Glyphius Copywriting Software Review

I no longer recommend the Glyphius copywriting software. Proceed at your own risk.

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  1. What about Michel Fortin’s Power Words Generator ?

    Have you tried it ? Or thought about trying it ?

  2. Not familiar with it. Do you own it?

  3. Yes sir I do.

    But I’m a sales guy … not a copy guy ;-)

    Maybe you could review it and see if we can work it into our arsenal.

    I’m sure Michel would be all for it.

  4. It’s fascinating how a minor grammar change can affect traffic so much. It would be interesting to see how this type of software would affect search engine results. For example, you might get a better conversion rate but reduce certain keywords which would diminish traffic.

  5. John, that’s why in the current SEO environment, you optimize for people response first, and then optimize for search engines later.

    Long after a post has gone by and the links are collected, tweaks can be made to please the search engines. But mostly its the links. :)

  6. How successful have people been using this tool for Adwords/Yahoo ads?

  7. Chris, it’s especially useful for PPC ads, especially since you have so few words to work with.

    One tip is to always keep the targeted keword phrase involved in the headline. But optimize the surrounding headline words and also the benefits in the supporting copy.

    Then really focus on the landing page copy. That’s where the money is made.

  8. “What about Michel Fortin’s Power Words Generator”

    I have them both. PWG is sort of a ‘social’ copy score where it checks your copy on a server. This can make it slow at times. But pros can help update the database. When more people start using it, it should take off.

    Glyphius is quicker for the smaller stuff like headlines.

    Sometimes the tools contradict each other’s scores too when you put the same headline in.

  9. It would be nice if there was more information on the website. I don’t know if it works on a Mac or anything about the system requirements. Seems odd to me that a software program that helps you write copy has very little copy to sell it.

  10. System requirement are at the very bottom (Windows only I’m afraid).

    It’s funny though… I hear howls about long copy being too much, and yet whenever there’s not enough, people complain even more.

    Giving more information is better than giving less, period. That can be in the form of more text, audio or video. Or a choice of whichever suits the prospect (what a concept).

  11. Hmm. I don’t see the system requirements anywhere. Maybe I’m seeing a split-test or something. But thanks for the info. Since Windows sucks the creativity out of me, I’m not sure if this software will make up for the difference. I’ll probably just stick to my Mac and my swipe file. :-)

  12. “I dreamt — marvelous error!– / that I had a beehive here inside my heart./ And the golden bees/were making white combs/and sweet honey/ from my old failures.”

    Antonio Machado

    Antonio popped that in the ol’ Glyphius Poetry Whiry gigger and poof!

  13. I seriously doubt any software could come up with something that cool, Tim. ;)

  14. Brian – SO, was this headline created with that software?

    I am surprised it is not an ASP app.

    Mike

  15. Actually, no this one was just me. I don’t recommend that people use this software for every single blog post title they write, especially if you’re not trying to get Dugg, etc. But when grabbing attention is crucial to your goals for a piece of content, it certainly helps.

  16. Brian, the Glyphius site is VERY scant on information about the product. Here are some questions that might encourage people to try it if they were answered:

    1. I’m told the software is very tiny (I hear around 700-800k). Given that, can it really incorporate a database of 100,000 ads? I suppose it could be “boiled down” data, but on the other hand, it still purports to match against any word typed into it, which means it would have to know the results of that word or phrase.

    2. Where did the database come from? I guess I am somewhat skeptical, since if this is based on 100,000 ads, you would also have to know the corresponding results of those ads. That sounds like a massive research project, involving potentially thousands of businesses handing over their private sales data to you. I don’t see any hint of substantiation or background info that supports such an undertaking.

    2. Is the database top heavy in a certain product category? Such as “get rich” opportunities, or is it balanced over a full spectrum of products/services? This could certainly make a difference.

    3. What about the differences between countries (even english speaking) or cultures? In england for example, things have a different FLAVOUR. I imagine the answer is that this is based on USA data.

    4. Some of the example ads I’ve seen people bantering about on various forums (ads that appear to “score” well) don’t always make sense or sound right. Perhaps the software is looking at snippets or fragments, which don’t always combine together well in the real world.

    But I (and I am sure others) would really like to have a better feel for what’s really “under the hood.”

