Notes on Todd Brown’s Titans of Direct Response Takeaways

If you’ve been around direct response at all, you’ve probably heard these names. (if you haven’t…stop playing around and study them) Around September 2014 these juggernauts came together and delivered massive knowledge.

Hence the title of the event. If you don’t know these names, pick one and go on a sprint of reading and violently implementing their advice.

Jay Abraham has a treasure trove of free stuff that’s worth more 99% of the “courses,” webinars, and “free + shipping book funnel” gurus combined. The man’s responsible for making his clients (collectively) over 9 $Billion.

That billions with a big ass B.

Stop getting your business advice from Youtube, social media, and those who don’t have a proven track record (or willing to show you proof in private…many successful people won’t do it publicly because it makes them targets for lawsuit-happy idiots, like Ben Settle for example.)

  • Dan Kennedy
  • Gary Bencivenga
  • Jay Abraham
  • Greg Renker
  • Ken McCarthy
  • Perry Marshall
  • Joe Sugarman
  • Fred Catona
  • Eric Betuel
  • David L. Deutsch
  • Arthur Johnson
  • Parris Lampropoulos

Todd Brown’s a guy with a proven track record. These are some notes I took on a video of his.

What made Boardroom a multi-million dollar company

Marty Edelston’s brother explains the 2 things he thought were responsible for Boardroom’s millions $$

#1: Marty had Insatiable curiosity about everything (Be a bloodhound)

Todd said all the best marketer and copywriters have this. They are curious about all the people they meet. How that person does his job. Why they do it. How they do it. Why they do it that way. Why they think the way they think.

Nurture and develop this insatiable curiosity.

It will help you identify trends and market gaps (“Skate to where the puck is going to be”)

#2: Always strive to have superior and excellent idea QUALITY behind your marketing and all else in life

Always create a “big idea” and let it do the heavy lifting.

Idea quality will drive the bulk of your results

Great copy can’t help a weak offer

Great copy will never make up for a weak idea

A great idea communicated with CLARITY can be effective without any formal copywriting training

Great offer = makes competitors think “How are they staying in business doing this?” or makes customers think “How are they even able to offer this”

“Be a bloodhound” = sniff out and find these ideas that are shocking, fresh, exciting, different, and immediately captivating to your audience etc.

On the importance of research

When you are putting together marketing campaigns or funnels, “you do research with a hand-truck” = sifting through a massive amount of data and sifting through it, not looking at one or two things.

When compiling and organizing your research (or digging through your product to find the diff features and benefits), ask yourself:

  • What is their #1 problem?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What would the perfect solution look like?
  • How do they feel right now? What is their dominant pressing emotion about this problem?
  • What are the stories that they are telling themselves
  • What are stories that they are afraid of in terms of the future? (future-pacing)
  • What are competitors selling? What are their benefits and features? How are they positioning those products? How are they pricing those products?

All these things = RESEARCH

When you are searching for the big hook to use = research

If you do them, you’ll be able to write control-killers. If you’re an affiliate marketer, your competition is too busy “ripping” and you’ll run circles around them. IT’s how you find that killer angle that builds a moat around your campaign. (Then you try and negotiate getting the offer exclusive or going direct to the offer owner.)

How copywriting greats (esp. Schwartz) approach writing copy:

“If you got an hour to chop down a tree, spend 40 minutes sharpening the axe”

Got 1 month to write a promotion?

2 weeks research.

1 week to write draft.

1 week to edit.

The research phase was equal to all the writing.

Research partially responsible for how Eugene Schwartz was able to write bangers that made beaucoup amount of money.

One of my favorite Todd Brown quotes

“Never underestimate the task at hand when it comes to getting someone to whip out their credit card to pay for a product or service”

Takeaways from Dan Kennedy’s presentation

“It takes EXTREME, EXTRAORDINARY measures to compel people to act” –Dan Kennedy

Dan Kennedy said all marketing funnels/copy/marketing messages come down to 2 categories:

1. Product oriented information (Product advantages, features, benefits, etc.

2) Emotional agitation / problem agitating

Said that the more your marketing is geared toward “emotional manipulation” the more likely you are to have a winner.


“You gotta know what emotion you are trying to generate” –Todd Brown

“What is the main emotion you want your prospect to feel” –Todd brown

Pros know the winning campaigns come from emotional manipulation:

  • Identify the problem
  • Present the problem to them
  • Agitate the problem (show them the outcome of taking the right action AND the wrong action for their problem)
  • Offer a solution

When you are selling anything, you are selling the prospect on the emotion that they want to have…On the emotion associated with their desired end result.

DK says he always forces prospects to mentally “choose a side” when he writes a salesletter

    Doesn’t directly say it but lets them know that the decision they make places them on a certain “side”
    Demonstrate how your product/service puts your prospect in their desired group (the “cool group”)

What ALL your copy (VSL, SL, emails, etc.) successful is isn’t copy structure or elements but knowing what will captivate and keep your reader’s attention AND the why, when, where, and how are you going to focus on eliciting their different emotions.

Dan Kennedy tries to utilize these in all his salesletters:

  • Lust
  • Escape
  • Esteem, self-esteem, inadequacy
  • Guilt or assuage guilt
  • Greed

Pro tip: Victor Schwab’s How to Write a Good Advertisement will help you add more emotion to your copy

Sell them on the emotions first, then sell them on what they need to know (that’s when you can intro duce the product, its benefits and advantages, etc.)

Recommended Copywriting Exercise:

Best way to use swipe file = review your swipes and as you are going through the ad, ask:

“Why was this said?”
“Why was this said here?”
“What was this particular sentence/paragraph attempting to do?”
“Why did they say without X,Y, and Z?” (e.g. because XYZ are the 3 biggest objection their prospects had)

This exercise can be done daily.

Gary Bencivenga recommends reading a good ad per day. Combine that with these questions and you’ll start to gain quicker pattern recognition of selling triggers and sequences that cause people to buy.

Grab bag of tips

1. Joe Sugarman said it’s unwise to RIPOFF a campaign/funnel/salesletter because there is a time and place for everything (Marketplace sophistication. It’s why you can’t just get a winning campaign from 5 years ago and think it’ll still work today)

2. Marginal Utility (MU)
An example of declining MU is drinking water. At a certain point, if you continue to drink water in a certain period of time, the benefit reaped (hydration) decreases. Diminishing returns reach zero, then you move into “negative MU” aka damage.

3. Force yourself to think differently (outside the box) about situations. Look for connections others haven’t made or connect 2 things that seem unrelated.

4. When you present your solution, it should trigger a “Ah! This is exactly what I’ve been looking for” feeling in your prospect

5. Always sell a specialty and something UNIQUE, not a commodity

6. Strive to make prospects feel UNDERSTOOD BY YOU (their emotions, problems, their situation, and obstacles) in your copy.

An ask

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