How to Become The Master Copywriter in Your Company

master copywriterYou want to become a Master Copywriter for your Company?

First.

You have to love to write. You’ll be writing over and over. You’ll be editing. Clients will look at a piece you spent 5 hours and in 2 minutes will put red lines through it.

You’ll feel like a failure, but that’s what you deal with when you get into the “creative” world. Everyone has an opinion.

As Don Draper says in one of my favorite interactions talking about copywriting and its process, “People think monkeys can do this”

Does Sex Sell?  (youtube)

master copywriter
Don Draper knows how to be a Master Copywriter

When talking about writing copy, “They can’t do what we do, and they hate us for it.”

Point is? You need thick skin because what you do will get changed by everyone from the CFO to the janitor. Be ready to stand behind your work. Writing can be one of the most vulnerable things you do.

How do I become a Master?

Read and learn from the best:

Read: Gary Halbert, John Carlton, David Ogilvy‘s books, Joseph Sugarman‘s book, Bob Bly has a great (long) book on all the tactics of copywriting.

It doesn’t stop there. Keep going.

Reading a book is only 5% of it. Look at ads you see in magazines, newspapers, on TV.  Is what is written interesting and making me want to act?

Open your junk mail (yes all those Time Warner Cable bulk mails sent out) and read their copy.

Typically, it’s horrible. Alot of *flash* and *huzzah* without any substance. The reason for all this?

You see what others are doing and what NOT to do (and what you should be doing).

That’s another 10% (notice we’re only at 15%).

If you don’t absolutely love reading copy others do to learn from it, you’re not going to enjoy this profession. Gary Halbert typically tore out ads he thought were great and kept them in a “Swipe” file. Every time he wrote copy, he pulled them all out for inspiration.

Pick up a Pen

For every new piece of copy, start with a brain dump. Look at the product or service, describe the benefits, what does a customer feel when using it, WHY should they buy it.

A secret?

Write down every reason a customer will say “NO” and then in your writing, subtly, answer those questions.

This is the brain dump process. You aren’t editing. All ideas are “good” at this point.

Next…

Step away. You need time for your brain to organize thoughts. Go read, go walk, go play, go have sex. Anything but thinking about what’s written. It’s called the Incubation period.

What you’ll find is you’ll be taking a shower, walking, having sex, then EUREKA, an idea will hit that will connect different ideas together.

You’ll jump out of shower (or the bed) and go and write some more. Here you are still not editing yourself, but developing your flow.

Write your Headline

This is the most important piece. Have you ever caught yourself flipping through a magazine and realize you’ve skipped most of it?

Sure. Want to know the reason?

Because the headlines didn’t GRAB you. They didn’t reach out of the page and catch your attention to tell your brain “Hey, this is interesting.”

You’ll have this same issue unless you develop a grabbing headline. Here’s 38 headline ideas/templates: Professional copywriter and marketing communications expert.

EDIT

The last step in the process is to edit down everything. Take out words. Replace words with ones that have deeper emotion.

Trim the fat. Read everything out loud and hear how it sounds. Normally, you’ll find the awkward phrases, the weird sounding words etc.

Mastering?

You become a Master when you understand how to do all this over and over and over and perfecting it over and over.

Soon, your writing gets better. Ideas come faster. Your hourly rate goes soaring.

Mastering is simply taking something (much like a shooting movement in basketball) and repeating it until you know how to do it very well.

  1. Mindset. Know you will Fail
  2. Must love writing (and editing)
  3. Read from the greats. Read copy you see all around you (paper mail, company emails, tv and radio ads. etc.)
  4. Start with brain dumps of every idea in your head. Stretch your mind. Soon more ideas will come all the time.
  5. Incubate all the time (looks like you aren’t working, but your brain is. Endure the taunting comments from the non-creatives)
  6. Put Eureka idea in action. Make each sentence compelling enough they want to read the next one.
  7. Create a headline that catches (but doesn’t lie)
  8. Learn to edit yourself (I still struggle with this), but edit edit. It’s tough to read your own writing. Everything sounds like crap at first. As you get better, you’ll feel more confident.