    My gut feeling is that regardless of its validity, Glyphius may help people to write tighter copy–not a bad thing.

    The real secret though is this: TEST!

  17. Some of the example ads I’ve seen people bantering about on various forums (ads that appear to “score” well) don’t always make sense or sound right. Perhaps the software is looking at snippets or fragments, which don’t always combine together well in the real world.

    Yes, and that is key, which is why I like to emphasize that your own brain is required. You should still study everything you can about headline and copy writing in general. Glyphius is just a tool, not some magical replacement for solid writing skills.

    The real secret though is this: TEST!

    Again, I agree. It’s the prospect of getting more right up front that makes this type of scoring software so useful. Saves a lot of time in testing!

    As for your other questions, you’ll have to ask James. I’m not sure if he wants to reveal exactly how the software works in public.

  18. I’m told the software is very tiny (I hear around 700-800k). Given that, can it really incorporate a database of 100,000 ads? I suppose it could be “boiled down” data, but on the other hand, it still purports to match against any word typed into it, which means it would have to know the results of that word or phrase.

    As a programmer, here’s what I think is going on. The 100,000 ads or whatever were scanned into a system. Maybe 1,000 words were pulled out as common to winning ads 1,000 words were common to losing ads.

    If you break it down to a text database built into the program thusly:

    Guaranteed = 75points
    success = 10points
    you = -10 points

    Then that amount of data would easily fit into a database built into the program. James will have to either confirm or deny whether I found out his secret or not ;)

  19. Hi Sam,

    You hit the nail on the head when you said “The real secret is this: TEST”. Why not get Glyphius and put it to the test? That’s what every major copywriter did before they endorsed it. Just score some ads with Glyphius and then run them and get the actual results. If Glyphius predicts the future results more than 85% of the time (and it does), then isn’t that valuable?

    If it doesn’t in your alternate universe, you have 8 weeks to return it for a full refund. My refund process is fully automated so you don’t even have to come groveling to me personally to ask for the refund. You’ll just be dealing with my customer service software which does all of my dirty work for me.

    However, the idea of testing everything without a tool like Glyphius doesn’t resonate well with many of us who have heard that cop-out since we started in this business. We tried to test. After 5,000 impressions with no sales, we asked more about this “testing” thing. How the heck can we test when we aren’t even good enough to make some sales?

    The answer was to study. Arrgh! OK; so I studied a ton. After all that study, I could close 1 out of 1,000. OK; that’s great, but testing still isn’t all that feasible. It still costs a ton to get from 1 out of 1,000 to 1 out of 500. And when you get to 1 out of 500… you still don’t have anything that is profitable enough to pay for some traffic using PPC or any other paid advertising method. There has to be a better way.

    So now what? One of the things studying did was to reveal that you should do more studying… not necessarily of books by copywriters… but of winning copy.

    How the heck do you do that I ask? How do you know what copy is profitable and what copy isn’t? You actually asked the same question in your comment.

    The answer is to look at the length of time you see a paid ad run. If it runs for a long time, it’s probably profitable. People don’t just keep on spending money on ads that aren’t profitable. The opposite is also true. Ads don’t generally disappear or change radically if they are profitable.

    I’m a reverse engineer by prior trade. I sure wasn’t going to do that task by hand. I put a statistical engine to work to find the profitable ads in a variety of markets. That engine scanned 140,000 ads throughout the year 2005.

    The result is the database used by Glyphius.

    Data compression is a remarkable science, but it’s hardly on topic here. If you want to see it’s power, go look up a spell check dictionary. I’m sure there are still many free ones available. I remember the one that came out with Volkswriter (an early PC DOS word processor). It boasted 20,000 words, but it’s database was only 16K. A friend and I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out how the heck they crammed 20,000 words in less than a byte each.

    Thanks for the questions. BTW, most of the above is in copy that is under test using my multivariate testing software. It failed. You aren’t the average bear (not that being an average bear would be a good thing). The fact is that the current copy does better than the above copy. Like you said… the answer is to TEST.

    -James D. Brausch

  20. Hi Brad,

    That’s actually very close. In fact, when I do the 2006 study I may use that exact method.

