Let's Get Vivid

Andrew Wood introduced me to direct marketing. He's a superb copywriter and a highly successful information marketer. I write copy for his company, Legendary Marketing. He provides me with a copywriting checklist and one of the items: Is the copy vivid?

I've been working to make my copy more vivid. This means stronger headlines with more metaphors, adjectives, and color. One additional technique...getting the senses involved.

"As you pass the grill room at Bogey acres, enjoy the aroma of perfectly cooked steaks."

"When you step to the first tee at Morgan Farms, enjoy the view of the perfectly manicured first fairway. Then enjoy the sight of a perfectly-struck drive bombing down the middle."

High converting copy should follow--somewhat--newspaper writing, especially tabloid newspaper writing. Let's take a look at an article from the New York Post about Courtney Love.

Celebrity train wreck Courtney Love is on fire again.

A curtain in the grunge rocker’s tony West Village townhouse went up in flames early this morning, prompting her to scramble to put it out while suffering a minor burn to her hand, FDNY sources said.

Note it's not "Celebrity Courtney Love" it's "Celebrity train wreck Courtney Love."

It's not her West Village townhouse but it's a 'tony' townhouse.

Now, let's take a look at The Sun from London...an article about a new soccer coach.

Villas-Boas will be fully aware of the need to make major alterations to the squad he inherits from predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, who was axed after failing to win a trophy last season.

It's not just alterations...it's 'major' alterations. Ancelotti wasn't fired, he was 'axed.'

Now, let's visit Dan Kennedy's website. Kennedy gets vivid with the best of them. From his blog titled: I Can Raise the Dead...

You’ve heard that “you can’t raise the dead.” Well, very recently, with a marketing campaign I got response from a dead guy. So I can raise the dead. Amazing. But if you were fortunate enough to be on my group call with the folks in my personal coaching groups, you heard me tell of even more amazing feats – theirs, not mine.

A vivid opening paragraph.

Last week, I wrote a headline for a client in the United Kingdom and it included the phrase:


Some soccer imagery there...get a red card from the ref and you're out of the game. The phrase was better than "Escape your day job." We'll see how it converts.

Either way, something I'm learning from the rock star copywriters--vivid writing. I'm building a list of adjectives and metaphors to get my copywriting more vivid.


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 CopyOr contact me here for a quote.