Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt Action | Jack Zerby | Skillshare

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Copywriting Basics for Successful Sales: Time-Tested Tactics that Prompt Action

teacher avatar Jack Zerby, Design at Gumroad

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      What is Copywriting?


    • 3.

      Audience: What to Ask and Why


    • 4.

      Classic Structures: Frameworks


    • 5.

      Classic Structures: Principles (Part I)


    • 6.

      Classic Structures: Principles (Part II)


    • 7.

      Headlines: Analyzing What Works


    • 8.

      Headlines: Purpose, Types, and Upworthy


    • 9.

      Headlines: Frameworks


    • 10.

      Headlines: Applications


    • 11.

      Copy: Features and Benefits


    • 12.

      Short vs. Long Copy


    • 13.

      Improving Your Skills


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About This Class

Write a smart sales pitch. Prompt real action.

This class is because writing matters. Master your copywriting voice with entrepreneur Jack Zerby’s pithy playbook for inspiring action through words. This 75-minute class spans the history of sales letters as well as how to identify audiences, harness popular writing formulas, and create engaging headlines. Jack challenges us to improve our copywriting skills by spending just a few minutes writing every day. It's a class for everyone with a message to share.

Watch 12 short video lessons.

In entertaining and progressive units, you'll learn the principles, tactics, and writing frameworks that copywriters have been using since 1930. Why? Because they work!

  • Intro to Copywriting. Use time-tested principles from legends like Robert Collier, Gary Halbert, and Dan Kennedy. Find out what makes copywriting a matter of both science and sales.
  • The Market and Audience. Uncover what matters to your readers and learn how to leverage that knowledge in your writing.
  • Popular Frameworks and Principles. Learn classic, structured writing frameworks that create emotion, build suspense, and prompt reader action.
  • Headlines and Copy. Learn how to identify, write, and test effective headlines as well as how to craft features-and-benefits copy that prompts reader action.
  • Advice on Length and Practice. Learn exercises for writing like the best copywriters of all time.

Learn by doing.

Write an eye-catching headline and 500–1500 words of ad copy that resonates with the needs of your audience and aligns with a classic copywriting framework.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Jack Zerby

