10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part Two

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2. Care deeply about results.

While being able to exhibit a high degree of creativity may be important to the success of a copywriter, achieving the highest possible ROI is usually imperative, certainly in direct marketing, the industry in which I earn my livelihood.

My brethren and I work with the understanding that the purpose of most campaigns is to promote sales of a product or service, not the copywriter’s ability to turn a clever phrase. It’s nice to win awards. But what really counts is winning over your audience, those who are hopefully hanging on your every single word.

Yes, what the most successful copywriters really care about is convincing those on the receiving end of their communications to take action in some way, shape or form such as picking up the phone, filling out a form, clicking on a link or passing the word along to a friend. What they want more than anything are leads, orders, referrals and repeat business.

But that’s not to say good creative and great results have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, many times they go hand in hand.

For instance, in the early ’90s, I wrote a direct mail package for Science News magazine that featured the following teaser on the outside envelope…

Electricity so powerful it shocks a heart-attack victim back to life…

Whales so hungry they take a bite out of the beach…

Grasshoppers so smart they change coats to beat the heat…

And other things that will make you go “hmmm”…

SNIncluding that last line – the name of a well-known hit song by C+C Music Factory as well as an expression that late-night talk show, Arsenio Hall, used in his monologues – on the envelope was a demonstration of creativity that more than paid off. After all, this package brought in literally thousands of subscription orders during the few years it reigned as a control for Science News and was eventually honored by the New England Direct Marketing Association with a first place award

This is the second in a 10-post series on how to succeed as a copywriter. Over the course of the next few months, I’ll publish the balance of the series, one post at a time (not necessarily consecutively), here on my blog, A New Marketing Commentator. Please stay tuned. And if you have any feedback on this series for me, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment or click “like” below. Thanks.

Previous Posts in This Series

10 Ways to Succeed as a Copywriter, Part One
Dare to be different.

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