    I actually used tokens with this version. So the “ing” ending has a score and so does “100% guaranteed”. Some of the tokens ended up being words so you actually do see the word “guaranteed” in the database as well.

    Before some get all up in arms about using tokens and the possibility of double counting and all that stuff… keep the following in mind:

    I learned reverse engineering from AMD (who successfully reverse engineered Intel’s processor), the United States Air Force, and medical device companies… including a Fortune 500 company. I have code in orbit, virally inserted into aircraft belonging to another country and in several medical devices that save lives daily. I know what I’m doing. The scoring is appropriate to the gathered data.

    In addition, it has been validated repeatedly both in-house and by many famous copywriters. You can validate it yourself by simply:

    1. Score some proposed ads using Glyphius.

    2. Run those ads and track the results.

    3. If it doesn’t validate in your alternate universe (since it has literally hundreds of times in this universe), just return it for a refund. The refund process is all automated. You won’t have any trouble there.

    -James D. Brausch

  21. Thanks for all the info James. I guess I just don’t care about all that, since I tested the results to make sure this software was on the level. And it works. End of story. ;)

  22. That’s actually very close. In fact, when I do the 2006 study I may use that exact method.

    If you need another code monkey on the project let me know ;)

    3. If it doesn’t validate in your alternate universe (since it has literally hundreds of times in this universe), just return it for a refund. The refund process is all automated. You won’t have any trouble there.

    I already bought it in November and use it almost every day so won’t be asking for a refund.

    I am curious tho what the software upgrade policy is? Will you notify us?

    Thanks

  23. Hi Brad,

    Yes; I’ll notify all customers any time there is an upgrade.

    Free upgrades aren’t included in that price, but if you are familiar with how I launch new products… I don’t think you’ll have a problem with the small upgrade fee.

    -James D. Brausch

  24. This has been quite interesting I must say. And James certainly has good logic and an insightful mind.

    BTW, although I was pressing for a little more technical reassurance behind the database, I still had a favorable gut feeling about Glyphius just the same.

    It seems perfectly logical that you can “fingerprint” or quantify elements of mass behavior, so I don’t see why a tool such as Glyphius couldn’t be useful.

    I must admit, it is certainly intriguing and I expect I’ll be jumping aboard the train to have a try myself.

    I might suggest to James, or Brian or anyone who cares to extend this out a little bit…but it would be interesting to get feedback from users about their results, and any tricks or unique applications they’ve put this to.

  25. One of the things I use it for is just headline writing practice. It’s a fun and quick application to use. I launch it and try out a headline idea I have and try to make it better.

  26. James,

    Just a quick FYI – I can’t get your demos (e.g. on muvar.com) to play in FireFox (and my IE7 keeps locking up on me).

  27. There isn’t much I can do to help with basic Internet Explorer installation from here. I would get yourself a local high school student to straighten out your computer.

    I can assure you that the videos do, in fact, work. The problem isn’t with the videos. It’s with your computer.

    -James D. Brausch

  28. > I would get yourself a local high school student to straighten out your computer.

    James,

    You don’t need to be condescending. I was trying to help you out. I review a lot of product demos – many made with Camtasia, like yours, but yours is the only one I’ve seen that doesn’t render in Firefox.

  29. Hi Excel,

    Sorry. I sure didn’t mean to sound condescending. I just wanted to be helpful. It’s what I do when my IE starts freezing and my Firefox won’t render videos.

    Wherever I have lived, there has always been a high school student who could fix up my system.

    I can assure you that the videos do, in fact, work. They have been validated and there are literally hundreds of customers who have watched them. I checked myself and they still work right this second.

    They all have several views today and yesterday. They rendered just fine on two of my systems and my wife’s Mac.

    That’s why I can tell you with certainty that the problem really is with your computer. It really isn’t something that I can really help with long distance…. or I would.

    In fact, even if you were right here, I would simply call Reid (my current high school guru) and have him come over and clean up your system.

    If it’s any consolation, I would do that for you if you were here and pay Reid the $10 out of my pocket. I would do that for you. But you’re not here and I don’t know the high school kids that know this stuff where you live.

    Sorry.

    -James D. Brausch

  30. Brian,

    Pitches like this make me question the integrity of a blog far, far, far more than running Adwords ever would.

