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 when a reader gets ‘bored’ with your copy.

Let me give you an example…

Your partner is reading your latest promotion. They know relatively little about copywriting and they only have a vague idea about the product you’re writing for.

They read the first two pages fine. In fact, they like it. Even though they don’t really know what you’re selling, they want to find out.

But then on page three, something happens…

They get bored.

They try to carry on but they end up re-reading the same bit over and over. Their boredom only increases and if they were a potential customer, you’d have lost them.

In some cases, your partner might even point to a specific sentence or paragraph where they got bored.

Nine times out of ten you’ll look at it and desperately try to justify what you’ve written, “ah, but I’m trying to do this here because the reader will think this…”

Sound familiar?

Of course, in trying to justify what has made your partner bored and referring to an imaginary reader that you’re really aiming this promotion at, you’re making a very silly error.

Why you should swallow your pride and listen to ‘non-copywriters’

You see, strictly speaking, good copy should keep anybody who reads it interested and engaged.

And I mean ANYONE.

Whether it’s the intended reader, your partner, or your neighbour’s uncle’s brother… they should be able to read through your sales promotion in full, without getting bored.

“But Glenn,” you object. “Surely someone who’s into investment isn’t going to want to read a twenty four page letter about investing in penny stocks?”

Why the heck not?

If it’s a good opportunity to profit and it’s revealed in an interesting and engaging way, why would anyone NOT want to know about it?

I know you might THINK I’m being pedantic, but I’m really not. Good copy really should transcend genre.

Stop thinking about your sales promotion in terms of a promotion for ‘an investment service’, or ‘a health product’, or ‘a training course’, or ‘a trading seminar’…

You’re selling what something DOES; not what it IS.

Once you get that – when it really ‘clicks’ – it’ll be a revelation.

Of course, it’ll make your job harder. To write good copy that goes beyond what the product or service IS and to start selling what it DOES isn’t easy.

It’s damn tough.

But not only will you make more sales in the long-run, you’ll also become a much stronger and much more effective copywriter, a copywriter who can demand a lot more money.

So, next time your partner, your neighbour’s uncle’s brother, or even a passerby on the street starts eying-up your latest bit of copy over your shoulder, don’t dismiss them.

Let them read it in full and watch very closely to see when they get bored.

In fact, I recommend that before you send out your next promotion…

After it’s been through all the first drafts, through all the peer reviews and through all the marketers and managers who want to donate their two pence…

Give it to someone who doesn’t know a damn thing about copywriting and ask them to read it.

It just might be the most valuable feedback you get.

Best wishes,
Glenn

Author

Glenn Fisher is an author, copywriter, podcaster and speaker. After a number of years working in the local council, he left to become a copywriter and founded AllGoodCopy.com, a free online resource for direct response copywriters and marketers. For over a decade he worked with The Agora, a multi-million pound international financial publisher before leaving in 2018 to write freelance. His first book, The Art of the Click, has quickly become an Amazon bestseller and was shortlisted for the Business Book Awards. He is the host of the popular All Good Copy Podcast and regularly writes and consults for numerous businesses, brands and ad agencies. He lives happily with his partner Ruth and dog Pablo on the east coast of England.

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