Episode #84 – Drayton Bird on Using Old & New School Copy Techniques To Trudge Your Way Out Of Corporate Zombieland

by John McIntyre

Drayton Bird is on the podcast today.

And it’s a doozy.

Drayton’s been in the game longer than you’ll ever guess,

And still going strong well into his later years.

He had an agency in the U.K. back in the day,

Then sold it to David Ogilvy,

..sticking around to work with him for years after.

David keeps his skills sharp by practicing his copy every day,

He follows and studies current email marketer’s emails,

Making his understudies do the same.

Today Drayton will let you know that you need to connect with your readers better.

That you need to STOP writing like a corporate drone.

Because if you’re in corporate zombieland territory,

You’re in a bad place.

If you want to be successful,

The ONLY way to be successful..

..is to tone it down.

To write like you talk.

Let Drayton explain this in his words:

He’s an entertaining guy with a ton harsh truths that you might not want to hear.

Be prepared to face yourself with certain questions afterwards.

In this episode, you’ll discover:

  • the one thing Drayton did to become a successful and wealthy marketing pro (hint.. you’ve done it before most test days at school your whole life)
  • the most important book ever written about marketing, and sadly how few have read it
  • tiny little things can make a huge difference (DON’T THINK SO BIG all the time)
  • the number one most important and vital step you need to be taking when building email marketing campaigns (it’s actually two very related steps)
  • a shocking discovery made about the Kellogs Marketing team (even fresh-meat marketers know the importance of this one)
  • yet another stupid-crazy discovery about corporate marketing pros’ opinions on ROI
  • Drayton’s Golden Rule that will make each email you send beneficial for whoever opens it
  • The Read It Out Loud method (would you actually say what you just wrote down to someone in person?)

Email Marketing Podcast Episode 1


Intro and outro backing music: Forever More by CREO


Raw transcript:

Download PDF transcript here.

John McIntyre: It’s John McIntyre here, the Auto responder guy. It’s time for episode 84 of the McMethod Marketing podcast where you discover how to get more customers with less effort and make them spend more every time they buy from you.

Now today, I’ll be talking to Drayton Bird. Drayton is a well known copywriter. He’s a direct response guy and he is one of the big yachts, let me put it that way. He actually quit an agency in the marketing industry that was in the UK, Britain, as far as I’m aware, and sold that to David Ogilvy of Ogilvy and Mather and he went to work with David for a while. So, this guy Drayton, he is a bad ass when it comes to copywriting. He’s not really an internet marketing guru or anything like that, he’s an old school director that gets shit done kind of guy. So that’s Drayton Bird and that’s what today is about. We are going to talk about how to not write like corporate zombie land. He says, “Don’t imagine you’re a pretentious corpse writing to other corpses.” Ok, he has kind of posted on his site about this, this whole idea of when businesses write emails to their customers, clients or any other businesses, they make it sound so freaking boring, they sound like they are these pretentious corpses and I really hope, if you’re listening to this podcast, that you are not doing this with your business because, I mean, you need to make it fresh. Now, that’s going to mean something different depending on what market you’re in, yes, but don’t use all the corporate language speak. Try something, mix it up, be friendly. Anyway, that’s what we’re going to learn all about today. So I don’t need to talk about that right now because you’re going to hear about it in a few minutes’ time. To get the show notes for this episode of the email marketing podcast go to www.mcmethod.com /84.

