Roadmap to Success:
The Copy Platform How to Write One
and How to Use It

The next step in Bob’s process for writing controls is to create a copy platform. In addition to being an extremely helpful organizational tool for you, it’s an excellent method for communicating your ideas and plans to your client.

You can use this copy platform model as a template:

Your Name: Your Address:
Copywriter: Your Phone#:
Email: Your Fax#:

USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

  • What is the Big Promise of this publication? How is this product different/better than competition? What is its reason for being? Technology is vitally important – to your career, your business, your investments, and every other aspect of your life. Those who know and understand tomorrow’s most important technologies, today (before others have even heard of them), have the edge. They can make their businesses more successful, their portfolios grow faster, and their careers take off. This is the edge that the product.
  • Secondary point: Yes, there is a mountain of information on technology published daily. Some paid, some free; both online and offline. You don’t have time to read even a fraction of it. And can you make sense of it all? Anyone can give you “information.” We give you actionable ideas based on an accurate forecast of new and emerging technologies and the roles they will play in our future.
  • Urgency/uncertainty factor: Business today moves at the speed of light, and it constantly changes. We keep you on the cutting edge, so you can stay a step ahead of the curve. We’ll make sure you anticipate and act on important technology innovations well in advance of your competition.


  • Who is the audience? The core audience is businesspeople who influence their company’s technology and strategic decisions. These include entrepreneurs in technology companies, strategists in other industries, financiers, marketing professionals and other executives in technology services companies are the primary audience. Secondary audiences include libraries, academics, and media.
  • What is their “unvoiced fear” or “under-represented desire”? That they will make the wrong decisions concerning technology, and that these mistakes will be costly if not devastating to their businesses. They will be left behind, blamed by management, and miss opportunities for increased market share and profits.
  • What lists will be used? Client to contact [list broker] for list recommendations.

Core complex of the audience

  • Beliefs (attitudes and principles): Technology is important. I am interested in technology, even fascinated by it. I know the basic concepts and which technologies are hot (e.g., I know terms like “broadband,” “PDA,” and “embedded systems”). I believe if I can be smart about my technology decisions and investments, my business will be more successful, and I will gain a big edge over my competitors.
  • Desires (wants and needs): I want to (a) know where technology is going and what the next hot technologies will be, (b) learn this before my competitors know about it, (c) make good business decisions based on a strong understanding of emerging technologies and their role, and (d) have others think I’m smarter (and more knowledgeable) than they are when discussing technology with them.
  • Feelings (emotions): I am interested, even fascinated, by technology. But I am afraid I really don’t understand it, or at least that I am not savvy enough to accurately forecast where it is going and how I (and my business) will be affected. I fear I will miss a trend or opportunity and be left behind. I am overwhelmed by the glut of information about technology being published today. I can’t keep up with or read even a small fraction of it, much less extrapolate from the data what’s really going on. I need someone to guide me in making smart technology decisions.

4 LEGS of the stool (elements required for a successful DM promotion of an information product)

  • System (the Big Idea): XXXX is a technology guru you can trust to guide you. She and her team – through the benefits of sharp analytical minds, extensive industry experience, and constant contact with the movers and shakers of technology – know better than anyone else what’s happening in technology and how it will affect you.
  • Promise (future benefit): The product will tell me today what I need to be successful tomorrow – before others even know about it.
  • Credibility: The technology guru is endorsed by major media and her subscribers rave about her and the Product.
  • Track record: She has anticipated and forecast future trends in technology way ahead of the curve over and over again. People trust her interpretation and view of technology trends and issues.

Package Elements

I have suggested minor changes in the components below to maximize response:

  • Format:

    #10 envelope – with teaser. Use a window envelope. Recipient’s name and address is imprinted on reply element and shows through the window.

    Brochure – I’d recommend an 8 1/2 C 11” folded twice to form 3 panels, which would give us one more panel than the current PC Forum brochure.

    Buck slip – feature the premium (the Forum transcript) on a separate 4 X 9” buck slip rather than as a part of the reply form (see below).

    Lift note – Use regular stock, not vellum. Consider a Monarch size lift letter in Courier or Prestige Elite typeface.

    Order card – standard 4 X 9” order card replaces your tent card. Recipient’s name and address are imprinted on the order card and show through a window on the outer envelope. This way the busy reader does not have to fill in his name and address to order.

  • Length: 2-page personalized sales letter – possibly split test personalized vs. non-personalized letter; I am not sure personalization will pay for itself.
  • Point of View: Guru. A highly educated, very experienced technology guru who has worked for 5 international high-tech companies. The guru’s own experience shows the difficulty of sorting through the mounds of technical information that are published every day. She also knows how hard it is to foretell how present technologies will be improved and applied in the future. The guru realizes that this information is essential for any business that wants to stay ahead of the competition.
  • Voice: Told from the guru’s voice, as if she was speaking to business owners who need her information but don’t have the time or savvy to figure it out on their own. It will have an instructive, understanding tone.


  • Price: $XXX for 1 year (XX issues); $X,XXX for 2 years (XX issues).
  • Terms: Payment with order or bill-me option.
  • Premiums: 1-year subscribers get an early-bird invitation to PC Forum 2002, a transcript of the event, and a binder to hold issues. 2-year subscribers get all 1-year bonuses plus the invitation and transcript for the 2003 Forum.
  • Guarantee: Refund if not 100% satisfied. I recommend a full refund if cancellation occurs within 90 days, and prorated refund after 90 days. Subscriber keeps all issues and bonuses received at no cost in either case.

[Keep this link handy. I think you should use Bob’s model for all your copywriting assignments. Not only does it provide a strong outline for your writing but it gives your client the opportunity to see where you're headed with the promotion and correct anything you may have misunderstood in the beginning. I'm going to ask every member that submits an idea to me to submit it with a copy platform from now on. ]

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The Professional Writers’ Alliance

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Average: 4.5
Published: May 13, 2002

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