You’ve just stumbled onto one of the internet’s most remarkable resources for direct marketers and copywriters.
Because this is the ONLY place you’ll find in-depth interviews with “A” list copywriters – from legendary writers like Gary Bencivenga and Clayton Makepeace to in-demand copywriters like Parris Lampropoulos, Arthur Johnson, Carline Anglade-Cole, Kent Komae and more!
And these aren’t regular interviews – these are conversations between the best copywriters in the business. Clayton himself conducts most of these interviews and coaxes out the deep knowledge of the copywriting craft for you.
If the thought of an extended interview with Gary Bencivenga doesn’t already have you quivering with anticipation, you are obviously in desperate need of a quick course in direct response marketing lore.
Three decades ago, when I was just beginning my journey in this fascinating business, eagerly devouring everything by John Caples, David Ogilvy, and Dan Rosenthal I could lay my hands on, Gary Bencivenga had already served a personal internship with each one of them.
When I was barely scraping by as a freelancer – writing ads for water heaters and local banks and dreaming about breaking into the super-lucrative financial publishing business – Gary ruled the roost, writing one blindingly brilliant control after another for the biggest mailers in the industry.
Gary doesn’t know it, of course, but in a very real way, he was my mentor. I spent a fortune I didn’t have at the time subscribing to every publication he promoted just to make sure I got samples of his promotion packages.
Whenever one of Gary’s inspired promotions arrived in my mailbox, it was a red-letter day: Like the Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day all rolled into one. Studying those Bencivenga controls taught me more – and made me more money – than all the books by all the great masters who had gone before combined!
So let’s dispense with hype and horsesh*t: Right now, the Internet is crawling with charlatans claiming to be the greatest copywriter alive – and then urging you to pay them a fortune for their books and courses. Many are complete frauds – scam artists who have never had a single hot control for a major mailer – looking to make a quick buck off of you.
Other self-proclaimed experts really have made millions writing copy – most of it aimed at selling their own books, courses and conferences, but rarely if ever competing against top writers in the real world.
Only a handful of copywriters in our generation have ever competed at anywhere near Gary Bencivenga’s level over the long haul. And if our little fraternity held an election today, Gary would be unanimously elected King. Gary showed us the way and we worship the ground he walks on.
And as a bonus, Gary is the nicest, sweetest, most humble, and the most generous guy you could ever hope to meet.
Yeah, I admit it: I genuinely love Gary. I want to marry him and have ALL his babies.
… So as you can imagine, it was an absolute thrill to spend a full 90 minutes picking his massive brain for ways to help you get bigger winners more often.
And oh – by the way – If you're not already getting BENCIVENGA BULLETS – Gary's free e-zine, I strongly suggest that you get your subscription now. It is packed with gems that can't help but make you a better marketer!
Although Bob Bly has interviewed me many times before, I’ve never had the chance to hold his feet to the fire and that’s precisely what this issue is all about!
See, a couple of weeks ago, Steve Harris – one of our most loyal readers and EasyWriters Marketing Club Members – dropped me a line. “Please, please, please,” Steve begged, “write something on business to business copywriting.”
“Hmmm,” I says to myself, “I haven’t really written any B2B copy in a couple of decades. So what’s the best way to help good old Steve out?”
That’s when the name “Robert W. Bly” sprang to mind. Now, you may know Bob Bly as the best-selling author of about a bazillion books on marketing including The Copywriter’s Handbook, which has been highly praised by David Ogilvy. Or, you may have heard that Bob is a solid six-figure copywriter who I’ve frequently hired to work with me on promotions for my health and financial clients.
What you may not know is that Bob is also one of the few acknowledged masters of B2B copywriting – with 25 years of successful promotions for IBM, Intuit, Swissbank, Nortel Networks, Praxair, and a lot of others under his belt.
So if B2B’s your bag, this issue should be a gold mine for you.
When I first met Parris, he was about ten years younger, green and cocky as hell, and was willing to work for cheap. So I hired Parris and copy chiefed him on a few packages for Boardroom.
Next thing I knew, Parris was one of the hottest “A” list writers around – so hot, in fact, that I couldn’t even get on his schedule (or for that matter, afford his fees!).
Believe me – I’d like to take credit for his success. But the truth is, Parris came to me with all the goods: Great writing skills, considerable persuasive powers and a mind like a steel trap. When I saw his first draft of our first package together, I knew he’d be one of the great ones.
A few days ago, Parris agreed to spend an hour with me on the phone for this issue of THE TOTAL PACKAGE to talk about how business owners, marketing execs and copywriters can produce bigger winners, more often.
I gotta warn you – this is going to be a long one. So if you need a potty break, I’d suggest you do it now.
I’d also suggest that you save this issue – or better yet, print it out and stick it on your bulletin board. The concepts Parris shares with us will make you big money in the months ahead.
