I've been lurking around the forum for a couple of weeks, but this is my first thread. The amount of useful information here is incredible, and just wanted to say thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your experience and thoughts.
I hope I'll be able to make a small (hopefully constructive) contribution to the discussions here and there. So I'll start with a little story that happened to me recently, which isn't about copywriting per se, but it has everything to do with it, I think.
I was approached on the street a few days ago by a nice looking guy wearing a white coat. He started explaining how he's from an NGO supporting AIDS research and if I had a couple of minutes to talk. I reluctantly said yes, knowing that he's gonna ask me for something.
But then he said "The number one cause of death among women aged 15 to 45 is AIDS and we want to...". There he got my attention. What? It wasn't cancer, or heart disease, or pulmonary whatever? I was intrigued, and I was in the target group he was describing.
He went on for 1 minute or so, and then he got to the selling part: he showed me a form and would I fill it in and give a monthly donation for AIDS research.
I wasn't ready yet, though I could have been convinced at that point.
I asked if they had a website so that I could research a bit before giving my money. And he said "Yeah, there's a website, but, you know, we're on the streets till 5p.m. and then we like to gather at the organization and put all the forms we got in a pile and be proud of them".
Guess what? Yup, he lost me. I said "That sounds nice, but..", asked for their website (with all the intention to check it out) and left.
I remembered because today I saw some guys doing the same. And I realized that I never went to check that website, although I genuinely wanted to. I delayed and I was a lost sale.
If, instead of talking about him and his nice pile, he would have said that I could make the difference between life and death for a woman just like me, well, there's a good chance they might be getting my money every month.
That's the little story, hope it wasn't a total bore.