Design at Gumroad


Design @gumroad @designfordecks @vimeo @pentagram @frogdesign @rga

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1. Introduction: Think about this for a moment, you spend all day, every day, building your product and serving your customers, fueled by the passion of making a dent in the world. Yet, when you sit down to write a promotional email, craft a landing page or any type of marketing material, you freeze, or worse, you end up slapping something together and pushing it out the door just to get it off your to-do list. I don't blame you, I was the exact same way. I had no idea how to write with a customer in mind. I wrote only about me and my product. I didn't take writing seriously because I believed my product would sell itself. Well, was I wrong. Everything changed when I read my very first Gary Halbert newsletter. "Who the heck is Gary Halbert?", you might be asking. This guy was responsible for writing the most successful sales letter of all time. This letter was sent over 600 million times and generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from one letter. I vowed never to underestimate writing again. I've devoured everything I can on this topic, studying all the masters of copywriting and going back as far as 1930 to find the writers who've sold millions of dollars of products and services using only the written word. In this Skillshare class, we're going to dive deep into the world of copywriting. You'll learn, Copywriting: What it is, the classic texts, and how it can impact your business; The Market: Getting inside customers' minds and understanding their wants; Frameworks: Using classic patterns to make writing easier; Headlines: Crafting attention-getting headlines; Text: Knowing the difference between a feature and a benefit and why that matters; Practice: Building the secret daily habit to becoming a better copywriter. My name is Jack Zerby, and I've been building products on the web for over 15 years. I'm the co-founder and designer of and Goodsie. I was also the former design director at Vimeo, a designer at Pentagram Design, Frog Design, and R/GA. By the end of this class, you'll have all the tools you need to write insanely effective copy. 2. What is Copywriting?: Welcome to copywriting and when I say copywriting, I don't mean protecting your idea, that's copyrighting with an R. I'm talking about copywriting with a W, the act of writing copy. So, what is copywriting? If you study the greats in copywriting, they all point back to the same definition. It's salesmanship in print. The concept of selling, the concepts of sales in print and when I say print it mean it can be in a letter, it could mean an email, it could be a landing page, the fact is it's sales concepts written down. So, when you write these down and you send them out to 100, 1000, one million people, these sales concepts through copywriting are now exponentially increased. The effectiveness is exponentially increased. Because with a regular sales process you're limited by that one to one interaction, but now it's multiplied in the millions. So, I like to define copywriting as creating a motion that leads to a specific action. I think this is where most you will get it wrong where they'll write something down but there's no real action. So, if there's no action, you're just writing for the sake of writing, but copywriting is about creating motion that leads to a specific action. Most of the time this means buying something. But it doesn't just have to be buying something. It could also be to get a reply to an email. It could also be on your landing page to get someone to actually click play on the video. So, it's about getting them to do a specific action. The thing that really excited me about when I dove down deep into copywriting is that there is a science behind it. The greats of copywriting weren't just sitting down and randomly writing things, just whatever came to mind. There is an exact science to most of this and that's what's exciting is that we can learn these principles. So, these principles I've found in three main books that I'd like to bucket in the theory focused books. Scientific Advertising, Tested Advertising Method and The Robert Collier Letter Book. These books are foundational to learning copywriting. The amount of value found in these books will give you an education on copywriting that 99% of people in marketing and business have no idea. Then there's another set of books and resources. One, The Gary Halbert Letter, and I'm going to talk a lot about Gary in this presentation. Gary has since passed, but Gary called himself the prince of print. He had a sweet beard, kind of arrogant but, man, Gary knows his stuff. So, go to the and check out all the newsletters that he's put up like hundreds of them over the past 20, 30, 40, 50 years. The other one we're going to talk about is Dan Kennedy, The Ultimate Sales Letter. This book is one of the foundational books to learn about sales letters. Dan is a master marketer. So, sales letters. What is a sales letter? If you take it, the two words, it's basically a letter that sells something. So, if you look at the Wikipedia definition, a sales letter is a piece of direct mail which is designed to persuade the reader to purchase a particular product or service in the absence of a salesperson. So, this is about persuading the reader, take an action in the absence of a salesperson which is that salesmanship multiplied. So, here are two examples of some of the most famous sales letters in history. The first one, this sales letter was the one they originally launched the Wall Street Journal. Yes, it was a letter. It was mailed in the mail with a stamp and the amount of copywriting principles and theory jammed into this, just this sales letter alone is amazing. The second one is called The Coat of Arms Letter and this was written by Gary Howard and it is the most successful sales letter of all time. It was mailed over 600 million times and eventually, this business was sold to for $72 million. So, it started with a sales letter. So, the fact is you may be looking at this and should be like, "Jack, what are these sales letters have to do with this? These are old, these were written in the 50s, in the 60s, in the 80s. What does this have to do with what I'm doing right now?" The idea is human nature has not changed. People still like to get news. People still like to buy stuff and so, even if you look at this very old sales letter, and you compare it with something new, an ad for Proactiv, you can already start to see the similarities. Look at the bottom right corners. So, there's call to actions. There's headlines, there's all of these things wrapped up in these things because they work and you may be thinking, "oh Jack, I've seen these sales letters, these long ridiculous things I've seen online with the big red headlines and the highlighted yellow letters." Yes. They are out there. But the fact is they work. Whether you like them or not, they actually work. Now, it doesn't mean that you have to do them exactly like this. I came across an example the other day of a site called Groove, a company called Groove who wrote a blog post about how they increase their conversions on their home page by switching to a long form sales letter looking page by a 100%. So, if you take these concepts and you come in with an open mind, they can work. So, one of the things this entire theme of this entire course, I want you to remember one thing; relate, don't impress. Don't try to impress the reader with all kinds of fancy language and fancy words. The idea is to relate to them personally, to understand them. So, when they're reading this, they feel, "Wow, this person understands me." If any point they say, "Wow, that's clever" and they don't actually do what you'd like them to do, then that is non-effective copywriting. We've seen Super Bowl ads. We're like, "Wow, that's clever. I'm not going to buy it but that's clever." So, let's talk about the projects steps. Number one, go through these books. Going through these books is going to take a while but the education that you'll get in copywriting is way more than I could cover in this course. So, number two, read these three famous sales letters. Read them with an open mind and just give them one cursory read and don't worry about diving down deep into them. We'll do that later. Number three, figure out whatever your business is. If you're a consultant, if you're a designer, whatever you are, figure out what your message is and brainstorm with that messages and then brainstorm the action that you want your customer to take. 3. Audience: What to Ask and Why: Understand your market. So, in order to write effective copy, you must understand your market. You must understand who you're writing this to. Who is reading this? I think one of the best ways to get into this, and wrap your head around it, as Robert Collier wrote in his book in The Robert Collier Letter Book, he said, "How would you approach them in conversation?" Because you must enter the conversation already going on inside their head. So, he says, when you approach a man or a woman, they're in deep discussion with themselves over how to get certain things that mean a great deal to them. So, you butt in, and probably tell them to forget that and listen to your proposition. Is it any wonder they don't read it? How would you approach this man or woman in conversation when you just run in and yell, fire! No. You want to enter that conversation already going inside their head. Otherwise, they're just going to throw your letter away. They're going to delete your email. So, that's one way to wrap it. The other way to wrap it around is, look at this guy. This is your audience. Now, I just picked a random character, that's the guy that I could be potentially writing to. But imagine who your person is, who is the viewer. We're going to imagine looking at them and actually writing to them specifically and personally. So, write with a specific person in mind. Copyblogger has a great way of saying this,, "The next time you're writing, don't write for a demographic. These people don't exist. The real readers won't recognize themselves in a collection of demographic traits." It basically means, stop writing for the masses. Write as if you're speaking to someone directly and personally. So, instead of just writing to the masses, the next time you write, if your market is teenagers, write for the teenager named Harper who thinks her parents are ridiculous because they need her help with the computer and they don't understand anything about Twilight. So, you could also write for Mike who's just out of college and has about $10,000 in credit card debt that he hasn't told his parents about, and that