If you have ever had the desire to become a master copywriter then Eugene Schwartz’s classic ‘Breakthrough Advertising’ must be on your essential reading lists.
Eugene Schwartz’s was a legendary copywriter in his own lifetime, and among us ‘trainee copywriters’ he’s a legend still now.
Sadly Eugene passed away in 1995 but his legend lives on as every aspiring copywriter I know has Eugene at the very top of the masters list.
Definitely up there with Halbert, Makepeace, Sugarmann, Kennedy and Bencivenga.
Eugene Schwartz was a master at direct-mail campaigns so if you’re serious about learning the craft of copywriting then you’ll surely put ‘Breakthrough Advertising’ on your yearly reading list.
Here are Eugene Schwartz’s 8 Secrets to Master Copywriting.
Simple. Succinct sentences.
Like writing lines when you were in trouble at school, I recommend you write each secret out, at least 10 times each.
Be the best listener you ever met.
Few people listen these days. We’re all so wrapped up in our iphones, even when on a hot date we’ll find it hard to draw our constant gazes from the latest Facebook game, app, or newest fandangle.
I’m not kidding…
It’s murderous to see a young couple in a restaurant, in a new relationship…
You can tell they are new to each other by the body language…barely saying a word to each other.
If you want to be a master copywriter you can’t copy this behavior.
You must listen to what the market is saying.
Eugene Schwartz used to get into a taxi and start interrogating the cab driver, because he thought it was a good way to tap into what the market is saying.
I used this tactic to great effect when I first moved to Bangkok.
For one, I wanted to be sure of a seatbelt…
They rarely have them in the back of a Thai cab…
But I really wanted to sit up front with the driver to practice my Thai with him…
I needed to dive straight in to the language…
And use it with the guys on the street…
The real Thai language, not the junk you get in most language books…
You need to do this too, or a version there of, to analyze your market…
If I am honest, I can’t stand Facebook…
I’d much prefer to call a ‘real’ friend…
But I still check in from time to time…
Because that is where my prospects hang out… (unfortunately 😉
When you understand your market and what they’re thinking and feeling…
You can write copy that directly targets their minds…
And you can write your copy much more effectively.
Work extremely intensely, in spurts.
You should know your prime time for writing.
Some copywriters jump out of bed in the morning and start writing.
Others need to go for a jog or a session of meditation before their creative juices flow.
Whenever your prime time to write is, value that time like gold dust!
Never let anyone interrupt this precious time.
Hang a sign on your door if need be.
But definitely turn off your phone and all distractions.
This is your productive time.
Your money time!
Make sure everyone respects it, including YOU!
Focus all your energy on your writing project.
NEVER MULTI-TASK! That’s only for losers!!
If you’re having trouble with your work routine, getting over-burdened with how much you have on your plate, please check out my ’25 Day Success Challenge’ and specifically Day 22 ‘Blocking Off Time’ CLICK HERE
Never “create” know the product to the core and combine the details in new ways.
Hold the product until it surrenders its strength to you.
If it’s a physical product order it, and study the sales funnel you are put into.
Then when it arrives, take it apart.
Use it, test it, bash it about if need be.
But test it!
If it’s a digital product, order it and read it.
If it’s a ‘How To’ product, follow the steps and test its quality.
You don’t have to create anything new, but you do need to find all its existing strengths and combine them in new ways to present to your audience.
Write to the chimpanzee brain – simply and directly.
Your customers might not be super smart.
Obviously it depends on your product, but make sure you’re not writing at the level for a Oxford physicist, if really your potential prospect is a Beavis and Butthead knuckle head fan.
Never overestimate your customer’s intelligence.
I’ve often heard copywriters saying you should write to the level of a grade ten student.
The Flesch Kincaid readability system may help you in this regard.
Try out this tool: https://readability-score.com/
Channel demand – never sell.
You should not be trying to create desire for your product.
You take an existing demand in the market, and you channel it into your products.
So for example, for the new car market you are not suddenly trying to encourage random people to buy a new car.
You are tapping into a desire for people who already are thinking about buying a new car.
You need to examine what the market already wants and channel it back, because your chances of success will be much better.
Think about what your product “does”, not “is”- and demonstrate this.
I shouldn’t have to tell you about benefits over features. This is copywriting 101.
But remember to talk even more about the emotional benefits.
A thesaurus I have learned a lot from is ‘The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide To Character Expression’
You can grab a copy on this link: http://www.greg-noland.com/recommends/emotion-thesaurus
The features are obviously important, but they are not the main player in effective copywriting.
Make gratification instantaneous.
In your copy, your prospect should already begin to get gratification, or feel like they are already getting something from you or your product.
This is what the product launch formula encourages, and what Jeff Walker teachers so well.
Give a taste of curiosity by all means, but also use genuine desire to drive your prospects to buy.
Failing often, and testing big differences, shows you are trying hard enough!
This is a no-brainer of course. But in the modern sense I believe Secret no.8 is all about A/B testing.
Have you heard the phrase “If you’re not testing, you’re not a marketer”.
Now go write some awesome copy, and TEST it!
Laters, big potata!
P.S Here’s the link again if you missed it: