Sam Saunders (@Samboo73), who we already established is The Most Interesting Copywriter in the World held a keynote speech in Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity: “Become a kick-ass copywriter in 25 minutes”.
You can see the whole presentation below, but we have collected the most useful tips here:
1- Copywriting is an act of seduction
Headlines are pick-up lines. They should be smart, leaving you wanting more.
Every sentence is a date. Every sentence is a bait for the next date.
2- The word “THAT" is almost always redundant
This is a tip I took at heart when writing emails. "That" can be pretty much avoided almost all the time.
3- THINGS should never darken your copy.
Things is often (always?) referred to a better word. Look for that word instead.
4- Don't count words, count syllables.
This is the hardest one in my opinion, but "refrigerator" is 4 syllables while "fridge" is only one. Fridge is faster and better to use, especially in dialogues.
5- Mix visuals with copy
If you use a simple visual, you must have an amazing headline
If you have a crazy visual, you should use a simple headline
6- Avoid -ING words as much as possible
This wasn’t in the deck but he talked about it on Dinglecast podcast:
7- No puns, no word plays.
Self-explanatory. Just, don't.
8- Keep only the most useful parts.
For the structure you can use the upside-down triangle from journalism. Start with the most important, continue with something very important and finish with the important. That’s it. Delete all the bullshit.
9- Start with the emotional and follow with the rational
It's the same as the "Start with Why" book explains. Start with the emotional and follow with the rational. Start with the why and follow with the what.
Creative had an mp3 player before the iPod. Their headline was "5 gigabyte of mp3". Who cares, right?
Apple, 8 months later, came out with the headline: "1000 Songs in your pocket". That's a why, that's emotional. The what (how many gigabytes) can be explained later.
10- Use method concepting
When you write, imagine the brand as a person. Visualise that person. What is she or he wearing? What does she like? What does she listen to? What brand is she loyal to? If you have a clear image in your head then when you write a copy it will make a lot more sense, you'll sound like an actual person, and not like a brand.
*BONUS TIP*- Have different versions of the same copy, you never know when you’ll need it the first version again.
Never delete old version of a copy.
When you write copy, your first draft is possibly not very good but don't delete everything when writing your second draft. You cannot know during the first draft if one precise sentence can be used in the last version. Don't delete any draft. Keep all drafts at least until publishing.
Also this tip wasn't in the deck but we talked about it extensively during our chat: