Pre-suppositions in copywriting – an intermediate lesson (for beginners)

OK, I already know some of you more intelligent, and experienced copywriters, understand what pre-suppositions are, when it comes to persuasive copywriting?
So this lesson is for the less experienced sales writer, who wants to “up their game.”


First, let me start with a short and sweet definition, just to get this party started…


For the sake of this post, a pre-supposition (when it comes to copywriting) is basically the same thing as pre-framing or “priming” the next thing you’re about to say, to put your reader in the right state of mind.
(Yes, I can already hear the grammarians among us screaming “that’s not the true definition of a presupposition!”)

Well, maybe… maybe not. But I write copy designed to sells things, not to impress my English Lit. Professor. So this is the definition we’re going with for this post.

A pre-suppostion is often used to subtly achieve acceptance, and pre-dispose your reader to an idea, so they’re more open to believing the next part of your message.

OK, I’ll admit that definition might sound a little confusing. So…Would you like to see an example of what I’m talking about?
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This should always be your main focus when writing a sales piece

This short, but powerful post is about what our main focus should always be when writing a sales piece .

I decided to write it because there was thread on one of the forums I sometimes visit, from someone who wanted advice on how to increase donations to her crowdfunding page.
One of the replies that came from a member of the forum contained the following passage…

In addition to the feedback you have already rec’d, my opinion for faster fund raising results is to refocus your campaign on the traffic that comes there, and of course, the SOURCE of this traffic and I think they are more interested in your goodies at the different levels.
Crowd fund raising investors, outside of family friends, want to see what is in it for them,

[End Quote]


^^^ I just want to say… That contains a brilliant bit of advice right there!!! ^^^

I’ve told people this, over and over (and over again). Sometimes they get it… More often, they don’t…
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Bad example of direct mail copywriting?

OK, so over the past few days I’ve presented a couple examples of copywriting here, that I thought were pretty good.
Some of us liked the copy… some of us didn’t…
But hey, that’s one thing a discussion is about. While we may have different opinions, and we may not always agree… At least we can exchange ideas, and talk about something we’re all (hopefully) passionate about.
And as long as you agree with my opinion… then your opinion is a good one 🙂
(Whoa! Put the pitchforks away guys, I was only joking… Just tryin’ to add a little levity to the chat… jeez)


Anyway, I brought another one here for your enjoyment… entertainment… critique… and exuberation (I don’t know if that last one’s even a word? But if it’s not, it should be… cause it’s kinda fun to say).

Anyway, this next piece came in my mail a couple years ago. I saved it because I thought it was such a curious specimen, and a very bad example of direct mail copywriting
It’s from a car dealership, a couple towns over from where I live.
I remember trying to contact them, to find out what the response rate was for this piece? But all I was told, was that direct mail doesn’t work, and they were taking their marketing efforts elsewhere.
So I’m guessing it didn’t bring in a ton of business for them?
Now, as I’m sure you can tell, I have my own opinion of this (oh… let’s call it a sales letter), but what do you guys think of it?
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Email copy – Good… or not?

Well, the other day I posted a thread here with a direct response copywriting exercise.
I was trying to add some hands on education to this site. And I did get a couple private emails asking for more posts like these.

But, other than that… nothing more than crickets chirping… and tumbleweeds rolling.

So, I’m thinking that maybe not too many people here are interested in exercising their sales copy skills?

But, I’ve never been one to “take the hint” (at least not on the first go around)
So let’s try again (one more time)… shall we?

This is an email I got from Netflix a couple days ago…
I won’t break it down with any critique this time. I’ll just let you look at it, and soak it all in…
So what do you think of it?
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A little activity to exercise your sales copy chops

Good morning Mr. and Mrs. Copywriter (and all the ships at sea)

Here’s a little game to help you new writers (and experienced writers as well) exercise your sales copy brains.

I don’t remember when I first picked up the lesson? But one of my writing coaches taught it to me years ago. And every once in a while it’s something I still do (when I have the time)

Basically we take a winning sales letter and dissect it. To see what makes it work.

Today we’re looking at a direct mail piece I got, from a local insurance guy.

No, I didn’t write it. And I’m not affiliated with the guy in any way.
But I’ve gotten this same letter every couple months, for more than a year now. Which leads me to believe it’s a responsive control piece.
(for the new writers here, a “control piece” basically means it’s getting a good enough response rate, to make it worth mailing, over and over again)

I blocked out the contact info, just for privacy sake. But the rest of the letter is intact.

Anyway, here it is…
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