The Copywriting Mini-Crash Course

Copywriting is the process of creating online and offline advertising sales messages.

keyboardThe purpose of this tutorial is simple: To give you solid copywriting tips on how to craft advertising sales copy that works. The kind of advertising that brings back more in profits than it costs to run.

I encourage you to read every word with an open mind. Apply these strategies to your new and existing advertising and watch as response rates, sales and your return on investment skyrocket.

Let’s face a few important facts…

1. If you sell products or services by direct marketing… then… your sales depend upon the strength of your promotional material.

2. Most online and offline advertising works only to a marginal degree.

3. What you say to your prospects and customers is the single most important element that determines whether they buy or not.

Let’s simplify the process of writing “killer” copy.

Here’s a proven system you can count on…

Step One: Discover The Compelling Copywriting Big Idea

The Big Idea is the driving force behind a specific promotion. It encapsulates a tantalizing reason why prospects should read and respond to your offer.

Coming up with a good Big Idea is not necessarily easy. But it must be done. I think the best way to show you how is by illustrating a few Big Ideas from
promotions that have brought in millions of dollars.

Big Idea Example #1: Ted Nicholas

Ted NicholasTed Nicholas is the original “$200,000,000 Man”.

He made the bulk of his fortune selling information products and services to business people.

His rise to fame and fortune came when he noticed something about how the business world operated.

This was back in the early 1970’s.

What Nicholas became aware of was the high cost of incorporation. Business owners had to pay…

Several Hundred Dollars (Or More) To Create A Corporation

Many business people had to pay this cost over and over again whenever they decided to start a new company.

Nicholas, a prolific businessman himself, felt the monetary sting of incorporating his new enterprises and decided to do something about it.

He discovered how to incorporate very cheaply and came up with this headline.

Which was also his Big Idea for the ad that launched his information empire…

How To Form Your Own Corporation
Without A Lawyer For Under $50

That headline has since change to read: How To Form Your Own Corporation Without a Lawyer For Under $75.

But the Big Idea is the same: You can incorporate for a lot less than you think.

You can do it without a lawyer who will charge you an arm and a leg. And it can be done for less than $75.

Any business person who needs to incorporate would definitely respond to that Big Idea. Notice too that the big idea can appear in the headline.

Not a requirement… but… the sooner you can telegraph and even showcase the Big Idea the better your response rates.

Big Idea Example #2: Gary Halbert

The late, Gary Halbert, has been called the “world’s greatest copywriter” because he is…Gary Halbert

An Absolute Copywriting Genius

He has written thousands of ads.

Many of which brought in millions upon millions of dollars.

All of his winning promotions centered squarely upon a solid Big Idea.

Back in the early 1980’s, Halbert worked with Ernest and Tova Borgnine.

They tried marketing cosmetic products on their own and were doing badly. Until Halbert came on board.

One of Tova Borgnine’s “dream” was to create a fragrance; a perfume. She tried in vain for years… until… Gary himself came up with a homemade concoction
and the Big Idea behind a newspaper space ad.

This ad resulted in the most successful perfume launch in history.

Here’s the headline…

Wife Of Famous Movie Star Swears
Under Oath Her New Perfume Does Not
Contain An Illegal Sexual Stimulant

Keep this in mind: People wear perfume to be sexually attractive.

This headline highlighted that “unspoken reason why” people wear perfume… and…

Got 7,000 People To Go To The Century Plaza Hotel In L.A. On A Weekday

The Big Idea is: This perfume will help you attract the opposite sex. It’s so powerful some believe it contains a sexual stimulant.

The rest of the ad went on to say that free samples would be given out to prove that the perfume is safe to wear in public. An offer like this would not have the
same impact if the Big Idea did not grab people’s attention.

I’ll give you one more…

Big Idea Example #3: Eugene SchwartzEugene Schwartz

Schwartz was one of the pioneering copywriters of modern-day direct response consumer marketing.

He helped Martin Edelston launch the $50-million dollar per year Bottom Line publishing empire.

And he was one of the most successful and…

Highest Paid Copywriting “Commandos” In The World

His consumer ads for books are cherished classics. Sought after by the best copywriters on the planet seeking a real-world education in salesmanship.

Here’s a classic headline he wrote for a book…

How Modern Chinese Medicine Helps Both
Men And Women Burn Disease Out Of Your
Body Lying Flat On Your Back Using Nothing
More Than The Palms Of Your Hand

The Big Idea in this headline is obvious: Burn disease out of your body using your palms.

How outlandish!

