"How to Write Compelling Copy
that Begs to Be Read"
By Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero
“To believe your own thought, to believe
that what is true for you in your private heart is true for
all men – that is genius.” Ralph Waldo Emerson~
Want to know one of my secrets to getting my copy très
conversational? Bridge phrases! You know. That throw-away
language my journalism school professors called “empty
and useless.” The connector phrases that keep the pace
going – like a bucket brigade! Direct mail copywriter
Maxwell Ross used that concept to illustrate how copy should
Let me take you back to when the West in America was young.
When men were rugged. And women didn’t have to diet.
I’m talking about the time before there were fire departments.
Oh, there were still fires. Just no organized way to put them
out. So they came up with the bucket brigade system.
When a blaze got going, the townspeople pulled together.
They’d line up and pass water – bucket by bucket
– from the nearest water source to the fire. Being careful
to keep the water moving along briskly. No let up. No slow
down. Can you picture it?
Well, that’s what we aim for in copy. It needs to move
along briskly. No let up. No slow down. Each sentence pulls
the reader into the next. And so on. And so on. Until he’s
so deep in your copy he doesn’t want to come out. In
fact, once your reader has gotten through 25% of your copy,
chances are he’ll read it all, says copywriter Joseph
Sugarman (the marketing genius who introduced the Blu Blocker
sunglasses among many other successful marketing campaigns).
Joe also said, “The sole purpose of the first sentence
in an advertisement is to get you to read the second sentence.”
There’s your bucket brigade in action.
Sure, on their own, these phrases may sound a little sensational.
But I prefer to think of them as connecting and conversational.
Prodding the reader to continue on. Raising the interest level.
Bridge phrases break the rules your grammar teacher may have
wanted to pound into your head. But they sure do sell. (Thank
goodness copywriting isn’t like real writing. We get
to break all the rules!) But don’t take just my word
for it. Take notes and read on for some examples:
As if that’s not enough
Best of all
But wait there’s more
By the way
On the other hand
Think about it
But that’s just part of the story
These are just a few
Think about it
Take moment to go through some of the copy you’ve written
and see if it quickly flows from one statement to the next.
Where it doesn’t use one of the bridge phrases listed
above. Reread your copy. See the difference?
Author Resource -> Copywriting guru Lorrie Morgan-Ferrero
has been helping entrepreneurs and copywriters get their marketing
messages razor sharp since 1999. Get free access to 5 tips
to turn your “blah” sales message into red-hot
copy that ROCKS… at RedHotCopy http://www.kickstartcart.com/app/?af=1120620