From the desk of Razvan Rogoz
For a long time, I’ve made the classic error of thinking that copywriting is about creativity and writing. I’ve followed the old advice of writing sales letters by hand. I’ve read tens of swipe files. And I’ve done all of this with the purpose of writing like John Carlton or Clayton Makepeace.
I’ve recently discovered that copywriting is not so much about writing. Actually, only 20% is the writing phase. Instead, copywriting is listening to your marketplace, understanding their thought process and language, putting everything in a logical sales process and editing.
Practically, the copy is written for you, by the marketplace. Let me explain.
Most copywriting books we’ve studied are 10 – 20 – 30 years ago. These are books created for an environment without Facebook or Amazon.com. These are books that were practical at that time but are obsolete now.
Let me give you an example of what became obsolete. A few years ago, long copy always won. Long copy always outsold short copy. Or at least that’s what most copy gurus said.
Now, you need to write just as much to get your point across. We live in a world of Twitter and Facebook. We live in a world where multi-tasking is a norm. We live in a world where bullets are used everywhere to communicate (example, text messages or Twitter status updates).
So writing 30 pages is not a good idea anymore.
If the prospect knows you, knows who you are and trusts you maybe you need just a few pages to make your promise and prove it. If you are a stranger to him, maybe you need 25 pages. However, it’s important to write just as much as you need to make the sale.
Another tactic that changed is how we conduct our research. I don’t know if you’ve visit Amazon.com lately, but you’ll find your ideal prospect there. There must be at least one book similar to what you have and that book comes with reviews. Those reviews shows what the prospects wants, what he likes, dislikes and what were his expectations.
It even shows the language used, a very good tool when you are going to write the sales letter. So instead of doing the classical “hit and miss” research, do something better – go straight to the source and listen to your prospect.
Copywriting is changing. It’s becoming more and more marketing strategy. It’s not about how good of a writer you are but how good of a listener and strategist you can become. And this is the path in which I’ll invest in the next 12 months.
Become less of a good writer (God knows, I can hire a read-proffer for 0.5% of the project fee) and improve my marketing abilities, research better and focus on creating the copy from the marketplace and less from my head.