John Caples on Copy

Write your copy to the sixth grade level. Simple language is not resented by educated people. And simple language is the only kind that most people understand. When you read over your copy, say to yourself: “Will this be understood by my barber or by the mechanic who fixes my car?”

What you say is more important than how you say it. Mail order advertisers do not use expensive artwork or fancy language.

Illustrations that show the product in use or the reward of using the product or service are usually the most effective. Examples: In an ad for a bicycle, a picture of a boy riding a bicycle shows the product in use. In a retirement income ad, a picture of a happy couple sitting on a beach in Florida shows the reward of using the service.

FROM: John Caples, 50 Things I’ve Learned in 50 Years

Note from Ryan: You can easily check if your copy meets a 6th grade level by using the “reading statistics” feature in Microsoft Word.  I’ve also heard of copywriters who use actual, live children to read the copy (aloud) back to the writer.  At the very least, it’s wise to have someone other than yourself actually read your work aloud before you publish.  It’s the quickest way to spot any rough spots in the copy.

P.S. If you’d like to learn even more about how to write copy that sells, I recommend you join the private Copywriting Code membership site. It’s packed with valuable copywriting lessons, and more are being added all the time. Click here to check it out.

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