Yet, the claim is true and thus the ad sold the book.

I think I’ve given you some excellent examples about the Big Idea.

You may be wondering how you find it for your product or service. The best advice I can give you is to look closely at what you sell. The Big Idea is not necessarily obvious to the “naked eye”.

You have to dig for it a little.

I assure you that it is within what you sell.

Find it first and write your ad around this Big Idea. If you can’t find it, then…

Restructure Your Product Or Service Around A Central Big Idea You Create

One that your market wants but no one is giving them.

The Big Idea…

1. Is often a solution to a pressing problem. Nicholas came up with a Big Idea solving a problem for business owners needing to start a new corporation. Schwartz discovered a Big Idea promising to help people improve their health easily.

2. It shows the reader how to fulfill a deep, even secret, desire. Halbert’s ad promised to make the reader sexually attractive if they used the perfume he was selling.

3. Expresses a way to satisfy a secret craving. Something not often talked about. Or discussed in privacy… in hushed tones.

Think about how your product or service does these things. Or how it can with the right repackaging and repositioning.

Note: In The Copywriting Crash Course I show you how to borrow proven Big Ideas and concepts to structure your promotions around. Doing so almost guarantees that you hit the right hot buttons with your target market. The results will be more sales and more profits.

Step Two: Plan Your Copywriting Promotion

Planning your promotion means listing all of the key ingredients you’ll include. planbook

Every ad, whether website, space ad or direct mail letter, has certain elements you must include. I’ll tell you what they are in a moment.

Now that you’ve found the Big Idea to write your promotion around, the next step is to lay all the elements of your ad out.

Any good direct response ad has these basic elements…

Body copy – story and reason why
Call to action
Post Script

Not all of these elements are required in every ad. Sometimes there’s no bullet copy. Sometimes there’s no post script. But, for the most part, this is…

Everything You Need To Include For A Complete Ad

There are a couple of more considerations to planning your ad.

Such as…

1. Will the ad be built around a person or personality?

2. What proof and credibility elements can you use?

3. Competitor promotions and what they say.

4. Features of your product and service.

5. Benefits of what you sell.

6. Prospect hot buttons that drive them to want to buy.

7. Fears and objections do they harbor.

The biggest mistake people make when writing ads is…

They Don’t Know What To Say To Get A Response

The main reason for this mistake is because they never plan out what to say.

Each of the elements above must be thought thru before you start writing. The best way for me to illustrate how this is done is by giving you a solid example
of part of this process.

I’m actually going to make this up as we go along. You’ll be able to see the thinking that goes into the process and just copy it for yourself.

The “promotion” I’m going to plan out is for a book called…

The Science of Getting RichWallace D. Wattles

This book inspired the creators of “The Secret”. The BIG IDEA behind “The Secret” comes right out of this book written back in the late 1800’s by Wallace D. Wattles. If you can imagine that!

In planning the ad here’s what I would do…

Build the ad around Wallace D. Wattles and his success with the method he teaches. Or build the ad around other people who have succeeded with his methods for attracting wealth.

Include proof elements such as case studies and testimonials with before and after stories.

Gather about me two or three other promotions…

Selling A Similar Concept Of How To Accumulate Wealth

List the features of this process.

List the promised benefits.

Armed with this information, I’d go on to finding the Big Idea after researching the process and reading the book. Pretend that the Big Idea in this case is that you can attract wealth just by thinking about it. My headline could read something like this…

How To Achieve Financial
Freedom The “Lazy” Way

I’d like to point something out about writing good headlines.

Writing sales copy is, to a great extent, formulaic.

Proven formulas exist that one can refer to in writing each copy block of an advertisement.

In the case of headlines, keep this formula in mind…

Benefit + Curiosity = Interest

A good headline will include one big benefit or several of them.

The reason someone will continue reading is because of the promised benefit(s). Not for any other reason.

But the benefit alone is not enough. There must be an…

Irresistible Curiosity Element Driving Readership

Combine these two and you create interest.

It’s the furthering of interest that keeps people reading from the headline to the post script of the ad.

To make your ads work, you must think through each part of the ad like I just showed you. Then jot down a few ideas you’ll use for each element of the copy before you write one word.

Just about everyone I know wants to get to the writing before they’ve done enough research.

They don’t want to take the time and labor through this second – ALL IMPORTANT – step.

But the ad will almost write itself if you plan it out and do the necessary research.

But you don’t want to hear that, do you? No, no. You just want the dang thing written up and making money. Sorry. That’s not how it works.

Despite the sober reality I just shared with you, there is something we can do to expedite the writing of the ad. Without getting bogged down in too much work.

Which takes us to…

Step Three: Model The Copywriting Of Successful Ads

The idea of “modeling” successful ads – or swiping – has been around for a long time in advertising.

The reason it works is because once a proven ad writing formula is discovered it can be used in other ads selling other kinds of products and services.

Knowing how to model these ads is crucial.

I’m going to clue you in on a big secret…

Breakthrough advertising is rarely created in a vacuum. Pro ad writers quite literally model the elements of successful ads when creating their own. This is something most of them do not want “outsiders” to know.

Let me prove it to you…Gary Bencivenga

Gary Bencivenga is arguably the best living copywriter. His “hit” ratio is something like 85%. For every ten ads he writes, more than eight of them are winners. Despite his obvious talent for selling via the written word, Bencivenga is…

Not Beneath “Swiping” At All

I know this to be a fact.

Way back when, Maxwell Sackheim wrote a space ad for the Sherwin Cody Language School.

This ad appeared in print for over 40 years with little to no change.

The headline for this ad is…

Do You Make These
Mistakes In English?

Bencivenga swiped this headline for an ad he wrote about job interviews. His swiped headline read…

Do You Make These
Mistakes In Job Interviews?

But wait… it gets better…

Top copywriters swipe each other, and they even swipe themselves.

John Caples is a legendary ad writer. There’s even an advertising award that bears his name; The Caples Award. He wrote…John Caples

A Mega-Successful Ad For The U.S. School Of Music

The headline read…

They Laughed When I
Sat Down At The Piano But
When I Started To Play

The success of this headline motivated Caples to swipe himself.

For an ad selling a correspondence course in French, Caples swiped the above headline in this manner…

They Grinned When the
Waiter Spoke to Me in French…
but their laughter turned to
amazement at my reply

Oop copywriters like Gary Bencivenga and the late, John Caples, swipe each other and themselves. So it’s okay if you do it too.

Here’s how…

Take your market and product category and find proven ads to swipe. It’s really that simple. You don’t have to sit and stare at a blank piece of paper or computer
screen wondering what to write or type.

Just refer to an ad pulling in tons of orders and model your ad after it.

Where Do You Find Promotions To Swipe?

Several “avenues” exist…

1. Get on the snail mail and email list of all your competitors. Sign yourself up to their online ezines. Buy one or two of their products. Do whatever it takes to get bombarded with their ads. The ads that keep showing up are probably working.

2. Read the newspaper or other appropriate offline media. Take a trip to your local library. Ask the reference librarian for all the major city newspapers. Look through them and copy competitor ads.

3. Read the Yellow Pages. If folks in your line of business advertise in the Yellow Pages then check it out. The library has all the major city Yellow Pages books throughout the country.

4. Google your product category. Competitors are probably putting up websites. Do a search on Google and see what they are up to.

5. Rummage through your old and current successful ads.

I think you get the point by now.

The idea here is to find ads (space ads, direct mail, websites, etc.) that competitors keep using.

They wouldn’t spend the money on them if those ads didn’t work.

Sit down with the ads you like best and use them as a guide to writing your own. This is the simplest and easiest way to create advertising that works.

Which brings me to…

The Benefits Of Using A Copywriting Swipe File

Swiping gives you the unfair advantage everyone else in your industry is looking for when it comes to creating ads that make money.swipe file

The benefits that stand out include…

Eliminating Writer’s Block: Many people complain about getting stuck when it comes to writing. Either they can’t get started… or… they don’t know what to say next. When you use a proven ad to model yours after you don’t have to worry about that any more.

Write Promotions Faster: There’s no more fumbling around trying to figure out what to write. Refer to your swipe template and structure your ad.

Craft More Effective Ads: When you model success it rubs off. Your new ad will be that much more effective when you follow the thinking behind a proven winning promotion.

I highly recommend you at least take the time to check out my program The Copywriting Crash Course. It gives you a complete system for ethically swiping winning ads.

Take a test drive and see how it will help you…

Write “Killer” Advertising Without The Usual Stress And Struggle

Before cramming your brain to write your next ad get my course and put it to the test.

The results will amaze you… because you’ll…

Never worry about writer’s block again.

Cut writing time by half or more.

Write ads that are up to three times more effective.

Put the odds on your side by modeling proven winners.

Have a repeatable system for crafting profitable promotions.

If you’re thinking about hiring a copywriter to do the writing for you…

Then you might want to check out this blog post.

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