This Discovery Saved Gary Bencivenga From Copywriting Mediocrity

copywriting Jul 15, 2022

Gary Bencivenga is one of the all-time great copywriters.

But many don't know that he was a mediocre copywriter for the first 10 years of his 40-year career. 

At one point, his copy chief told Gary that unless his next ad worked, they'd have to let him go.

To make things worse…

His next ad was selling a Frank Sinatra music club. 

Gary had been mainly writing book ads so he had no idea how to sell music. 

He also knew if he was fired, he'd have a hard time getting a job as a copywriter. 

Just like today, clients talked with each other back then...

And all advertising agencies would know Gary's copy was crap. 

He had a family to support and really needed the money but the odds were against him.


With his back on the wall, he made a discovery that would change his trajectory as a copywriter forever. 

This discovery made him a control-beating machine that enjoyed 3 decades of non-stop wins.

And thanks to his discovery people like my students and I go from 0 to making 6 figures with copywriting...f-a-s-t.

"Damn it, Ning, will you tell me what this discovery was???"

I'll let the man himself tell ya.

Before retiring, someone asked Gary what were some of the biggest lessons he learned as a successful direct response copywriter.

Here's what he said:

"It took me a while to realize that the best copywriters are the most tenacious researchers. Like miners, they dig, drill, dynamite, and chip until they have carloads of valuable ore. John Caples advised me once to gather seven times more interesting information than I could possibly use."

Back to the Frank Sinatra ad…

Gary researched Frank's songs in depth.

He wanted to know why Frank wrote those songs, what was the story behind them, what was he thinking, and more. 

The more he researched…

The more interesting facts he unearthed.

So when he wrote the ad, it was a resounding success.

That's the power of research, my dear Top Gun.

I don't consider myself a talented writer…

But I sure as hell do my research. 

And if you want to make the big bucks as a copywriter…

You should live and die by your research. 

The problem is most beginners don’t know how to do research the right way. 

Today, we’ll fix this.

Suppose you're selling a supplement.

Answer the following questions: 

What are the features of your product? 

List the ingredients. 

Then, Google each one and look for interesting tidbits you can use in your copy.

Are there any research or proof elements that show how these features are superior? 

Hop on and look for studies backing your ingredients. 

Are the results of a specific study impressive? 

If so, take note of them.

Are there any demonstrations or strong proof elements that show how well your product delivers its benefits?

With supplements, look for:

  • graphs
  • before and after pictures
  • anything that "shows" (rather than simply "tells") the results

Are there any strong testimonials showing how well your product works?

Testimonials always add an extra layer of proof. 

They also tackle objections and give you ammo for your headlines, subheads, subject lines, and fascinations. 

Is there anything that makes your product easier to use than competing products?

Let's say people need to take other supplements at a certain time of the day.

This is a hassle. 

On the other hand…

Can they take your supplement whenever they want?

If so, this quality makes your supplement instantly easier to use than any other option out there.

How long does it take for your prospect to get results using your product? (Is it faster than other products?) 

This is muito importante.

Time is our most valuable asset -  we can never buy it back.

So we love anything that helps us achieve results faster. 

Your job is to present your offer as a faster, easier alternative than the competitors'.




Of course, there's more to research than those questions. 

But the above is enough to get you started. 

And if you'd like more personalized help? 

Check my flagship coaching program "Zero to $5K"

I show you how to do research the right way.

I share unique insights I gained after writing copy for any niche imaginable.

And I help you write sales letters, ads, and advertorials people will buy from…and clients will pay you handsomely for.

Right now, "Zero to $5K" is closed.

Doors will open again soon. 

If you’d like to get notified when we do? 

>>> Click here to add your name to the waitlist

- Ning


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