The Levison Letter

When it comes to copywriting,

it pays to be specific

February, 2013


I got my first copywriting job, back in the late 70s, at a terrific agency in San Francisco called Botsford Ketchum.


One of the first accounts I ever worked on was Mother's Cookies. My boss started me off by having me work on a little ad.


I went to my cubicle, wrote the piece, and took it to him for his comments.


He looked it over and said, "I see you wrote 'more chocolate chips in every cookie.' That's O.K., but it would be better if you had said something like 'two tablespoons of rich chocolate chips in every single cookie.' It's always better to be specific. It adds credibility."


He was absolutely right and I've never forgotten the lesson. When your writing is filled with specific detail, it has a lot more impact.


Let's take a closer look at how much more powerful headlines become when they are specific. I'll crank out a few for us to look at:


GENERAL: Mistakes database marketers make


SPECIFIC: The seven biggest mistakes database marketers 

                make - and how to avoid them!



GENERAL: Important tips for software marketers


SPECIFIC: Three tips for software marketers that                                               can increase revenues 25% or more!


Let's take a look at another way to give energy to a flat sentence. 


EXAMPLE: "Our software can help users find files fast."


Wouldn't it be better to liven things up a bit? How about flipping the sentence this way:


"Want to find any file in under three seconds? Our breakthrough software is just what you're looking for!"


Here are two other examples of how just a few extra words can spice up your copy:


WRONG: DazzlePainter lets you choose from a number

              of colors!


RIGHT:   Only DazzlePainter lets you choose from a

              gorgeous array of over 256 brilliant colors!



WRONG: InstaWill was written by a team of practicing attorneys.


RIGHT:   InstaWill was created by a celebrated team of

              highly respected attorneys - each a leading authority

              on the subject of wills, living trusts, and estate planning.


You see? It's not so hard to add punch to your writing if you put in a little effort.


Instead of trying to do it yourself, how about letting me add the punch for you?


Feel free to get in touch any time if you want to discuss having me write your emails, home page, landing pages, direct mail, and more. Give me a call at (415) 461-0672 or email me right now.


Want to see the kind of results I get for my clients? 


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How to get in touch . . .
Phone: (415) 461-0672
Fax: (415) 461-7738
Visit my Web site


Ivan Levison. Direct Mail, Email & Advertising Copywriting
14 Los Cerros Drive, Greenbrae, CA 94904
Phone (415) 461-0672      Fax: (415) 461-7738

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