Two Copywriting Tips for Smart Direct Response Marketers

Smart direct response marketers know the importance of being able to write good, strong sales and marketing copy. Well written, compelling direct response copy is the lifeblood of profitable marketing campaigns and everybody reading this article should feel the need to improve their copy writing skills.

Fortunately there are number of excellent books and courses for direct response marketers to improve their copy writing skills – unfortunately for the day-to-day business owner, these often take a lot of time and energy to complete.

If this sounds like you, I have good news for you, because in this article I am going to share two very important direct response copy writing techniques that won’t cost you a dime and which will help you to become master direct response marketers in minutes! Trust me, if you implement just these two ideas in your future copy, you should see an immediate improvement in response!

Direct response marketer copy writing tip #1 – Write to only one person

One of the most profound copy writing strategies is to write “me to you.”

In all of our marketing campaigns, we are not writing to just one person and unfortunately our copy sounds vague and impersonal. When you sit down to write an email for your 2,000 person list, your mind is not focused and your writing style suffers. Rather than writing “me to you” you’re writing “me to many” and the difference is obvious.

Here’s a very cool strategy that many successful direct response marketers I know use to help get a crystal clear picture of who you’re writing to.

What you do is you get a photo of your best customer or prospect; the one person who, if you had hundreds more, would take your business to the next level.

Now put this picture in a picture frame and set it right next to your computer monitor and the next time you sit down to write an email, sales letter or some other form of direct response marketing copy, look at the picture and write to this one person!

Great direct response marketers don’t write to the masses – they write to this one person. By doing this, your style and tone will instantly change and will result in a more personal message.

For a recent workshop with direct response marketers, I actually had picture frames made up and on the frame, I had the acronym W.I.I.F.M. imprinted on it, which stands for “What’s In It For Me?”


The idea behind this was to remind every attendee to write to their best customer or prospect and to always be thinking “what’s in it for them.”

I use this technique when I sit down to write copy and I suggest you do the same.

Here’s an example of how I use it in my business. Let’s say I want to write an email to my entire list about a webinar I am hosting. I think about certain folks who I believe would benefit the most from the webinar and then I pick one. In this case, Kathee and I write my email to Kathee.


If I have her picture, I literally put that picture in front of me before I write and I will even put her name in the salutation. I type my emails in Word and then we bring them over to Infusionsoft, take out “Kathee,” put the merge field in and send it out.

Why do I do this?

Because mentally and physically, I don’t want to be writing to the thousands of folks who are on my list, because when I do that, I write in a very impersonal manner and it comes across as impersonal.

But if I’m picturing Kathee and I literally have a picture of Kathee on my desk to remind me of what she looks like and who she is, my writing style is going to be different. And that’s the writing style you want to have when you’re communicating with your customers and prospects.

Think about this for a second. If you’re sending an email to a good friend of yours, odds are, your subject and the way you write the email is extremely different than if you were writing an email to your whole list.

And yet, when we write e-mails, auto-responders and follow-up sequences, you can tell the writer was not thinking of one person but instead shouting out to the masses.

Many direct response marketers simply picture their best target market and writing to that one person. Hence why all their copy will sounds great (and yours will sound better).

Direct response marketers copywriting tip #2 – Write like you talk!

The second tip I want to share is as beneficial as the first and just as simple to implement in your next direct response marketing piece. It also helps reinforce the “me to you” feel of your copy.

The technique, widely used by direct response marketers, is to write like you talk – which is quite different than what we all learned in school.

I don’t know about you, but I grew up in corporate America with a lot of MBA types around me. Trying to digest their written correspondence was like taking a college course and often left me confused and bewildered.

Successful direct response marketers realize, one of the most effective copy writing strategies is to write like you talk, which for some of you may be profoundly different. Forget all the jargon and impressive sounding words. Your marketing copy is not the place for all that.

For me and other successful direct response marketers this means tweaking my copy and removing formal sounding words and phrases – like changing “you are going to benefit” to “you’re going to benefit.”

These simple little changes make your copy sound much less formal and wordy and convey a much friendlier tone.

So there you have it. Two easy-to-implement, copy writing strategies for direct response marketers who want to improve the response of their marketing.

I would love to hear what you think of these strategies and your own techniques for creating a more personal, me to you sound in your copy. If you’re a direct response marketer and writing your own copy, leave a comment below!


  1. Dan Liebrecht on March 12, 2011 at 8:40 am


    Two great points, plus, I really liked the tip of using an actual picture as a practical reminder to help keep our writing targeted to customer benefits (WIIFT). Thanks Mike!

  2. Linda Steele Thom on March 14, 2011 at 4:09 pm


    Great article! Years ago, when I was in TV news, I remember being told to “talk to ONE person” while on camera. Your article makes the point that this advice also translates to copywriting!


  3. Neal Browne on April 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    You’ve focused vitally on the seductive tendency of all of us to think of thousands of readers, or listeners, or viewers, when in fact we reach them only one at a time. You’ve nailed it! It’s all about one person talking to another “over coffee,” or the electronic equivalent. Thanks.