These 9 Copywriting Tips Can Help You Make More Money Faster
“It might be time to throw these away, after all, they’re relics. And they don’t even make them anymore,” I said to my husband as I pointed to the huge stack of containers near the back wall.
But I could tell by the look on his face, that wasn’t going to happen.
You see, we were cleaning out our basement, which over the years has become our version of a storage unit, filled with boxes and containers that haven’t been opened in years.
Most are items that “moved with us from one house to another.” What I mean is, instead of tossing them with each move, we took those same old boxes from one location to another.
And with each new house, those untouched boxes and containers went to the same place: The basement.
Now that we’re empty nesters, we figured it might be a good time to de-clutter the basement. But it’s not an easy thing to do, especially when one person is what I’d call a pack rat.
The boxes I wanted to toss were the ones carefully packed with vinyl albums. The albums are old … really old. Some date back to the late 1960s. And the thing is, my husband hasn’t listened to a single one since they were put in those boxes.
My thinking was simple. Get rid of the albums that were taking up space and replace them with digital recordings. But my husband insisted they stay and he gave me two reasons why.
The first reason has to do with sound waves. Vinyl records are analog recordings, which capture sound waves much better than digital recordings.
Digitally produced sound has to be compressed in order to make it small enough to be played and stored on a smartphone, laptop or desktop computer, or even aired over the radio.
That digitally compressed sound is known as a “lossy” format … meaning it loses sound quality. Vinyl, on the other hand, is done in a lossless format. And just as the name implies, lossless means nothing is lost when the recording is made.
The quality on a vinyl album is as good as the musician or band or whoever is making the recording intended it to sound.
But there’s another reason vinyl sounds better. Digitally produced music is artificially engineered to be louder. As the volume goes up, natural sound qualities go down, and that causes distortion. That doesn’t happen with vinyl. The richness of the sound stays intact.
To my surprise, I also learned that vinyl albums aren’t relics. Turns out, there’s a resurgence happening right now for vinyl recordings. For instance, here in the U.S., over 14.2 million vinyl records were sold last year. And in the UK, over 4 million vinyl records were bought.
Even more amazing … worldwide, over 80,000,000 vinyl records have been pressed over the past three years. Talk about a vinyl come back!
Now, as for the second reason why we had to keep the albums right where they were … well, I’ll tell you in just a minute, but first, let’s talk about what all of this has to do with you, Dear Copywriter.
You see, if there’s one type of collection all copywriters should have, it’s a Swipe File. If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s a deliberate collection of successful letters that have generated lots of sales for the client and handsome fees for the copywriter.
Here’s why having one makes a measureable difference in your copywriting career. The truth is, you can make a lot more money, much faster, if you have a collection of sales letters to look through before you start your next copywriting project.
There’s so much you can learn from each one. But I’m talking about more than just reading a sales letter. To learn from one, you have to study and analyze it thoroughly. In other words, every sales letter you add to your Swipe File should be reverse engineered.
What’s that and how do you do it? Reverse engineering is simply a matter of taking a sales letter apart bit by bit. In each section, you’re looking for each individual technique and strategy the copywriter used that made the letter work so well.
It takes a little practice to do, but once you get the hang of doing it, you can’t stop. Here are a few copywriting tips you can use right now to get the most out of studying sales letters.
Reverse Engineer Tip #1: Review the headline, and see how many of six U’s are in place: Useful, Unique, Urgent, Ultra-specific, Ultra-curious, and Ultra-intriguing.
Reverse Engineer Tip #2: Determine the style or type of letter the copywriter used: Invitation, Story, Prediction, Proclamation or Promise, Offer, Secret, and Problem-Solution.
Reverse Engineer Tip #3: What’s the premise of the Big Idea? Can you easily identify it?
Reverse Engineer Tip #4: Identify where in the lead the copywriter explains “what’s in it for the reader?” How many pages of copy did it take to get there?
Reverse Engineer Tip #5: What kind and how much proof are used in the body copy? Did the copywriter use charts, facts, studies, statistics, and testimonials?
Reverse Engineer Tip #6: How did the copywriter “dimensionalize” the product benefits to make them feel real to the reader?
Reverse Engineer Tip #7: Is there a false close or “but wait, there’s more” section in the letter?
Reverse Engineer Tip #8: What kind of guarantee is used: get all of your money back, more than your money back, or a pro-rated refund?
Reverse Engineer Tip #9: Is there a P.S. and does it restate the promise, have urgency, or make use of scarcity?
If you start with these nine copy tips on reverse engineering letters in your Swipe File, you’re guaranteed to learn a few more copywriting techniques that you’ve never seen before. And then, find a way to use them in your next project.
The bottom line is this: The more you study and analyze sales letters through reverse engineering, the better you become at writing copy and getting great results for your clients.
And when that happens, clients are more than happy to pay you lots more money to write for them.
So, start doing it now.
Oh, what's the second reason to keep those vinyl records?
They’re collectibles. Their worth depends on several factors, including the sleeve, condition of the vinyl, rarity, and status.
For instance, the album with Street Fighting Man by the Rolling Stones could fetch as much as $10,000, while a copy of Meet the Beatles, which was made specifically for the U.S. market, is worth $1,000.
So the truth is, those boxes in our basement are really filled with money. No wonder my husband refused to throw them out.
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 »