I’ve been fortunate enough to freelance in some of the best direct response agencies in the business, including two long stints in London agencies Ogilvy One and Harrison Troughton Wunderman under Steve Harrison, widely acknowledged as the best direct marketing expert of his generation.
Many of the direct response copywriting examples shown below are from those two places. Others are from other agencies, or for my own clients.
The two types of direct response copywriting
There are essentially two types of direct response copywriting. One is the hard sell, American style. Looooong text. Every third or fourth sentence in bold. Or italics. And at the end, a P.S., a P.P.S, and maybe even a P.P.P.S.
You may have received a few of these through your letterbox – companies like Reader’s Digest used to love them. Nowadays, you’re more likely to see them online.
This kind of formulaic direct response copywriting can work, and it’s a service I can offer. But be aware that direct mail formulas are, well, formulaic. And there are a lot of these get rich quick, DVD resale promotions out there, chasing an increasingly wary audience.
Then there’s the other type of direct response copywriting that builds your brand and complements the rest of your communications. Most of those shown above fall into that category.
Sometimes it’s just a straightforward sales letter. Often it includes a brochure or other enclosure.
Also worth considering is adding a little creativity. Would a postcard or two suit your purposes better? How about a brochure that’s larger or smaller than usual, an unusual shape, or printed in a different way? Sometimes a little freebie can help. As long as it’s relevant and interesting, it works and it doesn’t break the bank, it could be worth a (mail) shot.
As you can see from some of the examples shown above, they can make your communications really stand out.
You can also see some examples of digital direct response on my digital page
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