Are you unemployed with little trust in getting a job soon? Or you’re just stuck in a rut and in need of a new career idea? Copywriting might be a career for you to pursue. For those of you who have no clue; copywriting is the art of selling through written words. Examples can be found in printed ads, catalogues and direct mails.
If you have any interest in understanding the basic concepts, I heartily recommend Advertising Secrets of the Written Word by Joseph Sugarman. Written in 1998, it’s still as useful now as it was then. There are a number of important lessons throughout the book that should be remembered.
Know your product and your consumer
The book starts off with Sugarman’s definition of a successful copywriter in the making. It all comes down to having a wide range of interests and hobbies as well as a hunger for knowledge. If you lack specific product knowledge, you need to delve in the content. By stepping in the consumers’ footsteps, Sugarman managed to find the true value in products which he underlined in his copy work.
You have to create the right buying environment
Just as in physical environments, the consumer needs to feel relaxed. This can happen only if you design your advertisement in a way the reader resonates with it. You’re not going to sell expensive paintings through an ad in the Sun. It’s possible but if you’re aiming to be effective, you should consider the most appropriate sales medium in addition to an advertisement the reader can identify with.
All the elements are designed to get you to read the first sentence of the copy
This is one of Sugarman’s most important lessons, as he has worked in the advertising business since the 70s. Elements are there only to get you to read the copy; the sales messages that conveys the true value of what you are offering.
Since almost the whole article serves as an aid to push you reading the first sentence, you can understand it should be excellent. Remember here; this sentence should be short, easy and it should invite the reader to carry on reading.
The sole purpose of the 1 sentence is to get you to read the 2 sentence
And so on. The main point here is that the reader should be compelled to read on until the end. Sugarman talks specifically of a slippery slope where the reader feels as if there’s no going back. This can be achieved by creating an off-beat introduction that complements the copy. There is simply no better way to get the reader’s attention than controversy.
Get the reader to say yes and harmonize with your message
This is exactly the same trait that a great salesman should have. It might sound too logical but it pays off to remember this at all times. If the reader does not agree with your message, there’s no way you can keep his attention until the end. It is therefore imperative to connect with the targeted reader. You have to speak their language and make sure to use words they can relate to.
Got any more advice? Feel free to comment below.