More Copywriting Wisdom From John Caples

Ads that involve the reader are effective. For example, the best pulling ad for a book of etiquette showed a picture of a man walking between two women. Headline: “What’s wrong in this picture?” A successful ad for a course in Interior Design had this headline: “Can you spot these 7 common decorating sins?”

Straightforward ads usually outpull “cute” ads. Two couponed ads soliciting subscriptions for a daily newspaper were tested by mail order sales as follows:

Ad No. 1: Headline: “Take it from me this is the newspaper for you.” Illustration: Picture of a smiling newsboy offering the reader a copy of the Times.

Ad No. 2 Headline: How to get the Times delivered to your home Illustration: No illustration. Just headline and copy.

Results: Ad No. 2 outpulled Ad No. 1 by 190%

In writing copy, don’t merely tell your prospect the benefits he will get by buying your product or service. You should also tell him what he will lose if he doesn’t buy.

Put your best foot forward in your copy. A copywriter asked my opinion of an ad he had written. He said: “I saved the best benefit till the end and used it as a punch line in the last paragraph.” I said: “Put your best benefit in the first paragraph. Otherwise the reader may never get to your last paragraph.”

Avoid humor. You can entertain a million people and not sell one of them. There is not a single humorous line in two of the most influential books in the world, namely, the Bible and the Sears Roebuck catalog.

If you want to drive home a point, you should say it three times. For example, suppose you are making a free offer. At the beginning of your copy, say “It’s free.” In the middle of your copy, say “It costs nothing.” At the end, say “Send no money.”

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

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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