Here we go
Words can fail even the most experienced writers at the worst possible times. Like when you're trying to describe the indescribable: The perfect beauty of a fiery sunrise or a fine diamond, for example … or like right now – as I'm attempting to find words that adequately describe Carline Anglade-Cole.
Some folks, you just fall in love with the instant you lay eyes on them. Carline Anglade-Cole is at the top of that list for me. Now, I know what you're thinking: Sure Clayton adores her. He's a guy and Carline is drop-dead gorgeous. What's not to love? And yeah … I've got to admit – it's hard not to admire someone as stunning as Carline. No photo could possibly do her justice.
But beauty, as they say, is only skin deep; Carline has a unique beauty that radiates from deep inside each one of the 20 trillion cells in her cute little frame.
You can tell a lot about a person by looking at the people who are closest to them. Carline's husband Mick is a certified hero – a firefighter who has received commendations for saving strangers' lives at the risk of his own and suffering serious personal injury in the process. He is quite possibly the strongest, most confident, most dignified and bravest man I know, and has a mind like a steel trap. If I ever found myself in a foxhole, fighting for my life, Mick would be my #1 choice to watch my back.
Mick and Carline have blessed us all with four of the finest kids the world will ever see. Each of their three daughters, Milan, Tiara and Jael – and their not-so-little-anymore guy Chadam – is an absolute gem: A living, breathing testimonial to the amazing balance of love and discipline, as well as the twinkly-eyed fun and serious work ethic that their parents have instilled in them.
Carline herself is, as I have said so many times, a force of nature. She exudes more energy than Three-Mile Island and has the metabolism of a marathoner. As The Redhead says, "Carline burns 10,000 calories a day just being Carline!" (Oh – and a helpful hint: If you are ever so fortunate as to share a meal with Carline, guard your plate carefully; because as far as she's concerned, "share" is the operative word. Once her food's gone, yours is fair game!)
When you meet her, you're going to love her, too: For her raucous, often, ribald sense of humor, her astonishing creativity, and the blinding brilliance that rocketed her to America's top rank of "A" copywriters in a fraction of the time it took me. In her very first year as a freelancer, Carline raked in well over six-figures in royalties – and she has never looked back.
Today, Carline makes millions in royalties creating huge multi-year controls for Healthy Directions, Sun Chlorella, Cawood & Associates, Boardroom and all the other top health publishers and supplement purveyors in the country.
The highest professional compliment I can pay Carline is simply this: I have personally reserved nearly ALL of her writing time for 2006. I want her working for me – not the competition!
Finally, you should know that Carline is, in a very real sense THE TOTAL PACKAGE: In fact, this whole thing was her idea. A year ago last April, she talked me into creating an e-zine to share my thoughts about direct response marketing and copywriting with you. So if any of what I've said to you has helped, you have Carline to thank.
A few days ago, Carline was kind enough to spend an hour on the phone sharing the secrets of her stellar success. As you'll see, I rarely had the opportunity to get a word in edgewise …
Several years back, I gave up freelancing to "go exclusive" with a single client. Between 1999 and 2003, we quadrupled the size of his customer files, along with his revenue and profits.
Last year, I ended that exclusive arrangement and started talking with my old clients again – and all I heard was "Arthur Johnson" this and "Arthur Johnson" that.
Seems in my absence from the freelance scene, a new guy had showed up created a gaggle of hot new controls for Boardroom, Agora, Phillips and others and had joined the elite ranks of our industry's "A" level writers.
I've mentioned Arthur several times before in THE TOTAL PACKAGE – particularly, his red-hot "Had Enough?" control for Dr. William Campbell Douglass. It's a textbook case on how to electrify a maturing market and get a blockbuster control when everyone else is failing.
Recently, I had the opportunity to ask Arthur about the secrets of his stellar success. His answers will be of tremendous value to anyone who writes sales copy or works with writers.
Nothing does my heart more good than to see a young copywriter take root and blossom. And of all the copy cubs I’ve worked with over the years, NOBODY has blossomed bigger or better than Kent Komae has!
Kent’s hard-selling direct mail packages are legendary in the health supplement industry. His fabled controls for Sun Chlorella, Healthy Directions, Health Resources and many other major mailers have made Kent one of the top two or three choices for supplement companies looking to grow – FAST.
I first hooked up with Kent back in the 1990s – when he was an eager younger writer, looking to make a name for himself (and, of course some truly obscene royalties). I hired him to help me on several health promotions for a favorite client – and on his very first draft, it was clear to me that this guy had what it takes!
Since then, Kent has gone on to fame, fortune and a jamb-packed dance card as one of the half-dozen or so most in-demand copywriters in the alternative health industry. I’m proud to count him as one of my closest friends.
A few days ago, Kent took time out of his insane schedule to talk copy with me – here: Listen in