Over the years, the face of marketing has significantly evolved. From direct to online marketing, one thing remained true—the value of audiences or consumers. In this podcast, Brian Kurtz talks about how his dream of building marketing infomercials for television made him pursue a career in direct response marketing. From his humble beginnings in list management, he specialized in working with buyers to capture their interest. 

For Brian, the main takeaway is to continue tracking the progress of your advertisements. Moreover, Brian also discusses why business owners should learn how to prioritize essential things in their work. Lastly, he shares his dreams and goals for his career in the future.

Understanding how running a multimillion dollar business requires an optimal marketing strategy. If you are interested to know more about direct response marketing and the processes of scaling your audiences and tracking your promotions, this episode is for you.

Here are three reasons why you should listen to the full episode:

  1. Discover how Brian’s background in list management helped him venture into both online and direct response marketing. 
  2. Explore essential and informative tips on promotion and generating positive audience response.
  3. Find out how to be a successful business owner.


Episode Highlights

How Brian Got into List Management

  • When Brian was a senior in college, he was trying to pursue a bunch of different things.
  • He visited some headhunters six months before graduating. They told him that they could not offer him a job because he has not yet graduated.
  • Brian eventually got into a publishing company because he was an English major.
  • Brian emphasized the importance of making genuine contributions and connecting with other people.
  • Tune in to the full episode to discover how Brian journeyed into list management.

Brian’s Experience in List Management

  • Brian thinks it is crucial to listen to people who believe that you are talented.
  • Brian shared how he fell in love to list management and how he got his curiosity in copywriting.
  • Everybody needs lists.
  • He learned about what makes people tick and pursued copywriting.

Above the Average: How Brian is Different

  • Brian first asks his clients if they understand the concepts of recency, frequency, and monetary value (RFM).
  • Recency explains how a customer who has most recently bought from you is worth more than a customer from a long time ago. 
  • Frequency measures when and how often buyers order and getting them to select more lists.
  • Monetary value shows how much the buyers or audiences spend on your business or on niches related to your business.
  • Listen to the full episode for Brian’s discussion on the relationship between lists and copywriting.

Reselling Your Product

  • According to Brian, your previous customers should always be on your best list.
  • To get your audience back, you do not have to resell the product in the same way. Instead, treat them as already being part of your family.
  • Find the objection of why your audiences no longer want to subscribe to your newsletter.
  • You have to resell the product to them based on these objections.

Challenges Brian Has Faced

  • Earlier in his career, he was struggling to find a way to market his products on television.
  • But when he saw how long an infomercial came in the 1980s, he swore to get into this business.
  • Even though Brian didn’t spend a lot of money on this, he had a lot of anxiety chasing this dream.
  • Now, whenever he faces challenges, he keeps thinking and writing about them for himself.
  • Journaling helps Brian be grateful. 

Finding the Best for a Larger Audience

  • It is impossible to bring new people and your new product together without looking beyond different niches.
  • For business models with the most success, progression in niching down is a major characteristic.
  • As an example, Brian discussed how some newsletter business owners are content with a hundred thousand subscribers.
  • He reiterated how the biggest challenge he faced was figuring out ways to make his products’ reach deeper rather than wider.

Scaling and Tracking

  • You cannot force a product on an audience. Focus instead on selling your product's benefits.
  • Keep your resiliency for the particular problems you see in the world to integrate into direct response marketing. 
  • If you take a general approach to scaling, you need to figure out how to specify your product without losing its simplicity.
  • Try everything you can do to track your advertisements by attributing each medium of the campaign.
  • Listen to the full episode for more examples of scaling audiences and tracking infomercials.

Promotions and Responses

  • Throughout Brian’s career, he has observed companies accurately online marketing predictions.
  • For him, the beauty of the sales cycle exciting it is when compared to traditional direct mail, where there is no sales message embedded.
  • Every time you mail somebody, you could be taking away responses from a future offer by not addressing it immediately.
  • In contrast with direct email, email and online marketing should aim to achieve something with every piece of promotion.

Habits of a Successful Business Owner

  • You do not have to be so religious about your work, but you need to prioritize the most important thing to do in your day.
  • Be grateful for your life and the people around you. You will not be successful without the help of others.
  • Avoid the prescription of illness where you tend to be envious of successful business owners. Approach life from a perspective of gratefulness.
  • Instead, learn from successful people and try to collaborate with them. Ask them for advice on how to grow your own business.

Brian’s Future in Direct Response Marketing

  • His life mission is to know the eternal truths of direct response marketing and bring them forward.
  • Brian also strives to spend time with other people who will help him contribute to a significant change in the world.
  • Brian is constantly thinking of how to create something extraordinary, which qualifies him to explore the online marketing world.
  • He also shares how he is excited to have a mastermind group for multi-channel marketing.
  • Brian aims to bring exponential growth in terms of media to both online and offline professionals 

Brian’s Final Words

  • The same discipline with how sales messages are created still applies in online marketing.
  • Spending a lot of time on email and online messaging is powerful, but it could turn more people off with new content.
  • Ignore list selection and segmentation, even if it’s cheap to send an email.

5 Powerful Quotes

“And I went into New York City. And I actually visited some headhunters. And I said, I'm graduating in May. And this was January, and I said, ‘I really want to have a job when I get out.’ And these headhunters, like looked at me, ‘Why, you know, you can't get a job. I can't recommend you for a job. You're not graduating for another six months.’ But interestingly, you know, my whole life's been about serendipitous stuff. So sometimes you do something.” 

“But I just loved, as you said, I think you hinted at it, that this idea that it was the audience's, it was how an audience responded to an offer. And my curiosity was so piqued by this business, that that's how I started getting all that curiosity to learn about copywriting and to learn about offers and to learn about the kind of direct mail.” 

“You know, there's another rule of thumb in the list business: that your ex buyers, or previous customers, is always going to be your best list. So that concept could be taken into almost any business. Someone who was a subscriber to whatever you do, and they lapse, their subscription usually laughs because of time or money.”

“What we did was we broke a big rule and said, we are going to go 25 minutes out of 28 and a half and not offer the call to action for the first time until we were maybe 24, 25 minutes in. (...) It was kind of a breakthrough format. Because we understood that that was a form that was clicked for that type of a product, we were able to get three out of four successes on TV in our first four shows.”

“But it's about really being grateful for the people in your life, and their expertise, what they do, how they share it, how they share it with you, and how you learn from it, instead of being envious.” 

About Brian

Brian Kurtz is the founder and CEO of Titans Marketing LLC, which provides direct response marketing coaching, consultation, and educational services. He has an English major and Business Administration degree at Rutgers University.

As a direct response marketing consultant, he specializes in demographical and data marketing. Brian has been responsible for buying more than $80 million worth of direct response TV spots over three years. He has also overseen approximately 1.3 billion pieces of mails used for online and direct response marketing throughout his career. 

In 2000, Brian was inducted into the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame at the 14 Annual Circulation Day. He has received the Leader of the Year Award from the Direct Marketing Club in New York. The 2002 Silver Apple Honorees also acknowledged his work and accomplishments.

Brian is also a blogger and has written several articles exploring direct response marketing and other related topics.

If you want to reach out to Brian, you can find him on his LinkedIn profile, or you may email him directly at [email protected]. Visit Brian Kurtz's Blog and his company website at Titan Marketing for more information about his work.

Enjoyed This Podcast?

Marketing has significantly evolved over the past few years, transitioning from direct response to online marketing. Brian reminds us that the fundamental concepts haven’t changed despite the change in media. If you enjoyed the podcast, be sure to subscribe and share it with your friends!

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