    I’m not saying you’re shilling, or that the software is no good. I have no idea. But this kind of endorsing makes eyebrow, especially when there is an Clickbank link to the product you’re pitching.

    It looks and smells spammy. Especially the unprofessional-looking landing page.

  31. Sorry you feel that way Brett. Since you don’t value my relevant recommendations, perhaps you should just spend your time reading something else.

  32. Amen !

    I always hate the attack of the poor but ethical crowd that always happens.

    ” I won’t sell you unless I feel like it will enhance you life … ”

    About PseudoMarketing – ” This blog aims to humorously explore the grey areas of online marketing, while making people aware of all the new species of snakes, weasels and spiders that keep popping up. ”

    No mention of I do this for a living and am here to help you and here’s how I do it, just some I don’t like this so I’ll knock it crud.

    New Mantra – Copyblogger … Love it or leave it !

    BC – feel free to delete this comment, but I had to let ‘er rip.

  33. Brian,

    I didn’t say I thought your blog was a waste of time, or that the software was no good. Just that your pitch and the landing page looked spammy. This is a great blog, and I have bought books you posted on here with Amazon affiliate links (Advertising Secrets of the Written Word) because it looked like an honest recommendation of a great product. (It was.) And because I wanted to support your blogging efforts.

    You recently renounced AdSense as a way of cheapening your blog and not caring about your readers. Maybe for you, but from this reader’s perspective, it’s a more transparent and credible way to make a buck than anything even remotely seem like it could possible have a twinge of Payola Per Post.

    I’d love to hear the low-down about any new copywriting software or courses. I just want to be sure it’s a straight review rather than a promotion. The c2c (copywriter to copywriter) market is heaping full of total rubbish. It’s made me exceedingly skeptical.

    The landing page of the software you are affiliated with looks spammy. And the tone of the post makes me wonder – is this the real deal or is this some kind of affiliate pressure?

  34. Brett, this is a blog about copywriting. If I believe in something, I’m going to try to *sell* it, not meekly review it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be following my own advice.

    Again, I don’t think this place is really right for you. Why study copywriting if you’re afraid to use it?

  35. The debate between Brett and Brian is interesting.

    My first thought was that Brett was a bit off the mark, but entitled to his opinion.

    Just test the software and see if it works, I thought.

    But since I am a practicing attorney, who hopefully can stop practicing and just get better, and Brian is a recovering attorney, I thought that I had better look up what the FTC has to say about endorsements.

    I think that Brett may be complaining about what Brian has to disclose about his affiliate relationship.

    According to the FTC, “When there exists a connection between the endorser and the seller of the advertised product which might materially affect the weight or credibility of the endorsement (i.e., the connection is not reasonably expected by the audience) such connection must be fully disclosed.

    An example of a connection that is ordinarily expected by viewers and need not be disclosed is the payment or promise of payment to an endorser who is an expert or well known personality, as long as the advertiser does not represent that the endorsement was given without compensation.

    However, when the endorser is neither represented in the advertisement as an expert nor is known to a significant portion of the viewing public, then the advertiser should clearly and conspicuously disclose either the payment or promise of compensation prior to and in exchange for the endorsement or the fact that the endorser knew or had reasons to know or to believe that if the endorsement favors the advertised product some benefit, such as an appearance on TV, would be extended to the endorser.”

    My view is that the intended audience here believes:

    a) Brian is either well known or an expert in the field.

    And therefore, no disclosure of the payment is required, as Brian does not say that he would endorse the product for nothing.

  36. Michael, I don’t think that’s what he’s complaining about. If you read the post again, the entire point is that I am *announcing* that the software will now be a sponsor of Copyblogger. I state that expressly, and it acts as disclosure if it is required. Even if it’s not required, I would do the same thing.

    Sponsorship means money is being paid, and I did this entire post to make that clear along with my endorsement. I didn’t want to do some fake “review” where I hope people don’t realize that there is a financial arrangement.

    Brett just believes that people should work for his benefit without compensation. And that’s why I have no idea why he reads this blog in the first place.

    Some people live to troll.

  37. Brian,

    I do agree with you that your entire post is compliant with the FTC policy.

    And perhaps you are right about Brett.

    But, I thought it worthwhile to explain why your post was FTC compliant.

