If I were interviewing you for an Internet marketing position, and I wanted to get an idea how skilled of a marketer you were, I wouldn’t ask you questions about Adwords, Facebook or analytics. A lot of people know how to use ad platforms and tools. But far too few marketers have any knowledge of foundational marketing principles and TESTED advertising methodologies.
I know exactly what kind of questions I would ask to start an interview. I would want to understand how deep your knowledge is about…
And I’m not talking about grammar or punctuation or even style. Those things don’t matter to me. All that matters is how persuasive you are–can your copy convert?
Most so-called marketers write copy based on “intuition”. They all think if they can just write a clever enough slogan or use a creative enough image, they will have the hearts and minds of every man, woman and child that is exposed to their ads. Upon the pure sight of such a clever slogan or creatively ingenious image, droves of people who were once utterly disinterested will miraculously begin drooling with anticipation of purchasing what you have to sell.
If the ad can only be clever enough. If it can only be witty enough. If it can only be shocking enough.
This is how 95% of marketing professionals think… and why the majority of C-level suites in America still see the marketing department as a cost center.
Clever doesn’t sell. Witty doesn’t sell. Shocking doesn’t sell either.
Developing ads based on your own intuitive sense of what will grab attention is not enough. If you’ve studied copywriting more than a single day, you’ve most certainly studied A.I.D.A.–which stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action.
A.I.D.A. is a sales persuasion guideline to follow when trying best to move someone from the top of the funnel to the bottom–ultimately closing the sale. Traditional salesletters have been used for over a century with terrific success because they take people through the A.I.D.A. process, moving them closer and closer to a sale.
I can’t tell you how many marketers I’ve met that have never studied copywriting. Some don’t even quite understand what the term ‘copywriting’ means. Show them a longform 5-page salesletter with a headline that starts with something like, “Who Else Wants to…” and they’ll mock it as the worst marketing atrocity they’ve ever witnessed–with the most common statement of “No one is ever going to read all that!”, or “I would never buy from a sales page like that!”.
Well, people buy from it, and shame on you for not knowing why.
World famous copywriter and ad man David Ogilvy was quoted as saying, “Direct response advertisers know that short copy doesn’t sell. In split tests, long copy invariably outsells short copy. Long copy sells more than short copy, particularly when you are asking the reader to spend a lot of money. Only amateurs use short copy.”
I don’t want this blog to turn into a diatribe against marketers that scoff long copy, but I bring it up to make a point that there is rampant ignorance amongst marketing professionals in the field of ad copywriting. Marketers are relying on their own intuition to tell them what works–instead of relying on a century’s worth of split test data that shows what works.
So if you are new to Internet marketing, or are looking for a valuable education in traditional, tested copywriting methodologies, I am recommending the following three books for your reading. I truly believe these three books would revolutionize the advertising industry if only every marketer would read them.
Treat yourself to the valuable knowledge in the following books that will surely impact your campaigns now and into the future.
Kevin’s Top 3 Must-Read Copywriting Books:
John Caples does a phenomenal job of teaching you how to write effective headlines and copy based on tested advertising methods. His analysis and teachings will propel your effectiveness in every channel of online marketing, from inbound acquisition channels to landing page optimization.
My personal favorite and my most referenced copywriting “bible” to help me stay on track as I write persuasive copy for landing pages, websites and advertisements. Robert Budoch’s products are exceptional. I highly advise you to own this book.
The infamous David Ogilvy, co-founder of powerhouse ad agency Ogilvy & Mather shares his experience and ad copywriting knowledge. I’ve read this book numerous times and continue to apply many of the tested insights and principles learned from this book.