Introduction To Copywriting Presentation

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How to write powerful copy that sells

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Introduction To Copywriting Presentation

  1. 1. Introduction to Copywriting Francis Cox Copywriter
  2. 2. Introduction to Copywriting <ul><li>What is a copywriter? </li></ul><ul><li>Copywritten materials </li></ul><ul><li>Features and benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Headlines </li></ul><ul><li>Writing clear copy </li></ul><ul><li>Writing to sell </li></ul><ul><li>What you need to know before you write </li></ul><ul><li>The writing process </li></ul><ul><li>The copywriting business </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is a copywriter? A sales person in print form
  4. 4. What is a copywriter? A sales person in writing
  5. 5. What is a copywriter? A sales person behind a keyboard
  6. 6. What is a copywriter? A copywriter is not an artist or an entertainer
  7. 7. What is a copywriter? <ul><li>Persuading people to change their behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforcing existing behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>Ultimately to make money (but not always) </li></ul>Selling
  8. 8. Copywritten materials
  9. 9. Copywritten materials <ul><li>Annual reports </li></ul><ul><li>Speeches & presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Product shows </li></ul><ul><li>Product packaging </li></ul><ul><li>Video scripts </li></ul><ul><li>Text messages </li></ul><ul><li>Voiceovers </li></ul><ul><li>TV and radio ads </li></ul><ul><li>Print & web ads </li></ul><ul><li>Posters & signs </li></ul><ul><li>Brochures, leaflets & fliers </li></ul><ul><li>Catalogues </li></ul><ul><li>Direct mail </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters & articles </li></ul><ul><li>Press releases </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul>
  10. 10. Features and benefits
  11. 11. Features and benefits <ul><li>Feature </li></ul><ul><li>A descriptive fact about a product </li></ul><ul><li>Benefit </li></ul><ul><li>How the user gains from the feature </li></ul><ul><li>Uses active verbs </li></ul>
  12. 12. Features and benefits Flat screen monitor <ul><li>Looks good on desk </li></ul><ul><li>Sleek, modern design </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to connect USB devices </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated USB ports </li></ul><ul><li>Can position screen at eye level for greater comfort </li></ul><ul><li>Height adjustable </li></ul><ul><li>Takes up less desk space </li></ul><ul><li>No cathode ray tube </li></ul>Benefit Feature
  13. 13. Features and benefits 
  14. 14. Sales copy <ul><li>Get attention </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate </li></ul><ul><li>Persuade </li></ul>
  15. 15. Headlines
  16. 16. Headlines <ul><li>Get attention </li></ul><ul><li>Select the audience </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver a complete message </li></ul><ul><li>Draw the reader in </li></ul>
  17. 17. Headlines <ul><li>Who is the customer? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the important features of the product? </li></ul><ul><li>Why will the customer want to buy the product? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the main sales message? </li></ul><ul><li>Write several alternative headlines </li></ul>
  18. 18. Headlines Use attention getting words <ul><li>Free </li></ul><ul><li>How to… </li></ul><ul><li>Why </li></ul><ul><li>Sale </li></ul><ul><li>Quick </li></ul><ul><li>Easy </li></ul><ul><li>Bargain </li></ul><ul><li>Last chance </li></ul><ul><li>Guarantee </li></ul><ul><li>Results </li></ul><ul><li>Proven </li></ul>
  19. 19. Headlines Headline + Visual = Concept
  20. 20. Headlines State the proposition directly
  21. 21. Headlines <ul><ul><ul><li>Give a direct command </li></ul></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Headlines <ul><ul><ul><li>Give a direct command </li></ul></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Headlines <ul><li>Arouse curiosity </li></ul>
  24. 24. Headlines Reveal facts
  25. 25. Headlines Use “How to” phrases
  26. 26. Headlines <ul><li>Use an endorsement </li></ul>
  27. 27. Headlines <ul><li>Ask a question </li></ul>Want to make £ 15,000 in a day?