  38. compliant with the FTC policy

    Talk about degenerating threads. :( How do we go from talking about a software product to FTC compliance? Long time readers of the blog know Brian’s been using Glyphius and recommending it in more subtle ways. It’s why I bought it and I’m glad I did.

    I purposefully came back and clicked through his affiliate link so that I could help support this site and his efforts. He’s made a lot of suggestions here that have amounted to money in my pocket – so it figures Glyphius was a good suggestion too.

    There’s no real long term benefit to him to do a one shot Glyphius push if it was junk (which it’s not). If it were, the next time he suggested anything nobody would believe it.

    I hate to see legal stuff pop up in a thread like this because there’s a large “hassle factor” to it. Brian’s running a site for free that helps a lot of people. How much do we want to hassle him about it?

  39. Brad, Brian had a long post, I believe the other week, about advertising, endorsements and the FTC requirements.
    Brett seemed to asking about those issues.

    In the previous post, Brian correctly pointed that the FTC may be watching bloggers/affiliates more closely.

    It was in the spirit of that post that I added my 2 cents, albeit Canadian cents.

  40. Brad, I have no problem with what Mike is saying, and if it helps educate people, fine. I disclose compensation not just for legal reasons, but because it’s good business.

    However, I still maintain that this has nothing to do with Brett’s objections. He just thinks it’s “spammy” to try to persuade someone to buy something you believe in, which again makes him nothing but a troll on a site about copywriting.

  41. His ( Brett’s ) site is all about complaining about things. He has no intentions of using a product or educating people.

    Brian’s right. He’s just one of those who wants to bitch about money being made.

    He’d complain if we hung him with a new rope.

  42. I purchased the software via the affiliate link here. I’ve been a long-time reader and admirer of this blog.

    Have not had a chance to really put the software through it’s paces, but plan to do so this week.

  43. I’ll tell you what. I like Glyphius and have referred many other people to the software. You can read my kudos above.

    But then I caught this disturbing post from January 31:

    http://www.jamesbrausch.com/?p=381

    I tried his Muvar product and couldn’t get it to work. I emailed support 10-12 times and never got a real response. “Just read the faq” from an autoresponder.

    So I took him up on the refund. Wouldn’t you?

    In this very Copyblogger thread he said:
    “Yes; I’ll notify all customers any time there is an upgrade.

    Free upgrades aren’t included in that price, but if you are familiar with how I launch new products… I don’t think you’ll have a problem with the small upgrade fee.”

    I think there is some confusion over what a satisfied customer is. I was satisfied with Glyphius not satisfied with Muvar, that doesn’t make me any less of a customer. But by punishing me for trying I am less likely to try any more. I am also more likely to tell others of my experience. I am more likely to take down the links and recommendations for Glyphius from my blog.

    I hope he reconsiders this punitive policy.

  44. Brad, that is very said to read. You shouldn’t be “ban” like that. That is not selling, and it can happen one product is very good and the other is very bad. The manufacter should be able to admit is “defeat” and transform the bad product in a better product. Also very good customer support is on step ahead for success, if you have a bad product and a bad customer support…oh oh…goodbye!

  45. The Glyphius sales copy promises that you can “Try Glyphius a full 8 weeks and score as many ads as possible and still get a refund.” What I got instead of that refund was a hard-knock course in “How not to set up my refund policy.” I now share that with you:

    1) Make refunds contingent on a “reciept number” that is either never delivered or is only shown once on a page that dissapears and can never be accessed again.

    2) Refuse customer support to anyone who doesn’t have said number. Offer no way in which to recover that number or even indicate that it’s been lost.

    3) Tie all e-mail addresses listed on your websites to an auto-responder where you compare yourself to Bill Gates not responding to Windows customers and direct users back to the same form that needs the number you don’t have.

    As a last-ditch effort, I tried to fool his Internship page which lets you sign up with your name and e-mail, by signing up as Jay “Your Refund Process is Broken and There was no Other Way” Cross, but that too was broken. I then tried calling a number found in a WHOIS lookup – unreachable.

    I am seeking a refund honestly because Glyphius is not what I need at this stage of my marketing education. I have nothing bad to say about the product or its maker, I would JUST like the refund I was promised when I paid the seller’s asking price.

