged as additional motivation into the call-to-action. For example:

          "What made Gary unbeatable? One simple philosophy.

          Just get 1% better than you were last week.

          That it's and that's all. Just get 1% better. That's how Gary became a copywriting household name. Creating 9-year unbeatable controls like "Lies, Lies, Lies" and...

          But let me ask you a question. What if I said you could get 500-1000% better? What if I told you could do it in just two days?

          How? By getting your ass into one of the 43 remaining seats for Titans of Direct Response..."

          That doesn't do it justice but you get the sequence.

          As you can appreciate, your job would have been so much easier. Reading the piece would be more fun. And you wouldn't have had to relied so much on worn-out copy we've all seen before.

          2. Scooping up those who were already on the one yard line was obviously the best market focus. The only question was how many people are there in that market. Now you know.

          3. I don't know what your association with the project is right now, whether the piece is locked down. But there are some "big rock" ideas which can be used to boost conversions immediately. Would take about a half day to implement most of them.

          4. As for the design, if I trip over things in the marketplace, I'll let you know. I remember the trafficandconversionsummit.com piece had a great design but they've taken it down. And that put 1800 people in a ballroom at $900/seat as I think I remember. Mabe somebody has it in their swipe file.

          Again, I don't know how you're gonna use this info. Time's running short. Every day matters now.

          - Rick Duris
          Wait a second here... Read that Gary B section again. Don't fake it. Go back to http://www.titansofdirectresponse.com and read it. Especially the box: "Gary would even go so far as to beat the pants off his own controls!"

          Using your language, that's a damn good Content IED. When I heard that, I thought -- if I can only get in a few client relationships where I'm ALWAYS being hired again to beat my own controls, I'm set for life. Think about that. If you're a copywriter, you better go to this event just to hear how he did that! It may not have hit you over the head and said, "here's your lesson," but a good IED hits you before you know it.

          I don't know what anybody else thinks -- and maybe I should shut up and let others throw down for a bit -- but I'm starting to think you didn't even really think about your crit before you lobbed it out there. I just went back and found 9 Content IEDs in the letter... Mostly in the first half... And I tried to be tough on myself to make sure I wasn't counting things just to inflate my own argument.

          (Can anybody else here find all 9?)

          So... What other "big rock" ideas do you have? Or are they all "big talk"? Bring it!

          Best wishes,

          Roy
          Signature

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

            Wait a second here... Read that Gary B section again. Don't fake it. Go back to www. titansofdirectresponse.com and read it. Especially the box: "Gary would even go so far as to beat the pants off his own controls!"

            Using your language, that's a damn good Content IED. When I heard that, I thought -- if I can only get in a few client relationships where I'm ALWAYS being hired again to beat my own controls, I'm set for life. Think about that. If you're a copywriter, you better go to this event just to hear how he did that! It may not have hit you over the head and said, "here's your lesson," but a good IED hits you before you know it.

            I don't know what anybody else thinks -- and maybe I should shut up and let others throw down for a bit -- but I'm starting to think you didn't even really think about your crit before you lobbed it out there. I just went back and found 9 Content IEDs in the letter... Mostly in the first half... And I tried to be tough on myself to make sure I wasn't counting things just to inflate my own argument.

            (Can anybody else here find all 9?)

            So... What other "big rock" ideas do you have? Or are they all "big talk"? Bring it!

            Best wishes,

            Roy
            1. Regarding Bencivenga, I don't think so, Roy. Not as you positioned. It comes off as being kinda sorta interesting but far from what you could have done with it.

            You're being vague. Expecting the reader to think like you. "if I can only get in a few client relationships where I'm ALWAYS being hired again to beat my own controls, I'm set for life."

            Granted you COULD do it as you say, but you didn't. You missed a World Cup moment.

            You gotta connect the dots for the reader.

            ----

            2. You want me to throw a big rock at you? Is that it?

            I have a few, a couple are boulders. And they're headed your way.

            Something is being prepared for you that should make it obvious all the money you left on the table. Just be a little more patient.

            ----

            For now, go back and rework that Bencivenga callout into a great Content IED. Do it like you just said. I wanna see flash bang grenades go off in the mind of the reader.

