Writing copy—especially direct-response copy—can be a humbling experience.
It’s not unusual to write a set of ads, start showing them in the marketplace, and watch 80 percent of them bomb. And then the ad you were sure was the weakest of the bunch turns out to be a winner.
Even the name of this website amounts to a wager that most people will respond better to a simple, descriptive name than one that’s overly clever. In short, when you’re promoting your products and services, the clarity, precision and quality of your copywriting counts. Copy may not carry as much weight as your email list, but it can have a significant impact on your marketing results.
Hi I’m Bill, the writer behind CopywriterSite. I’m going to be a little coy about my last name here because some of my clients would be annoyed if they saw this site.
Editorial and marketing executives call us when they need help solving the following kinds of challenges:
• Pressure due to a large volume of writing projects
• Stress from trying to find a writer who can describe complex products in plain English
• Frustration about content that isn’t connecting with customers and prospects
• Aggravation over copy that's off strategy.
If any of these issues sound familiar to you, maybe we should talk.
What we believe about copywriting:
The number one job of copywriting is to shorten the sales process. In David Ogilvy’s words, “If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative.”
Words sell. While we care about design, in our experience it’s the words that do the selling. Words describe the solutions your company offers. And words convince people to act.
Keep it simple. We’re big believers in making things just as simple as possible for customers. It’s worth the extra time and effort to boil ideas down to their essence.
Buying decisions are emotional. Copy should reflect this reality.
Research is an asset. Carefully designed market research can reveal valuable customer insights.
Test the big things. Focus on the items that can really move the needle.
A Creative (or Marketing) Brief is worth the work. People often think they don’t have time to prepare a Creative Brief. However, a tremendous amount of time and effort can be saved with good planning up front.
When it comes to judging copy, the only opinions that really count are the ones that belong to your prospects. When you place an ad in the market, potential customers will let you know if the message
is on target.
Bill has written thousands of marketing communications that persuaded prospects to become customers. Or strengthened relationships with current customers. Or won back ex-customers. He knows how to work with colleagues and vendors to deliver tailored solutions that get results. In short, Bill:
Is consistently recognized for developing simple solutions to complex communication problems
Wrote marketing materials that pulled in millions of dollars in new balances
Has helped grow brands including Dreyfus, iHeart Media, LexisNexis, McGraw-Hill, OppenheimerFunds, Scholastic, Standard & Poor’s, TIAA, Value Line and more.
Bill got his start in the publishing business. The role combined marketing (writing book flaps, catalogs and packaging) and public relations (getting new titles reviewed in the New York and national media). Then he moved to the advertising agency world where he got experience in subscription marketing.
His next job was in the marketing department at Standard & Poor’s. He worked there for more than seven years, helping to sell subscriptions to individual and professional investors. He also developed materials to sell ad space in S&P publications.
After that, he became employee number three at a public relations agency that was destined to grow quickly. This job gave Bill great exposure to the world of PR and publicity. But he missed the advertising business and decided to return to his marketing roots. So, he joined a mid-sized advertising agency where he helped grow companies including Dreyfus mutual funds, Lexis-Nexis, Scotts Lawn Care and more.
Next, Bill moved to a Fortune 100 financial services company, writing marketing materials for college savings plans, life insurance, mutual funds and retirement plans.
These days, Bill is providing copywriting, editing and marketing consulting services to a variety of financial, government, nonprofit and publishing clients.
Difference: Brain-friendly Copy
After many years in marketing and communications, Bill has developed a process to create Brain-friendly Copy. To get your message across, he combines insights from cognitive science, linguistics, and marketing. An outline of his method follows.
Simplify concepts as much as possible. Bill boils complex ideas down to their essence. That’s because when ideas are too complicated, your prospects will struggle (or worse, sink into paralysis).
Streamline every sentence. Bill uses insights from linguistics to construct sentences and paragraphs that are easy to understand.
Employ analogies, metaphors and stories because they make it easy for the brain to grasp—and remember—important ideas about your products and services.
Align with human psychology. Bill develops copy that works with your customers’ natural mental habits.
These days, many customers and prospects are busy, distracted, and just plain stressed out. In this challenging environment, Brain-friendly Copy is engineered to attract and hold the attention of your audiences.
The services Bill offers include copywriting, content creation and editing. The industries we know best are financial services and publishing. We also have experience in accounting, education, insurance, legal services, software and more.
Good business writing and copywriting require an ability to both see the big picture and attend to the details. In everything we write, we aim to build in the following qualities:
a strong start
an appropriate persuasion strategy
the right tone
In other words, we devote a lot of thought, time and energy to getting your company’s written messages right from the start.
You get copy to attract, retain, and/or win back customers. We bring experience writing advertisements, direct mail, email, newsletters, press releases, social media, thought leadership articles and web site content to the table.
When you need to have written material readied for publication, we clarify obscure passages, eliminate irrelevant ideas, remove errors and sequence ideas to achieve a smooth flow.
“Bill’s copywriting skills, especially on complicated, technically oriented business-to-business assignments…have made significant contributions to client-agency relationships.”
—J.B., Managing Director, Direct Marketing
“Bill consistently produces high quality deliverables that achieve the desired results. He has an extremely high level of attention to detail, and always utilizes that skill to improve results.”
—B.W., Editorial Services Manager
“I worked with Bill for many years and he is an astonishingly talented copywriter and creative strategist. His insight goes beyond mere technical proficiency to pinpointing what does and doesn’t work and what can and can’t work with a particular piece of creative. What’s more, Bill is equally at home in the digital space as he is in the traditional ink and paper world. He is thorough, becomes fully versed in his subject matter, and delivers exceptional work on time and on budget.”
—K.M., Senior Associate, Creative Services
...and what it’s like to work with Bill
“Bill understands and communicates the necessity of change to enhance [the company’s]business practices and results. He readily adapts to new requirements and is flexible in meeting changed objectives.”
—S.B., Editorial Services Manager
“Bill’s greatest strengths are his in-depth knowledge of [the company’s] products and his well-honed interpersonal skills. He is a man of high integrity who is always willing to help others and always follows through on his commitments. He focuses on doing the best job possible.”
—L.S., Marketing Manager
You don’t have to take our word for it.
Over the years, colleagues and managers have frequently praised Bill for his writing skills. A sampling follows:
You may be interested in the following resources to build a solid marketing foundation and/or stay on top of current on trends.
Copy Hackers Where startups, growth marketers and copywriters master how to write persuasive copy. www.CopyHackers.com
MarketingProfs’ training programs, online events, conferences and free resources help individuals, small teams, and large organizations execute marketing campaigns that drive business results. www.MarketingProfs.com
MarketingSherpa reports on stories of customer-first marketing giving marketers the stats, inspiration and instructions to improve their results. www.MarketingSherpa.com
Adweek Performance Marketing covers everything from marketing automation and direct mail best practices to email and content marketing. www.Adweek.com
An assortment of classic texts and recent titles. Each one packs a lot of insights.
Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug
How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor Schwab
Influence by Robert Cialdini
On Advertising by David Ogilvy
Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins
Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples
The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out from the Crowd by Allan Dib
The Copywriter’s Handbook: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing Copy that Sells by Robert W. Bly
This Is Marketing by Seth Godin