1. Question accompanied by an answer.

You’ll notice that in the title of this post I pose a question, and direct it to a specific ‘customer’ i.e. those who want to be a copywriter. Though if this was the title of an email, I would address the recipient by name.

Because my would-be copywriter doesn’t quite know how to write copy, I introduce them to a specific number of steps which ‘they have never seen before’. The ‘unknown’ is a way in which you will intrigue your customer into reading on.

This sometimes involves leading people down the garden path a little. Have you seen those headlines on MSN like Kim Kardashian ‘planning to divorce’ Kanye West according to reports? But when you read the full article, it consists of quotes from sources closest to the couple strongly denying the rumours. This means the headline was very misleading, but we still clicked on the article. Throughout your copy you must pleasantly surprise your reader.

2. Play on the customers’ laziness.

Also take note of the words ”easy” and ”instant”. This implies that the person who doesn’t know how to write copy won’t have to try too hard to achieve success in a desired timeframe. This is a selling point.

Remember, the customer doesn’t care about you and your service but rather only about what they want, and they want it now! So don’t bang on too much about yourself.

3. Paint a clear solution.

Tell the customer what to do. Achieve this by not writing in the passive voice, so don’t use words like ”if”, ”try” or ”maybe”. I am telling you not to write in the passive voice, not to ”avoid” it. Notice how in the last two sentences I told you what to do and what not to do. But this is not enough on its own.

When I tell you what to do, I must provide the benefit which here is employment or making more sales, and if you don’t follow my course of action, I provide the danger i.e. potential clients or employers will throw your copy in the bin or ‘you will go broke’ etc.. You must simultaneously evoke emotions in your reader.

4. Relate the text to current events.

I did this in step one with Kimye West. This helps keep the reader in the moment. At the time I wrote a post for baby-faced men called ”get a manlier-looking mug”, ‘old man’ Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, and in tapping into my ‘customer’s’ desire to pick up conventionally attractive women I attempted to convince them, albeit jokingly, that their desire is justified by quipping ”Slovenian model Melania Trump didn’t marry Donald Trump for his foreign policy, did she?”. 

I did not just write about how looking like an old man will attract younger women. Use the name of a specific person of the hour. In the same post I told them, however unrealistic the promise might be, by following my course of action they would get ‘Johnny Depp-like’ cheekbones rather than merely chiselled cheekbones.

5. Provide a testimonial.

A testimonial will come from a happy customer. In their story they must specify the following things:

  • What they were lacking in order to seek help.
  • What they most feared would happen to them without a solution to their problems.
  • Why other products did not make their life better.
  • Why your product specifically made their life better.

Notice how I used bullet points in this section. The testimonial itself should be written as a speech, but afterwards break down all the info in your copy by bullet pointing all the reasons why your product will answer all your customers’ prayers. The text as a whole must be easy on the eye.

6. Create urgency.

If your potential customer has read your copy as far as this point, you should point this out to them e.g. ”what are you waiting for?”.

But it is not enough to rush your customer into buying your product for the sake of a quick solution alone. You must instruct them that if they purchase your product by a specific date, you will sell it to them at discount price for a limited time only. Without this deadline, they may purchase your product later rather than sooner or not at all. It helps to big them up and make them feel special.