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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The A to Z Method of Eliminating Writers Block


Greetings, young writers… (old writers… wannabe writers… and all the ships at sea)

Here’s another good writing exercise for you.

This one was introduced to me by a friend, and fellow writer, on one of the forums I sometimes hang out at.

BIG SHOUT OUT TO “FRED” over at the WF !!!  (you know who you are… yeah!)


Anyway, It’s a pretty creative idea that could save you from the dreaded “WHITE PAGE OF DEATH !!!” (also known as writers block)


Whenever I find an opportunity to bring you something that could improve your writing, I want to share it with you. So I decided to write this quick post, explaining this great little exercise. (are you getting excited yet…? I know I am.)


Now personally, I think this method is pretty fantastic. But it won’t instantly make the words appear, all by themselves. And you probably won’t jump up and down shouting “Hallelujah! I have the answer, at last!”

But, it’s still a pretty incredible way to give that evil nemesis “writers block” the old “1…2…knockout punch” it so rightly deserves.


So, if your ready to learn it… Here’s the magical formula…

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Name That tagline


Hi kids! It’s time once again for everyone’s favorite copywriting game show…


YAY! (applause, applause)


For those of you joining us for the first time, “name that tagline” is the game show where we pick a fictitious product or service, and we see who can come up with the best tagline.


Why am I doing this? Because I need a break right now. And when I need a break, I sometimes create silly little copywriting games just to keep my mind active. (good God, if this is what I do for fun, I guess I really am a big ol’ copywriting nerd)


Anyway on with the game…


Today’s fake business is an amnesia clinic. But not the way you’re thinking. No, No, No… this clinic GIVES you amnesia, and lets you forget things you’d rather not remember.

(Isn’t that amazing!!!???)


Now, to get the ball rolling, I’ll throw out the first couple taglines…Continue reading

Why are professional copywriters so damn expensive?


A 5 minute conversation about why professional copywriters cost so much

Why are you sales writers so damn expensive !!!???

That’s the question I was recently asked by a local business owner, while we both waited in line at the coffee shop.

We’ve chatted in the past, so he knows what I do for a living. But this was the first time he ever came right out and (aggressively) asked me this question.

He went on to say, “anybody can write an advertisement. All you have to do is write down what you’re selling… tell them where to find you… and if they want it, they’ll come buy it.”

So how can you copywriters justify charging so much?

Of course, the first thing I did was ask him if he writes all his own advertisements? He answered “yes, he writes his own ads. And sometimes, when he’s too busy, he hires a guy from one of those freelancer sites.”

So I asked him how well his ads worked?

His response…? “We usually get a few sales, but advertising doesn’t really work that good, anyway.”

Well, in the back of my mind that little voice was screaming to just slap this guy upside the head, and tell him to go away.

But, I’ve heard his same story many times in the past (plus, I’ve learned to control my anger issues), so I already have a much calmer response sitting in my reservoir.


This was my basic response…

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