The 10 Commandments of Copywriting
Over half a century ago, G. Lynn Sumners, who created the classic Harry & David Fortune magazine ad ("Imagine Harry & Me Advertising Our Pears in Fortune!"), put forth these 10 rules for writing winning advertisements – all of which are still applicable today:
- Learn all about your proposition before you write anything about it.
- Organize your material from the viewpoint of the buyer's interests, not yours.
- Decide to whom you are writing.
- Keep it simple.
- Use meaningful words and phrases—words that stir the emotions, make the mouth water, make the heart beat faster.
- Don't try to be funny. Remember, the most serious of all operations is separating a man from his money.
- Make your copy specific—names, places, what happens to whom.
- Prove your points.
- Make copy long enough to tell your story—and quit.
- Give your reader something to do and make it easy for him to do it.