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What Is Direct Response Copywriting? Can It Double Your Sales?

The most profitable investment you can ever make


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Nick Chai

2 years ago | 7 min read

Picture this…you saw an advertisement while scrolling on your phone. It was so good that you go to Google to look for the brand name. And you fell in love with what they sell immediately.

Their vibe, banners, and products stood out like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It didn’t take you long for you to pull out your credit card and hit the ‘confirm purchase’ button. The purchase made you feel good. You’ll probably remember the brand for the rest of your life.

That’s direct response copywriting in action. Once you realize how powerful and effective direct response copywriting is to your business, you’ll never see advertisements the same way again. It’ll be the most profitable investment you can ever make.

What is direct response copywriting?

Direct response is an old-school yet successful form of copywriting used by world-class copywriters in the 50s all the way to the 80s. It’s still a viable form of copywriting nowadays if done correctly.

In simple terms, direct response copywriting is a form of copywriting that triggers an immediate response from the audience to perform a specific action.

Just like the example above. The aim of the copy is to get an immediate response whether it’s a sale or an email sign-up. If you’re running advertisements, you need direct response copywriting to be profitable.

Because direct response copywriting is the most persuasive type of copywriting in existence. It will make you more money than you can possibly imagine.

Persuasive copies double sales

Persuasion is how well you can make your customers respond to your offer. The more traffic you convert, the more sales you get — a conversion logic. You might be wondering if direct response marketing is effective in doing so.

L’Oréal spends a whopping $8.3 billion and Samsung spends $9.9 billion in direct response advertising. If these giant brands are investing tons of their budget on direct response marketing, it has worked very well for them. You can bet it works for you too. This type of copywriting is highly beneficial when your business is still in its growing phases.

The image is taken from Tools Mega Boss.
The image is taken from Tools Mega Boss.

Direct response copywriting persuades people to take the desired action on your page whether it’s a purchase or an email sign-up. It works by putting together facts, features, and benefits to help your prospects make the buying decision faster. Thus, you can double or triple your sales in a short amount of time.

The best ways to apply it

Direct response copywriting amplifies its persuasive power when used in the right places. Here are some of the best places to use it.

Advertisements

When you disrupt your prospects with your sales message, you have to make sure every word counts. Your prospect might not be in the state of buying. It’s the job of your advertisement to attract their attention and create the desire for your product or services.

The best way to create tremendous desire is through written words or a dedicated sales video. Both of these methods involve direct response copywriting. Advertising is a form of disruptive marketing. You need an immediate response from your prospects to run successful campaigns.

Email marketing

For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42 (DMA, 2019). That’s a huge return I would say. This is why email marketing remains to be the top customer acquisition and retention channel for businesses across industries.

Your email copy needs to be on-point to convert leads into paying customers. If your prospects like what they read, they’ll click your buttons and links. If they don’t, the only button they’ll click is the back button. So, you should lead the email with value and close it with a strong call-to-action.

Landing pages

Landing pages are pages that are dedicated to converting your traffic into leads or customers. The copy determines the conversion rate of your landing pages, especially when you’re going for a conversion campaign.

This is where direct response copywriting plays its part. The job of the copy is to convert as many visitors as possible. Therefore, it should match the awareness level of the prospects for maximum persuasion.

Websites

Your website is the first impression of your business. This is where your prospects get to discover your business as a whole. And its role is to help your prospects navigate through your pages and learn more about your business.

Words on your website need to be clear and simple. It’s better when your prospects can read and understand what you’re trying to say in a single glance. You always want to keep your copy short to convey messages as fast as you can so your prospects don’t feel overwhelmed trying to read chunks of words.

Printed materials

Last but not least, hard copy promotional materials. Things like magazines and newspapers aren’t entirely extinct. In fact, they still work for the older generation who prefer curated and well-written editorial content. These are the old-school ways of copywriting.

