From the category archives:

Copywriting

First of all, who is Mike Palmer?

There was a time in my life I would have asked the same question.

Mike Palmer is a financial copywriter who writes for Stansberry Research. Depending on how deep you are into the copywriting world, you may also know that Mike is the guy who wrote “The End of America” promotion — which was reportedly one of Stansberry’s most successful promotions of all time.

According to John Forde, “In the newsletter world, ["The End of America"] might just be the most successful promotion ever written. Last I heard, it sold over 600,000 subscriptions to a $39 newsletter.”

Here’s what AWAI says about Mike:

Mike Palmer is head copywriter for Stansberry Research, and was voted AWAI 2009 Copywriter of the Year. Mike’s stats are impressive. He’s helped grow Stansberry Research into what is probably the biggest financial newsletter publisher in the world today.

Since 2002, Stansberry Research has mailed over 26 million promos written by him. When you add in his online efforts, Mike’s copy has brought in over 400,000 paid subscribers.

I don’t know if these numbers are current, but they’re spectacular even if they are outdated.

Given how successful Mike has been, wouldn’t you like to know the creative process he uses for writing breakthrough promotions?

If you answered “yes,” then keep reading…

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The subject line you use in your email is the second-most important factor in getting your email opened, read, and acted upon.

The most important factor in getting your email opened is what you put in the “From” line. Obviously, you can’t change that every time you send an email, but you can experiment with subject lines.

But what makes for a good subject line? And how do you write them?

To help you answer those questions, I’ve collected 45 of the best subject lines that have shown up in my inbox over the last six months and compiled them here. I’ve not only included the subject line and the date I received it, I’ve also added my comments as to why it works.

Even better, I’ve organized the subject lines into categories so it’s easier to compare subject lines that do the same thing — in different markets and to different lists.

By studying these subject lines and modeling them, you’ll be able to write more powerful subject lines that get your emails opened and read.

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A Copywriting Code member writes:

“I was wondering if you can offer some tips on how to write good openers. I already have some basic templates for writing openers but it would be great to read your take on it.”

First, in case you don’t know, an “opener” is simply how you open a sales letter or sales message after the headline and subhead. The opener is generally the first sentence or paragraph or possibly a series of two or three short paragraphs.

Next to the headline and subhead, how you open your sales message will have the largest effect on how well the piece works.

There are a few different approaches to writing openers, and we’ll cover all of them in this lesson. So let’s get started…

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I’ve just finished a brand new report called “15 Copywriting Mistakes that Kill Conversions (and Hurt Clients).”

This 3,500 word PDF is available for immediate download.

Read it on your computer or print it out so you can take notes as you go.

Here’s the link to download the PDF. (Right click and select “Save As” to download to your computer.)

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In the War of Art, Steven Pressfield writes, “It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write.”

At the time Pressfield wrote this, it was probably fairly accurate. Today, I think the observation deserves to be expanded. It’s more like this:

“It’s not the writing part that’s hard. What’s hard is sitting down to write, turning off all distractions, and actually writing the first sentence.”

I recently published a post on my other blog about how much time is lost in transition. It’s all the starting and stopping — like a car in a traffic jam — that crushes momentum and brings productivity to a grinding halt.

With that in mind, I offer these productivity tips for copywriters and anybody else who writes copy.

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