Direct Response in 2024 (Podcast)

Today’s briefing is a 4 minute read:

  • 🎙️ [PODCAST] Time Magazine called him the “The Founding Father of Online Advertising”: What the past 30 years of Online Advertising can teach you about what’s in store for 2024 (and beyond)
  • 🕵🏻‍♂️ How to “Spy” & 📄 “Swipe” Your Competitors’ Funnels (a VidTao feature walk-thru)
  • ➕ Plus: Reviewing Meta’s AI Image Generator, AI YouTube Title App, AI-powered News Network, AI text-to-Music App, Detailed CRO infographic, and much more…

🎙️[Podcast] Direct Response Lessons for 2024 from “The Founding Father of Online Advertising”

Feedback on the latest VidTao podcast

Whether you've had a rocky year or found major success, if we’ve learned one thing from 2023, it’s definitely that:

None of us truly knows what's around the corner for 2024.

That's why, as we step into 2024, it's so valuable to learn from legends who've weathered many storms.

Ken McCarthy is one such veteran, pioneering internet-based direct response strategies since the early 90s. (read more on his wikipedia page here)

Ken McCarthy, who Time Magazine called “The Founding Father of Online Advertising”

“I shudder to imagine what would have happened had I not bought this book. I can't even imagine!” THIS book is what Ken credits with kick-starting his Direct Response career. And it’s as relevant today as ever. (Watch the podcast to discover this rarely talked about Direct Response classic!)

Before the Internet was even a “thing”, Ken was already a very successful Direct Mail direct response marketer, learning directly from (among others) the “Breakthrough Advertising” legend himself Eugene Schwartz.

(More on that story in the podcast…)

And then in 1993, Ken realized online media's direct response potential before nearly anyone. That year he hosted what was probably the first online marketing conference, ever (attended by future legends like Netscape’s co-founder Marc Andreesen among others), and since then he’s been consistently ahead of the curve.

Here are just a few highlights:

📧 1994: Cracked the code on pioneering email marketing and banner ads, two years before nearly any competitors
🔄 1996: Developed the first known use of automated/sequential autoresponder email campaigns
💻 2001: Mastered and optimized pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, integrating it into fully comprehensive online strategies
🔊 2002: Launched the concept of "push-button" internet audio ads that loaded instantly
📹 2005: Unlocked the hidden power of online video for content sites and direct sales ahead of YouTube and major platforms
📱2008: Utilized and evangelized early mobile marketing strategies before most businesses realized its potential
🤖 2018: Revealed how AI and big data could empower small businesses to target audiences just like giants, years before widespread adoption

We’ll get into all of that on this podcast episode, plus how he’s successfully navigated multiple economic downturns during this whole timeline.

Direct response Royalty like Dan Kennedy and Gary Bencivenga rave about Ken’s work, and we were very fortunate to have him on our VidTao Podcast!

👉 Go here to check out the full episode with Ken McCarthy

And here’s where you can learn more about Ken:

🕵🏻‍♂️ How to “Spy” on Your Competitors’ Funnels [VidTao Tutorial]

Are you aware of the funnel types your competitors thrive on?

To figure this out, it's helpful to analyze the landing pages that your competitors' advertisements lead to. This will let you grasp which funnel types are effective in your niche, offering insights into their strategies.

Max Rutar,
Lead Designer at VidTao

Let's dive right into an example: by navigating to the Ads tab in VidTao, we performed a search. For instance, I searched for "Grammarly."

As illustrated, there are numerous results organized by ad spend. We'll focus on the first ad, which has the highest spend, by clicking on it for a detailed view.

This action opens a video detail popup, allowing us to examine the video ad. You'll notice the main performance metrics are displayed, but for comprehensive information about this ad, click on “Proceed to full info page” at the bottom of the popup.

However, our primary interest lies in the landing pages, which are visible in the popup already. In this scenario, the presence of multiple landing pages suggests that this brand is likely utilizing this ad across various campaigns, each with a different landing page.

Upon reviewing all the landing pages, it becomes evident that the brand's goal is to encourage viewers to sign up for free. They offer basic features at no cost, but for those more invested in writing, premium packages are available.

