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Month: January, 2007

Where else can statistical copywriting be used?

20 January, 2007 (15:45) | Copywriting | By: Nick Dalton

In a previous installment of this tutorial ( you learned how to optimize AdWords ads using the statistical copywriting tool Glyphius. In this lesson we’ll look at other applications of statistical copywriting.

Statistical copywriting should be used on any text that is meant to sell. An obvious application is sales letters and online sales pages. Be sure to test and compare each section of the sales page separately, e.g. headline, product description, closing paragraph. Here are some other applications of statistical copywriting.

General Vocabulary

When I was writing this I was struggling with some general terms: Should it be called a tutorial, an e-course or eCourse or maybe e-classes? And should each part be called a part, a lesson, a class or maybe an installment? Here are the scores that decided the terminology:
tutorial – Score: 109
e-course – Score: 21
eCourse – Score: 23
e-classes – Score: 2
part – Score: 74
lession – Score: 59
class – Score: 4
installment – Score: 119

Call to Action

At the end of your sales letter you need a call to action so that the prospect clicks on your order link or performs some other action. Consider the following real examples from around the web:
Click here to order – Score: 172
Click here to order now – Score: 89
Click to order securely – Score: 209
Order ACME software: $105 – Score: 293
Click Here For FREE Access! – Score: 131
Click Here Right NOW To Try ACME – Score: 79
Click Here Right NOW To Try ACME, Before This Marketing Test Offer Is Closed – Score: 222

Another example: If your web site has a form where visitors can sign up to your mailing list you should analyze the wording very carefully, including the text on the submit button. The default from your autoresponder service is probably “Submit”. However this scores a very low 14. A much better wording is “Sign Up!” which scores 141. In a split test this change alone doubled the opt-in rate, confirming the Glyphius scoring.

Email and Forum Posting Titles

Another implicit call to action is the subject or title of emails and forum postings. Your first goal is to get the reader to open the email or click on the forum posting to read the rest of your message. This is a perfect application for statistical copywriting.

Domain Names

Before I selected a domain name for this tutorial I ran many names through Glyphius to see how they scored. Here are some of the results: – Score: 367 – Score: 364 – Score: 343 – Score: 330 – Score: 276

There is another tool made by the same author as Glyphius which is specifically intended to score domain names and URLs. It is called Nemeas and the interface is as simple as Glyphius. Just enter a list of URLs to score and the keyword to score them for. Here are the results for the keyword “copywriting”: – Score: 185 – Score: 125 – Score: 237 – Score: 247 – Score: 202

Why the difference in the order the domain names were ranked by the two tools? Glyphius scores against profitable ads and sales copy, while Nemeas scores against Google search engine ranking factors. Both are important. Before running the numbers, my original intent was to use (dot com is already taken). But the best combination of the two is, and that gives me a broader scope should I want to evolve this site beyond strict statistical copywriting.


When you’re introducing a new product one of the most difficult decisions is to set the price. Why not run the numbers through Glyphius?
$35 – Score: 38
$37 – Score: 8
$39 – Score: 19
$40 – Score: 17
$45 – Score: 18
$47 – Score: -12
$49 – Score: -1
$55 – Score: 12
$65 – Score: 26
$97 – Score: -14

Makes you wonder about all those $47 and $97 products…


If you’re using articles to market your web site (you should!) then you know the importance of the article title and the resource box at the end of the article. If the title is not compelling enough then people won’t even click on it to begin reading. The resource box is your chance to show your URL and entice the reader to come to your site. Don’t send out any articles without optimizing these two important elements.

Who uses statistical copywriting software?

18 January, 2007 (14:04) | Copywriting | By: Nick Dalton

I consider myself an amateur copywriter, and with my limited natural skills and talent I find statistical copywriting software to be invaluable when I’m writing anything where I want to attract readers and have them take some action.

Surprisingly, I found myself in the company of several very big name copywriters who also use the same software to complement their creativity. Here are some quotes that I found around the web.

