How many times have you said ―Great ad, only to quickly forget about the product or service?

Many agencies and marketing firms want you to believe that creative, edgy, even risky advertising works, that advertising is about getting people interested in the ad first. This isn‘t true. People don‘t buy ads.  They don‘t even really buy products. What they buy are benefits.

So while you initially want your sales message to catch a consumer‘s attention, what you really want is for the copy you write to strike an emotional chord and set up a domino effect that will lead to a sale.

Do You Know Who You‘re Talking To?

When you write an ad or sales letter, seek first to understand, then to be understood. In other words, first strive to understand what’s going on in the reader‘s mind, and attempt to allay any fears or doubts.

When you do this, the reader will have the perception that you understand and care about him and he in turn will begin to care about and understand you ─ thus greatly increasing your chances for making the sale.

People desperately want to feel cared for and understood more than anything else. The businesses that understand this vital psychological factor will gain a major advantage over their competitors. In your sales letter, make certain to mention to your readers that it will only take a few minutes, to show them how they can benefit from what you’re offering.

This will mentally slow them down and partially alleviate any hesitation on their part.

Supermarket Sweep

The best way to learn how to write good copy is to read good copy. I suggest you start at your supermarket or newsstand where you‘ll find a mother lode of copywriting inspiration in the tabloids!

These mad magazines have elevated headline writing to an art seldom seen elsewhere. From celebrity scandals to alien babies, their splashy covers are a study in what grabs eyes and holds attention.

Another copywriter‘s resource is junk mail – snail mail and electronic mail. Some of it is very good copy.  With this manual, you’ve learned to recognize good copy when you see it, so when you see it, keep it; and start a file of it.

This is called a swipe file ─ yes it means what it says ─ you will start to swipe words and phrases from this good copy and make it your own.

Watch for ads that last a long time.  It is more than likely that those ads are making money…and that makes them worth studying.

Nothing New Under the Sun Including Plagiarism

All good copywriters swipe and most copywriters got their ideas and training from the experts that went before them. But be sure you stay on the legal side of the swipe fence. Don’t use someone else’s complete phrases, sentences, paragraph order, etc. as your ad…use it as the template.

One thing you don‘t have to beg, borrow, or steal are the following…

TOOL: Copywriting Ideas You‘re Free To Swipe

  • Use short, colorful words that are simple
  • Write at an eighth grade level
  • Use contractions because that is how people talk and you want your copy (or spoken ad) to sound natural
  • Test the numbering of product benefits
  • Illustrate the effectiveness of your product with comparison tables
  • Give quality information in the operation or use of your product
  • Write copy that is conversational
  • Use copy that acts like a sales presentation delivered person to person
  • Use reasons why people should be interested in your product
  • Use specific facts and statistics to explain how benefits can be realized
  • Have bonuses and guarantees
  • Use a call to action
  • Give exact directions on how to order
  • Use a postscript to summarize the information in the sales letter

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