  28. 28. Headlines <ul><li>Use a case study </li></ul>
  29. 29. Headlines <ul><li>Announce something new </li></ul>
  30. 30. Headlines <ul><li>Focus on a USP </li></ul>
  31. 31. Headlines <ul><li>Announce news </li></ul>
  32. 32. Headlines Start a story
  33. 33. Headlines <ul><li>Communication is an exact science </li></ul><ul><li>And we’ve got the lists to match… </li></ul><ul><li>International Science Lists (ISL) from Elsevier Science give you a direct link to scientific decision-makers. We compile up-to-date author lists from our leading databases EMBASE (Biomedical & Pharmacological), Elsevier BIOBASE (basic Biological Sciences) and GEOBASE (Geography, Environmental and Marine Sciences), allowing you to precisely target your field of interest. </li></ul><ul><li>STM Publishers, Conference and Exhibition Organisers, Professional Societies, as well as Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Companies are all reaping rewards from International Science Lists. </li></ul><ul><li>Scientific areas defined by you </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully screened leaders in the field </li></ul><ul><li>Updated weekly </li></ul><ul><li>Broad or highly targeted selections </li></ul><ul><li>Close to 1,000,000 international addresses </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 4% return rate </li></ul><ul><li>Lists supplied in various formats </li></ul><ul><li>Put ISL to work for you today using tailor-made scientific lists that connect with your market. </li></ul>Use wordplay
  34. 34. Headlines <ul><li>Dear Friend, </li></ul><ul><li>“ I’m sorry to tell you, you’re HIV positive” </li></ul>Be controversial or provocative
  35. 35. <ul><li>GRAN </li></ul><ul><li>IN HIV SHOCK </li></ul>Headlines
  36. 36. Headlines <ul><li>Be controversial or provocative </li></ul>
  37. 37. Headlines <ul><li>Create an emotion, idea or physical sensation around the product </li></ul>
  38. 38. Writing clear copy
  39. 39. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Use “you”, “us” and “we </li></ul>You’re writing for people
  40. 40. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Primary sales message </li></ul><ul><li>Secondary sales messages </li></ul><ul><li>Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you’ve told them </li></ul>Organize your sales points
  41. 41. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Use subheads </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easy to read </li></ul>Break copy into short sections
  42. 42. Writing clear copy <ul><li>14 to 16 words preferably </li></ul><ul><li>20 to 25 words is permissible </li></ul><ul><li>Vary sentence length </li></ul>Use short sentences
  43. 43. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Avoid pompous words or fancy phrases </li></ul><ul><li>Big words make the writer feel important </li></ul>Use simple words
  44. 44. Writing clear copy Win, success, happy, love, secret, peace, pain, luxury, adventure, fingertips, delight, worry, safe, secure, special, save, live, breathe, smooth, kill, sorry, wake…… Use dynamic words with strong physical or emotional associations
  45. 45. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Unless 95% of your audience will understand </li></ul>Avoid technical jargon
  46. 46. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Synergy </li></ul><ul><li>Solutions </li></ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul><ul><li>Needs </li></ul>Avoid clichés or overused words
  47. 47. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Cut out unnecessary words and verbose phrases </li></ul><ul><li>You can’t say everything </li></ul>Be concise
  48. 48. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Avoid vague language </li></ul><ul><li>Give figures </li></ul><ul><li>Use concrete examples </li></ul>Be specific
  49. 49. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Don’t spend time “warming up” </li></ul><ul><li>Start selling from the first line </li></ul>Get straight to the point
  50. 50. Writing clear copy Whether you run a multinational company or small firm, you are under pressure to reduce costs and meet deadlines. The equipment you choose makes a difference. So does the way you use it. Jackson Funding can provide you with a professional financing solution that makes your money work harder for you. Warming up
  51. 51. Writing clear copy Jackson Funding makes your money work harder for you. Whether you’re a multinational company or a small firm, our professional financing solutions help you buy the equipment you need. Enabling you to control costs and meet deadlines. Sell from the first line
  52. 52. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Use colloquial expressions </li></ul><ul><li>Use contractions </li></ul><ul><li>Use “you”, “we”, “they” </li></ul><ul><li>Imagine yourself speaking the copy </li></ul>Write in a friendly conversational style
  53. 53. Writing clear copy <ul><li>Use plurals </li></ul><ul><li>Rewrite to avoid references to gender </li></ul><ul><li>Alternate “he” and “she” </li></ul>Avoid sexist language
  54. 54. Tricks of the trade
  55. 55. Tricks of the trade <ul><li>“ Car insurance you can rely on” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Chocolate mousse you’ll make room for” </li></ul><ul><li>Gives copy an informal tone </li></ul>End with a preposition
