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16 Tips on Writing Direct Response Copy

Posted by Lauren Hidalgo on Fri, Jun 03, 2011 @ 09:31 AM

Medicare SupplementsJanet Switzer, author of Instant Income: Strategies That Bring in the Cash for Small Businesses, Innovative Employees, and Occasional Entrepreneurs and the adviser of marketing for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, offers advice for writing effective ad copy in the latest issue of InsuranceNewsNet. In the article, she advises agents not to neglect the ad copy in your prospecting verticals. The method she describes is called direct response copy writing in which you provide all information necessary to make a buying decision as well as emotional triggers to assure it’s responded to quickly and in high volume. She states there are 16 components that comprise all direct response sales materials whether that advertisement be a letter, website, brochure or postcard

  1. The Kicker – Get your prospects interested in reading your ad
  2. Headline – The most important benefit of your products or service
  3. Salutation – Personalize your ad or letter with who you are looking to reach
  4. Opening/Lead Paragraph –State why you are writing the article; introduce yourself and mirror the prospect’s situation
  5. Body Copy – State the benefits of your products and services
  6. Internal Sub-Headlines – The most important ideas of your ad, for those skimming to notice and take interest in
  7. Testimonials – Use positive comments from past clients
  8. Offer – Position your product in a compelling way so prospects will want to contact you
  9. Call-to-Action – How should your prospects respond? Give instruction here.
  10. Rationale – Tell your prospects why you are making this offer to them; how it can benefit them
  11. Answer Objections – Answer why your prospects might object to your services based on your experience and provide proof to the contrary
  12. Bullets – List key benefits in an easy to read manner
  13. Upsell – If you have another product to sell (such as Final Expense on a Combo App) let your prospects know about that service as well
  14. The Close – Reminder of how to contact
  15. Signature – Close the letter or ad with your name and position title
  16. Postscript – Repeat your rational, benefits, and how to respond
Switzer says that the most important points to remember are a headline with a provocative title to engage the reader, a sub headline for those skimming the article to entice them to read more and a call to action. She warns that a lot of people carefully craft their copy and then forget to include a strong call to action. Focus on the response you want and gear your writing toward that goal. It is especially important to have an emotional trigger with a testimonial from someone who has worked with you and benefited from your products and service.

She closes noting that the direct response copy system is a two-step process that includes both the advertisement and speaking with the client. The main job of the ad or letter is to prompt the prospect to relate and contact you to discuss your services. Once they do, you can pitch yourself to them just as you would any other lead.


What prospecting verticals do you use in your business? Which are the most effective? Do you use all of these techniques in your ads or letters to prospective clients?

Source: InsuranceNewsNet

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