Tuesday, 7:26 PM
November 12, 2018
Right now, I’m writing this at home in my office.
My fiancé Kelsey is close by. She’s in the living room watching something on Netflix.
“What’re you watching?” I said just now.
“The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,” she said back.
My pup Sydney is laying on my toes. I can feel her breathing in-out, in-out, in-out. It’s nice.
And an hour ago I finished my “stairs” workout, up-down, up-down, four flights, ten times. It took me 23 minutes and 18 seconds.
Now I’m ready to write.
My headphones are on. The cup to my left is full of water.
I’m situated, good to go.
Are you? Good.
If you want to immediately connect with your readers, follow this advice from legendary copywriter, Gary Halbert:
JOIN THOUSANDS OF SUBSCRIBERS
First: Date your copy.
Notice how I included the day of the month, the year, the day of the week, and the exact time at the top of this article?
Why did I do this? What purpose does it serve?
“It makes the letter a little more personal,” explains Halbert. “I think this way of doing things bonds the writer and the reader closer together. It also gives our transmission the quality of immediacy.”
All that upfront data also makes the communication seem more important, more weighty. It makes it feel like a letter or a postcard, something you might keep for posterity.
Second: Be personal and ultra-specific.
Notice how personal my introduction was? How specific it was?
I told you where I was sitting. I told you Kelsey’s name, Sydney’s name, and what they were doing. I told you about my “stairs” workout, and how long it took me to complete.
I told you about my headphones and my water cup, the details of my work routine.
I told you all sorts of random things about my life! Why?
“This type of personal, specific info bonds the reader and writer closer together,” explains Halbert. “To achieve a bond of intimacy and immediacy in your letters, describe where you are and what you are doing as you are writing the letter.”
Think of it as written small talk, which is actually a bonding mechanism. That is, small talk helps people begin to build camaraderie and trust—and it works as well on paper as it does in person.
Now if you’re thinking...
“Shouldn’t the copy focus on my prospect’s pain or pleasure?”
Of course, it should—but not always from the get-go. It depends on the format of your copy.
If it’s short-form copy, like a PPC ad or a billboard, you won’t have the time or space to use this tactic.
If it’s longer-form copy, like an email or a sales letter, getting the prospect in the mood to read your pitch can require earning her trust.
And this is an effective way to do that.