Building Roman Roads

This weekend I’m staying at a little cottage, right in the heart of England. It’s in the middle of nowhere. I took the scenic route to get here as this part of the U.K is stunning.

Anyway, here in the midlands, many years ago, some tanned, inventive chaps decided they wanted a slice of Old Britannia and invaded. Known for their engineering genius, the Romans then started to build roads and towns all over the shop, roads (and towns) that still exist today.

To get to this cottage, I had to go down a road, the old A5, which literally runs across the whole country in one straight line. I think it finishes at some beach in Wales. Very impressive. This road is straight for miles and miles, much like how they built the roads in the US. A to B in the straightest line possible. How it should be done in my book.

After getting off this marvellous Roman road, I was back on old country lanes. You know the ones that are like driving around a plate of spaghetti? That’s because unlike the Romans, who just smashed through everything, the old Brits used to build around stuff. A tree in the way? Build around it. A steep hill? Build around it. A Crazy Hermit in a hut? Build around it. As they were built for horses and not cars as well, they get extremely narrow in parts too.

Bit of a nightmare really if you’re not used to driving on them. It takes longer to get from A to B and you’re inches from death whenever a truck comes barreling around the corner at 100 mph.

We made it to the cottage in one piece anyway. But then it got me thinking about the comparisons between the two and one of Gary Halbert’s (The Direct Response Master) letters I read the other day.

Mr. Halbert in one of his letters goes through his process of writing a sales letter and one section really stood out for me. Gary said “One of the secrets of writing great copy is…. Just saying what you’ve got to say!” Simple and obvious right? People paid Gary very large sums of money to just write down what his clients wanted.

And if you don’t have anything special to say, it’s time to pause, get back to the drawing board and think of an offer that is worth telling the world.

“Local Copywriter, willing to work for FREE,

if he doesn’t beat your control and

make you stacks of cash!”

See how it works? Just saying what I’ve got to say. Communicating in a straight line. It offers news, a strong benefit and a guarantee!

The Romans would be proud.

Or you could go the long and winding route of not really saying anything or trying to be clever. Your message could end up in a hedge or sail straight over the prospects head like a rubbish paper aeroplane.

Communication should be as straight forward as possible. You want to say what you’ve got to say in plain terms. Yeah, you might get a creative award or a slap on the back saying how clever it is, but do they sell? Usually not as good.

Bare this in mind when you fork out the big bucks for your next campaign.

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