market could be financial advising. So, you're writing with Mike in mind. Or you could also be writing for Arnold who's just getting out, who's just getting used to an empty nest after his kids left for college and wondering what he should do with his hobby business now that he has all this extra time on his hands. If your market was financial advising, right? So, you're writing for Arnold, with Arnold in your mind. Give yourself a real person to write for. So, how do you get, how do you find these people, how do you find out what the conversations are? You have to go ask them. You have to go actually talk to people. Now, for a computer nerd like me, I just wanted to sit behind my computer. I don't want to talk to anybody, that'd be weird. So, you have to get out, get out and actually interact and have conversations. Dan Kennedy gives a great way to kind of get this going. The way that he prefaces it is, "You must determine accurately, in advance, what their priorities are. And you must address their priorities, not yours." So, he has these 10 smart market questions to make sure you understand what their priorities are. So, number one, what keeps them awake at night? What are they afraid of? What are they angry about? What are their top three daily frustrations? What trends are occurring and will occur in their businesses or lives? What do they secretly, ardently desire most? Is there a built-in bias to the way they make decisions? Do they have their own language? This one is really important, too, because when you're writing the copy, if you can write it in their language, in their lingo, that's really powerful. Who else is selling something similar to them and how are they doing it? Who else has tried selling them something similar and how has that effort failed? So, I'm not saying that you have to ask these questions verbatim. These questions will give you a mental framework for how you should approach it. So, you can create your own questions. But what you're looking for are stories and narratives, not yes or no answers. You're not looking for binary one or zero. You're looking for stories. So, when you ask questions like, walk me through a typical day, or tell me about the last time you did a, b and c. You're going to get so much more information than if you just say, well, do you like this, or do you like that, or you probably don't like this. Now, you're just going to get yes or no answers. You're really not going to get anything. So, the one thing to keep in mind here is that facts must replace unfounded opinions. Do not assume. So, the next time you sit down and write something, every time you're writing something, in copywriting, for marketing, whatever you're doing, ask yourself this question, "How do I know this is true?" If you just think, well because I know, I know, I'm just assuming. If you are assuming, then they are not facts, and they must be replaced with actual things that the market that you talked to actually said in their language. So, the project steps. Define who your audience is. Every time I talk to someone and they come up to me and they say, "Well, my audience is everyone, it gives me anxiety," because, it's really hard to talk to everyone, right. But if you have a very specific audience, look for the very specific audience that you're talking to. If you're talking to teachers, there's tons of different kinds of teachers. But I was talking to someone the other day, and they were like, "No. My market is substitute teachers." So, there is a very specific way to address substitute teachers. Second is develop the right questions. Go through those 10 smart market questions, and get some ideas for how you would do it, but you're looking for stories and narratives. Then actually get out and go ask these people. Now, when you go and rewrite your message, you will have actual data to use, you will have actual words to use when you write your copy and it will be that much more effective. 4. Classic Structures: Frameworks: So, in this lesson, we're going to talk about frameworks, copy writing frameworks. So, what is a framework? So, let me give you a story about me as a designer. As a designer, I'm mentally able to pull patterns I've used over and over and over again for over the years that I've been a designer. I can combine these things to create new designs. I didn't invent a new type of design. I just see design patterns and I'm able to reorganize them to create new things. So, think about your job or profession. When you go to perform specific tasks, you have mental models that you can pull from, reorganize, repurpose, and do these tasks 100 times way more efficiently than I could ever do if I just walked into your office. So, that's what copywriters do. They use specific patterns and specific frameworks to write. So, there's a reason behind every letter, every word, and every paragraph. When you start to recognize these frameworks, you'll start to see them in sales letters and marketing copy and ads on the news and direct mail that you receive, it's like seeing the matrix because now you're like, "Oh my gosh, this is what they're doing. It's not just this haphazard process. I see they're using these frameworks. So, I'm going to go through a couple. So, the first one is a framework by Gary Halbert, Star, Story, and Solution. The star is the main character in your copy. It could be you, a celebrity, a customer. The story talks about how the star went through the same problem as your market does right now. The solution part of it demonstrates how the star used your product or service to solve this problem. You'll see this and first you're going to go, "Oh gosh, you've got to be kidding me, The Amazing Money-Making Secret Of A Desperate Nerd From Ohio!" Remember, you need to step out of this, step out of your own bias and think, "I'd never fall for that or whatever." True, the content of this message you may be like, "This is ridiculous." You have to look at the frameworks. This is where the power of this stuff comes through. So, if you look at right in the beginning, if you would like to make a lot of money very quickly, this is going to be the most exciting message you will ever read. Just that alone is a framework that Gary I've seen used over and over and over again. So, take that and take it for your business. So, let's say, that the substitute teacher that I was talking about earlier. Let's say that if you want to increase the effectiveness of your teaching within the classroom very quickly, this is going to be the most exciting message you will ever read. Yes, that might sound cheesy to you but if you're not your market, then who are you to judge that? So, what I have to do constantly is get my own bias out of the way. I need to focus on the market's priorities and what will get them excited about it. So, now if you look here's why. "My name is Gary Halbert and some time ago, I was dead broke." So, now he introduces who the star of this copy is going to be. Now, he goes through his story. Then one day he came up with a crazy idea on how to write a certain sales letter. He was living in Ohio at the time. It goes through his story and then eventually, it gets into his solution. So, if you go to the second column towards the bottom he said, "I kept searching and searching until I came up with my crazy letter idea which is the first experience I ever had with what I call RCS, Remote Control Selling." Now, he goes into what he found, the solution that demonstrate how they use. Now, they could be your particular service or whatever, to then come to a solution. So, remember, you establish who the main character is, you talk about their story, and then you talk about how they found the solution in using your product or service. So, this was another famous run by Gary Halbert. Again, Amazing Diet Secret Of A Desperate Housewife. You're thinking, "Oh my gosh." But look at the structure. "My name is Nancy Pryor. I'm 35 years old, and I'm a housewife and mother of three children." It just goes down through her story. It's a very engaging story. It talks about her struggles, and then it goes through into the solution that she found. Remember, taking this structure and applying it to your audience. So, here's another framework. Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action, AIDA. This is probably one of the most famous copywriting structures. So, if you look at attention, it means what it says, get their attention. So, the first thing you want to do in this copywriting framework is get their attention. So, once you have their attention, you move into interest. You must get him or her interested in what you have to say or what you have to offer or what you wish to show them. From there, you move into desire. This is the really powerful one where you're getting them to picture themselves benefiting from your offer. What will it be like? How will they feel? So, there's a lot of emotion wrapped up in that desire piece. Then the last one, which is by far the most important one, which is what do you want them to do. Tell them exactly what you would like them to do. I think a lot of people are vague in their copy and by the time the reader is done, they have no idea what they're actually supposed to do. So, here's an example. Brennan Dunn has a Double Your Freelancing Rate In 14 Days. So, on his landing page, he is a consultant for freelance consultants. So, he has a product where he's selling about how to double your freelance rate in 14 days. So, the headline that gets your attention, Double Your Freelancing Rate in 14 Days. To a freelancer and I was one, that gets my attention. So, he goes from attention and then he moves into interest. "You want to charge more but you don't want your clients to run for the hills. I know exactly how you feel. Today, I am charging over $100 more an hour than I was just a year ago." What really gets my interest is the screen shot that he has, the billable amount of $27,000. If you're a freelancer, that would be really nice to have a billable amount of $27,000 for that particular month. So, now then, he takes you from injures to desire. "Here's how I'll help you can transform your freelancing business in just two weeks. You'll understand how the clients react to price. You'll be able to position yourself to deliver more value at a client at a higher rate. You'll know why clients try to negotiate rates." So, he's telling me what I'll know, what I'll feel. Getting me to desire this and picture myself, "Wow, okay, I'll be able to picture myself, understanding how the clients react to prices." So, then, he goes through into action. It doesn't show it on this screenshot but basically, there's a big button that says, "Buy the book, worksheets and interviews now for just $49." It's very clear what he