What exactly is a copywriter?

It may seem a bit of a silly question to some, but to others it’s clearly a bit of a mystery, so I’m going to kick off this shiny new blog by answering the question that I still get asked all too often…

‘What exactly is a copywriter then?’

Let me begin by saying that copywriting has absolutely nothing to do with copyright, hence the difference in spelling.

So with that out the way, in a nutshell, a copywriter is someone who writes any kind of promotional writing.

Any kind of writing that sells a product or service is referred to as copy and is written by a copywriter.

An example that pretty much everyone has seen?

Junk mail.

Everyone loves junk mail, right?

Yep, that annoying rubbish you get through your door to buy some fantastic new gadget or subscribe to some awesome new magazine or send money to the latest worthy charity… it’s all written by copywriters.

The spam you may find in your email inbox most likely hasn’t been blessed by the sales-penmanship of a copywriter.

Any self-respecting business will invest money in a quality copywriter to handle the communication between themselves and their customers/members, whether that be in the form of emails, newsletters, web pages, text messages, direct mail, advertorials or whatever.

Ok so now we’ve established what a copywriter IS, let me point out what a copywriter ISN’T.

A copywriter is not the same as a content writer or an article writer.

Anyone with a decent grasp of the English language and a little interest can put together an article or whack up some keyword stuffed chunk of text.

The same cannot be said of copywriting.

Since copywriting is basically salesmanship in print, it takes a certain degree of sales and marketing knowledge, at the very least, to put together an effective piece of copy.

Hey there! Have you got a minute?

While salesmen on the phone or face-to-face may have the advantage of tailoring their approach according to the reaction of whoever they’re trying to sell to, for the copywriter, the task is a little more complicated.

It’s a one shot deal. You can’t tell how an email recipient is going to react to an email, then amend it and resend it. So the copywriter has to get it right first time.

And that is not something that just anyone can do.

To be successful, a copywriter has to know the target audience, know the product or service that’s being promoted, be able to push the benefits to the target audience in a way they will understand, relate to and become motivated by, and get them to act, right there and then.

It’s a mix of salesmanship, marketing, psychology and word manipulation.

It’s not as easy as most people think.

When it comes to communicating a message to your members, it’s extremely important that message is perfectly tailored to them in every way, to give you the best possible chance of securing the sale or signing them up to a new product or service.

If you’re aware of what a copywriter is, you probably also know that a good copywriter is hard to find, and a bad one can have a damaging effect on your bottom line.

If you already have a copywriter, value them, for their job is a challenging one.

If you don’t already have a copywriter… Hi, I’m Sarah! ;)

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