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How To "Disguise" Your Copywriting

Compel your visitors to Take Action! What to say, how to say it, formatting and more... Join us here to discuss writing sales letters, general copywriting, and which words work the best!

Moderators: angienewton, tknoppe, terrapin719, lisamariemary, Bensettle

Postby JosephRatliff » Thu May 22, 2008 9:49 pm

Ray,

I have been called "Smokin' Joe" by a couple clients...

Has to do with copy...not Philip Morris or anything, I am a non-smoker.
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Postby JosephRatliff » Thu May 22, 2008 9:51 pm

But as for you three...

Ray "The Million Dollar Man" Edwards

Ben "You Don't Have To" Settle (sorry Ben, I had to :) )

And...

Ryan "Mr. Smooth" Healy
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Postby Bensettle » Thu May 22, 2008 10:13 pm

No worries Joseph, I've had MUCH worse nicknames than that before 8)
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Postby Bensettle » Fri May 23, 2008 9:22 am

Another example of a disguised sales letter is this Bottom Line Health Magalog I got a few days ago.

The headline is:

"Why some doctors refuse to give you alternative treatments, even when they know they work..."

This sucker looks (and even reads) like a real issue of their newsletter.

In fact, I thought I must have subscribed to BLH or something when I got it. It doesn't even try to sell anything until page 6!

Not sure if this is a control or not, but it's always interesting to observe how a $100 million direct mail house is crafting their ads...

Ben
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Postby JosephRatliff » Fri May 23, 2008 4:35 pm

Ben,

That is a smooth headline. Just like velvet.
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Re: oh boy

Postby Kyle Tully » Sat May 24, 2008 6:00 am

Bensettle wrote:Great... now there's three of us arrogant, smart-arse copywriters here.

Wonder what'll happen when I tell the rest of my list to stop by...

Ben


You'll get at least one more... :twisted:
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Postby JosephRatliff » Sat May 24, 2008 7:58 am

Kyle,

Welcome to SSWT man!

The "smart-arsness" is overflowing :lol:
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Postby Bensettle » Sat May 24, 2008 10:49 am

Hey Kyle, what's shakin'?

Here's another disguised ad I remember reading long ago and that sold me hook, line and sinker on Dan Kennedy's "Magnetic Marketing" course:

http://tinyurl.com/548rko

It's more or less the transcribed text of one of his Peter Lowe conference speeches. But hot dam! I remember being dirt broke at the time and "cutting corners" (so to speak) with bills I had due just to buy his Magnetic Marketing course after reading this bad-boy.

Ben
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Postby JosephRatliff » Sat May 24, 2008 6:27 pm

Hey...

I actually have a "possible" disguised ad.

The David Ogilvy classic "The Only Sound You Will Hear .... Is The Electric Clock" ad for Rolls Royce.

Wouldn't that qualify?
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Postby Kyle Tully » Sat May 24, 2008 6:42 pm

Joseph, Ben... nice to be here.

Looks like a nice quiet place to hang out and talk shop. I even see Ray Edwards has taken time out of his busy schedule to share some wisdom. Nice!

I love these disguised ads, especially that magnetic marketing one. I've seen the live speech and that presentation pulled like crazy.

Really, all advertorials (like the Rolls ad) are disguised ads. They're deliberately designed to look like an article. We just don't see them as often on the Internet.

I've been laying out more of my letters like advertorials lately, ala Makepeace, and it's been working a treat.
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Postby Kyle Tully » Sat May 24, 2008 6:56 pm

Just as an aside, and I'd love to get your opinions on this, I think in a lot of cases your copy has to be stronger to pull off formatting a letter like this online.

Here's why...

While an "ordinary" looking salesletter might scare away a certain number of people, there's still a certain percentage who are trained to equate buying stuff to solving their problems.

Even if your letter isn't the greatest you can often win them over with 1 bullet... or even the hope that what you're selling will solve their problems. So you get a "safe" 1-5%+ response rate (give or take.)

Whereas if your letter looks like an article you really have to work to keep them reading. There isn't that "all I have to do is buy what they're selling and my problems will go away" feeling.

We don't tend to put a high value on an article, so if the prospect is bored (even for a second) they're much more likely to click away.

And if they really do think it's an article they're not going to scan to the bottom to see the offer at all -- so you miss out on the "oh what the hell, I'll give it a shot" crowd.

Thoughts?
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Postby RayEdwards » Sat May 24, 2008 10:12 pm

I depends on how good the writing is.

That's the bottom line.

On the plane back from WIS, I read a Harlan Coben novel. I read the whole damn thing on the plane. Why? Because he kept me turning the pages.

It all started with the first sentence in the book:

"I see my father with that shovel."

I had to keep reading - no choice.

I think if the writing is good enough, an "advertorial" is probably the best way to go in many cases.

Think about it: if I showed you an article that was about "7 Simple Steps Anyone Can Take To Make $1 Million As A Copywriter In 12 months Or Less"... would you place any value on that article? Would you read it?

What if you did read it... and by golly, you started to see that sure as sh*t, I had laid out the very method that would accomplish the promise in the title.

THEN would you place any value on it?

Again... the value we place on the article comes as a direct function of the quality of the writing.

And when it's an article, a lot of the reader's sales defenses don't just get lowered... they're non-existent. Advertorial ads work very well in the health and financial fields. I think they'd work in just about any field, if handled correctly.

No, they won't scan to the bottom to "look for the offer".. but if you can hook them into reading all the way to the bottom and give them a buying link without them every realizing they just read a sales letter... I think that's about the coolest copywriting you can do.
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Postby Bensettle » Sat May 24, 2008 11:52 pm

How's this for a "naked" ad -- no messing around, no disguises, not even a whiff of editorial.

An ad (classified ad?) that Ernest Shackelton said prompted what seemed like half of England to respond:

"Men wanted for hazardous journey. Small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness. Constant danger. Safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success."

Ben
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Postby JosephRatliff » Sun May 25, 2008 9:07 am

Ben,

I have actually seen that...and the response was like fantastic because it approached ego in a "silent killer" fashion.

I agree with advertorial approach, as long as you keep the reader reading.
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Postby Bensettle » Sun May 25, 2008 10:41 am

Hey Joseph and Kyle and Ray and Ryan and all my lurking friends,

Here's another "naked-as-a-jay-bird" ad that has been running for decades in various magazines and papers:

"Corns Gone In 5 Days Or Money Back"

From what I understand (and someone please correct me if I'm wrong, I have not actually responded to this ad), you go straight to an order taking process from there.

Moral of the story?

If a problem is specific enough (and urgent enough) and the offer is right, you can get away with showing your cards right out the gate.

What say you?

Ben
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