Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Cole Schafer, the master/sensei of copywriting. For anyone who doesn’t know who Cole is, he runs the famous creative writing shop called Honey Copy, make-no-mistake, a six-figure revenue business, where he teaches copywriting and has a particular course for freelance copywriters. Be it going viral on medium or writing copies that raised huge funds on Kickstarter, or helping product launches, or copywriting billboards–he is someone who has pretty much done at all.
And if you have been listening to our friend Christopher Lochhead‘s Podcast – Lochhead on Marketing, then you must have heard of Cole at least a hundred times.
This post encapsulates the learnings from my interview with Cole Schafer on The ABM Conversations Podcast.
Before we start: What is copywriting?
Copywriting is the art of writing a copy. A copy can be anything ranging from a web page to sales promotion materials to ad copies to marketing materials for products, services, fundraising campaigns, and more.
The point of any copy is to persuade the reader to take action. In other words, make the targeted audience respond to the Call to Action (CTA). Again, the requested action can range from sharing the email address to downloading an ebook to buying something to donating money for a cause, and more.
Copywriting is one of the most critical components of marketing, sales and advertising. Having had the opportunity to converse with a master copywriter, I wanted to document my understanding of the subject and improve my writing skills.
In this post, I try to cover most things, starting from headlines to writing styles to tone of voice to CTAs. I hope reading this is a good use of your time.
The approach for writing headlines that work
Everyone has an opinion about what should be the headline’s idea, what emotion should it evoke, who should it talk to, etc. And we’ve all seen headlines that are 1-2 words and also ones that have about 18 to 20 words. And then there are tools like Sharethrough that give you a headline score.
Cole recommends that everyone follows the 20% rule when it comes to copywriting headlines. And what that essentially means is when you’re sitting down to write an email, a sales letter, a web page, make sure that you are spending 20% of the time you took to write the full copy to come up with a good headline.
There’s a sort of this phenomenon, or something about the human condition, where we assume that if we put a lot of time and work into copywriting something or creating something, then the world will sort of telepathically know that we had put in the hard work and that they owe us to read it or watch it or list