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

          4. As for the design, if I trip over things in the marketplace, I'll let you know. I remember the trafficandconversionsummit.com piece had a great design but they've taken it down. And that put 1800 people in a ballroom at $900/seat as I think I remember. Mabe somebody has it in their swipe file.
          Is this the one you're talking about?

          https://web.archive.org/web/20121218...ionsummit.com/
          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 JohnRussell
    After reading the letter again...

    I just felt it was unbelievable. It does not seem believable that Marty's death was the impetus for this event. It seems like a flimsy excuse to make some cash.

    Now I am not saying that is the case - only saying that is how it comes off to me.

    And...

    Some paragraphs are virtually unreadable.

    For instance...
    (Dan has created one of the most successful "marketing advice" publishing and seminar businesses on the planet. AND he has one of the most successful freelance copywriting and consulting businesses, billing in excess of $2 million a year, year after year, for advice and copywriting (part-time)... With 85%+ of all clients using him once, doing so repeatedly, some over 10, 20, 30 years... And a remarkable knack for turning start-ups and small enterprises into very big ones -- for example, a training company from "kitchen table" and barely $100,000 in income "before Dan" to over $40 million with two training centers, hundreds of trainers in the field, 12 revenue streams, and a 35% bottom line... A franchisor from 4 to 364 operating units in 38 months... And for creating "Evergreen Assets" for his clients -- like the full-page ad unchanged in 9 years, running profitably every month, the direct mail (postcards!) to automated webinars campaign now in its 4th year, with millions of pieces mailed per year and tens of millions of dollars made. AND he has his fingers in a few more pies -- with equity stakes. AND he still spends an extraordinary amount of time AWAY from his businesses -- with his race horses at the track where he competes as a harness racing driver!)
    Out of that paragraph, what does this even mean?
    With 85%+ of all clients using him once, doing so repeatedly,
    They used him once repeatedly?

    This paragraph looks like the copy was sent in text with no formatting and just plopped into the copy as an afterthought.

    There's more. But I am not into bashing. As I said in post #2 - I was just underwhelmed.

    Big idea aside...I just thought it was really clumsily written in spots.
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    • Profile picture of the author royfurr
      Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

      After reading the letter again...

      I just felt it was unbelievable. It does not seem believable that Marty's death was the impetus for this event. It seems like a flimsy excuse to make some cash.

      Now I am not saying that is the case - only saying that is how it comes off to me.

      And...

      Some paragraphs are virtually unreadable.

      For instance...
      (Dan has created one of the most successful "marketing advice" publishing and seminar businesses on the planet. AND he has one of the most successful freelance copywriting and consulting businesses, billing in excess of $2 million a year, year after year, for advice and copywriting (part-time)... With 85%+ of all clients using him once, doing so repeatedly, some over 10, 20, 30 years... And a remarkable knack for turning start-ups and small enterprises into very big ones -- for example, a training company from "kitchen table" and barely $100,000 in income "before Dan" to over $40 million with two training centers, hundreds of trainers in the field, 12 revenue streams, and a 35% bottom line... A franchisor from 4 to 364 operating units in 38 months... And for creating "Evergreen Assets" for his clients -- like the full-page ad unchanged in 9 years, running profitably every month, the direct mail (postcards!) to automated webinars campaign now in its 4th year, with millions of pieces mailed per year and tens of millions of dollars made. AND he has his fingers in a few more pies -- with equity stakes. AND he still spends an extraordinary amount of time AWAY from his businesses -- with his race horses at the track where he competes as a harness racing driver!)
      Out of that paragraph, what does this even mean?
      With 85%+ of all clients using him once, doing so repeatedly,
      They used him once repeatedly?

      This paragraph looks like the copy was sent in text with no formatting and just plopped into the copy as an afterthought.

      There's more. But I am not into bashing. As I said in post #2 - I was just underwhelmed.