would like me to do. Also, there's a "download a sample chapter" action as well. So, it goes from getting my attention, getting me interested with some numbers, some screenshots, a bit of texts, then going into how he's going to help transform in getting me to picture what things that I will learn and what things that I will know when I'm done. So, another one and this one is really powerful, too, by Dan Kennedy. State the problem. So, start by, Problem, Agitates, Solution. You start by talking about the particular problem your market has right now. Remember, enter the conversation already going on inside their head. So, then agitate, which is where you intensify the consequences of this problem. So, you create the desire for the solution. You're stating the problem and you're making it really painful. You're really digging deep and saying, "Do you realize how painful this problem is in the market?" Then whoever is reading is going, "Yes, I do understand." You'll get their attention. The solution part of it, you're showing the reader how and why your particular product solves their problem. So, you're channeling the demand onto your product. So, this is a great landing page from my friend Dan. It says, "You're probably an awesome designer, product manager, illustrator or do something similar. I bet you just finished doing some amazing work and now you're ready to get feedback. This step is usually cumbersome and disorganized," and yes, that is a problem. I understand this problem all too well. So, "you wait for minutes, hours, and sometimes days to hear back. Did they even see it?" So, now he's really agitating it. Finally, you get the feedback on the images but it's messy and difficult to sort through. So, he's talking about this. His product is called Mocky and it's about how to give feedback on mockups. So, then he talks about the solution that he's developed. This used to happen to me, too, when I've worked as a product manager. So, he built Mocky to make this easier. So, he stated the problem, then he made it more painful by saying they even see it. Now, it's messy and difficult. That may not be painful for you reading this, but for someone like me who has actually had to go through this, it is very painful. I think this is a really great example. This is a landing page, and I think he did a fantastic job going through that, the problem, agitate, and solution framework. Here's another one, Feel, Felt, Found. This one you find commonly in sales. So, you'll say, "I know how you feel. I felt the same way but here's what I found." So, even if you look at the last one that we looked at, the one before that, the double your freelancing rate, look at the first sentence, you want to charge more. Clients run for the hills. "I know exactly how you feel. I was the same way." He didn't use the word felt but really it was I know how you feel. I was the same way. But then here's what I found. I changed a few core aspects of my business and today I'm charging over $100 more an hour than I was a year ago. So, here's the thing. Look at your problem and say, "Look, I know how you feel because of this." If you're actually a part of that market, if you are that market, it's going to be even more convincing. So, if not then, you're going to have to speak from the perspectives of your market, say, "I know how you feel. I felt the same way, and I went through these struggles. But here's what I found." So, using that framework is going to be really helpful with, it's such a simple framework to really go through and get to the core issue of what your market is feeling. 5. Classic Structures: Principles (Part I): So now we're going to talk about framework principles. So, what are some principles that you can integrate inside of these frameworks, inside of your copywriting? So, the first one, a really important one which is tension, or otherwise known as an information gap. So, what is tension and what is an information gap? Tension is the space between what you know and what you want to know. So, tension is so powerful because people seek to close that gap between what they know and what they want to know. So, if you can incorporate tension into your writing and what you want to know can lead to a specific action that you can create enough tension. Look what Apple does, they are master of tension. You know that there's a new iPhone coming out what you want to know is what it actually looks like, and they are so good at creating that tension and that is why there are so many people waiting out in line, in the cold waiting for an iPhone. They understand what you know but they make it really secret because they know that you want to know and you seek to close that gap, and that's why you wait in line like a crazy person. So, this is an example of tension that I created in this workshop created for college students. So, we wrote this letter and the first night of the workshop, we gave them a letter, a real printed letter, and inside of the letter was a dollar bill attached to this letter. Now, as you can see in the beginning we say, as you can see there's a $1 bill attached to the top of this letter, why have we done this? You'll find out soon, and we don't tell them till the end of the letter. Now, this isn't a very long letter but imagine if it was, imagine the tension. I imagined most tension it would just skip to the end, but, here's the thing, we haven't told them right away, so what they know is that there's a dollar bill attached to this letter and they have no idea why. So, they're going to read to find out why. So, if you can create that tension of what they know, what they see but then what they seek to know about what this is that's really effective. So, at the end this comes back to because we are talking about building businesses, you can see it says now back to the dollar, this dollar represents what the workshop is all about, paying customers, and you just became one. This is your dollar because they paid for this workshop. So, it all makes sense now the tension is now, okay, I understand that makes a lot of sense, right? So, make sure that if you're going to create that tension that you can deliver, the last thing you want to do is create all this tension and then make it a complete disappointment, that is not going to be effective. So here's another principle, the triad and the rule of three and it's funny about this rule of three you can get real conspiracy theory about it, but it's really effective because people are able to understand things in threes much easier. So, it's the smallest number required to make a pattern and therein lies its pattern. In its many forms, the rule of three at heart utilizes simple three element patterns to communicate complex ideas effectively, because it's short, it's memorable, and it's powerful. So, if you look at here in literature, 'The Three Little Pigs', 'Three Blind Mice', 'Goldilocks and The Three Bears', 'The Three Musketeers', 'The Three Wise Men', so you can see it shows up in literature all the time because it's an easy framework to remember. The three-act structure in plays and in movies, act one where the set up, act two the confrontation, and act three the resolution. So, a lot of these movies and a lot of plays are divided up into three sections, because it's easy to understand this sequence. So, in marketing, Just Do It, I'm Loving It, Finger-Licking Good, Snap! Crackle! Pop!, Diamonds are Forever, Taste the Difference, these are things that everybody remembers, especially if you're a child of the 80s and 90s. So, here's a way to write it in copy. So, if I were to write about this course I could say, this course will help you learn how to write a head-turning headline one, a killer call to action two, and an objection-destroying risk reversal number three, right? So, that's an example of a triad. I'm using three things that create a pattern that's easy to remember. So, here's another one from the Wall Street journal sales letter which you had read, "Both had been better than average students, number one, both were personable, number two, and both as young college students or college graduates are-were filled with ambitious dreams for the future, number three." So, right away in that Wall Street journal sales letter, they're using a triad. So, here's another example inside that same letter, "It isn't always a native intelligence or talent or dedication." There is three things wrapped up in just that one sentence. 6. Classic Structures: Principles (Part II): Counterintuitive reasoning or pattern interrupts. This is really powerful. We are all numb to marketing messaging, right? So, we see this are like, "Oh, my gosh, another one of these things." I mean these are the things you get and immediately throw away because you're just like, you see it so much that we are completely numb. So, I'm going to go through some of these examples and how to interrupt these patterns, and so called a pattern interrupt. So, look at this from an American Express sales letter. It's a very old American Express sales letter. So it says, "Dear Mr. Smith, quite frankly, the American Express Card is not for everyone, and not everyone applies for the card membership is approved." Now, that is a pattern interrupt. Because what you're used to reading is that "Hi there, Hi Mr. Smith, we really want you as a customer. We're really excited if you would sign up" but the first sentence is telling them that it's not for everyone and even if you apply, you may not get approved and so that is a pattern interrupt that they're actually taking in a way. They're saying this is not even saying who it's for the telling who it's not for. So, if you look at this, this is another one for Popular Mechanics Magazine when it first launched and so "Good friend, this invitation isn't for deadbeats, a rip-off artists are gentleman who hate they get their hands dirty." So, immediately it's telling you who it's not four which is a pattern interrupt. It's for the rest of us and now that really creates a strong emotional connection right there it's like hey we know you know it's not for these deadbeat, rip-off artist, or "gentleman" or hate to get their hands dirty. It's for the rest of us. But that first sentence is a pattern interrupt because you're expecting like "Hey, sign up for my magazine, it's going to be really great, give me lots of money". Right so, here's the dollar bill. Now the dollar bill concept was not my original idea that was a that was a Gary Halbert technique and so this was the original dollar bill letter that made him famous for doing this and so I took that framework and applied it in a different way but you can see here, he has the dollar bill there as a pattern interrupt. Because where in the world has anybody sent you a letter with a