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Part 2 of 3: The Basics of Good Copy

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Part 2 of 3: The Basics of Good Copy

The headline is the most important component of any type of imprint advertising. It must work or nothing else matters.

Yesterday we went into the the 3 basics of any direct mail marketing process you may choose to create, including:

- Audiences to mail (beyond just demographics)
- How to draft your offer
- Designing for revenue

Today I'll give you the 4 key pieces that make up the reason people will take action from your mailer.

First, let's talk about the basics of effective imprint advertising and writing effective advertising: Headlines, Subheads and Image Captions.

The first critically important key is the development of effective Headlines. The headline is the most important component of any type of imprint advertising. It must work or nothing else matters.

Next in import are the Subheads, which are used to break up long blocks of copy.

Lastly are photo captions. Photo captions are marvelous opportunities to make persuasive arguments. People are drawn to pictures and often read the captions beneath the pictures before reading just about anything else.

The same basic guidelines applied to headlines, subheads, photo captions…

First, the headline should promise a positive benefit or ask a provocative question or both.

Second, it should telegraph its message in 12 words or less.

Third, it should stand alone, meaning it should make a complete statement by itself.

That's two thirds of the success formula: Headlines, subheads and photo captions are the critical ‘attention getting’ and ‘interest building’ components of imprint advertising, supported by good effective copy. The third part is the call to action in the form of a response device.

In person to person professional selling, one of the most common failings in salespeople is the fear of closing the sale, the reluctance to ask for the order.

Master sales trainer Zig Ziglar says that, “Asking for the order is what separates the poorly paid professional visitor from the Kingly Compensated Professional Sales Person.”

Just as closing the sale is a vital skill in face to face marketing, asking for the desired action clearly is a vital skill in advertising.

Incidentally, experience in effectively closing sales in person is a valuable asset in creating effective advertising. The same techniques, words, phrases and ideas used in personal selling can be used in print selling.

A strong direct call to action in direct mail is vital. Tell the reader exactly what you want them to do, how to do it, and when to do it. If response to your offer is in any way complicated, you may want to number the instructions; One, two, three.

The call to action may appear in several places in the typical direct mail package, such as the letter or in the main brochure.

And most importantly is the response device. A response device is the coupon to be redeemed, the order form or the reply card. Whatever your response device is, it should restate the basic offer and bonus and present the call to action.

These four keys are pivotal to generating a proper response from your direct marketing materials: Headline, Subheads, Picture Captions and the Call to Action.

If you’re a NO B.S. Letter subscriber, I go into great detail for creating great headlines, subheads, and calls to action in my Midas Touch training, Sections 1.3 and 1.4. It’s waiting for you inside your members area.

If you’re not yet a member of the NO B.S. Letter yet, you can subscribe here (and I’ll give you the full “Midas Touch” course - a $297 value - for Free). Unlock that bonus here:

Join The NO B.S. Letter Today (And Get The ‘Most Incredible Free Gift Ever’ - Over $19,997 Of Pure Money Making Information - for FREE)

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