      Big idea aside...I just thought it was really clumsily written in spots.
      You like Dan's positioning? And really, you don't know what that means? Or are ya just stirrin' things up?
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      • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
        Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

        You like Dan's positioning? And really, you don't know what that means? Or are ya just stirrin' things up?
        Not stirring things up at all - you don't think that paragraph is a little hard to read?
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        • Profile picture of the author royfurr
          Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

          Not stirring things up at all - you don't think that paragraph is a little hard to read?
          It's among the hardest in the whole letter. I'm not disagreeing there. Its purpose was not just to sell the event, but to sell Dan (obviously). Without saying more than I should say, I'll just say not all those words are mine (although I know exactly why every word is there).
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          • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
            Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

            It's among the hardest in the whole letter. I'm not disagreeing there. Its purpose was not just to sell the event, but to sell Dan (obviously). Without saying more than I should say, I'll just say not all those words are mine (although I know exactly why every word is there).
            Well it sure rings of Dan.

            This part gives it away to me:

            " billing in excess of $2 million a year, year after year, for advice and copywriting (part-time)..."

            I can hear him say it.

            Which is why I said earlier that it looked like you cut and paste it into the letter without bothering to format it.

            Close?
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            • Profile picture of the author royfurr
              Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

              Close?
              Hit it on the head.
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              • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
                Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

                Hit it on the head.
                Just so you know dude...I am not trying to be a dick.

                The OP asked for opinions so I gave mine - that is all.

                I think it's amazing that you got the job. You have some very powerful people who think what you do is great - that is what matters.

                Really - hats off to you for landing that gig and for coming here and discussing it as diplomatically as you have.

                I also know that you used to write a lot of financial - which is what I do. Maybe you still do too. I'm happy to look over each others stuff if you see any value in it.
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                • Profile picture of the author royfurr
                  Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

                  Just so you know dude...I am not trying to be a dick.

                  The OP asked for opinions so I gave mine - that is all.

                  I think it's amazing that you got the job. You have some very powerful people who think what you do is great - that is what matters.

                  Really - hats off to you for landing that gig and for coming here and discussing it as diplomatically as you have.

                  I also know that you used to write a lot of financial - which is what I do. Maybe you still do too. I'm happy to look over each others stuff if you see any value in it.
                  I know.

                  Also, yes, I still write a bunch of financial copy. Most of what I write. Also, some survivalist type stuff.
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                  • Profile picture of the author e92stealth
                    Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

                    I know.

                    Also, yes, I still write a bunch of financial copy. Most of what I write. Also, some survivalist type stuff.
                    Hey Roy,

                    This thread is old, but maybe a bit of wisdom can't hurt.

                    First off, YOU da man. In the sense of eagerness to land a big gig, not giving up and being relentless to capture Brian Kurtz's attention on this and get the job, KUDOS to you.

                    Now, onto the letter:

                    I'm a be brief.

                    I honestly have to agree, this event sold out not due to the copywriting but the all star line-up. The moment any top marketer heard of this upcoming event, they were desperate to buy BEFORE the sales letter was even live. Cmon, were talking bencivenga live, Sugarman live, and that's just a teaser at the full line up of legends. Not to mention the fact anyone worth their salt KNEW the crowd would be filled with million dollar earners, so networking is off the charts.

                    This letter would have sold out with a 1 or 2 page sales letter. It was truly ONE of a kind and everyone knew it. Bencivenga coming out of retirement alone would have sold this thing out.

                    As for your copy, I think whats going on in this thread is:

                    Lots of copywriters have different styles.

                    While people are talking about the way you structured the letter, and how you could have done some stuff different (which of course I agree and I'm sure in hindsight you do as well), what's really going on is people are critiquing your style of writing.

                    It's not flashy, it doesn't have a silky smoothness like Bencivenga or raw personality like Carlton and Halbert... basically, the copy feels like an up and coming FUTURE star, that hasn't yet found his true voice. It feels like a freelancer who knows how to get the job done through HARD work, and not so much talent.

                    No worries man, it takes years to master this trade and YOU have already proven to outwork 99% of the copywriters. Landing this gig only proves it.

                    And as you know, it's all about WHO you know in this biz and it's more important than even how amazing you write. So take advantage of your newfound rolodex and continue to grow as a copywriter.

                    OR, you may very well decide to become less of a copywriter and MORE of an online business owner. Which I think you are figuring out. It's a lot smarter and 100x more profitable once you use all that you've learned for clients in your own biz.

                    So to sum it up, the letter was okay. Not so much because of how it was laid out (felt a little rushed, and a better storyboard could have done this wonders) but more so because the words themselves just felt "okay". No memorable personality or silky smoothness.