dollar bill inside the letter. So, immediately he goes in and says "As you can see, I've attached a crisp one dollar over the top of this letter. Why have I done this? " and then he goes in to the two reasons. But, it doesn't have to be a dollar bill, it could be anything, it could be anything that you'd put inside of this letter. Sometimes they'll call this lumpy mail where you'll just put an object inside of that that grabs their attention and it's a pattern interrupt. My friend Tim has put a little toys or key chains or you could put candy, you could put anything in there that immediately interrupts the typical pattern that they are used to get when they get a marketing message. So, that's pattern interrupts. Next thing, this is a really interesting framework by Blair Warren and he breaks it into five different sections and he says people would do anything for those who encourage their dreams, calm their fears, confirm their suspicions, justify their failures and help them throw rocks at enemies. Now, if let's say that I use this and I can just off the cuff. I would just say okay, we're going to write this about the copy-writing course that you're taking right now. So, encourage your dreams be like have you ever wondered how these copywriters are so good at selling things and wondering why you can't write the way that you wanted to convince your readers to do what you'd like them to do. So, calming their fears would be like I understand right. So, it is scary to think "Oh, wow, how could I write like this famous marketer, this famous copywriter, this famous company that seems so far out there?" Then you confirm their suspicions be like of course you would think that, why wouldn't you think that? Because of how successful these companies are and yes you would feel inferior and you feel like how in the world could I get to do that. How can I be that effective in my copy-writing and justify their failures would be like no wonder you haven't been able to do this because you haven't had a mental model to go through. You haven't had mental frameworks to kind of sort through this and understand the science behind copy-writing and then helping throw rocks at enemies. That's an optional one I'm not sure what the common enemy is. Maybe it's be like yeah, there was people who told you couldn't succeed in business and that sort of thing, but like the helping throw rocks at enemies if your market doesn't really have a common enemy, net common enemy doesn't have to be a person it could be a thing. Right? It could be against, it could be an organization. If you're talking to tax accounts, you're talking about yeah, we understand your problems with the IRS. They understand that, that's what joins them together because they're tired or being audited but that's their common enemy. So, go through those. Those five things if you break them down you can create some really powerful messaging just by addressing each one of these things. So, that's copywriting frameworks and principles. So, for the projects steps, rewrite your message using one of these frameworks. So, pick a framework, pick a bunch of the frameworks if you want to and rewrite it within that framework and see if you can get in a more effective message there and so then once you've rewritten it with that framework, add in one of those principles, add in a triad, add in some tension into those framework, into that message. Then the last one is read it out loud. Read it out loud to yourself and as you're reading it it should feel natural. If you're reading it and it's hard to read out loud, then it's probably hard to read as someone who's not reading out loud. It's probably hard for the reader to actually parse that. The other thing is to go read it out loud to some of your market and see what they think and get their feedback. This is constantly this iterative process as you're going through this. 7. Headlines: Analyzing What Works: So, now we're going to talk about my favorite part of copywriting and that is headlines. So, what is a headline? First, headlines are everywhere. They are in magazines, they're in books, websites, billboards. They're everywhere. Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with headlines. If you study these copywriters, these master copy writers, they all talk about the importance of headlines. Gary Halbert was paid millions of dollars to write headlines, same with Dan Kennedy. So, they understood and their clients obviously understood how powerful headlines are. Look at businesses like Buzzfeed. Look at businesses like Upworthy. Their entire business is based on effective headlines. They want you to click. Same with magazines. They want you to read. Those headlines power their entire business. If it's not a compelling headline on a front of a magazine, most likely you're not going to notice the magazine and you're not going to buy the magazine. So, before we get into writing headlines and different headline approaches, let's go through, I took some pictures of some headlines in some magazine ads in some random magazines. So, we'll talk about the good ones and we'll talk about the bad ones. The interesting thing about the bad ones is it will give you confidence to say, wow! even though these big brands, I feel like oh wow, of course, they know what they're doing. A lot of these big brands have pretty terrible headlines and when you read them and you wonder, when you start to understand how to write headlines, you're like, "Oh, my gosh this is a terrible headline." So, looking at the first one. This one's actually not that bad. It tells me what it's for. It's for tired skin and it's like a shot of espresso. So, it's very picturable. It could be a little bit more descriptive but it's picturable and it tells me what it's for and then it gives me an image to back that up. So, this one I would argue is not as effective. Everything you want to tell the world your lips will say with a single word, right? It sounds cool when you read it and you think what did I actually, what did it actually just tell me, nothing I guess. Yeah, and I'm not the market for this. So, I may have a different bias than someone who is the market, but it's very clever but it's not actually telling me what it is. If there wasn't a picture of lipstick there or a lip or whatever this is, lipgloss or whatever, I would have no idea what they are actually talking about. So, this one is even worse, fancy something brighter in black. We're talking about tea, but I have no idea what they're talking about when I read that headline. It doesn't get my attention and grab me and then pull me into the copy. Just fancy something brighter and black. I just don't understand what that is. This is a big brand Tetley. You'd think there'd be some mention of tea, maybe in the headline but no there isn't. So, this one although very bold and very attention getting, if you read the headline, move over Rapunzel, there's a new princess in town. Looking at the product that's a leave-in conditioner. So, I'm thinking okay it's a leave-in conditioner but I'm not sure what "Move over Rapunzel there's a new princess in town", has to do with leave-in conditioner. So, I would argue that this gets your attention but it doesn't quite deliver on what it actually is. So, here's another one I would argue is not so great, I asked if he liked her Risata and he said, "I don't think I know her. There won't be a second date." It's very long. It's very clever. I get it. If this person doesn't know about Risata which is a, looks like some drink, then I'm not going to go on a second date with him. It doesn't. It's not really compelling. So, again this is my opinion maybe they tested it, maybe it works. Something tells me it's probably just people are saying, "Wow! That's clever," and moving on. So, the Tom's one I was surprised with. You look at the headline you think, okay, we believe what's inside matters. Okay, I understand the premise but I'm not even sure what you're talking about or what it relates to. If I never had heard that Tom's brand name, I would have to look pretty hard before I understood. I see toothbrushes, so maybe it's something to do with toothpaste. Okay, I see mouthwash down the right hand corner. So, after a while I can start to pick up what it is. But you may have lost the reader by that point. All right, so there could be something more descriptive. We believe what's inside your toothpaste matters, right? Why not just add word and actually tell me what it is instead of just giving me a clever headline. This one I really liked, teeth so white, you can't stop checking. So, I can see Rembrandt teeth whitener, see whiter teeth you've been looking for. There's a lot of use and we'll talk about this later in headlines and why they're so powerful. This market, they want really bright teeth and they're so white they can't stop checking. So, everybody can relate to that thinking, "Wow! If I really did have that bright white teeth, I would be looking in the mirror all the time." So, what's so great about this is there's a ton of self-interest using the word you and we'll get into why that is effective later on. This one gives me anxiety. So you can, that's the headline for Chase bank. So you can. If I didn't read anything else, that's all I would read. So you can, I would see a phone that looks like there's a file cabinet. That seems very boring, snap tag and file and get back to business. What? Snap what? Tag what? File what? I don't understand. So you can? I'm just going to move on. This one I liked. It has a bunch of different elements that we're going to talk about throughout this course in this particular section in headlines. They're using specific numbers so, 44 percent of accountants say a sales tax audit is more stressful than a divorce. This really gets your attention. It's because it's using specific numbers and it really ties into that pain. I think this is an example of a lot of tension, right? So, they're creating this. Oh wow! Okay. What you know and what you want to know and as you go down and read the sub headline, isn't it time to consider sales tax automation. So, now I understand what it is, right? So, I don't want to be in a sales tax audit because it's stressful. So, sales tax automation might be my solution for this. So, I really like this headline. This one is an example of just a dead headline, introducing Morningstar for iPad. Investment discoveries are at hand. I mean that's literally how you read it. It's like okay that's fantastic. There's nothing really exciting or attention getting about this. I've seen, I mean there's millions of iPad apps. So, just by showing me the app and then telling me it's on the iPad is not really that exciting to me. This one, a no brainer that will have you looking like a