Who's Had Experience with AWAI? (Doing an informal study)

31 replies
I subscribe to AWAI's newsletter as part of my "market research" where I try to mentally reverse-engineer the strategies of other copywriters, marketers, and advertisers.

AWAI seems to have a pretty solid formula for their audience, and they sell their narrative to their prospects well.

But what I want to know is this: do their products even work?

From what I've been able to tell, their copywriting courses are pretty standard. I haven't sat down and gone through them myself, so I can't say whether their marketing promises are just hype or actually deliver. And some of their advertising feels like MLM-type "Get an outrageous income fast! (results not typical)" empty crap.

What's your experience? Do they work, or are they good at putting nice wrapping on an empty box?

I'll share my theory about their strategy after I get a few responses so I don't poison the well too much.

Thanks.
#awai #experience #informal #study
  • Profile picture of the author perryny
    I do not have experience with AWAI's program. But...

    What kind of question is, "do their products even work?"

    Does college work?

    This is not an informal study. It's a product review request.
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    • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
      Originally Posted by perryny View Post

      What kind of question is, "do their products even work?"

      Does college work?
      I'm sure he meant, "Did their products prepare you to succeed as a copywriter?".

      Don't you think?

      Alex
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      • Profile picture of the author perryny
        I don't know what he meant, Alex.

        Maybe he meant, "Is it worth the price?".
        Or maybe, "Would I be better off just reading books and copying ads by hand?"
        Or maybe, "Is it a better course than John Carlton's, or Gary Halbert's 30 day plan?"
        Or, "Will I have a good shot at getting a job with Agora after completing the course?"
        Or, "Will I finally be able to make $100 a day because they'll teach me how to write those long, boring sales letters?"

        Sorry, MatthewRHallEsq. I'm not sure what you meant. But you did specify you were looking for opinions from those with experience with AWAI, which I have none of, so, again, sorry I can't help and for messing up your thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
    Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post

    I subscribe to AWAI's newsletter as part of my "market research" where I try to mentally reverse-engineer the strategies of other copywriters, marketers, and advertisers.

    AWAI seems to have a pretty solid formula for their audience, and they sell their narrative to their prospects well.

    But what I want to know is this: do their products even work?

    From what I've been able to tell, their copywriting courses are pretty standard. I haven't sat down and gone through them myself, so I can't say whether their marketing promises are just hype or actually deliver. And some of their advertising feels like MLM-type "Get an outrageous income fast! (results not typical)" empty crap.

    What's your experience? Do they work, or are they good at putting nice wrapping on an empty box?

    I'll share my theory about their strategy after I get a few responses so I don't poison the well too much.

    Thanks.
    I love the nice wrapping on an empty box analogy lol

    It depends on your skill level. I had a peak at a few and, with the exception of Dan Kennedy's stuff and one Michael Masterson peice, I didn't get much out of them.

    Then again, I've been kicking around this neighborhood for a long time. That' said, there are plenty of good kindle books on copywriting. They're much less expensive and the content, for beginners, is just as good.

    David Garfinkel, Dan S Kennedy, Ben Settle, Big Al (I'd include myself, but who wouldn't?)...then, in the printed books, Drew Eric Whitman, Joe Sugarman.

    And, of course, the free Gary Halbert Letter.

    I could go on but there's so much progress you can make just on the stuff above. Take two or three books and read them several times, copy the examples in them. Get a good thorough grasp on the basics, that's more than most people do.

    BTW, that hypey "MLM style copy" works better than you think. Never assume your reader it too sophisticated to fall for it. You'd be shocked at who reads the National Enquirer.
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    • Profile picture of the author perryny
      Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

      I love the nice wrapping on an empty box analogy lol

      It depends on your skill level. I had a peak at a few and, with the exception of Dan Kennedy's stuff and one Michael Masterson peice, I didn't get much out of them.

      Then again, I've been kicking around this neighborhood for a long time. That' said, there are plenty of good kindle books on copywriting. They're much less expensive and the content, for beginners, is just as good.

