There are tactics and there are principles.
Tactics help us do.
Principles help us think.
A great copywriting tactic, for example, is using variations of the word “you” throughout your copy.
We love that word because we love ourselves — and so when we read or hear it, it makes us focus.
So use the words “you” and “your” and “we” and “us” to concentrate your audience. These words hit the reader with a micro-dose of dopamine that momentarily recaptures her attention.
Using the word “you” to recapture attention is something you do.
It’s a copywriting tactic, a very effective one.
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Now, here’s a copywriting principle:
In my opinion, it’s one of the most elegant ways to THINK about the discipline…
It’s how the great copywriter, Gene Schwartz, thought about it:
“The one thing I hate most in the world, and shows me absolute disaster, is when somebody comes up to me and says, ‘Wow, the headline is so beautiful. Where did you get those words? They’re gorgeous.’
I say, ‘Oh, god, you’re seeing the words, not seeing through the words.
You’re seeing the words themselves. No good.’
If you want to write poetry, if you want to write prose, if you want to write novels, and if you want to write literature, go outside of advertising.
Words in advertising are like the windows in a store. You must be able to look right through them and see the product. If you see the window, it’s dirty, and you’re going to see yourself or you’re going to see the smear. You’re not going to see the product, and you’re going to lose.”
In other words…
“Copy should never call attention to itself.”
In fact, your prospect should forget that she’s reading altogether!
Your reader should see only images, mental flashes of the pain or pleasure the copy is working to elicit.
Don’t make the reader think. Thinking will distract your prospect from taking action.
Instead, allow her to effortlessly imagine her future, good or bad.
And to do that, you must help her look past the words.
You must keep your window clean.
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