Ad Copy Inspection - Cover These
Copyright © 2005 Daniel Levis
You’re ready to launch that new product or promotion, & you’re really
counting on a piece of advertising copy to come through for you.
You’re looking for stellar results! And, you’re determined to do
everything in your power to get them. Which means surveys, thorough
testing, and ongoing refinement of your ad copy.
Hold the phone!
When you’ve got your draft, run it through this 12-point inspection.
Cover off these basics, and you can be sure you’re off to a running
1 – Do You Have A Compelling Headline?
Does it generate curiosity or envy? Does it promise a benefit that will
compel someone with an interest in what you’re selling to keep reading.
Remember, your headline is the ad for the ad.
When I am being paid to write direct response ad copy, or a sales
letter, or have a very important sales objective of my own, I normally
write 25 headlines before I begin the body of the piece.
Then I’ll pick half a dozen that I think will work & test them. The best
of the rest, I use as sub headings throughout the piece to propel
readership, and draw skimmers & skippers back into the copy as they move
down the page.
2 – Are Your Headlines Pleasing To The Eye?
I most often find that headlines work best when they are centered on the
page, & present a balanced appearance in terms of the shape they create.
Encasing them in quotation marks also serves to grab more attention.
Long top headlines tend to reduce readership, but if they help qualify
more effectively they can improve sales! Try them, but look for ways to
modularize the text using punctuation & spacing so your readers don’t
suffocate trying to read them. Sometimes a long top headline is better
presented as two or even three separate headlines.
3 – Is Your Opening Provocative & Arresting?
Does it trip the reader, interrupting the internal turbulence of the
day? Each line of your ad copy must serve to “sell” the reader on
continued reading, especially at the beginning.
You are looking to build enough momentum & interest to convey the points
necessary to generate a greater desire for the product than it’s price.
Generally speaking, the higher the cost of the product, the more words
4 – Are You FAB Balanced?
You must focus on painting a picture of your prospects future life, as a
result of their purchase. Does your copy promise emotional benefits?
Does it pledge the realization of positive feelings, or the relief of
Does it show how these outcomes are achieved with concise descriptions
of the features & advantages that will deliver them? Your ad copy must
strike a balance between emotion & logic if it is to be effect.
5 – Are You Creating Excitement & Enthusiasm?
Demonstrate your personal belief in what you are selling. Will your
message quicken the readers pulse? Is it upbeat, positive, & full of
inspired energy? Is there a sense of WOW?
6 – Is Your Body Copy Highly Readable?
Remember simple is best. Keep sentences short. Use a plain 10-point to
12-point font. Paragraphs no more than a few lines. Words that are
comfortable & specific to the audience you are targeting. Inject
subheads to break up text. Highlight important points.
7 – Do You Have High YOU density?
Remember to you use the words YOU & YOUR to the hilt. Your reader is
auto translating to ME & MINE.
8 – Are you speaking intimately?
Can you get a strong sense of personality when you review your letter
after being away from it for a while? Visualize yourself, or the
character you are personifying, writing a personal letter to your
perfect prospect. Never write to a crowd.
9 – Are you inspiring the readers imagination?
You must trigger mental images with your writing. The mind has
difficulty distinguishing between vividly painted word pictures, &
reality. Daydreams enchant, & emotions flow in their wake.
When you have emotion, you have desire. When you have desire, you have
suggestibility. When you have suggestibility, you can direct action.
Your levers are allegory (storytelling), metaphor, similes, verbs,
adjectives, & specificity.
10 – Do you offer proof?
Specific testimonials & convincing guarantees worked into your ad copy
11 – Is your offer irresistible?
People are greedy, & they don’t part with their money easily. Are you
piling bonuses on top of your reasons why they should part with their
hard earned money, in exchange for immediate action?
12 – And finally, do you have a killer P.S.?
For some reason, the P.S. at the bottom of a sales letter gets read a
lot. Make it stop your reader in their tracks, like a deer in the
headlights! Associate a positive outcome with taking the desired action,
or a negative one with delay or inaction.
So there you have it. Exercise this 12-step ad copy checklist before
your sales rubber hits the road.
Daniel Levis is a top marketing consultant & direct response copywriter
based in Toronto Canada. Recently, Daniel & world-renowned publicist &
copywriter Joe Vitale teamed up to co author “Million Dollar Online
Advertising Strategies – From The Greatest Letter Writer Of The 20th
Century!”, a tribute to the late, great Robert Collier. Let the
legendary Robert Collier show you how to write words that sell...Visit
the below site & get 3 FREE Chapters!