This list is based on my 56 years’ experience of what makes for profitable marketing.
You may find using it a bit of bore. But if you want to sell it’s a lot better than stuff that flops.
You’ll see that some – perhaps many – of your messages miss one or more of the points below. Mine often do before I’ve double-checked.
1. Does your opening quickly offer or clearly imply a strong benefit?
2. Is everything instantly clear? If it’s funny, clever or obscure – beware.
3. Have you told the whole story? Unless you give every sensible reason to buy, answer obvious questions and overcome all reasonable objections, you’ll lose sales.
4. Is what you sell fully and clearly described?
5. Is the tone right? Don’t be funny about serious things (e.g. charity, business or money).
6. Do you demonstrate the benefit – give examples, quantify it, compare it to alternatives? People want to know how and why you are better.
7. Do you prove your claim is true? Testimonials? Independent figures?
8. Do you ask firmly enough for a reply, telling people precisely what to do? Repeat your arguments at that point.
9. Is the coupon, order form or request to reply big enough, clear, simple and easy to use?
10. Does your copy, when read aloud, sound like someone talking? Good!
11. Have you shown it to someone uninvolved, preferably a likely prospect? Ask if they understand it – and if they would buy.
By the way, these principles are similar, but not identical, for advertising not designed to sell immediately, which usually (but not always) has less copy. And usually (but not always) would be a damn sight better if it did try to sell immediately.