3 Keys to Success for Any Renewal or Re-Order Campaign

One of the very first marketing pieces I ever wrote – back when I was a marketing assistant – was a “special renewal” solicitation. I was still just a kid, maybe 24 years old, and I was in charge of the renewal effort for one of our company’s financial newsletters. We had a standard, timing-based […]

The “Ordinary” Movie Quote that Can Help Save Your Marketing Copy

As far as memorable movie lines go, it’s not anywhere close to the top of the list. But one line – from one of my all-time favorite movies – is so relevant to what I do for a living that I think of it multiple times each day. The movie is the 1989 baseball classic […]

One Simple Question You Must Answer for Any Successful Campaign

Earlier this week, an interesting Substack piece by a writer named Michele Catalano generated a great deal of attention on social media. The post – titled “the right to way ‘writer’” – dealt with how writers often feel some level of insecurity about referring to themselves as writers. To some degree, this is due to […]

Lies, Lies, Lies: The 3 Most Common Myths about Effective Sales Copy

In my three decades of writing and evaluating sales copy, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s most successful marketers. And in that time, I’ve learned a number of valuable lessons – from “Hall of Fame” marketers like Bill Bonner, Jay Abraham, Mark Ford…and others. One of the things I learned […]

Don’t Just Scare Them…Scare the Daylight Out of Them

It’s a classic phrase used when reviewing copy: “Don’t just tell the reader…show the reader.”   And it’s absolutely true.   The education I received in the early years of my direct marketing career drove that point home in a powerful way. Especially with fear-based promotions.   Some of the more successful promotions I’ve ever […]

The Proven “Secret” for Making Even the Most Boring Business Meeting a Success

One of the more boring — but necessary — regular functions during my role as a publisher was to participate in review meetings with upper management. But it was in these meetings that I learned a productivity “secret” that I’ve used many times over the years to turn otherwise boring meetings into unlikely sources for […]

The Marketing “Secret” it Took Me Over a Decade to Fully Understand

Back when I was in college, I spent two summers (and two winters) working as an intern for MBNA America. MBNA was a massive credit card company – specializing in affinity cards – whose headquarters were located in Ogletown, Delaware in the early 1990s. At the time,the company was massive, and growing rapidly…and it would […]

The Simplest, Most Critical Test to Perform on All of Your Marketing Copy

My early days in the direct marketing industry provided an amazing education. In just a few months’ time in the “real world” I learned more than my four-year business degree could ever offer in terms of business success. Of course, it was a highly specialized education that I was getting – in the world of […]

Secrecy or Collaboration: Why Sharing Valuable Business Lessons Can Be So Important

In any business environment, there is a natural tendency to closely guard your most valuable revenue-generating secrets. But that isn’t always the best – or most productive – policy. That’s something I learned early on in my career in direct marketing. Like most who were new to the direct marketing industry, I was stunned when […]