Free Marketing Course – Lesson #9 – The Big Fat Copywriting Headline Lie

This lesson destroys the myth and lies about the value of headlines in your ads, sales letters, brochures, and other marketing documents.

According to marketing master David Ogilvy, your headline accounts for up to 90% of your sales success.

He’s wrong.

Your list —the people you’re communicating with— is the most important element in your marketing communication.

I believe it accounts for 99.9999999% of your success.

Here’s why.

Let’s say you have an excellent headline and your company sells business suits to Big & Tall men. Of what value is it to you to send your sales message to all the subscribers of Petite Miss Magazine?


This would be a complete mismatch of what you’re selling and what they are interested in buying.

If you invest money into a campaign that reaches the wrong people for your message you’re guaranteed to lose money.

This mistake is so heavily violated that it should be The Eleventh Commandment of Marketing: Though Shall Not Mail to Complete Strangers Who Have NOT Identified Themselves As Having A Connection With You Or A Prior Interest In What You Offer!

Where might this be violated?

On the internet.

How often have you surfed Google or Yahoo or some other search engine and ended up on a site that was completely unrelated to what you were searching for?

It happens everyday.

Those unscrupulous marketers believe that as long as they have someone, anyone, showing up to their site they have a chance of making money. So they use search engine cloaking to ‘pad’ their site with false keywords that have nothing to do with the content you see once you click on their site link

That approach might work if you’re selling one of the top items that most of the internet world is already searching for (like travel, sex, credit-related services, mortgage-related services, etc). But padding a site with false keywords unrelated to your content will not work for most of anything else. That’s a wasted effort for both you and your visitor. Don’t do it.

Another area this is violated is direct mail.

I hear it several times a year from people who think direct mail doesn’t work. They claimed to have tried it and failed.

Here’s the deal, what they did was grab a bunch of names out of the phone book or off a reverse directory disk of names and addresses and then sent their offer off. And when things went bad they blamed direct mail as an ineffective marketing method.

Hey! Just because the name and address was a real person doesn’t mean they have an interest in your offer.

A better way to go is to get a list of people who already want what you’re selling.

Where do you find such lists?

The SRDS is one source (

SRDS carries several lists broken down by category of what people are interested in buying and interested in reading about. The SRDS is extremely expensive. Buying a copy for yourself is not recommended. Use their website or check your local library to see if the library subscribes to the SRDS. That will save you several hundred dollars.

About Andre Bell
Andre strives to help marketers discover the near-immediate impact of honest ethical marketing practices. He has advised hundreds of business owners on how to keep their dignity as they implement direct response marketing methods that work. Andre is one of only a handful of remaining professionals who can boast having become an online marketer a decade before the World Wide Web came into existence. And as a serial entrepreneur Andre launched his first direct mail business around the age of 12-years old. He has been building and advising ever since.

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