Did I mention to you in any of my past messages that I used to collect old copywriting books?
It’s become my new hobby, and it’s so much fun.
What is really cool is looking back at old techniques and formulas and seeing how they might be reworked today.
One of my favorite copywriting books is “How to Write Better Sales Letters.” It was written by Earl A. Buckley and published in the 1940s.
What I like most about this book is the number of techniques that I
hadn’t seen before–especially some of Buckley’s headlines, which
are very different from those created by John Caples, but no less
Here’s one of my favorite headlines with a subhead:
“Would You Wash And Iron A Shirt For A Nickel? We Will For Less Than That!”
Wow! That is totally incredible.
One of the keys to creating a successful direct mail or email
promotion is connecting with people.
This headline connects directly with the homemaker of the 1940s,
who is working around the house daily and who, as this ad so
perfectly spells out, is doing all this work for next to nothing.
“Would You Wash And Iron A Shirt For A Nickel?”
Of course, today this ad could be reworked to a higher number.
“Would You Wash And Iron A Shirt For $2?” Absolutely not, because
your time is so valuable.
That’s another point.
This headline strikes at the most valuable commodity all of us
have. It’s our time! Our time that cannot be replaced.
The subhead “We Will For Less Than That!” offers a solution for
your time (and, perhaps, your respect) problem.
Collectively, this headline and sub headline combination states the
problem and offers the solution with a major benefit that that
relieves you of the burden of work!
And that’s really the beauty of the insight that lies within this
There is much to be learned from evaluating classic headlines. In
the months ahead I promise to bring you more evaluations like this
All good wishes,
Doug D’Anna, Copywriter and Creator of
The Million-Dollar Copywriting Formula
P.S. If you are looking for swipe file material, there are plenty of place to find them. One of the best places is Who’s Mailing What.
I will be posting a few of my swipes in the future. I will send an announcement when I release each one.
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