    If anyone can tell me how to get in touch with Mr. James Brausch about this I would appreciate it.

  46. Why are there two different prices? Brian’s landing page says it costs $135, but the 2007 version I found via Google says $185. Is Brian endorsing an older cheaper version, or is it cheaper to buy it through his landing page? Thanks!

  47. The $135 version is a digital download, and the 2007 product is a physical disc. I don’t have the new version and have found no need to upgrade, so I’m sticking with the lower-priced version.

  48. Thanks Brian. I’ve placed an order for the 2007 version. So you’re saying it should hold up well against the test of time? I’m a bit wary of shelling out for a new edition every year…

  49. I think if you’re serious about being a professional copywriter you should buy and try this software.

    I have used it and after testing some variations of copy that cost a lot of money to test in the real world I wished I tried using the software earlier.

    This software won’t make you a great copywriter.

    It won’t even help you write great copy.

    But it can help you make subtle improvements in your copy that are likely to increase your response.

    If you’re getting paid $3,000, $5,000, $7,000 or more to write a single sales letter then you’d be pretty crazy not to at least try the software.

    If you’re not making that kind of money it could be because you’re not taking your copywriting seriously enough to buy and test the tools that may help you.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh

  50. I appreciate your comment Andrew. I enjoyed your bullet points in the Michael Silvester contest as well as your comments. In my book, you are a great copywriter.

    I’m purchasing Glyphius right now based on your recommendation.

    Tell James about this post and have him look at the post and times of purchase to justify giving you your affiliate commission.

    Thanks,
    Doug Barger

  51. Hi, Just to let you know, I have purchased and this software is awesome.

    I really like the final results after testing and tweaking is done for me.

    Actually scored a 600+ on one portion of salescopy.

    Great work James,

    Thanks for the recommendation Andrew,

    Doug Barger

  52. I got all excited about this software just now after reading this article, but after clicking through and finding it’s now priced at $300, I kind of lost my enthusiasm. True, if I were a professional copywriter making scads of money it would be no problem, but I’m not. Strange though…even Glyphius’ own sponsored Google ad still says it’s $135! Oh well…

  53. I have exact same problem as David. I received an email sometime ago where there was a link to Glyphius software. I was impressed with the description. Since I had to go for a surgery procedure, I thought I am going to order the software after I return home from hospital. Now, I am Back and I am very upset to see $300.00 for a product that has been advertised for $135.00.

    If such a price discrepancy happens in a grocery store, not only they honor the lower price–in some cases they give it free of charge in order to show their professionalism.

    I expect the publisher of this wonderful software will do better than a grocery store….

  54. Not sure if James is still following this post, It seems like glyphius is a no brainer.

    Has anyone any experience with his Freedom Business System as the site http://www.freedombusinesssystem.com does not have much info about it on their either.

    Gavin

  55. Savannah Styles :

    Hi Bryan-

    So glas to see that there is another Glyphius lover out there! I was totally skeptical, it was a gift. My eBay sales shot through the roof from 1-2 per week to 1-2 per day! I am sticking with it and I think anyone at any level could always benefit from Glyphius or something like it… Are you still using it?

  56. georgia lynn :

    hello – thanks for all the additional info on Glyphius. I’m finding variance in pricing also & do believe that Glyphius is very easy to use & apply. Any truth to James Brausch retiring (found on other posts)????

  57. Brian, I certainly respect your opinion, and it sounds like Glyphius may be a decent piece of software. But what about all the Glyphius comment spam and other James Brausch shills?

    The phrase “fruit of the poison tree” comes to mind. I wonder how the headline “James D. Brausch, Glyphius and Shilling” tests in Glyphius. Care to let me know? :-)

  58. What’s up Brian, love the site…I just wanted to say thanks for the information and extensive comments and questions that have been asked and answered on Glyphius. It’s probably the most info I’ve found on it. Thanks again for all your work…
    Cheers,
    Kyle

  59. Looks like the order page the above link points to no longer works. Just thought you’d like to know.

  60. Honestly, this product is not worthwhile.

  61. I learned some good principles that still apply now from doing the “apprenticeship” course with James. Now that I’m on a Mac, I just went back to check in on some of the products. GONE. It’s weird now though that he’s just disappeared off the face of the earth.