      David Garfinkel, Dan S Kennedy, Ben Settle, Big Al (I'd include myself, but who wouldn't?)...then, in the printed books, Drew Eric Whitman, Joe Sugarman.

      And, of course, the free Gary Halbert Letter.

      I could go on but there's so much progress you can make just on the stuff above. Take two or three books and read them several times, copy the examples in them. Get a good thorough grasp on the basics, that's more than most people do.

      BTW, that hypey "MLM style copy" works better than you think. Never assume your reader it too sophisticated to fall for it. You'd be shocked at who reads the National Enquirer.
      That's all very nice, Seth, but I think the OP wants to know if their products prepared you to succeed as a copywriter.
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      • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
        Originally Posted by perryny View Post

        I don't know what he meant, Alex.
        Originally Posted by perryny View Post

        That's all very nice, Seth, but I think the OP wants to know if their products prepared you to succeed as a copywriter.
        Which is it?

        Alex
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        • Profile picture of the author Successwriter
          I have been associated with AWAI for several years. Their courses are designed to get the newcomers to copywriting grounded in the basics. Then you can move up to the more advanced techniques.
          At their yearly bootcamps you learn from some of the GREATS and get a chance to rub shoulders with them: Clayton Makepeace, Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, Herschel Walker....to name a few. If you want to kick it up a notch...you get first dibs at applying to get in on personal coaching with the likes of Dan Kennedy (GKIC) and Clayton.

          Once you join AWAI..it's not a one-shot deal...they are constantly updating thier materials and you'll have access on their website to all of that PLUS there are retreats and webinars to home your skills in some of the niches in which yu may be interested.
          OK...this is far longer than I planned. Let me be clear...I DO NOT WORK FOR AWAI.
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          • Profile picture of the author perryny
            Originally Posted by Successwriter View Post

            I have been associated with AWAI for several years. Their courses are designed to get the newcomers to copywriting grounded in the basics. Then you can move up to the more advanced techniques.
            At their yearly bootcamps you learn from some of the GREATS and get a chance to rub shoulders with them: Clayton Makepeace, Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, Herschel Walker....to name a few. If you want to kick it up a notch...you get first dibs at applying to get in on personal coaching with the likes of Dan Kennedy (GKIC) and Clayton.

            Once you join AWAI..it's not a one-shot deal...they are constantly updating thier materials and you'll have access on their website to all of that PLUS there are retreats and webinars to home your skills in some of the niches in which yu may be interested.
            OK...this is far longer than I planned. Let me be clear...I DO NOT WORK FOR AWAI.
            That's all very nice, SuccessWriter, but I think the OP wants to know if their products prepared you to succeed as a copywriter.

            (See? Funny!!)
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            • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
              At the risk of offending Perry for lack of relevance to the OP...

              Have you ever been a seminar and it suddenly hit you that the real place to be is at the front of the room and not in one of the seats?

              It's the same way with AWAI.

              If you want to get involved with them, do so as a partner - or at least with an eye to doing so down the road.
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          • Profile picture of the author IDoTheLegWork
            Originally Posted by Successwriter View Post

            I have been associated with AWAI for several years. Their courses are designed to get the newcomers to copywriting grounded in the basics. Then you can move up to the more advanced techniques.
            At their yearly bootcamps you learn from some of the GREATS and get a chance to rub shoulders with them: Clayton Makepeace, Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, Herschel Walker....to name a few. If you want to kick it up a notch...you get first dibs at applying to get in on personal coaching with the likes of Dan Kennedy (GKIC) and Clayton.
            Do the newcomers courses teach you enough copywriting and practical
            industry skill to go out and earn enough to pay to "kick it up a notch"?
            Signature

            ..and you WILL contribute a verse.
            Indifference is the enemy that must be conquered.
            Appeal to the crowd by addressing the person.

