Dan Kennedy called it “The Event of the Decade.”
It was Brian Kurtz’s event, The Titans of Direct Response.
Brian put it together — with Dan as co-producer — as a memorial event for his dear friend, mentor, and founder of Boardroom, Inc., Marty Edelston.
Under Marty — and with Brian as his #2 for nearly three decades — Boardroom grew to a $150-million-plus-per-year direct marketing giant.
They were the gold standard in direct mail. And pretty darned good at long-form infomercials, and other media, too.
And they hired the world’s best copywriters, and paid them the most money.
Marty, famously, only thought they’d had a good year when he paid his top copywriters more than he’d made for the year as the owner of the company!
I had the great fortune to be Brian Kurtz’s copywriter for The Titans of Direct Response…
It was actually my very first time working for Brian.
But he and I had been forming a bit of a professional friendship… Which is why I accidentally called him a day or two after Marty passed away, to chat with him about the event that would become Titans.
I gave the Brian an out to not talk on that day — but it’s what he wanted, and he said Marty would smile down on him for having the conversation, too.
So we talked, for at least an hour. I still remember it — I was sitting my car, in the parking lot of a favorite coffee shop. I still remember where I was parked.
It took a few months for the event to really start to come together.
But then one Sunday, Brian emailed me.
Apparently he’d sent his first draft of the sales letter for the event to David Deutsch. And David coyly advised Brian that his (Brian’s) expertise was elsewhere, and that he should hire a copywriter.
So here Brian was, emailing me on a Sunday afternoon to ask me to write the sales letter for Titans.
The internet would eventually argue about my sales letter…
Some people thought it was nothing special.
Others thought it was incredible copy.
Gary Bencivenga — one of my biggest copywriting heroes, and a Titan among Titans who broke his retirement vow of silence to speak in Marty’s honor — told me that my promo “sings.”
Brian loved it.
Parris Lampropoulos actually accused Brian of suddenly becoming a great copywriter, because I’d captured his voice so well.
And at least partly due to the effectiveness of my sales letter, we filled the Stamford Marriott ballroom and launched Brian’s Titans Marketing brand. To this day, I am blown away by how many marketers I look up to actually read that letter and responded to my copy.
And I will forever hold a special place in my heart for Brian, my friend for life, who trusted me to write his invitation letter to an event that held such personal and professional significance.
I also got to pick Brian’s brain before Titans — and we recorded it…
I asked Brian to come up with ONE BIG LESSON he got from each of the Titans.
… One big reason why he’d invited each to take part in the event.
It turned into a rapid-fire session of lessons on marketing, business, and life.
And then we made it public in the months before the event.
I’ve shared this video before, but it’s been a long time.
So I thought I’d share it with you again. So you could watch it — or re-watch — and glean its many breakthroughs.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
PS: In my Story Selling Master Class, I created a bonus 1-hour, 45-minute line-by-line breakdown of the original sales letter for the Titans of Direct Response event. (Not the letter for the DVDs. That one wasn’t nearly as good, for reasons outside of either Brian’s or my control. This is the original one that filled the Stamford Marriott.)
I’m confident it was the stories in the letter — that I unpack in this bonus video — which led to the letter getting so much praise from top copywriters and marketers. Plus that led Parris to think Brian had actually written the letter.
In 2020, story leads have become even more popular. In part because they have always worked well, when done right. But also, because they just seem to work for compliance on ad networks. If you’re not already a master at using stories in your copywriting and marketing, that course alone is worth many years of BTMSinsiders membership.