12-Copywriting Tips to Make Your Advertising More Profitable

By: Thom Reece

Year after year people make the same mistakes in direct-responsecopy and advertising.

How to Make Your Advertising More Profitable
You can avoid the most common and costly blunders by following these 12 easy and proven tips on copywriting. 

1. WRITE IN DIRECT RESPONSE LANGUAGE
Use short paragraphs and short words. This article has 68% short words-five letters or less. Strive for at least 65% to 75%. Never go under 50% unless you are writing to Ph.D's.

  • Make your sentences and paragraphs flow like a breeze.
  • Ignore good grammar when you have a good reason.
  • Keep the bucket brigade going: Start paragraphs with And, But, So you see, However...
  • Use the freshest concepts and the most colorful language youcan without disturbing the flow.
  • Use hot words: free, profit, new, now, secret, easy, save,guarantee, today... and the hottest word of all: YOU!
  • Use bullets... lots of them.

2. WRITE LOTS OF HEADLINES.

Always think up dozens of alternative headlines. Put yourstrongest benefits in them and test your best alternatives. Whenwriting headlines for web sites make sure they include keysearch words and phrases along with the benefits.

3. DROP THE WARM-UPS...

You'll destroy your entire letter or ad by starting off, 'As a homeowner, you know how maintenace costs are climbing everyday...'. Take your first draft and try cutting out the first two to three paragraphs... you'll usually find the real 'meat' starts to appear in your copy after you have started to 'warm-up' to the writing.

4. STAND OUT.

Separate yourself from the competition as clearly as you can. Discover, isolate, and dramatize all the reasons for doing business with you...today..., instead of your competitor. Buildyour entire package or ad around these reasons or benefits.

5. SELL BENEFITS, NOT FEATURES.

Readers don't buy products or features of products. They buy the benefits-of-use of the product or features. Be humble enough to realize that a buyer will not give you one red cent for any product or feature until you convert the features into benefits-of-use.

6. LEARN TO GIVE.

Most advertisers and charities think of direct response strictly as a device to 'get'. Unfortunately, most readers also want to get. So, to succeed, you must adopt a 'give' attitude... beyond what you offer in the product or service. Give them something immediately in your ad, your letter, your web page. Give them news, business tips, interesting stories, resources, freebies, special deals.

7. USE TESTIMONIALS.

Testimonials are proof that the product or service is as good as ad copy say they are. With Testimonials, you will increase your selling chances by 50%. Example of a testimonial'

  • 'I increased profits by $100,000 last year using your services...' Joe Smith, President, Smith Corporation

The more specific the testimonial the more power it has. Give full attributions whenever possible. Remember, testimonials give you believability and credibility. You can't do successful direct-response without these two essential factors.

8. OFFER A MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE.

Whatever you are selling, make sure you offer a money-back guarantee. It's a critical factor in getting someone to send in their monty to someone they don't know or maybe never heard of.

9. CREDIT CARDS, TOLL FREE NUMBERS.

Credit card purchases and toll-free '800' numbers can increase your response by as much as 50%. If you are on the web, make sure you opt for secure on-line transmission (SSL) of credit cardorders... or allow other means for your customer to provide their credit information to you.

10. ASK FOR ACTION.

It's amazing how often otherwise good copy never gets around to asking for the order. If you don't ask for action... you won't get any.

11. BUDGET YOUR TIME.

Devote about one third of your writing time to the lead elements, headline, subheads, teasers, opening paragraphs.

12. KEEP CURRENT.

Direct-response is more scientific than other types ofadvertising. Like any fast-moving science, it has it'sdiscoveries daily. This is especially true of writing for the Internet. Subscribe to industry trade journalssuch as Target Marketing, DM News, Direct, and other relevant publications.

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