Enjoy it

I Studied A Struggling Pizza Inn Chain’s Emails 4 Months: Avoid these Mistakes & Attract Recurring Customers (Screenshots)

**See Disclaimer. As of this writing, Pizza Inn, Pie Five nor Rave Restaurant are clients. These are the types of ideas I send for free everyday. No “ill will” is being delivered with cheese on top to this company. Paid client work is never publicized in this manner. This is purely for learning purposes. These ideas were sent to these executives months ago with no response.

 

A few months, I was emailing back and forth with an executive at Pizza Inn (website) ( a subsidiary of Rave Restaurant Group and brother to the up-coming Pie Five chain).

 

Randy Gier
Randy Gier, President of the Rave Restaurant Group

I had reached out as I had heard the CEO, Randy Gier speak. Great, excitable, interesting man.

 

[One of my questions to him was if there is a “sibling” rivalry between Pizza Inn and Pie Five since they are both pizza chains. He got a kick out of that.]

 

Pizza Inn has been around for over 50 years and was (at one time) a leading Pizza chain especially in Dallas/Fort Worth.

 

More recently, they’ve seen profit struggles and restaurants closed down. After listening and enjoying Randy’s presentation, I reached out.

 

The executive mentioned they were having trouble with their drip email campaigns.

A drip email campaign is a series of emails sent out periodically that go together and the end result is the subscriber BUYS at the end of it (or even better at the beginning)

 

Being an absolute junkie for pizza, I sprung into action to help. Of course, I would need to SEE the emails. So, I signed up.

Over the next 4 months, Pizza Inn would send their emails, I would digest them (pun intended…) and collected them overtime to see what the “story” is.

 

An email chain should have a “story.” It builds on each other until at the end, your subscriber is pulling up to a Pizza Inn, grabbing a booth, and pulling apart (cheese still melting) a delicious slice. A slice not just for themselves but for the spouse and child they’ve brought. Pizza brings people together.

 

Can you tell I like pizza..

 

What I found with their emails, is there wasn’t a connection. It was a BLAST email, nothing personal about it. Nothing to say “I care about you and your family.”

 

This is what’s missing in many email campaigns and I saw that with Pizza Inn’s emails. I haven’t seen Pie Five’s, but would think it’s similar. Pie Five is a bit more “hip” in how pizza is served, so it’s emails should reflect that.

 

Why You Should Care:

You’re going to get an inside look at how an email could be bettered. You get a backstage pass so you can look at your own emails (and not have to pay a copywriter, like JC Copy, to do this)

Studied for months:

Pizza Inn
                                                    Look at the Subject Lines

I highlight some points in the image, but let’s write them out and go through them:

  • All the email headers look similar: “Hey, WE have a discount.” “Yo, come see ME”, “Wazzup, OUR pizza is good.” These are NOT talking about the customer’s needs, but your own.

 

  • An example of a great subject line might be: “You deserve THIS break, this is for you.” Something that says: “We want to help you, you’re busy.”

First Pizza Inn Email:

Pie Five
Triple Cheezy yumminess…pizza..
  • This is a blatant advertisement. Remember, our email was meant to be “PRIVATE” communications. We’ve allowed brands into them, but to keep them in there, we have to be receiving value.

 

  • This theme might work in an election year (it wasn’t when it was sent”, but that’s about it.

 

  • Idea for an email: “Choose to Give your Friend a Pizza Today. Surprise them. Just tell us who you’d like to surprise.” With this, you give value and you may gain a new customer.

 

  • Their 3x cheese crust is incredible (definitely try it), but you can’t make every email an ad. Just every so often. Try an email that says: “Shh, you like our 3x crust? Ok, here’s how you can make it at home” This is all about the customer.

 

  • Have a contest: “Compete with your friends: Who can finish a 3x cheese first?” Take a video and we’ll put it up on our website to make your friends jealous!

Second Pizza Inn Email:

Pizza Inn Email
Pizza Inn: Are you spooking your customers away?!
  • (This was a Halloween email)Everyone is competing on major holidays and weekends: Try going after weekdays. Be in Mom’s inbox on Wednesday night: “Rough soccer practice? Skip cooking, grab a pizza. Take the family time to hear your kids and they can hear you.”

 

  • Throw in some nostalgia and credibility: “We’re one of the original pizzerias in Dallas. Want to taste how pizza did in the 50’s?”

Third Pizza Inn Email:

Pizza Innthusiasts
Pizza Inthusiasts is pretty clever my Inn-ions
  • Coupons are great (at times). Many forget to bring them into a restaurant, what can you offer instead? If they like your Facebook page, they get $5 off. Or follow on Twitter.

 

  • Use descriptive copywriting, make their mouth water. “Our pizza has been around longer than Papa John’s and Domino’s. We don’t stretch ourselves thin by cutting corners. Instead, you get warm, buttered dough with melted mozzarella perfectly blended in with fresh spiced tomato sauce. The tomatoes are a gorgeous red when picked, and pressed into our signature sauce.”

 

  • Create content your target audience is waiting to see. Maybe just a nice note about something, thanking them for being long-time customers. It goes a long way.

 

Do you see what you can do with emails. You can transform them from something “so-so” and turn them into a “Yes, I want to read that.” Where they are nodding their heads and saying “I’m glad I read that.”

 

Don’t tiptoe and shout in my mailbox, provide value!

 

Do you want ideas like this sent to you for Free? Your marketing can be changed overnight. Hit the button!

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Marketing Lesson 101: Getting Haters for Success (and how the Donald Trump 2016 campaign is using this to win the nomination)

NOTE: This is a non-biased article from someone who doesn’t know who they are voting for. Simply popcorning- it-up for the marketing lessons from this Presidential race. Election 2016. Focus: Donald Trump 2016.

 

Donald Trump 2016
He’s coming…

If you’re reading this in the future, here’s what’s going on in early 2016 for the hunt for the US Presidency, it’s a slug-fest.  We are seeing something being played out in politics that’s fit for the Marketing Hall of Fame.  Donald Trump, the famed real-estate investor, Apprentice “You’re Fired” guy, is running the ship for the Republican party.

 

Picking up the paper over your morning coffee (or more like browsing through your phone), you’d think the Whole World hates the crap out of him (even Republicans).  All you see are smear campaigns and articles about “How America is Over if Trump is Elected.”

 

Donald must be feeling the heat…..

 

donald trump 2016
He turned Michael Caine into himself!

Ha, are you kidding, he’s committing the best Marketing Caper we’ve seen even the Muppets would be impressed.

The Left and the loud voices on the Right think hammering out articles and ads about how terrible Trump would be as President, posting them on Facebook, whining on Twitter about it, would suddenly change the votes and the polls (as of Feb 2016, Trump has a commanding 20% lead over 2nd place).

 

They don’t understand a very powerful piece of marketing…… The Power of Conflict.

 

“You Aren’t a Success Until Ya Got Some Haters” – unknown

 

You will find this principle at play in not just politics, but in entertainment, sports, religion, and beyond.  What it means is the more controversial you are, the more attention you garner.  You can then turn that attention into success and wealth.

 

Notice, I didn’t say JUST getting attention means you’re a success, it’s knowing what to do with it.

 

johnny manziel
The fire’s out now, Johnny…

Johnny Manziel got the most 2nd + 3rd string attention than any quarterback ever (calm down Tebow fans, it’s a close race…ok?), he was in the news all the time (notice I put “was” as I predict his career will be short-lived), even though it was negative attention, he could’ve spun that into success:

 

Done “secret” charity work, let cameras “catch” him on the practice field at 3am in the morning, buy his lineman TVs after 1 of his (rare) good games (for press).

All of this wouldn’t have necessarily spiraled into him winning Super Bowls, but definitely more Sponsorships + More Credibility to perhaps get into Coaching or as a TV analyst right away. (See Tebow, happy fans?)

 

Instead, he squandered the attention and money on booze. And people still gave him controversial attention..

 

There’s still time Johnny!

 

How Donald Trump uses Controversy to Kill at the Polls:

 

The Donald is doing the exact same thing.  He’s Saying what he wants, He’s Doing what he wants and everyone’s up in arms about it.

 

We are prideful humans.  We believe what we want to believe. If we “commit” to something, unless given an incredible reason, we stick to our inner reasoning.  The more the press and Facebook shouts:

If you Vote for Trump, you’re what’s wrong with America.”

 

WRONG WAY TO HANDLE THE TRUMP. You’re not convincing those supporters to change their mind.  All you’re doing is making them dig in even more.  They just get madder, and they tell their friends who are on the fence to vote for Donald Trump 2016. The snowball rolls down the hill.

 

An article comes out calling “X State is going to hell for letting Trump win.” Wow, that’s really going to change some minds from “X” state.  What do you think it does?

 

It just makes “X” state say “You know what…….To Hell we Go! Everyone vote Trump, they can’t bully us!

 

Our 1 year old is learning the word “NO.” Yes, the dreaded word to: ‘Don’t put your hand in that socket’, ‘Stop throwing your food to the dog,’ ‘Do not poke out the dog’s eyes!’

 

The more she is loudly told “No” , the more she wants to do it.

If you berate your teen in front of her friends, she’s more likely to go out and do something worse next time just to show you up!

The more you berate Trump supporters, the more they will spread the word about it.

You’re essentially giving Trump a lead in the polls for FREE.  Jeb Bush dropped out after spending $130M on his campaign, Trump doesn’t even have to spend a $1 on marketing if he doesn’t want to.

All that negative press is really stopping him…..It’s helping him!!

You’re doing it for him!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Stop the Donald Trump 2016 Bus (for Non-Trump fans)

 

Pretty straightforward…..STOP posting the smear campaigns.  It may be too late, but pick a candidate and promote that one instead.

 

Better yet, try and cause a stir with that candidate instead.  Hilary Clinton shouldn’t be relieved the e-mail breach went away. She was the #1 focus in the land with that going on.  Bernie Sanders then garnered attention as many claimed he was “Socialist” and he embraced it causing his controversial status to go up.

 

Key point: Stop trying to smear campaign him, instead put up your candidate and prop him/her up rather than attack those who vote for Trump.

 

Use the Pendulum Theory:

With a Pendulum, the only way to get the ball to your side “Success” is first moving towards failure.  You need the momentum to swing towards “Success.” If you simply try and push the pendulum towards “Success” it will move slightly then swing harder back towards failure.

 

Instead, to get the most momentum right away towards success, you must first move towards failure.

How do you do that?

 

Admit Trump is the head in the polls and many Republicans think he’d do a good job. You’re talking to your friends on Facebook, instead of saying “You’re so dumb for supporting Trump, he’s going to ruin the country.”

 

(That’s not going to change their minds, rather be used as fuel for them to further promote Trump.)

 

Instead, you say “Boy, Trump is doing a great job in the polls, a lot of Republicans really like him, right? Let me ask you, could you ever see a reason to think about voting for Cruz or Rubio rather than Trump?”

 

A reasonable person will think it over and give you reasons. A hard-core, non-reasonable person would say, “No, they all suck, Trump for life.” The latter is someone you won’t change their mind. But you also don’t want them going around rallying the troops. Drop politics talk with them.

 

The former is someone you can have a dialogue with and figure out, “Hey, Trump supporters don’t like THIS about him , perhaps this is a a great point my candidate addresses. Then you talk about that.

 

Proof that Controversy works for Marketing:

 

Kanye West:

Many can’t argue Kanye has a major voice in music, he’s unofficially known as Mr. Controversy in the music business.  From going after Taylor Swift, swooping in and marrying into the Kardashian family, to recently tweeting about being $53M in personal debt, he knows how to keep the spotlight on him.

 

He got the most Venom when in ’09 with the Taylor Swift VMA stunt.  He was shunned by haters, Lady Gaga canceled a joint tour with him.  But look at something interesting.  Look at his net worth since ’09:

 

Kanye West Net Worth Timeline 2

Now, of course this isn’t all related to that 1 stunt (everyone can find stats to back themselves up!), but it IS when he you started seeing more and more of him in tabloids, news covers and the like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s look at Taylor Swift

 

She’s been the center of attention since then as well.
Tabloids monitor every boy she ever speaks a word to, and whether she likes it or not, all it does is rally T-Swifters around their gal.

 

taylor swift net worth over time

 

 

 

 

Heck, I love Tay Tay and don’t understand why they won’t leave her alone! So I bought floor seats the last time she was in Dallas, Go T!

For any other entertainers, those that hate only make them stronger: CC: Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber, One Direction…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dallas Cowboys:

Arguably, the most controversial team in football is the Cowboys.  Why? Because they’re called “America’s Team” yet most, outside the state of Texas and random pockets around the U.S., absolutely hate them and hate they have that name.  The second most hated team could arguably be the New England Patriots.  Guess who are the 2 most valuable franchises in the NFL?

 

You got it!

 

 

The Cowboys are worth $4 BILLION.  Yet they haven’t been to a Super Bowl in 20 years! They’ve only reached 10+ wins in 6 of the last 20 seasons.  Any other team and they are down to the $1 Billion mark.

 

But what keeps it controversial? Good Ol’ Uncle Jerry. Jerry’s World reigns supreme!  He is the center of attention after each game (usually a loss), pursues and keeps controversial players, as well be the Voice of the Team.

 

For non-football fans, typically the Owner is “mostly” a silent manager who simply watches the game and throws in input every now and again (while counting their money). Not Jerry. He lives for the spotlight and it makes him a mega-controversial figure in the NFL arena.

 

He’s gotten paid for it. Why? Because Cowboys fan love the attention even more, and will go and overspend for tickets and memorabilia, just for the notoriety.

 

 

Past Presidential Elections:

 

Look at the last 3 Elections and check the winners and who they contended with.  Normally, the most controversial one, the one everyone talked about is the one who wins (whether you think they were the better candidate or not.

 

George Bush: Controversial candidate after 09/11 plus Operation Iraqi Freedom in ’03.

And John Kerry WASN’T a compelling enough figure to overthrow Bush.

Barack Obama: Controversial as first African American President. John McCain, not memorable (only controversy was having Sarah Palin, but that wasn’t enough although she had a strong support group)

Barack Obama (2012) : Even with lackluster performances in 1st term, Mitt Romney just didn’t have enough controversy to stir up the presses as, even though the “polls” had him leading on election day, he was dismantled by over 125+ electoral votes.  Bain Capital just wasn’t enough of a “controversial” point to garner enough attention, nor do the average Americans understand private equity firms.

 

Presidential Election 2016:

Hilary Clinton has an edge in the controversial polls simply by having a decent shot at being the first woman President in history.

Presidential election 2016
Not controversial enough..

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio aren’t “Exciting.” They want to be clean-cut, what they need is find a way to get press about themselves and NOT by slamming Trump. Instead, slam each other, forget Trump even exists.

 

Why Would This Strategy Work for you Donald Trump 2016 haters?

This is the information age.  We are persuaded more now than ever by what we read.  We read of how unsafe we are everyday because of the news.

In reality, we are living in one of the most peaceful times in history.  But, we have to watch something. We have to read that sad article. You can Google any tragic event and find a zillion sad articles about it.

The main point is: With so much information out there, if we have no opinion, we are more likely to believe the first one we hear.  The more you hear something, the more likely you are to accept it as fact.

So, bash on each other, make Americans think Cruz and Rubio are the new relevant ones and Americans will accept it.  They’ll see more talk about Cruz and Rubio and think “Wow, one of them must be right.” They will then slowly stop watching the Donald Trump 2016 parade.

As much as you want to pour facts into the average brain of an American citizen, you have to play the copywriting. Play the psychology game.

It’s like a magician. Distract them with 1 hand and they won’t realize what your other hand is doing!

AGAIN: This is written by an un-decided voter.  Simply written for the marketing prowess on display by the Trump 2016 campaign.