Direct Response Copywriter on Style and Granularity

When it comes to writing, what is style? Writing is ultimately about choosing words and putting them in a certain order. Some writers are sparse – like Kurt Vonnegut or Ernest Hemmingway. Others can be intricate and intense – like Martin Amis.

What about direct response copywriters? I don’t read enough copy by other copywriters to say: “oh that’s so-and-so.” I once read that Clayton Makepeace wanted his cub copywriters to develop their own style.

The top copywriters – based on my analysis – tend to write with the same style and it’s a combination of hyperventilation and granularity. There’s enthusiasm plus a highly contagious mix of adjectives and highly descriptive copy; the latter is the granularity.

Instead of writing …

These irons will help you hit more accurate shots on the golf course.

I write …

Strike the ball right in the sweet spot and the ball will be dancing with the flag.

There’s no real evidence that “granular” copy outperforms copy that’s more sparse. I’ve seen some Gary Bencivenga copy that is extremely straightforward. But I’ve seen some Gary Bencivenga copy that’s much more descriptive and evocative.

Some of my most successful copy is sparse and basic. But I’ve written copy with some granularity. I’m working to become better at the granular copy because I have to think it will improve response.

Quite frankly, it’s something I’d like to test.


I'm a direct response copywriter. I write direct response copy for clients around the world. Enter your information to the right for my free series: Seven Steps to High Converting Copy. Or contact me here when you have a project you'd like to discuss. I'm also a Dan Kennedy certified copywriter for information products.