Friday, [11:12] PM
I find it amusing when copywriters brag about their alleged successes on their websites.
One copywriter was bragging about a 46% response rate he allegedly got from a lead gen piece he wrote for a client.
Oh yeah… a measly 46%?
Ha! That ain’t nothin’.
I got a 100% response on a lead gen piece I wrote a few years ago.
Yup, you read that right… 100%!
When it was all said and done, guess how much cashola I eventually made from that 100% response.
Go ahead, take a wild guess.
None, nada, zip, a goose egg… ZERO!
So how impressed are ya NOW with my 100% response?
You see, response rates don’t mean Jack Crap.
Neither does how much traffic you’re getting to your website, how many mooches you’ve got on your freebie-seeker e-mail list… or any of that other stuff dumb rookie marketers brag about.
The ONLY metrics that really matters are your ROI on your marketing dollars… and…
How much cashola are you making from the business
for your greedy little self!
So bragging about response rates is kinda stupid.
Here I was with a 100% response and going broke. And I know marketers getting a .28 response… and getting filthy stinkin’, honkin’ rich.
So let the clueless rookies brag about response rates. That stuff doesn’t impress a “gun.”
One other thing I’ve noticed about the plethora of copywriters coming out of the woodwork online nowadays. They never talk about their failures. They lead you to believe they’ve never had any.
Hey, I’m the first to let you know I’ve picked a bunch of “whoopsy daisies” during my copywriting/entrepreneurial journey… and I’m PROUD of my failures.
When you’re swinging for the fences, you’re going to strike out most of the time. To break the world record for home runs, you’re gonna have to break the record for strike outs, too.
I’ve lost MILLIONS of dollars (literally) of my OWN money making a bunch of mistakes with my OWN businesses… putting my OWN money where my mouth (and pen) is.
But I don’t look at losing all that money as failure. I consider it…
A multi-million dollar investment
in my marketing education!
So yeah, I’m not the least bit embarrassed to share my mistakes. I’ve learned wayyyyy more from them than my successes.
For example, here’s a doozy I made when I was still a rookie:
I hit my first home run and started thinking I could do no wrong. (Typical arrogant rookie mistake.) I’d written a full-page magazine ad that was kicking complete booty in every single magazine I ran in. It was bringing in 3x to 5x ad cost on every insertion.
BTW… back then I thought making 3x to 5x ad cost on a front end offer was a GOOD thing… a VERY good thing.
Another stupid rookie mistake. I robbed myself of an absolute multi-million dollar fortune with that mindset. (But we talked about THAT in Part 1.)
Anyhoo… my ad was so successful I started rolling it out in every media I had available in that market at the time.
Penthouse magazine saw my ad running in various bodybuilding and fitness magazines and started courting me for my business.
They showed me all kinds of circulation statistics showing how many of their readers had a strong interest in fitness, were supplement buyers, other supplement companies were running ads, yadda yadda yadda.
I believed them. I didn’t know any better.
(NEVER believe any of the stuff in the magazines’ media kits. They inflate their circulation numbers and make you believe every single one of their readers makes $200k+ a year and spends 10% of their income on whatever it is you’re selling.)
Back then a full page ad in Penthouse was $45,000. (Thanks to the private banking cartel that committed the biggest fraud in the history of the world on December 24, 1913, that’s equal to about $90,000 in today’s dollars.)
I did the best negotiation job I could and got the ad rep down to a test rate of $15,000… AND 30-day net terms.
I was so successful with this ad in every other media, I assumed it was a given I’d get at LEAST 3 times ad costs… maybe more. So the minor little detail that I didn’t have the $15k didn’t seem like a problem.
Ya know… it seems like every time I start thinking I can do no wrong, something humbles me.
Since I had been rolling out so quickly, I was reinvesting every penny back into the business. I had a pretty big cash flow… but very little net.
So it hit me pretty hard when that ad only grossed $4,700… and I was on the hook to Penthouse for $15,000 in 30 days.
So I applied the same negotiation skills I used to get a $45k ad for $15k on net 30-day terms… and negotiated a payment plan for the balance I owed them.
I felt like such a complete schmuck. (I’ve been told schmuck in Hebrew means “useless penis.” If that’s true, it’s a completely accurate description of how I felt at the time.)
Now maybe to you, the lesson here seems quite obvious… but back in my rookie days I had never thought about it before this Penthouse incident.
What’s the lesson?
No matter how successful your copy is… and no matter how many different media you’ve successfully run in…
Every insertion in a new media is a new test!
Just because your copy is kicking booty in one magazine doesn’t mean it’s going to do as well in another.
Just because your ad is doing great on one website doesn’t mean it will do great on another.
Just because your copy is working well online doesn’t mean it’s gonna do well in an offline media. And vicey-versey.
My ad was pulling 3 to 5 times ad costs in about 6 or 7 magazines. I was SURE it would be a grand slam home run in Penthouse. And with their huge circulation, I was already counting the money and picking out which Mercedes I was going to buy.
But alas, no “winner, winner chicken dinner” for rookie DD.
I didn’t think I was taking a big risk. I ASSumed my past success with that ad in other media guaranteed success in Penthouse, too. But in the end what I’d done was roll the dice with money I didn’t have.
Hard lesson to learn… but I’ve never made that one again since.
Make no mistake about it…
You’ll learn MUCH more from your failures than your successes. So don’t be afraid of failure… because for every failure, you’re much closer to success.
And trust your Uncle DD…
Just one success can make up for all the failures… 1,000-fold.