(What follows is the outline I wrote for myself in advance of recording the video. This is just an outline. Not a regular post or article.)
A while back I was sent a bit of a challenge by a reader who didn’t agree with much of what I have been writing about the thrust of my course, Conversational Copywriting.
Here’s what he wrote… slightly edited for brevity…
“I disagree with your claim that traditional copywriting is dead. I think traditional copywriting works just fine. I work in direct response and the tried and trusted approaches to selling are timeless… both in print and on the web.”
Well… I’m going to agree and disagree with him on this.
A bit of history. My own background is in offline direct response. In the days before the web I wrote direct mail for over 15 years. I know how it works.
And yes, there are still a few industry verticals in which hard-core direct response sales copy works. That’s absolutely true.
- Investment newsletters.
- Alternative healthcare information and membership sites.
- Income opportunity products and courses.
- Prepper and survivalist products and services
- And a few others…
For products and services like these, the old-school direct response works fine. It really does. Even online.
But the vast majority of businesses in the US, North America and the rest of the world do not fall into those narrow industry verticals.
Even within those verticals, there is a demographics squeeze.
Traditional direct response can work well against the Boomer generation. But not nearly as well against Millennials and younger.
It’s a dying approach that targets an aging audience.
Also… some forward-thinking marketers are showing how you can tackle those same verticals in a more conversational way.
In my course I mention Jeff Walker, who has done an amazing job of turning the old-school, long-form sales letter on its side. Go to his site, ProductLaunchFormula.com. Sign up for his email list. I’m not telling you to buy his product. But just to experience his sales process is an education in itself.
And yes, the way I see it, Jeff if definitely conversational in his approach. He’s a master at it.
Old-school versus conversational is a debate that will likely go on for a long time.
But as you can tell, I’m pretty clear about where I stand on this.
Do you have a question for me? If so, add it in the comment box below.
NOTE: I have an entire course devoted to the craft of Conversational Copywriting.
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