First off, I have thoroughly enjoyed using Glyphius, because you have turned my headline writing into a “video game” of sorts.

Let me explain… once I find a fairly strong headline (a headline that Glyphius scores 500 or better), I do everything I can to beat my high score! It’s become somewhat of a game for me to try and “top” myself. And so, if I got nothing more from Glyphius than the motivation to best my latest headline – I have gotten tons of value.

But it doesn’t stop at the headline. For the past 2 months I have used Glyphius to write superheads (eyebrows), subheads, opening paragraphs, closing paragraphs, PS’s, and everything inbetween!

And I love the challenge that Glyphius presents to me every time I turn the thing on.

- Brian Keith Voiles

We can use Glyphius to not just come up with the most winning headline. We can come up with maybe five of the top ones. That gives you something to work with. Go out and test those headlines. Don’t take it for gospel. [...] I think Glyphius is an extraordinary tool.

- Michel Fortin in an interview with James Brausch

If you haven’t yet read Michel’s thought-provoking report “The Death of The Sales Letter” you should download it now. Although the title follows a tired trend of “The Death of …” reports, the content is top notch.

Clients don’t pay us for our creativity. They expect measurable results for their marketing investment. Copy tools like Glyphius help us do just that. Get a copy and test it on your own copy and promotional campaigns. Remember, when you maximize your clients’ results, you maximize your own rewards!

- Roberta Rosenberg, “The Copywriting Maven”

Glyphius is a simple-to-use piece of Windows software that allows you to statistically calibrate your writing against a huge database of successful ad copy. In other words, the software is like a massive automated swipe file that lets you see the effect (good or bad) of using certain words in the specific context you are writing about.

Based on my own use of the software, I’m joining in on the chorus of praise.

- Brian Clark

Brian has 10 excellent lessons on Copywriting 101. This is essential reading if you’re a beginner copywriter. No registration is required to read the lessons, but while you’re there I would encourage you to subscribe to his Copyblogger blog. Good stuff!

I took the Glyphius tool and reworked the sales copy on one of my sites that was currently pulling about an 8% opt-in rate for my free email course. After reworking it, the opt-in rate jumped to 15%.

I have seen an increase in each sales letter that I’ve reworked with Glyphius.

- Michael Humphreys

Michael has a nice blog at where he gives his honest opinion about copywriting products he has purchased.

I typed in a headline and let the software test it. It supposedly looks at your headline and compares it to a huge database of tested words, phrases, and other headlines. If you scored low, you change your headline with a word or two, or some punctuation, and test it again. You keep trying to create a headline or sentence with a higher score.

This was fascinating. I became addicted to “the game” of seeing if I could improve my headline. I was learning as I went along, too.

- Dr. Joe Vitale (”Mr. Fire!”)

How do you apply statistical copywriting in your daily work?

13 January, 2007 (14:20) | Copywriting | By: Nick Dalton

In the previous installment of this tutorial we answered the question: What is statistical copywriting? If you missed it you can find it here:

Statistical copywriting will not write text for you and has no understanding of the meaning of any text. You need to come up with the initial sales copy and then use a statistical copywriting tool like Glyphius to optimize it. Let’s walk through the process step by step.

1. Write your initial text

You know the product or service you want to sell. Write the sales copy as best as you can to convey the benefits. As a beginning copywriter this initial text is likely to have a conversion rate of less than 1%. After optimizing it using this process you should be able to achieve 2-3% conversion.

For this example we’re going to write a Google AdWords ad. Here’s our initial text:

Stuck Writing Copy?
Use software that has learned from
the masters. Free 5-day e-course.

2. Break the text down into parts

While you can score your entire text at once, it’s much more efficient to break down the text into parts and score each part individually. For our AdWords ad the 3 parts would be:

  • Headline
  • Main text
  • URL

3. Optimize each part

Using Glyphius to score different variations of each part of the ad we came up with:


  • stuck writing copy? – Score: 228
  • copywriting is hard – Score: 230
  • automated copywriter – Score: 57
  • copywriter in a box – Score: 50
  • discover copywriter tool – Score: 125
  • check your copywriting – Score: 196
  • get an edge writing copy – Score: 153
  • compare copywriters – Score: 268
  • compare copywriting – Score: 367
  • compare good copywriting – Score: 377

Main text alternatives with scores:

  • Use software that has learned from the masters. Free 5-day e-course. – Score: 155
  • Use software that has learned from the masters. Free 5-day tutorial. – Score: 227
  • Use software that has learned from the masters. Complimentary tutorial – Score: 341

Here are some scores for the URL.

The display ULR in AdWords ads does not have to be the same as the URL where the prospect is sent when she clicks on the ad. Therefore you should definitely optimize the URL that is displayed.

  • – Score: 344
  • – Score: 343
  • – Score: 272
  • – Score: 378

4. Human review

The most important part of this process is the human review. Even if you manage to get a very high scoring headline it will not generate any sales if it’s just gibberish to a human. Double-check that it still has the meaning you want to convey. And read it out loud to ensure that the text flows smoothly.

5. Keep top 2 or 3

Statistical copywriting does not replace testing; it’s a complement and a great way to discover what to test. (More on this in a later installment of the tutorial.)

Google AdWords makes it very easy to do split testing: just enter the different versions of the ad and select the setting to show the most effective ad (higher click through rate) more often. If you take all combinations of the top 2 or 3 scoring headlines, main texts and URLs you will end up with between 8 and 27 ad variations to test.

Next installment of the tutorial

In the next installment of this tutorial you will discover who uses statistical copywriting. You may be surprised to see some of the big name copywriters on the list…

What is Statistical Copywriting?

12 January, 2007 (21:56) | Copywriting | By: Nick Dalton

Very few of us have the natural talents or the required time available to become a great copywriter. That is why the truly great copywriters can charge tens of thousands of dollars, and more, to write a single sales letter. What can we mere mortals with limited budgets do?

Swipe Files

A technique used by both beginner and professional copywriters is called a swipe file. The principle is to save good headlines and sales copy that you come across in a file. When you write new copy you look at your swipe file for inspiration. You obviously cannot copy other writers work verbatim, but for finding inspiration and powerful words it’s a great technique.

One problem with collecting material for your swipe file is to know if the text that you are saving turned out to be profitable or not for the company who originally used it. If you start writing your next sales letter using material that did not result in any sales to begin with, then it is not likely that you will make many sales either.

Statistical copywriting takes existing copy that has been categorized as profitable or non-profitable and uses statistical analysis to find words, parts of words, punctuation and numbers that occur more frequently in profitable copy than in non-profitable copy. With this statistical knowledge it is possible to assign a score to any text that you enter. A higher score means that your text is more like sales copy that is known to be profitable.

What is Profitable?

However the problem of determining if a particular piece of sales copy if profitable or not, remains. If you have any relationship with the company using the sales copy you may find out that way. Or if the person who wrote the text is a big name copywriter, then it’s more likely that the result is profitable than not. Another way to solve this problem is to collect data over a longer period of time. It is a fairly safe assumption that if a company pays for the same ad week after week in the classifieds section of a newspaper or on Google AdWords, then that ad is profitable. You can start doing this right now within your niche since you are already keeping an eye on your competitors.

Thanks to the Internet and all the publicly available online advertisements it is possible to collect data on a much grander scale. 100,000 pieces of sales copy over a period of 12 months would create a nice database. Then it’s just a mathematical problem to analyze the data.

Check Out This Video

It should not surprise you that this massive data collection has already been done. Here’s a video that shows the end result of that study: play video

Next Part of the Tutorial

In the next part of this tutorial you will learn how to apply statistical copywriting, step by step, in your work.