Printed copies work very well because your prospects can hold and read them in real-time. Unlike digital content, you get less distracted by ten other platforms when you read printed content. You can freely immerse yourself in the content however long you want.

Benefits of direct response copywriting

There are many benefits tied to this form of copywriting. But for the sake of this article, we’ll outline some of the obvious yet important ones. This will give you a clear idea if direct response copywriting is what you need.

Immediate response

One of the best things about it is you get to see an immediate response from your prospects. They’ll either like it or hate it. And the only thing that matters is what do your prospects like and what’s working.

This form of copywriting is oftentimes used with paid traffic. Targeted paid traffic is directed to a specific landing page for conversion. Based on their response, you can optimize your campaigns accordingly.

Highly persuasive

The best thing about direct response copywriting is its persuasive power. The way the copy is written has a unique way of creating a desire for the offer within the readers usually on the spot. That’s what I like about this form of copywriting.

You don’t need many long-form blogs or articles to persuade your prospects to buy from you. One well-written direct response copy is enough to convert your cold audiences. You can further increase your conversion with email marketing if your traffic didn’t convert in the first place.

Instant trust and rapport

Your prospects will trust you when you’re able to specify their problems in detail. In other words, they trust you because they feel like you’re one of them. You know them so well you can describe how they feel when their problems arise.

Direct response copywriting put together a list of problems and solutions in one place to help your prospects make the buying decision. Trust and rapport are formed when you can specify your prospects’ problems and present a suitable solution.

Some examples of direct response copywriting

To illustrate how a direct response copy looks like, we’ll have to go back to the past. Back to the time when old-school copywriters reigned over the industry. Note that these examples are for illustration purposes only. I do not own any of these illustrations. I give all the credits to the owner of these illustrations.

Million Dollar Smile Ad by Gary Halbert

The image is screenshotted from Swiped.co.
The image is screenshotted from Swiped.co.

It’s too small to read but if you’re interested in reading it, click this link. In this advertorial, Gary was writing to sell a teeth whitening procedure and the dentist himself, Dr. Thomas Gleghorn.

As you know, dental services aren’t cheap which is why Gary wrote a detailed advertorial to persuade his prospects to choose this particular dental service by Dr. Thomas Gleghorn. The ad is easy and engaging to read even though it’s a long-form copy.

Gary used a wildly interesting point-of-view (third person) as he wrote this ad. He described the dental process from a satisfied customer’s point-of-view which made the ad less intrusive and relatable to his prospects. For anyone who is reading this ad, it’s like a friend was recommending the best dental service in town.

Mr. X Sales Letter by Jay Abraham

The image is screenshotted from Swiped.co.
The image is screenshotted from Swiped.co.

Click this link to view the full sales letter. This another classic example of direct response copywriting in action. Jay’s Mr. X sales letter is selling a $397 book which consists of years of his business experiences. Anyone who gets a hand on this book will get $50,000 worth of valuable knowledge.

The sales letter is written in a way that feels “exclusive” and “ rare”. Jay wanted his readers to feel that way to increase their desire for his product. Every paragraph and sentence is structured carefully to stir emotions within the readers. Emotions can be overwhelming but it did a good job of compelling readers to take action.

This was not a typical sales letter with a straightforward story. Jay wrote the letter saying that “his business partner” exposed his valuable knowledge in a book format and sold it for a mere $397. He planned to use his intellectual property for a $50,000 masterclass for those who were keen to work with him. Now that it was “leaked” to the public, it was sold at $397 per book.

Conclusion

Direct response marketing is the powerhouse for all businesses of any size. You should know that sales and revenue are in direct proportion to your traffic and leads conversion. And the only way to increase those conversions is through the effective persuasion of direct response copywriting.

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Nick Chai

Your sales message is the fundamental key to marketing success. I'm writing to share everything I know about neuromarketing so you can apply what works to get more leads and sales. Follow me for more content on persuasion and marketing.


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