What makes a great copy? In a quest to find out what copywriting is all about, I came across a book called Advertising Secrets of the Written Word by Joseph Sugarman. New York Times called Joe Sugarman the “Mail Maverick”. He is Chairman of JS&A Group, Inc., BluBlocker Corporation, DelStar Publishing and President of a bio-tech company, Stem Cell Products, LLC. He once has been named as the “Direct Marketer of The Year” . With his credentials, I’m sure he knows quite a bit when it comes to making great copies and ads.
Joe made an interesting point in his Axiom 2, “All the elements in an advertisement are primarily designed to do one thing and one thing only: get you to read the first sentence of the copy.” The headline, the logo, subtitles, pictures, captions, etc exist just for the sole purpose of leading a reader to read the first sentence of a copy.
What’s even more intriguing was the fact that he mentions that the purpose of the first sentence was to have the reader read the second sentence. The second sentence is used to lead the reader to the third sentence. The third sentence is to lead the reader to the fourth sentence. And so on and so forth. You get the picture.
Another idea is to “Get the reader to say yes and harmonize with your accurate and truthful statements while reading the copy.” This concept has been used even in face-to-face sales whereas if you get the customer to keep nodding his head in agreement to what you’ve been saying, closing the sale would be a breeze because he would be nodding at buying your service/product too. Who would have thought that it applies in making copies too? Having the reader nod her head while reading the copy would have her take action and purchase the service/product.
Advertising Secrets of the Written Word is jammed-packed with useful advice that has been derived from Joe’s experience. As the Babe Ruth of the copy world, this is a great read and a short-cut to a successful copy.