A Tiny Change Can Triple Response

The Success Margin

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


To my mind, one of the most interesting aspects ofany form of direct marketing is this: How small changes can make such a huge difference in response. Especially in headlines and subheadlines.

For example, a client reports adding a single letter to a headline tripled response to an offer.

The first headline read:

Put More Cash Into Your Pocket

The new headline is:

Puts More Cash Into Your Pocket

The addition of the letter “s” to the word “put” made a 300% difference. This is not a misprint!

Notice the addition of a single letter changes the meaning of the word and implies an easier solution.

If this is not enough to convince any skeptic that small changes, even a single letter, can make a huge difference, I don’t know what is.

Here are other examples whereby a single word or phrase has made an enormous difference in response.

First headline:

Learn the Secrets of Millionaire Copywriters

New headline:

Discover the Secrets of Millionaire Copywriters

This new headline more than doubled response.This is undoubtedly because the word “learn” suggests lots of hard work.

Another example.

First headline (on order form):


Second headline:


This is another 200 plus percent increase. Reason? Consumers do not respond well to the word “ORDER”. While it’s an extremely negative word, the majority of marketers still overuse it.

The word “order” suggests spending money, which no one likes.

Plus, no one likes to fill out forms. Not even accountants!

Do you, dear reader, feel able to choose which of two competing headlines is the winner and produced the highest response based on actual sales results?

** The Success Margin challenge **

I’ll present three headlines which were tested against each other. The body copy was the same in each instance. The results varied significantly. The winner produced sales increases of 145% to 212% and 254% respectively.

Here they are:

  1. (a) The Ultimate Tax Shelter

    (b) Tax Shelter for all Incomes

  2. (a) How to be a Successful Consultant

    (b) What Makes a Consultant Successful?

  3. (a) Do You Suffer Joint Pain?

    (b) Do Your Joints Feel Like They Are on Fire?

Success Margin subscribers who choose all three correctly will receive a special gift.

Dedicated to helping you constantly improve response.

Your correspondent,

Ted Nicholas