This week’s McMasters inside of the week is really really simple. One thing I’ve noticed recently, while talking to a variety of different people, people much more successful than I am, who’ve been in the game a lot longer than I have.  Often, we have dinner, we have coffee, and we talk about business and what works and what doesn’t. When I first started hanging out with these kind of people I used to think that maybe there’s a secret. What’s different about them? Why are they successful? What are they doing differently? Thinking that there’s something like a magic bowl of special ability they have and, you know what, there is no special ability. There’s no magic thing to it. Every time I speak to one of these guys about this secret, they all go back to, “There are no secrets. You work hard and you do what others want. So you might be like ‘I don’t want to wake up at 10 am because I can, I work online, I don’t need an alarm, I’ll wake up at 10 am’. Well that’s great but I bet you there’s someone out there who is willing to wake up at 7 am to get his work done and I reckon actually, that there’s someone out there who’s going to wake up at 4:30 am  and he is at the office by 4:45 am  in the morning to get started. I mean all things being equal, the guy gets up at 10 am, how is he going to compare with the guy who gets up at 4:30? There are other diminishing returns (not clear) with this and you obviously need to sleep at some point, but the idea here is that if you need to wake up at 6 am every day and get to the office or if you want to be at the office by 6 am to work and that’s going to make a big difference in your business, then do it. Do whatever it takes, I mean, this depends whether you are in a small or lifestyle business where you can live on the beach in Thailand, for example. There are no beaches where I am actually, unfortunately, or whether you actually want to build something big. This is going to mean something different for different people and you want to get clear on the values and once you’re sure how big you want to go, you want to commit to it, you want all in and like I said, work hard and do what others want. Do what others want. That is the secret to success. This is the McMasters inside of the week.

If you want to get more insights like this, you want to join McMasters. McMasters is a McPrivate training community. There’s a forum in there, write in there, where you can post, you can ask questions and get advice from myself and other members. It’s also set with training products and email marketing and sales files and really, it’s all about how to get more customers with less effort so you can grow your business and maybe, you know, maybe you don’t have to work at 6 am or maybe you can work at 6 and just make way more impact anyway so that’s McMasters. A little more about that go to the mcmethod.com/mcmasters and I’ll see you inside the forum. That’s it for now. Let’s get into the interview with Mr Drayton Bird.

It’s John McIntyre, the Autoresponder guy and I’m here with Drayton Bird, now Drayton is a long time copywriter,  a direct response marketing consultant and he actually worked with David Ogilvy and I want him direct so that’s Ogilvy and Mather and Ogilvy said that Drayton Bird knows more about direct marketing than anyone else in the world. So with that in mind I thought I would see if Drayton wants to come to the show and talk a bit about email marketing and the history of email because he’s been doing this for a while, so we’re going to talk about email and, in particular, one post which we’ll get to in a minute which is ‘I’ll just grab a towel on that because look at you, you’re excited (unclear)…the towel is Good Email, Bad Email, The Right Way and Let’s spoil the Living Shit out of You on How to Write Emails, so we’ll get into that in just a minute. Drayton, how are you today?

Drayton Bird: I’m very old, I’m at least a day older than I was yesterday. I’ve just been in my kitchen here in Bristol in England and I discovered that I’ve got maggots in the rubbish. This has caused a major panic—

John McIntyre: –when you picked up the phone, you said, ‘Hang on a second, I’ve just got a minor crisis going on right now,’ so—

