What is good copy?

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What is good copy?

There are plenty of people in the sales & marketing milieus that have no idea about what a copywriter is or what one does. There are also plenty of small business owners that have no idea either.

My Dad was a novelist & owned a weekly newspaper in New York which included editorials, political articles, a cartoon, and breaking stories that transpired in The Apple.  He was not a copywriter. He was a writer of fiction and essays with a talent for brilliant headlines. He lived amongst the great writers like Richard Wright, Ralph Ellison and James Baldwin.


Let’s talk about copy:

Writing an article or telling a story is different than writing copy to sell a product or service. Copy comes in the form of persuasion with words on a homepage or on a websites landing page to induce a customer to take action to opt-in, download a white paper, or place an order online.

Copy is not an essay, or a personal story like a daily journal. Good copy sounds natural like a conversation with a good friend. Copy doesn’t sound pushy or talks down to the reader.

Above all else good copy sells.  Copy is about tone. Is your copy snarky or funny? Good copy makes the reader feel as if the product or service is made just for them. Copy makes the reader feel like the product could very well make them a better version of themselves.

Who wouldn’t want that?

I think about the supplements I purchase monthly online and why I continue to stay with the company. It’s the copy…that’s what keeps me coming back. 72-hour promo sales…new product launches…the first ever charity…all written to entice & seduce me into buying.

When copy is well written it is one of the most powerful written writing tools I have ever encountered. Good copy appeals to your emotions first then handles customer objections with pure logic.

In the final analysis, good copy is something we should all strive for in our emails, text messages, and anything else communication-related.



How to Audit A Marketing Brochure

I stopped by a restaurant last month to pick up some take out at the local Italian place. I eyed the brochure holder and scooped up a couple of brochures as I headed back to the car.

Later that evening I read over the financial brochure. The top cover of the tri-fold brochure claimed that in 30 minutes they could change your life. From the outset, I was skeptical about the brochure’s claims but I opened the brochure anyway.




On the left folder, I saw a smiling young happy family was portrayed and under the picture, the copy read that it’s always safe to save for a rainy day. Most people don’t do this.

The company offers a free Financial Analysis to determine your current financial situation.

Just about anyone with debt can qualify for the FA (financial analysis) and once the analysis is done it then gets broken down into 5 basic sections:

  • Debt Solutions
  • Saving For Retirement
  • Education Funding
  • Income Protection
  • Building Your Financial Future


The brochure goes on to explain that the process is easy and all that is required is to have all financial documents on hand to begin the process:

  • Recent paycheck stubs
  • Checkbook register
  • Mortgage statements


The next paragraph same page states that the company is dedicated to families

I read the next page and it said the same thing as before: “30 minutes is all it takes to get on the road to changing your financial situation and your life”

The last page also reminds the customer that your spouse or significant other should be present for the appointment.

The last page shows the agent name and contact information

Here are some of the problems with the brochure copy:



The copy is not focused on the customer. You want to make sure your copy focuses on the readers wants.

“30 Minutes Could Change Your Life” is not an enticing headline for a brochure

Your Life Could Change in 30 minutes sounds more alluring & seductive if you want to draw in readers to your brochure.

You as a copywriter should always care about the reader. If the copywriter really cared about the reader more of the sentences would begin with the first word you.

I guarantee you that most readers of the brochure are thinking “What’s in it for me” or “So what”. The copy is full of fluff or warm-up copy.

The brochure rarely tackled customer objections to the program on the whole. Your copy should tackle customer objections because your reader will hesitate. Maybe the price is too high maybe the reader is unaware that the solution you offer can help them.

The copy lacked specificity as far as the number of people in financial debt, the amount of money it cost to retire comfortably, the average cost of a college education, etc.…

Your copy needs to be specific with examples.

Without specificity, the copy sounds bland and not credible.


Here’s an overview of the five basic sections and the information you’ll receive from each:”

Why wasn’t the word five written as the number 5? Hmm…the number wording technique is basic copywriting 101. Number wording will catch the eye of the reader and hopefully, the writer has a compelling statistic or fact to add credibility to the written number.



There were no Calls To Action on any page of the copy. The mere fact there were no calls to action in a company brochure is a copywriting crime!

You have to tell your reader what to do. Your reader awaits instruction whether it be to opt-in for a mailing list, download a report, or make a purchase.

There were plenty of opportunities in the financial brochure to make the copy more appealing, compelling, and interesting.

This only goes to show me that there are plenty of opportunities for copywriters to write compelling copy for companies to fix their marketing messages in their brochures.

Whenever you approach a project think about the reader and that people are busy and are more distracted than ever.

With that in mind write seductive brochure copy that will make your reader want to read more and more. Stay customer focused. You should always read the brochure copy through the eyes of the reader.

Care about your reader and I guarantee you that your efforts will pay off down the road when writing compelling engaging copy.


Carl Offord