Timeless Marketing Truth How Do You Know Your Advertising Copywriting Is Good

There's only one way to​ know if​ your advertising copy is​ any good. It's the​ same way that your customer knows it—it sells!

We are not all born copywriters,​ but we are all born customers. as​ a​ natural born customer,​ you​ can recognize good copy…

Step outside yourself and read the​ copy fresh: does it​ reach out and connect with you,​ does it​ hold your interest,​ does it​ promise something real that you​ really want,​ does it​ convince you?

“It has been said that advertising space without good copy is​ like the​ wooden Indian in
front of​ a​ cigar store:  it​ locates the​ store but it​ doesn't say anything.” Thus began an​ article about advertising copy written in​ the​ year the​ Titanic went down. What else did this sage of​ sales have to​ say in​ 1912?

“Good advertising copy does three things: 
         First:    Attracts attention. 
         Second:  Interests the​ reader. 
         Third:   Convinces the​ reader.
“The first mission of​ an​ advertisement… is​ to​ attract attention.  the​ attention of​ the​ reader may be secured by pictures,​ trade marks,​ striking headlines… Copy must be terse,​ clear cut,​ and to​ the​ point. it​ must consist of​ short,​ crisp sentences. Long words should be avoided where possible.  This is​ a​ busy world.  Few people have time for long-winded descriptions and explanations.” (Churchill,​ for one,​ agrees: "Short words are best,​ and the​ old words when short are best of​ all.")

Then and now,​ you​ know if​ the​ copy pulls you​ in. Even if​ it’s your product—even if​ it’s your copy—you know. Now for gaining and keeping interest…

“To make your advertising interesting,​ you​ must not only set forth the​ merits and quality of​ the​ article advertised,​ but you​ must make clear how it​ will benefit the​ purchaser. For example,​ if​ you​ are advertising a​ moving picture machine for use in​ the​ home… Point out the​ great benefit to​ be derived from the​ ownership of​ such a​ machine. 

“Tell how it​ will entertain the​ whole family and their friends both young and old.  How it​ will help to​ keep the​ boys at​ home in​ the​ evenings… in​ selling an​ automobile the​ important thing to​ advertise is… the​ pleasure that the​ car affords; the​ joy and healthfulness of​ riding through the​ country… how it​ makes it​ convenient to​ call on​ distant friends,​ etc. etc.

“To tell what the​ article advertised will do for the​ purchaser in​ the​ way of​ entertainment,​ education,​ comfort,​ convenience,​ etc.,​ is​ really of​ more importance than the​ thing itself.”

These words may have been written over 100 years ago but it's hard to​ express it​ any better today,​ which is​ why you’re reading them here.

Next,​ the​ bottom line—convincing the​ reader. That bottom line is​ right where it​ has been all along,​ because it​ is​ not drawn in​ the​ sand of​ fashion; it​ has nothing (and everything) to​ do with hemlines and bumpers. the​ bottom line is​ drawn in​ the​ unchanging human heart.

“A salesman must first sell to​ himself before he can sell it​ to​ others… the​ advertisement that brings the​ best results is​ the​ one that is​ written by the​ man who honestly believes in​ the​ goods that he is​ selling.”

Does that conviction come through? You’ll know when it​ does,​ because it’s more contagious than influenza. Ted Nicholas,​ "The Guru of​ Direct Mail Marketing,​" is​ as​ savvy today as​ the​ wise man of​ 1912. "Certain words produce amazing results,​ as​ if​ by magic. All you​ desire in​ life,​ including everlasting wealth,​ can be yours depending on​ the​ words with which you​ express yourself.  as​ with all the​ great truths,​ once known,​ they seem so simple."

There’s an​ old saying,​ “Be your own best customer.” That’s all the​ more true when it​ comes to​ judging your advertising.

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