Here’s a little quiz – and a few smiles for you

Do you like “Who wants to be a millionaire?”

Here’s your starter for absolutely nothing.

His father was a successful writer. He himself was a novelist, dandy and wit. He was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite men. He was so bad with money when young that he had to find a rich – older- bride; but when much older he did one of the best financial deals in British history.

Here are some of his best jokes.

Thank God for something warm at last” – when they served champagne at
a country house dinner where the food kept arriving lukewarm because the
kitchens were so far away.

No, thank you. She’ll only ask me
to take a message to Albert
” – on his deathbed when the Queen asked if he
would like to see her.

It would be a disaster if Mr, Gladstone
were to fall into a canal – and a catastrophe if anyone pulled him out
” –
on being asked the difference between the two words.

Have you guessed?

He was the first – and last – person of his origin to become Prime Minister of this country.

And this is him.

Do you know who it is?

It is Benjamin Disraeli, the only person of Jewish birth (though not religion) to become prime minister of this country.

Among other clever things, he bought shares in the Suez Canal on the government’s behalf – without consulting anyone – which proved an astoundingly good investment.

Here’s something clever he said, which prompted this little piece.

“What we anticipate rarely occurs. What we never expect invariably

And that came to mind when this morning I found in my “junk mail” file a message I had sent myself. I certainly didn’t expect that.

I mean, I know YOU may find my stuff junk, but I love it.

Not for the first time, I thought that software causes a lot of needless problems because it can’t think.

From a marketing point of view it makes life a pain.

That’s because the spam catchers often prevent you putting the one thing in a subject like that you know works in all other media: news of a benefit or offer.

I’ve had to completely retrain myself – and it’s been damned hard work.

Drayton Bird Copywriting Services

About the Author


In 2003, the Chartered Institute of Marketing named Drayton one of 50 living individuals who have shaped today’s marketing.

He has worked in 55 countries with many of the world’s greatest brands. These include American Express, Audi, Bentley, British Airways, Cisco, Columbia Business School, Deutsche Post, Ford, IBM, McKinsey, Mercedes, Microsoft, Nestle, Philips, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever, Visa and Volkswagen.

Drayton has helped sell everything from Airbus planes to Peppa Pig. His book, Commonsense Direct and Digital Marketing, out in 17 languages, has been the UK’s best seller on the subject every year since 1982. He has also run his own businesses in the U.K., Portugal and Malaysia.

He was a main board member of the Ogilvy Group, a founding member of the Superbrands Organisation, one of the first eight Honorary Fellows of the Institute of Direct Marketing and one of the first three people named to the Hall of Fame of the Direct Marketing Association of India. He has also been given Lifetime Achievement Awards by the Caples Organisation in New York and Early To Rise in Florida.

1 Comment

  1. If you think taking news of benefits out of email subject was bad, wait until you hear about blg titles!

    Apparently, you HAVE to include words in each article title that Google likes.

    If you want people to find your blog, Google has a heavy bias to the title.

    So you need to address two audiences:

    1) A piece of software
    2) Your intended readers

    In that order.

    Having words like “sales email” in a title will be better.

    So here’s another new rule to add to the list!

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