                    Keep up the hard work man, landing those top gigs, and I hope you find this to be extremely helpful.

                    a. Use better storyboards BEFORE writing the copy
                    b. Find a memorable voice in your copy, no matter what that is

                    P.S. I've been on your list for over a year and seen your portfolio and this advice comes from not just this letter, but most especially the vsl's you've done.

                    Cheers Roy and the warriors!
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                    marketing consultant, internet entrepreneur

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  • Profile picture of the author davemiz
    lol... this thread is comical.

    who cares if its great?

    its for people in the biz.

    they're going to go regardless.

    duh.

    market already knows who's hosting it, who's speaking and who's going.

    great copy is (IMO) getting people who dont know you from a hole in the wall, and getting them to whip out their wallets and credit cards and buy on a mass scale.

    thats good copy.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
      Originally Posted by davemiz View Post

      lol... this thread is comical.

      who cares if its great?
      The OP. I assume he asked so to learn - so he knows the difference.
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    • Profile picture of the author NickN
      Originally Posted by davemiz View Post

      lol... this thread is comical.

      who cares if its great?

      its for people in the biz.

      they're going to go regardless.

      duh.
      This is where nail meets head. (Duh, indeed.)

      Still, it's fun to deconstruct the letter and have a USEFUL discussion going on here. Especially when some of the TITANS of the Copywriting Forum are participating.
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      • Profile picture of the author royfurr
        Wow! This conversation both represents the blight on humanity that is the worst of WF (and my biggest reason for not wasting a bunch of time here), AND the best of the best that I'm totally missing out on by not lurking here more. I'll be addressing some of the specific comments later -- there have been some amazing gems. But wow. Even when challenged to bring productive feedback (critical doesn't bug me), some folks still can't help but vomit all over themselves.
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        • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
          Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

          Wow! This conversation both represents the blight on humanity that is the worst of WF (and my biggest reason for not wasting a bunch of time here), AND the best of the best that I'm totally missing out on by not lurking here more. I'll be addressing some of the specific comments later -- there have been some amazing gems. But wow. Even when challenged to bring productive feedback (critical doesn't bug me), some folks still can't help but vomit all over themselves.
          Roy, I don't know you but my suspicion is that the non-specific "vomiting" is plain old-garden variety envy wrapped up in a nice neat little package of intellectual peacocking. We get a good deal of that around here, keeps the ol' blood boiling and is good for an occasional laugh.

          That said, there have been some insightful suggestions here, particularly from Rick, Mal, Chris & Ewen (The "Titans of the Copywriting Forum" <---cool,I thought it and then I said it, I rock).

          Anyway, I'll be completely transparent and tell you my only issue with the copy (which I thought was great other than this):

          When you've got a heavyweight line up like this, the harder you sell them, the more insecurity you raise for the reader who isn't at that level yet. It's like being the guy who bench presses 305 attending a mega conference where all the speakers are sucking down dozens of raw eggs for breakfast, bench-pressing Buicks and pulling battle ships with their teeth.

          I see a conference like this as a blessing. But Joseph Campbell said: "Fear stands at the door of your greatest blessing." ...I've worked with a ton of entrepreneurs over the past 20 years, and can confidently say that this fear is very, very real...even for those who openly deny it.

          True, one one hand, you're inspired. And maybe some people signed up just for that. But for those of us looking for some meaty strategies, there's that inner nagging: "Yeah, but I'm just ____." Ideally, it would be nice if we never had this fear, but it's one of the obstacles we come against on our way up the mountain.

          I've read a lot of these guys stuff, I buy their books and infoproducts and I apply most of what's in them. Some of it is great, but those stories about earning millions of dollars in a few days, frankly, smoke my balls sometimes (<---garden variety jealousy?). That might be possible when you've got several heavy hitters with six figure lists on speed dial, ready to do a joint venture and mail your brand new, untested offer to their lists just because you have a long history with them.

          But ALL these cats are pulling in at least seven figures a year. My best year so far has barely half that. While confident that I'll get there in time, I wasn't convinced that listening to them was going to give me any real strategies that I couldn't either dig out of their books and infoproducts...and based on what I know about conferences like this, many of the strategies would be impossible to implement right away.

