Everyday Copywriting Vs. Effective Copywriting

by : Paul Speziale

Take your average super successful sales person, the person that has brought the most sales to your business (usually it’s just one).  Multiply them by a million, and send them off to visit 1 qualified prospect each...all at the same time.  Do you think that would increase your sales a bit?

If you had answered yes, then you now realize the potential of a well crafted piece of copy designed to sell your product. 

The ability to write a letter to sell your product/service is an even greater skill.

So then why do so many businesses send out copy, through advertising, mail order, telemarketing, radio or TV ads designed to be flashy, humourous and clever?  When was the last time you bought from a person in a store when they were using all sorts of clever tricks on you?  Tricks like, play on words, weird images, advanced humour etc.?   No... chances are you were scared of a salesperson that was so crafty.  It raises the question, “Why are they trying so hard?"

We are going to call that flashy sort of copy: “Everyday Copy" because it is seen so often...many times a day.  And the copy that sells your product, we will call “Copy that sells".

With your everyday copy, you have your English majors, freelance writers, and most ad agency employees.  Now, these people are brilliant, they can write so nicely and with such advanced command of the English language that they sometimes win prizes in literature, become infamous and known throughout history as producing beautiful works of art and literature and often win awards and widely recognized.

They use English devices like: play on words, puns, humour and other things in their copy.

But they have not sold your product...

Don’t believe me? Key your ads...put in a tracking mechanism to see if people are responding to your ads...you will be furious when you find out exactly how many people respond and buy your product.  Try it!

Unfortunately, their advanced work is all but lost on the prospect who is Unfortunately, their advanced work is all but lost on the prospect who is

1) busy with 2 kids

2) balancing both a full time and a part time job3

3) has a spouse who is not holding up their part of the agreement called “marriage"

4) poor diet habits from lack of time

5) stressed out from work with employees backstabbing them

6) bosses criticizing them in front of their co-workers

7) parents telling them how to run their lives and won’t leave them alone

8) aches and pains in their body

9) the stress of keeping up with their next door neighbor who always seems to have the latest and greatest stuff

not to mention being bombarded by

sales and marketing mail, signs, commercials,

sales people, telemarketers up to 3000 times per day.

Do you think with all that going on, they have time to figure out the “play on words" that was used in your ad? If they don’t understand what you said the first time and figure out how they will be benefited from what you offer, they will toss it. 

You have 3 seconds to get their attention:

1...2...3... that’s it.

On the other hand, copy that sells will most of the time look dull, boring and mostly full of text.  Why does it look this way?  Because the effort is made to put in as many benefits and reasons to buy into the ad as possible in a way that isn’t pushy and in a way that can be tracked to determine results. 

Let’s look at some examples shall we?

Examples of Everyday Copy.

Actually, there is no need to put up any. Just open your newspaper and look for them. They are the ones with just a few words, lots of pictures and if you feel confused at a) what they are selling and b) how it may benefit you then you have found some Everyday Copy.

Example of Copy That Sold Millions.

I would rather spend my time showing you the ones that sell.  Go to http://www.anellosolutions.com/articles.php and click on the "million dollar copy examples" to view a rare excerpt of the Wall Street Journal Copy that has been estimated to have sold up to a billion dollars for the WSJ.  Also at the above address is a link to Gary Halbert’s Coat of Arms Letter that has been in circulation for a few decades and sold millions of dollars of coats of arms, a link to the advertisement “They laughed at me..." sold the home piano study course for decades and has made millions.  Oh and David Ogilvy’s Rolls Royce Ad that sold out the entire national supply of Rolls Royce’s.  David Ogilvy used these principles in advertising copy to which he owes his purchase of a 14th century medieval castle.

Some big publishers like Agora and Philips pay their copywriters up to a million dollars a year because they want to keep them...they know that if they don’t pay them well, they will walk.

Another example of copy that sells is the National Enquirer and Cosmopolitan.  The National Enquirer is read by more people than the bible and Cosmopolitan is also a big seller...why? Headlines that catch a reader’s eye produced by the copywriters that’s why. Are they trashy? For some, yes, but the fundamental human behaviours that they are aiming for is the same as those SUCCESSFUL copywriters that aim at selling to doctors, dentists, engineers, big business etc. 

And the good news is that those fundamental human behaviours can be translated to match whatever audience you’re selling to.

In conclusion, choosing which type of copy you wish to have is largely dependant on what you want to achieve.  If you want to win awards then hire an everyday copywriter, if you want to sell your productFree Web Content, then hire a copywriter that sells.

Watch out for my next article “How to Hire A Copywriter To Guarantee Your Product Will Sell"