The 18 Timeless Direct Response Copy Motivators

There are many moneymaking principles that social media, content marketing, or any new fad will not obliterate. These principles survived the crucible of human behavior that will never change.

I contend that knowing and understanding these concepts blow away any new ideas brought on by the growth of the Internet medium.

It's not enough to be technically competent.

Learning how to increase response and create breakthrough copy requires studying the classics written by direct marketing leaders like Victor Schwab who compiled the following in "Mail Order Strategy” (Hoke Communications, 1956). Here's a list of key response motivators by Victor Schwab that great copywriters use every day.

Many greats borrowed from Swab's thinking including David Ogilvy, John Caples, Bob Stone and other communicators.

But I think John Caples' list of 18 human appeals are more memorable and refined for day to day use. I regularly go through this list when creating direct response offers for any channel.

  1. Make more money
  2. Save money
  3. Retirement security
  4. Better health now
  5. Health care security
  6. Security in old age
  7. Advance in profession or trade
  8. Prestige
  9. Enjoyment
  10. Easier chores
  11. Gain more leisure
  12. Comfort
  13. Reduce fat
  14. Freedom from worry
  15. Be in the “in” group
  16. Desire for bargain
  17. Popularity/attention
  18. Outshine the neighbors

Much talk goes on today discussing "new" thinking such as relevant copy, insights instead of benefits, content marketing and so on that really bring nothing new. 

Such conversationalists who create or propagate such terms rarely understand the discipline earned by the greats after they created content that moved millions to action.

First learn from the past before attempting to predict the future course of marketing.