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            • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
              Originally Posted by IDoTheLegWork View Post

              Do the newcomers courses teach you enough copywriting and practical
              industry skill to go out and earn enough to pay to "kick it up a notch"?
              I'd be really interested in seeing a large data set showing the average annual freelance income after taking a course. (Especially the ones who follow through and do the work.)
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        • Profile picture of the author perryny
          Originally Posted by Alex Cohen View Post

          Which is it?

          Alex
          See, first I replied to the OP, basically saying he was asking a silly question. And then you straightened me out by telling me that what he really meant was, "Did their products prepare you to succeed as a copywriter?". And then I replied with all these other questions that the OP might have meant, but then Seth seemed to agree with you because he thanked your post and not mine, but then he goes and replies to the OP answering a bunch of the questions I said the OP might have meant and not really answering the question YOU said the OP meant, so then I thought it would be witty to write, "Hey Seth, don't you think the OP means what Alex thinks he means and shouldn't you answer his question and not so much mine?". But it wasn't that funny of a joke and I guess a bit of a stretch, which is why you probably didn't get it.
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      • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
        Originally Posted by perryny View Post

        That's all very nice, Seth, but I think the OP wants to know if their products prepared you to succeed as a copywriter.
        I responded as I saw fit, as an expert in this field in an attempt to provide the feedback which I believed would be most helpful to the poster. That's my right as a member here. Apparently you weren't satisfied with it, but playing Judge Judy is uncalled for.

        I almost gave you an infraction for this, but I'm warning you first. This is like the 5th sarcastic troll I've seen you leave on someone's thread. Don't do it again.
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        • Profile picture of the author perryny
          Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

          I responded as I saw fit, as an expert in this field in an attempt to provide the feedback which I believed would be most helpful to the poster. That's my right as a member here. Apparently you weren't satisfied with it, but playing Judge Judy is uncalled for.

          I almost gave you an infraction for this, but I'm warning you first. This is like the 5th sarcastic troll I've seen you leave on someone's thread. Don't do it again.
          I was just making a wisecrack, Seth. Just having fun... didn't mean to upset anyone.

          But for the record, I think my original reply to the OP was spot on. "Do their products even work?" is a silly question - the answer would be, just as Marcia pointed out, the same as with Berlitz courses, vocational training, dog agility courses and a Harvard education. ("Does college work?").

          It's up to the student to make use of the training. And unless the OP believes AWAI to be a scam operation, I can't imagine he would theorize otherwise.

          His "Informal Study" still reads to me nothing more than a request for a product review - which is pretty much what he got in this thread.

          Seriously? That crack was infraction worthy? I'll try harder to add value and I'll leave the wisecracks for my dog. He thinks I'm hilarious.
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          • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
            Originally Posted by perryny View Post

            I was just making a wisecrack, Seth. Just having fun... didn't mean to upset anyone.

            But for the record, I think my original reply to the OP was spot on. "Do their products even work?" is a silly question - the answer would be, just as Marcia pointed out, the same as with Berlitz courses, vocational training, dog agility courses and a Harvard education. ("Does college work?").

            It's up to the student to make use of the training. And unless the OP believes AWAI to be a scam operation, I can't imagine he would theorize otherwise.

            His "Informal Study" still reads to me nothing more than a request for a product review - which is pretty much what he got in this thread.

            Seriously? That crack was infraction worthy? I'll try harder to add value and I'll leave the wisecracks for my dog. He thinks I'm hilarious.
            No, it wasn't infraction worthy, that's why I barked instead of biting.

            (My dog isn't laughing at that, guess the joke was too close to home cause normally, he thinks I'm funny too).

            If anyone understands wisecracks it's me. You just have to be careful cause it's easy to come off as an antagonistic d-bag. I'm sure I have a few times. That's what these are for...



            And to your comment, it's not a silly question. It's perfectly reasonable. Okay, so maybe he didn't word it perfectly, but this a place to learn. Not every bloody post a person makes has to be an eloquent piece of advertising that makes the intentions crystal clear on the first go around.

            Sometimes, you've gotta read between the lines and do your best to give the person the information you believe they're looking for. To me, it was obvious what he wanted to know.

