Monday, June 9, 2008

5 Success Secrets of the Copywriting Masters

Want to know how the pros really create winning copy that sells? Try these 5 expert tips for starters, and you’ll be well on your way to writing copy that promotes your products and services—just like some of the greatest copywriting superstars of all time.

Focus on the Consumer, Not on Your Product. The question on everyone’s mind is, “What’s in it for me?” Answer that question about your product or service to the prospect’s satisfaction, and chances are good that they will become paying customers. They don’t care how long your company has been in business, or what you were doing that made you come up with the idea for your product or service. They only want to know how it will help them solve a problem that they are facing.

Use Everyday Speech. You’re writing about widgets to ordinary people, not an academic paper on Hemingway’s use of the comma. Avoid the stilted, high-falutin’ Corporatese that poisons many a marketing piece. Use ordinary, everyday speech, and avoid jargon if possible.

Start a Swipe File. This is the one thing that all successful copywriters do, and if you’re going to be writing your own copy, you should too! So start saving those pieces of “junk mail” that you get, and print out and save any web sales letters or emails you come across as well. They can be a fountain of inspiration for your next promotion. Why reinvent the wheel?

Read. You can’t be an effective writer—of any type of material—if you don’t read. Read magazines, newsletters, Web sites, and blogs relating to your industry. If you’re at a loss for industry publications, check out, which offers free magazine subscriptions and whitepapers for dozens of industries. I get many of my ideas for my blog posts and this newsletter from reading marketing publications.

You should also read outside your industry and for pleasure. Not only is it a great way to pass the time, but it can teach you about language and sentence construction, which come in handy when you’re writing your next promotion. Read business books, as well as your favorite fiction. I like science fiction, but any genre will do, and it all helps you learn how to tell a compelling story, which works as well in marketing copy as it does in today’s bestsellers.

Test, Test, Test. Another thing all successful marketers and copywriters do is test. Run your sales letter or webpage against another, changing only one thing at a time, like the headline. Whichever one outsells the other, use that one as your primary sales message, then test again! Change something else about the letter, like the lead, or the offer, or the guarantee. Heck, even use a different font! Even the most seemingly insignificant element will make people more likely to whip out their credit cards than another. Keep testing and testing until you’ve got something that continues to pull better than anything you set it up against. This becomes your Control. Use it as the basis for everything else you create.

That’s it! 5 super copywriting secrets you can start using right now!

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