  56. 56. Tricks of the trade <ul><li>“ And no wonder.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ But there’s more.” </li></ul><ul><li>Adds drama </li></ul>Use sentence fragments
  57. 57. Tricks of the trade <ul><li>“ And”, “or”, “but”, “for” </li></ul><ul><li>Easy transitions </li></ul><ul><li>Break up long sentences </li></ul>Begin sentences with conjunctions
  58. 58. Tricks of the trade <ul><li>Changes pace </li></ul><ul><li>Keeps reader alert </li></ul>Use one-sentence paragraphs
  59. 59. Tricks of the trade Use bullets, breakers, numbers
  60. 60. Tricks of the trade <ul><li>Underlining </li></ul><ul><li>Bold type </li></ul><ul><li>Highlight colour </li></ul><ul><li>Italics </li></ul><ul><li>Boxed copy </li></ul>Use graphic formats for emphasis
  61. 61. Writing to sell
  62. 62. Writing to sell <ul><li>AIDA </li></ul><ul><li>A ttention </li></ul><ul><li>I nterest </li></ul><ul><li>D esire </li></ul><ul><li>A ction </li></ul>Structuring copy
  63. 63. Writing to sell <ul><li>ACCA </li></ul><ul><li>A wareness </li></ul><ul><li>C omprehension </li></ul><ul><li>C onviction </li></ul><ul><li>A ction </li></ul>Structuring copy
  64. 64. Writing to sell <ul><li>Four P’s </li></ul><ul><li>P icture </li></ul><ul><li>P romise </li></ul><ul><li>P rove </li></ul><ul><li>P ush </li></ul>Structuring copy
  65. 65. Writing to sell <ul><li>Get attention </li></ul><ul><li>Show a need </li></ul><ul><li>Satisfy the need </li></ul><ul><li>Prove the product’s superiority </li></ul><ul><li>Ask for the order </li></ul>Structuring copy
  66. 66. Writing to sell The Moonglow series makes producing outdoor durable prints easy. Whether you’re just starting outdoor printing or want to expand production in this market, there’s a high quality, production speed system for your business. Thanks to advanced printing technologies, these systems deliver superb print quality and outstanding ink economy. What’s more, most of them can be equipped with low-solvent or eco-solvent inks. So you can use them in office or printshop environments. If you want a hassle-free way to produce point-of-sale signs, banners, vehicle graphics, exhibition displays, window graphics and more, take a look at the Moonglow series. Structuring copy
  67. 67. Writing to sell <ul><li>Describe a process </li></ul><ul><li>Show before and after </li></ul><ul><li>Use a chronological sequence </li></ul><ul><li>Cause and effect </li></ul><ul><li>From most to least important </li></ul>Structuring copy
  68. 68. Writing to sell <ul><li>Dramatize a minor product difference </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatize the benefit </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatize a minor product flaw </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatize the name or package </li></ul><ul><li>Build brand personalities </li></ul><ul><li>Create an emotion, idea or physical sensation around the product </li></ul>Creating a USP
  69. 69. Writing to sell Dramatize a minor product difference
  70. 70. Writing to sell Dramatize the benefit
  71. 71. Writing to sell Dramatize a minor product flaw
  72. 72. Writing to sell Dramatize the name or packaging
  73. 73. Writing to sell Dramatize the name or packaging
  74. 74. Writing to sell Build brand personalities
  75. 75. Writing to sell Build brand personalities
  76. 76. Writing to sell Build brand personalities
  77. 77. Writing to sell Build brand personalities
  78. 78. Writing to sell Build brand personalities
  79. 79. Writing to sell Create an emotion, idea or physical sensation around the product
  80. 80. Writing to sell <ul><li>Tailor copy to the target group(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Writer about features and benefits important to the customer not the advertiser </li></ul><ul><li>Think as a consumer </li></ul>Know your customer
  81. 81. Writing to sell <ul><li>Depends on: </li></ul><ul><li>Product </li></ul><ul><li>Target group </li></ul><ul><li>Purpose of the copy </li></ul>Copy length
  82. 82. Writing to sell <ul><li>Does the copy fulfill the promise of the headline? </li></ul><ul><li>Do the headline and the visual work together? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the copy interesting? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easy to read? </li></ul>Copywriter’s checklist
  83. 83. Writing to sell <ul><li>Is it persuasive? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it concise? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it relevant? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it flow smoothly? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it call for action? </li></ul>Copywriter’s checklist
  84. 84. Writing to sell <ul><li>Have you used dynamic, persuasive language? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you edit out unnecessary words? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the copy accurate? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the tone and language consistent? </li></ul><ul><li>Have you included all the information the customer needs? </li></ul>Copywriter’s checklist
  85. 85. Before you start writing
  86. 86. Before you start writing Get all the information you can <ul><li>Speeches & presentations </li></ul><ul><li>Internal documents </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing plans </li></ul><ul><li>Competitors’ literature </li></ul><ul><li>Previous ads </li></ul><ul><li>Brochures </li></ul><ul><li>Websites </li></ul><ul><li>Annual reports </li></ul><ul><li>Technical papers </li></ul>
