The Copywriter’s Handbook : A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy That Sells by Robert W Bly

How to write sales message that not sucks

The goal of adverting is not be liked, entertain or to win award but sell products.

Selling is placing 100% emphasis on how the reader will come out ahead by doing business with you.

For copy to convince consumer to buy the products, we have to

1. Get attention

2. Communicate

3. Persuade

To write a good headline, a copy writer must work hard to get attention for your ad

A sales letter had 5 seconds to gain reader’s attention. In email, thay would be from line and subject line.

When you write the headline, you have spent $0.8 out of $1. The best headlines appeal to people’s self interest or give news

4 tactic to perform

1. Get attention by arousing self-interest, or give news  with word New, Discover, introducing, announcing, now , its here, at last, just one time, or use word like HOW to, why , sale, quick, easy, bargain, last chance , guarantee, result, promises.

Try to offer reader some useful information. Attention getting for sake of getting attention attract lot of curious bystanders but few serious customers

2. Select audience

Headline can select the right audience for your ad and screen out readers who are not potential customer

3. Deliver complete message

Include the selling promises and brand name in headline

4. Draw reader into body copy

Arouse their curiosity and by humor, intrigued or mystery.

Take what work and apply to your product that is compelling, memorable and persuasive.

1. Direct headlines – sell the product directly

2. Indirect headlines – Arouse curiosity

3. Wows headline

4. How to

5. Question – ask a question that reader can empathize and like to see answered

6. Command headline

7. Reason – Why

8. Testimonial headline – Use customer own word, don’t polish , a natural conversation tone add believably

When we write headlines, there are 4U

URGENT – time element 2. Unique 3. Ultra specific 4. Useful

When you write headline, ask how strong in each of 4U, if headline is not 3/4 at least 3U, rewrite it

Some techniques we can use to produce headline

  1. Who is my customer
  2. What are important feature of product
  3. Why will customer want to buy that product ( what feature is most important) ?

Advertising is more efficient when easy to understand

11 Tips to write clear copy

  1. Put the reader first
  2. Carefully organize your selling point : tell them what you going to tell them, tell them. Ant tell them what you told them.
  3. Break writing into short section
  4. Use short sentence : train yourself to write in crisp, short sentence
  5. Use simple words : People tend to use big word to impress, but they rarely do
  6. Avoid technical jargon
  7. Be concise : Avoid redundancies, run-on, wordy, passive, unnecessary adjective
  8. Be specific
  9. Go straight to the point : finish copy should sell from start to finish
  10. Write in friendly, conversational style
  11. Avoid sexist language

Focus on writing the copy base on benefit, not feature.

Motivating sequence :

1. Get attention – hook the reader in strongest benefit

2. Show a nbeed

3. Satisfy need and position your product as a solution

4. Prove your product can do what you say it can do by talk about benefit of product/service / testimonials / compare to competition / scientific studies / company is reliable.)

5. Ask for action

Unique selling preposition: A major benefit other products don’t offer and a competition lack which provide a strong benefit that client care.

The art of getting USP into hoods of most people at lowest cost.

Secondary promise – reason enough to order, yet small enough so its easily believed.

A copy should reach 3 level – Intellectual / Emotion / Personal level

we can write in BDF formula – Belief ( what they believe, what issues to address ) / Feeling ( how they feel) and desire ( what they want, what is their goal , what is the change )

How to prepare a copy writing assignment ?

1. Get all previously publish material / on the product – create a checklist of all background material you need

2. Ask question about the prodcut

3. Ask question about your audience

4. Determine the objection of your copy

The key to write great copy is to rewrite it 2-3-4-5-6-7 times, as or as many as it take to get it right

3 step process :

Get it all down >> edit your work >> clean up

4 basic mission for ads :

1. Sell product directly – tell full story, answer all objection

2. Generate sales lead – never tell full story

3. Build awareness of product

4. Build company image

Work hard to get reader’s attention.

Great style wont save an an without substance. The copy must appeal to reader’s self interest. If must have benefit, news or solve reader’s problem. It cannot just for entertainment, if must present compelling reason why product is desirable to the reader.

Write direct mail : Tone of letter should be personal, informal, conversational style. Reaching the right audience withe right offer and they right copy is key to success.

Online marketing work best when you email to people already know you.

Long copy landing page : Everything you ask readers to click to next page without buying, some drop off.

Content on website should have

1. Information : Your prospects need to know in order to buy from you

2. Information : Your know will convince prospect to buy from you

Tips to write effective email marketing :

1. Subject line – Attention grabbing, curiosity arousing

2. Beware “Free” to trigger spam filter

3. Killer headline + lead in sentence

4. First paragraph – mini version of complete message

5. After first paragraph, present feature, benefits and proof

6. Limit the response link to 2/3

7. Use wide margin

8. Short is better

9, Tone should be helpful, friendly, informal, educational

Until next time !



Get the book here >> shop-now-button-copy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: