10 rules for direct response copywriters?

11 replies
Hi folks,

I recently published a little guide for new copywriters that details 10 'rules' you should try to follow when starting out in direct response copywriting.

I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on them and where you agree/disagree.

And if you want to see my reasoning behind each, the guide is free for a tweet or share here: https://www.paywithatweet.com/pay/?i...b272b33f2707b0

Here are the 10 rules I settled on:

1. Always speak to your reader as if talking to a friend
2. Do not assume knowledge in your reader
3. Allow small mistakes to improve your copywriting
4. Don't force a headline when it just doesn't work
5. Always give your reader a win/win opportunity
6. Never ask a direct question in a headline
7. Use simple but varied vocabulary
8. Always be feeding your brain
9. Be willing to swallow your creative pride
10. Make everything about direct response copywriting

Of course, some rules are made for breaking, but I think it's a decent selection for newbies.

What do you reckon?
#copywriters #direct #response #rules
  • Malificent Magnificent.

    Heyla,

    Loved your guide!

    I'm a newbie, so I answered yes, and donated a Facebook post.

    You're funny, and you made good sense.

    I'm on your email list now, too.

    The part I found most helpful was when you shared all of the non copywriting stuff you read and watched. I always feel guilty when I'm reading or watching something non copy-orientated. I always have this voice shouting at me telling me I need to practice.

    So thanks for that, and thanks for sharing!
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    I write funny, informative, and sad blog posts that could easily be emails or ebooks. Come look me up at http://thecontentangel.com/

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    • You're Welcome

      I can't be too helpful yet since I'm just a baby (in copywriting experience and know-how) but some people here have been super helpful to me, and so I leap at any chance I see where I can actually be a tiny bit helpful.
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      I write funny, informative, and sad blog posts that could easily be emails or ebooks. Come look me up at http://thecontentangel.com/

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      • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
        "6. Never ask a direct question in a headline"

        Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
        apparently did rather well a few years ago Glenn.

        Best,
        Ewen
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        • Ha. You're right, Ewan. There are always exceptions, I'm not sure there are too many more, though. Still, as a more experienced writer, I'm sure you're able to break the rules more often.
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          • Profile picture of the author marc@clickbitz
            Hi Glenn, here are the rules from Dan Kennedy's Ultimate Sales Letter book:

            What keeps them awake at night?
            What are they afraid of?
            What are they angry about? Who are they angry at?
            What are their top three daily frustrations?
            What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives?
            What do they secretly, ardently desire most?
            Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions?
            Do they have their own language?
            Who else is selling something similar to their product, and how?
            Who else has tried selling them something similar, and how has that effort failed?

            It comes down to really understanding where the prospect is coming from and offering them what they want!
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            http://www.clickbitz.com - buy and sell ebooks, music, games, apps, audiobooks, and more!
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          • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
            Originally Posted by Glenn@AllGoodCopy View Post

            Ha. You're right, Ewan. There are always exceptions, I'm not sure there are too many more, though. Still, as a more experienced writer, I'm sure you're able to break the rules more often.
            Glenn, I don't see 21 out of 100 top headlines listed in
            How to Write a Good Advertisement end with a ? being the exception.

            As seen here...

            Do You Make These Mistakes In English?
            Who Else Wants A Screen Star Figure?

            Five Familiar Skin Troubles — Which Do You Want to Overcome?
            Have You These Symptoms of Nerve Exhaustion?

            Do You Do Any of These Ten Embarrassing Things?
            Six Types of Investors — Which Group Are You In?

            ARE YOU EVER TONGUE-TIED AT A PARTY?
            WHICH OF THESE $2.50 TO $5 BEST SELLERS DO YOU WANT --- FOR ONLY $1 EACH?

            WHO EVER HEARD OF A WOMAN LOSING WEIGHT --- AND ENJOYING 3 DELICIOUS MEALS AT THE SAME TIME?

            WHOSE FAULT WHEN CHILDREN DISOBEY?
            HAVE YOU THESE SYMPTOMS OF NERVE EXHAUSTION?

            HAVE YOU A "WORRY" STOCK?
            IS THE LIFE OF A CHILD WORTH $1 TO YOU?

            DOES YOUR CHILD EVER EMBARRASS YOU?
            IS YOUR HOME PICTURE-POOR?

            WHO ELSE WANTS LIGHTER CAKE --- IN HALF THE MIXING TIME?
            HOW MUCH IS "WORKER TENSION" COSTING YOUR COMPANY?

            DID YOU EVER SEE A "TELEGRAM" FROM YOUR HEART?
            IF YOU WERE GIVEN $200,000 TO SPEND --- ISN'T THIS THE KIND OF (TYPE
            OF PRODUCT, BUT NOT BRAND NAME) YOU WOULD BUILD?

            ARE THEY BEING PROMOTED RIGHT OVER YOUR HEAD?
            ARE WE A NATION OF LOWBROWS?

            Ask the marketers on the subject of how much money they made with the headline starter...

            Who Else Wants...?

            Then there was the one which went something like this...

            When Home Alone, Do You Leave The Bathroom Door Open?

            Best,
            Ewen
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  • Nice tidy instructive list you wrote.

    Each should get what he needs from those ten suggestions.

    I like the focus of this thread.

    LLS
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason_V
    Ewen said exactly what I was going to say, but put it much better than I could have.

    Also, I would add to number 4, something like "and always test a headline even if you think it won't work"
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    "When you do something exactly wrong, you always turn up something."
    -Andy Warhol
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  • Profile picture of the author fhubapp
    I think an impression and successfull Ads article it should have brief, concise content, struck a chord with readers and especially, act impulsively.
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