Stephen Pratley’s Blog

When should you start testing?

Ask a question in any digital marketing group and somewhere in the list of somewhat unhelpful answers you’ll get this one: “Test it” Now, for a long time I considered testing in marketing to be a fairly high level skill, and one that wasn’t worth troubling yourself with until you had some significant levels of traffic, usually from your own email list.…

Offer, List, Creative. Which One Wins?

Offer
List
Creative Those three words, in that order, used to be drummed into every direct response marketer form the day they were allowed to even look at a campaign. This was in the days when DM was expensive. You needed stamps, printers, huge machines to process the data that cam in on tape reels as big as pizzas.…

Why people buy online courses

A while back I used to run a marketing course for a well known training organisation in the UK. Eager to make as much use of the content they’d paid for as they could, they created an online course on Email Marketing, but abandoned marketing it within a few months.…

When to make a 1% change

Yesterday I talked about things that go wrong as you scale. Million to one shots that happen every month, for better or worse. Today I want to talk about things that are already wrong, and when to fix them. I just brought in an intern on a job after he pitched me with a big review of stuff he thought he could improve.…

Royalty, or the girl next door?

A couple of days back I had one of those “can't believe I've never seen this” moments when a friend introduced me to a concept in branding that was completely new to me. Now by and large I'm not a branding guy.…

Would a fireman give you an ebook?

A lot of copywriters talk about “burning house problems”. The gist of it is that you want to be targeting people who have a problem that is as serious as a burning house, something they absolutely have to act on right now or they're going to be in a world of pain.…

The 4 point empathy map of a billion dollar newsletter business

One of my favourite podcasts is Kevin Roger's The Truth about Marketing, and this has to be my favourite episode of all. In it, Mark Ford,  founder of Agora Publishing drops an absolute gold-crusted pearl of wisdom about the knowledge you should have about your market before staring on even creating a product, let alone your marketing.…

An orangutan’s lesson in pitching

My mother was a teacher, and then a college principal. Her college was in the same small town where I went to school and most days I would walk up the road to meet her and get a lift home. Invariably, she'd get collared by someone as she was trying to leave and I'd be left staring at the walls in her office as she finished up the day's business.…