Drayton Bird: We forgot to put the rubbish out last week. I’m not going to upset people about telling the full horrible home –. Okay, I’ve been in this game for about 50 odd years. I came into it because I wasn’t making any money as a journalist and what’s interesting to me about email is that everything has changed in the last 20 years. I started in advertising, got very interested in the kind of advertising that got results or a direct response, built up a business in England, in London which became the biggest direct marketing agency around and then sold it to Ogilvy and Mather. I worked for Ogilvy and Mather for about 8 or 9 years and I still kept in contact with David Ogilvy for the rest of his life. He was a great mentor for me, but I am a copywriter. I write copy every day, I’m not the world’s oldest copywriter, but I’m 78 years so I must be running it close. Before you scout me, I was writing some copy this morning. What’s interesting to me about email: the first thing that was interesting was that I was used to sending out direct mail. Direct mail cost money to send out, substantial amounts of money. You have to print the stuff, stick it in an envelope and get somebody to send it and so on. Once somebody came along and said ‘There’s this thing called email and it doesn’t cost you anything’. Well, that’s a very important fact, you know. A positive advantage derives from people who find something that is thrust unnaturally. I took cheap compared to the other methods that people are using so email was incredibly cheap and also that was new and I can remember, I spoke at a conference in the Netherlands about 20 years ago and somebody from Sysco said to me, “Hey, we’re sending out emails and getting a 10% response, how about that?” I mean I laughed out loud. You get 1% response you know you’re doing pretty well, I had to think, ‘How does this differ from what I’m used to? How does it differ from advertising? How does it differ from direct mail to get response? And I discovered that to all intends and purposes there’s very little difference indeed except for technical reasons that do with the nature of the medium. For instance, let’s take the two factors that determine whether people will read your email or not. They are: Do I know this person? Do I know who masters this direct mail in advertising? Broadly speaking, if somebody knows the advertiser, they are twice as likely to read the advertisement than they are not to. If somebody knows the advertiser, they are at least twice as more likely to open the envelope in a piece of direct mail. Same thing applies, so, very often the most important thing in an email is, “Do I know you?” so we said this morning that I got a thing from…, the subject line was “From Ricky Murray…From Ricky Murray.” I get a lot of this from so and so. I don’t know who the hell Ricky Murray is, I don’t care who Ricky Murray is although is opened it. It was such a stupid email because I like to look at them. So I opened it to see if Ricky Murray had anything to say and  below there was a cryptic line and I still didn’t what he was talking about. So what’s the second thing that matters when you send out any communication, be it direct mail or advertising? Whatever it might be, the second main thing is, ‘Does this interest me? Now…so one of the things you…you get it every day from somebody, some of the things that say, “No subject”. I don’t know you and you want to talk to me about nothing, great! And this happens all the time. I often think that the other reason I made a living in this business is not because I’m any good but because often a lot of people are very very stupid. Some of the golden rules that you can apply which relate to an icon in communications, let’s take the headline in an advertisement. If you have a headline which is hard to read your audience isn’t going to work very well. If you have an email where the subject line is more than 40 characters long, some say 35 characters long, then people are not going to see the whole of that subject line, so you better be damn sure that what you say at the beginning of those words, that whatever you are saying is interesting enough to keep people reading on or alternatively, you’ve got to make damn sure that what you have to say fits into 40 characters. That is an area where the nature of the medium determines the tactics that you use because everything I’ve discovered, and I’ve done, God knows how many, split tests over the years, and everything I’ve studied most people shows that long headlines in advertisements work better than short ones. They work better than short ones because they can say more, they can make a more precise promise. On the other hand, you can’t do that with an email subject line, so that sort of thing influences the success or failure of an email. The same questions come up time and again. Should we have a short email? Or should we have a long email? Now one of my colleagues, I have a relatively small business and he’s certainly a writer, but we have discussed it around various countries. He was writing that you should have a very short email that leads into a long landing pledge. But another man whom I respect a great deal, Daniel Levis, who makes more money than God, sitting out somewhere in Canada sends out very very long emails inviting people to very very long events. We’ve been asked…

John McIntyre: I actually just spoke to him. I did one of these interviews with Daniel maybe two weeks ago.

Drayton Bird: Oh really?

John McIntyre: Yeah, so he’s doing a long email to a long long sales pitch …to an even longer event…

Drayton Bird: …And he …again, another thing that people talk about is, ‘How often should you mail? Daniel mails virtually every day of the week. I mail virtually every day of the week. Bob Larry, whom I respect enormously, only mails, I think, 2 days a week. Corporate people tend to think that if you mail people more than once a month you are overwhelming them. The only thing I can say about that is that the one certainty I can give you is that, generally speaking, study whatever large corporations are doing, and do the opposite. Because the route to success in a large corporation is through climbing your way up the corporate ladder. Not necessarily doing a better job. Fitting in with the corporate guidelines, not necessarily doing a better job. One other thing that occurred to me when people ask about emails is, “When should you email? What day should you email?” I was talking to another of my partners, we have a business called Young Birds, which is essentially younger people who work for me, write for me, who write copy which I’m creatively directing, rewriting general (not clear)…that one. Gerald finds that Thursday is the best day for him. Other people say other days. I have no idea what… my other partner (not clear) thinks that he likes Sunday, Monday. You know, his theory is that anybody who’s writing out an email of Sunday is very serious. I noticed that yesterday, the day before yesterday, Saturday, Daniel Levis emailed on Saturday, so did I. I don’t normally do it so you really have to test and find out what works for you.

