Copywriting is one of the most essential elements of effective online marketing. The art and science of direct-response copywriting involves strategically delivering words, whether written or spoken, that get people to take some form of action.
Copywriters are some of the highest paid writers in the world, but to become a truly proficient and profitable copy expert, you’ll need to invest time and energy in studying the craft. To truly excel as a copywriter, you may even want to consider investing in a copywriting course that can provide you more comprehensive training. Let take a peek behind the curtain, and discover the real “secrets” to improving your copywriting skills as a content marketer.
To get the first sentence read
This may seem somewhat simplistic to you or maybe even confusing. For us, we came across this way of looking at copywriting later in our studies. We had spent plenty of time trying to master the art of writing a perfect headline, or properly conveying product bene”ts, or learning how to craft a compelling call to action. But it all came together for me when legendary copywriter and direct marketer Joe Sugarman shared his secret for becoming a great copywriter: “Every element of copy has just one purpose — to get the first sentence read.”
Sugarman quizes his students on the purpose of various copy elements: the headline, the graphics, the sub-headlines, etc. He continued: “And the purpose of the first sentence is to get the second sentence read”. And so on, down a slippery slide that leads to your offer and the sale. This is an extremely valuable way to go about structuring any writing, and it’s crucial to writing intended to persuade or sell. Many times we find ourselves so eager to arrive at our conclusion that we forget that the essence of making a persuasive point is how we get there.
With this simple framework in mind, the stage is set for drilling down deeper. We are now in a better position to more fully appreciate the specific techniques that apply to all of the various elements of strong copy:
- A strong, compelling headline is critical
- Immediately focusing on the benefit to the reader is so crucial
- Make a promise to the reader that you later fulfill
- Back up everything you have said with very specific proof
If no one reads, all is lost. – And the key to getting someone to read is one sentence at a time, so compelled by that sentence that they want to read the next. In other words, how you say it is how you get there. And while we did get you to read this entire chapter, we wouldn’t exactly recommend the strategy employed here. It worked, but pulling cheap stunts like this won’t help you in the long run.
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