          Hell, it took me a few years to get Dan Kennedy's attention and get a foreword for my book, and that's just a stepping stone on the way up the mountain. Anyway, I would have liked to have seen this objection addressed, especially since "yes, it worked for them, but will it work for me..." is the most deep seated objection and, IMHO, at the root of all others.

          As it is, I decided to invest my time and money into other things.

          But like I said, the rest was great.
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          • Profile picture of the author splitTest
            Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

            Hey guys. I'm spying on you. It's Roy, the dude who wrote the letter for Brian (which I wasn't announcing until Brian started shouting it from the rooftops and telling me to tell everybody).

            (I actually accidentally stumbled on this thread -- obviously it caught me due to personal interest -- landed on WF for another reason.)

            I think this thread is a great learning experience. There's often no better opportunity to improve as a copywriter than to have a bunch of folks -- especially experienced direct response folks -- rip apart your copy and let you know their biggest objections. (Nothing here is straight "hating" and nothing here should be deleted -- I'm glad there's a week's worth of honest feedback before I discovered the thread.)

            Clearly I didn't entice a few of you. And that's fair. Clearly my writing style didn't work for a few of you. And that's also fair. I'm not going to fight any of it.

            Instead I'm going to ask you -- especially those of you who were underwhelmed -- what monumental shift-change you would make in how this was presented (with specifics!) if you were asked to promote the event?

            What would be the core selling idea that you'd put right up front, that I totally missed or buried? Not only that, what's your thinking behind whythat selling point should be up front, rather than the WHO (the Titans) followed by the WHY (the Marty story) followed by the WHAT (the content of the talks) and the rest what I have?

            This is clearly an event of WHO. My thinking -- expressed very early on in private conversations -- was that as long as the copy didn't get in the way of the WHO, I'd be doing a pretty good job. And because this is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of WHO -- that yes, I do agree with -- there better be a pretty good WHY to back up what brought them together.

            I will not contest that given a similar offer, I'm sure a lot of folks here would put together a similarly-good letter.

            As a serious student of direct response, I'm not going to -- for one moment -- think that my copy is more important than the "Titans" featured. In fact, given the choice, I'd much rather spend 99% of my time and energy working on incredible offers like this where the offer itself does much of the heavy lifting. In other projects where it's not there, it's what I try to engineer, to give myself every dang advantage possible when I write copy.

            Don't know where I'm going with that, other than to say I agree. It was a great offer. The kind that I covet. We should all be so fortunate as to get the opportunity to work on similar offers at one point or another in our copywriting careers.

            Lookin' forward to rubbing elbows with the few of you that said you would be there when we meet in the flesh in September.

            Best wishes,

            Roy

            Hi Roy.

            Nice of you to visit here and further this discussion. Like you, I like to learn, compare perspectives, and basically "talk shop," which was the point of creating the thread.

            It's also nice to see others actually chiming in now, and serving up really interesting perspectives (as opposed to getting peeved about a thread in a copywriting forum about copywriting selling a copywriting conference). Copywriting.

            You probably read my "monday morning quarterbacking" earlier in the thread. Glad you saw that I meant no offense. I'd still be happy to request the mods take all this down if you think it might hurt your venture in any way, so just let me know.

            And congrats on the testimonial from the Gary B. I read his advice and it pretty much always rings true. Not all the stuff written by the "titans" of the industry reads as clear and actionable as his. I'm even getting on board with the "Law of Attraction" stuff (after "poo pooing" it for many years) just because someone as obviously gifted as Gary B. buys it.

            Anyway, I read what the other posters here wrote and my observations pretty much sync with theirs. I wrote much of what's below before reading their posts however -- so sorry if some of it seems redundant.

            Originally Posted by royfurr View Post

            I'm going to ask you -- especially those of you who were underwhelmed -- what monumental shift-change you would make in how this was presented (with specifics!) if you were asked to promote the event?

            What would be the core selling idea that you'd put right up front, that I totally missed or buried? Not only that, what's your thinking behind whythat selling point should be up front, rather than the WHO (the Titans) followed by the WHY (the Marty story) followed by the WHAT (the content of the talks) and the rest what I have?
            My main criticism of the letter would be this: Though there's no doubt that the collective wisdom and experience of the line-up there is valuable, it's a giant leap from that to "A Few Minutes or Hours with These Titans -- In the Flesh --Will Completely Alter the Course of Your Business, Your Career, Your Life!."