            Maybe You saw something else, maybe Alex saw something else, maybe Rick, Mike or Mal will come on here, read something else into it, and give THEIR best response.

            That's the beauty of perception diversity (<--Like that? I made it up all by myself). It creates a nice melting pot of information to draw from. I respect your opinion just as much as I expect anyone on here to respect mine. But the moment you start quoting me and tossing bottlerockets in my direction, you better believe I'm gonna light a few up myself.

            IMHO (and if anyone thinks I'm way out of line here, feel free to chime in) this is a place to learn and develop. Too many threads in this forum get littered with erroneous comments and off topic debates over petty things like semantics and how someone friggin' interpreted something.

            I can feel a few coming on right now.

            Take cover.
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            • Profile picture of the author perryny
              Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

              Sometimes, you've gotta read between the lines and do your best to give the person the information you believe they're looking for. To me, it was obvious what he wanted to know.
              Yeah, well, I read between the lines, and to me it was obvious this was another "Is the AWAI Course any good?" wrapped in an empty box with "Informal Study" stamped on the cover.

              -Rob

              PS.
              Originally Posted by sethczerepak View Post

              No, it wasn't infraction worthy, that's why I barked instead of biting.
              Thanks, Seth. But if it's warranted, you can bite me anytime.
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              • Profile picture of the author sethczerepak
                Originally Posted by perryny View Post

                Yeah, well, I read between the lines, and to me it was obvious this was another "Is the AWAI Course any good?" wrapped in an empty box with "Informal Study" stamped on the cover.

                -Rob

                PS.

                Thanks, Seth. But if it's warranted, you can bite me anytime.
                Dude, settle down. I'm taken (<---DISCLAIMER: Joke)
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  • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
    Perry,
    Just to clarify, I'm not looking to take AWAI's courses myself. This isn't another, "TELL ME WHICH COURSE I SHOULD DO!" thread, it's one where the responses will help me understand their business model. If a copywriter has used their courses to become 1. trained in copywriting and 2. successful as a freelance writer, living their "writer's life," then what they're offering is more than just a nice dream.

    I'm also interested in knowing how much unique, useful information each course offers. Many marketing courses sell the same basic information slightly repackaged -- information you can get for free in the many resources Seth mentioned.

    I suppose my original post was a little broad, so here it goes again: Have using the AWAI information products turned anyone you know into a successful freelance copywriter? And can anyone say whether the courses are as unique as their sales emails claim, or are they all basically rehashes of the same info?

    Why am I asking about AWAI? Because it's an info product supplier that a lot of people on this forum have likely experienced. I'd ask about a different info product maker if I thought it would be more relevant.

    JohnRussell, that's great feedback. My theory is a very small amount of their "students" will have great success (like an MLM), and those people will then become a spokeswriter for AWAI (similar to how MLMs work).

    But if people who stick to the material actually do turn out to be successful freelance copywriters more often than not, then that would disprove my hypothesis.
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    • Profile picture of the author Petar P
      Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post

      I suppose my original post was a little broad, so here it goes again: Have using the AWAI information products turned anyone you know into a successful freelance copywriter? And can anyone say whether the courses are as unique as their sales emails claim, or are they all basically rehashes of the same info?
      Nothing can turn you into a successful copywriter. Only you can do that.

      That is "Responsibility 101"

      Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post

      JohnRussell, that's great feedback. My theory is a very small amount of their "students" will have great success (like an MLM), and those people will then become a spokeswriter for AWAI (similar to how MLMs work).
      Stop comparing MLM companies with AWAI. Do you even know what MLM is?

      AWAI sells information products. MLM is a pyramid scheme. (At least that's what it has become.)

      And for the small number of people having success ...

      Only 5-10% of people use the information they buy.
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      • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
        Originally Posted by PetarPrchkov View Post

        Nothing can turn you into a successful copywriter. Only you can do that.

        That is "Responsibility 101"



        Stop comparing MLM companies with AWAI. Do you even know what MLM is?

