Boost Response With Your Copy

by Bill Glazer | February 20, 2011

Beyond the critical components of OUTRAGEOUS advertising, which I teach and highly recommend you use in your marketing, there are optional components that will enhance response even more.

While they do not have to be used every time, you'll find that when properly used, they become BIG COPY RESPONSE BOOSTERS. Four of the biggest copy response boosters that I concentrate on are:

1. Personalization
2. Double Readership Path
3. Photos/Illustrations
4. CopyDoodles

Today I am going to talk about the first two on the list, personalization and double readership path.


People love to hear the sound of their own name. Not only do they like to hear it, but they also like to see it in print, and that is especially true when it comes to advertising. Your name makes you feel like someone is writing specifically to you.

Therefore, putting your customers' names in your advertising is a very smart thing and relatively easy to do today given all the "wiz-bang" equipment and software available to printers and mailing houses.

Just how smart is it?

You can increase response by as much as 30 percent by using personalization, and it typically always pays for itself.

If you're a smart marketer, you should already be building or acquiring (or both) a good customer list anyway, so if you have this pertinent information, why not use the one part that will generate the highest response, the person's name.

Of course, when you combine using a name with some OUTRAGEOUS techniques, it helps matters even more. For instance, let's say your name is Steve. Would you like to get mail addressed to "Dear Resident," or would you be more compelled to open something a little different?

Let me tell you about a great example of exactly what I mean by this, one that I used in my own retail stores.

A couple of years ago, I wanted to have an end-of-season sale for my menswear stores. Now you've probably heard of a "Buy-One-Get-One-Free" sale, but unfortunately, everybody has heard of them and they are no longer special.

Instead, I came up with an OUTRAGEOUS twist to this sale. I decided to conduct a "Buy - 1 - Get - 1 - For - 5¢" Sale. And then I gave away a nickel. I wrote a sales letter and placed it into a 6-inch by 9-inch window envelope where the recipients could see their names from the outside. And they could also see the shiny nickel that was attached to the letter.

You can get large window envelopes and all sorts of hard to-find OUTRAGEOUS envelopes from Nickels are available from your local bank (sorry, I couldn't help myself with the OUTRAGEOUS sarcasm about the nickel resource).

Who would send a nickel in the mail? Wouldn't someone try to steal your mail before it got to the intended recipient?

I've actually sent them a couple of times, and they always seem to arrive just fine. And when they do, they have great success.

You'll notice a few things when you look at my nickel mailing. Of course you notice the nickel and the hand-drawn arrow pointing to the nickel.
But look, it's addressed to ...


Yes, I am not just asking any random customer, but I am asking Steve himself to "DISCOVER WHY GAGE FIRST CLASS MENSWEAR IS
SENDING YOU THIS?" The elements, as you hopefully are beginning to notice, all start to fit together. OUTRAGEOUSLY!

Notice that I used Steve's name twice in this letter. The first time was in the headline, which is the number-one most read part of any ad, and the
other time was in the salutation. I often will personalize a headline because I find it really grabs the reader's attention. Using it more than once is even more effective.

Of course, salutations in a letter are also a great place to personalize since people are already used to looking for their names in a salutation.

Yet, often a salutation that you'll find in most sales letters is "Dear Friend" or "Dear Customer." I used "Dear Steve," and that is much more
personal, and inevitably leads to the recipient, Steve, feeling as if this letter was created just for him.

Personalization can be used just about anywhere, and I have seen many clever applications.

Obviously, another great place to use personalization is in e-mails. You can personalize the subject line and the salutation easily. Typically this increases response from people who will open your e-mail and read its content.


Double Readership Path

The thing that probably caught Steve's eye to begin with from the nickel mailing that I just showed you was the nickel. A nickel in the mail? That's

Look again at that first page of the nickel mailer. It is not some sea of print but rather a visually enticing reach into the mind of the customer.
First, of course, there is the nickel. A nickel in the mail! Then there is a hand-drawn circle around the boldfaced offer:

"Buy - 1 - Get - 1 For 5¢"

Plus there are two different hand-drawn arrows, small print, big print, bold print, a numbered list, and a boldfaced reminder that goes onto the
other side. Yes, the next side continues the message.
And the boldfaced text of:

"Buy - 1 - ... get a second for ... ... ... ... 5¢"

And each line mentioning a different product with the same nickel deal is finished with a checkmark. But wait, there's more, and that's exactly what
you see next in big bold:

"Whoa Nelly... I'm not done yet. I have a gift for you!"

