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Rabu, 31 Agustus 2011

Seven Easy Ways To Instantly Power Up Your Copy

Written By: Tina Lorenz, Guest Author

As a direct response copywriter, marketing strategist, and mentor, I find a lot of marketers get frustrated and intimidated when they begin writing copy for their business. Maybe you feel that way sometimes too.

The good news is–even if you are brand new to marketing, there are simple steps you can take to instantly improve the power and effectiveness of your copy.

So let’s get to it…

Your headline has to blend benefits and curiosity. And it has to pack a punch, because you only have 7-8 seconds to grab your prospect’s attention.

The whole purpose of your headline is actually quite simple—it’s to get you to read the next line. So before you run screaming into the night over headlines, remember all you really need to do is entice your prospect to read the next line.

For example, if you wanted to write a headline brimming with both benefit and curiosity for an acne product, you might start with “7 Ways To Rid Yourself Of Acne In Time For The Prom.” Or if your product worked super fast and this were true, you could say “How To Clear Up Your Acne In 7-Days Or Less.”

If that were an accurate depiction of your product, and you were a prospect with acne, a headline like this would certainly grab your attention and pull you into the copy.

Of course the headline needs to be relevant to the truth of your product. You don’t just make things up to create a headline. So how do you get started?

There is something in copywriting we call “swiping” and it’s not unethical in any way if you do it correctly. It’s not plagiarizing—it’s borrowing concepts that are proven to work as headlines, and adjusting them to make them your own.

For example, the acne headline above could be changed to “How To Lose 5 Pounds In 7-Days Or Less”—you’re taking the basic premise of a compelling headline and “tweaking” it to fit your product.

You might be wondering where you find proven headlines you can use as inspiration—and there’s a very rich resource at your fingertips: Magazines.

Every time you are standing in line at the grocery store, you are surrounded with proven and tested headlines on all the major magazines. While you might be embarrassed to be seen buying it, The National Enquirer has some of the best headline writers around. Other fantastic resources are Oprah, Prevention, Men’s Health—the list goes on and on. A fast way to have a treasure chest of headline ideas is simply to go to and start rummaging around.

Bookstores like Barnes & Noble are another valuable resource, as are book titles and chapter titles at Just dial up the volume on your marketing brain, and keep your eyes open. There are ideas all around you for compelling headlines.

I challenge you to go through your copy today and do this one thing: Remove most of the exclamation points.

People often think, “OK, I’m going to make a lot of energy in this! I’m very excited! I’m going to talk like this all the way through my sales material to make my point! And the way I’m going to do it is I’m going to put lots and lots and lots of exclamation points!!!”

Seriously, do you actually talk this way? No, not really.

So be ruthless about taking them out—slash and burn your way through your copy. Don’t worry that you’re going to take the energy away. Too many exclamation points ramp up the hype and hard sell, which ultimately increases skepticism in the mind of your prospect.

Save these tiny emphasis points for when they really count—for those times when you have an especially important or energized statement you want to emphasize.

Even if it feels weird to do it, go through your materials, take them out, and reread your copy. I promise you will soon see and feel the amazing difference of this one simple strategy.

Another often overused “small but mighty” element of punctuation is the innocent looking question mark. It is very common for people who are just starting out to ask a lot of questions in their copy as their “conversational” element. They mistakenly think they are getting right into the mind of their prospect.

But what you end up with is something like this…

“Do you feel like this? Has this ever happened? Are you spiritual enough? Do you want this one or do you want that one? Do you want more money? Do you want less anxiety? Do you want me to quit asking you questions?

It is question after question after question. And quite frankly, it’s irritating.

There are several reasons not to ask numerous questions unless you are extremely skillful in writing copy, and you know your target audience like the back of your hand.

For one thing you cannot afford the wrong answer. If you’re saying “Do you ever feel like this?” And they say “NO!” you’re all done right there. If you needed “Yes” and they said “No”—they are already gone.

It can also feel like you’re the guest of honor at a painful inquisition. Your reader starts feeling nervous or anxious—“I have to answer this; I have to answer that; I might get it wrong and I hate being wrong.”

I call them dangerous questions because you can’t afford the wrong answer. So if you already have copy riddled with question marks and you’ve been quizzing people up one side and down the other—here’s the solution. Turn the questions into powerful statements.

For example, instead of saying, “Do you have lots of painful headaches?” You can turn it into a powerful statement like this: “If you are sick and tired of painful headaches, here is the solution.” You turn the question into a powerful statement.

A handy little tool for smoothing out your copy is the ellipsis; the dot-dot-dot can bridge the gap in your copy and keep your reader moving forward.

