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The Art Of Writing Copy

Never before in the history of advertising, marketing and communication,
have words been more important than they are now.

To cut through the morass of poor promotional messages and laughable
approaches, you need to create messages that sell.

It’s words that do the selling. Not pretty pictures.

Yet most companies today, still cut corners with their copy. Some try to
write it themselves, others employ agencies who have little knowledge in
this vital area.

Writing copy that sells is a specialist discipline. It demands a dedicated,
knowledgeable approach that very few people understand, let alone

These days, to originate effective selling copy, the writer must deal in
primitive human psychology and attack the very root of human motivation.

Experienced Direct Marketers

Without exception, the best selling copy comes from the minds and pens
of experienced direct marketers. So much has been written about the
different approaches and cultures of traditional advertising copywriters
and that of their direct marketing counterparts.

In short, there is a massive gulf between them.

Traditional agency copywriters are storytellers. Direct response
copywriters are salesmen

Quite simply because they have to be…

Direct marketers are measured by the success of their work, by how well it
has achieved its purpose. Or not, of course…

And, in most cases, that information is at hand reasonably quickly.

Good direct response copywriters question and review every single word
in a draft. Then review it again. And again. Until it’s right.

On many occasions, just a one-word change can affect the performance of
a campaign quite dramatically.

A well-known example of this was a headline for an automobile repair kit
advertisement in the sixties. The headline was originally “How To Repair
Cars”. This was changed to “How To Fix Cars” and the ad consistently
pulled over 20% more business.

This is not a surprise to the professional writer, who knows that every
word is a weapon.

No matter how clever you might think you are, it is highly unlikely that
you will have the necessary skills in this, the most misunderstood of all
areas of contemporary communication.

We all use words. We all consider ourselves literate. We can all speak and
write. But that does not mean we can all convey a selling message to a
particular audience, in an effective way.

In fact, most can’t.

And, the intellectuals are the worst. They tend to write as an intellectual
thinks. Which is not the way selling copy is written.

It has to be emotional, it has to be clear, it has to be benefit-laden and it
has to be right in your eye… absolutely no room or time for intellectual
subtlety or claptrap…

The professional knows this and will produce copy that contains:

And all this, laced, at the appropriate time, with the right phrases and the
right amount of emphasis and call to action.

The real professionals study words. They recognise their power.

They study phrases too - and how all of them impact and influence the

Yes, everyone uses words.

But only a knowledgeable few can use them correctly to create a
communication that will connect, hold attention and sell!

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