  87. 87. Before you start writing <ul><li>What are the features and benefits? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the most important benefit? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it a new product or improvements to an old one? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it differ from the competition? </li></ul><ul><li>If it’s not different, what attributes can be highlighted? </li></ul>Ask questions about the product
  88. 88. Before you start writing <ul><li>Applications? </li></ul><ul><li>What problems does it solve? </li></ul><ul><li>How is positioned against competing products? </li></ul><ul><li>How does it work? </li></ul><ul><li>How reliable is it? </li></ul>Ask questions about the product
  89. 89. Before you start writing <ul><li>How efficient is it? </li></ul><ul><li>How economical is it? </li></ul><ul><li>How much does it cost? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it have any defects or restrictions? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easy to use? </li></ul>Ask questions about the product
  90. 90. Before you start writing <ul><li>Is it environmentally friendly? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it easy to maintain? </li></ul><ul><li>Any testimonials? </li></ul><ul><li>What materials, sizes and models? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the buying process? </li></ul>Ask questions about the product
  91. 91. Before you start writing <ul><li>Any after-sales service or support? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it guaranteed? </li></ul><ul><li>Has it won any awards? </li></ul>Ask questions about the product
  92. 92. Before you start writing <ul><li>Is the target group external, internal or both? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will buy the product? </li></ul><ul><li>Who will use the product? </li></ul><ul><li>Why do they need the product? </li></ul><ul><li>What does the product do for them? </li></ul>Ask questions about the target group
  93. 93. Before you start writing <ul><li>Why do they need the product now? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the customer’s main concern? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of person is it being sold to? </li></ul><ul><li>What motivates the buyer? </li></ul><ul><li>How does the target group characterize itself? </li></ul>Ask questions about the target group
  94. 94. Before you start writing <ul><li>What is its place in the selling process? </li></ul><ul><li>Generate inquiries? </li></ul><ul><li>Generate sales? </li></ul><ul><li>Warm up prospects? </li></ul><ul><li>Generate web traffic? </li></ul>Find out the objective of the copy
  95. 95. Before you start writing <ul><li>Provide news or product information? </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain contact with customers and prospects? </li></ul><ul><li>Build brand recognition? </li></ul><ul><li>Develop company image? </li></ul>Find out the objective of the copy
  96. 96. Before you start writing <ul><li>Marketing tool for sales people? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it have to work with other copy? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the call to action? </li></ul>Find out the objective of the copy
  97. 97. Before you start writing <ul><li>Style guide? </li></ul><ul><li>British or American English? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it be translated? </li></ul><ul><li>How informal should it be? </li></ul><ul><li>Suggestions for visuals? </li></ul>Ask questions about copy style
  98. 98. Before you start writing <ul><li>Existing or new visuals? </li></ul><ul><li>Will it be personalized? </li></ul><ul><li>Will colour be used? </li></ul><ul><li>Examples of copy the client likes? </li></ul><ul><li>Outline first? </li></ul>Ask questions about copy style
  99. 99. The writing process
  100. 100. The writing process <ul><li>Type up notes </li></ul><ul><li>Write an outline </li></ul><ul><li>Write headlines then body copy or vice versa </li></ul><ul><li>Write easy parts first </li></ul><ul><li>Write when your energy level is highest </li></ul><ul><li>Good copywriting is rewriting </li></ul>Organizing your information
  101. 101. The writing process <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Read books, magazines, flyers, posters, junk mail </li></ul><ul><li>Learn about the client’s business </li></ul><ul><li>Use the product or see it in action </li></ul><ul><li>Look for combinations </li></ul><ul><li>Get feedback </li></ul>Generating ideas
  102. 102. The writing process <ul><li>Brainstorm with others </li></ul><ul><li>Use idea generating software or websites </li></ul><ul><li>Write an outline </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze the client’s previous marketing material </li></ul><ul><li>Break the job down into manageable chunks </li></ul><ul><li>Work on other projects </li></ul><ul><li>Take a break </li></ul><ul><li>Sleep on it </li></ul>Generating ideas
  103. 103. The copywriting business
  104. 104. The copywriting business <ul><li>Better paid than other types of language work </li></ul><ul><li>Less competition </li></ul><ul><li>Less price pressure </li></ul><ul><li>More creative </li></ul><ul><li>More respect </li></ul><ul><li>More flexible deadlines </li></ul>Advantages
