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Copy Pscyhology

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Often the first few lines of a direct response sales letter are redundant. Sometimes, even the first few paragraphs are too. Look again at the opening of any sales letter you’re working on and ask if it would not be stronger to start a little further in. You see, when we start writing we are heading into the dark. Even with a well thought-out idea and a tight structure in mind, those first words are…

I blame Dostoyevsky… Even his name is difficult to read. Is that even how you spell bloody Dostoyevsky? Who knows? Who cares? OK. OK. Yes, I accept – he probably was one of the greatest writers that have ever lived… And yes, his novels are deeper than a deep thing that’s very deep. But here’s my problem… People too often believe only difficult writing is good writing. For years we study the classics, we build…

One of the most fundamental things you can do in a headline is to make a promise to the reader. In fact, it’s probably one of the most often used techniques when it comes to writing headlines for direct response copy. With financial copy I’m sure you’ve come across many headlines promising that if you buy stock Y you could make X per cent gain… And in health copy you’ll have no doubt come across…

Copywriters can be precious people… I should know… I am one. And sure, tell me my copy doesn’t work or that I could do something better and once upon a time I would have sulked for a week. Yup, I used to be like that. But these days, I’ve calmed down. I’m wiser. You see, I realised sometime ago that you simply cannot be precious about your copy. And that’s never more the case than…

As a copywriter, you’ve got one major problem that no one really talks about: no one wants to buy anything. That would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that, as a copywriter, it’s your job to encourage people to buy things. Actually, I’m being dramatic. There’s hope… there’s something you can do to fix it… and you can start right now. Speaking with a copywriting buddy of mine recently, an English copywriter-turned-entrepreneur-in-his-own-right, he pointed something out that should…

A sales promotion landed on my desk recently… Nothing new there; being a professional copywriter, hundreds land on my desk every week. But this one caught my eye. Unfortunately, it was for the wrong reason. You see, it wasn’t the headline that caught my attention. In fact, when I got round to reading it, I didn’t think much to it. A few too many clichés in my opinion; it lacked a truly unique idea. What…

I love this… I took this snap on a weekend away in Minehead; a seaside town in the south-west of England. We were walking along the promenade when I spotted this sign planted above a ramshackle bookcase propped up against someone’s front wall. And just look at it… A nice big, bold headline that has an implicit benefit – it’s a book SALE. Then, if the offer enticement of a sale wasn’t strong enough, it…

To be effective, copy must engage with the reader on a personal level. It’s not an option. It’s essential. Though many copywriters may nod their head in agreement to such a fact; it is startling to see so many promotions, adverts and editorial published – often by people who should know better – that is cold, impersonal and impossible to relate to. I’m not sure what’s going on. I mean, it’s a basic tenet of…

Unlike a lot of copywriting pros who’ll tell you to steer well clear of extended metaphors in copy… I like ’em. Or rather, when I’ve used them well in the past they’ve resulted in breakthrough promotions. BUT… Yup, there’s always a ‘but’, right? And the clause in this case is that if you do go with an extended metaphor, you’ve got to make sure you’re aware of all its inherent associations. Though the metaphor might make…

Who in their right mind thinks about sentence structure whilst they’re having their sausage sandwich in the morning? Well, me. And here’s something for you to think about… For a few moments after reading it, a reader remembers the end of a sentence. Just there you remembered ‘end of a sentence’, right? And having now ended twice on the phrase ‘end of a sentence’, it’s REALLY starting to stick in your mind. By subtly altering…