Simple, isn't it?

Now, it's your turn to discover the funnels your competitors use. Begin by finding an ad of interest here, then delve deeper to investigate the landing pages linked to that ad.

I hope you found this quick tutorial helpful. Stay tuned for more insights and quick tips!

Want to see all your competitors’ landing pages (and ads)?

👉 Try VidTao for FREE for 7 days here:

📄 New “Swipe” Feature inside VidTao

Want to keep track of the latest top ads for different categories?

Now you can create unlimited categories & folders inside your VidTao Swipe File.

Check it out here:

Log in to your VidTao Swipe file here & start creating your Swipe File categories here:

Today's Blog Post is Supported by Inceptly

Direct Response Video & Traffic Agency

Are you spending over $1k/day on ads?

Schedule a free brainstorm session:


Random AI + Direct Response Marketing-Adjacent Updates

Some helpful & fun updates from around the world of business & marketing, AI, productivity and more…

🎨 Comparing Meta's new AI Image Generator vs. Midjourney, DALL-E 3 and Adobe Firefly

✍️ This AI App helps you write higher performing YouTube Organic titles:

🤖📰 An entirely AI-powered News Network (impressive!)

🧠 How to "transplant" our YouTube ad knowledge into your brain (fast)

In case you missed this...

We are opening a handful spots for our VidTao Navigator private 1-on-1 YouTube ad consulting for Q1 2024.

Go here to see what it’s all about:


This is your opportunity to have our
Inceptly agency team (with over $950M in Direct Response revenue generated on YouTube for our clients) look over you & your team’s shoulder, take you by the hand…

…and show you EXACTLY what to do to scale your business with YouTube Ads.

(Including YouTube Shorts & Connected TV, which we're seeing big success with while many other Direct Response advertisers still ignore...)

We only open up enrollment for VidTao Navigator a couple times per year, and
this will be the only opportunity to join us for Q1 2024.

Inside Navigator for 2023 we saw everyone from one-person affiliate ninjas looking for guidance on offer selection, creatives and scaling…

…To world-class Direct Response teams like who leverage our team's experience to cut the learning curve and drive more profit & scale with YouTube ads.

Here's what Publishing's Senior Media Buyer Armin Mirzakhanlou had to say about leveraging the help of our VidTao Navigator team to help this offer scale in 2023:

With our team at your side inside VidTao Navigator, you'll get a 24/7 PRIVATE Slack Channel with our team…

(Like this quick screenshot from the past few days inside our VidTao Navigator private Slack channel with the team) 👇

…Where we will help you leverage all the learnings we've had while building creatives & scaling ads for companies like these:

(and many more we may not be able to mention publicly 😉)

So, what impact can VidTao Navigator have on your business?

Take a look at this screenshot from one of our VidTao Navigator members:

(someone who btw already spends 7 figures/month on ads):

They joined a private VidTao Navigator Slack channel with our team…

…And with just a couple days of our feedback & recommendations?

They’re already scaling on an entirely new source of traffic: YouTube Shorts.


  • If you're the only media buyer in your company and want a solid second opinion & guidance on creatives, media buying (and more)...
  • ...Or you want an "insurance policy" to make sure your internal team of experts is leveraging all the best hard-earned data, SOPs and insights…

This is your chance to tap into our team's knowledge and use it to profitably scale YOUR business.

Want in?

Go here to learn more and claim your spot:


Once you join, we'll send a link to a private Slack channel 24/7 access to our team, and start looking into your account & creatives asap to show you exactly how to optimize & scale your account, asap.

Please Note: We’re already in the process of kicking off Q1 2024 for our Navigator clients, so there’s only a limited time available to join us.

And because of this, the opportunity to join VidTao Navigator ends midnight Thursday January 4,2024 @ 11:59pm US Pacific time.

Here's the link again to join:


See you inside...

The VidTao Team

What are your YouTube ad questions?

In the meantime, what questions do YOU have about YouTube ads?

Let us know in the Comments section below, and we’ll make sure to cover your question in an upcoming post.

Have a nice day!

The VidTao Team