            Big claims require big proof - more proof than you offer in this letter IMHO, especially for this smart audience, especially if you're asking for $3500.

            ...And as some of the guys here may have mentioned, we've all read the Titans' books & websites, etc.. ...So if your sales appeal is all about how the titans are going to change our lives, you'd have to tell us what we'd get out of the conference that we couldn't get more cheaply and easily from the books.

            Seth likes the letter so much that he copied it out by hand. But he also says:

            Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

            when I saw this, my first thought was...

            "I already read these guys books.I know what this is about. I don't need it."

            Maybe that's shortsighted of me, but the bottom line is that it didn't sell me. And I love stuff like this.
            He loves the stuff, yet he wasn't sold. You need a better hook if your letter isn't selling those of us who love this stuff... making us pine to attend (even if we can't), instead of outright dismissing the idea upon reading the letter. I love this stuff too (which is why I love "talking shop," the point of this thread). Yet the USP here didn't do it for me at all.

            I'm a fan of "the Titans," like a lot of people here... Many of us have read many of their books. Yet that's actually working against your letter instead of with it, because we think we already know what this is about.

            If you go on amazon and check out reviews of the Titans' books, you'll see that a frequent complaint is that some of the stuff is dated.

            The conference could well have been sold as a valuable "update."

            My core selling proposition would've been something like (not exact words, of course): The Titans - stars of the "old guard" of marketing" - proven winners with winning techniques - take on the new world of marketing (email, web, even the changing world of print, etc.) and show you how the old ways are still winners, how some of them need to be tweaked, etc. You've read their bestselling books, now see what they're thinking and doing now, what's absolutely timeless after so many years of testing, how the new technology has inspired further innovation, etc.

            Of course your letter gets into some of that, but readers will have to get through the many words of "hero worship" stuff before they find it. They'll come to their conclusion based on the fluff, before getting to the meat.

            ....And speaking of the "meat", your letter should more specifically address what we're looking for. Specificity is important. We're marketers and copywriters - we're not trying to just generally "change our careers and our lives". We're looking for new and betters ways to operate. We want the latest approaches to web marketing and email marketing. And the innovative approaches to snail-mail marketing for that matter. We also want more and better business connections.

            The stars of this matter aren't the titans, it's us. We admire the titans, but this ain't a rock concert, it's a business conference. We're looking for much more than the sound and presence.

            Alex put it well:

            Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

            In my view, there's only two reasons to spend $5,000 for a seminar... promising networking opportunities or specific technical training.

            I guess having the experience of being in the presence of titans is another... but that one seems kind of lame to me.
            In any case, every other guru and self-improvement conference says they're going to change your life. That's become a weak "USP" by now. We admire and want to learn from "the Titans" but we know they're not magicians. Changing your life by spending a few hours with the titans sounds more like magic than reality.

            I would also play up corporate names that we all know - Bottom Line Personal, Guthy-Renker, Blueblockers. They're winning with nuts-and-bolts stuff we'd all like to add to our repertoire. And the names are as recognizable as those of the titans, if not more so.

            Anyway... I would also feature less of the Marty stuff. Lots of people don't know Marty. Seems like a good guy, but that part of it isn't going to sell many people IMHO. Yes, it's the inspiration for the conference, but that being said, I think you just give the reader an opportunity to bail on your pitch with too much marty stuff.

            Not only that, but some of the stuff the letter says about Marty comes across as insincere when we learn that a copywriter has written the letter.

            If you're going to wax sentimental in the letter, better to not reveal that a copywriter was paid to write it for you. Especially if you're dealing with an audience like marketers and copywriters (who can see through stuff like this), and especially while the letter is still in play.

            I know you didn't tell the world that you wrote the letter, but the Lessons from the Titans video mentions it. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

            And finally, if a door-to-door salesman said the following to me:

            "If You Don't Get the Idea That
            Doubles Your Business in the First 3 ½ Hours,
            You Must Be Asleep At The Wheel!"

            ... I would tell him "get... off... my... lawn."

            "If you don't get value out of this product, there must be something wrong with you" is not good selling. Reading the first part of that sentence, I was almost expecting a guarantee of some sort. But "you must be asleep at the wheel"? That's seriously cheesy. I'm surprised no one else has mentioned that line. If anyone thinks that works, please tell me why.

