By Scott Martin, Direct Response Copywriter.
As a direct response copywriter, my job is to sell stuff. Sometimes, people are actively searching for a product or service I’m helping to sell. Other times, people do not wake up with a desire or need for what I’m trying to sell.
I also write blogs. I read blogs. And I have to admit, I read a lot of super-boring blogs. As such, I’m guilty as charged of the same crime. A friend turned me on to a superb blog about my favorite sports team. Here’s the blog.
Notice the originality. Take note, also, of the controversial tone. So … from this point on, I’m going to put more oomph into my blogs. More originality. Intricate yet slightly crazed phrasing. Taking a stand.
Should I use the same approach in my direct response copywriting? Yes – I have to admit to a certain “straightforward-ness” when writing copy. I’m the salesman in the hardware store who answers your questions quickly and precisely … the guy who gets to the point and points out the benefits without a lot of showmanship.
I’ve purchased stuff from hyper-crazed salespeople and low-key salespeople. I remember a car salesman at my local VW dealership. His name was Richard and he had a sort of “Deputy Dawg” demeanor with a wry sense of humor. He went through all the usual car salesman machinations with an ironic sense of duty … “let me talk to the sales manager about that offer …” and “I’m here to represent your interests and get you the best possible price, Mr. Martin.” I played along with a nod and a wink. As you do.
Yet I have to admit having a soft spot for the “Level 11” salesperson who takes caffeine through an IV. It’s a show, of course.
My natural demeanor somewhat determines my copy. No nonsense. That somewhat ironic sense of humor with the odd burst of craziness. So I often have to work on increasing the volume. Not a problem, usually, for this direct response copywriter.
A client recently told me I have a highly straightforward style. But he was also looking for a “brand voice” for his product. I understand what he was saying. A company like Apple has a voice in its copy; ditto MailChimp – with its quirky commentary.
Finding that voice can take months of hard and expensive labor. Quite frankly I avoid clients who want to go through what’s essentially a beard-stroking branding exercise. I seek clients who are more concerned with selling stuff.
But, as usual, I’ve moved away from my point. What makes for copy that works? Testing will tell you but, ultimately, the focus has to be on answering the key question the customer is asking, “what’s in it for me?”
I like to include some similes and some color into my copy but on a limited basis. Too many metaphors and too much color can be like a cup of coffee with too much sugar … or a cake that’s too rich to eat.
Being boring is the cardinal sin of the direct response copywriter – or any writer. But being obnoxious can be a huge turn off, as well.
I know two extremely successful direct response copywriters. One of them is the most obnoxious person in the world. And I’m not exaggerating. The other is so shy that some type of therapy might be in order. They both write copy that generates tens of millions in revenue. I’ve heard both of them speak and both, in their own way, are extremely engaging. When it comes to direct response copywriting, start with a mostly straightforward approach to establish a control. Then adjust the volume and test.
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 ... 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.