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Copy Writing In Ads

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Whether you're a small-business owner, a medium-size business owner, an eBay seller, or just trying to break into the copywriting industry, understanding the fundamentals of writing sales-oriented copy and put you on a path to success. At its core, copywriting is another device in a business' marketing toolbox. Well-written copy can make or break an ad or marketing piece. With that in mind, copywriting can equate to either well-spent advertising investments or a waste of advertising.

Many people misinterpret the uniqueness of effective copywriting. I can't count the number of times I've heard freelance writers say they want to shift from article writing to copywriting as if it's simply an extension of their existing abilities. Copywriting does come naturally to some people, but for most, it's a foreign landscape they do not know how to navigate. Copywriting is about more than writing the hard sell sales letter that many short copywriting courses offer. In fact, I cringe when I see those over-the-top sales letters, which do little more than provide an ugly representation of copywriting, sales and marketing.

Well-crafted copywriting doesn't need to beat a person over the head. It doesn't have to drown in bold typeface and capitalization. The message should stand on its own without an overabundance of heavy-handed sales language and design embellishments. I associate many sales letters that are guilty of this technique with a writer who doesn't truly understand the basic purpose of copywriting. However, successful copywriting can be achieved.


1. Exploit your product's benefits.
The first step of the copywriting outline is the foundation for your advertising campaigns. A benefit is the value of your product to a customer. In other words, a benefit is what the product can do for a customer or how the product can help a customer.

2. Exploit your competition's weaknesses.
To write compelling copy, it is essential that you know what differentiates your product from the competition. Once you know your competitors' weaknesses, you must make sure your audience knows them and understands why buying your competitors' products would be a terrible mistake. Get started by thoroughly researching your competition and understanding what they offer in terms of products and services.

3. Know your audience.
Every person in the world is not going to see every ad in the world. Each ad has a specific audience that will see it, and it's the marketer's job to find the best placement to ensure the target audience will see it. For example, an ad for skateboards placed in a local senior citizen housing association newsletter is not likely to generate a lot of sales. In fact, it would be a waste of advertising dollars. The target audience for skateboards is teenagers or young adults. 

4. Communicate W.I.I.F.M. (What's In It For Me?)
There are a variety of reasons to create an advertisement or marketing piece. Before you write copy for your promotional piece, you need to understand your goals for that piece. What do you want to get in return? The copy you use in each ad or marketing piece will vary based on your goals for that promotion. While this book does not focus on the development of marketing plans and strategies, I will offer some examples of different objectives for ads or marketing pieces that, in turn, will affect the copy you use:

Communicate a special offer
Share information and raise awareness
Generate leads

5. Focus on "you," not "we."
It is essential that you are aware of how you're addressing your customers in your copy. To do this, you need to understand pronoun usage. Think back to your school days. Remember your English teacher explaining first person, second person, and third person? As a refresher, first person (I, me, my, mine, we, us, our, ours) is the person speaking and second person (you, your, yours) is the person to whom one is speaking. 

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