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Determined to write your own brochure or website? Here are some rules that will help you get it mostly right.

Writing good copy has its rules, much like any industry. These are a few I’ve learned over the years. By following them I have been quite successful (blush) for clients across many industries.

What is the difference between a product’s
features and its benefits?

Benefits are features from the consumer’s point of view

  • Benefits sell by solving a consumer’s problem. For example;
  • - Feature: Snooze button
  • - Benefit: lets you sleep a few minutes longer
  • - Feature: 0-60 in 4.9 seconds
  • - Benefit: helps you overtake on the open road

Generally, you can turn a feature into a benefit by stating the product has <feature> which means the customer can <benefit>.

Some general rules when writing copy

When you analyse any successful (not pretty) ad, you’ll find it has followed the AIDA model every time. AIDA stands for

Attention – Interest – Desire – Action

... known as the Motivating Sequence

  • Get attention
  • – With a strong teaser, strong lead in paragraph
  • Identify the consumer need/interest
  • – Know your prospect and write to their self-interest
  • – Eg If you have invested in the stock market lately, chances are you’ve lost money
  • Desire
  • – Position your product as the solution
  • If you had invested with MoneyBags, your portfolio may have gained 7%
  • – Prove your case
  • Our MoneyBags IntEq Portfolio has outperformed the MSCI Index to June 08 by 7% Source (cite credible source)
  • Action
  • – Ask for the order
  • So please, if you would like to earn more in your portfolio, contact MoneyBags on (02) xxxx xxxx today.
  • You can never ask for the order too many times!

Be a daffodil in a sea of mud

Research from a few years ago indicated that the average person sees 3500 ads a day – so to have any chance at all, your ad must stand out. In effect, you have just a second or two to attract the reader.

  • Use the AIDA model
  • Identify the prospect with the headline or the first sentence. For example; Home owners: have you…?
  • Aim for an emotional purchase decision, not a rational one
  • Remember, the ad is about their needs, not your product
  • Get to the point quickly – in the first paragraph
  • Use short sentences, short paragraphs – particularly when writing for the web
  • Include a call to action
  • Be specific, avoid generalities and vague statements
  • Remember, every good ad seeks to;
  • – State the problem
  • – Present your product as the solution
  • – Prove your claim
  • – Ask for the order
  • Use subheads, bolding and underlining for your key sales points and offer text
  • Use a friendly, conversational style

Creating a great headline

Almost every ad you see has a headline. Their sole task is to get your attention. Effective headline techniques:

  • Statement-based
  • – Eg. Important news for women with flat or thinning hair
  • This headline is effective because it:
  • − Immediately identifies the prospect
  • − Promises a (probable) benefit
  • Question-based
  • – Do you make these mistakes in English?
  • – Are you struggling to pay the bills right now?

Questions 'irritate' the brain. We answer questions.

  • Opportunity-based
  • – We’re looking for people to write children’s books
  • – Quit your job next week. Here’s how:
  • These headlines play on a person’s desires and emotions.
  • Benefit-based
  • – State the key benefit of the product
  • News headlines
  • – New, Discover, Announcing, At last, Just arrived

If you have a product or service that you’d really like to sell, call us
on (02) 8002 1394 or email

Turn your product features into customer benefits.