John McIntyre: Well, it sounds like, how do you resolve this? How do you explain this difference between …I guess you say you’re exhausted that you’re doing emails daily, Bob does twice a week, you know, everyone seems to have a different strategy even the actual emails themselves looks very quite a bit …now what …if someone, they either don’t test or they don’t have a volume required to test this sort of thing, or they just want a best practices idea of what they should do, what do you think? Should they …what is your suggestion?  If, I know they can test it, but if they have to pick one of the other how often would be mailing and how long would the emails be?

Drayton Bird: I cannot …I really don’t know. I honestly don’t know. And I don’t think anybody knows. I’m a great collector of quotations and George Bernard Shaw said that ‘the golden rule is that there is no golden rule’. And it depends what suits you. There are certain things that I think I can say with some confidence. Number 1, some of the people who make more money than anyone else are the people selling investments, people like The Motley Fool, for instance, the Daily Reckoning. I study their stuff very carefully. They send out incredibly long emails, their landing pages are incredibly very long. I once took the trouble to measure how long one of the Daily Writings landing page was and I watched out that if you printed it out it would be 233 pages long. But I happen to know these people make a tremendous amount of money and of course they–. I think that they, again going back to my experience in advertising, the rule there was, the more interesting the subject was to people and the greater the amount of money involved, the longer the copy should be. In other words, if I’m selling somebody, well, which I have done Perfect Brick (unclear) …or Bobby, which I also have done; there is a hell of a lot you could say. There isn’t a tremendous amount you could say about Bobby without going to jail. But on the other hand, the most expensive product I’ve ever sold or helped to sell, was the Air Bus which was an airoplane, which cost a lot of money, I don’t think that I would have sold it with two or three words, but the other issue of course is what should the format be. A great amount of people lose a great deal of money by sending out emails which are, in effect, like leaflets. They are mostly designed in htmo…there’s lots of colours …this, generally does not work as well as things that look like text. Until you’ve got somebody signed up, somebody interested, somebody who’ll join your list, and that way you can start sending out more elaborate looking things. My partner is an Italian lady and she works in the financial services area, in fact, she does most of the marketing for a very very successful investment firm here in Bristol. The most successful of its kind in this country, one of the most successful in the world. And what she does is that she uses things that look like text to get people and after that she sends out things that look like newsletters. I wouldn’t argue with that very much. She trained with me, but she’s bloody sight better than me now. There’s a moral from the story somewhere.

John McIntyre: Okay, so you’re  saying you can, at least initially, you have to engage people as a person using text, being interesting but over the time, once you have that relationship and that rapport you can actually get away with sending, or maybe, do even better to send nice fancy emails that have colour and images, and all that sort of stuff.

Drayton Bird: I think it is appropriate that even the most surprising, I’ve got lots of collections with different texts that I’ve written, so one area you’d think would work very well was sort of jazzy, consumery, exciting visuals  is gaming, betting. …and I’ve got one such a free mail where they did some test between three different designs, one that just looked like text, one was fairly interesting looking with a bit of colour in it where we had lots of stuff going on,  very interesting visual. The text one …so I think it’s so easy …if you’ve got people you can’t send out things that look like leaflets and again, there is the parallel with direct mail. One of the things that I discovered about direct mail was that the most important thing in a direct mail in a mail pack is the letter not the not the leaflet. But a lot of people still send out the leaflets without letters. And there reason for this is that if the communication is a personal communication, which an email is, then it should look personal. Even the language that you use should be personal. My own view is that if you want to be any good at this, you have to do the same things that you have to do with everything else, you have to study it. I spend…God knows I should be, I’ve been surpassed here, I should have given up years ago, but I still study every day the emails that I get and I tell my people to study them and since we were talking about Daniel Levis, I told my people ten days ago. I said, “Read this series of emails from Daniel and see what you can learn from them.” Because he does things that other people don’t do. He has a consistent theme in his communications. He makes the most…(unclear) process and then he proceeds and, in effect, to challenge people to make them justify them but he writes an awful lot of copy. The theory about the length of copy is really simple, the theory is that nobody is forcing the ready to go read all these stuff. The reader can stop whenever the reader likes. It’s up to you to how long you can keep people interested. But the longer you can keep people interested, the more likely they are to buy it and higher percent of them are likely to buy and it is as simple as that. There are an awful lot of things going on at the moment and they are being tested in this field of online communication. So I have a thing, which is a monthly program called Askdrayton. This actually started a year ago… over a year ago… with a series of emails and a long landing page,  a long landing page that is laid out, is not laid out very sleekly, but is laid out. If anyone wants to see it, just go Google askdrayton.com and you won’t see what it looks like. Or maybe you won’t see what it looks like because about talking to John Benson who is… what he calls very ugly videos I think. Which are, in effect, are nothing more than just the script rolling across the page. So I thought, well, give that a shot.

