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The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

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The Adweek Copywriting Handbook

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Powerful Advertising and Marketing Copy from One of America's Top Copywriters


15 min read
10 take-aways
Text available

What's inside?

Everything you need to know about writing ad copy, from one of the best in the biz – Joseph Sugarman.

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Seldom does a how-to book so thoroughly accomplish its goal. Read this text and you’ll learn how to compose great copy. Information in: skill out. Copywriter extraordinaire Joseph Sugarman explains what it takes to write copy that sells as he covers the basic elements of a print ad. He then delves into the writing process by revealing his methods, such as letting your thoughts flow unhindered onto the paper and giving your ideas time to incubate. Then he switches his focus to explaining which emotions motivate people to make purchases and how to incorporate these “psychological triggers” into your advertising. Although Sugarman confesses up front that his lessons focus primarily on print mail-order advertising, he provides a chapter on copywriting for various media. However, it is obvious that his strength lies in mail order. The emphasis on print ads notwithstanding, getAbstract urges anyone who wants to communicate effectively to pick up this thorough, lively copywriting guide.


Getting Started

What is the ultimate goal of any ad copy, regardless of the medium? “To cause a person to exchange his or her hard-earned money for a product or service.” And, anyone can learn to write copy that fulfills that goal. However, the best copywriters have a natural instinct for intriguing information that motivates them to read, follow their passions, interact with interesting people and explore the world. They are not afraid of hard work. Even though the old saying affirms that there is nothing new under the sun, skilled copywriters use their life experiences to present things in a fresh, exciting, engaging way.

The best way to write great copy is to get plenty of practice. Don’t worry about producing a perfect first draft. Pour your emotions onto the paper. You’ll learn how to fine-tune your thoughts through editing. To write effective advertising, you must become an expert on the product or service you are selling, and on the customers you want to reach. For instance, when author Joseph Sugarman wanted to sell burglar alarms, he helped his prospects recognize their need for protection, the dependability of his product and its ease of installation.


About the Author

Joseph Sugarman wrote a popular catalog in the ’70s and ’80s. He taught copywriting seminars in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Australia. Most recently, he was editor and publisher of the Maui Weekly newspaper. His six books include Success Forces.

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