  105. 105. The copywriting business <ul><li>More face-to-face contact </li></ul><ul><li>Samples </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to work with other creatives </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to act as a consultant </li></ul><ul><li>Chance to travel </li></ul>Advantages
  106. 106. The copywriting business <ul><li>You’re always selling </li></ul><ul><li>More accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Your productivity period may be shorter </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes it’s down to you </li></ul><ul><li>You can get in a language rut </li></ul><ul><li>Copywriting is less understood than other types of language work </li></ul><ul><li>You may have to work with performers </li></ul>Disdvantages
  107. 107. The copywriting business <ul><li>Project briefing or introductory meeting? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the product or industry? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the deliverables? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the deadline? </li></ul><ul><li>Research the company </li></ul>Before the meeting
  108. 108. The copywriting business <ul><li>Dress smartly </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions about the project </li></ul><ul><li>Listen </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t rush to show your samples </li></ul><ul><li>Be a consultant </li></ul>During an introductory meeting
  109. 109. The copywriting business <ul><li>Take notes or record the session </li></ul><ul><li>Get all the information you can </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions about the product </li></ul><ul><li>Ask questions about the target group </li></ul><ul><li>Find out the objective of the copy </li></ul><ul><li>Ask about copy style </li></ul>During a briefing
  110. 110. The copywriting business <ul><li>Analyze the client </li></ul><ul><li>Take note of key words and concepts </li></ul><ul><li>Is any further marketing material required? </li></ul><ul><li>Who are the project decision-makers? </li></ul><ul><li>Agree price </li></ul><ul><li>Find out who to bill </li></ul><ul><li>Agree terms </li></ul>During a briefing
  111. 111. The copywriting business Daily rate, hourly rate or project fee? Price
  112. 112. The copywriting business Cost estimate <ul><li>Revisions </li></ul><ul><li>Travel </li></ul><ul><li>Bookkeeping </li></ul><ul><li>Telephone </li></ul><ul><li>Meals </li></ul><ul><li>Hotels </li></ul><ul><li>Terms and conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Briefing </li></ul><ul><li>Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorming </li></ul><ul><li>Outline </li></ul><ul><li>Writing </li></ul>
  113. 113. The copywriting business <ul><li>Not getting a clear briefing </li></ul><ul><li>Not identifying the correct benefit for the target group </li></ul><ul><li>Writing “clever” headlines that don’t contribute to the sales message </li></ul><ul><li>Using creative ideas that confuse or don’t contribute to the sales message </li></ul>Common mistakes
  114. 114. The copywriting business <ul><li>Using lengthy sentences, clichés, big words or technical jargon </li></ul><ul><li>Not getting to the point fast enough </li></ul><ul><li>Writing vague copy </li></ul><ul><li>Organizing the information poorly </li></ul><ul><li>Not getting a formal go-ahead before starting work </li></ul>Common mistakes
  115. 115. The copywriting business Good copy?
  116. 116. The copywriting business <ul><li>Disagreement on how to approach the project </li></ul><ul><li>Disagreement on the working relationship </li></ul><ul><li>Unrealistic deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Your price is too high </li></ul><ul><li>The client’s people are uncooperative </li></ul>Common problems
  117. 117. The copywriting business <ul><li>The client doesn’t like your copy </li></ul><ul><li>Late payment </li></ul><ul><li>The client refuses to pay </li></ul><ul><li>The client cancels the job </li></ul><ul><li>Underestimating the amount of work involved </li></ul>Common problems
  118. 118. The copywriting business <ul><li>Be confident, polite and positive </li></ul><ul><li>Manage expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Remember it’s a two-way street </li></ul><ul><li>Educate your clients </li></ul><ul><li>Emphasize your commitment to quality </li></ul>Managing clients
  119. 119. The copywriting business <ul><li>Keep it on a business footing </li></ul><ul><li>Never load yourself to capacity </li></ul><ul><li>Rush jobs are not a way of life </li></ul><ul><li>There are very few genuine emergencies just a lot of bad planning </li></ul><ul><li>Only compromise with long-standing clients </li></ul>Managing clients
  120. 120. The copywriting business <ul><li>Never miss a deadline </li></ul><ul><li>Comply with administrative procedures </li></ul><ul><li>Anticipate potential problems </li></ul><ul><li>Always say thank you </li></ul><ul><li>Ask when the assignment is finished </li></ul>Managing clients
  121. 121. Finally <ul><li>Read other people’s copywriting </li></ul><ul><li>Keep up with the language </li></ul><ul><li>Stay abreast of popular culture </li></ul><ul><li>Be aware of changing trends </li></ul><ul><li>Lighten up </li></ul><ul><li>Have fun </li></ul>

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