John McIntyre: …Drayton.com and the video is already loading so the copy is long …

Drayton Bird: So is the video, the reason the video is loading is because it beat the written landing page 3:1. But the words are identical. That is a startling example of the fact that you can take something and the means by which you communicate it, not what you say may have more impact than anything else. In the same way I’m saying if you send out a text, it’d probably do better than a … (not clear) you people…so that sort of thing absolutely fascinates me and right now I’ve got someone working on another version of that landing page which we’re going to test which is the one I’m sure you’re seeing…a hand drawing. So, we’re testing now, we’ll see what works with that. Now, the implication of this is very important. The one thing I would say to anybody listening to this is the most important thing to is to test a measure… I’m doing a talk in Poland next year to the Havard Business Review and what I’m gonna talk about,  is that I haven’t thought about the title. But the essential subject is why your marketing people are rubbish? Why are you so disappointed with your direct marketing people? …and don’t tell me you’re not because in lots of surveys show that most of them show that people are not very impressed with marketing people. And I’ve some quotes from senior marketing people from companies like Kellogg’s…they don’t bloody measure. They don’t measure. The guys from Kellogg’s when they first started measuring they said, “Oh this is like shining a light in a dark tunnel.” And I was showing this to some people in Portugal about three weeks ago and I said, “Can you imagine that this man got to a senior job in Kellogg’s, without ever bloody measuring anything because they probably very good at getting senior jobs? Not very good at marketing. He wasn’t the only one. There’s a wonderful survey from Fornays who do surveys to research into what’s going on in marketing which points out that the overwhelming majority of marketing people don’t think (not clear) investment matters. If there’s anyone listening to this who’s trying to make their way in this business, I’d say one thing to you, “You are in a great business, and the reason you are in a great business and the only reason why I’m still making a living and the only reason why I make an awful lot of money is that most of the other people involved were idiots. They were not trying hard, they didn’t study. If you go into a room full of people and you know more than anyone else in the room it’s difficult to put a price on the advantage of that. So I started studying and I wrote my first book on marketing in 1992, which is still selling, still selling in 17 languages all over the world. But it wasn’t me, I didn’t suddenly wake up one morning and say I’m the only one who knows what works in direct marketing. I just spent a lot of time studying and I think that anybody who goes into an industry where people don’t study and decides that they would study, that is the ultimate, competitive advantage. It really is. If you can’t test, just keep trying, you’ve got nothing to try, you’ll soon find out that which once get the most opened and so on, which ones get read, which ones get responded to. You’ll find out. My golden rule which I often ignore because we learn more from success is that whatever you sent out should seemed to be helpful and it should be easy to take in and amazingly enough, I received an email from a very very  …(unclear) a promotional email, written by a man who is supposed to be a bloody genius in this business. And I looked at it and then I simply went to word and measured how long the first paragraph was. Forty words. Then I looked at the second paragraph, the second paragraph was thirty five words. This man (the name is unclear)  all I can say is that I know paragraphs forty words long are almost impossible to bloody be read by the average person. People just get lost, they forget where it began … the average length of a sentence if you want to write successfully should be about 16 words, the easiest sentence is 8 words. Anything beyond twenty five words, people just cannot remember what you were talking about at the beginning of the sentence. It’s these simple things that make the difference is not … I have a guy that I employed back in the 1980s, called Rory Sutherland, if you go onto the internet and look up Chad look up Rory Sutherland, you will see he’s one of the funniest and cleverest people I’ve ever come across and I’ve ever hired. He’s the vice chairman of the Ogilvy Group here in England and he did one talk, I think on tape called, ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’. Actually what he was saying was, ‘stop worrying about big strategic ideas, trying little things can make a huge difference’. For instance if you’re emailing people and, instead of just asking them to reply, you ask them to choose to write back and say yes I’m interested or no, I’m not interested, maybe I might be interested in this, you’ll get more sales. I didn’t invent that. That was invented by my client, Readers’ Digest about forty years ago. And what he got to do has got to do with salesmanship, and what we got to do as salesmanship, that’s what we are doing, all we have to do is follow salesmanship and I was last week in Vancouver, week before last, an audience of marketing people and I said to them, “How many people have read Claude Hopkins, not one single person had read Claude Hopkins. Claude Hopkins in 1926, 1924, 25, 26 wrote the most influential and best book on marketing ever and most marketing people have never even read it. And if you write emails and you read Claude Hopkins’s book, you’ll even more directive  emails than when he was alive. It’s a book forty eight pages long, again, if you go to any of my sites and you can download it for nothing.

