At its core, direct response copywriting is:
- Choosing the right words
- Putting the words in the correct order
I want to focus on task #1.
Picking the perfect words for every sentence in either long-form or short-form copy is difficult. I choose words quickly and easily simply because I’ve been writing almost non-stop for 20 years…longer if you count high school and college.
And I’m not sure how to teach someone to choose the correct words. Perhaps it’s simply a knack.
Words dictate and determine the tone of the copy. Tone can affect conversion.
Excitable and hyper-ventilating copy needs excitable and hyper-ventilating words. Big adjectives. Ultimate. Amazing. Powerful. Some writers like to add a lot of exclamation marks!!!!! But I’m in the camp that believes that exclamation marks are a crutch.
When the copy needs to be a little more subtle, then it’s time tone things down.
Adjectives, metaphors, and adjectival phrases are the most potent weapon in the copywriter’s Arsenal.
Let’s take a look at a tiny bit of Gary Bencivenga copy. This sells his famous seminar DVDs.
My "Three-Hour-a-Day" Rule: Why you can achieve almost anything if you can throw three solid hours at your highest-priority project every day. Are you weary of meetings that go nowhere and the hundred little interruptions that nibble away your time like a school of piranhas? Here is the #1 antidote—a ruthless dedication to putting at least three hours a day into your top project and letting all other activities take second priority to that. Here's how to do it.
Note the following.
- It’s not three hours a day, it’s three SOLID hours.
- The interruptions are like a school of piranhas.
- It’s not just an antidote, it’s a '#1 antidote.'
- It’s not dedication, it’s ruthless dedication.
Adjectives and related tools bring color to copy and make it more interesting to the reader.
Dan Kennedy has spoken at length about having a thesaurus or two on hand when writing. Salient advice. He also recommends a great book:
It’s essentially a thesaurus just for people who write direct response copy.
Simple, direct, crisp copy that clearly explains the benefits of a product or service will always provide a more than acceptable response...but only when the product has merit. However, when you give a copywriter some width, the copy can become vivid and this can improve conversion.
If you’re staring at a blank page, start with one of the standard direct response copy formulas like AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action) and simply write like you’re having a conversation with a friend…albeit a sales conversation! If you’re having a conversation with a friend, you’re not going to use crazy literary words like salient or pullulating. You’re going to use conversational language.
I choose my words carefully. Then I put then in the right order to make everything crystal clear.
I'm a direct response copywriter. I specialize in providing direct response copy for the direct marketing environment for clients around the planet. I specialize in sales page copy, landing page copy and copy that persuades readers to pull out their credit card and buy. Enter your info to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here if you have a project you'd like me to quote.
I'm also a Dan Kennedy Certified Copywriter for Info-Marketers.
Disclaimer for the above.
The Dan Kennedy Copywriter for Info-Marketers Certification is awarded to professional copywriters who have successfully completed a course of study of preparation for such copywriting. This Certification has not been provided by an accredited education institution. It does not constitute endorsement of or liability for any individual copywriter by Mr. Kennedy or any companies or organizations affiliated with Mr. Kennedy. The client's relationship is solely with the individual copywriter retained via any agreement.