How to Model Success
The Success Margin
Saturday, June 18, 2005
Today's message, once understood, can help you
earn a fortune. Indeed, many fortunes.
As I've often stated, it's absolutely necessary to
master headlines to succeed in any form of direct
The inspiration for today's writing came from the
results of a recent challenge to subscribers to
create the very best headline.
People from around the world participated in the
challenge. It was tough to pick a winner, as
competition was keen with many powerful
headlines from which to choose.
After careful deliberation, the winning headline
I chose was written by Nick Wrathall, who works
with Hilite Direct Marketing Services in the U.K.
Nick's winning headline is:
What Will You Do When Your Business is Shut
Down--Or You're Thrown Into Prison--Because
Your Fire Safety Procedures Weren't Up to Date?
This headline along with supporting copy pulled
an outstanding and highly profitable 5% response
for a fire safety company. This is in spite of the
fact the headline is 24 words long, 7 more than
the 17-word-maximum rule I normally
recommend. But most direct marketers would
"kill" for such a money-making response.
There are a few key points in this headline
approach you can learn volumes from. Properly
used, you can apply these secrets to all your
future marketing and increase response to a whole
What I'm about to describe the late Earl
Nightingale called "creative plagiarism." You
copy success. Yet, this type of copying is
perfectly legal and ethical.
It is, of course, illegal to copy or plagiarize
someone else's copywritten material.
However, here is the key point. Ideas in
themselves are not copywritable.
This point is so vital, I'll say it another way.
You can't copy the headline or other writings of
an author or marketer word for word. Don't even
try, regardless of the law. It's much more
satisfying to rise above someone else's effort by
changing it with your own creativity.
Remember, (as much as I'd like to at times), no
one can protect the idea behind the headline
What inspired Nick Wrathall to create his
winning successful headline? A headline I wrote
for a book in 1973--32 years ago!
The book's title: The Complete Book of
Corporate Forms. The following headline was
primarily responsible for selling approximately
200,000 copies at $70 a copy. That is
$14,000,000 in sales.
What Will You Do When All Your Personal
Assets--Including Your House, Car and Cash--
Are Seized to Satisfy a Judgment Against Your
Study these two headlines--mine and Nick's. Do
you see the idea behind my winning headline has
been emulated with a product in a completely
different field? You can do this yourself with
almost any winning headline.
Of course, fear is the powerful emotion the
Human behavior, which a winning headline
incorporates, does not change. Once you study
and understand highly successful headline
concepts used during the last 50 years, you can
tap into a never-ending bonanza of marketing
ideas you can use in your business.
Think of it. No more excuses. You can never
again say, "I cannot come up with great
marketing ideas." The good news is, you don't
Are you ready to model success? Do it the right
way and your success margin will vastly
improve. Simply emulate what works in your
own or in other fields. And there is a very good
chance it will work in yours, too.
© Copyright 2005 Ted Nicholas