Special Tips For More Compelling Copy

I’ve been asked lately by some of my GKIC members to share some tips on writing more compelling copy for sales letters, direct mail, and miscellaneous advertisements. I thought this was little article appropriate – courtesy of my teacher and mentor Dan Kennedy.

Special Tips For More Compelling Copy
by Dan Kennedy

It doesn’t matter what media you’re using, or what business you’re in, “copy is king”; crafting a marketing message that compels readership and motivates response. I thought I’d pass along a few of the most reliable strategies, fresh in my mind this week as a result of a tele-coaching call I was hired to conduct for a group of advertising professionals.

  1. Enter The Conversation Already Occurring In Their Mind. That’s from Robert Collier. The idea is that we all have an on-going silent, internal conversation with ourselves. Your prospect has something right now dominating that conversation, rearing up repetitively. It may be a frustration, pain, fear, anger, resentment, desire, hope, timely event. You need to know what it is and link your message to it.
  2. Be Timely.  Pay very close attention to what’s going on in the news, that you can and should link to. For example, a few weeks ago, an Oprah/Dr. Phil show featured teenagers talking about the new, frighteningly common fad of “oral sexparties.” That show sparked discussion of this on many radio and TV talk shows, newspaper articles, etc. and it quickly became the topic of conversation among parents of teens and pre-teens. A martial arts school, a church, a parenting seminar, etc. are businesses that needed to jump on this timely topic and link to it in useful communication with present clients, in advertising for new clients, and in seeking media publicity.
  3. Make Copy personal And Conversational, Never Institutional.  People want a relationship with a person, with personality, not a nameless, faceless institution.
  4. Beware the “We” Orientation.  Most business-to-business marketing copy is ruined by the “we-we-we” approach, talking about “our” products, “our” technology, what “we” do, what “we” invested, etc. You can dramatically improve such ads or sales letters merely by re-stating everything in a “you” approach.
  5. Come Through The Door Guns Blazing.  That means, command attention — with a bold, daring, dramatic statement. Do not begin with form-letter, textbook business letter paragraphs. Is your headline and opening paragraph so “on target” with your reader that he is instantly and irresistibly compelled to set aside everything else in his life to read your message? If not, your opening is too tentative, weak, wimpy, polite.
  6. Good Copy Is Based On Sales Strategy.  We call it “sales thinking.” Coming up with a big idea, a “hook,” a foundation.  Iacocca did this at Chrysler with the then-longest, most radically different guarantee in the auto industry. I invented the “this sales letter is guaranteed” gambit, offering people money if they read the whole letter and then felt it wasn’t vitally important and beneficial to them. You need to work from a single, bold sales strategy.
  7. Good Sales Copy Fits A Structure.  In my book THE ULTIMATE SALES LETTER, I present several proven formulas or structures for long-form copy. One example is “Problem+Agitate Problem (Emotionalize Problem)+Solution.” A more sophisticated version is “Problem+Agitate  Problem+Invalidate all solutions but Yours+Solution” There are set structures for presenting price, guarantees, answering objections, etc. When you first pick these structures, you then write copy to fit, which makes copywriting easier and faster.
  8. Make Getting Good At This A Top Priority.  I don’t think there’s a business skill of greater value than direct-response copywriting. I know there’s no higher paid skill.
  9. Be Clear And Forceful In Closing.  Good sales copy ends with a roar, not a wimper. Be very clear and straightforward telling your reader what he is to do next, how to do it, what will happen when he does, and why he needs to do it immediately.
  10. Don’t Forget The P.S.  There are many different ways to effectively use a P.S., or multiple P.S.’s. Remember, the P.S. is one of the most read parts of a sales letter or advertisement, so it is a golden opportunity.

I HAVE ARRANGED A SPECIAL FREE GIFT FROM DAN FOR YOU including a 2-Month Free Membership in Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle, newsletters, audio CD’s and more: for information and to register, visit: www.NoBSFreeGift.com/CraigValine

To learn more about writing compelling copy and other effective marketing strategies, please be my guest at our next local chapter meeting by RSVP’ing at www.GlendalePasadenaGKIC.com

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“No BS” Craig

Craig Valine, Local Chapter Director
Glazer-Kennedy Insider’s Circle
Glendale/Pasadena Local Chapter

(626) 507-8228 Home office