Category Archives: TECHNICALS

Why it’s dangerous to ask questions in copy

Questions in copy can be dangerous… Do you agree? No. And there you go: my question is answered. Just like that, it’s all over. Sorry to waste your time. I’ll speak to you another day. … … … Wait. What happened there? Well, I asked a question. You had an answer. The transaction ended. Hell, […]

How Kurt Vonnegut could help improve your headlines

I think it was Kurt Vonnegut who said it… “If you can’t explain your story to a fourteen-year-old in one sentence, you’ve got a problem with your story.” Something like that. Possibly. And hell, if he didn’t say it, he should have. It sounds like something he’d say. Anyway, it’s a useful little thought. Indeed, […]

Don’t hide your best stuff: the importance of top-loading copy

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 […]

Why less is more when it comes to headline copy

If one helping of me a week isn’t enough…good news. I launched a new website last week where you can hear more of my thoughts on things that aren’t so sharply focused on direct response copy. – as you can tell from the title – is more a resource to find out what I’m personally up to. […]

Right place, right time: Tailoring your copy for the situation

There’s a lot to be said for copy that’s in the right place at the right time. I was reminded of this recently when out on the field behind our house walking Pablo. Having done his business in the usual spot, I headed over to the dog waste bin to deposit it. On the side […]

Putting the proof in your persuasive pudding

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 […]

You and I: The importance of putting your reader first

What’s the most important word in copywriting? Most people would say ‘you’. When I first started out in the industry, I remember one of the first direct response sales letters I wrote was for a personal finance newsletter. The idea was based around an article about the best ways to ask for a pay-rise. A quick […]

99 problems… but legal isn’t one

I’m an idiot. I’ve had my suspicions for a long time. But now I know for sure. You’re probably an idiot too. Sorry. It’s just the way it goes with us copywriters. Yes, I’m suggesting most of us copywriters are idiots. “Hold on, Glenn. Not so fast. Don’t you know I’ve got a top level IQ and […]

A critical copywriting tool: the swipe file and how to build one

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 […]

I’m not sure your email is working…

Official figures vary… But somewhere between 55% and 75% of all email is now read on mobile. One report predicts by end of 2018… 80% of people will read their email on a mobile device. That’s huge. And as a copywriter, it’s something you must be aware of. Indeed, sat at a little wooden table […]