Even from the Grave, David Ogilvy is still Mobile

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News flash! Just because your website has a mobile responsive design doesn’t automatically mean people will respond to it.

As we move into new mobile platforms, there’s a lot of value in exploring what worked in the heyday of traditional direct mail advertising. David Ogilvy said direct mail was his “first love and secret weapon.” The principles that made his direct mail campaigns successful can help all of us develop great mobile marketing content.

Let’s look at what he said:

“Tidy, well organized layouts actually increase coupon returns.”

Mobile readers view content differently than they did on a computer screen. We need to rethink how we approach graphic design when presenting mobile content.

“Good photographs of your product cost more than bad ones, but they also sell more.”

We work in a highly visual medium, and eye-tracking studies show that mobile users look at images more than text. A picture is worth and thousand words (and maybe an extra $1,000).

“If your headline promises your strongest and most distinct benefit, you are on your way to success.”

You still need a strong headline, but remember to mind the fold. Make it hard hitting, but keep it easy to scan.

“Winston Churchill said, ‘Short words are best, and the old words when short are best of all.’ This applies in spades to mail order copy.”

The lesson here is to keep your writing as concise as possible. Ogilvy loved long copy but, more so, he loved copy that was engaging, insightful and to the point. We don’t need to write less. We need to write better.

This last bit of advice isn’t necessarily from David Ogilvy, but anyone who’s ever taken a journalism class has received this guidance: don’t bury the lead! Front-load your most valuable content. Once you grab their attention with a great headline, immediately give them a reason to keep reading.

Check out this article: How to Write Content that Engages Mobile Readers. It backs up the wisdom of Mr. Ogilvy and offers up some additional insight on writing for the “mobile revolution.”