|From My Keyboard to Your Hand -- How the Copywriting Process Works...|
You may be wondering just what it takes to create the powerful, effective, sales boosting copy you'll receive -- AND how you can ensure you receive the high caliber copy your looking for.
Well, the copy creation process goes a bit like this:
I gather as much information as I can about the product and the market. This is actually one of the most critical steps -- and the one where YOU play the greatest role in ensuring the copy's success:
Step 2: Immersion...
I then spend a lot of time studying the information. I make notes either in a logbook or on my PC. This reduces the mountain of source material into a more manageable amount of print.
Step 3: Outlining...
At this point, I take the key elements from the notes and either copy each bit of information on an index card or generate an outline in Word (which method I use is dependent upon the quantity of notes and the assignment type). I write a descriptive topic title at the top of the card or sheet. I then arrange the cards or outline categories so the information is roughly in the order in which it will appear in the copy. This order usually comes to me as I study the material.
If you desire one, this is the point at which I prepare a copy platform describing the package I intend to write, including the observations made about the audience and the theme or slant that will be applied to the package. Sometimes this platform is a brief, informal memo. But when I feel the client and I would benefit from greater detail, I provide a more formal copy platform for review. The platform is then submitted to you, the client, for review to ensure everyone feels the core concept, theme, and target emotions are in line with the target prospect audience.
On occasion, a platform may contain several different copy approaches and headlines. For certain packages I may recommend split-testing of the best two or three, rather than betting the entire mailing on a single approach. But whether to do so is completely up to the client.
Bottom line: this is the last opportunity to make any major project changes before I set pen to paper.
Step 6: Creation...
Once the platform is approved, I write the package. I generate several drafts until I reach the point where the copy looks, reads, and feels right before showing it to the client.
The client provides comments in any manner and format preferred; however, for ease and efficiency, I suggest reviewing the copy on paper first and then applying any resulting comments or suggested changes on the electronic document using Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” feature. Doing so makes it much easier for you to get your initial thoughts down on paper and then expand your comments at length in the eDocument rather than writing in the limited space available on a hard copy with a pen.
I revise the copy – provided desired changes aren’t due to changes in the assignment – until the client is satisfied and accepts it.
Although I do not require it, most clients email me a of the finished proof once the graphical design and layout has been done on the promotion. This allows me to make sure that all components are in the right place, the design is as effective as it can be, and the graphics enhance the power and readability of the copy instead of detracting from it. I also give the layout a final proofing on my end. However, the client is responsible for final checking of all copy, design and production elements.
I’ll submit my corrections and comments to you. With final copy in hand, you can then complete any graphical work on the package, have it printed, encoded into html, etc., and distribute it.
Finally, I greatly appreciate it when the client keeps me posted on the results and may request feedback on the service you received as well as the performance of the promotion. If I'm getting a mailing fee on the package roll-out, I may even suggest ideas or package improvements at no cost in order to help maximize results (and of course, maintain the package as the control).