8 Secrets for Impressing Clients and Potential Clients

As the editor of Monthly Copywriting Genius and the executive publisher of the Taipan Group, some of the best copy in the industry crosses my desk on a regular basis.

I’ve reviewed copy for hundreds of successful products and interviewed the writers of dozens of groundbreaking promos for their richest copywriting secrets.

And the one overriding secret I’ve found is that there isn’t necessarily one secret to writing great copy. Different writers attack a challenge in different ways. But there are common threads that run through all the best copy. When you approach your writing with these ideas in mind, you’ll go much further toward capturing your prospect’s – and the marketing director’s – attention.

Here are my seven best tips – plus one bonus tip – based on writing promotions for financial newsletters. But the ideas can be adapted for almost any product.

  1. Before you write a single word of copy, do your homework. Find out what promotions are working the best. Read them thoroughly, highlighting things such as the Big Idea, voice, offer, number of premiums, how the person signing the letter is introduced, how they build credibility (testimonials, major media pull quotes, charts and graphs).
  2. And speaking of “Big Idea,” make sure your package has one. In the financial-newsletter arena, the Big Idea could be something like China’s upcoming economic collapse … and how the prospect can profit from it. (Note: I’m not saying this will really happen. It’s just an example of a Big Idea.) Your Big Idea should be so compelling and interesting that prospects will want to order your newsletter to get the details. It must be understood instantly … and it must be something your prospect can repeat to others.
  3. Make sure the theme of your promotion strikes an emotional chord with the reader. The more emotion you draw out, the more powerful your copy and the more responses you’ll generate.
  4. Make sure your opening sentences connect back to your headline. The lead should intensify your prospect’s desire to read on.
  5. Have you included enough information to boost the credibility of your product? If you’re writing about a financial newsletter, the most common way of doing this is by presenting the track record of either the newsletter, its editor, or the market. With other products, include data about how well the product performs or about its developer’s track record.
  6. Does your copy feel like a one-on-one conversation between two friends with a common interest? Have you made use of the secret of the Bar Stool Test? In other words, are you writing in a way that makes your prospect feel like he’s sitting on a barstool, chatting with his best buddy? If not, work on your copy so that it sounds friendlier.
  7. Write far more than one headline. Then see how many of your headlines pass the Four U’s Test: Ultra-specific, Urgent, Useful, and Unique. Select the best … and use the next bests for subheads.
  8. BONUS TIP: There’s one more U that leads us back to the Big Idea. Often, great headlines possess Ultra-intrigue. Is your headline Ultra-intriguing?

Here’s to your Success!

Sandy Franks

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: August 21, 2006

1 Response to “8 Secrets for Impressing Clients and Potential Clients”

  1. Thank you very much for this useful information! I'll be sure to use this information to evaluate all of my writings from this day forward.

    Brian LAugust 2, 2011 at 9:40 am


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