Peter Hobday on copywriting

As a leading copywriter, it would be easy for me to sit here and write a nice long article about how good I am at my job. Making a product or service look really good is what copywriters do.

But I won’t because that is really up to others to decide.

So I thought I would put down a few quotes from clients. These are people who use Subscriptions Strategy for email promotions, website promotions, direct mail packs and training sessions etc.

The quotes have not been doctored or cut! Copywriting must have the ring of truth or it won’t be believed:

“ Since I first started out as a copywriter, 5 years ago now, I have always used Peter’s writing as a benchmark for where I want to get to. The pieces he wrote for teams I worked in at Electric Word plc. were always the top-hitters and I started writing with the aspiration to be able to sell as well as he can.”

Sara Baugh, Electric Word plc

How to test market a product
bq. “We came up with the concept, you wrote the copy and effectively put the contents together. After a great response we decided to produce the book and it’s been a steady seller for three years, returning on our initial investment many times over.
Conversely, we tried a yearbook idea – again, sending out the copy before we went into production. We got so few orders that production never went ahead and we saved £thousands. We always test new ideas to a sample of our list now. It’s a crucial part of the process – and the cheapness and speed of email makes it so much easier.
Mark Edwards, Online Marketing Manager, Peak Performance

“Peter Hobday taught me more in a week than I dare admit to in public”
Drayton Bird, Drayton Bird Direct

“Just wanted to let you know some great news about the mailing for the Primary Assembley File. We’ve had only 6 days worth of responses, but we have already had 60 orders .. this campaign is going to work extremely well. You are a genius!” Emma Rogers

“The course gave me the skills and techniques to devise an enticing direct mail letter and the confidence to try new marketing tactics. Selling subscriptions on the web gave practical advice on how to collect and use email addresses from our website to target potential new subscribers. We needed more time spent on our current marketing material including adverts, fliers and renewal forms.”
Angie Burke Resurgence magazine

“I think you’ve probably written the majority of our best emails, Peter. If it does well, we’ll never stop using it!”
Laura Gardiner, PP Online

“Peter Hobday is one of the countries leading copywriters in the subscriptions promotion field”
Marketing Week

“ I enjoyed the time to step back and examine the processes required to produce a quality letter rather than the normal ‘something will do’ effort. The course highlighted the importance of copy writing skills – plus it was a good opportunity to discuss strategies other publishers have used and might develop in the future. One day in the afternoon session was rather too long and would rather spend more time on the online side of things which was rushed and crammed into the morning session on day two. Thanks for an enjoyable two days in a lovely location. I only wished we had more time before and after to make the most of the hotel and surrounding area”
Jim Peskett, Permanent Publishing

“We’ve been using Peter Hobday as our main copywriter for several years now and he has helped us make our sports science list very profitable. We’re still using copy Peter wrote four years ago – and it works every time. Plus he consistently comes up with new ways to sell to our list.” Mark Edwards On-line Marketing Manager Electric Word plc

“Subscriptions Strategy … the leading source of creative marketing advice in the UK”
UK Newsletter and Electronic Publishers Association

“ As someone who is opinionated and set in my ways, I found that my theories have been challenged by Peter and I will be implementing a few subscription tactics that I wouldn’t otherwise have done. I’d like to see more examples of how copy can be transferred to different mediums – letters to fliers to adverts. I’m not entirely convinced that a text heavy ad would look that great“
Peter Rees, Permanent Publishing

“Peter Hobday is the UK’s leading subscriptions copywriter”
Strategic Marketing

“You’ll be pleased to hear the packs have been doing very well. ROI’s are comfortably within target and we have brought on 1,100 new paid subs since the first round of mailings. We are really pleased especially given the poor management of the magazines previously – we thought recruiting new subs was going to be much tougher.”
Emma Rogers March 2008

“We are extremely pleased with the results of the promotions Peter Hobday devised .. we have reached over 13,000 subscriptions. You can now add us to your successful subscription campaigns list”
Sarah Bagnall, Macworld

“Congratulations! The Grocer has now reached 10,000 subscriptions”
Mark De Lange, William Reed Publishing

“A fear of the unknown is preventing many publishers from entering this lucrative area in a major way. Subscriptions Strategy will prove to be invaluable to them.”
Ann Saundry, United Magazine Distribution

A few useful lessons for us all

By Drayton Bird, Marketing Magazine

“A couple of years ago, the top US direct mail writers were asked who they thought was the best of them all. A friend of mine won. He and his partner live in some splendour, never deigning to visit clients, who must needs come to them.

Apparently they charge up to $40,000 for a mailing depending on the results. They have a long waiting list. Hardly surprising because in a survey of most successful mailings – those that beat all they were tested against over the longest period – they again came top.

This remarkable duo, like many leading freelancers, specialise in selling magazine subscriptions, probably the hardest of direct mail tasks. It gives you a complete (often bruising) education which, with a little imagination, you can apply to just about anything. That’s why, whatever your business, I recommend … Subscriptions Strategy.

(Incidentally, most UK publishers won’t pay for decent work and with a few exceptions – like The Reader’s Digest, The Economist and Which? – don’t recognise it when they see it. ..)

Drayton Bird
Drayton Bird Associates

Please contact if you’d like a quote for copywriting, marketing or training advice. And don’t worry – we never chase clients! If you are not interested in our ideas, just throw the quote away.