To paraphrase the late writer Charles Bukowski:
“The worst thing for a copywriter is to know another copywriter, and worse than that, to know a number of other copywriters. Like flies on the same turd.”
And for a juicy example, look no further than Flakebook.
Case in point:
The great Brian Kurtz recently said he saw some copywriter in a Flakebook group full of copywriters say if you receive an email without a P.S. you know it probably came from an amateur, or certainly from someone who has not studied direct marketing.
Which I found especially amusing.
For one, if you’ve been in many flakebook copywriting groups you’ll probably notice (a few exceptions notwithstanding) they are often populated with nothing but amateurs as far as the people participating (with the for-real pros lurking, if they are paying attention at all).
So it’s kind of ironic in that sense.
Experience and even just observation say different.
Can’t speak for anyone else. But I’ve lost count how many emails I’ve sent that made lots of the green stuff that didn’t have a P.S. One (of many) examples would be the emails I wrote in weight lawss. Hardly any of them had a P.S. And yet, those emails (according to the traffic and metrics guy on board — Jim Yaghi) said we converted 40% of the list to buyers of our product. In fact, one particular email did so well, I “lended” it to one of our Oceans Four clients a couple years back, who sells in the fitness niche, and against people with up to 2 million people email lists.
What happened when he used my shamelessly P.S.-less email?
This email put us in 1st place on this launch and doubled our sales on day 2.
unheard of in our industry. SICK 🙂
happy to do a testimonial and/or case study to help you out any way I can…
btw… all the big guys are blown away that were only sending 1x per day…hitting unopens in the afternoon and crushing them on salezzz…. They’re all sending 2-3x per day and they still can’t keep up. BOOYA!
appreciate you Ben!
If only that email had a P.S…
My guess is, the reason copywriting fanboys mindlessly parrot what they have read many of the great copywriters say about sales letters needing a P.S. is because they haven’t figured out yet that an email is not a sales letter.
They’re two totally different media, with different dynamics, tones, and goals.
And even with sales letters they don’t always “NEED A P.S!”
Yes, I know the P.S. is supposedly the second most read part of a sales letter (you can put your copywriting book citations away). Yet, it’s funny how many great sales letters written by some of the best copywriters who ever lived lacked a P.S.
Take Bruce Barton’s 1925 donation request letter for Berea College.
It was sent to 24 rich men.
Asking each for $1,000
($14k in today’s mooney.)
And, it got an astounding 100% response… with nary a P.S. in sight.
Or, take the famous “Robert Collier Letter Book”. Many of those sales letters serve as “cheat sheets” even for some of today’s best copywriters (or so I heard the great Dan Kennedy say once, and he is all about the P.S. if you read his copywriting trainings).
And yet, from what I remember, pretty much all of them lacked a P.S.
(I don’t have it in front of me, so I might be mistaken… but I doubt it.)
Or, the great Gene Schwartz.
Easily one of the best copywriters of all time.
Yet, his “Burn Disease Out Of Your Body” sales letter is mysteriously lacking a P.S.
(And he said that letter was pulling something like 9% to cold lists — something I doubt any of the copywriting flakebook group bar flies could even come close to doing.)
Or, the man often regarded as today’s greatest living copywriter Gary Bencivenga — his “Farewell” seminar DVD’s sales letter has no P.S.
I could go on and on.
But, you get the gist.
Does this mean I’m anti P.S.?
I use them all the time.
Some of my highest pulling sales letters (especially in the self defense niche) had multiple P.S.’s because they made sense to include them. Yet, my Email Players sales letter, which until recently has remained unchanged for 6 years (I am finally split testing another version), lacks a P.S.
I don’t see any reason to have one.
(Other than if I cared to impress other copywriters, I suppose.)
Same goes for all of my emails. Some of mine have ‘em, most don’t. If it makes sense, and has a purpose, I put one in. If I have to shoe-horn one in just for the sake of it, I don’t bother.
That would, ironically, be an amateur move.
Anyway, hopefully I’ve offend some of the wagging tongues in the copywriter flakebook groups.
If for no other reason than this email lacks a P.S…
Whatever the case, if you want to learn how to write emails people look forward to reading and buying from (whether you use a P.S. or not), check out my “Email Players” newsletter.
And, to make it fun, Yours Grinchy has an idea.
Since the December issue went out late anyway, I will make a 24 hour special offer.
It goes like this:
If you subscribe within the next 24 hours (i.e. *before* 6:30 am PST tomorrow, December 13th — don’t be a dork if you aren’t in my time zone and say you didn’t know, look it up if you don’t know what that is in your time) I’ll send you this month’s issue with your subscription (normally it’d be too late to get it, the deadline was November 30th). It has 13 examples of high selling emails I’ve written which all (or, at least most) lacked a P.S. Including the weight lawss one above that made so many sales it was “unheard of” in their industry.
(It’s the email on pages 2-3).
You got 24 hours from the time I’ve sent out this email.
Which means, depending on when you’re reading this, it could already be too late.
And since I don’t regularly sell back issues anymore, it’s practically the only way to get it.
Here’s the link: