The Biggest Opportunity for Copywriters Online Is in the Field of Direct Response

There are a relatively small number of companies online which use the Web as a direct-response medium really well.

These companies sell products, services, subscriptions, and membership directly from their websites. And, they truly understand the power of direct-response copywriting.

However, these companies represent just a small portion of the millions of companies which have websites.

What is it that all those other companies — the vast majority — don’t yet get?

While they may already operate e-commerce websites, they don’t get that the Web is the ultimate direct-response medium.

By failing to apply direct-response principles and best practices, these companies are leaving billions of dollars on the table.

Let’s compare some direct-response media …

Mail by post is probably the best known direct-response medium. You get some direct mail in your box, open it up, read the content, and if you want to make the purchase, you fill out a form or call a 1-800 number.

TV isn’t a bad choice either. But again, you have to get up and go dial the 1-800 number.

In other words, there is physical effort involved. You have to go find a pen and fill out an order form, and then take it to the mailbox. Or, you have to get up and dial a number.

The physical effort involved is what drives response rates down. I know, it isn’t much of an effort. But, if I’m on the fence about making a purchase, the idea of finding a pen and filling out a form can tip me back, and make me decide not to bother.

Now, let’s look at the Web.

In comparison to other media, the Web makes it easy. Just click a couple of times, autofill your name and address, and then type in your credit card information. It’s a simpler process. You don’t have to get up and find a pen. You don’t have to go to the mailbox. You don’t have to make a phone call.

The barrier between you and a completed transaction is that much lower.

That’s what makes the Web such a wonderful direct-response medium, and what provides such an amazing opportunity for anyone with direct-response copywriting skills.

Opportunity #1: Educate companies that are not yet using direct response online.

There are literally millions of companies online that don’t understand the principles of direct-response marketing. Nor do they understand the importance and power of copywriting when it comes to driving success.

Your job is to step in and turn their website into a direct-response powerhouse.

For example, a B2B company may be using its website to showcase various products and services, but is doing nothing to collect leads, nurture those leads, and then convert those leads into customers.

As another example, a B2C company may be selling self-hypnosis CDs, but hasn’t figured out that they can offer a free sample of each CD in the form of a downloadable mp3 file. Your opportunity is to write the sales pages and emails that will drive prospects to download the audio and then go on to buy the CDs.

In this second example, the company knows it has an e-commerce site. It knows they sell direct. But, they are not yet applying direct-response marketing techniques — like the free offer of the audio clip — as a means to drive sales.

Opportunity #2: Target companies that do use direct response, but not very well.

In one sense, this is the better opportunity, because you don’t have to educate your client so much. They already know about direct-response marketing and direct-response copywriting.

What they don’t have is professional direct-response copywriters.

In this case, you might find websites which have direct-response pages and emails, but of a rather low quality.

Your job is to step in and beat their controls.

Summing it up …

With some notable exceptions, companies online have yet to understand the power of direct-response copywriting.

They just don’t get that a professional copywriter with direct-response training can massively increase their response rates.

All you need to do is pick up one job from one of these companies, and beat their existing page or email.

When that happens, and they see that your work is adding significantly to their bottom line, they’ll be back to you for more and more work.

This is a huge opportunity right now.

Mainstream e-commerce online has been around for a decade or more.

Mainstream direct-response marketing online is still in its infancy.

Simply combine your direct-response copywriting expertise with an understanding of online copywriting, and you’ll be in a position to pick up some very profitable new clients.

The Digital Copywriter's Handbook

The Digital Copywriter's Handbook

Learn how to become an in-demand online copywriter for companies big and small. Online copywriting expert Nick Usborne shows you how to write web copy that converts. Learn More »

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Published: November 14, 2011

2 Responses to “The Biggest Opportunity for Copywriters Online Is in the Field of Direct Response”

  1. Great article Nick, and inspired by your presentation from bootcamp I'm sure you'd recommend the big companies that are selling bigger ticket products / high volume - they really appreciate the value of copy that can increase conversions so it's an easier sell of your service.


    Amy Harrison

  2. As an aspiring copy writer, i think there is no better place for training. Looking forward to make an order for copy-writing 2.0 as soon as possible.

    Guest (Michael Musyoki)

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