An open letter to all DR copywriters who persist in believing content writing is not copywriting
It being the giving season, I wanted to gift you something today.
A client of mine sent this to me at the time when the whole native ad, article lander, quality article writing, content marketing revolution took off. He wanted to give me some direction regarding what he wanted as an article lander.
Candidly, since then, it's served as a secret weapon for me. A source of strategy and inspiration.
Before I share it, I suspect the majority of copywriters reading it will not acknowledge it as copywriting. At first glance, it's an article. Nothing more, nothing less.
"Move on, nothing to see here" as they say.
But to me? This is an example of extremely tight, compelling copy.
Ok, I know. You disagree.
You want proof?
This is THE ad that put Merrill Lynch on the map. It generated 10,000+ leads for the firm back in the 40's. It was written by Louis Engel. Do the research.
LOUIS ENGEL JR., EX-MERRILL LYNCH PARTNER, DIES - NYTimes.com
When you read the ad, I suspect you'll have a hard time finding the call-to-action. It's buried, you'll have to dig for it, but it's there.
This one article is why I personally don't get upset when we talk about blogging or content writing or article writing.
To me? It's all the same.
If it leads to business, if it leads to a little money changing hands, call it what you will, it's all copy to me.
I have tremendous respect and appreciation for this kind of copy.
Back in the 90's, I built my systems integration business writing high quality magazine articles like this. At the high point, I wrote for 15 hard copy magazines in the tech space each month.
1000 words a month, each. Prime space. Back page. I got the equivalent of $60K in free ad space every month.
This was the catch:
The editors wouldn't allow a call-to-action. No pitch. The content of my articles had to be so targeted, so useful, so relevant, on their own they had to compel people to pick up the phone and reach out.
It's doable. The secret? To know your market like the back of your hand.
Here's the Merrill Lynch ad:
After reading the ad, I'd love to hear your perspective.
Merry Christmas and/or whatever holiday you're celebrating.
- Rick Duris
Sales Copywriter. Digital Marketer. Entrepreneur.
Have a great day
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