Sei sulla pagina 1di 7

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

KISSmetrics

HomeOgilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells KISSmetrics About KISSmetrics http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

About7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells KISSmetrics Home KISSmetrics http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/ David

KISSmetrics7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells KISSmetrics Home About http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/ David Ogilvy’s 7

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells By Nathan Hangen on Sep 24, 2010

By Nathan Hangen on Sep 24, 2010 16 Comments

David Ogilvy is an advertising legend.

517
517

Share

221

Often described as the “Original Mad Man,” and “The Father of Advertising,”

Ogilvy is known largely for his advertising work while serving as the founder of Ogilvy & Mather. In addition to building a multibillion dollar company, he also helped create

hugely successful campaigns for clients such as Dove, Shell, and Rolls-Royce.

If you spend any amount of time reading or watching David, you’re sure to be inspired to write better copy, so I’d encourage you to read his book or watch some of the videos floating around the web. In the meantime though, I’d like to present you with what I believe to be the best of Ogilvy’s arsenal:

1. Go Big or Go Home

Don’t bunt. Aim out of the ball park. Aim for the company of immortals. -David Ogilvy

The product you represent is depending on you, and if you allow yourself to take shortcuts or present a less than compelling argument, then you’ve failed. As an entrepreneur or business owner, you simply cannot afford bad copy. If you cannot achieve perfection on your own, then you should hire someone who can.

2. Do Your Homework

Advertising people who ignore research are as dangerous as generals who ignore decodes of enemy signals. -David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

Ogilvy spent years working for George Gallup, founder of the Gallup Poll, and it was during this time that he realized the true value that comes with knowing exactly what your target audience is thinking.

You cannot write copy unless you know:

Who you’re writing it foraudience is thinking. You cannot write copy unless you know: How that person thinks What that

How that person thinkswrite copy unless you know: Who you’re writing it for What that person needs If you

What that person needsyou know: Who you’re writing it for How that person thinks If you haven’t done your

If you haven’t done your research, then you’re simply faking it, and it’s that type of copy that gets marketers in trouble, either with the government or with their boss.

To write great copy, you need to understand your audience to the letter, so that you know how you can best serve them. Nothing else will do.

3. Never Talk down to Your Customers

A consumer is not a moron. She’s your wife. Don’t insult her intelligence, and don’t shock her.

-David Ogilvy

This is a great Ogilvy quote (for the video, click here), speaking on behalf of consumers everywhere. As great as your product may be, speaking down to your audience is going to turn them away, and as much as you’d love them to be infatuated with your charming pitch, understand that, at the end of the day, they simply want to solve a problem.

Treat your customer with respect and dignity. You’re on equal footing, or perhaps a bit lower, considering you’re the one who needs the sale. Reflect that position in your copy.

4. The Headline is 80%

On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar. -David Ogilvy

Headlines are as close to a magic bullet as you’re going to get, and if you’re going to be perfect in only once place, do it here. Write a strong headline that works.

Here’s how:

Use headline templates , which are based on headlines that have worked in the past headline templates, which are based on headlines that have worked in the past

Lead with a strong benefit , making them want to read more strong benefit, making them want to read more

If you can, split test different headlines to see what works best split test different headlines to see what works best

5. Don’t Get Distracted from Making the Sale

If it doesn’t sell, it isn’t creative. -David Ogilvy

Couldn’t be more true. Marketers love to be cute and funny, original and innovative, but it’s also dangerous.

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

People don’t set aside time to read ads; they are probably in a hurry, just taking a quick glance before they move on to something else. If your point isn’t immediately obvious, chances are they won’t get it, and you’ll lose them forever.

If you want people to buy, you need them to see your product in their hands and be able to envision how it’ll improve their lives. Everything else is secondary. If you can awe them with your words in the process, fine, but don’t do it at the expense of the sale.

6. Explain Why They Should Buy

The more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be. -David Ogilvy

You’ve hooked them with the headline, and you’re telling them all about the product, but before they decide to buy from you, they want to know one thing:

Why?

Why is the product important? Why is it a good deal? Why should they be interested? Why should they buy it from you? Why should they buy it now, rather than later? Why should they trust you?

Consciously or subconsciously, all of those questions are going through a customer’s head. If you want them to act, you need to answer them, and that means making your copy informative.

7. Your Copy Is Important. Treat It That Way.

Like a midwife, I make my living bringing new babies into the world, except that mine are new advertising campaigns. -David Ogilvy

All too often, business owners treat their sales copy like an afterthought. They scribble down a few notes, have someone check it to make sure it’s grammatically correct, and send it out. Then they wonder why it doesn’t get results.

David Ogilvy, on the other hand, looked at each of his campaigns like his babies. He nurtured them, fought for them, helped them develop. And he produced some of the best-selling campaigns in the history of advertising.

The truth is, writing great copy takes time and energy. Some of the best copywriters will spend weeks just crafting the headline, and they might take months to write the body copy.

It’s not because they’re slow. It’s because they know the importance of getting it right.

Are you committed to that type of excellence?

If not, you should be.

About the Author: Nathan Hangen is an entrepreneur, author, and co-founder of the Fountainhead Society.

If you enjoyed this post, subscribe for updates (it's free).

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

Enter your name:

Enter your email:

Writing Copy That Sells Enter your name: Enter your email: JOIN! http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/ Will today
Writing Copy That Sells Enter your name: Enter your email: JOIN! http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/ Will today

JOIN!

