David Ogilvy’s Guide To Direct Response Advertising Part 9

Element 9 of Ogilvy’s direct response ad to end all direct response ads is simple: long form copy gets more sales than short form copy (with one caveat: “but not always”).

That’s how to sell something and stick to the truth – sit firmly on the fence 🙂

Once you’ve read a statement of facts like that, you fall into one of two positions:

1) You want to know more, eg. “hmm, what type of long copy sells more then?”

2) Oh. Great. See ya!

Ogilvy is after #1 readers. So he tells it like it is, which means, in short, miss out the boring bits that readers don’t read and add facts and figures instead.

He adds one more piece of advice here: be specific, generalities turn people off. Wise words. Next time you look at a long form ad, check it for specifics. How many cliches do you see? How many pointless sentences are there? Does it deliver exactly what it promised in the heading?

We’re nearly halfway through this Ogilvy breakdown series. More on Monday. Sign up to the Science of Copywriting weekly newsletter to ensure you don’t miss any parts.

PS. In case you have no idea who David Ogilvy was, the soon to be billion dollar advertising agency he founded in 1948 is still going strong today long after his death. Whatever he was doing back then is still working – and better than ever.


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David Ogilvy, direct response


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