Writing Copy without Knowing the Product

6 replies
Quick question for copywriters. When you write a Sales letter for a product (eBook for example), do you typically go through/read the whole thing first to really get INTO the product itself (KNOWledge)?

To me logically it makes sense to do that first, that way you can base your copy around it for maximum effectiveness, as well as be able to speak the customer's language... but I know there are some copywriters who just go by what the client tells them in terms of the benefits/features the product has. Or for example if it were a service, they'd have to go by communicating with the client.

Now I know that persuasion and copywriting (selling) is a complete different animal from just simply talking about a product and its features (failling to sell), but that's not my question.
My question is more of a personal one, how do you normally attack your copywriting projects? How deep into the product or niche do you get, before drafting something up and targeting people's emotions, persuading them, talking benefits, etc.

Do you think it's unethical for some copywriters to draft something up without fully knowing the product and speaking the audience's language?

What are some guidelines or tips you would suggest in general for this whole subject?

Just curious on your thoughts.

#copy #knowing #product #writing
  • Profile picture of the author Alex Cohen
    There are two approaches that work...

    1. Product already created

    Copywriter thoroughly familiarizes himself with the product before writing the copy.

    2. Product not created

    Copywriter writes what he'd like the product to be... then the product is created to match the copy.

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  • Profile picture of the author BrandonLee
    In my experience, and it's only my experience - #2 on that list tends to produce the best results. I wish, as someone who writes some copy and manages launches, that more people took that approach.
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  • Profile picture of the author RogozRazvan
    It depends on the product. Some products are simply ripped off from other, successful ones. This was a very popular trend two - three years ago. If a product was #1 on ClickBank, then it was the natural consequence to find 10 new products, almost identical, overnight.

    If the product is new and carries POD benefits, then it is a completely different business. You need to understand what makes it unique. Yes, I have developed sales letters without having the product first with the condition that I can influence the offer. However, I had at least 10 past experiences in the same niche and I understood the patterns in that market.

    I don't consider it a good idea to create a sales copy without first reading the product / using it. In a recent project, I've spent half of the time allocated to it actually studying the product, page by page, word by word, even if I knew what it was about. I could have skipped this completely but I would have never truly understood the unique mechanism behind the benefit.

    So no, it is not unethical, it is just not practical. You need to understand the market and you need to understand what you are selling to that market. You can create the first half of the copy without the product but from that point, you need to know exactly what you are selling.
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  • Profile picture of the author JakeStatler
    Rule of thumb:

    If you cannot explain the product to a 12 year old in english to the point where they understand the concept and steps they would need to take to get a result, you don't know enough to write the copy.

    It's important to familiarize yourself with the product before telling others how they can use it to benefit them. But it's hard to give an exact point at which you can start writing the copy.
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  • Profile picture of the author Ross Bowring
    Yeah, I've always found it helpful to know as much as possible about the product I'm selling.

    --- Ross
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  • Profile picture of the author stealthtargeting
    If the product is already created than I always try to get as much information as I can. I think it is the best way to write a product review and sales letter for a product. It will help you to provide the effectiveness of that product to client and you can write more effective product review and sales letter.

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    Check out "Launch Cam" as well! wanna be in the next show? go! catch me if you can! ;)

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