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

Will today be business as usual? Or would you like to finally increase Sign-Ups, Conversions

16 Comments

Make a comment »

1. @TheGirlPie Sep 24, 2010 at 8:38 am

A nice, simple breakdown of the basics that I know but can’t always explain to people who don’t get it — I’ll just send ‘em here! Thanks.

Reply

2. Nathan Hangen - Digital Emperor Sep 24, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Thanks, I learned a lot just writing this. Ogilvy certainly earned my respect. We need more like him.

Reply

3. Mike Korner Sep 24, 2010 at 1:38 pm

Great article Nathan. Ogilvy is a hero for those who hear about “good enough” and want to puke.

“Some of the best copywriters will spend weeks just crafting the headline, and they might take months to write the body copy.” In a recent article on Copyblogger, Jon Morrow suggested that spending less than an hour on each post is one warning sign that your content might suck. He also said that most of the popular bloggers he knows spend anywhere from 2 to 10 hours on each blog post they write, and suggested that “If you’re not, you should be.” Jon’s comment caused strife for several people so I’m pretty sure some of them just fell over dead after reading Ogilvy’s words.

Thanks for bringing Ogilvy into the conversation.

Reply

4. Christine Livingston Sep 25, 2010 at 5:02 am

Loved your article, Nathan.

You’ve used the term “sales copy” throughout. I wonder how many bloggers actually see their

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

posts that way but, unless you’re just blogging for the sheer hell of it, most bloggers are trying to use their writing to inspire a connection and hence the sale of some kind of product or other. Right?

I’m certainly taking a lot away here in terms of mine!

Reply

5. Michael Leahy Sep 27, 2010 at 7:57 am

I read the book, and can really recommend it. Of course things have changed since he wrote it, but people haven’t!

Reply

6. Joe Winn Sep 27, 2010 at 10:43 am

Great post. Another point Ogilvy drove home in “Ogilvy on Advertising” is to always make a promise in your copy. Believe it was in one of the later chapters when he said something to this effect, “Always make a promise in your copy. If you take one thing away from this book, I hope it’s that. Seems simple and yet you wouldn’t believe how many ads have no promise whatsoever.”

Reply

7. Justin Norris Sep 27, 2010 at 11:44 am

Very useful post, thanks Nathan.

The great thing about principles like these is that they are as relevant today as when they were first articulated.

Point #2 about research is especially important and it seems not always well-understood out there. Too often we write things for ourselves and not based on what the audience actually wants.

Reply

8. Lucho Lalev Oct 18, 2010 at 1:30 am

Works not only for copy writing!

Reply

9. Hammer Nov 25, 2010 at 9:29 am

Points #2, #3 are mandatory for any copywriter or even they can be called the Golden Rules. #4 is often the Grey Area, tough to reach the target customer.

Anyways nice post, looking forward for other reader comments.

Reply

Have something to say?

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

Your name:

Your email address:

Website:

Your name: Your email address: Website: Your comment: Add comment Get email updates (it’s free)
Your name: Your email address: Website: Your comment: Add comment Get email updates (it’s free)
Your name: Your email address: Website: Your comment: Add comment Get email updates (it’s free)

Your comment:

Add comment

name: Your email address: Website: Your comment: Add comment Get email updates (it’s free) Enter your

Get email updates (it’s free)

Enter your name:

Add comment Get email updates (it’s free) Enter your name: Enter your email: JOIN! Will today

Enter your email:

updates (it’s free) Enter your name: Enter your email: JOIN! Will today be business as usual?

JOIN!

Will today be business as usual? Or would you like to finally

Most popular posts

7 Tips and Marketing Strategies for the New Facebook Fan Pagesas usual? Or would you like to finally Most popular posts The Downtime Survival Guide Why

The Downtime Survival GuideTips and Marketing Strategies for the New Facebook Fan Pages Why Are 98% Of Your Visitors

Why Are 98% Of Your Visitors Not Signing Up For Your Site?for the New Facebook Fan Pages The Downtime Survival Guide True Colors - Breakdown of Color

True Colors - Breakdown of Color Preferences by GenderWhy Are 98% Of Your Visitors Not Signing Up For Your Site? The Evolution of Web

The Evolution of Web DesignSite? True Colors - Breakdown of Color Preferences by Gender A Beginner’s Guide to A/B Testing:

A Beginner’s Guide to A/B Testing: Effective SEO Landing Pagesof Color Preferences by Gender The Evolution of Web Design What Should You Test On Your

What Should You Test On Your Landing Pages For Maximum Conversions?Guide to A/B Testing: Effective SEO Landing Pages © 2011 KISSmetrics. All rights reserved.

© 2011 KISSmetrics. All rights reserved. info@kissmetrics.com

Measured by KISSmetrics

Blog •

David Ogilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells

About •

KISSmetricsOgilvy’s 7 Tips for Writing Copy That Sells About • http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/ Improve your

http://blog.kissmetrics.com/david-ogilvy/

Improve your conversions with A/B testing

Just enter your name and email and we’ll send you a free copy of our Beginner’s Guide to Google Website Optimizer

Your name:

Your email:

copy of our Beginner’s Guide to Google Website Optimizer Your name: Your email: No Thanks 7
copy of our Beginner’s Guide to Google Website Optimizer Your name: Your email: No Thanks 7
copy of our Beginner’s Guide to Google Website Optimizer Your name: Your email: No Thanks 7

No Thanks