A classic in the world of copywriting, this is a short, easy read full of both advertising and life wisdom.
It’s written as a series of letters from successful copywriter Gary Halbert to his son (Halbert is in prison at the time), and is itself an example of great writing.
A book you re-read over and over.
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- First thing to do in the morning? Get outside and get walking.
- Fast one day per week.
- To figure out what people want to buy? Just look at what they do buy.
- Segment your marketing - be specific in who you are targeting, and custom tailor your ads to them.
- Work on subjects you love - the enthusiasm will make it easy.
- Keep two lists - one of tough tasks and another of tasks you can do regardless of mood. That way you can be productive regardless of your state.
- Work in the library, or somewhere else people are working - as social animals, it’s hard for us not to work in places like this.
You should write copy according to a formula, a proven sequential outline like AIDA. What does AIDA stand for? It stands for:
- ATTENTION, INTEREST, DESIRE, ACTION.
So, to make it clearer your letter should:
- 1. First, get his attention
- 2. Second, get him interested
- 3. Third, make him desire what you are selling
- 4. Compel him to take whatever action is needed to get whatever it is you are selling.
- Describe benefits the prospect gets if he buys our product or service, and remember, you must do even the obvious.
- When you write bullets … the basic pattern should be specific/blind fact, benefit.
- Re-write (by hand) famous ad and marketing copy to get a feel for it.
To write well:
- Use simple, common, everyday words.
- Write short sentences and short paragraphs.
- Use transition words and phrases to make your writing flow smoothly.
- Ask questions once in a while, and then answer them yourself.
What is a good writer? One who makes things perfectly clear.
- Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut is a great example of clear writing.
- The best writing goes unnoticed.
- Your ads should have a crisp, clean appearance.
- Go the extra mile in whatever you’re doing to increase professionalism and perception.
- Never make a decision when you are HALT: hungry, angry, lonely or tired.
- If you offer a promotion, offer a reason to go with it.
- "I am offering you this special deal because you (by virtue of some unique circumstance) are so special."
- Read your writing out loud to improve it.
- Sweat the details. And use exact details in your promotions.