Unfortunately, the ellipsis is often overused, creating a choppy “stop and go” rhythm to your copy. You don’t want that to happen, because your goal is a smooth flow to the sale.

The correct use of an ellipsis is as a little “cliffhanger” to the next concept in your copy, or as a connector. Used correctly, the ellipsis increases the conversational tone of your copy.

Here are some effective connectors where your ellipsis shines…

In other words…
Let me explain…
Here’s what this is about…
Here’s what to do next…

Talk to one and you talk to all. So act like you’re talking to one person. If you have to put a picture of your Aunt Martha next to your computer because you’re writing about a solution for arthritis and Aunt Martha has painful, swollen knuckles–you talk directly to Aunt Martha.

And when you do that, you talk to all the rest of the Aunt Martha’s out there too. You do not talk to a crowd. When you write “we all,” “they all,” “everybody” and “everything” you’re talking to the masses. And there is no personal connection when you do that.

It’s “you and me baby”–I’m talking to you and you’re talking to me. That is exactly how you write it.

Be real. Be authentic. Be transparent.

But if you have trouble getting from Point A to Point B with a conversational tone, here is a very powerful tip for you.

Talk your copy. Speak it, record it, “talk it” to someone else. Pretend you’re going to tell your mom about this fantastic widget you have that gets people on track or motivated or gets rid of their headaches–whatever it might be. Say it exactly like you would chat with a friend or family member about the product. Share why you’re excited about it, and what it is going to do for them.

A lot of times people get very self-conscious in their copy, which kills the conversation. It’s almost like you’re standing over to the side watching yourself write this epic sales letter and feel pressured to make it very meaningful from the get-go.

Forget all that. Just say it straight out, write the darn thing, and don’t self edit. You can always fix it later. Let it go, talk it, write it and then fix it. It’s always easier to tone down your copy and bring the energy level down if you’re too hypey, have too many exclamation points or “shouting”. It’s a whole lot harder to try and breathe life into dull copy. So just go for the gusto and then fix it later.

Always remember you need to spell out what you want your prospect to do. This is your “call to action”. Quite simply, it is called “direct response marketing” because we want them to respond with a specific action.

Keep in mind this is not an exercise in creative writing. You are SELLING. You want them to DO something.

But keep things simple—both for you and your prospect. Too many choices clutter people’s minds. And confused minds do not buy.

So don’t say “We have it in pink, purple, yellow, white, and green—and we have platinum, silver, gold, bronze levels, and then there’s the freebie…and you can pay in one payment, 3 payments, 6 payments, or on lay-away!”

It’s too many things for them to think about, and people don’t like to make the wrong decision. So if they are confused, they simply won’t make any decision at all.

Be very concise about what you have for them and give them a clear path to the sale or action. If you have more than one option to choose from, number them—list them sequentially. This isn’t the time to get creative or leave anything to doubt. This is all about an organized offer, laid out as literally as 1-2-3.

Use formatting to set your offer components apart. For example, you can use bold font for each number, bullet points, and spacing between elements.

You want a smooth flow to the sale or lead generation. Whatever your goal is, you want to clear away any obstacles and make it very easy for your prospect to successfully take action.

I do this for every single element of copy I write. And you should too.

Here’s why. If you cannot successfully read your own copy aloud without stumbling over the words, feeling confused about what you just said, or even falling asleep at the wheel—something is wrong with your copy.

As you read it to yourself, or even better to a willing participant, you will definitely find the rough spots, points of confusion, and even typos. Keep a pen in hand as you go, mark the copy as you find the problem areas, and keep going. Then go back and smooth things out.

I even print out everything I write (yes, I recycle!), literally holding the pages in hand to read aloud. Keep in mind your prospect may do this too—and you want to see what THEY see.

Not only will you find the weak spots in your copy—you will also have a complete visual of how the copy flows. If there is too much dense copy on a page, you can break it up with bullet points, subheads, and more “white space” making it easier to read and comprehend.

Creating compelling copy is an art, and there is so much more we could discuss.
But even with these seven simple strategies, you can instantly power up your copy and effectiveness. If you already outsource your copy, this will also help you gain more clarity about the necessary foundation you want for all of your marketing.

About the Author

Tina Lorenz is called the “Queen of Copy” and “Millionaire Maker” because of her multi-million dollar online launches. Watch her free marketing videos at

Take a look at these related posts:

7 Critical Elements of Sizzling Salesletter Copy: Part 17 Critical Elements of Sizzling Salesletter Copy: Part 27 Critical Elements of Sizzling Salesletter Copy: Part 3The Secrets of Writing Sales Copy That ConvertsThe Power of Networking
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