What's in Kim's Mailbox?
Nearly a year and a half ago--in a different time...in a different place...heck, in an entirely different world--I hosted an intimate two-day live event in Washington, DC.
I decided to invite a few fellow copywriters to come as guests to be on a speaker panel. They're both top A-list copywriters who I consider close friends and colleagues I deeply respect.
Who were these two top A-lister "besties" of mine who joined me in DC?
One you've been hearing me mention a lot lately: the amazing health and supplement copywriter Carline Anglade-Cole.
The other is top financial and health copywriter Richard Armstrong.
(Both are not only "besties" with me and each other, they're both Copy Insiders. Which means they're probably reading this right now!)
When Carline recently came out with her new book, "My Life As a 50+ Year-Old White Male", Richard shared the following on Facebook...and I think he summed up how much in awe we all are when we take a look at Carline's brilliant (and often "crazy") headlines for which she's become famous...
Here's what Richard wrote (I've heard him tell the same story before in person)...
I sat next to the famous copywriter Carline Anglade-Cole at a speaker’s dinner once, and she started telling me about some of the direct-mail projects she was working on and some of the bizarre headlines she’d come up for them.
I said to her, “Girlfriend...” (She lets me call her girlfriend.) I said, “Girlfriend, I’d like to be inside your head for five minutes, because there is some crazy sh*t going on in there.”
All the major A-List copywriters have their strengths and weaknesses. (They won’t admit they have weaknesses, but they do.) I can honestly say, however, I’ve never known another copywriter who was as outlandishly creative, imaginative, and courageous as Carline Anglade-Cole.
Today I want to invite you to crawl up inside Carline's "crazy" brain, and figure out how she comes up with her super-clear, super-memorable, and super-attention-getting main headlines for her many successful direct mail controls.
She gets deep into her favorite, often unconventional, tactics for brainstorming and coming up with compelling headline ideas in her "My Life as a 50+ Year-Old White Male" book. She even includes tons of examples.
But she goes one step further. On the last page of her book (in both Kindle or paperback form), Carline tells you how to get exclusive access to 15 full-length promo PDFs, including several of those featured in her book, absolutely FREE!
(Since Carline typically sells her "kick-butt control" promo PDFs for $49.99 each, the value of this exclusive swipe file is $749.85 just on its own! Yet you can snap up your copy of her book for as little as $9.99. I know, "crazy!")
But it gets even better (or "crazier"). When you forward your paperback book or Kindle order confirmation email to firstname.lastname@example.org, she (actually her project manager Cynthia, who also attended my event), will send you your own copy of Carline's very own headline "cheat sheet".
This is something you'll want to print out and keep right next to your computer for the next time you're coming up with new headlines (or email subject lines or Facebook ads). These headline starters don't just work for health or supplements, they can work for just about any product or service!
I just got my hands on these crazily-successful swipe file promos Carline's giving away to people who get her new book myself! (Even though I already have several of the actual printed copies stuffed away in the direct mail swipe file cabinets in my office.)
Let's take a quick look at a few of them right now and look at the brilliance behind the "madness"...
Carline says when her client first showed this promo to list brokers in order to rent their lists, they were concerned people who got this promo in the mail would be offended. But they decided to risk it, and the risk paid off big.
This promo became one of Carline's most successful controls. This promo mailed for 6 years. Carline even used a variant of the same headline, "Wanna Go?" with another frustrated 50+ white male sitting on a toilet, and got another 6-year control out of it!
In both cases, the headline and image perfectly sum up and illustrate the primary pain point or desire of the target prospect. There's NO confusion about who this is for or what it does. Not one iota!!
And the cover copy below the headline does a great job of painting a picture of their dream...what life will be like for them once this problem is solved...in clear, vivid language.
Carline even works in removal of risk ("Guaranteed to work for you or it's FREE") and some strong credibility (the Mayo Clinic research burst in the lower right corner). All in all, it's brilliantly done!
It's a good thing Carline decided to go with her "gut" so to speak on this, and ignore the naysayers who said it wouldn't work. That's courage! Now let's take a look at a few more where Carline broke the rules and got a big winner...
You've seen one anti-aging supplement promotion, you may feel like you've seen them all! It's hard to stand out from the crowd, since it's one of the 'hottest" supplement sub-niches out there the past few years.
But Carline found a way to do so with this "crazily" courageous cover. Her super-direct language in the main headline makes a big promise, going head-on with a deep-seated fear her target prospect has. She then brings in the unique mechanism in the deck copy, while weaving in tons of credibility and curiosity in the rest of the copy.
It's that guy in the suit dangling over a group of sharks circling below him that really grabs your attention and works perfectly with the main headline. How could you NOT stop and read this further, versus tossing it in the trash?
And by naming specific health concerns on each of the circling sharks' fins, Carline gets specific enough to call out her target prospect, while casting a wide "net" (so to speak) to broaden the promo's appeal.
Let's take a look at one more super-successful front cover that's definitely outside the box...
Once again, Carline is speaking in her prospect's own language and clearly communicating a benefit they want. The rhyming of the main headline has a power and appeal that's almost like the power of stories...we're innately wired to hear lyrics in music this way, just like we are for stories.
At the same time she showcases the simplicity of the solution, while keeping the copy fun and engaging (just like Carline is in real life!)
And the images used in the design work perfectly with the copy to stop the prospect in their tracks. There's no way this isn't going to stand out in someone's mailbox.
Heck, it's making me hungry just looking at it! Even the masthead image instantly telegraphs that this is for people interested in CBD products.
Okay, it's time you get on this "crazy train" before it leaves the station...so make sure you head over to this link and grab your paperback or Kindle copy as soon as you can! And make sure you collect your swipe file and headline cheat sheet "freebies", too...
I guarantee the few hours you spend reading Carline's new book will give you a ton of insights you can turn into successful promos. Not only that, it's packed with many valuable lessons about marketing and achieving whatever you want in life.
Yours for smarter marketing,