The $10,000 Sazerac

The $10,000 Sazerac

A few weeks ago, I woke up in the morning after having a weird dream. In my dream, I was in an upscale lounge in New Orleans. I went up to the bar and ordered a Sazerac -- a cocktail made with rye whiskey, absinthe, and other ingredients. It's a classic drink that...

Why most headlines fail

Why most headlines fail

Today's topic was inspired by a copy mentoring session I had with an agency owner from Scotland yesterday. He mentioned he'd been studying Gene Schwartz's classic book, Breakthrough Advertising -- a must-read for anyone who writes copy. If you use and apply this book...

Selling a lifestyle, not a product

Selling a lifestyle, not a product

Last week I was invited to a call to hear a talk by the President of Athletic Greens, also known as AG1. Athletic Greens, the maker of a nutrient-dense green drink, has skyrocketed its sales in recent years and become a leader in its niche. I decided to check out...

Mo’ clients, mo’ money

Mo’ clients, mo’ money

Hopefully you've been making merry this week as Christmas approaches. Unfortunately, it's been a tough week with my mom now in the ICU at the hospital... at my insistence she was moved there, due to some major failings with her care in the regular unit. Yet when...

Breaking the rules and finding what’s buzzing

Breaking the rules and finding what’s buzzing

It's now less than one week until Christmas. And Santa Kim's been busy! While I was able to avoid any more HOA drama yesterday, I did end up spending several hours at the hospital emergency room tending to my elderly mom. Turns out she's got the flu, and will need to...

Client bullies who belong on the “naughty” list

Client bullies who belong on the “naughty” list

"Santa's Mailbag" is back after a very busy few days. Between writing copy, endless Zoom meetings, and my annual physical yesterday... ...where my doctor told me my cholesterol numbers were the best she's ever seen out of all her patients (yes, I'm doing a cholesterol...

WTF with AI and my future career

WTF with AI and my future career

As I mentioned in my email yesterday, I'm doing a feature this week called "Santa's Mailbag". And I'm taking some time out from a client project I'm working on, a new mentoring program I'm planning, and my never-ending holiday "to do" list to answer your most burning...

Cooking up a great offer

Cooking up a great offer

Food is one of the essential needs of human life. But so many of us struggle with the eternal question that haunts us day after day: "What's for dinner?" As a result, a slew of done-for-you meal services have sprung out of nowhere in recent years... and they've...

A tale of two copywriters

A tale of two copywriters

Those of you who are familiar with the famous "A Tale of Two Young Men" letter written decades ago to sell a record-breaking number of Wall Street Journal subscriptions will recognize today's subject line. (I left out the "young" and "men" because I wanted to cast a...

13 best things people said at Copy Chief Live

13 best things people said at Copy Chief Live

The latter part of last week, Nashville was overtaken by a fearless band of copywriters, marketers, and entrepreneurs. They flew in from as far away as Australia and South Africa, and as close by as right down the road. And the results were EPIC. I've been to all 3...

AI wake-up call?

AI wake-up call?

A week ago today, I hopped on a Zoom call with a potential client. He's the President of a supplement business that does a lot of direct mail (still) and also sells its products online. I won't go into the details of what we discussed. However, it was the first time a...

Something to aspire to

Something to aspire to

Not long ago, I read something a well-known copywriter had put on his sales page for his mentoring group that rankled me a bit. It wasn't so much that I felt personally attacked--since it was so clearly wrong and inaccurate if in fact it was directed at me (and other...

How to critique your own copy

How to critique your own copy

There's one thing you can do on your own that can dramatically improve your copy. It's an underused tactic that once again became apparent to me during the last month. Each of the past four Wednesday's, I've hosted a Copy Mentoring Sprint call where I critique copy...

The truth about the new AI copywriting reality

The truth about the new AI copywriting reality

Things have changed—a lot—since I first took the leap into freelance copywriting more than 25 years ago. Some for the better, some for the worse. But here’s an undeniable fact… there are more copywriters now than ever before. And now, with the emergence of...

The crucial trait that makes your copy better

The crucial trait that makes your copy better

Here's one of my past issues that can help you write more engaging, higher-converting copy... simply by focusing on developing ONE specific trait or skill: empathy. I was reminded of it--and this past issue I wrote more than 4 years ago--when I took my elderly mom to...

USP vs UM… WTF?

USP vs UM… WTF?

No, I'm not talking about a college basketball match-up... I'm talking about two of the most "famous" acronyms in copywriting and marketing. The first, USP, stands for "Unique Selling Proposition". The second, UM, stands for "Unique Mechanism". It's easy to get these...

Pearl(s) of wisdom

Pearl(s) of wisdom

As of tomorrow it will be one week since my dog Pearl passed away. She was 14-and-a-half years old, and up until a few days before she died, she lived an active and healthy life. While that's a blessing, it still doesn't make it any easier. Working from home all these...

How to conquer the 4 Horsemen of bad writing

How to conquer the 4 Horsemen of bad writing

Today I'm pulling this dripping-with-copywriting-gold issue out of the vault. It's got some great things to share with you about writing ANY kind of copy. Whether you write mostly short copy like emails or long-form copy like sales pages and VSLs, you're going to...

The 1-hour headline secret [Promo breakdown]

The 1-hour headline secret [Promo breakdown]

After a brief, somewhat unintentional "sabbatical", I'm BACK, baby! Even better, I'm back at 'ya with a fresh new issue of "What's in Kim's Mailbox". I've been busy working on some cool new things, including a few client supplement promo projects... and planning my...

The annual obligatory “SB AD BD”

The annual obligatory “SB AD BD”

Yes, it's time for another long-awaited "What's in Kim's Mailbox". But in today's issue, I won't be looking at an ad or promo that landed in my inbox or mailbox. I'll be doing the annual, obligatory Super Bowl ad breakdown that you've come to expect from any...

Lessons from a “newbie”

Lessons from a “newbie”

Sometimes life gets busy. I've had my head deep into a few projects this week. So I haven't emailed you for a few days. (And if you didn't notice, forget I said anything!) One of those projects is my first-ever screenplay, which now feels like an eternity since I...

Put it in your rearview mirror

Put it in your rearview mirror

Hopefully I've helped you empty out your "mind trash" so far this week. Clearing out the mental garbage that's holding you back is crucial if you want to find your "happy place" in this crazy copywriting and direct marketing business... and in life. Because once you...

I love feedback

I love feedback

If you really, REALLY want to accelerate your climb up the copywriting ladder and ramp up the power of your copy... ...turn in first drafts that consistently wow your clients and smooth the path towards headache-free approval (and immediate re-bookings)... ...and reap...

Guts of Steel

Guts of Steel

As part of my re-commitment to my physical fitness, I've been exercising more lately. In fact, I've done a full-body strength training, an intense aerobic dance class, and an hour-and-a-half yoga class over the past 3 days. Then last night after yoga, I stopped to get...