Direct response is a lot like major league baseball.
The thought occured me while I was reading George Will's Men at Work, surely one of the finest books on America's national pasttime ever written.
Baseball, Will explains, is a game won by thousands of tiny advantages agonized over by grown men who take the game very, very seriously.
Exactly where the bag is placed. How the pitcher releases a ball. Astro-turf over green grass. On and on.
And then there's the importance of sheer practice: How many times the batter has swung, the pitcher has released, the catcher or fielder has opened his mitt for a ball.
Minutes and hours and days and weeks and months and years spent perfecting the craft.
Direct response--from snail mail to the myriad online channels we now have at our disposal--is like that.
Direct response is the game of strategically combining and deploying seemingly tiny, inconsequential advantages--subject lines--use pipes or not? How links are written. The color of the signature. Copy length. "Big Idea". Calls-to-action. And so much more.
Like baseball, the list is long and it takes years to learn 'em all. Practitioners never stop learning, because our game (like baseball) is evolutionary.
Above all, direct response is a game of mastery. Thousands and thousands of words written, years of testing lists, offer, headlines, watching what the other guy is doing, borrowing from other industries for break-through ideas... always going for that tiny edge.
Baseball and DM pays such close attention to detail because we're in it to win. Every swing has the potential to be a home run or a grand-slam or even a legendary, record-breaking, series-winning, unbelievable triple-play.
Yup. Winners pay attention to the big picture and the details. Great strategy, great execution--the crack of the bat, the rush of the win.
For more on my playbook (what I can do for you) and who I play for, take a look at "services" and "clients". And avail yourself of the free resource links, too.