        AWAI sells information products. MLM is a pyramid scheme. (At least that's what it has become.)

        And for the small number of people having success ...

        Only 5-10% of people use the information they buy.
        Yes, I do know what an MLM is. I lived in Salt Lake City for a few years, and I saw plenty of these "network marketing" companies come and go.

        The comparison I'm making is that the lifestyle, results, and overall rhetoric used by AWAI in their marketing is very similar to the kind used by MLMs. Wondering if the results were similar, too.

        And I know that nothing works unless you actually do it. But in MLMs, there are plenty of people who actually give the "systems" a sincere try...only to find the system actually only works for a specific kind of people.

        I was hoping to hear from people who have experience with AWAI courses, not knee-jerk repetition of the mantra, "It only works if you do it!" That's obvious and true for anyone, but sometimes a system doesn't work, even if you do it.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnRussell
    They have produced successful students for sure.

    But they cannot inject cajones which is what is lacking in the vast majority of their students.
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    • Profile picture of the author MatthewRHallEsq
      Originally Posted by JohnRussell View Post

      They have produced successful students for sure.

      But they cannot inject cajones which is what is lacking in the vast majority of their students.
      I went with a friend to MLM meetings a few years ago to see how those types of organizations run their businesses. There seem to be three types of people who get involved:
      1. People who already fit the personality type of successful "associates" (those that can recruit really well -- usually 1% or less)
      2. Those who believe if they just follow the "system" they'll be successful -- they just haven't given it enough time yet (around 70% of people who attend the meetings)
      3. Those who show up once or twice and never do anything with it -- they'll be gone in a month (the rest)

      From what I've seen, you either are or aren't the first type of person. It's not really about skill, it's about personality. I think the kind of success promised in AWAI salesletters (and may other letters) is very similar -- you have it or you don't. But if you don't, you can learn some skills to compensate. You'll never be a rock star, but you can still make a decent living by developing your talents.

      That's my theory anyway.
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  • Profile picture of the author Copydog
    Matthew,

    I've bought about six of their courses
    and have found them excellent.

    But you can get a lot of good copywriting
    know-how from books – that cost far less.

    Also check out Gary Bencivenga's *Marketing
    Bullets* and archived articles in Clayton
    Makepeace's www.makepeacetotalpackage.com

    Eldo
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  • Profile picture of the author joe golfer
    Search the archives. Their must be 300 threads on this. Should give you some good info.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author marciayudkin
      My theory is a very small amount of their "students" will have great success
      This is actually true with anything.

      It's true about Berlitz courses, vocational training, dog agility courses and a Harvard education.

      Marcia Yudkin
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      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 Jay White
    Okay, let's see if I can help shine some light on this from a so-called Insider's point of view...

    First of all, I am NOT an employee of AWAI. I went to them in 2009 with an idea for a how-to-write-autoresponders course based on my success in this area and they agreed to market it if I provided the content. A month later, we released Autoresponder Apprentice, and it was their second biggest launch to date, if I remember correctly. Recently, we just rebranded it as Email Copy Made Easy and it still does very well. I also speak at their Web Writing Intensive every year, and do a few webinars here and there. But again--I'm not an official employee. It's more of a JV. Either of us can walk away at any time.

    That said, I think the Six Figure course is a tremendous basis for learning how to write direct response copy. You gotta remember--this company was initially created to develop more copywriters for Agora, so it's not like they're going to toss out some old, rehased stuff and call it groundbreaking. Agora's lifeblood has been great copy. And these are tried-and-true direct response copy principles that have been proven again and again and again to work.

    After the Six Figure course, AWAI is very good at giving you plenty of options to choose from as a way to position yourself in the marketplace, either by product/service niche or by copywriting niche. Other than my email course, you can find various programs on B2B, web copy, catalogs (which I was fortunate enough to be a part of with catalog copy master Herschell Gordon Lewis), grant writing, speech writing, resume, social media, you name it. It's a buffet of copywriting career choices, and copywriters from any level can come in and choose which one fits them best. This is great for those who get stuck on the "what niche should I go into" thing.