John McIntyre: What’s the book called again?

Drayton Bird: It’s called Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins, and I suspect you haven’t read it.

John McIntyre: I’ve read it at least two or three times actually.

Drayton Bird: Oh good.

John McIntyre: I’ve also read My Life and Advertising, have you read that?

Drayton Bird: Yes.

John McIntyre: Yeah, that was good too.

Drayton Bird: I got worried about you there. It’s amazing to me, in that audience of a couple hundred people, no one had even heard of, never mind read, the most important book ever written about marketing. If you look at say, the shortest chapter in that book, is just Salesmanship, two and a half pages long, and you’ll learn something about what you should be putting in your emails, what you should be putting in your ads, what you should be putting in your commercials and what you should be doing, it’s just amazing to me that people don’t study it.

John McIntyre: Tell me about…I’m almost done here, but tell me quickly about this Good Email, Bad Email , the right way or wrong way of, we’ve talked a lot about long email, short email, subject lines and all that, tell me how all these corporate companies are boring the crap out of most of  these subscribers and what people should be doing.

Drayton Bird: They don’t use creative language. There’s one here, it says, ‘consumer cloud storage’, and then it goes:  …this the typical stuff for business and its one of the biggest concern about cloud based service is security. I don’t even know what bloody hell they mean by cloud based service, by the by. There is a lovely old American rhyme, ‘Tell me quick and tell me true what your product is going to do or else my love to hell with you’. That’s a bloody good thing to remember while you’re writing emails. Consumers are very concerned about business security, with the quick growth and popularity it goes on and on with the rapid growth of popularity, many employees have started using consumer cloud services for business because of the simplicity of such services. Consumer services…this is boring, just awful… tell me what the hell you’re going to do for me, it’s appalling. Here we are, popular consumer cloud storage services offer very limited features, many having just folder synchronization. Folder synchronization! Jesus Christ! The thing I would suggest to… it’s a very good idea is that if you’re writing anything, to read out loud and just say to yourself, “Does that sound like somebody talking?”  Would you actually say that if you were in front of somebody? It is so simple that nobody believes it. There are a lot of things that I say because you are allowed to do things off the cuff that I don’t. I worry, I recommend worry. Worry is a very good thing. I worry like hell. So here is something that never  fails…some American companies casting the most jobs…all these lists you say are all over the place…they work and  people love lists…Here’s one proof, Ryan Dust (not clear) who I do think is very very clever, that ‘nearly one hundred percent auto pilots business …now what he’s doing is interesting. He’s making an outrageous claim and he gets himself off the hook in advance by saying nearly. And he then goes, he makes the most amazing claim. This is the true story. He said that this is a true story. He just said it’s not really true, hypothetically. The true story of a practically hands free auto pilot business and there’s a link to it. And then traffic comes (not clear) out on autopilot …Lizards converted into castles are also on autopilot and bars are turned into …yep you guessed it also …its good copy. As long as there’s somebody. It’s an amazing story that you can apply to your business too. There’s an old link. That’s a very good communication. I happen to know that putting things in autopilot is bloody hard work. Nearly doesn’t begin to say that, I also happen to know that Ryan Dust is brilliant and almost everything he says is good advice. If anybody is listening to this wants to make lots of money, you can make lots of money, it can be done on auto pilot but it is bloody hard work because when you’re seeing these cases of these guys living in his car about three months ago and made 6 million dollars, that kind of thing…every now and then a miracle occurs and it doesn’t make sense that a miracle is gonna occur to you.

