The Key Element of Your Business

A new health publishing company I worked with a few years ago was slowly failing.

They had created a low-priced monthly newsletter full of alternative health tips, a very hot trend, to attract new customers to their business. And then they had developed some diet and exercise programs, as well as nutritional supplements to sell to those customers.

But they couldn’t attract enough subscribers to the newsletter, even though it really was just as good if not better than other newsletters in the space. And that meant sales of their other products weren’t coming in.

By the end of the year they were more than $100,000 in the hole.

Luckily, it finally clicked what they were doing wrong. Having a high-quality publication simply wasn’t enough on its own.

They had to have great copy to sell it – to stand out from their competitors.

You’ve seen copy before. It’s the words and phrases on advertising, whether it’s an email, snail mail sales letter, autoresponder, website banner ad, Google AdWords ad, etc.

And when it comes to selling anything, the copy used is called direct-response copy – or copy that asks the reader to take an action like buying your product. It does not “create awareness” about a product – which is the aim of many of the clever ads you might see for say cars, soft drinks, or perfumes.

Instead, a direct-response ad call to action could ask the reader to: Donate to charity by sending a check in the enclosed envelope. Sign up for a free online newsletter by entering an email address. Open a bank account or credit card by calling the 800 number. That sort of thing.

Once my health publishing friends tried to sell their newsletter again with great copy … they sold thousands of subscriptions at $49 a pop. Joint venture partners came calling with offers to mail the promotion to their list. (Once you have copy that is working, a lot of new friends come out of the woodwork.) And they were selling thousands of dollars worth of their other products too.

Within a year of finding copy that worked – they were profitable.

You see, even though this was a pretty well-financed company with a lot of expertise and resources at its disposal … the lack of good copy brought it to its knees. All the money in the world couldn’t save it.

Fortunately, you have the opportunity to start your Carefree Business on the right foot by incorporating effective promotions from day one – and you can do it on a very low budget. You’ll be profitable faster, spend less time and money on marketing efforts that don’t work, and be light years ahead of other entrepreneurs who don’t realize how important copy is.

When It Comes to Marketing, Copy Is King

You can have the best products in your niche. The flashiest website. The most thought-out marketing plan. A list of hundreds of thousands of prospects.

But without copy tying it all together, your online business will fail.

Once you have the copy down, though, everything comes together. Everything you do in your Carefree Business becomes easier. You’ll work less. And most importantly, sales will grow and more money will come in the door.

And that’s because copy is what converts prospects into customers.

As an online entrepreneur you don’t see your prospects. So you don’t have the chance to tell them face-to-face about how great your product or service is.

You have to rely on the words and phrases on your website, in your emails, and the like. So those words better be darn persuasive.

Writing persuasively isn’t hard to do once you know what you’re trying to persuade the reader to do or feel …

Check out this famous example from the sales letter for expat newsletter International Living:

You look out your window, past your gardener, who is busily pruning the lemon, cherry, and fig trees … amidst the splendor of gardenias, hibiscus, and hollyhocks.

The sky is clear blue. The sea is a deeper blue, sparkling with sunlight.

A gentle breeze comes drifting in from the ocean, clean and refreshing, as your maid brings you breakfast in bed.

Can you see how the words form images in your mind? The writer wants you to picture yourself in a tropical paradise. He’s persuading you to want that paradise for yourself. That way when he asks you to sign up for the newsletter that will help you obtain that paradise, you’ll be ready to put your name on the dotted line.

This is a great example of good copy. The full letter was actually sent out by International Living for decades, sold thousands of subscriptions of their newsletter, and was responsible for the success of the business.

And that’s just one example. There are thousands of promotions out there that have achieved similar results.

So, the question for you now is: how do you go about getting great copy for your Carefree Business?

The good news is you can learn to recognize the good stuff fairly quickly … once you learn what “good copy” is. And once you know, you’ll never look at copy the same way ever again – whether it’s yours or someone else’s.

At that point, once you know the hidden structure behind good advertising, you’ll be primed to write your own effective copy. And you’ll be light years ahead of competitors who don’t recognize the value of copy. Believe me, they exist.

Here’s how to get started with your copy education:

  • Build what we in the biz call a “swipe file.” This is just a collection of good ad writing you see, especially copy that caused you to buy something. Model your own copy on these examples.
  • Check out articles about copywriting on AWAI’s website and sign up for the newsletters. You can browse the archive, which includes thousands of articles on the topic, simply by clicking on the various copywriting categories.
  • Start writing your own copy. You can’t learn for real unless you practice. Test your new copy in your business to see what your audience responds to. Whether you end up using your own copy or hiring someone else, writing copy is the only way you’ll learn to distinguish the good from the bad.

Of course if you want to accelerate your education, there are two additional paths you can take …

If you’re a do-it-yourselfer and want to write your own copy, AWAI offers an introductory program that is perfect for beginners. It reveals the secrets behind all advertising writing. There is no better way to learn the art – and science – behind persuasive writing. You can get all the details on the AWAI’s popular copywriting program here.

And if you want to accelerate your learning, you should consider attending AWAI’s FastTrack to Copywriting Success Bootcamp and Job Fair. The event is dedicated solely to copywriting, and you’ll learn from copywriting legends like Dan Kennedy, Bob Bly, Nick Usborne, Joe Sugarman, just to name a few.

You’ll walk away with plenty of tips you can use right away to help your business sell more, which will go right to your bottom line. You’ll even learn how to “swipe” copy that has proven to be successful, to ethically use it for your own business. And you’ll be in close quarters with dozens of potential freelance copywriters who can help you out for a low fee … or just become part of a mastermind group in which you can bounce copy off each other.

If you’re interested in learning more about the event, AWAI is hosting a free teleconference next week, Tuesday, Aug. 9th, hosted by successful six-figure copywriter and AWAI alum Joshua Boswell.

You can sign up for this free call here.

Regardless how you learn copywriting, know that it’s a key component to any successful business. It’s why you’ll hear many good marketers and business owners say, “copy is king.” With people bombarded by so many marketing messages online and off, you need effective copy to stand out from the crowd and make sure prospects buy your products.

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 5, 2011

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