genius. It has nothing to do with cars. I would argue this was not in a very effective headline. Maybe it would get your attention but it really isn't telling me what this new all new 2014 Corolla is all about. It's very vague. Just okay I'll look like a genius. Why? Then last one, wireless, computerless, paperless. Introducing NeatConnect. The all new way to be neat. I get what they're trying to do, but they're trying to be way too clever and they're using brevity and sacrificing clarity here. Wireless, computerless, paperless. I get they're trying to be short and succinct but they're really not telling me what this is. So, here's a John Caples quote and this is from tested advertising methods. "The success of an ad may stand or fall on the headline." Again, all of these copywriters are talking about how important these headlines are so let's learn how to write some headlines. So, this was an ad that David Ogilvy wrote and he spent. They said he wrote 104 headlines to get this headline and has his associates read aloud until he found, at 60 miles an hour, the loudest noise in this Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock. This is a very famous headline, a very famous ad and it just tells you that one of the brightest minds in copywriting, David Ogilvy, wrote 104 headlines to get to this one. 8. Headlines: Purpose, Types, and Upworthy: So, what is the purpose of a headline? We get how important they are, but what's the purpose? The purpose is to get their attention. David Ogilvy has also said, "The purpose of a headline is to get them to read the second line. The purpose of the second line is to get them reading the third line. The purpose of the fourth line is to get to read them on and on and on we go." So, you can see that in the quote by David Ogilvy. So, John Caple's in his book Tested Advertising Method goes through the three types of effective headlines. One being self-interest. So, making sure that in the headline there's something that involves the reader that has a direct impact on the reader and what the reader wants. The second best is news. Something that's new. So, when I talked about human nature has not changed. Human nature still desires to have new things, that's why Facebook and Twitter are so popular because we're always looking for new. Something new that's latest. That's why cable news is so important, not important, but so popular. So, everyone's looking for something new and into the latest of whatever. So, curiosity is the third best. It was a surprise to me that he put curiosity down there. It's very easy to get people to be curious about something but it doesn't mean that are actually sell something. I remember when I said early on about if they say, "Wow, that's clever," and they don't do what you want them to do. You can get them curious, or think, "Wow, that's really clever." Then, it's not a very effective headline but when you combine these things. When you can combine news and self-interest, or curiosity and self-interest. Then, you can craft a pretty effective headline. So, we're going to go through some old sales letters and go through each one of these. Remember, keep an open-mind, some of them are a bit cheesy, but I want you to look at the framework behind. I want you to look at the principles behind it. So, let's start with self-interest. The first thing that you have to know about self-interest is the word You. You, you, you, you, you. In these headlines, if the word You is in there, it has self-interest. Do You Make These Mistakes in English? That one has a direct self-interest, Do You. Now, this is mixed with a bit of curiosity. Do You Make These Mistakes In English? Is a bit curious. It's a question. A lot of questions are create curiosity. The brain wants to know the answer to these questions. The next one, it's funny, you can see, this first one was written way before this next one by Gary Bencivenga. Do you make these mistakes in job interviews? You can see he took that framework or took that structure, that headline, and put it in a new market, right? The interview market. Both of them have the word You in them. Look at this one, this another Gary Halbert one How to get what the US Government owes you! You cannot get more self-interested than that. Especially, with the big exclamation point at the end. Another one by Gary Halbert is How to collect Social Security from any age! Now, this one doesn't have the word You in it but it's How to collect Social Security at any age. There is a self-interest there which is collecting social security. If you're at that age, actually, this is any age, but where he's talking to is if that's something that you're interested in. If that's the self-interest and you'd like to collect social security at any age, then this has a lot of self-interest inside. This one I thought was really funny. There's no You in here. It's just one word Indigestion. Anyone who's had indigestion or suffers from indigestion, there's a lot of interest in this. A lot of self-interest. Some of these one word headlines can work if they're powerful enough. The word Indigestion is powerful to the people who have it. So, now let's talk about News. This one Amazing New Formula, right? So, the word New, news, right? So, Amazing New Formula From Beverly Hills. The fact that it opens up with Amazing New Formula is news. The other one that's an older one Science Has Finally Counterfeited A Perfect Diamond. So, this is written in an announcement forum. So, yes, the headline is cheesy Counterfeited A Perfect Diamond but if you had Scientists Have Released This New Report, or This New Discovery on whatever. If it could relate to your market maybe it's a study. If you're dealing with education maybe it's a new study that was just announced, that is a news based headline. This one's a really old. Teeth You Envy are brushed in this new way. So, a new way is an announcement. There's some new thing that they're about to tell you that the other one, this looks like it was probably written in the '80s, Introducing, the word Introducing means something new, right? So, Introducing Fidelity's New No-Load Fee IRA. So, they're using the word Introducing and New. They can't go wrong with that news headline. Curiosity. So, this is the last one and you'll see the word Secret comes up a lot when you're writing curiosity based headlines. The Amazing Blackjack Secret Of A Las Vegas Mystery Man. There's not much self-interest here but there's a whole lot of curiosity, Secret Mystery, those are two words that have a lot of curiosity packed into them. It creates a lot of tension. The Amazing Secret of The Hottest Investment of The Last 5-Years! So, secret right there, again, creating curiosity. Again, you'll see here. Here's two more with the word Secret. The Amazing Secret Of A Marketing Genius Who Is Afraid To Fly. We had talked about that earlier in some other sections but there it is again, secret. Then, another one, this is another famous one by Gary Halbert At Last! China reveals her 1,300 year old stay-young health secret. So, you'll look at these, you think, "Oh, wow. Okay, these are really old." Here's one How to keep your money from being murdered. This one, the curiosity here. Now, this has self-interest and curiosity wrapped up into it. So, your, right? Your money that's self-interest. From being murdered. That gets my attention. It's curiosity. It creates tension. What is it, right? So, there is an example of using self-interest plus curiosity. What I was saying before is that you may think, "Oh, these are old sales letters. What do they have to do?" Upworthy uses this stuff all the time. This curiosity thing. Here's What Some Protesters Decided To Do Instead Of Picketing The Westboro Church With Hate. Who Wants To Learn Some Eye-Opening and Disturbing Things About Elephants? There's not much self-interest in any of these. There are pure curiosity. I'll put these in the project notes as part of the resources but I went through and retrieved is the word I'll use. You could say scraped. Scraped 4,726 Upworthy headlines and it is amazing when you look at this. They're almost all curiosity. 1 Priest. 11 Days. Epic Environmental Win. 1 Simple Question That Could Define The Entire Election. You look at these headlines you will like, "Wow, this could actually be. If I put these in one of those cheesy sales letter formats like with the big black letters and everything that, wow, they're actually being used now." That's your business. If your business is curiosity, then yes, this is what you would want to use. John Caple's would say that curiosity is the third pass the number one thing to focus on is self-interest, you, you, you. 9. Headlines: Frameworks: So, let's go through some headline frameworks, and I'll talk about self-interest and I'll talk about how that relates. But let's look at some words to begin with. These are some headline frameworks that you can use these words to begin with, new, now, at last, how, how to, I'm not going to read all them you can see them which, who else wanted these things? These are words that John Caples has used and he's by far one of the most famous copywriters. He's not alive today but he's from the 1940's. But, these are words that he used over and over again. It's funny if you look at headlines now like in Huffington Post and BuzzFeed and Upworthy, they use so many of these words. So, these words have a root in the foundation in the history of copyrighting. So, Dan Kennedy, has another way to get your mind thinking about how to write headlines. So, he has these fill in the blank formulas; they didn't think I could blank but I did, who else once and then you can talk about your solution. You can say how this thing or this knowledge or this skill made me and then talk about the outcome that you'd want your viewer to have. You could say for number four, are you and then you could talk about the problem in America. Are you frustrated with A, B, and C? This is based on what you've talked to your market. So, you should understand what their problems are. Number five, how I did A, B, and C, how I came to this solution, this goes back to that star story solution. You are the star on this and how you came to this solution. How to, is a no brainer and everyone use this one. How to get what they actually want. How to get the outcome that you're talking about. Secrets of is really powerful because it does create the attention. So, way back, we talk about in the other section about if you're marking with substitute teachers, you could say, secrets of the most highly effective substitute teachers in the nation, right or something like that. But, what we're getting at is creating a tension and creating that mystery around your solution or what you have to offer. So, also hundreds