Of course, between there is more print, always more for the customer to read that will help to convince him or her exactly how great this is.

But graphically, this bold phrase in the middle of the page catches your eye. And it leads to a coupon with a photo of the aforementioned
free gift.

And still, there is room for my signature and an italicized list of P.S. #1 through P.S. #5 that includes, of course, the deadline.

Finally, at the bottom of the second page is all the pertinent information, including the company logo, credit cards accepted, address, phone number,
and Web site.

Of course, if you write a two-page sales letter (or a twenty-page or a two-paragraph letter), you must have something to say that is relevant to the customer. The words you choose and how you present them are important.

A lot of copywriting is human psychology. Knowing how the mind works, what trigger words to use, and how to present information in specific ways that cause people to buy is key. And so when you are designing any campaign, you don't want a piecemeal approach, but instead you are going after an overall look, feel, and theme to it that makes it cohesive and also gives the pieces their individual power if they are the only parts seen.

On the first page of the nickel mailer, you can see that it is clearly built for what professional copywriters refer to as a "double readership path." Think about how you would read any kind of advertisement. Your eyes will scan it very quickly and determine whether or not it interests you. In the case of my nickel mailing, you'd probably notice the headline, the nickel, and a few of the other featured parts of the letter such as the handwritten font and subheads.

And by using short sentences, long sentences, and an appeal to the reader with the idea of a free gift, the letter is readable and entertaining, and it
reaches many trigger points.

I just described to you the double readership path. This is the path that readers will take to see if they are interested in what you are saying to them. Then, if you grab their interest, they will read the letter in its entirety or at least until they decide whether this is for them.

Let me provide you with an OUTRAGEOUS examples that illustrate the double readership path.

The Puzzle Piece Mailer

In August 2006, I helped a client, Keith Lee, put on a retail conference and expo, and as the conference was approaching, he still had a few more seats available and a list of customers he knew would be interested in attending.

He puzzled over what to do. He knew he could get a better response if he could just come up with a way to solve ...Wait! That was it.

He would send out a puzzle piece attached to a long sales letter.

First, you see the puzzle piece and the words "I'm puzzled," and soon you learn that the puzzle piece can win you a cruise.

After looking closely at the puzzle piece, your eyes scan the page and you see a paper-clipped handwritten note from me urging you to hurry. This is not only a doublereadership path, but actually a form of double testimonial by adding my voice into the sales letter.

This is a great example of how the double readership path is perfectly utilized for longer copy.

In this case, the sales letter was sixteen pages. As you scan Keith's sales letter, notice the elements of this letter that catch your eyes. You see the puzzle piece, the paper-clipped handwritten note, bold words, larger font, different fonts, shaded boxes, photos, etc., and the more you see, the deeper you want to read.

Personalization and Double Readership Path are just two of the copy response booster you should be utilizing in your marketing. Implement these two strategies in your marketing and you will soon see boosted results.

Bill Glazer, one of the most celebrated Marketing Gurus in the world, who along with the legendary Dan Kennedy have teamed up to provide advice to over 130,000 entrepreneurs worldwide in every possible industry and profession. Bill is a professional speaker, marketing consultant and coach, and a much sought-after copywriter. His book, "OUTRAGEOUS Advertising That's OUTRAGEOUSLY Successful," made four Best Seller's lists shortly after it's release in 2009.

Glazer-Kenndey Insiders Circle, owned and operated by internationally known marketing personalities Dan Kennedy and Bill Glazer, is THE place where truly smart, progressive, aggressive entrepreneurs with a love for marketing, a sincere desire to get rich and richer (with no apologies for doing so), and an optimistic, forward-looking attitude, gather' to exchange and share timely information and "what's working today" strategies and examples. Get Bill Glazer's #1 Bestselling Book, "Outrageous Advertising" for FREE. Click here.


Chia-Li Chien, CFP®, CRPC, PMP; helps entrepreneurs to creating business value that transforms their world.  She is the author of Show Me The Money and columnist for & Fox Business online.   She is available for consulting, speaking engagements and workshops.  She can be reached at or


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