Five Tips I Picked Up at Last Year's Bootcamp for Writing Winning Catalog Copy

As a direct-response copywriter, you're not limited to writing direct mail packages and email campaigns. Think about all the catalogs you get in the mail each week. Why not tap into that lucrative market?

At last year's bootcamp, Steve Leveen, co-founder and president of Levenger's, a multi-channel retailer that's been in business since 1987, provided the following tips for writing tantalizing catalog copy …

  1. Write the headline while you're looking at the product.
  2. Remember that your customer is sensory-deprived – he can only "see" the product. So, never repeat what has already been "said" by the accompanying photo (e.g., "a black leather case"). Instead, fill in the remaining sensory details by conveying the sound, smell, and feel of the product.
  3. Highlight an important benefit that is not immediately obvious in the photo.
  4. Make sure your copy is clean and clear. If you confuse your prospect, you risk losing the sale.
  5. Give your customer a reason to buy from this particular catalog (e.g., "a limited-edition widget that is available only here").

[Information about this year's copywriting bootcamp will be available soon. Keep watching for details in upcoming issues of The Golden Thread.]

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

The Professional Writers’ Alliance

At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »


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Published: March 21, 2003

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