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Sales Letter

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A long copy sales letter can run to around 10,000 words… Writing so much copy takes a while. So, it figures you’re going to have moments deep into the writing process when fresh inspiration comes. I had this recently with a letter I’ve been working on for a financial newsletter in the US. The idea I’m writing about is a live one and new stories are breaking all the time about what’s going on in…

Do you ever think you might be going mad? Maybe it’s just me. My fiancée would certainly attest to that. It’s usually a relief for her to leave the house in the morning after suffering a breakfast spent listening to my rambling nonsense. But I don’t think I’m the only one, right? We copywriters are all a bit doolally. Tell me I’m not alone… Oh, God…please tell me. *SLAPS HIMSELF* In seriousness, it’s a real…

A quick reminder before I get into this piece… My fiancée Ruth and I…otherwise known as ‘Gluth’…are running the Great Grimsby 10k this year and raising money for the British Heart Foundation. For the many readers outside the UK who are wondering what on earth ‘Great Grimsby’ is…it’s where I’m from. Grimsby is a small fishing port on the east coast of England. And it’s, er, great. Anyhow, we’re over 60% of the way towards…

Do you have a couple of copywriting friends in your contacts you can ask to review your writing? In fact, they don’t even have to by copywriters… Your partner…your friend from school…your Dad or Grandma? The key is you have a couple of people who you trust to be open with criticism and won’t be offended by any disagreement you might have. The openness is essential. If you haven’t got a copywriting peer group yet,…

You ever get the fear? I do. All the time. That feeling when you’re staring at a blank page and just don’t know where to begin. How in the holy chicken nugget are you going to spew forth 40-50 pages of a sales letter from nothing? You start sweating…pacing the room…eating more biscuits than any one person should. You start imagining yourself in other careers…train driver…estate agent…children’s entertainer…who wants to be a copywriter anyway…it’s a…

Copywriting can sometimes be like a lonely game… There you are, hidden away in your office, staring out over the rooftops, to the pavilion across the way… You see a man walking his dog and consider the fact that a few hours ago it would have been you walking your dog on that same pavilion. You wonder if, when it was you there on the pavilion walking your own dog, someone else wasn’t sat in…

Do you have a swipe file? You hopefully do. And if that is the case, rather than read this email, go read this interesting interview with post-punk legend Ian MacKaye instead. But if you don’t already have a swipe file, or you do have one and you’d like to discover some of my own swipe file secrets… Well, I guess you should keep reading. (Though that interview is genuinely interesting too.) The question no one wants…

I’m on the bus back to my London flat in Dalston reading the first draft of a new sales letter a copywriter has just sent me to review. In the time it takes me to get from Leicester Square to the Balls Pond Road, I’ve read it. It flows well, really well. I’m excited to see how the market will react when it gets tested. I watch the houses go by and remember why I…

Working in the world of direct response is great. Why? Because it’s cold, hard and emotionless. Wait. That doesn’t sound good. But it is. Trust me. Of course, we copywriters spend the majority of our time desperately trying to inject emotion into our writing and into our readers… But in the true light of day, the market is truly cold and emotionless. It doesn’t care about your feelings. It doesn’t care about the work you’ve…

Hurrah! I’ve finally got a chance to relax and take the time to say hello. More than that, I want to share some thoughts that I’ve been having since I attended a writing retreat in France last month. But before I do anything… I should apologise: I’ve been out of action for a little while. Sadly I had some bad news on a personal front, which meant I haven’t really had chance to think much…