Tag Archives: Mark Ford

Don’t sweat the small stuff, make a connection instead

An old mentor of mine – the great Mark Ford – used to wind me up in a debate about subject line open rates. He said it was pointless analysing open rates. But, I argued, if you can increase the open rate, you get more people to see the email. So what, he’d ask? Well, I’d wonder, […]

This one simple number could help you write more clearly

It’s 1938… Very bad things are going down in Europe. Anti-Semitism is rife. The Nazi’s are about to annex Austria. And for a little known university graduate, there’s no choice… He needs to get out of the country. Fast. He flees to America. He’s lucky. He gets a graduate place at Columbia University, where he […]

Short answers to big questions: Glenn Fisher interviewed by ProCopywriters

I was recently in the hot seat for a monthly live Twitter event organised by ProCopywriters called #ProCopyChat. It’s basically an hour where the guest fields questions about copy. It was pretty intense with chatter flying all over the shop, but it was also a lot of fun. In case you didn’t get to catch the event live, […]

How you start: An interview on how I got into copywriting

Sad news today that the great American novelist, Philip Roth, passed away. I’m a big fan of his work. He’s one of the writers who inspired me to write in the first place. At school, in English literature, I was mostly force-fed old Jane Austen and Thomas Hardy period-waffle that I just couldn’t connect with. It put […]

Three of the best copywriters in the world share their ideas

I’m just coming to the end of a long week of meetings and presentations here in Baltimore. It’s been great to catch up with so many friends on this side of the pond and meet so many new people. I’ve met marketing experts, copywriting legends and best-selling authors… And, as ever when I make the trip over here, I’ve […]

More insight than you can shake a stick at

I received a nice message from copywriter Stephen Marsh this week, which sums up exactly what the aim of The UK Copy Call is. He wrote: “Just a quick note to say: I don’t usually go in for most of the ‘people talking about being copywriters’ stuff that seems to be out there right now, but UK […]

Forget your fancy ideas, they’re nothing without value

The local shop in my village has finally figured out the perfect marriage of impulse purchase and value. There I am… Waiting for the assistant to pack my stuff and ring it through the register… And I notice them… Four Kit Kats for £1. I know I shouldn’t. But four… FOUR… for just £1. That’s […]

See ‘the Four Us’ put into practice LIVE (well, almost live)

One of my mentors, the American entrepreneur and writer Mark Ford, once taught me a simple way to improve problematic headlines using ‘the Four Us’. I’ve written about the idea many times before, but today I thought I’d put it to the test LIVE. Or rather, as I write this article. Why not, eh? Indeed, I’m […]

Is it time to question the wisdom of David Ogilvy?

“Sell, or else,” pronounced legendary ad man, David Ogilvy many a decade ago. And, ever since, this unflinching commandment has been passed down from copywriter to copywriter. It’s the great leveller; the simple reminder that whatever the media, your aim remains the same: you sell, my boy, you sell if it’s the last thing you do. […]

The one thing you must do to make sure you have new ideas

Ideas are irritating. Sometimes they’re right there in your face, shouting at you like an arrogant teenage kid who thinks they know best… Other times they’re nowhere to be seen, like your broke mate Steve who’s always in the toilet when it’s his round at the bar. I’ll tell you what… From now on, let’s […]