The Levison Letter

The formula for direct response copywriting success

May, 2012

A few weeks ago I got a call from a prospective client who was interested in having me copywrite a lead-generation letter for him.  


He told me that he had heard good things about the response rates I get for my clients and hoped that I could bring a lot of creativity to his project.


His comment, which of course was very kind and well meant, showed that he was looking for the wrong quality in a direct response copywriter.


You see, he shouldn't have been searching for a "creative" writer. He should have been looking for someone who knows the winning formulas.


Does this sound like I'm splitting hairs? I sure hope not. Because the distinction between copywriters who are "creative" and direct response copywriters who use tried-and-true techniques is a crucial one. 


If you're developing a so-called "image" ad that's building awareness or brand image, soaring creativity is much to be prized. The freshness, the imagination, and sheer verve of a creative copywriter are valuable indeed.


But if you're trying to generate immediate response, if you want to gather leads, if you want to make SALES, you'd better get a writer who knows what works!


The simple fact is, a seasoned direct response copywriter knows from past experience and rigorous testing exactly which writing techniques are effective for a given target audience and offer.


Let me give you a concrete example . . . 


Let's assume that you're trying to sell a new, low-end software solution to accountants. A so-called "creative approach" might lead you to envelope teaser copy that sounds something like this:


"Opening the door to a world of possibilities"


You know the kind of headline I mean. One that's puffy, pompous, self-impressed, and often doesn't mean a darned thing. 


A direct response writer would know that, if you want to get the envelope opened, you need a benefit-oriented, battle-tested headline that gets right to the point:


Announcing new LevisonAccountSoft for just $199!"


The writer would then add another line that would encourage immediate action:


Announcing new LevisonAccountSoft for just $199!"

Order by May 15 and get a $50 rebate!


And how about setting up the headline-cluster with an "eyebrow" line that signals relevance to the prospect . . .


Attention Accountants!

Announcing new LevisonAccountSoft for just $199!

Order by May 15 and get a $50 rebate!


And while we're at it, let's use a "details inside" kicker underneath:


Attention Accountants!

Announcing new LevisonAccountSoft for just $199!

Order by May 15 and get a $50 rebate!

(Details inside)


The bottom line? There are tried-and-true ways of improving response rates that your copywriter should have at his or her fingertips. Knowing what works trumps "art for art's sake" creativity any day of the week.


Remember . . . direct response formulas that have proven themselves over the years are not to be scorned. They are to be mastered and used!


If you want me to start making money for you, give me a call at
(415) 461-0672. Let's talk about how I can write a powerful, persuasive sales letter, email, or Web page that can build profits fast. Or CLICK HERE to shoot me an email right now. Want to visit my Web site? CLICK HERE. Let's go to work! 

How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Visit my Web site 


Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

Home | Free E-newsletter Subscription | Testimonials | Clients
Back Issues | Articles | Consultations | Books | Contact Info

© 2013, Ivan Levison & Associates. All rights reserved.