            Anyway, this turned out to be a very interesting thread, thanks in no small part to your visit. I come here in part to see if my observations align with those of other pro copywriters here, and this thread confirmed a lot of my thoughts (...including the educated guess that you didn't have a lot to work with when writing this - just 3 weeks, not a lot of time to research... )

            Late reply, but I hope you're still checking out this thread and you'll address a few of points above. And pls ask Gary B if he's taking on "copy cubs." (/joking -- unless you'll really ask. )

            PS:

            This is clearly an event of WHO. My thinking -- expressed very early on in private conversations -- was that as long as the copy didn't get in the way of the WHO, I'd be doing a pretty good job. And because this is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime gathering of WHO -- that yes, I do agree with -- there better be a pretty good WHY to back up what brought them together.
            In shaping a sales appeal, I usually take the "who" to mean the target market (ie. not the speakers), the "what" is the product, and the "why" is the benefits. (There's also the "when" - urgency appeal - and the "where," your ad medium, which shapes copy too, but that's another story...)
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            • Profile picture of the author TracyBelshee
              I'm nobody in regards to this section or field, but I hope this thread doesn't disappear.

              This second page has been interesting and informative.
              Signature
              I may be riding a trike, but it's a badass trike.

              **CAUTION**
              Advice and opinions in the post above are from an amateur. Stay back 50 feet, salt shaker at the ready.
              You've been warned.
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

    Rory, I don't know you but my suspicion is that the non-specific "vomiting" is plain old-garden variety envy wrapped up in a nice neat little package of intellectual peacocking. We get a good deal of that around here, keeps the ol' blood boiling and is good for an occasional laugh.

    That said, there have been some insightful suggestions here, particularly from Rick, Mal, Chris & Ewen (The "Titans of the Copywriting Forum" <---cool,I thought it and then I said it, I rock).

    Anyway, I'll be completely transparent and tell you my only issue with the copy (which I thought was great other than this):

    When you've got a heavyweight line up like this, the harder you sell them, the more insecurity you raise for the reader who isn't at that level yet. It's like being the guy who bench presses 305 attending a mega conference where all the speakers are sucking down dozens of raw eggs for breakfast, bench-pressing Buicks and pulling battle ships with their teeth.

    I see a conference like this as a blessing. But Joseph Campbell said: "Fear stands at the door of your greatest blessing." ...I've worked with a ton of entrepreneurs over the past 20 years, and can confidently say that this fear is very, very real...even for those who openly deny it.

    True, one one hand, you're inspired. And maybe some people signed up just for that. But for those of us looking for some meaty strategies, there's that inner nagging: "Yeah, but I'm just ____." Ideally, it would be nice if we never had this fear, but it's one of the obstacles we come against on our way up the mountain.

    I've read a lot of these guys stuff, I buy their books and infoproducts and I apply most of what's in them. Some of it is great, but those stories about earning millions of dollars in a few days, frankly, smoke my balls sometimes (<---garden variety jealousy?). That might be possible when you've got several heavy hitters with six figure lists on speed dial, ready to do a joint venture and mail your brand new, untested offer to their lists just because you have a long history with them.

    But ALL these cats are pulling in at least seven figures a year. My best year so far has barely half that. While confident that I'll get there in time, I wasn't convinced that listening to them was going to give me any real strategies that I couldn't either dig out of their books and infoproducts...and based on what I know about conferences like this, many of the strategies would be impossible to implement right away.

    Hell, it took me a few years to get Dan Kennedy's attention and get a foreword for my book, and that's just a stepping stone on the way up the mountain. Anyway, I would have liked to have seen this objection addressed, especially since "yes, it worked for them, but will it work for me..." is the most deep seated objection and, IMHO, at the root of all others.

    As it is, I decided to invest my time and money into other things.

    But like I said, the rest was great.
    Seth, just a different perspective.

    I used to do seminars a lot. All kinds. As a participant.

    Then I started helping promote them. I'd write the copy, or I'd set up JVs or I'd man the phones.

    At its most intense, I'd spend a couple months out of the year in ballrooms.

    There's something magical that happens at a seminar. For me, it's the live, spontaneous idea sharing.