or a specific number now, even, now blank, even though they blank. So, hundreds now can do this specifically, this specific thing, this specific benefit, and the initial support you could put some thing that may have been holding back, even though they didn't have the time, didn't have the money, didn't have the wherewithal, didn't have the intelligence to do what you're talking about. The other one is warning. This one really will get people's attention, warning. So, things about where you're talking about. If you're looking in their best interest, looking out for your audience's best interest. You can give them a warning about a warning they may not know about A, B, and C and it's going to get their attention. Ten is a really basic one. Give me this and I'll give you this, right? You can make that really bad. Give me $100 and I will teach you how to blah blah blah blah blah. Right? Or give me 10 minutes of your time and I can blah blah blah blah blah. So, here's the other one in number 11. It's really popular on Buzzfeed or it's like 602 ways to get what you want, right? Get the final outcome that you're talking about with your market and you'll see this in beauty magazines all the time fashion magazines. Twenty one ways to a better marriage, that sort of thing. But, you see those all the time because they work. So, flagging is another really interesting way to look at this and this is something I learned from Dan Kennedy. Add a who this is for word on to the beginning. So, before "Blisters gone in five days or money back" and then after "Waitresses on your feet for hours: Blisters gone in five days or money back." So, you can see before there was no mention of who this is for, and so after when you say who this is for and that's your market, you're going to get the attention of waitresses. Probably not going to get my attention because I'm not a waiter or a waitress. But if I am, I'm going to see that, understand that immediately that they're talking to me which is a much more effective headline. So, the other way to look at headlines are sub-headlines and dual readership path. So, what is a dual readership path and how does sub-headlines fit into that? So, there's one path the viewer can go through and they can just read everything, right? There will be some people that will come and read the entire thing word for word the whole way down. Then, there'll be people like me and maybe like you that read only the headlines, you'll read the sub-headlines, you maybe read some of the photo captions, you'll see some of the bold and italic things, but you're a skimmer, right? So, you'll go down through and you'll skim through things. So, sub-headlines are really important when you have skimmers reading your content. So, even looking at these old sales letters, you can see, do you make these mistakes in English? is the headline. Then you can see right Sherwin Cody's remarkable invention has enabled more than 70,000 people. That's a little bit bigger. So, it's set in a sub-headline size and then you get into why most persons make mistakes? What Cody did at Gary, 100 percent self-correcting device. All of these sub-headlines are designed to get my attention and keep me skimming down through each piece of it. Now, Aron argue that this could tell a more cohesive story. What I've seen with sub-headlines and dual readership pass are really effective, is that you could read just the headlines and the sub-headlines and it would make its own case. Right? It would have its own story just by reading those things and they can connect. So, you can look at the second one, you read the headline and then you say, "Five days that changed my life forever. I couldn't believe what they were doing. I tested it and it works." So, these are things that are going to keep bringing you back into the copy but they're very important. If you have someone who's just skimming their copy, they should get a pretty good idea just by reading the sub-headlines, what you're trying to do. So, you can see here on that second sales letter, you can see that he continued to do it and you can see the bold type. So, as you're skimming, you're glancing at some of the bold things and you can see serious growth in capital letters. This was the one thing that when I read this sales and I'm like, "Man, he's really saying serious growth over and over again." It's trying to drive in to the readers mind what the product is and what the name of it. So, it keeps it at top of mind. So, you can see here, if you're just reading the sub-headlines in the bold, you'll get a pretty good idea of what this is all about. 10. Headlines: Applications: So, contexts. When you understand how to write effective headlines, it can apply in so many different contexts. So, let's look at my email inboxes. This is one email I set up that I just used a sign-up for marketing newsletter. So, these are people who know how to write headlines. A headline could also be a subject line, so, when you're talking about an email, the headline is the subject line, so if you can get really good at writing subject lines, you're going to get much more if the action you desires get them to open it, then you're going to be a lot more effective if you can write a good subject line. So, look at these headlines and I went through and highlighted the word "You." Not many places, we're talking six places out of a ton of emails actually mentioned "You." So, if you go back to what John Caple said about self-interest, that self-interest can not be better described by actually saying, "You. " Right? When you're speaking "You" directly to the viewer. So, at the top and how you can optimize your content. This one by Ramit Sethi, the next one, forward you just got paid 4.95. That one really got my attention, now you could argue that that's manipulative, but, I'm going to open that email, and as long as you can deliver on it, that's okay. Neil Patel, six ways to make sure you never get a penalty from Google, so all of these ones that are targeting you are very effective, so, in your subject line if you have focus on that self-interest, focus on what it will mean to them in the subject line, and so I highlighted Ramit's that was probably my favorite one of all those. So, this one was really interesting, you talk about self-interest Frank Kern sent me an email and the subject line was, "Jack!" What more self-interest? What is the sweetest word anybody can hear? It's their own name. So, when I got the subject line of Jack exclamation point, I open that email. So, look at Craigslist, and so if you look at you're trying to sell a car, and you need to write a headline, and these are all headlines, and so what I did is I went through and I thought, okay, I'm just going to Photoshop in a headline that I took from a Gary Halbert newsletter. He's talking about how to sell, how he was walking through, how to sell this Cadillac, and if you look at one of the headlines, "I'll sell you this new Caddy for $18,000 and I'll let you drive it for a week free before you decide whether or not to buy it." Imagine this and I go back to it, and so this is when it existed in the first screenshot that I showed, you may not have noticed or you may have, so look at how all the other ones are 2001 Hyundai Accent, 1986 Chevy El Camino, but look at this, "I'll sell you this new Caddy for $18,000 and I'll let you drive it for a week before you decide." You don't think that's going to get clicks? You don't think actually people are going to look at that and say, "Wow, this really does stand out because of the self-interest that it has wrapped up in that headline." So, the last thing I'll say is, test, test, test. All of these headlines and John Caple said, oh no, it's Eugene Schwartz, Eugene Schwartz is another legendary copywriter and he said, "In my 25 years, 35 years of copywriting I still cannot say whether a headline will be effective or not, I can try but when I write it I understand that I'm going to have to test this, and if it works it works, if it doesn't, we're going to have to try a new one." So, when you're testing these things, start with the headline, when you're testing these messages whether it's landing pages, subject lines testing, test the subject line. Don't test the whole message right away because then you're not going to know which one worked and which one didn't. Start with testing the headline. Start with testing subject lines, and so there's tools to do this, Optimizely, Visual Website Optimizer, these make it really easy when we're talking about Web based testing, where you can test different headlines in different parts of your site, and I'd start again, start with the headline. So, Project Steps, write 10 to 20 headlines, remember I was talking about David Ogilvy wrote 104 headlines before he got down to the one that he was going to use for the Rolls-Royce site? Brainstorm. You don't have to write 10 or 20, write 104 if you want to, but the idea is to go back through those frameworks, go through the ones that Dan Kennedy had to fill in the blank frameworks and write 10 or 20 headlines and don't feel like you got to get the right one, just brainstorm, write freely and as you go down you'll craft it, and you'll get more finer tuned as you go through. 