3 Copywriting Tips for Writers!
I'm often asked for my favorite copywriting tips. Well, here are three, from a writer's perspective.
1. Do your homework.
I spend 80 percent of my time reading, doing research and preparing to write copy; 20 percent is spent actually writing. You need to know your product, brand and audience inside and out to write effective copy/content.
2. Ask questions. Lots of them.
Asking questions is how I learned to write my first direct mail copy at Current Stationery and Fingerhut as well the Hasbro email copy I wrote for Grafica and Jeanne Jennnings. Whenever I start a new project, I start by making a list of questions. Then I talk to people who make the product, buy the product and sell the product. I ask them what they like and don't like about it. I ask them about the three top product benefits ... as well as the three top reasons they wouldn't buy it.
I tell people in my workshops that my job as a direct response writer is to become an instant expert on whatever I'm writing about, and to do that, I need to pick the brains of others. I can honestly say I've never met a product/service I didn't enjoy writing about because of what I've learned in the process — and I've written about everything from hog sperm and blood-letting chairs to gourmet chocolate, burial insurance and designer sweaters hand-knit in Peru.
3. Don't fall in love with your copy (headlines, subject lines, outer envelope teaser copy, etc.).
When you're in love with your copy, you're less likely to see its faults. Be open to changing/rewriting. Rather than becoming defensive about a headline, subject line or copy approach I've taken, I find it's easier, better and more productive to explain to a client why I write something ... and then be open to changing it based on new input. I have a reason for the words I choose, but that doesn't mean I'm not open to changing them.