How to Write Copy That Gets Results
By Charlie Page

The goal today is simple. That goal is to pull back the curtain and show you how a professional copywriter creates the copy that causes people to reach for their wallet or purse. Copy you would normally have to pay for, only now you can do it yourself.

Let me begin by saying how very much I hate hype. Hate it. Loathe it. Don't want to read it and will not write it. The pure fact of the matter is that it does not take hype to sell products. It does take capturing a person's attention, then their imagination, long enough to help them see the desire they have for your product.

Here's the first foundational truth about copywriting. The people who visit your site WANT to buy what you sell. They have the desire now, or they wouldn't go to your site. They didn't just wander by. They chose your site because something interested them.

Your job now is to enhance that sense of DESIRE and persuade them to take action now. Enhancing their desire to benefit from what you offer. That's the name of the game. Don't confuse desire with being convinced. Desire creates sales, being convinced doesn't. I'm convinced the Golden Gate Bridge is a fine bridge, but I don't want to own it.

On the other hand, there's this very cool laptop I want so bad I can taste it. I need a laptop like a hole in the head, but I want it. You see, a person doesn't have to need your product to buy it. They just have to want it. Very few people really need a Palm Pilot, or a laptop, or heated leather seats or an expensive ink pen when the one the dry cleaner gives away still writes, but they buy these things (and more) every day.

Why shouldn't they buy them from you?

With that in mind, consider the following five key points to writing copy that gets results ... no matter what product, service or opportunity you offer.

The five points are:

  1. Sell with emotion, support with logic.
  2. Be honest.
  3. Be brief, but not too brief.
  4. Ask for the order early ... and often.
  5. Emulate, don't imitate.

The first point is so important, so foundational, that I'm devoting this entire article to understanding how this will work in your real world. If you get this first step right you will see results even if you bobble the other four. Without this one, the other four will have to work overtime to get people to reach for the Visa.

Pay careful attention because this is where 99% of ineffective copy fails to do it's job.

1. Left Brain -- Right Brain

People generally buy things in a very predictable way. They make a decision to buy based on emotion and defend or justify that decision with logic. Rarely do people (even engineers!) buy in the reverse order. Memorize this: People buy based on emotion, and defend or justify that purchase with logic. That idea is the reason that people buy. Period.

Let's take a closer look. Here is a quick example from what is perhaps the best example of buying on emotion and defending it with logic known to mankind ... the world of new car sales.

Example #1
You go to the dealership one fine weekend just to 'see what your trade-in is worth'. These sharks are not going to sell you anything. You are there for facts, just the facts. Not even shopping. Just getting information. You were in the neighborhood anyway.

Then it happens. The smell of a new interior. The purr of the engine. (You didn't really realize how loud your old car is inside.) Then there's the shine of the new paint job. Red. You always wanted red. You deserve red. You want red! You can almost feel the pride swell inside you as you imagine driving down your street for the first time, your neighbors drooling with envy. 'Bonnie must be doing well.' they say. 'She's always seemed smart.' You can see the look on your friends faces as you drive home for Christmas in your new RED car.

By golly, you ARE going to have red. You wanted red in high school and got the old family junker. Remember the embarrassment? You wanted red in college but your idiot boyfriend talked you into black. Black! After you dumped him you couldn't stand to even drive the thing. It's red you want. It's red you've always wanted. And you've waited long enough.

You drive home in your new red car. It smells good. It sounds good. It looks good. You feel great! When tightwad Fred asks how much you paid, you tell him that the old junker you traded in needed an engine verhaul and it just wasn't a good investment to repair the poor thing. You were smart to buy now. In fact, you got the much better end of the deal.

My friend, you just bought on emotion and defended the purchase with logic.

What else does this happen with? As you read this list, ask yourself how many times you've bought more than you needed in one of these areas just because it 'felt right'.

  • Suits
  • Dresses
  • Homes
  • Jewelry
  • Stereo Equipment
  • Computers
  • Software ;)

Let's face it, we are a community of people who love to compare. We compare how fast our cars go from zero to sixty, how big the diamond is we gave our girl (or she gave us!) how many square feet we have (never mind there are two empty bedrooms). The list goes on and on. Advertisers know this about us. When you are the advertiser, you must know it too.

How can you apply this to your real world? Three simple steps.

Step 1 - Get a legal pad now and write down the five top things that make people want your product. Focus on how they will feel, how others will perceive them, how they will feel about themselves. Remember, a feature is what something does. A benefit is what it does for me. People want benefits. People buy benefits. People will interrupt what they are doing now to buy benefits.

Step 2 - Look at your selling copy now, whether it's a web page, autoresponders, radio ad copy, classifieds ... doesn't matter. Look at that copy and see if the five emotional pressure points you wrote down are in that copy. Does the copy move you? Does it compel you to action? Does it tell you, in very clear terms, what's in it for you? If you can't be objective, solicit a friend to take a look.

Step 3 - Change portions of your copy to add some punch. I'm not talking about a major rewrite, just change some key areas to appeal to a person's emotions. Help them imagine life with your product. The time they will save. The money they will save. How good they will look to
their peers. How great it will feel to finally (insert benefit here).

Better yet, give them hints about what they can do with that time and money. Here's a very short sample.

---------Begin sample------------

Our clients often save over $100 a month when they switch to our widget. Imagine how good it will feel when YOU begin to save $100 or more a month, just by choosing our super-widget! That's over $1200 a year! What will you do with your $1200?

  • Pay off bills?
  • Take a vacation?
  • Pay for your child's college tuition?
  • Finally have some 'mad' money just for you?

The choice is yours. Do what thousands of others have done. Click here now to start saving today.

--------End sample----------------

Notice in the example above how the 'need to' and 'want to' motivations alternate? We 'should' pay off bills and pay for college. We 'want' to take a vacation and spend money like a madman on a weekend pass just because it feels so very good. By including both 'want to' and 'need to', this copy appeals to the broadest possible audience. No matter what else your copy does, make sure it appeals to a person's emotions. Remember, people do what they want to do, not what they have to do.

If you have a hard time finding the emotional points of your product, service or opportunity, remember that people are moved by the promise of gain or the fear of loss. Using those two super-motivators, it won't be long before your copy will be charged with the emotional electricity that creates orders and causes people to take action now.

Charlie Page is a copywriter who owns five successful online businesses including The Directory of Ezines and To find your perfect market fast, visit the Directory of Ezines today at
For copy that moves people to action, visit

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