Direct Response Copywriter on Preparation (Part 1)

I’m going to start a series about how I write copy and my approach to direct response copywriting. I want to start the series by going through what it takes to prepare to write—before I even type a word of copy.

Direct response copywriters will know about preparation and research but many people in marketing and advertising may find it surprising to discover what it takes to get, to use a shocking cliché, all those ducks in a row.

The first step is to understand the business model. Some of the questions I like to ask: 

  • What is the company trying to achieve?
  • What’s their basic business model?
  • Are they changing the model?
  • How does the company market the model?
  • What are they doing right now?
  • Is the sales copy for a special offer or ‘routine’ business?
  • How will the direct response copy I’m going to write complement or augment the business model?

It doesn’t usually take me a long time to work out what the company is trying to achieve. But it helps. In fact, if a direct response copywriter doesn’t understand the business model, they will find it tough to maximize response. Remember, the direct response copywriter is trying to persuade the reader to take a specific action. How is that action going to help the company generate additional revenue?

Next: I'll discuss the action...and what's a realistic action to ask the reader to take.


I'm a direct response copywriter based in Charlotte, North Carolina. I specialize in providing copy and content for the direct marketing environment for clients around the world. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here.