Do ‘Old Skool’ Copywriting Skills Still Work In 2015?

A poster on that hive of scum and villainy, WarriorForum.com writes:

“It has always been of interest to me, how people believe that old skills in copy writing are no longer effective in this day and age of technology.

“I’ve been rereading John Caples, How to Make Your Advertising Make Money and the 4th edition of Tested Advertising Methods, the past 2 weeks.

“John never believed that just because more mediums were invented that natural human appeal would change.”

My opinion?

It’s not that old school direct response copy doesn’t work.

It’s that something is WORKS BETTER “in this day and age” on certain popular global platforms.

On these various platforms, human nature, as he calls it, has decidedly shown it’s dislike in “pitches.”

Users are so vocal about it in fact, these platforms’ terms of service prohibit specific types of promotional language as well as graphic design.

These terms were not created because old school copywriting doesn’t work. It’s because IT DOES and people dislike it, and are rejecting it when exposed to it.

THAT’S human nature. THAT’S the wisdom of the crowds.

No matter what cold traffic channel one is using, you and your website must conform to that specific ecosphere or you risk being banned.

If you’re running cold traffic on these channels, you already know this. The possibility HAUNTS you every waking minute of the day.

And if you’re a direct response copywriter and you’re forced to write with one hand tied behind your back, not able to rely on old school copywriting skills, what are your options?

That’s why I am a strong advocate of trying MULTIPLE THINGS, whatever they may be.

I believe old school copywriting on these platforms is the proverbial whipping boy right now and my opinion is it’s only going to get worse.

So what works better?

HINT: IT DEPENDS UPON THE CHANNEL.

And be prepared, if you find something that converts, the herd “follow the guru” mentality of marketers obsoletes a particular strategy’s effectiveness quickly.

You cannot rest on your laurels for a moment.

This is why copywriter generalists who rely on old school copywriting skills are charging a proverty-destined $97 for a sales letter.

Today’s copywriter needs to specialize. You have to be great at Curly’s one thing. (YouTube it if you don’t know what I’m talking about.)

To wrap it up, personally, I used to love reading old copywriting books.

But a better use of my time these days, is studying the markets I’m writing for, perpetually on the hunt for something NEW and DIFFERENT.

Make sense? Let me know what you think.

– Matt

PS: Quick tip from Neo. From the movie, the Matrix:

Trinity: “Neo… nobody has ever done this before…”

Neo: “I know. That’s why it’s going to work.”

Matt is a copywriter, marketing consultant and conversion expert from the UK. Husband to Faye and daddy to Martha and Elliott.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.