    The speakers basically act as firestarters. They lob ideas out to the audience. Each idea is interpreted hundreds of different ways and then there's the breaks and dinners and the bar, where ideas morph and take hold.

    The next day, after a little sleep and after a little dreaming, the ideas are crystal clear.

    I don't think you can get that in a book.

    You wanna get to 7-figures, Seth? I'd enourage you to be there.

    - Rick Duris

    PS: Here's the best reason for you, Seth:

    You need a selfie with you and Dan Kennedy for your book! Kindle sales will skyrocket! j/k

    PPS: His name is Roy.

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

      Seth, just a different perspective.

      I used to do seminars a lot. All kinds. As a participant.

      Then I started helping promote them. I'd write the copy, or I'd set up JVs or I'd man the phones.

      At its most intense, I'd spend a couple months out of the year in ballrooms.

      There's something magical that happens at a seminar. For me, it's the live, spontaneous idea sharing.

      The speakers basically act as firestarts. They lob ideas out to the audience. Each idea is interpreted hundreds of different ways and then there's the breaks and dinners and the bar, where ideas morph and take hold.

      The next day, after a little sleep and after a little dreaming, the ideas are crystal clear.

      I don't think you can get that in a book.
      Dude, I totally I get all that. I was just being transparent about the nagging fear that comes up when I read letters like this. Pretty sure it costed them some sales. I think its worth addressing in the copy.

      Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

      You wanna get to 7-figures, Seth? I'd enourage you to be there.

      - Rick Duris

      PS: Here's the best reason for you, Seth:

      You need a selfie with you and Dan Kennedy for your book! Kindle sales will skyrocket! j/k
      Damn, guess I set myself up for that one.

      Hadn't thought of the photo opp either.

      Not bad Rick ;-)
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonwebb
    lets break this down...

    starving crowd? Check

    leverage the content being sold? Check

    give a solid pitch to sell the outstanding offer? Check

    the letter did its job.

    as far as seminars being valuable... Here is a quote " you cant teach a kid to ride a bike at a seminar"
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    • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
      Originally Posted by Jonwebb View Post

      as far as seminars being valuable... Here is a quote " you cant teach a kid to ride a bike at a seminar"
      You're not going because you're not going to learn how to write better copy? Or is it that you're not going to walk out of the event an A-list copywriter?

      Let me give you a quote. This one is from me.

      "With the direct response copywriting firepower in that'll be in that ballroom, both on stage and in the audience, you're going to be be able to compress decades of learning into days. It's the closest thing to copywriting CPH4 there is."

      - Rick Duris

      PS: To understand the CPH4 reference, you'll have to go to the movies and watch Lucy. Here's the trailer:

      http://youtu.be/MVt32qoyhi0









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      • Profile picture of the author Jonwebb
        haha lucy reminds me of another called limitless. Similar concept but Lucy Is more scifi-ish

        copywriting is a learned skill. Granted I am sure there are concepts that can and will be learned at the event, but I stand by my david Sandler quote

        Originally Posted by RickDuris View Post

        You're not going because you're not going to learn how to write better copy? Or is it that you're not going to walk out of the event an A-list copywriter?

        Let me give you a quote. This one is from me.

        "With the direct response copywriting firepower in that'll be in that ballroom, both on stage and in the audience, you're going to be be able to compress decades of learning into days. It's the closest thing to copywriting CPH4 there is."

        - Rick Duris

        PS: To understand the CPH4 reference, you'll have to go to the movies and watch Lucy. Here's the trailer:

        http://youtu.be/MVt32qoyhi0








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

          haha lucy reminds me of another called limitless. Similar concept but Lucy Is more scifi-ish

          copywriting is a learned skill. Granted I am sure there are concepts that can and will be learned at the event, but I stand by my david Sandler quote
          I took Sandler back in the 90's when he licensed the training to others. It was some of the best sales training, I think. It really WAS a system and it fit perfectly with my personality.

          Thanks for reminding me.

          - Rick Duris





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  • Here's the thing - the letter worked.

    What more does any client or copywriter want?

    Here's the other thing.

    Look at any piece you've ever written - concentrating just on the winners.

    And work out how many different ways there were of doing it.

    Yea, not only will you go loopy.

    Every promo will take an eternity to complete.


    Steve
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