Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The 10 Commandments of Copywriting

Bob Bly's newsletter offers this gem from G. Lynn Sumners, How I Learned the Secrets of Success in Advertising.

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:

  1. Learn all about your proposition before you write anything about it.
  2. Organize your material from the viewpoint of the buyer's interests, not yours.
  3. Decide to whom you are writing.
  4. Keep it simple.
  5. Use meaningful words and phrases—words that stir the emotions, make the mouth water, make the heart beat faster.
  6. Don't try to be funny. Remember, the most serious of all operations is separating a man from his money.
  7. Make your copy specific—names, places, what happens to whom.
  8. Prove your points.
  9. Make copy long enough to tell your story—and quit.
  10. Give your reader something to do and make it easy for him to do it.

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