    As for "if you can be successful or not" I can only say this. The copywriters I have personally coached over the years all have the same basic dream--work from home, be your own boss, get paid nice sums of money to write stuff, etc--and I've given them the tools necessary to both improve their skills and market themselves accordingly. But I can't do it for them. They have to jump in the water with both feet and actually get wet. And that's where I see a lot of them stumble. They get all the training and know-how, but they don't actually TAKE ACTION for one reason or another. Or they start to, hit a roadblock, and stop entirely. And it's a shame, because I've seen some VERY talented copywriters who could make six figures and more easily get discouraged and toss it all aside.

    However, the people who do succeed are those who hit that roadblock, get a sledgehammer and bust that thing to pieces. They don't stop for anything. They keep moving forward and ascending the ladder until they reach the goal they've been searching for. THAT'S who I see come out of AWAI as successes--the people that actually do what they've been trained to do and don't let anything get in their way.

    Just my .02. Take of it what you will.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jomuli3
    Originally Posted by MatthewRHallEsq View Post

    I subscribe to AWAI's newsletter as part of my "market research" where I try to mentally reverse-engineer the strategies of other copywriters, marketers, and advertisers.

    AWAI seems to have a pretty solid formula for their audience, and they sell their narrative to their prospects well.

    But what I want to know is this: do their products even work?

    From what I've been able to tell, their copywriting courses are pretty standard. I haven't sat down and gone through them myself, so I can't say whether their marketing promises are just hype or actually deliver. And some of their advertising feels like MLM-type "Get an outrageous income fast! (results not typical)" empty crap.

    What's your experience? Do they work, or are they good at putting nice wrapping on an empty box?

    I'll share my theory about their strategy after I get a few responses so I don't poison the well too much.

    Thanks.

    I have a few questions/concerns about your thread.

    a) What informal study are you doing?

    b) How do you 'mentally reverse engineer' strategies?

    c) Does AWAI 'SELL NARRATIVE' or a copywriting course, among others?

    d) 'Do their products work?'

    Why ask this question? - To'mentally reverse- engineer' strategies?

    Are you looking for a copywriting course?

    e) 'Get an outrageous income fast.' - AWAI has respected top copywriters(may
    be the best team assembled in any copywriting program.)

    This isn't hype.

    Take for example a sales letter that was written to sell the
    'Six Figure Copywriting Course,' - 'Can you Write a Letter Like this One.'

    Prospects are cautioned not to regard the course as a 'get rich program.'

    Here are some of their world classs top copywriters.

    Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, Bill Bonner, Herschel Gordon, Joe Sugarman, Joe
    Vitale, John Ford, Nick Usborne, Steve Slaunwhite, Will Newman etc.

    d) 'What is your experience? Do they work or are they good at putting nice
    wrapping on an empty box?'

    Another question that shows that your intentions are not to analyze any
    strategies.

    You could be looking for copywriting training.

    Be truthful if you want help. State clearly what you want, we shall help you. There is a lot of business-building information on this forum.

    Open up!
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  • Profile picture of the author Phil
    I was preparing to write a reply here but then I read Jay White's post and I don't think I can add anything to that, other than that I've bought a few courses from AWAI over the years and gained a great deal of value from them.

    When asked, I always recommend Michael Masterson's 6 Figure Copywriting Course for anyone starting out, simply because I think it's the best introduction to the principles of Direct Response writing on the market - at a great price by comparison with the competition, too.

    So, to answer the OP's questions directly: What's my experience of AWAI? All good. They are a nice team of people to deal with and show a genuine interest in their customers' development. Do their courses work? Yes, they worked for me - or, rather, they provided me with a level of value that matched or exceeded the price I paid. Are they good at putting nice wrapping on an empty box? I don't think the boxes are empty, but they have some very good copywriters working for them who write good sales letters. Many of whom were originally purchasers of their products, by the way.
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