Of all the neat tricks I’ve learned as a freelance copywriter, nothing grabs and holds onto a reader’s attention faster than the technique I am about to show you. I know of no more powerful way to get a reader to hang onto every word you say or write.
In fact this one technique can help you write incredibly persuasive ad copy, speeches, presentations and any other type of communication in which your job is to influence people to buy or take action. I firmly believe this one formula can make you rich.
Before I explain what this “magic bullet for powerful copywriting” is, let me first tell you about the person I learned it from. Steven K. Scott is the author of the book, “Mentored By A Millionaire.” He made his fortune in one of the most competitive businesses I can imagine, writing infomercials.
If you have ever watched the Total Gym infomercials, starring Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris, you have seen his work - and you have witnessed this formula - in action. You have also seen his work, and this technique, if you have watched the infomercials on Hooked on Phonics or Victoria Jackson Cosmetics.
Want to see how Steven Scott uses this formula? At the very beginning of the Total Gym infomercial, Christie Brinkley looks at the viewers and says,
“According to recent medical studies at Tufts University, there is now proof that there is one simple thing you can do for a few minutes a day that will absolutely reverse the 10 major signs of aging.”
Now I don’t know about you, but I am hooked from those words on. But for those readers who are not totally pulled into the infomercial yet, Christie goes on to say,
“This one thing can increase your energy level by more than 100%, increase your strength by more than 200%, greatly enhance your sex life, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, raise your metabolism, lower your risk for cancer and heart disease, add years to your life, and make the years ahead a lot more enjoyable.”
Steven Scott’s formula, the method I call the magic copywriting bullet, is simply this: make some very strong benefit statements before you tell the reader or audience what it is that will do all this for them. (In fact, I have been using it on you throughout this article.)
Now what if Christie had simply answered the what question first, by saying,
“I’m talking about strength training, and the Tufts studies revealed you only need to engage in it for 20 to 30 minutes at a time, three to four days a week, in order to increase your energy level by more than 100%, …”
That statement would have certainly been a powerful benefit statement, but it would not have grabbed and held onto your attention as it did when she put the benefits before the revelation.
Curiosity is the most misused technique in copywriting. All by itself it accomplishes nothing. It comes across as cute or tricky, but it does not activate the reader’s “what’s in it for me” hot button. But the marriage of curiosity with a powerful benefit statement can cut right through a reader’s natural tendency to filter out messages your mind deems irrelevant or uninteresting.
Like I said in the beginning, of all the techniques I’ve learned as a freelance copywriter, I know of no more powerful way to get a reader to hang onto every word you say or write. Look what it did to you.
freelance copywriter, copywriting tips, freelance commercial writer
COPYRIGHT © 2006, Charles Brown
Labels: copywriting ideas