So about a month ago, I signed up for a copywriting course by a digital marketing professional that I follow online known as Caroline Wabara. I knew I wouldn't be able to keep up with the program (which required daily copywriting and reflection), but the program was on sale at a heavy discount, and I didn't want to miss the opportunity.
Once I signed up, I found that the program gave its participants access to a library of self-help books in addition to the daily work and assignments, and just for that, I felt that the purchase was worth the investment. (You know how I love reading.)
Anyway this book, How to Write Copy that Sells by Ray Edwards, is the first book I am reading from that library, and I have to admit - it was a bit disappointing. Not because the book failed at its promise, but because, in succeeding, it revealed to me just how gullible human beings are to certain tactics.
For example, the book had many examples of "good copy" - copy that the author felt were good examples of excellent copywriting e.g.
"If you've struggled to lose weight, if you've tried every diet imaginable, if you've taken every pill, if you've tried exercise routines, machines, and personal coaches, and you still haven’t taken the weight off; then you're about to read the letter you've been waiting for all your life. Here's why..."
"If you've ever suspected - like most good golfers I know - that the best way to get really good at golf is to just figure it out yourself... you now have proof that it's..."
"Dr. Ben Parker's cosmetic dentistry makeover, comes with a 100% money back guarantee. You will see yourself with the beautiful straight teeth of a movie star. Your friends will envy the brilliant, flawless, whiteness of your new million-watt smile, and your new smile will look 100% natural, all in just one painless visit. There's a good reason he's known as "Painless Parker, the World's Gentlest Dentist."
The problem with these tactics was that even when they successfully illustrated the point the author was trying to make, in every single case, I always felt like I could smell the sale coming from a mile away. Perhaps this means nothing because after all, I knew that I was reading a book about copywriting. But even still, it just didn't inspire me to believe in the art of copywriting. If this type of copy was working en masse then we all must be a gullible lot.
There were other disturbing things as well. Like how at the end of every chapter the author marketed his own product (CopyThatSellsBook.com) and the "free" membership to his resource of templates and tutorials (in exchange for your email address of course). The constant self-promotion was really off-putting and made me feel like asking him "Oga, can't I just read your book in peace?"
That said, I can't knock any of his advice because I haven't tried it yet. The end of the book actually does issue a challenge to try at least one tip from his book and see how it goes... but, to be honest, I'd rather not. Maybe I’ll come back to it someday.
How to Write Copy that Sells
Full of Copywriting Advice but Rubbed me the wrong way.