11. Copy: Features and Benefits: Features and benefits, these two things are often confused. If you look at the word features, features are what the product or service does, and this is the thing that most people focus on. They talk about feature, feature, feature. "Hey, it does this, it does this, it does this," especially in startup world, Internet software worlds. It's like, "Oh, it has this feature and it can do this and it connects to this and it connects to that." What a benefit is this what the feature actually means to the customers. What do these features do for the customer? What does it mean? So, when you're talking about your features, I always like to ask myself the question, what does this mean to the customer? So, if I talk about a feature, what does this actually mean or how does this benefit the customer? So, Gary Halbert and Dan Kennedy both have said, and this is in Gary Halbert's letter, both have said take either three by five cards or you can use some fancy Internet tools that will give you the ability to put sticky notes on the screen or whatever, but the idea is to have two different sets of cards: one with features, one with benefits. So, here are two sticky notes: one with features, one with benefits. Gary, in his example in that newsletter, this one right here, and I'll post that in the project step so you can get the link for this actual newsletter, so car gets 40 miles per gallon. That's the feature. The benefit is it saves money and is very cheap transportation. So, it's not just car gets 40 miles a gallon. What does that mean? That it saves money and it's cheaper to actually run this car. It feels obvious but when you think about it's like car gets 40 miles per gallon. This will save you X amount of dollars per year. That's the benefit and so the features, car has been coated with an effective rust guard treatment. The benefit is the car will last longer and be worth more money at trade-in time. That's the self-interest part. That's the stuff. That's what that feature actually means to me. I could care less about a rust guard treatment. Until you understand, until you can convey to me what that actually means, now I look at it and say, "Yeah, rust guard treatment," but I may have just glanced over that but when I really look at it I'll be like, "Oh wow. It would be worth more money at trade-in time." So, another feature is car is painted with a bright vivid orange. Okay? I mean, look at that and think how that feature that sounds really ugly but the benefit is and he's got to go in a little far. He's stretching on this one but safety easiest color to see, very unlikely will crash into owner. So, if you had, and for some reason you made a mistake and bought a bright orange car, this is how you would sell it, right? Instead of saying it's just bright vivid orange, you would say it's for safety. Car has 6,000 horsepower. Now, that may mean something to me because I like to hear about horsepower, and 6,000 horsepower is ridiculous. I actually think he's just exaggerating there but safety will accelerate like crazy and let you get out of tight dangerous situations. So, if you're on the highway and some truck is behind you and you need to get out around him before another car comes, this is where you need all of that horsepower. So, that's with that feature actually means to you when you're out on the road. Dan Kennedy talks a lot about hidden benefits and so he mentioned this guy Ted Nicholas in his book. So, this is in The Ultimate Sales Letter, and he said, "I'll give you an actual example. A CEO was conducting a multiday seminar for their clients' executives and general agents from life insurance companies about new methods of recruiting agents. That sounds really exciting. See why everybody is asleep." Even though the attendees had paid a very high per person fee to be there, they traveled great distances and the subject was really important to them, most of the time we heard them talking about going to play golf that evening when the seminar let out. So, he talked about his partner Pamela and I made no of how important it was for these clients to get out on the golf course. This led to one of the most profitable ads they had ever written and run in their own industry trade journal and they used the headline. So, there's the golf, "Puts recruiting on autopilot so you can go play golf." So, they talking about recruiting general agents for life insurance companies and they thought that they knew what the benefit was but there was a hidden benefit in their. "Puts recruiting on autopilot so you can go play golf." Now, how did they get that? That was from listening. They actually listened and observed what their market was doing and that's why I said in the beginning of this section how important it is to listen and to understand your market because there may be benefits that you may think are important to them but they actually aren't very important. 12. Short vs. Long Copy: So, in the first half of this conclusion we're going to talk about short or long copy. This is a very heated debate within the copywriting and marketing community. Should your copy be really long or should it be short? A lot of the examples I'd shown you were really long copy, then you think, well, what about the homepage? That's a really short copy. I'm going to explain what the difference is. So, the first thing is if you look at, well, I don't want to write long copy and there's two reasons why you'd think that or someone who's reading your copy thinks that it's too long, it's either they aren't your target market or your copy is boring. So, people object to reading long copy because they're the wrong audience or the copy is boring. So, Michel Fortin, he has a great way of putting it, he's like, "Don't be long, don't write long copy for the sake of just having long copy. Be long for the sake of providing as much information as is needed to make the sale and not one word more." Jay Abraham said the same thing, he said, "Don't shortcut to save space. Edit ruthlessly." So, it's not about just being long just for the sake of being long like he said, "Edit ruthlessly for waste or boring content but never jettison fascinating facts, forceful reasons or specific information that adds to your compelling story." So, don't take out things that are really important just because you don't want to write long copy. So, Dan Kennedy, he sums it up, "Copy should be long enough to do its job effectively, and not one word longer." So, be ruthless when you're editing but don't leave out something that is important to the message into your reader. So, he talks about people who read copy and he says, "Significant research indicates that readership falls off dramatically at 300 words but does not drop off again until 3000 words." So, what he means there is the wrong market comes in and reads it up to about 300 words and then they stop. So, they may not be the one that he's targeting, but then if you look at it you think, "Okay, the people who read past 300," so if they read 301, "they don't stop until 3000 words." So, if you look at that dramatically, you can think, "Wow, okay. The people who I'm really talking to are going to read all 3000 words." That is powerful. So, there is one reason that you may want to go write short copy. If it's a low price and it fails to meet an immediate need and is low thought. So, it's something you do not need a 14 page sales letter to sell me a paperclip, maybe you do but probably not. So, if you have an immediate need, low thought, you're selling a cup of coffee at a gas station, it doesn't need to be 17 pages long copy. But for things that really do need a lot of information, the decision buying process is a lot more involved. So, if you're selling a car is a lot different than selling a paperclip, and so that's where you could use short copy. 13. Improving Your Skills: So, the final part of this conclusion is improving your skills. How do you become a better copywriter? Maybe, you don't want to become a full-time copywriter. I don't think that's, anyone who's taking this course, the vast majority are probably not thinking this is what I want to do for a living. But, now that you realize how important it is, that if you can learn some of these things, and you can get better over time, and it's going to have a huge impact on your business. So, Gary Halbert in this, and I'll post it in the project steps the link to this specific one. He talks about how to be a better copywriter in 30 days. So, he goes through and he says this is what he did. He goes, "Go through and read these books; Scientific Advertising, Robert Collier, Tested Advertising." There's some new ones in here, go through and read every single one of these books. He said, "Read nothing else, and do not take notes." He said, "Most books written about advertising are not just bad, they're downright dangerous." He said, "Many years ago, Claude Hopkins, the greatest ad man who ever lived was asked to critique and offer suggestions on how to improve some college textbooks on advertising. His suggestion was to burn them." So, Gary says and, you know what? Gary is obviously a successful copywriter. So, you know what? I read it and I said, "You know what? I'm just going to do exactly what he says in this case." And these books, he was right. These books, and I haven't gotten through all of them, but these books have completely changed my paradigm and how I look at copywriting. So, here you go, that's part of the newsletter, it says, "Burn Them!." So, the next thing, and this was the hardest part of this where I thought, "This can't be real. He can't actually be serious." So, he said now that you've tamed, now that you have obtained copies of these ads and letter, so he says, "Go and get these ads and letters. Do you make these mistakes in English, The Nancy Halbert Heraldry letter, all of these sales letters, find them", and I'm going to put links to a zip file with all these in here. He says, "I want you to sit down and hand copy them word-for-word in your own handwriting." I thought, "Oh my gosh! You can't be serious." He wants me to look at these letters and write them down in my own handwriting, and some of them I've seen some of these copy-writing guys will say, when you're hand writing them, to actually say it out loud while you're doing it. So, he would say like, "And in general, anything you can get your hands on that was written by Gary Benci, actually say it out loud." It won't make sense at first, but soon your subconscious will start seeing patterns, and you'll start making copywriting a part of you. When I started doing this, I kept thinking, this is ridiculous. But as one, two, three weeks went by, as you can see here, I started being able to complete their sentences without even looking. I could tell what they were doing in each sentence, and it was a lot like I said before. It was a lot like seeing the matrix. I could start seeing the science behind the words. All of the copywriting masters have done this. They have literally sat down and copied hundreds of sales letters by hand. So, my question to you is, why wouldn't you do it? You'll say, "Well, I don't have time." Well, it's not about time. It's about priorities, right? So, I feel like I'm preaching right now. It's looking at it and saying, if this could possibly improve my copywriting skills, and improving my copywriting skills would have a major impact on my business, why wouldn't I take 20 to 30 minutes a day in the morning or at night or whenever, during a lunch break to do this simple act of practice? As you do it, at first you'll think it's crazy, but as you do it, you'll understand exactly what I'm talking about. So, this concludes the copywriting course on Skillshare. Now, if you're looking for a place to go to get answers, to get advice, help and support from other students, you definitely want to check out the forums in this course on Skillshare. There'll be a lot of people in there, I'll be watching the forums too and stopping in and answering questions, and then also, check out my website, and there's ways to contact me in there, through Linkedin, Facebook, email, whatever. I love talking about copywriting. I love talking about marketing so, definitely reach out to me and thank you so much for taking this course.