Dear LDCC Comrade,
Welcome to DAY 2 of 5.
Hope you have a pen and notepad handy!
Not a part of the LDCC yet? Free copy cheat sheet here.
So, I’m sitting here at home, notes in hand, wondering how to introduce everything we have to talk about. I’m sure after these next few lines, I will find some direction.
This brings up a point that Gary makes often throughout his letters.
If you are unsure what to write, just start by starting… Your creativity will begin to flow as soon as your fingers hit the keyboard.
Worry about concision AFTER your first draft.
I think I’ll start off by saying this is one of my favorite lessons of this course. It comes from one of my favorite books on copywriting… Advertising Secrets of the Written Word by Joe Sugarman. (Hence the subject line).
Writing with gravity
Now, what does Sugarman mean by “write with gravity?”
Well, contrary to content writing… In copy, It’s the responsibility of the writer to hold the attention of the reader. Not the other way around.
We write content to teach. This email, for example, is content.
In content, it’s the responsibility of the READER to be attentive. And take as much from the page as possible.
In copy however, the responsibility of attention falls on you. It’s our job to keep prospect’s eyes glued to the page.
In content, we give “hows.” In copy… We give “whats.” And never compromise the tension by answering the “hows.”
I’ll expand on this in a future insight letter, but I’m going to stick to Sugarman here.
HOW do you write with gravity?
Think of your copy as a “slippery slide.”
“Every element must be so compelling… That you find yourself falling down a slippery slide… Unable to stop until you reach the end.” – Joe.
By “element,” he means:
- Image text,
ANYTHING on the sales page.
These elements should be ordered and written in a way that makes the reader “fall” through them.
Now, let’s talk purpose.
Tell me what you think of this:
- Heading: Grabs attention and directs it towards the subheading.
- Subheading: Informs the reader further of what lies below.
- Layout: Breaks up an otherwise intimidating wall of text.
- Image: Illustrates the product’s purpose.
- Caption: Describes the image.
- Logo: Establishes credibility.
- Copy: Pitches the product.
Pretty conventional definitions I’d say… The standard definitions.
BUT. Is this how YOU should be writing?
No. No. No.
People don’t buy out of respect towards conventionality in writing. Don’t bore them. We buy because we are compulsive. Emotional.
You HAVE to trigger the irrational desires of your readers. Appeal to their logical side AFTER the first CTA.
This is Sugarman’s secret:
The ONLY purpose of the 1st sentence is to get your reader to read the 2nd sentence
That is it.
That is ALL of copy.
The 1st sentence should be slightly ambiguous. It should create intrigue. It should tease. AND. It should be short. Really short.
Try these for example:
- “Imagine this.”
- “It’s easy.”
- “Give up.”
- “Have you ever…?”
Your first sentence should make them SO CURIOUS… That reading on becomes the ONLY option. They shouldn’t be able to stop.
So. If the purpose of the 1st sentence is to get them to read the 2nd… can you guess the purpose of the 2nd?
You guessed it. To get them to read the 3rd.
1st paragraph? To read the 2nd.
How about the purpose of headings, subheadings, layouts, and graphics? Their only purpose is to get the reader to read the 1st sentence. And thus the 2nd, 3rd and 4th…
EVERY piece of your copy… Should be written SOLELY for this purpose: to get the reader to the next piece of your copy.
You want your readers to “fall” through your copy… and make the ground their buying decision.
Once they’re about 25% down the page, they won’t be able to stop. And, if you can hold the reader’s attention… from the 1st sentence to the pitch… they won’t be able to resist your CTA.
Read tomorrow’s letter for tips on how to hold attention.
In the meantime… Let’s talk about loops.
I first heard this idea from Anik Singal. Check him out.
You know how the episodes to your favorite show end in cliff hangers?
- “Tune in next week to see what happened to so and so.”
- “Did my favorite character just die???”
- “How is so and so gonna get through such and such situation???”
This is why we binge… We can’t help our curiosity.
In fact, quite often, these “loops” aren’t closed until the last episode of a season. So, how can we apply this to copy?
Leave cliff hangers throughout your copy. Open loops and don’t close them. Build tension. Make the reader ask questions. Get their imagination going.
“What is he offering that can do ALL THIS for my life?”
Tension should only be relieved by clicking the CTA.
Don’t answer cliff hangers… or close open loops… until you introduce the product. Close loops too early and you will lose the prospect.
Your product closes ALL the loops for you
See the “homework” section. You’ll want to invest in Sugarman’s book.
I can’t stress enough how important this foundation is:
The purpose of the 1st sentence… Get the reader to the 2nd sentence. Write with gravity. Open loops. Build tension. Only your product should close them. No relief until they click your CTA.
Tomorrow we will go over my copywriting “rules of thumb.” Write them down and stick them above your monitor. Or to your desk.
Also, you will learn a proven formula for writing irresistible copy.
So, stay tuned. DAY 3 will be in your inbox tomorrow at 1 p.m.
>> Go here and rewrite 5 first sentences.
- This is the swipe file of Neville Medhora (a successful copywriter).
- He also has a short booklet called This Book Will Teach You How To Write Better. I recommend it if you’re just starting. It’s $3.
- This book is FILLED with gold. Keep it on your bedside table.
- Study it often.
>> Watch this webinar by Anik Singal. Take notes.
- He begins talking about “open loops” at 16 minutes.
- In fact, you should watch ALL 5 of those sessions.
P.S. Check your inbox tomorrow at 3 p.m. eastern for day 3.