A BIG Lesson From The Copy Immersion Workshop

“This is probably the worst piece of copy I’ve ever read from you, Guillermo.”

That’s what Michael Masterson said to me in front of all the 2009 Copywriting Immersion Workshop attendees.

I violated four of the most fundamental rules of great, persuasive copy.

I’ll share them with you, so you don’t make the same mistake I did:

  1. Know your prospect.

    This goes without saying. You should know exactly who it is you’re writing to. Imagine who your prospect is. Then get a sense of where he’s at.

    By that, I mean know what he’s feeling. Is he worried about losing his job? Did he just get laid off? Is he interested in starting an extra income stream?These questions are critical. The answers you come up with will determine what approach you’ll take in your copy.

  2. Find your big idea.

    A big idea should be exciting.

    It should be something your prospect cares about. And, more often than not, it should be fundamentally intriguing.

    For example, let’s say you’re working on a health promotion. The product is resveratrol, a powerful antioxidant normally found in red wine.

    One big idea you might think of is, “lead a healthy life by taking Dr. Smith’s revolutionary resveratrol supplement. Get the antioxidant power of 10 glasses of wine, in one convenient pill.”

    Even though this may seem like a big idea, it’s not. It’s pretty ordinary.

    And, it really doesn’t convey any sense of excitement or intrigue.

    For this product, a big idea could be:

    “How The French Live Longer Than Everyone Else …
    Even though they eat like kings and smoke like chimneys!”

    From this idea, you could go into how the French drink red wine, which contains resveratrol. And it’s because of this super antioxidant that they live longer … despite eating whatever they want and smoking.

    This idea gets the prospect excited. It implies that if the prospect finds out the secret to the French people’s longevity, he too, can live just as long. This idea also contains a fundamental sense of intrigue that makes the prospect want to find out more.

  3. Pick one of the six lead types.

    If you were at last year’s Bootcamp, then you know what the six types of leads are … and the rules you must follow to make them good.

    Before you write a single piece of copy, decide first on the kind of lead you’re going to use. Then, adhere to the rules of that particular lead type.

    For example, if you decide to write a story lead, make sure to start in the middle of the action.

    Instead of:

    “Just a few days ago, I woke up earlier than normal. I think it was a Tuesday. And then something crazy happened”


    “I couldn’t stop crying when he told me. That’s when I looked up and realized …”

  4. Be concrete.

    Abstractions are weak and don’t create emotion.

    Always talk to your prospect in terms of concrete details.

    Instead of:

    “I love my life. I make a wonderful income working just a few hours a week.”


    “I love my life. I work Monday through Thursday, from about 8am to 12pm. Every Friday, I head out for a round of golf with “the boys.” What’s more, the money’s great too. I just billed a client $5,567.56 for a project that took me 4 hours total to complete.”

Follow these rules religiously. It’ll ensure you write strong copy with the best chance of getting your prospect to take action, every time.

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Published: June 12, 2009

2 Responses to “A BIG Lesson From The Copy Immersion Workshop”

  1. In an attempt to remember all the rules, I often wind up forgetting all of them. But then - after a while - they become so ingrained that they're like drinking water - something you just do naturally.


  2. I cringed when Michael said that to you, G. And I want to thank you. How else would Michael have been stimulated to give us a lesson in what "The Big Idea" really is. I found his comments having me rethink The Big Idea.

    So, as difficult as it may have been for you to hear "This is the worst ..." you did us a great favor. Thank You.


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