John McIntyre: It does. It does take hard work.

Drayton Bird: Life is not as easy as we would like it to be. Here is another one I saw this morning, hold your (not clear) while using this pressure pump…if you have back pain and I’ve had clients that interested in that sort of thing, people are going to read that. …another one …A sneak peak of the pitch boot camps…everybody likes to know about something that is secret…David Ogilvy was an advertising man. People always like to know about something they shouldn’t know about. It’s essentially the principles that govern other media, govern the email, that govern email with and for the fact that there is an email, there’s just certain constraints. It doesn’t matter what you’re talking about, we’ll find out what works …ago and tested what the most important thing is to persist. I went broke but came back spectacularly in 1970, a long time ago. I went broke for a millions today. And I had to do anything I could do to earn a living because, any damn thing you can think of. I just kept going and when I reached about sixty five again I had a similar problem because I was at that age I was seen by lots of people as being too old to be able to perform. Young people involved in marketing didn’t think a guy my age could be …hell, so I said, what I’m gonna do is I’m going to master the bloody internet. I already had a website, and I was already beginning to use emails, I got to built a list and so I sent out an email to ten thousand marketing directors and asked them would you like thirty one ideas in thirty one day …it was signed up, and then I started setting these things up and then these are growing, could you please selling so many? So I said to him, do you mind if I sell one in three days? He said, yeah that’s fine. So I started sending emails once in three days. I said should I carry on and people said, please do. So now if you sign up to my help and ideas, you got over a hundred.

John McIntyre: It says fifty one free ideas and you’re saying that it’s actually more than that.

Drayton Bird: You know why it says fifty one?

John McIntyre: Because it’s a nice rounded number?

Drayton Bird: Because I checked …we found that fifty one looked better than a hundred and one.

John McIntyre: Interesting, very interesting.

Drayton Bird: Are you surprised?

John McIntyre: So did you test fifty one? Fifty two, fifty three, fifty four?

Drayton Bird: No, it was really… who tested it without telling me. And I suddenly saw this thing saying, I like people who do things without telling me as long as they’re not stupid. What the hell are you …out here? Why is it fifty one and not a hundred and one? So he said, I’ve tested it. They also tested, we have a little ad that said, get my fifty one free tips. Get Drayton Bird’s tips, something like that. Drayton Bird’s fifty one free tips. Capital T capital B, I could never have predicted that. You human beings are really strange and the only person who …strange creatures…but unfortunately that’s where the money is. But that first email went out these ten thousand people and eighteen hundred plus, created thirty thousand responses eventually. That’s the list that we have now. If you don’t have a list, forget it. When are we on? When are you putting this out?

John McIntyre: I reckon it’s an hour of recording. It’ll take six weeks, because I’ve got, you mentioned John Benson, it’s going out soon. Let’s see I think it’s about six weeks. So it’ll be about two months from now actually.

Drayton Bird: Okay, it’ll be bloody Christmas.

John McIntyre: That will be a Christmas present to my listeners and here we go interviewing Drayton Burt. Anyway so if people want to hear more about you or want to sign up to this list and free Claude Hopkins Scientific Advertising where should they go? You mentioned Drayton.com or Draytonbird.com. Either one works?

Drayton Bird: Either one works. Draytonburt.com you get the book,

John McIntyre: I’ll have links to that on the mcmethod.com so if anyone wants to access those links they can go to the site there. And get them. Drayton, thanks for coming on the show man.

Drayton Bird: Pleasure. I wish I were in Chiang Mai.

John McIntyre: I wish you were too man.

2 thoughts on “Episode #84 – Drayton Bird on Using Old & New School Copy Techniques To Trudge Your Way Out Of Corporate Zombieland”

  1. Loved the interview! What a funny and passionate guy. Amazing that he’s still in the trenches after all these years. I hope I’m going as strong at 78 as Drayton is!


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