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What Is Copywriting?

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27 replies to this topic

#16 mgpdirect


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Posted 14 August 2003 - 01:56 PM

Hey, mgpdirect, could you be more specific! :)

Just kidding...


Only if you force me, Jill.

BTW, I'm a huge fan of your stuff.

Roberta Rosenberg

#17 Jill


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Posted 14 August 2003 - 02:07 PM



#18 Randy


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Posted 17 August 2003 - 09:00 PM

hmm... interesting question Karon.

To me copywriting (for the web anyway) is:

Writing which grabs the attention of the reader right off the bat and leads them down a path of discovery. It takes them from Introduction (to the writer or product/service); through Justification (why should they even care about what you sell or have to say?); and most importantly connects with the reader in such a way as to produce the desired emotional response when you ask them to take action.

The key to effective copy in my mind has always been that it should evoke some type of emotional response. But you can't get to the end of the journey without taking a stroll down the path of discovery.


#19 copywriter


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Posted 18 August 2003 - 06:58 AM

True, Randy. Good thoughts. Just like the buying process (need recognition, investigation, evaluation, purchase and - sometimes - buyer's regret) or the ever-popular AIDA (attention, interest, desire, action).

Both these models work hand-in-hand to help copywriters build sales copy of all types.

Copywriting, however, also includes writing to get other responses besides sales. In those cases, the models might differ a bit, but they mental and emotional processes of the reader "pretty much" remain the same.

#20 mcanerin


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Posted 18 August 2003 - 10:26 PM

IMHO, I've always considered a definition that applies to almost everything and anything to be fairly useless. When someone uses a term, it should evoke some sort of specific concept - otherwise, why use it?

For example, if I typed "copywriting" into a search engine, I wouldn't expect to get back (for example) a link to Moby Dick.

I'd expect to see results related to the art of using words to persuade, rather than to entertain, provoke, or inform. It's possible to persuade through entertainment, provocation and/or information, but I personally consider "copywriting" to be a sub-set of the above, not a separate catagory.

Just my thoughts,


#21 copywriter


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Posted 19 August 2003 - 07:28 AM

I agree with you. By "other responses" I mean that copywriting is also written to cause readers to take other actions besides making a purchase. (I.e., subscribing to a free ezine, signing up for a free autoresponder message series, enrolling in a free teleclass and countless other actions involving no cost to them.)

#22 Precious


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Posted 13 November 2006 - 04:33 PM

Copywriting = words that make you think, and lead you to take action.

#23 Hank Cowdog

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Posted 13 November 2006 - 05:38 PM

QUOTE(Vertster @ Aug 7 2003, 10:51 AM)
I would add to the definition:

"Writing with the intent of persuading the reader to a pre-determined end" 

I see, so it's like directions to my house? biggrin.gif

Seriously, though, I would call copywriting: "The written word targeted at an audience for commercial purposes"

#24 copywriter


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Posted 14 November 2006 - 09:35 AM

...commercial purposes

Uh.... not always commercial. What about copywriting for nonprofits? Or copywriting for charitable organizations? tongue.gif

#25 sheriw


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Posted 19 November 2006 - 03:55 PM

I agree, that not all copywriting is commercial, but it often used to generate revenues, even for nonprofits; or to generate sales leads (i.e. someone picking up the phone, and calling).

#26 lyn


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Posted 19 November 2006 - 04:38 PM

... for marketing purposes?

I remember a seminar I attended many many moons ago in which the presenter said "the purpose of the copywriter is to direct revenues to the organization."

Through his presentation, it was clear that any writing activity that contributed to the buying process would qualify, ie, it doesn't have to result in an immediate sale. Copy that builds brand recognition and loyalty or that that helps to build preference for the product is all part of the process that directs revenue to the organization. For the sake of the non-profits, I wouldn't have a problem with wrapping "revenues" around whatever currency the organization values - votes, loyalty, attitudes...


#27 Leilah


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Posted 23 November 2006 - 07:05 AM

A copywriter should be able to effectively and clearly evoke a feeling or convey a thought using written words.

i think that's an awesome definition goodjob.gif

#28 copywriter


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Posted 23 November 2006 - 07:29 AM

Welcome Leilah hi.gif

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