Five things I definitely don’t know about copywriting

November 10, 2012 | By | 6 Replies More

Too many copywriting gurus go on and on about what they DO know…

So to freshen things up a little, here are five things about copywriting that I definitely DO NOT know.

1. I don’t ever know what the best headline is for any particular product or service that I am selling.

Even when I write a sales promotion that works effectively and is taken as the control, at no time can I ever assume it is the ‘best’ headline for that product or service.

There is always a chance that the next headline I test could blow that current control out of the water.

Moral: Even when you find a headline that works, keep testing new ones.

2. I don’t ever know what the customer is thinking when they are reading a promotion.

Each reader is an individual and arrives at a direct response sales letter in their own unique circumstance.

To think that you can speak personally to thousands of individuals is naive.

Moral: Though others might think you should target your copy directly at the reader, you should in fact create a relatable world inside your sales letter that draws your reader in – let them make the personal connection.

3. I don’t ever know when I’ve made the sale.

Personally, in any direct response long copy sales letter I write, I aim to ‘sell’ the reader on the idea by about the sixth page.

It’s by this point that I want them to want the product, to desire it. This allows me to confirm that desire with further proof throughout the rest of the letter.

But the truth is, you never really know at which point in your letter a reader is sold.

Moral: From the first page to the last, your sales letter should contain a constant thread that is always making the sale.

4. I don’t ever know how long a sales letter should be.

The age-old debate still rages on as to whether long copy beats short copy. The truth is, it’s irrelevant. Good copy beats bad copy, regardless of the length.

Moral: Don’t worry about the length of your copy – just make sure it effectively argues the case for your product or service.

5. I don’t ever know where my next big idea is going to come from.

Sure, I guess you could say I’m a creative type – suppose you have to be in this business – but even so, it’s never a given that you can just pluck a big idea from thin air.

A big idea could come from a news story you overhear, the melody of a song you’re listening to on the radio or something a character says in a book you’re reading.

Moral: Always be open to ideas, no matter when they appear, no matter where they come from and no matter how strange and unrelated to the project you’re working on they might seem.

Best,
Glenn

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Category: Emotionals, Technicals

About the Author ()

Glenn Fisher is a professional copywriter, founder of AllGoodCopy.com and author of Write Better Copy. He is an expert in long copy sales letters, having written copy that has so far generated more than £10 million in revenue. Born in Grimsby, he now lives in London.

Comments (6)

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  1. rentaquill says:

    I don’t ever know why some clients believe their use of poor English language in a post-operative edit will give them better results than the original, well-thought out, carefully crafted piece of copy they’ve paid me to create.

    But the truth is, harshly, sometimes it’s not in my interest to query what they do with the work after I’ve handed it over.

    Moral:
    Sometimes you have to do your best and just write; accept that, even when you’ve done your best, the right thing may not be what they’re looking for.

  2. I like. Reading your blog is always refreshing compared to many a German Copywriter blog. They always seem to be so busy with themselves and how fabulous they are and how grotty everyone else … though I am convinced it’s not a particular German problem:)

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